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Recover and Move On

Oh, I think this series can change how we should feel about this team. It certainly could undermine claims that this team's version of mediocrity is somehow better than the last two first-round teams' versions of mediocrity. You could still argue this mediocre team is more promising than the last two (as tk76 and others have pointed out, that's a tough argument to make, back then Iguodala and Thad were young), but I think it'd be a lot harder to argue that we're any better now than we were 2 or 3 years ago.

tk76 reply to Tray on Apr 20 at 0:30

On one hand I don't think getting swept by a better team is that much worse than getting beaten in 6 by a better team. Especially when both of 6 game series they lost the last 3 games in progressively more convincing fashion. They snuck up on Orlando and Detroit and juped out to a 2-1 series lead. But when the better team counter-punched the Sixers where clearly down for the count (even with Howard in street-clothes.)

Also, both of those summers had the added excitement of knowing they would be getting Brand in the line-up the next year- who was expected to raise the team to a whole other lever. Whereas now there is excitement about Jrue and Turner developing- but that is not the same as adding an All Star PF at your position of greatest need.

So I like that this current team seems to have more depth and more stability (Collins) and is less reliant on the fast break. I dislike that it takes a lot of imagination to see this team make a big leap between today and 2 years from now.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 0:34

Not to mention that the Heat have the same key players in their prime locked up for the next 4 seasons. But its better not to think about that :)

I'm just eager to see how this team responds to having bin punched in the face. for much of the year they showed a great penchant for rebounding from bad losses. We'll see how Thursday pans out. I honestly don't know what to expect- other tha a lot of psuedo-Heat fans in attendance.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 0:35

Judging by my typos it's too late to think Sixers.

Jeff reply to Tray on Apr 20 at 0:42

As opposed to the last playoff series, I'm more comfortable knowing that we have the PG position locked up with potential cap space in a couple of years. I also have hope due to Stefanski no longer making personnel decisions.

I think as sixers fans we hang our hats on those two things.

Been awhile since I commented but can we stop calling this team young? I know age wise they might be but besides Jrue, our MAIN contributers (Iggy, Brand, Lou, and Thad) have all been in the league for at least 4 years. I think at that point a player should have learned enought to be considered a veteran regardless of their age. The excuse that we are "young" seems to just be a crutch that we all lean on so we can try to find the silver lining.

Charlie H reply to Chodeburger on Apr 20 at 9:16

No. Fact: it's a young team.

eddies' heady's reply to Chodeburger on Apr 20 at 10:08

+1. They really aren't young as far as league experience and player development, just as tk76 pointed out yesterday. Only one of these guys has a chance to get better and that's Jrue, however incrementally. The rest basically are what they are. And the Iguodala example used yesterday was very worthy. You're not going to make some gigantic leap from what you are as a 22/23 year old to when you're 26/27 years old.

If some of these guys were on other teams besides our favorite we'd all be saying 'blah,... next'.

They're young, that's just a fact. And I'm not just talking about having a bunch of young guys on the roster who don't play. Check this out.

Take the age of every player on every roster in the playoffs, then multiply the age by the # of minutes they played (so for Brand it's 31 x 2,809 = 87,079), then add all those numbers up and divide by the total number of team minutes. That will weight the team's minutes by age. These are the results for all the teams in the playoffs:

OKC 23.73691577
PHI 24.65890617
MEM 25.16996982
NYK 25.29519717
IND 25.86541962
NOH 26.3497378
CHI 26.42829047
POR 26.69337979
DEN 27.32184725
ATL 27.37034972
ORL 27.58664515
SAS 28.80336653
MIA 28.9857439
BOS 29.51129986
LAL 30.18739284
DAL 30.93991373

They're the second youngest team in the playoffs, behind OKC.

And saying they're young isn't an excuse, and it doesn't even need to mean that all (or any) of those young guys are going to suddenly turn into superstars. What it means is that you should expect the team's performance to at least stay at this level for the foreseeable future. Older teams, and older players see a decrease in production due to age. If you're making the contention that they won't get much better from this point, I don't agree, but fine. If this is their level, they should at least maintain it for 4 to 5 years simply because they're so young.

