GM50: Rapid (Hollis Friendly) Reacts

Denver Nuggets 98 FinalRecap | Box Score 105 Philadelphia 76ers
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 32 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -3 +/-Luc doesn’t usually allow himself to have a quiet game like he did last night, but I only have one note on him from the entire game and that was about a nice jumper he banged home in the 1st Q. Obvioulsy the stat sheet says he did a nice job on the boards

Robert Covington, SF 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 7-8 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | -2 +/-I think that stat line for Covington last night can be a little misleading.  Cov had a near double-double, but scored only 2 points in the 1st half as the Sixers built a 21 point lead and he was 1-for-his-first-4 on the game.  However, his 7 pts in the 4th Q helped keep the Nuggs at arm’s length in this one.  If you remove the Cavs game from the equation (6-13; 46%), Cov is shooting 28.3% in his last 3 contests.

Nerlens Noel, C 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -8 +/-A near double-double was highlighted by Noel being more aggressive on offense last night, operating in traffic and getting to the FT line where he was nearly perfect.  His failed attempt at a follow slam that some how rolled in, was comical.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 34 MIN | 4-12 FG | 6-10 FT | 8 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTS | -1 +/-A near triple-double in what was an excellent performance for 3 quarters by #1.  The stat line indicates that MCW did not shoot the ball well from the field or from deep, but really he was having a great game until a stretch in the 4th Q where he forced a number of ill advised shots and drives to the basket.  During that run in the 4th Q, it was if MCW had lost his mind and reverted to his old way of playing.

JaKarr Sampson, SG 18 MIN | 3-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -3 +/-I have to admit that I was not a big fan of Sampson’s move to the starting lineup, but I was wrong.  The kid played well again last night and a quick 5 point burst in the 1st Q by Sampson was a big boost for the Sixers.



Jerami Grant, SF 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +5 +/-After his 18 point night against CLE, Grant crashed back to reality last night thanks to a O-fer shooting night.  IMO he got good looks and just couldn’t convert.  But he was money from the FT line.

Henry Sims, C 18 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 1 PTS | +20 +/-Suddenly it’s difficult for Sims to get minutes and that makes it hard to find your rhythm on offense.

Larry Drew II, PG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +10 +/-I like Drew’s aggressive style and the way he pushes the ball up teh floor, but at some point he needs to be reigned in on the shot selection or I would send him back to the D-League.

K.J. McDaniels, SG 18 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +8 +/-It seems KJ has settled in to the 6th man role for this team and while that may not make his agent happy, it is working very nicely for Brett Brown.  After entering the game last night, KJ scored 5 straight for the Sixers and posted 9 points by the half.  His shot looked a little better last night.  Although there was that odd sequence at the end of the 2nd Q where he missed a 3PA; got the rebound; missed the lay-in; got the board again and then turned the ball over.

Hollis Thompson, SG 31 MIN | 8-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +9 +/-A career high 23 points by Thompson was the result of lights out shooting from behind the arc (4-4 in 1st half). Still, HT had 19 points at the half an only scored 4 the rest of the night.  But I’ll take whatever i can get from this stiff.

Brett Brown
Overall a nice job by Brown who had his team poised to compete against a Nuggs squad that has really struggled of late (1-9 in last 10 headed into game vs. Sixers).  I liked that he rode the hot hand in Thompson for a long as he did last night.  It was odd to me that Sampson (a starter and defensive presence) saw no burn in the 4th Q when Denver made their comeback.  I also didn’t like that Furkan was a DNP-CD for the second straight game.  But I am being very picky on that last item.

Six Things We Saw Last Night…

1)  Thompson’s hot 1st Q and perfect 1st half — was 6-6 shooting, including all four 3-point attempts — was the story of the game. HT’s hot hand helped the Sixers to a 21-point 1st half lead st the half. They poured in a season-high 34 points in the 1st Q and shot 68.4% as a team in the opening stanza.

2)  The Sixers played well from the start last night even though it was their 4th game in 5 days. They have won three of their last five, including three straight at home. It was the first time the 7-6 have won three straight home games since March 2013. The two L’s came in very competitive games on the road against Eastern Conference contenders Atlanta and Cleveland.

3)  As great as the win was last night, at one point it appeared as if the Sixers were destined to give this one away. They led by as many as 24 points in the 3rd Q (68-24). However at the end of the 3rd and start of the 4th Q, sloppy, forced play on offense (especially by MCW) and mental lapses on the defensive end allowed the Nuggs to go on a 19-0 run and cut the lead to 10 points.

4)  The Sixers recovered and held their 10+ point cushion for a solid portion of the 4th Q, until a late 12-2 run by the Nuggs cut the the lead to 6 points and made this 76er win closer than Denver deserved. At this point, the Sixers were simply worn out from a brutal schedule over the last 5 days.

5)  “We were up big and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed,” Brown said. “I get greedy and I want our players to get greedy. We want to close games out. We don’t want the peaks and valleys, and every coach in any sport would say the same thing. I said it to our team. I want Michael Carter-Williams to close that game out better than he did and go get a triple-double because he was having a helluva game.”

6)  I guess when can bury my proposed “Shin-gate” drama.  Or can we?  After sitting out the 2nd half of Monday’s 97-84 loss at Cleveland because  of a “shin contusion” that he allegedly suffered during the L down in the ATL (According to coach Brown.) and not his 1-9 shooting performance during the 1st half of the Cavs game,  not only did MCW play last night , but he started and his shin looked fine to me.  That was a little odd given that Brown commented after the Cavs game that the “injury” may be severe enough to even keep MCW out of lineup on Tuesday night.  It’s a good thing he did play, as according to stats, “the Sixers have lost 20 straight games, including nine this season, when he’s out of the lineup.”


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