Gilbert Arenas took the night off and the Wizards still dropped 116
on the Sixers. Pitiful. That's really the only word to describe the defensive effort made by our beloved team in Washington tonight.
In the second and third quarters the Sixers were outscored 74 to 42. That pretty much tells the entire story of this game. When the opposing team shoots 57% from the field, you are going to lose. There's no need to dwell on it, although I'm marking this down as the first game the Sixers should've won, but lost. Without Arenas, the Wizards are not an impressive bunch.
What did we learn from tonight's game? That's a good question, and I think the answer is the same conclusion I drew after the last game. Lou Williams needs to be starting and Thad Young needs to get regular minutes.
Mo Cheeks went to Young early in the second quarter, before the game was out of hand, and that's a great sign. The kid makes things happen when he's on the floor. His final line tonight: 21 minutes, 7/10 from the floor, 5 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block for 14 points. He hit a jumper in rhythm (great sign), showed a really nice move on the low post (great sign), crashed the boards (great sign) and made countless solid plays on defense, three of which resulted in change of possession (2 steals and a block). I highlight all of these things because Rodney Carney hasn't shown the ability to do a single one.
The way a guy plays in garbage time can tell you a lot about him. Willie Green earned his nickname by using garbage time to chuck up as many shots as possible. Rodney Carney does the same thing. It's like he's back on the playground, or maybe back in high school where the entire offense was "Give the ball to Rodney and let him do what he wants." Thad Young and Lou Williams do not play like this. They go out there, run the offense and play solid D. They take shots within the offense, and they pressure the ball. This is why they were able to come back from a 25-point deficit on Saturday, and it's also why they outscored the Wizards by 15 in the fourth quarter tonight (33-18).
Obviously, you can't draw conclusions based solely on how guys perform when the game is out of reach. They aren't facing a team motivated to play D, and they aren't facing a team's best players. But guys can and do earn minutes based on their performance, hustle, and attitude during those stretches. Lou Williams and Thad Young have earned more minutes.
A quick look at the box score:
- Iguodala, 0 turnovers in 28 minutes. [Good]
- Iguodala, 3/11 from the field [Bad]
- Willie Green, led the team in shots attempted (13) [Horrible]
- Calvin Booth, 4 minutes played [4 minutes too many]
- Lou Williams, 30 minutes, 10/13 from the floor, 4/4 from three, 2 boards, 4 assists, 25 points. [Awesome]
- Kevin Ollie, 18 minutes 0/6 from the field [Ouch]
The Sixers have a couple more days off now. Their next game is in Detroit on Friday night. Keep those chins up, Sixers fans. Things could be worse, we could be rooting for the Knicks.
Player of The Game:
Lou WilliamsTeam Record