Their actual age wasn't my point. I was trying to say that besides Jrue (and ET if you consider him a major contributor this year) the main contributors of this team have each made multiple trips to the playoffs regardless of their age. This experience should be more of a factor in their performance than it has been.

I'm pretty sure the playoff experience of the 8-man rotation, including turner, looked like this coming into this series:

17 games
12 games
12 games
12 games
0 games
0 games
0 games
0 games

53 games total.

That doesn't qualify as young or inexperienced in terms of playoff experience?

I mean if you consider Hawes and Meeks crucial to our success in this series than they would be more inexperienced. If like me you consider our sucess to depend on Iggy, Jrue, Brand, Lou, and Thad than we become more experienced. And at what # of games would they suddenly become experienced in your mind? I mean if they continually get bounced in the first round every year it's going to be tough to reach a high enough number.

I'm not even sure what you're talking about. First it was that they had plenty of time in the league, so they weren't young. Then it was they had plenty of playoff experience, so they weren't young. I mean, forget age or experience, what's your point? They aren't as good as the Heat. That's clear and it wasn't ever in question. When someone says they're young, they're just saying that they haven't fully tapped their potential and they've got room to grow. Are you saying that isn't the case? That this team is achieving as much now as it every possibly could?

Yes that is pretty much what I am saying that this team is what it is at this point. A team that is good enough to make the playoffs every year but not good enough to be a serious contender for a championship.

Well Here's the thing

There's young and then there's young and upside.

Of the youth on the sixers, what large amounts of upside are there.

Jrue, Evan, possibly Speights (as it's purely mental) but then what? Sure thad is young, but it's his fifth year in the league and he still can't do hwat he couldn't do his rookie year. He's shooting 3's less and scoring at the rim (this year) at what I feel is an unsustainable career rate. He's got one move and poor defense.

Lou - Lou is lou - lou is young too - but is there any upside left?

The whole 'youth' thing does need to have context, and youth without upside is not something to be thrilled about.

Tray reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 14:34

This is correct. Jrue's going to get better, maybe a whole lot better, Turner can only get better but may well not get much better, and after that there's basically nothing as far as young upside. Oh, Meeks could get a little better at scoring inside the arc. But there's a pretty low ceiling to what he's capable of.

Right, and if people were saying, "Hey, we're young. All we need is a couple of years together and we'll be a contender," you'd have reason to disagree. But saying they're a .500 team that has work to do, but their core is young so you've got a good starting point, that's a fair statement. These guys shouldn't decline. It's not like Portland who has been buoyed by the play of Andre Miller and Marcus Camby well into their thirties. Two years out, when Brand comes off the books, and the Sixers hopefully have cap space, there's no reason to think the rest of the team will produce any less than they produce right now. In fact, it's reasonable to assume they'll produce more because while a guy probably doesn't go from being average to being great between 22-24, he can go from being average to good.

tk76 reply to Brian on Apr 20 at 16:05

It's tough though. They really rely a lot on Brand and Iguodala. It won't be easy replacing Brand when you are getting a mid 1st round pick and have limited cap space. And Iguodala is a great contributor, but you might have to trade him to balance out the roster since his play-making will get less needed and they don't exactly have other great trade chips.

They present an interesting challenge for Thorn. It's not easy finding the right move top propel this team forward to another level. And they are unlikely to be willing to take a step back from their much desired "respectability." Thad might get a big deal, and then you will have to pay Jrue the year Brand comes off the books. Their will be some cap space, but that goes away quickly when you use it to try and plug giant holes in the frontcourt.

Bismack s their only hope :) Or at least stumbling on some inexpensive defensive big.


It's not about if they should decline - it's about if they'll improve.

Is Lou going to get much better? Probably not
Is Thad going to get much better? It's possible but I doubt it.
Can Speights get better? Sure - will he - probably not - because he hasn't shown any motivation yet

So again - you've got Jrue and Evan as your young core with upside (brackins i guess has upside since so far he's contributed zero) and young guys who may not get any better - so again - you've got holes - you've got your two key pieces are older players - not part of a younger core - and both probably on the down side of their career (though brand farther along).

Crap - now that I write that - I feel less good about this team winning a first round playoff series any time soon

Agree that our "youth" needs to be put in context. What good is being young if there is no significant upside to the young players assmbled? As said before the only players on this team with a reasonable expectation to improve are Jrue and ET. I think people sometimes get excited about being a young team without really thinking about what these young players can realistically become.

