GM 43: (ROLLER COSTER ) RAPID REACTS

Memphis Grizzlies 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 Philadelphia 76ers
Thaddeus Young, SF 40 MIN | 11-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 23 PTS | +5

Forget about his tremendous stats for a second and look at the fact that Thad held Z-Bo to 4 points last night.  I dropped him to an A- because of the ill-advised 3PA down the stretch and the fact that he faded away on that last possession when he should have gone strong to the tin for a lay-in and/or to get a foul.

Evan Turner, SF 40 MIN | 12-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | +5

One of his best nights of the season and in the 3rd Q he was tremendous, but…(more on this after the jump)

Spencer Hawes, C 36 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -3

I need more from my starting center, but as far as Hawes goes this was a decent outing vs. a much bigger front line.  Still his defense on Gasol was pitiful.

Jrue Holiday, PG 40 MIN | 9-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | -2

A double-double is nice, but he hoisted up too many jumpers last night.  I thought he and the Sixers would learn from the NYK game, but I was wrong.  His defense on Bayless also left something to be desired.

Nick Young, SG 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -4

A red-hot 1st Q (9 points) did not lead to a big not from Swaggy.  I need more from my starting SG. But that’s something I have been saying for years now while covering the Sixers

Lavoy Allen, PF 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2

Anyone want to bet that Lavoy is dealt at the deadline?

Kwame Brown, C 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +1

We have a Kwame sighting and outside of dropping two passes that would have led to sure fire dunks, he played well.  So on the Kwame curve he gets a “B”.

Royal Ivey, PG 17 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -4

A very solid night from Royal (with cheese).  He was especially huge in the early 4th Q when he drained a 3PA and then had a steal and dime that led to a Thad slam.

Damien Wilkins, SG 15 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8

Last night the jump shot disease even infected the most physical player on the Sixers.

Doug Collins

I liked that he stuck with the “new” starting five.  I also liked that he got Jrue some extra rest with a 15 point lead in the 1st Q.  I didn’t like that he rested the red-hot Turner in the early 4th.  And I did not see any adjustments to slow down Gasol who was simply killing the Sixers.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night…

1.  I’m going to jump right to the awful ending of this one so we can just take our medicine and get it over with…The Sixers shot 1-6 down the stretch and that’s because they settled for jump shots (three 3PAs) instead of taking the ball to the tin.  But you know what they say, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”  1st Turner double-dribbled (didn’t get called) then launched a 3PA; next Thad jacked up a 3PA (He’s now 0-3 on the year.); that was followed by an ill-advised shot by Jrue; Swaggy missed a 3PA and finally, Thad missed the bunny (faded away on it) at the end.  Just terrible execution and shot selection down the stretch in a game that was there for the taking.

2.  Here’s some more medicine..The Sixers defense was like a roller coaster last night.  They came out strong on D, but then took the 2nd Q and most of the 3rd Q off.  They finally strapped up and guarded some people from the late 3rd through most of the 4th.  Still they had some fundamental breakdowns in the 4th that just killed them.  They allowed Gasol to do whatever he wanted all night.  How many times was simply left wide open to pop a jumper?  Jrue and our other guards allowed Bayless to score a season high 21.  At times they made Bayless look like the All-Star back-court guy on the floor.  Not a solid all-around effort on defense last night.

3.  However in the 1st Q, the Sixers gave us some false hope that they had finally turned the corner on this season.  On the strength of light out shooting, the Sixers had their highest-scoring first quarter of the season.  They made 12 of their first 14 shots, including two 3s by Nick Young, and raced to a 17-point lead.  A team that usually struggles out of the gate the Sixers made their first seven shots and led 33-20 at the end of the quarter.

4.  While I love the offensive spark the new first five is providing for the Sixers, they simply don’t pass the eye test defensively.  In Hawes and Swaggy you have two very weak defenders on the floor to go along with Turner (average defender); Thad (solid & improving) and Jrue (good defender).  That’s simply not enough of a defensive presence for my tastes and I think it will be an issue for the Sixers down the road.

5.  Talk about a game of runs…Obviously the Sixers were on fire in the 1st Q and led by 17 at one point.  Memphis made a big push in the 2nd Q and cut the lead to 8.  The 7-6 responded with a 7-0 run, but the Grizz were too hot in the 2nd Q (hit on 15 of 16 possessions) and led at half by 3.  In the 3rd Q the Sixers used a 15-3 to be tied at 79 starting the 4th.  The Grizz opened the 4th with a 7-2 run.  The Sixers responded with a 6-0 run of their own. Of course the Grizz had the last say and closed this one out with a 6-0 run.

6.  Here’s what I have decided on Turner.  If his basketball IQ ever improves he could be a hell of an NBA player.  For the most part he played a very nice game and absolutely carried the 7-6 in the 3rd Q, but over the course of this game he sprinkled in at least 4 bone-headed mistakes that a 4th grade player wouldn’t commit.  During the 1st Q ET stupidly turned the ball over on a couple of trips.  In the 3rd Q, ET ran two terrible break outs where he went C2C and then put up an awful shot.  On one of those breaks he was 1-on-4 and still put up a shot.  Of course his ridiculous 3PA in the 4th also drove me crazy.  If he could eliminate this infuriating garbage from his game, the Sixers could be in business

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