Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/26/12 11:39 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 75 FinalRecap | Box Score 85 Boston Celtics
Elton Brand, PF 34 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -8

Brand did about as much as you could reasonably expect from him in this stage of career. While Garnett, his charge for most of the evening, scored 18 points, it took him 17 shots to get them.

Andre Iguodala, SF 44 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -6

Iguodala was great. His defense was typical–which is to say excellent–he hit several clutch shots late that, had the Sixers won, would be celebrated, and he attacked the rim throughout the game with the sort of purpose fans, and bloggers, have been clamoring for. It was an outstanding end to a quietly outstanding season.

Spencer Hawes, C 18 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -10

Exiting the Chicago series, the story was that Spencer Hawes had returned to form–that after a second half of the season marred by injuries, had reemerged as the sharpshooting, near-All-Star caliber center who propelled the Sixers to their great start. No more. Hawes struggled to the point of invisibility for much of the Boston series and did the same in Game 7. It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the free agent.

Evan Turner, SG 31 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -23

Turner struggled, badly, from the floor for most of the series and mercifully stopped shooting in Game 7. It was a puzzling performance from a player who delivered a fistful of them in 2012.

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 15 PTS | -7

It’s admirable that Holiday became more offensively demonstrative in some very large moments this postseason, but, dude, how about some discretion with your shots. Shooting itself doesn’t help the team if your shots aren’t falling.

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 2-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +3

Lou, again, struggled. When he isn’t able to score, whether it be from 3-points or on one of his patented driving layups, the Sixers are a very bad offensive basketball team. He shot 2-of-9 tonight, and the 7-6 scored 75 points.

Thaddeus Young, F 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -1

Like Lou, Thad really struggled to make an impact in the Boston series, save one 22-point anomaly, and the playoffs in general. His work on the glass was impressive, and welcome, but like everybody in a Sixers jersey, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the floor.

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

He scored the final points of the season, so he’s got that going for him.

Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1

He was, as usual, very good when he was on the floor but didn’t spend nearly enough time out there. Doug Collins has some ‘splaining to do.

After the jump, six things we saw

1.  Rajon Rondo was outstanding in the stretch run. After Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 remaining and the Celtic lead at three, Rondo submitted the following: he scored immediately on a layup, rebounded an Evan Turner miss on the other end, connected on a 23-footer, grabbed yet another rebound, banged an open 3-pointer, then hit a pair of free throws. When the dizzyingly productive spurt ended, the Celtics’ lead was at 80-70 and the game was as good as won. He finished with 18 points and 10 each in the rebound and assist categories.

2.  Game 7, and the series, belonged to Kevin Garnett. In spite of the best efforts of a feisty Lavoy Allen, and the quiet/steady weight of advanced age, Garnett posted an 18 and 13 in the decisive game and his Celtics outscored the Sixers by 16 points in his 38 minutes on the floor. For the series, KG averaged a hair under 20 points and 11 rebounds per game.

3.  Someday, someone’s going to have to sit down with Doug Collins and have him unpack his decision to only play Lavoy Allen, the Sixers only antidote to Kevin Garnett’s greatness, for 16:40. A head scratching decision from a coach who submitted a few head scratchers in the postseason.

4.  If they do nothing else this offseason, the Sixers need to import someone who can score efficiently. It’s become–one grinding, 35 percent shooting night at a time–obvious that the answer to the 7-6’s offensive issues is not on the roster. I’m rooting for the growth of Turner and Holiday as much as the next guy, but if the plan to address the need is to wait for one or both to start scoring, we need a better plan.

5.  You get the sense that if the Sixers had won this game–and that’s a rather large “if”–the story that would follow them into the conference finals would be one of Andre Iguodala’s growth as a crunch time player. Let’s tell it anyway. His two second half 3-pointers–one to cut the Celtic lead to five in the waning minutes of the third, the other to get the game to within a possession with 4:30 left–were the sort of shot he probably wouldn’t even have taken, much less hit, in earlier stages of his career.

6.  So, that’s it. There’s a lot of unpacking to do–which we’ll roll up our sleeves and get into in the coming days and weeks–but thanks for reading us this season. It’s been a pleasure.


7 Responses to “PLAYOFFS, GM 13: RAPID REACTS”

  1. Gary
    27. May 2012 at 01:03

    Thanks for the work you guys did this year.
    Can’t wait to read you throughout the off season and into next year.

  2. neldogg76
    27. May 2012 at 01:17

    Great season from the Sixers. Collins – despite some bizarro decision-making at times wrung every bit of talent from this roster. Amnesty Brand (there is no way they’ll get anything of equal value for AI9) and let’s bring in a scorer at PF. Please don’t do something crazy like sign Javale McGee. Pau Gasol and Bynum are both on the market; the Lakers like AI9; that would be bold and ballsy. Bye bye Spencer Hawes (that’s another PLEASE DO NOT RESIGN guy). And if Lou Will wants to leave for more $, then let him go, too. The playoffs revealed how inadequate the scoring he brings to this team is. So either a perimeter scorer (easier to find than a scoring big) and a rebounder/defender at PF or C. But keep Thad, Jrue, Evan, Lavoy – that’s the core of the team.

  3. henry
    27. May 2012 at 01:25

    Disappointing night, but the season was a good one. Not sure I see much we can do this offseason tho. The free agent crop isn’t great.

  4. Jon
    27. May 2012 at 14:05

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    Started reading your blog this year. Since moving to LA a few years ago, I’ve slipped away from diehard to sorta fan due to lack of any Sixers coverage. But since discovery this blog, it felt like I was back home watching every game and following this team like I grew up doing. Thanks for your hard work this year. You did a great job.

    Can’t wait for next year. Hopefully Turner and Holiday grow even more and we have ourselves deep in the playoffs again next year.

  5. Keith
    27. May 2012 at 14:31

    It is weird that our strength for most of the year was the bench play of Lou, Thad, and Turner, and those were the three that gave us nothing in the playoffs. There were several times last night when Lou had an open three that would have been huge if he had hit it, but he kept missing.

    It will be interesting to see where this team goes. I have a hard time thinking that a successful team can be built around Turner. He can’t shoot and his drive into the lane and throw the ball into someone gets way too frustrating for me.

    Great season by the Sixers and great coaching in my opinion. The team just couldn’t score that regularly.

    Good job on the blog.

  6. matt.G
    27. May 2012 at 16:36

    Great season .. sad its over for
    I have to say though . My stance has flipped regarding iguodala I think he’s a keeper. Might be time for thad young spence hawes to dip . Like them but we need some
    Changes. Maybe thad young for Paul millsap?

  7. Great Season
    28. May 2012 at 15:03

    If your not proud of the sixers, than you probably should root for another team

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