Our hats are off to the 76ers as they avoided nearly all of the pitfalls we listed in our “Fo’ with the Foes” game preview on their way to a well played 110-110 road win over the Indiana Pacers. Last night, the Sixers jumped all over the Pacers from the opening tip, played an up tempo-attack the rim style of ball and got the usual lockdown defense from Andre Iguodala. The result in our minds was one of the more impressive wins of the season.
We say that not because of the opponent they beat, but because of the circumstances — not playing well in their last 3 contests; a “trap game” as the Thunder are on the schedule tonight; and the first night of a road then home back-to-back set — which they overcame in getting this victory.
Last year they would have lost this game by 20 points. Earlier in 2010-11 this game probably would have tripped up Doug Collins’ troops as well. But the Sixers showed just how far they have come with this win last night and as a result, the franchise is now 33-30 and three games over .500 for the first time since 2002-03.
With the OKC Thunder on the slate tonight, we’ll keep this recap brief.
The Pacers never led in this game…NEVER. The Sixers jumped out to a 22-9 first-quarter lead, led by 21 at one point and never looked back.
Another balanced scoring night from the Sixers with 7 players reaching double figures. Thad led the way with 18. Thad’s energy off the bench was amazing again last night and he set the tone for attacking the basket with numerous throw downs.
The Sixers scored 60 points in the paint last night and while most of that was because of their attacking mind set, the Pacers ole’ defense certainly helped pad that number.
Speaking of the numbers…the Sixers dished out 24 assists on 47 baskets while shooting 51% from the field. Those are simply sick stats. However shooting 10-15 (66.7%) on FTs is something that needs immediate attention.
As we mentioned in our preview, Danny Granger (27 pts.) lit up the practically Iguodala-less Sixers back on January 11th. With Dre completely healthy and all over Granger last night, the Pacers leading scorer (21 ppg.) was held to 11 points on 4-11 shooting.
Another battle we watched closely last night was Jrue vs. his former UCLA teammate Darren Collison. DC has palyed very well against Jrue in their last several battles, so we were looking for Jrue to try and turn that tide last night. We thought Jrue succeeded in doing just that as he posted 16 points, 4 dimes, 4 steals and 5 boards last night while also posting a +15 rating. He also kept DC in front of him for most of the night. Plus the block he had on the Josh McRoberts fast break layup attempt was simply ridiculous. Collison finished with 10 points 2 rebs, 1 assist and a -16 rating. Jrue did have a disturbing 6 TOs on the night, which was highly unusual. The last time Jrue had 5 TOs in a game was back on January 26th vs. Toronto and he hasn’t had 6 TOs in a game since January 7th.
- Two concerns for us after this game…(1) Louis Williams struggled again last night. Louis was 3-9 shooting the ball (7 pts.) and only played 14+ minutes. Louis needs to find his stroke early tonight if we are going to upset the Thunder. (2) In the open we mentioned that Sixers nearly avoided all the pitfalls we listed in our preview of this game. The one the 7-6 let get away from them was controlling the Pacers bigs. Tyler Hansbrough had a field day (26 & 6; 11-14 on FGAs) against the Sixers interior players and single handily kept the Pacers in this game.
- Andre Iguodala came up short of his third straight triple-double but did have 16 points and 10 assists.
- We loved the fiery exchange between Collins and Dahntay Jones after the Pacers swingman committed an unnecessary flagrant foul on Evan Turner while he was going in for a fast break lay-in.
- The Sixers have won seven of eight, but all of the victories have come over teams with sub-.500 records. Hopefully that changes tonight witha W over the Thunder.
- Of course NBA.com has highlights of another Sixers win.