And I want to be fair with regards to Thad. he has developed into a top 6th man who really puts pressure on a defense. Many teams have started game-planning for him- which is rare for a bench player.

So he does not have to drastically improve to remain a productive part of the team. he is worthy of a decent contract- just not star money. It just is highly unlikely he blows up and becomes a star. But he can continue to improve on his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. That would leave you with the same general class of player- but one who get be even more useful on a winning team. Sort of how Odom has not become a dramatically better pro, but has eveolved into one that fits better on a winning team.

Story: Collins: 'There's no discouragement':


the author of this article has the writing ability of a seventh grader.

I'm sure most seventh graders would take offense to that. Thanks for reading.

A 22 year old will only get better, no matter how many years he has played already. Thad isn't even in his physical prime yet. We have seen him grow (physically) this season so much already. They are young. There is no arguing this. Only Brand is on the downside. Dre, when healthy, is in his prime. Every other contributor is young. That includes Lou.

tk76 reply to MW on Apr 20 at 9:45

That was what I was trying to get into yesterday.

Players who are 22 add things to their games as they get older, but I'm not convinced many get dramatically better- unless they entered the league at age 22 or 23 (like Pippen or McHale.)

So I can see Turner making big strides as he gets more NBA experience. I can see Jrue getting better because he is only 20. But as for the remainder of the "young players" I don't see any of them becoming dramatically better than they are right now.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 9:49

I am referring to Thad(22), Hawes(22), Meeks(22), Speighst(23), Lou(24). Obviously Brackins is a complete unknown but unlikely to be more than a role player off the bench.

I also believe that we have see enough of Jrue and Turner to have a decent feel for their ceiling and likely outcomes. Building blocks but not cornerstones.

Speights could get better because his flaws are not one of age, but motivation. His lack of work ethic limits him.

Funny to hear all this bagging on thad when so many feel he 'must' be signed in the off season for his one move and inability to rebound.

eddies' heady's reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 10:17

I definitely think they should sign him, but only just like Lou - instant offense off the bench and around the same contract. Nothing over 6 mil a year. Let him walk if someone else wants to take that chance.

For once I agree with you, but how many 'instant offense and nothing else' guys does one team really need? You need 'specialists' off the bench if you wanna win, and if two of your prime bench spots are taken by one dimensional scoring only players - how do you fill the other needs?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 10:28

I think it will be easier to discuss his contract when we actually know what the parameters might be. With a new CBA and a lock-out looming its hard to know what type of money they will have to spend to re-sign him and what impact that contract will have on the new cap rules.

I am glad they did not extend him this year before knowing what the new CBA will bring,

Whatever the new CBA is, Tom Moore has already told us enough to know how much Thad (and his agent) over value him.

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 11:54

That does not mean any other GM, or Thorn will agree to meet his demands.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 11:56

Again, in terms of dollars there are just too many variable to speculate. It's fair to say there is a conncern they will have to over-pay... but what that means to them financial is unclear until their is a new CBA and we see to what degree other teams are willing to over-pay guys. Previous summers may not be an accurate gauge given the new labor environment.

Good point on Speights. Now, where to find his inner Jack Lelanne? He might fare better with another head coach, another philosophy. But he needs to turn it up, regarding both physical and mental rigor wherever he might be. Won't get a lot more time or chances to do so.

Sorry, it's not a coach, or a philosophy.

Cheeks, Dileo, Jordan, Collins (even what's his name at UF). What Speights problem is has nothing to do with anyone else but Speights. It's not an ability problem it's a 'focus on career' problem. It takes everyone a different amount of time to grow up and take the responsibiilty of doing their job as best they can and working through it. Speights is his own worst enemy and as far as I'm concerned the only thing keeping him from being great is his mental approach not his game. As opposed to thad who has a lot of game issues that need improvement

It's disappointing, but he seems content to go along for the ride. Somebody that he really respects needs to tell him the gravy train stops where the effort does. And even that might prove futile. Still some hope. Yes, he's had numerous Sixers' coaching voices but an unrequested geographical change might wake him up, do him and his career good. A type A achiever out of 60s suburban Illinois and a laid back kid out of 90s inner St. Pete - not the best match.

