Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/01/12 4:24 pm EST
Denver Nuggets 75 FinalRecap | Box Score 84 Philadelphia 76ers
Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -1Disappointing start to his sophomore season. After a very solid rookie season and an even better postseason run, LA was invisible for most of Wednesday’s opener.
Thaddeus Young, SF 36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +18Thad, in the starting role he’s been clamoring for, played capably. He stayed around the basket and was, in the context of a game where less than 160 points were scored, a playmaker on the offensive end.
Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 5-16 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 11 AST | 14 PTS | +8Jrue, rewarded after the game with a 4-year $41-million contract extension, played capable quarterback against a point guard that many (okay, me) wished the Sixers had drafted ahead of him. He had 11 dimes against just three turnovers and, with the Sixers lead down to 71-70 mid fourth period, made a three-point-pay that bulwarked the Denver charge.
Jason Richardson, SG 37 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +7While, after a pair of early 3-pointers, his stroke was off, Richardson played sound, surprisingly so, defense.
Evan Turner, SF 28 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +10The Kid, in a season where he has a lot on the line, financially and professionally, got off to a dud of a start. He disappeared for stretches, and when he reappeared it didn’t mark an improvement. He was 0-for-5 in shots that he took more than three feet away from the bucket.
Spencer Hawes, PF 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +10Spence was simply a revelation. Looking like Pau Gasol 2.0, the recently benched big—mullet flowing gloriously behind him (business in the front, Tea Party in the back)—was superb inside and outside. He blocked five shots (!?!), buried a pair of 3-pointers (he’s now one shy of matching last season’s total) and was pinpoint from midrange. Seeing him play alongside Bynum is going to be fun.
Dorell Wright, SF 28 MIN | 3-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -1I thought he was fantastic. Though his shot tapered off as the game wore on, he got to the line and played great help defense. He also made a fantastic hustle play, stripping Corey Brewer from behind while he galloped toward an unguarded hoop. Rumor has it he was in Collins’ dog house during camp. Looks like Collins’ dog can start sleeping in his own bed again.
Nick Young, SG 19 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -6Swaggy P brought a little too much swag and not quite enough P to the floor last night (P stands for “prudence” right?). He was as advertised. Energy: high. Shots: wild. Fro: glorious.

After the jump, Six Things We Saw In the Opener

1) For starters, this was a great win. To top a legitimate title contender (and yes, all the computers are quite clear on this point—the Nuggets are a juggernaut) without your best player is a terrific accomplishment and a hell of a way to start a season. Get excited.

2) As the best player on what is likely a very good to great Denver team, I’m confident that this is finally the season Andre Iguodala will get the plaudits he’s long deserved for all the terrific things, large and small, he does to help his basketball team win. That said, Dre, regardless of what he says postgame, looked like he was pressing out there tonight. He was tossing up shots with shocking nonchalance early in the game, then, when said shots weren’t dropping, he slinked into the shadows. With a plus/minus of negative 19 for the night, he had a forgettable return to the WFC.

3) Many in the analytic (and common sense) community were concerned about the Sixers defense coming into this season on account of the fact that they cut ties with their two best defensive players. Worry no more. Against a Denver O that led the NBA in scoring last season, and without Bynum—who should be our most impactful defensive player—the Sixers allowed just 37.5 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers. So the defense is okay.

4)  The Sixers stated goal this offseason was to improve the 3-point shooting without weakening the defense. The jury is still out on the first goal. While the Sixers—led by Richardson, Wright, and Spence—hit six 3-pointers in the first half, they missed all but one in the second frame and finished 7-of-25. More problematically still, it was those misses that created fast-break opportunities for the high-octane Nuggets and allowed the visitor to shave a 14-point Sixer lead to one. If you’re gonna take ‘em, you gotta make ‘em.

5)  The Sixers got spanked on the offensive boards in the first half, allowing 13, but tightened after that, allowing just three after the break. At least some of this has to do with the fact that George Karl inexplicably played the Mannimal and Javale McGee for a combined 35 minutes.

6)  Bynum’s coming back soon…right?


17 Responses to “GM 1: (NOT SO) RAPID REACT”

  1. Ryan
    1. November 2012 at 16:33

    Need to change Turner’s position from SG to SF

  2. Hank
    1. November 2012 at 16:46

    Really wasn’t sure why everyone here was so neative on Hawes throughout the preseason. He looked great lat night, and should continue to play well alongside Bynum. Not to mention, and I’m really not sure where the misconceptions came from on this, he was our best rebounder last season and should log minutes in bunches.

  3. Pete
    1. November 2012 at 17:32

    Pretty sure ET was guaranteed to get shut down last night. Iggy was defending him and then he got into foul trouble. We watched him lock up superstars on a nightly basis and force them into low shooting percentages for years now. No surprises there. Hawes blocking 5 shots however….. Lol

  4. Steve Toll
    1. November 2012 at 18:30


    Hawes is either the 2nd or 3rd best player on the team depending on whether Thad is playing at SF or PF. Honestly, Hawes being white is a major reason for people thinking so little of his early success last season and elite pedigree while only being 24 years old and being hobbled most of last season. He is our best rebounder behind Bynum and a legit shot blocker, as he showed last year. His passing skills are superb and he has an good stroke, that top of key 3pt shot is a great shot for him because as the season goes on, he will be able to initiate some interesting sets and teams begin to actually defend that

    As for the rest of the team

    Swaggy was outright terrible, and Kwame had Nocioni’s old spot on the bench, 9 million well spent

    Holiday was quietly effective and Thad was a quite bit louder.

