|Elton Brand, PF 30 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +6
To be honest this was another poor game in what has been a very weak start to the 2011-12 season for Brand. We’ve known that Brand is not the best interior defender in the world, but now he is struggling on the offensive end as well. Is anyone else worried that these first 6 games are a snapshot of EB’s season and that the condensed 66 game schedule will have a brutal impact on his numbers?
|Andre Iguodala, SF 33 MIN | 1-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | +7
AI9’s nightmare continued in the 1st half and never lifted. After having one of his worst overall games in recent memory against NOH on Wednesday, Dre’s poor play extended into the 1st half tonight as he went 1-3 on FGA, had 4 TOs and got called for a charge when the Sixers had a 5 on 4 half court trip. It didn’t get any better in the second half as he was MIA offensively. On the defensive end he played his usual stellar game, but offensively he was a non-factor again tonight.
|Spencer Hawes, C 34 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +14
Simply amazing AGAIN tonight. Who would have ever thought we would write that line? If he hits that 3PA in the 4th Q, the roof on the WFC would have blown off. With help from Thad, Spence kept the Pistons at arms length in the 3rd Quarter. His hustle and energy was a thing of beauty to watch. The Sixers should sign him to another one year contact after this season is over.
|Jodie Meeks, G 24 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 21 PTS | +11
Spence held down the 3rd Q, then #20 took over in the 4th. What a 4th Q by Meeks…17 points — 6 for 7 on FGA and 3 for 4 on 3PA. He was the reason the Sixers were finally able to put away the feisty Pistons. If he had any clue in the 1st Q, he would have hit for 35 and gotten an A+.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 5 PTS | +16
After his breakout game of this season against NOH on Wednesday, we expected better things from Jrue tonight. He managed the half court offense well, but that’s all we can really say. So far Jrue seems to be satisfied with getting his points by hoisting up jumpers. We’d like to see him drive to the tin for buckets or penetrate the lane in order to draw defenders and then dish for easy buckets by Sixer bigs.
|Lou Williams, PG 24 MIN | 5-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +17
After another slow start by the first five, LW provided a decent spark during the late first and early second quarter. During this stretch he scored 6 straight points for the Sixers and started to establish a rhythm for Philadunkia’s home team. To be honest though, it was a very quiet 16 points for Louis. He was 0-3 on 3PA and we thought his shot selection tonight left a little to be desired.
|Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 7-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +20
The scary part about Thad’s game is that he is providing the same great offensive punch off the bench that he gave us in 2010-11, but as a bonus he seems to have taken his defensive game and rebounding to another level. His energy tonight was simply amazing. Along with Hawes, Thad is the reason the Sixers kept the Pistons at bay during the 3rd Q, before exploding in the 4th and putting Detroit away.
|Evan Turner, SG 25 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +17
A solid game for ET. Coming off his huge night vs. the Hornets, we’d like to have seen more out of him from a scoring standpoint, but his 2nd quarter (6 pts., 6 rips & 2 stls.) kept the Sixers ahead of DET headed into the half. Turner was the boost that helped cover up the slow start by the Sixers and gave them a decent cushion at the half.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 3 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +3
“Big Nik” played decently in garbage time. He did a nice job scoring off the pick-n-roll and there is no doubt he has some offensive game. He will give the Sixers some nice depth as the season rolls along.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night
1. The Sixers started slow again tonight and this pattern has us worried. You can get away with slow 1st Q’s vs. a very short handed DET team and the NOH, but against the elite teams in the NBA, you will get buried. Tonight AI9 had a dismal opening quarter, Meeks opened up 0-3, the Sixers made only 3 shots in the paint, they were sloppy with the ball and Detroit was getting too many easy layups. If you can’t come out fired up and ready to play for the home opener (with Dr. J, Moses and Co. in the house) then your starters may have some issues that need to be addressed.
2. Interior defense looks like it will be an issue again this year. The Sixers are not a very physical team down low and their bigs don’t rotate all that well. Thus they can be dominated by bigs who are willing to bang in the paint and hit the glass. Tonight Greg Monroe (22 & 7) and Jason Maxiell (10 & 5) gave the Sixers post men fits.
3. However, when Thad (6-8), Dre (6-7) and Turner (6-7) are in the game together, the Sixers are very tough perimeter defensive team. Those three can switch on every screen and that creates a lot of problems for the other team’s offensive sets.
4. The Sixers closed the 1st Q decently and then followed that with a very quick start to the 2nd Q. Turner had 6 points, 6 rebs and 2 steals to lead a 14-3 run in the second that helped the Sixers establish a 10 point lead. The Sixers didn’t pull away until the 4th, but the Pistons never really threatened after this stretch.
5. Jodie Meeks 17 fourth quarter points were huge, but he had a defensive play in the 4th that was key to this W and you may not have noticed it. At the 9:20 mark the Sixers were up 6 and Holiday was forced to take a bad jumper to avoid a shot clock violation. The shot was partially blocked and the Pistons picked up the loose ball and broke out the other way. As the Pistons pushed the ball up the floor, Brandon Knight tried a long bounce pass that was deflected/stolen by a diving Meeks. Holiday picked up the ball, went the other way and found Thad for a lay-in. The bucket pushed the lead to 8 (a 4-point swing). The Sixers never looked back and the blowout was soon on.
6. Sixer killer Will Bynum was not a factor tonight — 10 points on 3 for 9 shooting. If you think back to last year, you’ll recall that Bynum’s quickness murdered the Sixers to the tune of 29 points and 6 dimes.