It's disappointing, but he seems content to go along for the ride. Somebody that he really respects needs to tell him the gravy train stops where the effort does. A

No, see, that's the point. I'm sure he's been told repeatedly by people he should respect, or, you know, HIS BOSS (the sixers) and he doesn't get it.

Speights problems are purely Speights and by now he's aware of them or been told about them and it's purely up to him what comes next. There are no more excuses for him.

eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 10:14

Jrue's a building block but Turner provides you no ascension up the elite ladder even as a role player. He screams wallowing in mediocrity. His impact on games often goes unnoticed, if there's even an impact which is very rare.

ojr107 reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 11:26

Thad has never had the chance to play starters minutes consistently at the 4 spot. I would love to see what would happen if he got 35 minutes a game at the 4 for a stretch of 20 games.

I think there's a belief he can't bring that type of energy for more than 25-30 minutes, when he gets beyond that threshold there's a diminishing return. Not saying I agree w/ it, but I've heard it multiple times.

That's cause every time Thad gets over thirty minutes Collins makes a comment on it after the game saying he really didn't want to do that. I think if the sixers are planning on giving Thad 8 plus million a year they better make sure he's ready to be playing starters minutes. Just can't be paying role guys that much money.

Thorn's going to give him Johan Petro money.

Then he can focus on working out a trade for Travis Outlaw. He's the outside shooter we're missing. C'mon Brian, you can get on board with this. He just needs a change of scenery, thats all.

Absolutely. Though I'd prefer someone a little more veterany. Some toughness wouldn't hurt either. I think Mike Dunleavy is a free agent, give him $10M/year.

Oh come on - you know they're going to over pay for tyson chandler cause he's the one piece they need to win in the playoffs

Using the old CBA, what would you throw at Chandler?

Not much more than I'd give Dalembert. I don't trust Chandler's health.

Does extending his minutes mean he'd finally learn how to rebound like a power forward on the defensive glass?

Usually, when a guy goes from 20-30 minutes his production does not increase unless of course you're silly enough to look at gross production as opposed to a fair comparison (per minute comparison, per 36 minutes comparison)

Thads gross numbers would go up but he'd still probably be offense only and a crap rebounder

He could probably play starter's minutes at the four next to a guy who rebounded like Dalembert on the defensive end. Not w/ Brand or Hawes at the five, though.

Offensive rebounding isn't useless, though. It should just be considered as completely independent of defensive rebounding. 13 o-boards in 2 games for Thad in this series is impressive.

My own personal opinion is that offensive rebounding is much less important than defensive rebounding. Offensive rebounding is a great bonus, defensive rebounding is a necessity in winning. And Thad is terrible at it. In fact so far this series the sixers are pretty weak at it

What do you think, would you want to go after Bogut in a trade? 27% defensive rebounding and a 97 defensive rating could be just what we need. Might be a possibility to get him considering the injury concerns. I mean, he's not quite Camby, but still. :)

Sure, why not. They wouldn't be able to get him, I don't think, but make the call. He'd fit really well.

He is such a monumental bitch.

I like that they make a point early to note that the Trail Blazers led for almost the entire first half.

"Roy was upset about playing time in the first half, during which the Blazers led for all but 36 seconds."

Here's a guy getting grossly overpaid thanks to limited effectiveness and he's considering crying.

I think the 36 second sentence though is key to the whole thing. I mean Portland did lose so he's upset not getting to play when his team loses, understandable. But upset when his team is winning for most of the first half and he isn't playing, entirely different story (to me), just a selfish whiny bitch.

When does Brandon Roy go on the list of worst contracts in the league (should be near the top - freaking Gilbert Arenas can contribute more than Roy can now)

raro reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 14:55

Not sure where all of this vitriol for Roy is coming from? Is it because people compare him favorably to Iguodala? Or that he plays for Portland, a city full of dirty hippies?

I mean, the guy is hurting because he can't play, can't contribute to his team. And I don't mean to be all preachy or anything, it just comes across as unfair.

And if you call me his bitch...

It's a city full of hipsters mostly, which are worse than hippies in my book.