    My man DWright played well despite a subpar shooting night and JRich had a ridiculous 7 steals+blocks but he seemed to be gambling a bit going for the steals. I’ll be keeping track of that as the season continues

    Lavoy didn’t put the ball in the hoop but was otherwise ok in 17 minutes

    ET gets a mulligan, the first of about 60ish this season

    Any win over a team like Denver is a good win but the MVP of that game was as mention in point 5: George Karl, for playing Kosta Koufos 30 minutes and keeping Faried+McGee to 35 minutes total. Last season against the LAL in the playoffs Koufos played 26 minutes TOTAL while Faried+McGee played 50mpg and essentially averaged 20pts-20reb with 4blks and a couple steals

  5. larry smith
    1. November 2012 at 19:39

    Steve; i will take a 3/9, then a 3/12 shooter any time. And if Nick Young was terrible. than Dorell, and J Richardson was the worse. Hands down. Nick SwaggyP is a great player.

  6. Alex Brandao
    1. November 2012 at 20:42

    Yeah, it was a good win, but it looked like a early season game for both teams, with some stretches of ugly basketball. Too early to make any conclusions going forward, considering both clubs won’t be playing like that around january. Steve, please keep US posted on the stats so we can see weather moneyball is valid in bball.

  7. Jon
    2. November 2012 at 00:20

    Hawes is solid. Wasn’t he around 20/10 before his injury? And he played big in the playoffs.

    I’m liking the fact that many pundits have us farther down the ranks than most. Even though we lost our best player in Iggie and our top scorer in Lou, we’re kind of essentially the same team plus Bynum. And with Iggie and Lou gone, other guys like Holiday and Young (both of them) can step up. Wright and Richardson are added shooters.

    I did tell the cute lawyer girl at work that we signed Kwame Brown. She’s into basketball and straight laughed in my face. There was no rebuttal to that.

    To the Sixers!

  8. Steve Toll
    2. November 2012 at 03:14

    Larry Smith,

    Wright had a higher True Shooting % than Nick Young which means he scored more efficiently.Wright also had 5 defensive rebound, 2 offensive rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. SwaggyP had 3 defensive rebounds and 1 steal.

    So what do you mean?

  9. Ryan
    2. November 2012 at 09:20

    Jon, what playoffs do you remember? Hawes was terrible

    He was put on the bench for Lavoy Allen because he could not guard KG.

    9.3 pts and 6.6 rebounds is not “playing big”

  10. Conor
    2. November 2012 at 10:29

    I was at the game and focused entirely on Swaggy P while he was on the court. I was really hoping what all the analysts have said about him were false, but I can tell you that Swaggy P is a black hole on offense. Every time he received a pass he was looking to shoot. I know his role is the bench scorer, but there is no place for him on the court if he doesn’t score efficiently. In the 3rd quarter, he shot an off balance three with a man closing on him while there were 15 seconds left on the shot clock. It was an airball.

    I know that is just an example of a bad play and that numerous Sixers had their moments on Wednesday, but Nick Young is going to be a problem if he doesn’t improve his shot selection.

  11. hank allingham
    2. November 2012 at 10:40

    Lol. You don’t need “moneyball” to know that nick young isn’t good. Dorrell wright is better than nick young, and its not close.

  12. Steve Toll
    2. November 2012 at 13:40


    While Hawes didn’t play well against Garnett, there isn’t exactly an extensive list of guys that do.

    Conor and Hank,

    You are both correct and as I mentioned before, it wouldnt be long before SwaggyP did a dribble between the legs with a fadeaway 3 which is basically his trademark move.

    It won’t be long before he is playing under 10 mpg

  13. Jeff McMenamin
    2. November 2012 at 14:03


    This was just the first game. Let 10 games play out before you analyze a player this closely.

    Steve like Haralabos says, the best way to measure a player is by sample size. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t use a one game sample size. Nick Young if you analyze him through preseason til now has played above and beyond my expectations of him.

    Turner has sucked and I’m extremely disappointed in that.

    D. Wright has been playing well and could quite possibly start over Turner or Richardson by December.

    Overall this is a good team, they convincingly beat one of the best teams in the West while playing without Bynum. I was worried about how their defense would look after losing Iggy and Brand, but it looked very strong which is a great sign.

    Shooting and defense can carry the team until Bynum comes back. Just hope they can hit their shots next game…


  14. Steve Toll
    2. November 2012 at 15:15


    Nick Young has a 373 game sample of not being good, but maybe these next 9 games will buck the trend.

    Dorell Wright, as I have been saying for months, can Ball

    Assuming that every team the 76ers play limits their best 2 bigs to under 35 minutes total, you are right, this team will be fine without Bynum

  15. freezer
    2. November 2012 at 15:52

    turner might really need to find another landing spot before hes successful. Collins may have botched his development unintentionally. His confidence seems to be shot, he still has the drive to suceed but he forces the issue so much because hes not used to playing without the ball. its gotta be tough playing behind jodie meeks for two years never getting a clearly defined role to starting and not really knowing the position or how to play within that unit. i like him but with jrue emerging in a serious way, i think its time to deal, i would give him up for unprotected pick and let someone else offer him 5 million a year. wrights looking like an absolute steal btw. i say trade turner, resign wright asap. all the sudden this core of jrue, rich, wright, young, bynum, w/ swaggy, wayns, spence, lavoy looks downright scurry

  16. Jon
    2. November 2012 at 21:52

    Alright, maybe I should have said Hawes had some big games in the playoffs. He played well in games 3 and 4 against the Bulls.

  17. Scrolly
    3. November 2012 at 08:16

    well i guess for evan turner it all comes down to this season, its life and death for him.

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