GM 38: (NOT SO) RAPID REACTS

Houston Rockets 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 107 Philadelphia 76ers
Lavoy Allen, PF 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -3

3 points and 4 boards in 21 minutes is not encouraging for a guy who really has not found his groove this season.

Thaddeus Young, SF 36 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +9

Thad has been simply tremendous this year and last night was no different.  Energy, rebounding and defense, plus 18 points.  How is he not getting any All-Star talk??  IMO we need to get out a run more when he is on the floor as very few forwards can keep up with him.  I only hope that under these type of minutes and the nightly pounding that he holds up physically for the entire season.

Evan Turner, SF 34 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | -8

I’m okay with this outing by ET last night as I thought he much more under control then in the previous 10 games.  Hopefully this will be a springboard to ending his recent struggles — over the last 12 games, Turner has averaged 10.6 points while playing almost 36 minutes per night.

Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 11-22 FG | 7-7 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 30 PTS | +5

A stellar night by “The Jurth”.  Jrue made 11 of 22 shots — some would say 30 points on 22 FGAs isn’t the most efficient night — but I liked what I saw.  He sank all seven attempts from the free-throw line and had nine assists.  The six turnovers were a little disturbing, but I’ll take it if the Sixers play at that pace every night.  I also thought Jrue did a solid job on a tired Lin last night.

Jason Richardson, SG 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +7

I know he missed a number of wide open looks in the 4th Q (and that has to change), but I really liked what I saw from J-Rich last night.  He grabbed a couple huge rebounds, he brought a lot of energy and he did make two key jumpers.

Dorell Wright, SF 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +13

He missed some wide open looks and that can’t happen for the Sixers to succeed.  But I was impressed again last night with his ability to defend and rebound.

Spencer Hawes, C 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +14

This is all I want from Spence — but we need it every night.  Any chance that happens???

Royal Ivey, PG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | 0Solid in limited minutes…That’s his role, so well done.
Damien Wilkins, SG 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 5-6 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -2I loved what Wilkins brought top the floor last night, especially his knack for getting to the line.  If he has to play 11 minutes a night for the Sixers to get an additional 6 FTAs per game, then I say play him.
Doug Collins

I thought he pushed all the right buttons last night.  Including pushing the pace of play (I believe that was done on purpose) and giving increased minutes to the physical (on both ends of the floor) and defensive minded Wilkins.  Plus after J-Rich’s effort last night, he looks like a genius for giving him off vs. Toronto.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night

1.  Again, I’m not sure if this was done on purpose — I’m hoping it was — but I really liked the Sixers up-tempo pace of play last night (24 FB points).  The Sixers entered the game 27th in the NBA in scoring (92.2 points) and their pace of play ranks in the bottom 5 of the League.  However, last night they got out a ran with the Rockets and I think they should continue to push the pace of play.  Even with Dre and Louis gone, this team is still very athletic and fast and Collins should use that advantage more often.  Plus it made this team watchable last night which they are not on most evenings.

2.  When Hawes hit a J early in the fourth to make it 91-82, I Thought the Sixers might cruise home.  Of course I was wrong.  Harden took over — scoring 6 straight points, including that ridiculous between his legs transition bucket (That was followed by a Hawes tech.  Well done Spence.) and then an AND1 over three defenders.  Harden’s three-point play pulled Houston to 96-93 and suddenly I was nervous as hell…

3.  But give the Sixers credit as they held them off…J-Rich hit a big basket; ET found Thad with a long outlet pass for a slam; Lavoy and Thad worked the OREBs for a FG by Thad; and Holiday got a breakaway slam.  The result was a 104-94 lead.  Of course it also helped that the Rockets missed eight straight shots from the field once they got within 3 points of the Sixers.

4.  The Sixers got off to a much needed fast start last night.  They scored a season-high 58 points in the first half and led the Rockets, 58-50 at the break.  Evan Turner (12 points, six assists, seven rebounds) and Holiday combined for 25 first-half points.

5.  The scheduling gods finally did the Sixers a favor last night.  Houston lost a close game to the Celtics in Boston on Friday evening during in which Harden (40) and Jeremy Lin (36) both played heavy minutes.  IMO HOU looked tired at times last night.  If you recall back in December HOU knocked around a very tired Sixers team (125-103) that was on the second game of a road-back-to-back . 

6.  The Sixers are 15-0 with a lead at the start of the fourth quarter…It was the first time in six games the Sixers had scored more than 89 points…The Sixers win last night was only their fourth W in the last 17 games.

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