As we predicted in our “Fo’ with Foes” preview post, on Friday night the Philadelphia 76ers dismantled a hopeless Sacramento Kings team 102-80. The game was hardly close, entertaining or much of a contest. The Sixers swept the floor with a disengaged Kings team in front of their home court at Power Balance Pavilion. To describe this game in a single word: Massacre.
With the victory we’ve now defeated Sacramento six straight times, all by double-digit margins. The loss reaffirms the Kings hold of the bottom seed in the Western Conference. Some of the struggles can be attributed to missing franchise stud Tyreke Evans for 21 games.
The New York Knicks on the same night lost to the Detroit Pistons marking their fourth loss in five games. New York is now 35-33, while the Sixers are 36-33. So if you understand simple math, you realize we are now in the sixth seed slot in the Eastern Conference. Astonishingly the Carmelo Anthony experiment in New York has taken a sour turn. Interestingly enough, his former franchise, the Denver Nuggets, is 8-3 since his departure.
Thankfully the Sixers did not overlook the Kings’ game towards a more formidable matchup against the Portland Trailblazers. Currently, we’re in the midst of a five game road streak where four of the games are on the West Coast. The road trip started ugly with a pitiful demolition handed to us by the Milwaukee Bucks and continued with a lackluster Utah Jazz outing.
Beating Sacramento comes after a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The two game streak verse inferior talent will be at risk Saturday night in Portland. We’ve won four of the last five games against the Trailblazers and took them down in Philadelphia a few days after Thanksgiving.
The square-off was the first time Samuel Dalembert has played his former 76ers franchise. Dalembert was shipped to Sacramento back in June for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes. Samuel’s team was useless but he did tally thirteen boards with only six points. The players he was dealt for — Nocioni and Hawes — combined for 11 points and eight boards.
Philadelphia had their way with the Kings. Utilizing each possession patiently, the Sixers worked for a good shot and attacked the rim efficiently. Jrue Holiday led the charge early on in the contest, setting the tempo with 12 points in the 1st quarter. Holiday would finish 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
All-around efforts from Holiday give hope that the 20 year old will develop into an elite point guard. Considering we lack any superstar players, cap space and high draft picks, a strong fraction of this franchise’s future hinders on Jrue’s development. Jrue is still learning the point guard position and his inconsistencies can be flustering. However, his upside is ridiculously high and this organization will be patient with the young guard.
Along with Jrue, Andre Iguodala put together a stout complete effort. AI9 scored 13 points, dished out nine dimes and collected seven rebounds. No surprise there, as Dre and LeBron James are the only players in the NBA to average at least 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. Plus Iguodala’s name should be amongst one of two NBA all-defensive teams.
I must bring attention to DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Back in July’s NBA Draft we selected Evan Turner over the big man, a move that might haunt us down the road. Turner scored eight points on 4-8 shooting, an average night for the rookie.
Cousins has been a head-ache at times but his situation in Sacramento can torture a young 20 year old. Hawes failed to guard the big man and picked up four personal fouls attempting to do so. I hate to harp on a distant decision, but with Cousins this ball club would be more poised to make a run in the postseason at either the Bulls, Heat or Celtics.
With all that being said, we must move forward with the cards we were dealt. Tomorrow in Portland we’ll face a team that is 23-10 and a raucous crowd.
It’ll be a good test for the young core as along with a tough setting we’ll also encounter a huge mismatch against the lengthy LeMarcus Aldridge.
- It was another balanced scoring night for the Sixers as Holiday (15), Dre (13), Louis (14) and Brand (10) all scored in double figures.
- The Sixers led by as many as 28 points.
- The Kings shot 34.5 percent and turned the ball over 22 times.
- Of course NBA.com has the highlights of another Sixers win.