We’re not sure how many times this season we will talk about how poor fundamentals — in this team’s case defense and rebounding — killed the 76ers chances of getting a W the previous night, but one thing is for sure, we may never be angrier about it then we are this morning.
The Sixers wasted arguably their best offensive night so far in 2009-10 because, outside of AI9 and Jrue Holiday, they play ole’ defense and can not clean the defensive glass. Consider the following offensive numbers for a minute : 106 points; 14 out of 23 three-pointers made (60% clip); 50% shooting from the field and 94% from the FT line. That reads like the box score of a team that won an NBA game last night, right? Guess what? That’s the Sixers’ stat sheet from their 117-106 loss in OKC on Wednesday night.
Given the above 76ers shine, you’re probably asking, “How could the Sixers possibly take a L last night?”. Here’s how :
- The Sixers gave up 33 points to Kevin Durant who did what ever he wanted last night and turned his O-game off and on like a light switch.
- Philadunkia’s home team got out rebounded 43-29, including 18 offensive boards by the Thunder.
- They allowed the Thunder to hit 12 of their 24 3PAs.
- Thunder guard Russell Westbrook faced little ball pressure all night and thus handed out 15 dimes.
- At times the Sixers protected the lane so poorly that OKC looked as if they were in their pregame lay up lines.
- The Sixers bench got outscored 34-26, thanks to 18 points from Nick Collison (7 boards as well).
Just one quick overall observation about last night’s game vs. the OKC Thunder. Whatever that organization is doing, they should bottle it and sell it to the 76ers.
They are what the Sixers claim / strive to be. The Thunder led by a certified NBA superstar, have a nucleus of young, exciting and athletic players who hustle, play unselfish basketball and score the ball. But most importantly they also have bought into the fact that to win on a nightly basis in the NBA a team must play defense and rebound. The results are an entertaining team to watch with a winning record (10-8) that includes road W’s against Miami, San Antonio and Utah as well as the chance at a legit playoff run.
The payoff for management is a packed house for every home game. Seriously isn’t that the exact plan we have heard from Ed Stefanski for the 76ers, but has yet to even be remotely realized yet?
- AI9 with another great game last night – 28 points, 6 boards & 5 dimes, but you have to feel bad for him as when he did get beat by Durant or caught in a pick, there was absolutely no help defense and Durant just flushed the rock. We also like the fact that AI9 did not settle for long Js last night and got to the cup and the FT line (9-9) frequently.
- Jrue Holiday played another nice game. He scored 15 points, but what impressed us was his cool demeanor in the face of serious ball pressure from OKC and his ability to get into the lane.
- Can we stop with the Willie Green in the first-five nonsense already and please go back to starting Elton Brand. Yes we know Willie has been hot in the last 3 straight games — shooting 47.5% and scoring 14 or more points per – but WG is not a starting caliber player in the NBA and he should not be hauling 38+ mins. a night. Additionally, he is not helping the Sixers terrible rebounding stats at all.
- Thad has absolutely located his scoring touch. He hit for 20 last night on 8-14 shooting, including 2-3 from deep. Thad has now posted 16 or more points in seven straight games. That stretch has included five nights of 20 or more points.