|Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-5 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | +9
If Collins had locked Iguodala in on Kobe Bryant from the start would this game have been a blowout? His defense on #24 in the 2nd half was excellent and was a major reason the Sixers were able to pull this one out. He didn’t score much until the second half but he had an active and solid night overall. Coach Collins’ decision to halt all the defensive switches the Sixers typically execute and have Dre stay on Bryant late in the 4th Q totally saved this W for the 7-6.
|Lavoy Allen, PF 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +7
He’s not Elton Brand and he certainly did not play like it. Though, he didn’t hurt the Sixers in a game where everyone’s best effort was needed. Allen is continuing to show good court awareness but has to grow especially defending down low and grabbing boards.
|Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | -1
Hawes was horrendous in the 1st half. He didn’t shoot well and was an absolute non-factor against Andre Bynum and Pau Gasol on the boards. His lack of toughness didn’t hurt the Sixers in the end but midway through the 4th it looked as if his lack of physical play would have been a major factor to a Lakers win. His teammates bailed him out.
|Jodie Meeks, G 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -6
Meeks had the worst possible start that he could have imagined. He earned 2 quick fouls on two questionable calls that sat him on the bench. Though, that turned around quickly as he began to drains his 3’s and showed great hustle defensively, including diving for loose balls and sacrificing his body.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | +11Holiday had an impressive 3rd quarter that kept the Sixers in the game. He worked quietly and efficiently. He ddin’t do anything fancy or amazing but he got better as the game went along and played solid defense along the way.|
|Lou Williams, PG 25 MIN | 7-12 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +3
Mr. Willams was fantastic. He simply took over the game for the Sixers in the 4th quarter — 14 points (He also scored 12 of the Sixers last 14 points.). It seemed almost that he couldn’t miss. The Lakers had no answer as Williams drained shots from all over the court including 2 monster shots from downtown. One coming with Sixers trailing in the 4th, the other would propel the Sixers final run to pull away.
|Thaddeus Young, F 24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -7
Young didn’t get much play late in the second half. Though, when was in the game he had an ok performance. He was solid defensively but the matchups were not there for him on the offensive end unless he was being guarded by Troy Murphy.
|Evan Turner, SG 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | 0
His first task was to help guard Kobe Bryant. That ddin’t go over so well. At times Kobe took Turner to school which ultimately led to the end of defensive switching among he and Iguodala. Turner was solid otherwise in this one.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +9
Vucevic did not back down from the challenge of playing against Bynum and Gasol. He actually held his own. Out of the Sixers big man rotation, he had the best game of them all. That’s not much though. The good news is that his post game is continuing to improve.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Tonight…
1) Bad Start. Great Ending. The Sixers came out flat to start the game as the Lakers got off to a 9-2 run. But the ‘night Shift” came in and got the Sixres back in the game by tying the score at 12-12. The “Night Shift” also closed out this game big time thanks to the help of Lou Williams. The 7-6 closed the game on a 16-4 run.
2) Confidence. The Sixers believe in themselves and each other. That was evident in the way the Sixers continued to take their shots even when things weren’t going their way. This includes Nik Vucuevic who wasn’t afraid to shoot the open jumpers when they weren’t falling. They never got down when Kobe Bryant was being “The Black Mamba” in the first half or when it looked like the Lakers would take control of the game in the 4th quarter.
3) Containing Kobe. Bryant had 24 points in the first half. But only scored 4 the rest of the game on 2-12 shooting and 0-4 from deep in the second half. Included in that dreadful 2nd half was a 1-10 performance in the 4th. As mentioned earlier the Iguodala defensive switch was vital in stopping Kobe down the stretch.
4) Grab a board -Please! If it had not been for Williams’ heroics, the Sixers would have had this loss attributed to rebounding. The Sixers were down right dreadful on the boards. The Lakers had 55 rebounds to the Sixers 30. Missing Elton Brand was a factor in the margin, but the remaining Sixers’ big men need to do a better job. They were down right pathetic in this one as Andrew Bynum had 20 rebounds and multiple rebounds that led to easy dunks. Bynum had 8 offensive boards which matches the number the entire Sixers team had on the night. Gasol also had a big night on the glass — 11 boards to go with 16 points. Thank goodness the two of them were a combined 13-27 from the charity stripe or this game would have had a different result for the 7-6.
5) Sixers Bench vs. Lakers Bench. We already knew that the Sixers had purpose the best bench in the NBA. We know the Lakers’ bench was not quite as good, to put it politely. With the slow start by the first five and the Williams’ 4th quarter showcase, it truly was the Sixers bench that was the deciding factor on Monday night. The “Night Shift” tallied 49 points, while the thin LAL bench was good for only 16.
6) After a Bynum alley-oop dunk, the 7-6 were trailing 86-79 with 4:36 remaining. The Lakers appeared ready to put this one away. Then Holiday hit a jumper. The Sixers got a stop and a rebound on the Lakers next trip and then proceeded on a 14-2 run anchored by Williams. He scored seven straight for the Sixers to close out the game.