|Thaddeus Young, PF Shot Chart 41 MIN | 14-20 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 30 PTS | +6I’m not sure I have any words for how well Thad plaayed last night against one of the best teams in the NBA. He matched his season high with 30 points, thanks to a quick start (8 points in the 1st Q) and 70% shooting. He closed strong as well — 10 pts. in 3rd & 8 pts. in 4th. Thad had a huge lay-in with 1 min left in the game and his tip-in with :36 remaining was a game saver. Young has at least 25 points in six of his last seven games.|
|Evan Turner, SF Shot Chart 36 MIN | 9-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 23 PTS | +8It seems of late that Turner is making an effort to be more aggressive on offense after the opening tip and it is working. last night his 10 points in the 1st Q helped the Sixers to an early 18-4 lead. ET also posted 7 pts. in the 4th Q including 2 huge FTs in the final ticks.|
|Hollis Thompson, SF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +4I realize his defense is solid, but again, I have to ask, “Isn’t there someone in the D-League or Europe with enough talent to bump this guy out of the first-five?”|
|Spencer Hawes, C Shot Chart 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +11When Hawes bruied that early 3PA in front of a host of family members and friends in attendance, I thought he was going to have a huge night. Instead Hawes was simply solid and came close to a triple-double. In Spence’s defense, with Turner, Thad and MCW shooting the ball a combined 56 times, there just weren’t that many looks for Hawes last night.|
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG Shot Chart 33 MIN | 5-16 FG | 6-8 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -5Not a great shooting night for the Sixers’ rookie, but I like that he got to the FT line and knocked down the freebies. Hopefully he does not have a concussion.|
|Brandon Davies, PF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Moving on…|
|Lavoy Allen, PF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -9The inbounds pass/turnover he was responsible for at the end of the game that nearly cost the 7-6 the win and erased any good he produced previous to that moment last night.|
|James Anderson, SG Shot Chart 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +4Last night was one of the few disappointing outings I can recall for JA since he was moved to the bench.|
|Elliot Williams, SG Shot Chart 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4Irrelevant…|
|Tony Wroten, SG Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-7 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -1A second good outing in a row for TWroe included 7 FTAs, 6 points in the 4th and a great dish to Thad with 5 mins. left in the game.|
|Arnett Moultrie, PF Shot Chart DNP LEFT ANKLE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Arnett is getting closer to returning and his presence on teh floor will only bolster this roster.|
I don’t know what Brown said or did with this team over Christmas, but it’s working.
Six Things We Saw…
- I’ll be honest and tell you that I am not certain what to make of this huge upset of the Trail Blazers and this four game road winning streak. I thought that running into Portland, arguably the best team in the NBA, would put a halt to the 3-game winning streak and bring this team back to reality. Instead, they go out and play their butts off, steal a road W and keep this winning momentum rolling. The Sixers fan in me is delighted. The hoop head in me knows this winning now is not what is in the best interest of this franchise for the long term.
- I was in favor of tanking this season, but Brown & Company are showing signs of turning this season around. By my count, the Sixers are now 11-7 when MCW, Thad, Hawes and Turner start a game. Unfortunately, in order to get back on the tanking track, Sam Hinkie will be forced to trade at least two of these three. I just hope if he goes this route that Hinkie deals the right two (Hawes & Turner).
- On Dec. 14th when the Blazers visited the WFC they drained a franchise-best 21 3-pointers en route to a 139-105 victory. The 139 points are a season high for POR. Last night the Sixers defense held the Trail Blazers to just 3 for 22 shooting from behind the arc, 99 total points and the Blazers to their lowest field goal percentage of the season at 36%.
- When asked about the defensive improvement, Brown said, ““I think once everybody admitted that we have a problem that we have to fix and nothing good is going to happen unless we address it and fix it and as a group commit that we are going to get it done defensively, then I felt like we saw the light and we kept moving forward. I attribute this West Coast trip to that solely.” Hey Brett — All you had to do was call me and I could have shown you the light weeks ago.
- The improved defense isn’t the only reason this squad has won 4 straight. The Sixers are also taking better care of the rock. After a string of games in which the Sixers were plagued by turnover numbers in the high teens to low twenties, they have cut back on the give aways by averaging only 13.2 TOs per game over their 4-game winning streak. On the season they are averaging 17.2 TOs per night.
- The Sixers scored 64 points in the paint, but were out rebounded by the Blazers 59-43…In case you didn’t now, LaMarcus Aldridge is a beast and should receive heavy consideration for MVP this season.
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