|Thaddeus Young, SF 37 MIN | 11-20 FG | 2-2 FT | 15 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | -4Don’t look now, but Thad is back! Thad scored 24 including a huge third quarter (which I’ll get to after the jump) while also pulling down 15 rebounds. It was Thad’s third straight double-double and his third 20-point game of the past four contests. He was also active on the defensive end all night. He was the main reason why the Sixers had a shot at winning this game.|
|Evan Turner, SF 38 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -7A pretty solid performance from Turner and somewhat relieving. He played with high intensity which was visible throughout the game, he shot 7-of-13 from the field (above 50% for just the 14th time of the season) for 15 points and he had some beautiful feeds to teammates as well with five assists. He still made a couple inexcusable plays such as a turnover late in the game to Chris Bosh (which he made up for right after on the defensive end) and not boxing out Dwayne Wade, which led to a Wade putback and three point Heat lead with just 29 seconds to play. Turner nearly made up for it again with a beautiful feed to a wide open Spencer Hawes on the very next possession, but Hawes botched the layup which meant game over.|
|Spencer Hawes, C 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -1So you follow up a near triple-double performance of 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to a game of six points, five rebounds and two assists? On top of this, you botch a wide open layup down three with 20 seconds left to hand the Heat the win? The day Spencer Hawes isn’t in a Sixers uniform will be a monumental day for the fans. His offense and intensity vary more than Swaggy P’s hairstyles and don’t even get me started on his defense…|
|Jrue Holiday, PG 43 MIN | 9-18 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | -3Jrue dunked on LeBron James. Jrue posterized LeBron James. Jrue facialized LeBron James. Jrue embarrassed LeBron James. Jrue sent a statement to LeBron James. I could literally say a million things about Jrue’s thunderous dunk on LeBron after splitting two defenders and it would never get old. That play could go down as the play of the season for the Sixers. After a quiet night shooting the ball, Jrue scored 10 in the fourth, capped with his emphatic slam on LeBron (video below). He did however commit a brutal turnover off his leg with less than a minute to go and the Sixers down one. The Heat ended up scoring the next possession on Wade’s putback which silenced the Sixers’ momentum. The dunk combined with his overall play, however, far surpass his crucial mistake.|
|Damien Wilkins, SG 30 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -7Meh. There wasn’t really any part of this game where I said, “thank god Wilkins is in!” He played mediocre D and didn’t bring anything to the table offensively (which until recently was his trademark). I’m tired of seeing non-playmakers like Wilkins and Ivey playing the two. I’m still waiting for Pargo to take the court as the point and moving Jrue to the 2. Any day now Doug….|
|Arnett Moultrie, PF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3So Spencer Hawes sucked all game in 24 minutes, which led to Moultrie getting five minutes??? Old age might be catching up to you Doug…You’re not seeing things clearly.|
|Dorell Wright, SF 22 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +4Is it safe to say that Dorell is back yet? He’s scored nine or more points in the past eight games, he’s been active on the defensive end, his shooting stroke seems to be consistent and he’s just shown a lot hustle. His scoring has been key in the Sixers’ solid performances lately. His three-point percentage during the last eight games is 43%.|
|Lavoy Allen, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -1Doug…Seriously just stop. Any minute Lavoy plays in the NBA at this point will be negative for the team. He doesn’t have the desire to improve or the intensity you want out of a big man. Play Moultrie…DNP Allen.|
|Charles Jenkins, PG 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1The most underwhelming trade deadline move since acquiring Sam Young! Oh wait…That was just last year…Shit!|
|Royal Ivey, PG 8 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1You’re the second most famous Ivey…But that’s just about the only thing you have going for you. You wish you could get a back massage on the job while pulling in $90k on one hand of poker.|
