|Elton Brand, PF 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -18
It’s starting to get to the point whether to question Brand being in the starting five the rest of the way or not for the 7-6. Brand is off to his worst season in the NBA, averaging a mere 10 points and 7 rebounds a game. His defense on Dirk Nowitzki was non-existent in the 2nd half and his efficiency rating for the game was -18. He is miles away from the player he used to be that averaged nearly 25 points and 10 rebounds a game for the Clippers in ’05-’06. As an analyst, I’m becoming more impatient with each passing game that he can turn things around. Brand has only five double-doubles on the season and the team is only 2-3 in those games. In comparison, Spencer Hawes who has played in 15 less games has six double-doubles where the team went 4-2 in those games. There’s a time in every man’s career where he has to do what’s best for the team to win, right now for the Sixers that could mean Brand coming off the bench the rest of the way.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 42 MIN | 2-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 10 PTS | -5
Another underwhelming performance from Iguodala. Yeah yeah, he was three assists and three rebounds away from a triple-double, but it was his fifth straight game of shooting under 50 percent from the field. 2-9? Really? February has not been a good month to Iguodala. Outside of his All-Star bid, Iggy is shooting just 40 percent from the field as the Sixers have gone 5-5 for the month. He played lock-down defense against Kobe and the Lakers a little over a week ago, but then let the likes of Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson go for a combined 38 points against the Sixers on Wednesday night. Can the veterans of the Sixers please stand up?
|Lavoy Allen, PF 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -11
Lavoy had yet another solid game. He’s sure come a long way since being ranked ESPN.com’s worst player in the NBA: http://www.libertyballers.com/2011/8/16/2366448/espn-ranks-philadelphia-sixers-lavoy-allen-as-worst-nba-player
|Jodie Meeks, G 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -7
Doug Collins may have finally pulled the cord on Meeks. Meeks played only 16 minutes in the contest and was held scoreless for the first time this season. As a starting shooting guard in the NBA, usually you are relied upon to score. Recently Meeks hasn’t been getting the job done, and the more Collins gets under fire about the situation the worse things will pan out for Meeks. There could very well be an opening on the pine for Meeks in the upcoming weeks if he can’t turn things around. It was his daily ritual in Milwaukee.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 32 MIN | 0-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -20
In the movie Dumb and Dumber there’s a scene where Lloyd Christmas drives a sixth of the way across the country in the wrong direction. His best friend Harry gets so upset at Lloyd for this action that it seems as if in the movie that the two will never make amends again. That is until about five minutes later when Lloyd trades in their sheep-dog van for a motor scooter, Harry Dunne delivers one of the best lines in cinema history. Harry says, “you know Lloyd, just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!” In terms of Jrue Holidays play as of late, I wish I could say the same. Jrue followed up his worst game of the year against the Magic(1-8 shooting for three points, to go with four fouls and five turnovers), with a 0-7 shooting performance for a mere two points and a -20 efficiency rating. Not to mention, point guards have continued to exploit Holiday’s lack of defense, as J-Kidd hit for nine points, nine rebounds, and dished eight while having a game high efficiency rating of +28. Jrue has been the most troubling player on the Sixers roster. He has to snap out of the funk he’s in for the Sixers to go anywhere.
|Lou Williams, PG 33 MIN | 4-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +10
Nothing special from Lou in this. Only shot 4-15 from the field and was 0-5 from deep. He has to become a more accurate scorer.
|Thaddeus Young, F 26 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +5
Solid game scoring wise for Thad, but he was embarrassed on defense by Dirk Nowitzki in the 2nd half. Dirk had 24 of his game high 28 points in the end half. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Dirk is 7-feet tall and Thad is, well, not.
|Evan Turner, SG 22 MIN | 2-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +3
We’re guessing Turner is out of Doug Collins’ dog house, but he wasn’t of much help for the Sixers in this game. He shot 2-11 from the field, but did have an impressive nine rebounds. Maybe he’s just rusty from the lack of PT lately.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 19 MIN | 7-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | +8
This was arguably Vuc’s best game as a pro. 16 points and 7 rebounds on 7-8 shooting including a couple nice jumpers. He also played some great defense and showed some nice post moves. Too bad his play was wasted.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night
1) Dirk’d again: Dirk makes a living killing the Sixers. In the previous two seasons when Dirk made his way down to the WFC he had a couple game winning shots to beat the Sixers, on this night Dirk single-handedly took over the game in the second half scoring 24 of his game high 28 points to give the Mavs the victory. He’s a special player.
2. Horrible third quarter: The Sixers were out-scored by the Mav’s 24-8 in the third quarter. The eight points in the quarter was a season low for points in a quarter by the Sixers. They couldn’t buy a bucket while the Mav’s couldn’t sell one. This game was really a tale of two halves.
3. The fall of Jrue: Jrue has been awful all year against good/physical point guards this year and that trend continued again in this game. Jason Kidd left him with a goose egg from the field as he shot 0-9 in the game. This is troublesome for the Sixers. Point guards are like captains on a ship, once they go overboard there’s nobody left to steer. The Sixers desperately need him to find his game again.
4. Spencer Hawes: Before the game it was said that Spencer Hawes will not return until after all-star weekend. This should give the Sixers front office some incentive to shop for a big man in the coming weeks. Hawes was seen on the sideline with a foot cast for his strained achilles.
5. On the road again: The Sixers will be on the road again for their first time since the start of the season. This is a good time for the team to get back to business. Recently it seems as if the Sixers have gotten lazy at times on defense and haven’t played with the passion and heart they showed earlier on in the season. They kick off the trip on Sunday night against the Timberwolves and then head to Memphis, Houston, and Detroit. Each team is relatively young and talented, but the Sixers should be able to win all four.
6. The 7-6’s starting backcourt of Jodie Meeks and Jrue Holiday combined to go 0 for 12 from the floor for three points.
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