GM 57: RAPID REACTS

Philadelphia 76ers 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 88 New Jersey Nets
Elton Brand, PF 27 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +3

The Old Chevy didn’t look so old on his second half drive to slam on the former Mr. Kim Kardashian. Age is just a number and athleticism is just a …well, it would be nice if he still had some athleticism.

Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +16

The number are unspectacular, but he had a pair of dunks that were.  Iguodala threw down one rafter-rattler off a second period alley-oop from Thad Young and the other, an even more impressive solo job off a strong drive to the basket, a few minutes later.  They galvanized a team in desperate need of a swift kick to the rear end.  Still, we’d like to see him be more aggressive in the early going — Dre had zero FGAs in the 1st Q.

 
Nikola Vucevic, C 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7

Vucevic got the start and was, in limited minutes, outstanding on the glass.  Couple his numbers with Spencer Hawes’ (23 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks) and you get one fine center.

Jodie Meeks, G 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +3

Jodie Meeks translated his starting opportunity into…well, not a whole lot.  He came out of the gate 0-3 on 3PAs and missed an easy layin during the 3rd Q.  Capt. Streaky rides again.

Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +12

Jrue started hot, again — scoring 7 of the Sixers first 9 points — and fizzled late. He was sound all night on Deron Williams though, who scored only 14 on 12 FGAs after scorching the 7-6 for 34 on Jan. 25th.

Lou Williams, PG 30 MIN | 5-8 FG | 8-8 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 20 PTS | +24

With seconds left in the first half, Sweet Lou took an inbound pass, weaved his way down the court, and banged a three that beat the buzzer by a whisker to give the Sixers a 52-43 halftime lead.  He was like that pretty much all night.

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +22

Thad was a bad, bad man tonight.  The Nets just don’t have anyone on payroll who can do a thing to even slow him down.

Spencer Hawes, C 23 MIN | 7-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +22

Where the f**k did this come from?  Coming off the bench for the first time this deeply weird season, Spence scored a season high 19 points, and did a little bit of everything.  You like three pointers?  He hit one.  You like two-handed slams?  He’s got you covered. You like interior presence?  He had three blocks.  You like wispy goatees?  Me neither.

Evan Turner, SG 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +4

Evan Turner just looks like he has no idea what he’s doing out there.  It’s like watching a kid play soccer who would rather be doing anything but playing soccer.  However his thread-the-needle pass to Hawes at the end of the 1st Q was simply ridiculous.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

1.  Let’s not get too carried away with this one.  The Nets are a lousy basketball team that was missing some key pieces, and while the Knicks loss last night moves the 7-6 back into the East’s seventh seed (not that, with Miami looming, that’s a positive development) the Celtics convincing win keeps Philadelphia’s home team three back in the Atlantic.  Still, nice to be off the schneid.

2.  Doug Collins has been throwing stuff against the wall lately, hoping something sticks.  On Tuesday, with Spence and ET coming off the bench and Meeks and Vucevic starting in their place, he found something that stuck.  Sort of.  While the centers were great, both Meeks and Turner looked like guys who’d be better off in Y leagues.  Really good ones, obviously.

3.  After Kris Humphries grabbed 47 rebounds against the Sixers the last time these two teams met (all numbers approximate) it was heartening to see Brand, Hawes, Vucevic and Co. post a 53-36 rebounding margin on Tuesday.

4.  We touched on it above, but good golly were those two Iguodala dunks game changers.

5.  The Sixers ramped up the aggressiveness against the Nets — attacking the rim more recklessly than usual, taking risks they usually pass on–and I think I liked it.  Consequently, the turnover numbers were up — they coughed it up 16 times– but so were the trips to the line.  The Sixers went 23/26 from the stripe.  When was the last time the Sixers shot 25+ FTs in a game?  Answer:  March 11th in a W over the NYK.

6.  While we agree that Collins had to shake this team up in some form to get them out of their recent slump and we love the idea of starting “Big Nik”, we DON”T agree with his choice of starting Meeks over Turner.  Hey coach, what happened to (and we’re paraphrasing here) ‘I’m going with Dre – Turner and Holiday starting together for the rest of the season’ ??  Everyone knows that Meeks is not a starting 2-guard in this League.  He’s had plenty of time to prove us wrong; hasn’t done so in the past and didn’t do it again last night vs. a lousy NJN team.  Allegedly Turner is the future of this franchise and you just benched him for a guy who could be out of the NBA in a year.  We also didn’t like the decision to play Turner limited minutes in the 2nd half — 3:48 of PT in the 3rd and 5 mins. of garbage time in 4th.  These moves had to deal a major blow to ET’s confidence and now we just hope Collins hasn’t lost Turner for the season.    

Finally, we also feel that it was just plain crazy for Collins to give minutes to Thad, Jrue and especially Brand in the late 4th Q of a blow out win.  All three players we’re still in the game with a little over two minutes remaining and the Sixers up by 21 points.  Given the 2011-12 condensed schedule, the fact that the Sixers have another game tonight @ TOR and how tired those three players have looked of late, the extra ticks last night made no sense at all to us. 

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