With no Jrue Holiday, no Marreese Speights (both DNP — CD), and a struggling Evan Turner, the Philadelphia 76ers looked to be very much outmanned against an experienced Bobcats squad. Still, Philadunkia’s home team battled throughout and it took a put back by Gerald Henderson with 0.01 seconds left to give the Bobcats the 77-76 victory.
The first quarter was the Derrick Brown and Jodie Meeks show. Brown showed his explosiveness for the Bobcats, throwing down three dunks in the first quarter, two of them on fast breaks that he created. Meeks single handily kept the 76ers in the game in the first, scoring nine points, including a four point play. As good as Meeks was the 76ers trailed the Bobcats 19-17 after one quarter. With Holiday and Speights out, Meeks said he didn’t feel any pressure to step up his game.
“With those guys not playing it gives other people opportunities. I was able to get open and my teammates were able to find me on the wing,” said the former Kentucky Wildcat.
The second quarter was a quarter that the 76ers would like to forget. They were held scoreless for the first five and a half minutes and didn’t score until Jodie Meeks knocked down a free throw at the 4:26 mark in the second. During that time the Bobcats reeled off 12 unanswered. The 76ers first field goal came with just under three minutes left when Trent Plaisted put back a missed layup. All in all the 76ers got outscored 24-10 in the second. The 76ers looked lost without their starting point guard Holiday and turned the ball over 11 times in the first half.
Evan Turner continued his struggles and was held scoreless in the first half. The rookie finished with six points on just 1 of 5 shooting and turned the ball over three times. You can see the frustration on the youngster’s face as he continues to struggle offensively in the OPSL. Turner is way too good of a player to let this slump affect him and he and Doug Collins will get this figured out. This will be a good learning experience for the number two pick in the 2010 NBA draft.
To the 76ers credit, they never gave up and continued to play the Bobcats hard. After three quarters of play Philly found themselves trailing 59-48. In the fourth quarter the 76ers uses a bombardment of three pointers to get back in the game. The 76ers finished with eight three points, with Meeks and rarely used Ndudi Ebi combining for seven of them. In fact, Ebi, who played 22 minutes in the game and scored 14 points, knocked down a triple from the corner to give the 76ers their first lead of the game at 76-75 with 12 second left. PJ Tucker then threw up desperation three that Ebi deflected. The deflection, however, went right to Gerald Henderson, waiting under the basket, and the second year man from Duke was able to lay the ball in as time expired to give the Bobcats the victory. Even with the loss, Meeks came away very impressed with the way the team never gave up.
“We were down by a lot but the guys never gave up and that’s the sign of a good team,” said Meeks. “After the game Coach Collins told us to keep competing and more times than not good things will happen.”
Meeks continues to impress many in the RDV Sportsplex with his ability to knock down long distance shots. Through for four games Meeks is averaging 17 points a game and has knocked down eight triples.
“I think I’m playing pretty solid,” said Meeks when asked about his play in the OPSL. “Obviously I would like to play better because I am kind of a perfectionist but I’m playing pretty well and just trying to win some games.”
With the loss the 76ers evened up their record at 2-2 and will finish up the week when they take on Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz at 10am this morning.
You can read the box score here.