GM 4: RAPID REACTS

Philadelphia 76ers 77 FinalRecap | Box Score 62 New Orleans Hornets
Lavoy Allen, PF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +20Allen may have been able to knock down a few jumpers on Wednesday night, but he’s been getting manhandled on the boards this season and just doesn’t look to be playing with the same intensity with which he played in the playoffs last season.  Starting the game as the team’s center, Allen only had four rebounds, lower than teammates Thad Young, Turner, Hawes, Wright and Holiday.  If he hopes to be in the starting lineup when Bynum returns from injury he’s going to have to find a way to be the player who averaged 11 points and nine rebounds in the playoffs for the Sixers last season.
Dorell Wright, SF 25 MIN | 2-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +9Wright has been as hit or miss as they come this season for the Sixers and last night wasn’t any different.  A disappointing seven points on 2-of-10 from the field, but with a scrappy six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.  Wright’s rebounding average is up at 7.8, more than two rebounds a game higher then his second-highest season average of 5.3.  While Wright’s shots aren’t falling just yet, his stroke is a thing of beauty.  You can tell what he’s capable of when his shots do start to fall.  And, he’s thoroughly impressed me on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball due to his scrappy and high energy play.  Even when Jason Richardson is healthy, Wright has proven to be more than worthy of extra minutes on the court.
Thaddeus Young, SF 37 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +16Thad has been “Mr. Consistency” so far this season for the Sixers. He’s scored above 12 points in every contest so far while shooting 56% from the field.  He’s also been able to hit his stride in terms of being a rebounder. He’s had back to back 10 rebound games.  Compare that to last season, where Thad compiled only three games with 10 rebounds or more for the entire season (two of which that were in the playoffs).  If Thad can keep his scoring and rebounding numbers consistent, the Sixers will be a serious match-up problem for foes when Andrew Bynum returns.  Now if only he could play better defense!?!
Evan Turner, SF 36 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +12‘No jump shot?  I’ll show you a jump shot.’  Turner had the best game of his 2012-13 campaign Wednesday night shooting the rock.  The difference to me came from the way in which he stepped into his shots rather than going straight up like he had been to start the season.  Turner shot 7-of-15 for 14 points while adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.  One can only hope last night is the start of consistent performances at this level from Turner.  He needs to help fill the void in terms of production that was left behind from Dre’s departure.
Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 12 AST | 14 PTS | +18Turnovers are an NBA team’s worst nightmare, especially if they’re coming from the player you’re relying upon the most to create on offense.  Holiday had an awful first half handling the rock, committing six turnovers and giving coach Doug Collins a large migraine into the locker room at halftime.  In the second half (and most likely because of the tirade by coach Collins at halftime), Holiday looked much better protecting the rock as he only committed one turnover the rest of the way.  As bad as he looked in the first half, Holiday finished the game with a season-high 12 assists while adding 14 points and five rebounds.  His no-look dime to Spencer Hawes for a dunk towards the end of the third quarter specifically sticks out as a dazzling pass.  He’s now averaging 9.5 assists per game this season, which is three assists per game higher than his previous highest season average. He has to cut down however on his five turnovers per game average which is tied for highest in the League, along with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Deron Williams.
Arnett Moultrie, PF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4He’s getting the Lavoy Allen/Nikola Vucevic treatment from last season.  Unfortunately, for a guy we gave up a first round pick to get, that’s classic Doug Collins.
Spencer Hawes, C 23 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +2Spencer Hawes is the rock star of this Sixers team and despite his presidential hopeful Mitt Romney losing the election to Barack Obama, he looked solid on offense and defense last night.  Big Spencer scored 11 points, while adding six rebounds and three blocks and even adding in another shot from beyond the arc.  Hawes now has hit three shots from deep this season, the same amount he hit all of last season.
Maalik Wayns, PG 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4Very confused by his lack of playing time so far this season.  He was one of the bright spots in preseason and it looks as if Royal Ivey who didn’t play one tick in preseason has now taken over his role.  The troubling part of Wayns’ lack of tick is that the Sixers desperately need someone to get to the rim on a nightly basis as they are currently standing around and hoisting way too many jumpers.  Wayns could provide a solution to this issue if given the chance.   It’s hard to be a rookie sometimes and Wayns has surely gotten the rookie treatment by coach Collins.
Royal Ivey, PG 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +7Where did Royal Ivey’s minutes come from and why?  He looks like the same exact player he was on the Sixers back in the 2008-09 season. He plays solid defense, has a decent stroke and has an above average handle.  However, he’s one of the most boring players you’ll ever see on a basketball court.  He makes watching old clips of Eric Snow playing for the Sixers like watching a new Christopher Nolan film.  That’s saying something.
Nick Young, SG 18 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +2Yet another awful game from SwagyP.  He had better looks from the field this game and I was impressed by his ability to drive and kick, but as a scorer his shots have got to start falling.  Just two points on 1-of-7 shooting last night (7-32 in his last 3 gms. = 21%) is not going to be enough for coach Collins.  When Royal Ivey gets more minutes than you, you know you’ve got to improve.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night…

1.  2-0 in blue alternates:  The Sixers are undefeated in their cool new blue alternate jerseys. You can see one of the new unis in this picture of Evan Turner .  I have to say, it could be one of the best jerseys the Sixers have ever worn and I may have to grab myself a Bynum #33 in the coming weeks.  I wonder if the streak extends much longer if the Sixers could request to wear them on a more regular basis?

2.  Franchise low:  The Sixers held the Hornets to a franchise low 62 points, limiting them to just 33 percent shooting from the field.  Unfortunately the Sixers offense wasn’t clicking nearly as well as the defense where as a team they scored just 77 points themselves in what was more of a college score than an NBA score.  It was an ugly win no doubt, but a decisive win as well.

3.  Turnovers are killer:  The Sixers committed 14 first half turnovers, six of which came from point guard Jrue Holiday.  They came from a combination of errant passes and botched drives to the rim.  The Sixers ended the half down 37-36.  The Sixers as a team then only had one other turnover the rest of the way in a 77-62 win.  Doug Collins more than anything preaches no turnovers and you better believe that his pep talk at halftime to the team was a big factor in their second half play.

4.  10-0 run to start the second half:  Runs are momentum builders that can swing the outcome of a game.  In the Sixers most recent loss to the Knicks, they started out the game on a 9-0 run only to later face Knicks’ runs of 10 and 12 which they couldn’t overcome.  The Sixers set the tone against the Hornets to start the second half of last night’s game with a 10-0 run.  The spark for the 7-6 was a more determined Holiday, which was definitely the result of coach Collins’ guidance at halftime.  It’s good to see that the Sixers have shown they have these types of runs in them so early in the season.

5.  New Orleans good fortune:  Two nights after the New Orleans Saints likely ended the Andy Reid era for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Sixers were able to walk out onto Bourbon Street victorious on Wednesday night after defeating the Hornets.  Interesting to note that turnovers were an issue for the Philly squads on the gridiron and on the court down in The Big Easy.

6.  The 76ers weak scoring night was helped by the fact that they didn’t have to face 2012 overall top draft pick Anthony Davis, scoring stud Eric Gordon or the sharp-shooting Austin Rivers.  However, a win is a win and the Sixers played with high intensity all game on the defensive end against the Hornets last night.  The hope is that this intensity will carry onto their next game tomorrow night against the Celtics.

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