New Jersey Nets 97 Final

Recap | Box Score

90 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 28 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -6

Another day, another high efficiency, albeit losing, performance for EB. With the Sixers frontcourt thin and getting thinner by the day, here’s hoping he’s got a few more of these in the tank.

Andre Iguodala, SF 41 MIN | 4-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | -10

There was more bad than good tonight for Iguodala. Though he made a couple large-sized, quintessentially Iguodala plays—his tip-in off a Brand miss to bring the 7-6 to within 77-75 stands out—he was brutal from outside. In the final analysis, our best guy (him) wasn’t as good as their best guy (Deron Williams) and that made all the difference.

Tony Battie, C 13 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -6

With the frontcourt ravaged by injuries, and the team relying on him to contribute, Tony Battie came through with a classic Tony Battie performance.

Jodie Meeks, G 36 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -2

Meeks somehow ended up covering the aforementioned Williams on the two crucial possessions that came immediately after the Sixers took a 90-88 lead in the extra period. Deron promptly hit a two to tie the score, then drained a three to give the Nets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Sixers worst defender on the Nets only scoring threat, while he was on fire?
“[It was] a switch on a pick and roll,” Meeks said after the game. “He’s an All-Star for a reason, and he made a good shot.”
My head hurts.

Jrue Holiday, PG 42 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | -11

The good: he hit two fourth period threes—one that tied the game at 72, the other that gave the Sixers a 78-77 lead—scored 12 in the fourth period and overtime—including a dunk off an inbound steal at the other end that, temporally, put the home team in the driver seat with 1:18 left in OT—and his seven dimes were a welcome sign considering he entered the game 35th among point guards in assists per 48 minutes. The bad: he got torched by Deron Williams to the tune of 34 points and was invisible in the game’s first three periods. Dude’s got aways to go.

Lou Williams, PG 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +6

Lou Williams took a dumb 23-footer with the game tied at 80 and hit it to put the Sixers in the lead. Lou Williams took a dumb 23-footer with the Sixers down 93-90 and missed it to ensure a loss. There’s a moral here somewhere.

Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +7

Doubt his centrality to what the Sixers do? The matchup nightmare’s back injury was the anvil that broke their…well, back.

Lavoy Allen, PF 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1

Lavoy Allen got abused by Kris Humphries tonight. When a man is capable of that kind of physical violence, it’s no surprise his marriage only lasted 72 days.

Evan Turner, SG 29 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -12

He was active, but tonight that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. His shot was off and he didn’t finish inside. He kept doing his thing on the boards though, and leads all SGs in rebounds per 48 by a wide margin. Silver linings.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night

1.  When the Sixers had what appeared a gaping hole in the frontcourt this offseason, some really smart—and handsome…funny too—basketball bloggers advocated they fill it with the then current Mr. Kardashian. They didn’t. Humphries grabbed a season high 19 rebounds (six on the offensive end), scored 13, and even added a steal on a sloppy first period pass from Iguodala (he looked like a guy who knows just what to do when he’s on the receiving end of a “sloppy pass.”) The Sixers made Humphries look like Godzilla on Wednesday night. And he could have been theirs.

2.  There was some chatter heading into the game that tonight would be an excellent opportunity for ostensible rising star Jrue Holiday to see how he matches up against one of the best point guards in basketball. The verdict: not well. Deron was a monster, Holiday was mediocre, and Sixers players and fans got an up close and personal look at the one thing their squad sorely needs. Not a point guard. A superstar.

3.  When Lou Williams put a deep two in Deron Williams eye to take an 82-80 lead with 8.8 left in regulation, it appeared the Sixers had finally found a remedy to their inability to win the tight ones: just play bad teams close. 5:08.8, and much Deron Williams magic later, they can scratch that strategy too.

“They played well, that’s what occurred,” said Evan Turner after the game, rejecting the notion that the Sixers are better at piling it on than they are at catching up. “We’ve got a few comeback wins, we’ve got a few blowout wins. Tonight we just were without some guys.”
The Sixers have a single single-digit win on the season, and five such losses.

4.  The Sixers only scored five points on the fast break, their lowest total of the season. When this team can’t run, they’re in trouble.
(This goes doubly when they have no one on the court over 6”6’)

5.  The 7-6’s interior issues may have reached a pitch Rod Thorn can no longer ignore. Contenders — if that’s what the Sixers are, or want to be—don’t get outrebounded 45-37 by last place teams. With a murderer’s row coming up starting Jan. 30 with Orlando, the time is now to make a move.

6.  Their excitability in the fourth and overtime notwithstanding (who doesn’t get excited over overtime?), the Sixers fanbase seriously needs to get their act together. They got 13,000 paid on Wednesday (sure didn’t look that way) and, despite having a team with the top scoring differential in the NBA, remain at the bottom of the league in attendance. Tonight’s crowd tonight had the energy and vigor of a thyroid patient. Let’s do better guys.

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