GAME 41: (FRUSTRATED) REACTS

San Antonio Spurs 90 FinalRecap | Box Score 85 Philadelphia 76ers
Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3Lavoy was taken to school by Tim Duncan in this game, as Duncan finished with 24 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and two steals. On most nights I’d be happy with Lavoy pulling down eight rebounds, on this night not so much.
Dorell Wright, SF 16 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -6Last year Jodie Meeks was given the name Captain Streaky for the random production he would give you on any given night. This season Dorell Wright seems to be that guy for the Sixers. Being in the Do(u)g House for the majority of the season is probably a major factor in this as well.
Thaddeus Young, SF 39 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -17Thad was a key player in the Sixers’ second-half surge to get back into the game. He scored 10 of his 14 points in the second-half. He also had a couple big misses down the stretch, however, which had me spiking my remote against the floor. Tiago Splitter’s 12 boards were equally as depressing.
Evan Turner, SF 42 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 12 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -10Turner had one of his best games of the season against the Spurs. He came up just three assists shy of a strong triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. He looked confident with the ball in his hands (for most of the game) and was drilling the mid-range shot which critics have been hammering him for all season. Yet, two huge turnovers down the stretch, missing a wide open three to regain the lead with just a minute left and leaving Kawhi Leonard open on the perimeter for a couple huge treys in this game will have critics rightfully hammering him again.
Jrue Holiday, PG 37 MIN | 7-20 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 15 PTS | -16Jrue Holiday was relegated to the bench by Doug Collins for close to five minutes of the 4th quarter. He entered the game when the Sixers held a four point lead over the Spurs with just seven minutes to go. Where in the previous game against the Raptors Jrue thrived to close out the win for the Sixers, Holiday struggled mightily against Tony Parker and the Spurs. He had two huge turnovers to add to his game total of six and seemed to not want the ball when the game was on the line. It could’ve been that Tony Parker had already ruined his confidence, who finished with 20 points and eight assists. Or, Doug Collins has some explaining to do.
Spencer Hawes, C 35 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +14Spencer played huge in this game on the offensive end. It could’ve been the new blue arm sleeve that he was showing off, or it could’ve been that he was pissed off about Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration earlier but either way Spence had one of his best offensive performances of the season against the Spurs. Once again it was his defense which left a lot to be desired, although he did register three blocks.
Shelvin Mack, PG 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0He got his first two points in a Sixers uni, then quickly made his return to the bench. Welcome to the team Mack daddy.
Royal Ivey, PG 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +5Why did Ivey play 16 minutes and why was he in the game in the 4th quarter with the game on the line? The sequence where he was stripped by Kawhi Leonard for a fast break dunk was a momentum changer. The Sixers were up 82-77 at the time, but that dunk combined with a Leonard three in the Spurs next possession tied the game at 82-82 and the Spurs finished their business down at the WFC.
Damien Wilkins, SG 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0I would’ve liked to see some more Damien “Defense” Wilkins at certain points in this game and less Ivey and Lavoy.
Nick Young, SG 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +8Swaggy had it going on late in the 4th as the Sixers pushed their lead to seven. His new haircut, named the Sonic the Hedgehog by teammate Royal Ivey, was awesome. Overall a solid performance where I was not screaming for Swaggy to be sent down to the D-league.
Jason Richardson, SG DNP LEFT KNEE INJURY MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | This was the worst game for Richardson to miss. He could’ve proved to be the difference maker in its outcome.
Doug CollinsI’ll give Doug credit for yet another second-half comeback. But what was going on with his rotations? Also, did he design plays in the 4th to keep the ball out of Jrue’s hands? Make no mistake, playing the Spurs as tough as the Sixers did for four quarters is commendable, but turning a win into a loss when the game was in the balance was infuriating to watch. The Sixers offensive game plan in the last seven minutes looked more like the And 1 Mixtape Tour then the 7-6.

Six Things We Saw…After the Jump…

  1. A game of runs: The Spurs ended the game on a 15-3 run after the Sixers held a 82-75 lead with just under six minutes left in the 4th quarter. It gave me flashbacks to last season where this type of thing would happen on a nightly basis. The Sixers couldn’t close (insert joke here) and the Spurs’ veteran resilience turned a seven point deficit into a five point win. The hardest part about it is that the Sixers had gone on a 18-4 run themselves to start the 4th. I’ve never seen a period turn for the worst as bad as it did for the Sixers last night.
  2. Tim Duncan: Say what you want about Tim Duncan’s age, the guy is still one of the best players in this league on any given night. His 24 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and two steals showed that he’s still the fundamental master in the NBA and his play was the reason the Spurs won this game.
  3. The Villain: Why can’t Evan Turner play this well every night? His 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists were a thrill to watch. There were even a couple occasions late in the game where he seemed to be moving at a faster pace than he had been all season. Does Turner thrive when the team is in the run-and-gun offense? If so why hasn’t Doug Collins emphasized this style of play until now? Is this the end of the half-court, slow-it-down garbage we’ve had to sit through all season? I for one hope so. Even though it was in a losing effort, much like the game against the Thunder in December, Turner showed you the type of player he can be.
  4. No encore for Jrue: Why was Jrue sitting to start the 4th quarter and why wasn’t the ball in his hands for every possession to end the quarter? Jrue obviously struggled against Tony Parker, shooting just 7-of-20 and committing six turnovers, but for a guy who’s been carrying the team on offense all season to not be taking every shot at the end of this game boggled Philadunkia’s collective minds (well maybe not Steve Toll’s). Like I said earlier…Doug, you’ve got some explaining to do.
  5. Back-to-back: The Sixers face the Bucks tonight on a back-to-back. Apparently the weather is about -5 degrees up in Milwaukee. Hopefully the stadium’s heating works, the Sixers couldn’t be much colder than they were at the end of last night’s game. Tip is at 8 o’clock on CSN.
  6. National spotlight: I don’t know about everyone else, but it was a joy to watch Chuck, Reggie and TNT’s crew broadcast last night’s game. Barkley made some great statements and at times was spot on about his assessments of the Sixers. Barkley also claimed that Kwame Brown is reviving his career though. Unless he knows something we don’t know…That’s a complete pile of crap. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers organization hired a designated tire slasher at this point in the season to make sure Kwame doesn’t make it down to the WFC in time for game’s each night. He Sir Charles, has been turrrrrible.

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