And I'm not fully sure I can explain my hatred of the city or the team. Probably has something to do with them being anointed as the best thing since sliced bread and Roy as a total superduperstar. I'm thoroughly enjoying his wasted max extension and his bitchy attitude.

This isn't even close to the first time he's come out with comments like this. He's been bitching ever since they got Andre Miller.

raro reply to Brian on Apr 20 at 16:00

See, I remember the model citizen rep he had on draft day. Of course I've never met him so who knows what his personality is really like.

My view on Portland is a little different. I can't stand hipsters either, but I can appreciate the fans and their devotion to the team. I can only imagine what its like living in a city where people care about the NBA. I went out on Monday night to watch Game 2, and the bar had 6 tvs turned on; 3 showing the Flyers game and 3 showing the Phillies. People here could care less about the Sixers...

tk76 reply to raro on Apr 20 at 16:15

Philadelphia is a bit spoiled as a 4 sport town (with lots of colleges.) The cities with only 1 or 2 sports teams tend to live and die with them.

I think peoples perception of Portland (and Oregon) is a bit skewed. I know a lot of people from the northwest and well, you're all a bit off in what portland (and oregon) actually is.

It's a lot more 'lumberjack' than anything.

BTW - is Philadlephia the only '4 sport city' that has all its teams in the playoffs these days? (New York is not a four sport city as they don't have any NFL teams)

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 17:23

I've ben to the Pacific Northwest a bit. People from Portland take pride in how they have fought off "Californication" in terms of urban sprawl and car dominated lifestyles. It's not the same as being a Hippy, but they generally like to be in a city that is not separated from the outdoors. But at the same time they see themselves as being very hip and sophisticated. So a cross between a Hippy and a Hipster is not terribly far off.

Sort of trying to get the best of a city while avoiding the negatives they come with being overly big.

johnrosz reply to tk76 on Apr 20 at 17:31

I went to a hipster bar in the city by accident last week,my first real encounter with "hipsters" I didn't really grasp the concept until I got to this place. it's all dorky art kids wearing old lady/urkle glasses and regrettable arm sleeve tattoos, trying to get down to late 80's/early 90's hip hop.

Hipster, emo, goth, it's all the same to me...desperate to fit in with some other personality because you can't find your own and be proud of who you are...conformity to a group rather than individualism - it's a sad sort of thing

Because Roy was lauded as some kind of 'superstar' when a look at the over all numbers said he's not better than Iguodala but was being called a top 10 player. He's demonstrated himself as a selfish player multiple times over the past years (since Andre Miller was signed) and not been called on it nationally whereas Iguodala gets called out constantly.

My hatred of Brandon Roy is that he was vastly over rated BEFORE he got hurt - a selfish bitch BEFORE the knee after the arrival of Andre Miller who repeatedly made comments that indicated he cared more about portland winning AS LONG AS IT WAS BECAUSE OF HIM then portland winning.

Comments like the ones in the article just reinforce that he's a whiny selfish bitch - and now one who can't accept the reality of his knees being shot.

raro reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 16:10

A lot of your angst seems to be generated by what people think or thought of Brandon Roy - things that are completely out of his control. Looking at his contract, it's similar to the one given to Iguodala, so no big deal there. It's on management for hoping that his knees would hold up.

Not sure about your other comments... Miller turned him into a SELFISH, WHINY BITCH? Did I read that correctly?

Miller didn't turn him into a selfish whiny bitch, Millers arrival was the trigger that showed that he cared more about 'his' than team - he was held up as this beacon as teamship and the next great thing - and he wasn't - he was just like most players - selfish and worried about his numbers more than the winning it just never came out until miller arrived and the team worked better with miller running it - and then magnified by his lack of acceptance of hiw knee injury hobbling him and his comments last night.

As for the contracts being the same - could you point out to me where someone ever said Brandon Roy (before his knee injury) was over paid? No one said it - it was all a great deal for a great player - who wasn't any 'greater' than Andre Iguodala and was just a purely selfish player who just hadn't been in a situation to have his selfishness exposed. His crying, not because they lost but BECAUSE HE DIDNT GET TO PLAY WHEN THE TEAM WAS WINNING just is more of his selfishness. I have no problem with him crying, it's thhe motivation behind it. It wasn't cause he couldn't help the team win it's because WHEN the team was leading, without him on the floor, it upset him and made him cry. He cried because he didn't get to play when his team was leading.

