GM 46: (BIG TROUBLE) RAPID REACTS

Orlando Magic 61 FinalRecap | Box Score 78 Philadelphia 76ers
Thaddeus Young, SF 15 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +10The Sixers are in BIG, BIG trouble.  The score doesn’t explain the biggest storyline which happened in this game. Everything started off well last night.  Thad was off to a nice game with six points and five boards in just 15 minutes.  But, early in the 2nd quarter when diving for a loose ball, Thad seemed to have pulled his hamstring badly.  He was writhing in pain and had to be taken to the locker room by trainers and teammate Kwame Brown.  He didn’t return to the game and coach Doug Collins said postgame that, “[Thad] is going to be out a while.”  Just when it seemed like things were finally going well for this team, the Sixers just lost arguably their most valuable player for an unknown period of time. More on this after the jump.
Evan Turner, SF 32 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +16Didn’t see much of anything from Turner in this game. He’s been playing really quiet lately. He’s averaged just six points, six rebounds and five assists a game in the last three games. Since he was doing everything besides scoring well in this game, I won’t be too hard on him. However, it’s the typical Turner disappearing act. Who knows when he’ll suddenly have a 27 point, seven assist effort next like he did against the Memphis Grizzlies a little over a week ago.
Spencer Hawes, C 37 MIN | 9-17 FG | 2-3 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +20Spencer was the man in this game.  He played inspired basketball after Thaddeus Young exited the game with his left hamstring injury.  21 points, 14 rebounds, a big-time throwdown and even a three. You can tell that Hawes is playing with confidence in the starting role.  It was just his 7th double-double of the season.
Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 14 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +18Jrue didn’t shoot very well, but was his typical floor general self.  13 points and 14 assists is good enough for me.  The best stat was just one turnover!
Nick Young, SG 36 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +19Swaggy had it going on in the first quarter.  He was 5-of-7 for 10 points with one of the top plays of the year, his “P60” jam (video below).  He disappeared the rest of the game however, besides some surprising defense. Since Swaggy’s been inserted into the starting lineup, he’s averaged 17 points per game and the Sixers are 4-1.  Efficient or not, he seems to be the scoring punch the Sixers were missing all season.
Lavoy Allen, PF 30 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -1Finally…Lavoy HAS COME BACK to Philadelphia.  Lavoy has put together a decent stretch in the Sixers’ past three home games and I was especially surprised by his 2nd quarter swat a little after Thad had left the game with his injury.  Maybe there’s hope left after all.
Arnett Moultrie, PF 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +3Arnett Moultrie played 12 minutes.  Rejoice! In his first real tick of the season (and most of his career) Arnett didn’t play too bad. He showed his range on a jumper and grabbed a couple boards.  With Thad out for what seems will be for close to a month, this man deserves the chance to prove himself with more minutes.
Dorell Wright, SF 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3I was thinking to myself when Dorell entered the game in the 2nd, that it had looked as if he’d put on some weight since the start of the season.  He didn’t do anything in this game but brick city in just six minutes and quickly found his way back to the Do(u)g House.  Don’t expect him to return to form anytime soon, his confidence is shot big time.
Royal Ivey, PG 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -5He played 20 minutes?  Where was I?
Damien Wilkins, SG 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +7All I know is his fade-away shot at the FT line and bricked three on back-to-back possessions in the 3rd made me want to puke.  Damien, please don’t do that to me again.
Kwame Brown, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | His best assist of the season was helping Thaddeus into the locker room after his injury.  Forreal.
Jason Richardson, SG DNP LEFT KNEE INJURY MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | It looks like his knee could be a real issue.  He’s now out indefinitely.  Not good at all.
Doug CollinsNothing to say here.  It looked like a high school game not an NBA game.  The Sixers won by 17 but in an ugly fashion.  Doug didn’t really do much out of the ordinary except for giving Arnett Moultrie extended minutes.  I’ll tip my hat to that.  Another way to look at it, is as one big slap in the face to the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic who rode the pine last season on the Sixers about as much as Moultrie has this season. Vucevic led the Magic in rebounding for the game with 14…Sigh.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw…

  1. A huge blow: For those who had high hopes for the Sixers until the return of Andrew Bynum,  you may want to skip over this link. Warning: (It’s not for the faint of heart)

The Sixers are in big trouble.  Without Thaddeus Young, the Sixers frontcourt has gone from bad to non-existent.  As undersized as Thad is for a power forward, at least his aggressiveness and athleticism could bail him out.  Now?  A heavy dose of Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen with a sprinkle of Arnett Moultrie. This is going to get ugly.

2.  20-2 run: Since the move to place both Nick Young and Spencer Hawes in the Sixers starting lineup, the team has been hot out of the gate to start games.  Monday night, the team went on a 20-2 run to push their lead up to as large as 22-6 in the 1st quarter over the Orlando Magic. Swaggy even had an impressive 360 slam to cap off the run that had movie star and Philadelphia native Will Smith rising from his seat.  The Sixers will need to keep this 1st quarter intensity alive.

3.  Defensive stand: The Sixers held the Magic to just 61 points on 34% shooting.  The 61 points was the lowest the 7-6 has held an opponent to this season.  There have been five regular season games in last two seasons in which an NBA team has scored 61 points or fewer– the Magic now have three of them.

4.  3-diocrity: The Sixers and Magic combined to shoot just 4-of-32 (12%) from the three-point line.  The 20 3PA’s by the Sixers was the most attempted in franchise history.  The Magic nearly broke a streak of 457 straight games, dating back to 3/17/07, of hitting at least one three in a game.  Josh McRoberts hit their one and only three with 3:04 remaining in the 4th quarter.  The Magic as a team finished just 1-of-12 from beyond the arc.

5.  Hawes laws: Spencer Hawes for one night looked like he did a season ago.  He registered his 7th double-double of the season netting 21 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.  If the Sixers expect to have any success without Thaddeus Young in the lineup, this is what Spencer will have to do on a nightly basis.  This dunk by him over Gustavo Ayon was Hawesome:

6.  All-Star break: With three Sixers now banged up, the All-Star break can’t come soon enough.  They’ll have games against the Pacers, Bobcats and Clippers at home before they finish up Feb. 13th in Milwaukee.  Thaddeus Young is the newest on the list of injured Sixers that includes Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.  Bynum said in a press conference before the game that he feels a little bit of pain in his knee, but still expects to return after the All-Star break. Richardson has missed Philadelphia’s last six games after being diagnosed with a synovitis injury in his left knee.  Doug Collins told reporters before the game that Richardson will seek a third opinion on his injured knee and he “will be out for a while”.  Needless to say, the injury bug has bitten hard.

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