02/16/12 9:35 am EST
|Elton Brand, PF 26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -13
Only his solid run of play to open the 3rd kept Brand from getting a terrible grade. In the 3rd EB had a couple steals, a 3-point play, then scored 4 straight at one point and did a solid job guarding D12 for a stretch (although not as good of a job as he did on Jan. 30th). That stretch of solid play helped the Sixers cut the lead to 5, but Brand and the Sixers could not sustain that high level of play and the Magic pulled away again. Where has the EB of 2010-11 gone?
|Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -13
Dre was invisible (4 pts.) during the 1st half and the Sixers can not afford for him to disappear in big games against superior opponents (on paper). Collins must have said the right things at half ’cause Dre cam out like gang busters and scored the 76ers first six points and 8 of their first 10. But that was it. He only scored 3 points the rest of the way. At what point will Dre — the leader of this team — learn that he can not simply “play well” for a small stretch in big games if the Sixers are to grab a win.
|Lavoy Allen, PF 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -9
Except for his solid defense on Howard for a brief period in the 3rd Q, he was a non-factor
|Jodie Meeks, G 26 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -13
The awful version of Capt. Streaky made the trip to Orlando. How much more proof do we need that Meeks is not a starting NBA two-guard?
|Jrue Holiday, PG 25 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 3 PTS | -17
Arguably Jrue’s worst game of the year. Maybe in two years. Not only couldn’t he get it going offensively, Jrue also couldn’t come close to slowing down Jameer Nelson.
|Lou Williams, PG 32 MIN | 7-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 21 PTS | 0
Louis was Louis, but his shot selection killed us a couple time in this game. With Jrue strapped to the bench, LW’s inability to guard anyone on the Magic really came to the surface last night. However Louis was one of the few Sixers who showed up ready to play and his 11 first half points kept the Sixers alive in this one.
|Thaddeus Young, F 35 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -7
An overall solid game by Thad. Still, except for the series in the 3rd where he blocked D12’s shot and then streaked down the court for a lay-in at the other end, it was the quietest night Thad’s had in a while.
|Evan Turner, SG 26 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | -5
Considering how deep in Doug’s doghouse ET has been of late, this was a solid outing for Turner. Although 2-7 on FGAs is not good. ET appeared to be looking for and avoiding D12 on every move he made to the basket.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -3
Big Nik came to play last night. In the first half he got off to a strong start by scoring 4 straight at one point and it should have been at least 6 as he was fouled on a dunk attempt and got no call. Along with Dre’s hot start, his solid second half was the only reason the Sixers managed to keep this one respectable. He showed some nice offensive moves overall. He also showed the ability to adjust in-game as Vuc did a much better job of guarding D12 in the 3rd and 4th quarters and even grabbed a couple steals from Superman.
After the Jump, Six Things We Found Hard to Watch Last Night
1. What a nightmare first half for the 7-6. The Sixers were 1-for-their-first-6 on FGAs. Then extended that poor shooting to 2-10 and eventually 5-20. They only scored 16 points in the 1st Q. The 7-6 also had 8 first half turnovers. However Orlando shot 57.9% from the field; hit 7-13 3PAs; built a 23-6 lead at one point and when the Sixers narrowed it to 8, the Magic closed the half with a 10-0 run. It’s hard to recover from that disaster, especially against at team as good and as hot as Orlando.
2. The Sixers defense was simply abused last night as they did not keep any of the Magic’s offensive weapons in check. D12 had a double-double (17 & 14); Orlando hit on 15-25 3PAs – led by Ryan Anderson’s 7-10 shooting from deep (27 points) and Jameer Nelson did whatever he wanted (12 & 14 dimes). Hell, even the slow and ancient Hedo looked good at times last night.
3. Despite their horrible play in the 1st half and big halftime deficit, the Sixers still had a chance in this one. After an EB jumper with 1:45 left in the 3rd, the Sixers were only down 5. They got a stop on the other end and had the ball with a chance to draw even closer. But Dre jacked up a 26-footer – CLANK; then Duhon went coast-to-coast for a bucket; Dre had the ball stolen by Q-Rich; ET missed a jumper and Redick hit a buzzer beater to end the Q. The ORL lead then stood at 9 and the Sixers were done.
4. After a pathetic start to the game by the first-five, Collins went to the “Night Shift” early and from the end of the 1st into the mid-2nd Q, they played very well. The bench cut the lead to 8 at one point before the 10-0 run by the Magic at the end of the half.
5. In the 4th quarter, the Sixers had three stretches were they went 2+ minutes without scoring a point. You can not have those dry spells when you are playing this version of the Magic. That’s especially true if you are trying to mount a big comeback on the road.
6. Loose Balls: The Sixers never led in this game…The Magic are simply a match-up nightmare for the Sixers, so lets hope we don’t see them in the post season. Still isn’t the book out on how to beat this Magic team? You play D12 with one man and dare him to go get 35 (mostly from teh FT line), while smothering their outside shooters. We saw none of that approach last night…Be ready Philadunkia nation, the Sixers critics will be out in full force today. After last night’s loss, the Sixers are now 5-4 vs. teams in the east that made the playoffs at the end of last year. Some will argue that two of those five W’s should come with asterisks. They’ll say that one was earned against a hobbled and tired Chicago team at home and the other was against a then short handed Magic squad, also at down at the WFC.