|Lavoy Allen, PF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -8
LA got schooled a bit by Marc Gasol in the early going; watching in helpless/thumb-up-the-rear-end fashion while the Spaniard shot over him in midrange and beat him to the bucket in transition. Momma said there’d be days like this…
|Dorell Wright, SF 35 MIN | 8-11 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 28 PTS | +10
More grist for the “Play Dorell Wright” mill. As he’s been more often than not lately, Wright was very good on Wednesday; scoring a season-best 28 points on just 11 shots–including a dagger 3 with 3:16 left that tripped up a Memphis rally and moved the lead to an insurmountable 95-84. He’s hit 18 3-pointers now in his last five games. On a mediocre team, he should be logging more than 22 minutes a night.
|Thaddeus Young, SF 37 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +2
With a tough matchup against Z-Bo, Thad, consumate gamer, hung in. He was tremendously active defensively–see Memphis’ 32 percent shooting after the first quarter–and with 13 points, he’s now scored in double-digits in his last 19 games. The consistency helps.
|Evan Turner, SF 41 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 1 PTS | +3
41 minutes. 1 point. 41 minutes. 1 point. Sure, he did some other helpful things, and was a capable facilitator, but…41 minutes. 1 point. 41 minutes. 1 point.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 37 MIN | 5-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 13 PTS | +6
Jrue didn’t bring his A game tonight (there were points in the fourth quarter where I considered the possibility that he was throwing the game), but he did yeoman’s work defensively on Mike Conley and hit a 3-pointer in the third that feels, in retrospect, like it marked a turning point.
|Spencer Hawes, C 31 MIN | 9-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +24
After watching, mouth presumably agape, while Marc Gasol abused his team in the first quarter on the strength of a bunch of things he can kind of do, but not really, Spence went off; scoring a season-high 20 points and racking up five swats. He blocked Zach Randolph, which, if nothing else, is something for Zach Randolph to think long and hard about.
|Royal Ivey, PG 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +4
The pair of 3-pointers he hit in his first run off the bench were enormous. “They call it a Royal with Threes!” I imagined someone saying at the time, before remembering that I’m an adult man.
|Nick Young, SG 21 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +9
An uncharacteristicly efficient performance from the Swaggster.
|Doug CollinsI liked the decision to put extra bodies on Gasol and Z-Bo, his starting Wright over Swaggy, and the continued flirtation with the zone. It’s no small thing to win in Memphis these days.|
After the jump, (7)6 Things We Saw Last Night
- Marc Gasol got off to a tremendous start. If you put a bag of popcorn in the microwave at tipoff, by the time it was ready Gasol had eight points. When the first quarter ended, the Spaniard had 12 on 6-of-8 shooting—mostly of the pretty European midrange variety—and four assists; accounting for, by my count, 22 of the Grizzlies’ 29 points.
- The Sixers made intelligent adjustments on Gasol from there on out. Once they started doubling him, the Grizzlies offense, which was shooting upwards of 60 percent well into the second quarter, lost its footing. They closed ice-cold and finished 35-of-90 from the floor. Even absent Rudy Gay, it was one of the Sixers more impressive defensive performances of the season.
- The long ball treated the Sixers well tonight. Led by Dorell Wright (more on him later), the visitor was 9-of-16 from 3-points.
- The Sixers were similarly effective inside. Going in, most figured Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol would have their way, but while the Grizzlies pulled down 15 offensive rebounds and outscored the Sixers in the paint 42-36, the guys more than held their own. Led by Hawes, they actually outrebounded Memphis 38-37 and had 12 blocks to their four.
- Mike Conley, who’s fast enough to cause problems for Jrue and the Sixers defense, was not a problem tonight. The other Buckeye from the 2007 draft class disappeared for long stretches and when he materialized the news was even worse for Memphis, as he shot 3-of-17 from the floor.
- More Dorell Wright, please. Here’s the thing about the cream of the Sixers’ offseason addition crop: when his shot is falling, which it’s starting to do, he can win a game for you near-single-handedly (he’s led the NBA in 3-pointers, lest we forget), and when it isn’t he does enough–like rebound well for his position–that he’s still added value when he’s on the floor. There is no reason Nick Young should play more than he does. Under any circumstances.