|Nick Young, SG 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +2Welcome back. In terms of entertainment, I loved Swaggy P’s six minutes of PT since returning from an ankle sprain. His black mullet or “bullet” as Spencer Hawes likes to call it is amazing. He even made classic Swaggy P moves like drilling an off-balance three at the end of a shot clock from the top of the key. He obviously followed that up with yet another off-balance three from the same spot on the next possession, only this time bricking horribly and being sent back to the bench for the rest of the game.|
|Jeremy Pargo, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | We have a new song to release on the Doug Collins Greatest Hits album: Jeremy sat on the benchhhhh againnnnnnnnn|
|Doug CollinsBy looking at the score of this game people would probably argue that Collins deserves nothing less than an ‘A-‘. One would think Collins did a great job coaching this game and that he had his team very prepared for what the Heat brought to the table. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The Sixers went into halftime down 51-39 and the game would’ve been a blowout if it weren’t for Thad’s monster third quarter. The Sixers brought intensity because they really wanted to break the Heat’s 19-game win streak (we’ll get to that after the jump) and in the process erase their own 13-game losing streak to the Heat. Neither happened as the Heat extended both. With a few adjustments from Collins the Sixers would’ve won this game (meaning giving minutes to Moultrie and Pargo, General Jrue also thinks so).|
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw…
1. Thad’s Third: Led by Thad the Sixers charged back into the game in the third quarter against the Heat. They cut an 11-point deficit to just four points by the end of the quarter, outscoring the Heat 27-20. Thad scored 16 in the quarter and grabbed five rebounds as well. Jrue’s fourth quarter against the Raptors on January 18th is probably the only quarter performance which tops Thad’s this season.
2. Streaking: The Heat became just the fourth team in NBA history to win 20-straight games in one season. They join the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). They also extended their dominance over the Sixers with now their 14th-straight victory over the 7-6. Lou Will’s game-winner against the Heat in the 2010-11 playoffs must really still eat LeBron up inside. They haven’t lost since. BTW…Just a little fun fact. If the Heat are to tie the Lakers’ all-time winning streak, it will be against the Sixers in Miami on April 6. Perfect time to end both streaks!
3. Jrue’s Facial on LeBron: This was one of the most exciting/athletic/clutch plays I’ve ever seen from a Sixers player. The crowd-o-meter definitely rose more than a few decibels after that thunderous throwdown…See it for yourself:
4. Moultrie Cannot Molt: Yet again, Doug Collins severely misplayed his big men and it cost the Sixers a win. Moultrie wants to Molt his young feathers and grow into a smarter/more physical player, but Collins decided to give his valuable minutes to players like Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes who were ineffective all night long. I’m done with discussing this. Moultrie should be getting 25+ minutes a game for the rest of the season.
5. Missed Bunny: Spencer Hawes missed a wide-open layup which would’ve brought the Sixers back to within one point of the Heat with 22 seconds left in the game. If he just went up strong for a dunk that would’ve been the case, but like the Hawes we’ve seen all year he went up soft with a reverse layup and gave the Heat a victory. Add that play to the “Spencer’s Gifts” collection. A Sixers fan on Twitter posted the perfect video clip to accompany Hawes’ miss…
6. Lottery Watch: This is a new tab I hope to continue to give with every game recap I do the rest of the season. For those of you hoping for a high lottery pick, be glad the Heat were able to grind out this victory last night. The Sixers hold the 10th worst record in the NBA at 24-40. Orlando and Charlotte will most likely stay as the two worst teams in the NBA by seasons end, but the Sixers have a good shot of finishing with the third-worst record in the League. With 18 games left to play, there are seven teams below the Sixers who are all within just 2 1/2 games of the 7-6. If the Sixers dedicate themselves to tanking now, their chances at a top 5 pick and added ping pong balls will go hand and hand. This is the only way the Sixers will have any shot of drafting either Ben McLemore or Shabazz Muhammad in May. NBADraft.net currently has the Sixers with the 11th pick, drafting Glenn Robinson III of Michigan. For those of you not familiar with how the lottery works, here’s a good link explaining it: http://www.atthehive.com/2012/3/8/2856396/nba-draft-lottery