Oklahoma City Thunder 92 FinalRecap | Box Score 88 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 33 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6

Forget the double-double and the solid defense for a second. The old war horse, is…well, old. He started out the game 1-5 and finished 5-14. He showed signs of life in the 3rd Q when he scored 4 straight (6 overall) during the Sixers 15-2 run and grabbed 7 boards. But he was a no show in the 4th (2 pts.) and his horrific off balance shot at 2:23 of the 4th made me throw the remote. What happened to the 2010-11 version of EB?

Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | -8

Another stat sheet stuffing night for Dre and as a bonus he threw in some sick dunks that had the WFC crowd on their feet. Additionally, his defense on KD for most of the night was outstanding. Here’s my two big issues with his game last night: (1) Until the final five seconds of the game, AI9 had only one bucket (a lay-up) and did not attempt a FG in that quarter. The team’s leader can not disappear in the 4th Q of a tight game and Dre did it again last night. (2) Dre should have gone to Collins in the 4th and demanded to be locked down on Durant.  The Sixers got killed several times in the 4th by their usual “switch everything” policy as Holiday ended up guarding the much taller Durant.  It’s what team leaders like Kobe or Lebron would have done.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Lavoy is having a nice rookie year, but last night was a disaster for him.  He had a couple TOs and fumbled away a sure fire dunk in the 1st Q. Additionally he provided no presence on the glass for the Sixers.

Jodie Meeks, G 30 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +13

Capt. Streaky showed both sides of his game last night.  He hit some shots that he’s supposed to hit, but when the Sixers really needed a bucket in the 4th, he went 0-4 and missed some absolutely critical shots.  But a tip of the hat to Meeks on the defensive end as he really has improved that facet of his game.

Jrue Holiday, PG 33 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -8

How hard can it be to figure out which way to guard your old college teammate?  Apparently it’s so difficult that you can’t make the adjustment until hafltime. (But Jrue did have some simply filthy offensive moves in this game.)

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 3-11 FG | 5-5 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | -12

We love that LW handed out 6 dimes last night, but he shot us out of this game all by himself.  0-5 in the 4th to be exact. And the TO Louis had on the set play with 5 ticks remaining is a mistake an eighth grader wouldn’t commit.  If only he had learned to close out games like his mentor Iverson.

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Mr. Consistent had a solid game and his 14 first half point were a huge lift, but he also went MIA in the 4th (1-4 on FGAs). It’s pained us to write that line.  His energy and defense off the bench were excellent as always last night.  Collins has tried Dre and Louis as the “closer” on this team and neither has worked out. Maybe it’s time to give Thad a chance in that role.

Evan Turner, SG 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -5

ET’s defense was excellent last night, but 0-3 from the field is no way to get out of the dog house.  Although it’s tough to get anything going offensively with only 16 minutes of burn.  Turn the kid loose coach.

Nikola Vucevic, C 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -3

So in 28 minutes vs. Houston “Big Nik” goes for 18 & 8.  Since then he has played 24 minutes (most of it in mop up duty) @ DET and then 13 minutes last night.  What gives coach?  The rookie should be starting and playing 25 minutes a night until Hawes comes back.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night

I actually only need one item here in the “Things We Saw Last Night” section of this post.

You witnessed the non-existent defensive rebounding, the inability to quickly adjust the way Holiday was guarding Westbrook, poor overall shot selection, questionable coaching moves and the lack of scoring in the 4th quarter that cost the Sixers a very winnable game last night.  So there is no need to cover those items here and further depress ourselves this morning.

This is a rant.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I am posting these words to you let you know that I am “out” as they say.  I am off the band wagon.  I am removing my face paint.  I have officially put down the pitcher of Kool-Aid.   Because in the words of former NFL coach Dennis Green, the Sixers “…Are who we thought they were.”

I have ignored the critics and given these 76ers a slew of chances to prove that they are more then just a 1st round playoff team and they failed once again last night — miserably.  I was never asking or expecting them to win the NBA title or even make it to the NBA Finals.  I know with this current roster that those milestones are not a reality.  But winning a couple of big games this year — maybe just one or two in order to provide some evidence that this squad is ready to take that next step — I didn’t think it was too much to ask of this roster.  Apparently I was wrong.

They failed this season to grab marquee games against Denver, Dallas, San Antonio, LAC and finally, Oklahoma City last night in a very winnable game.  All at home no less.  And don’t talk to me about the Chicago win or the Orlando victory or defeating the Lakers.  Remove your red and blue tinted sunglasses for a second (As I now have.) and you’ll be forced to admit that each of those wins was tainted with an asterisk.

After 36 games, it’s time to adjust my expectations.  I now realize that this group is not capable of conquerring their short comings and making something really special out of this crazy, lock out shortened year.  So I will now sit back and enjoy every game remaining in 2011-12 season.  I will bask in the glow of routs over horrible teams and I vow to no longer throw remote controls and torture myself over mind-blowing losses to teams that are “better” on paper then the 76ers .

Man, that felt good…      

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