That's selfish to me, pure and simple.

Tray reply to GoSixers on Apr 20 at 17:32

I like Brandon Roy.

johnrosz reply to Tray on Apr 20 at 17:40

I think he's got a point, Roy was kind of overrated even when he was healthy, but the Blazers were media darlings for some reason. You never heard the rumblings about him not being a franchise player, even when the team stalled every year in the playoffs. For whatever reason, scoring 20 pts a game efficiently/inefficiently is a large part of what the basketball community considers a star player.

Anybody heading to the game tomorrow night?

I'll be there with bells on. You going?

Ryan F reply to Brian on Apr 20 at 14:03

Yes sir. Sec 105 Row 12 Sts 1&2. Should be up there sometime around 6PM for the early festivities. A beer before hand?

Yeah, first time to a playoff game for me, can't wait. I'm excited to watch Jrue drop 25 and 10 dimes.

Ryan F reply to Chunky Soup on Apr 20 at 14:12

It is exciting. The atmosphere is completely different. i was at game 3 2005 when Iverson put up something like 40 pts & 15 Ast against Detroit. Amazing.

It'll be nice to win this game, but I'll be happy with whatever outcome as long as I'm not stuck sitting next to some bandwagon Heat fan in a Bosh jersey.

Yeah I'm expecting the crowd to be jacked. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple hard fouls on D-Wade and LeTonto either. That would make me happy.

I'm thinking *at worst* we should get some great anti-Heat chants going.

Sadly, I think there are still a number of tickets available. I think it's pretty unique to be able to say you saw Lebron and Wade in the playoffs. It'll be even better if I can say I saw Lebron and Wade lose.

I'll be there. What's the earliest you can get into the WFC for an 8 pm game?

They'll probably have that fan zone outside (on the side of the WFC that faces the Linc), that opens pretty early. Check Sixers.com.

I'm not sure when I'm going to make it down there. Took the day off work, probably going to get a cheesesteak, pick up a couple of pound cakes at Stocks for my family and get there early, if I can.

Ryan F reply to Jason on Apr 20 at 17:20

The "Block Party" starts 3 hours before tip, so 5ish.

I'll be there -

I'm up top - but center court. Thinking my "DEPRESSEDFAN.COM" signs aren't going to get a lot of play on tv.

Timx reply to Ryan F on Apr 20 at 22:59

I'll be there, second 103 row 3. Can't wait! I would love to meet up with some of you crazy SOBs before the game. Its great to find some more than casual Sixers fans!!! We are an endangered species!

Just checked my tickets. Sec 103, row 21

Timx reply to Brian on Apr 21 at 0:24

I'll look for ya. Would love to personally thank you for giving us fans a forum to get our Sixers fix on a daily basis.

Ryan F reply to Timx on Apr 21 at 11:31

I'll be running around wearing a gray Holiday T and a North Face hat drinking beer with my buddy who oddly resembles Boomhauer. Say hello.

Video: Holiday on the value of playoff experience, the mindset of the #Sixers down 2-0 and that 'people haven't believed in us all season':


Video: Collins on Ed Snider visiting practice and having to keep up good defense while improving at offensive end:


Blog: Holiday: 'People haven't believed in us all season':


Iguodala: 'We've got to play (darn) near perfect to get a win':


Also has Iguodala video.

johnrosz on Apr 20 at 17:42

Tom, that picture of Ed Snider in Sixers gear is absolutely horrifying.

Tom Moore reply to johnrosz on Apr 20 at 17:44

Thanks? Was an unusual sight.

Tom Moore on Apr 20 at 17:45

Ed Snider loves his Sixers sweats (with photo):


An odd game for the Lakers. Kobe and Pau go 5-20, score 19 points, and still win fairly easily, as Artest, Odom and Bynum combine for 48.

Lawson's had a good series so far.

jkay reply to Tray on Apr 21 at 1:37

Kobe was handled well by Ariza, Gasol is still daydreaming. But it was far from an easy win. NO doesn't whiff on all those FTs and it could have been the other way around. Like the way the refs are handling that series.

Lawson's had almost an identical first two games to Jrue, and neither has won a game. Of course, Jrue's man hasn't scored 52 points on him.

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