It's a shame, really, that a thrashing like that only counts for one win. The Sixers dominated every facet of their resounding 101-75 win over the Pacers last night, unfortunately, Doug Collins wasn't around to see the time run off the clock as hundreds of fans celebrated.
- Roy Hibbert
- Solomon Jones
- Josh McRoberts
- Tyler Hansbrough
It's usually a cop-out when a blogger starts a post with a list, but this one serves a purpose. Those are the players who tried to guard Elton Brand tonight. Each one failed. Indiana tried to double him, tried to smother him, tried to hack and grab him. None of it mattered. Brand was a man on a mission, and his mission was to leave Indiana questioning their 2-1 start. Mission accomplished.
That may be a bit of hyperbole, but seriously, Brand was unbelievable in this game. The only negative concern Brand was Michael Curry (who took over for Doug Collins), running his minute total up to 36 with an ill-advised stretch late in the fourth quarter. Brand wound up playing 78 minutes over the past two days. Were those extra minutes really worth it in a 30-point game? I don't think so.
Brand is your player of the game, there's no need for suspense here: 25 points on 9/15 from the floor, 7/7 from the line with 12 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 0 turnovers. That line is oddly reminiscent of the Elton Brand who used top play for the Clippers. It sure seems like he's back, I'm just not sure how long he's going to be around if his coaches keep abusing him like this, minutes-wise.
If you look up and down the box score, pretty much everyone except the two guys we got for Sam Dalembert had a good game, and even Hawes was only bad today, rather than atrocious. He even hit a three (a set-shot three, which looked vaguely like my two-year-old trying to throw a kickball to his sister). Jrue continues his march toward dominance (or at least relevance) and seriously outplayed Darren Collison, the bane of his UCLA existence. 11 points. 4 boards, 5 dimes, 4 steals and only 1 turnover.
Andre Iguodala was the focal point of some griping during the game thread. All he did was score 11 on 9 shots and grab 9 boards. Not to mention 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks and zero turnovers. Oh, and he made Danny Granger look like every bit of the benchwarmer he was for team USA. Granger finished 2/14 for 7 points. Collison was a bit better, 4/16 for 11 points. Honestly, the entire Indiana team was pitiful. 28/89 (31.5%) from the floor is just about the worst shooting performance I've ever seen.
Here are your charts from the game, a few more thoughts to follow:
There was a somber note to tonight's game. Doug Collins could not return to the bench after the half due to another bout of vertigo in the locker room. At this point, I'm worried about the guy. It's been five months since his fall and the symptoms seem to be getting worse. On top of that, they seem to be exacerbated by the thing that makes him good at what he does. Long hours of film study, extra work, extra stress. He might need to take a decent chunk of time off, and I really do not want Michael Curry as our head coach. I feel like Collins is somehow getting through to these guys, I want him better and in the locker room as soon as possible. Get well soon, Coach.
Prior to the game, Collins broke out his stat sheet and starting naming names. He wanted his guys to be more aggressive in attacking the rim, he wanted them getting to the line, and he was very clear in who he was talking about. Collectively, the team shot 25 free throws, with Elton Brand leading the way. That number is probably not indicative of the Sixers' offensive effort, though, considering Indy basically gave up with about 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Finally, there's no way Marreese Speights is going to grab 11 boards in 14 minutes and not get a nod in my wrap. Speights couldn't hit a shot to save his life, but he was working his ass off on the glass. If Collins was there, he may have even cracked a smile.
Thad continues to confound me. The effort is better, on both ends of the floor, but the production...it just isn't enough. 14 shots to get 16 points isn't bad at all, but that's a really good game for him. He was hot tonight, and doing pretty much everything right, and his line was only good. He really needs to be the best he can possibly be to have a dramatic effect on the team's chances of winning or losing. Even a good game, like tonight's, is only a little better than treading water. He's going to need to start hitting threes or getting to the line a lot more often to be an effective offensive weapon, which is really his role.
That's enough cold water, though. The Sixers are no longer among the winless, heck, they're on a roll.
Player of The Game:
Cleveland, on Friday night.Game Capsule