|Lavoy Allen, PF 35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -3
Lavoy has had a sophomore season that, especially in light of his postseason heroics this spring, has been a disappointment. His performance Friday was anything but. Against a Bobcats frontcourt that can be most aptly described as “terrible,” LA was tremendous, posting his first career double-double. The first of many? Time will tell.
|Thaddeus Young, SF 37 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +11
Thad got off to a gangbusters start, 6-of-6 from the floor, before he cooled. His defense though was, as usual, disruptive.
|Evan Turner, SF 37 MIN | 10-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | +8
Evan Turner, jack of all trades he is, was at it again against the ‘Cats. It’s pretty clear that he’s benefiting enormously from the absence of Andre Iguodala, and the resulting oxygen it’s given his game. He’s constantly improving. Read this paragraph again. He’s better now.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 15 AST | 13 PTS | +11
Even without scoring the basketball, Jrue controlled the game like a maestro on Friday.
|Jason Richardson, SG 30 MIN | 9-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | +17
With Evan Turner in foul trouble, Richardson took over in the fourth.
|Dorell Wright, SF 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -3
Not clear what Wright has done to work his way (back) into Doug Collins doghouse. An able, lengthy defender with a nose for the ball and an ability to stretch the defense, DW played just eight minutes on Friday. You get the feeling his first season here might be his last. Too bad.
|Spencer Hawes, C 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
After a difficult last few weeks, Spence hit a nadir against the ‘Cats. Possibly hampered by his twisted knee, he was passive, ineffective, and ineffectual. Hawes now has 17 rebounds his last six games. The season-opener seems like it was more than a month ago, doesn’t it?
|Kwame Brown, C 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +3
I’m told he’s very punctual, so that’s a mark in his favor.
|Maalik Wayns, PG 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -8
The Villanova product was effective spelling Holiday. He always used one “L.”
|Nick Young, SG 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -6
Swaggy, contra his (deserved) rep, played a controlled, disciplined game.
After the Jump, (7)6 Things We Saw…
1. It wasn’t exactly winning in Miami, but this was a good W. The Bobcats, who’ve already matched their victory total of a year ago, are light-years ahead of where they were the last time the two teams met. And about that rookie: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be an All-Star before he’s of drinking age. NB.
2. Speaking of number two overall picks…wow Evan Turner. In the most recent of a string of tremendous performances that began November 18 in Cleveland, ET led the Sixers with 25 points and 10 rebounds and, apologies to Jrue Holiday, looked like the best player on the floor for stretches. The thing I’m most encouraged by: his improved feel for the rhythm of the game, and of his team. He’s developing an ability to produce, sometimes dominate, without forcing anything. How many times in the last two weeks have you uttered “No Evan!”? Never. Never pressing (lately) he just insinuates himself into the game, takes what it gives him. He’s value added.
3. The Sixers have had a maddening habit in recent seasons of living and dying, usually the latter, by the long two. Now they’re moving back a bit. A season after finishing 24th in the Association in 3-pointers made per game, they’re up to 12th this year. They continued the fun Friday with an 8-of-17 mark from deep. It’s a refreshing change to see the 7-6 firing them from 23 feet instead of 22. To crib a line, one small step (backwards) for man, one giant leap forward for efficiency.
4. Year four is one we all knew would be a big test for Jrue Holiday in his ongoing quest to become an elite distributor. So far it’s one he’s passing with flying colors. The all-star hopeful finished with a career-high 15 dimes on Friday, including 10 in the first half, which is — and this is significant — more than he had in any full game but one last season.
5. Jason Richardson was, as he’s been all season, extraordinary. When was the last time the Sixers had a savvy, veteran perimeter scorer? A wing with the serenity to pass up the 3s he cannot hit, the courage to hit the 3s he can, and the wisdom to know the difference? He scored 14 in the final period tonight, slamming the door on a budding Bobcats comeback. Sweet performances like this make the bitter pill of Bynum’s absence (slightly) easier to take. Slightly.
6. Speaking of Bynum. I get the sense I’m not alone in watching the growth of the Sixers budding Big Three (about that: read this terrific article by Philadunkia’s Jeff McMenamin. I’ll wait) with something like sadness. I can’t help but wonder: what if? With a healthy, dominant, Andrew Bynum, what could this team be? It looks like a question that will go unanswered.