GM 40: RAPID REACTS

Boston Celtics 71 FinalRecap | Box Score 103 Philadelphia 76ers
Andre Iguodala, SF 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 10 PTS | +19

Another day at the office for Iguodala, who held Pierce to 13 and continued to be the beating heart of the best, and most consistent, aspect of the 7-6’s game. When I say “D” you say “Fence.”

Craig Brackins, SF 4 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -3

When Craig Brackins is playing, it means something either very good or very bad has happened. Tonight, fortunately, it was the former.

Tony Battie, C 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +6

With zeros in almost every category, Battie is giving a whole new meaning to “empty stats.”

Evan Turner, SG 37 MIN | 11-19 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 26 PTS | +30

Oh. My. God. ET delivered the sort of performance we’ve been waiting two years for.  Since getting the starting nod the last two nights, he’s looked like a completely different player.  Monday’s misses aside — and they became makes on Wednesday anyway — he just looks so demonstrative out there.  Turner also did a nice jobe defensively on Rondo at the start of the game.

Jrue Holiday, PG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | +18

An okay performance on the offensive end, but after the Sixers got torched by PGs Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings in consecutive games, it was nice to see the red-hot Allen (0-5 on FGAs) and Rondo (2-6 on FGAs) struggle thanks to Jrue’s defense.

Elton Brand, PF 26 MIN | 8-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +24

Elton Brand was outstanding tonight.  At one point he had dunks — like jump up in the air and put the ball directly into the hoop with your two hands — on consecutive trips down the court.  I think I need to sit down.

Andres Nocioni, F 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -3

The human victory cigar got lit in the fourth period.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +19

Lou, who’s been hot and cold of late, was sound on Wednesday, but did the lion’s share of his work once the outcome was decided.  So like mid-second quarter and beyond.

Jodie Meeks, G 22 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +13

Jodie, who looked great off the bench against the Bucks, looked less than that tonight.

Lavoy Allen, PF 21 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +15

LA did some nice work on the glass, snagging one particularly impressive o-board from the clutches of Kevin Garnett.

Nikola Vucevic, C 30 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +22

With Hawes reportedly on the mend, the Montenegrin stepped his game up.  He was a terror on the boards, stayed with his own misses, and delivered the kind of performance that, when you look at the numbers, leaves you wondering ‘That was all?’

 

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw…

1.  That wasn’t a series of typos or a glitch up top. Everybody gets A’s tonight.  With the team fading — dropping back-breaker after back-breaker — the Atlantic lead narrowed to a single game, questions coming faster than answers, and the veteran-heavy Celts coming to town with a chance to move into a tie for first in the division, the Sixers were facing a near-must win situation.  And good god almighty did they respond.

2.  Wow did they come out fast.  After famously closing Monday’s second half 13-49 from the floor, the Sixers started Wednesday’s first shooting lights out.  Elton Brand wasn’t missing, Evan Turner was hitting everything that left his hands, and our lead ballooned faster than a early-aughts housing bubble.

3.  A couple numbers worth considering here: The Sixers out rebounded Boston 54-35; held the Cs to 35 percent shooting; scored 70 points either on the break or in the paint; and held the visiting team to a goose egg in the 3-pointers made category.

4.  Evan Turner, where did that come from?  My sense is the Sixers have decided to take the training wheels off the not-that-young second-year guard, and he’s rewarded them for their decision.  And, despite the not-unwarranted knocks on his athleticism, dude can get a step on people.

5.  The Sixers seem to have found a simple solution for their inability to win close games. Don’t let them get close.

6.  Okay.  Time for a dose of reality. As nice as the W was — and sweet Jesus was it nice — it came against an old team who was playing its third game in four nights. And the first two games went to OT.  That said, to quote Herman Edwards — which I do constantly — “we can build on this”.  And I think they will.

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