FREE AT LAST

Posted by: Tim Parker
03/06/12 2:26 pm EST

It’s about time!

Something felt naturally wrong about the number two overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft coming off the bench in his second season in the League.  Especially, when there’s a one trick pony starting in his stead – and quite frankly the pony hasn’t even performed his one trick that well.

Though, that all changed last night when Evan Turner replaced Jodie Meeks in the starting lineup.  It was a change that Sixers’ fans have been begging for since the season began.  In fact, Turner’s standout effort vs. the Miami Heat in the 2011 Playoffs had many believing ET should have been anointed a starter from day one this season.  

But, Doug Collins felt he had valid reasons for placing Meeks in the starting five.  Meeks is the only true shooting guard the Sixers have on their roster.  No one else can knock down the 3 ball like he can — when he’s on.  Thus, in theory he could space the floor, open up driving lanes and allow the Sixers to run a smoother and more efficient offense.  At least that was the thinking heading into the season.  


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GM 39: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/06/12 10:24 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 93 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 Milwaukee Bucks
Elton Brand, PF 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +12

EB’s string of double-double comes to an end vs. MIL and it was not pretty.  Early foul trouble may have prevented him from getting into the flow of the game but we have to point out…How many times did Brand fail to score because what little vertical lift he once owned is now completely gone?  Too many to count.  Also Drew Gooden simply killed him all night.

Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | -3

What else can we say about Dre taht you haven’t heard already?  Yes, he scored the ball efficiently, got his teammates involved and played solid defense on Jennings at times.  And he nailed several “bail out” 3’s that saved the Sixers at the end of the shot clock.  However “the leader” of this team didn’t score his first bucket until there was 4:50 remaining in the 1st Q, had only one FGA in the 4th Q (which he made) and shot 2 FTAs.  We need more from him in these close games.

Nikola Vucevic, C 17 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -21

A quick start — 3 for 3 in the 1st Q had us excited that “Big Nik” was headed for a huge game.  But that 1st Q was followed by and 0-5 the rest of the way.  Foul trouble also hampered his efforts last night.

Evan Turner, SG 32 MIN | 1-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | -5

Well, a lot of you had your wish granted last night as Collins shook things up and ran Turner with the first-five.  Whether ET capitalized on it or not is a matter of opinion.  We know it’s very hard, but let’s try to ignore for a minute the 0-10 start ET had last night (1-12 overall) and the fact that he missed some easy bunnies and lay-ins.  He was a monster on the glass, something the Sixers desperately need.  ET also got to the rim with easy, but simply couldn’t finish. He also did a nice job of getting the other Sixers involved and played good defense.  Still 1-12 is hard to ignore and we are trying hard to do just that.

Jrue Holiday, PG 34 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | -1

Obviously not a great shooting night for Jrue and Jennings simply killed him in the 1st Q.  But the thing that stood out for us is that Jrue spent too much time playing off the ball.  The Sixers need to get to the rim (and thus the FT line) more often and for that to happen Jrue has to your primary ball handler.  He also did a much better job on Jennings as the game went on, but 19 first quarter points is unacceptable.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 7-17 FG | 11-15 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 26 PTS | -4

A big scoring night for LW was capped by a stellar 4th Q.  He even drew a charge in the final quarter.  LW also got to the FT line which is something we have been begging the Sixers to do for weeks now.  However he chucked up (and missed) an ugly jumper at the :45 mark of the 4th Q with the Sixers trailing by only two points.  And of course he missed another “last shot” with 6 ticks remaining and the 7-6 down by two.  Can we please go to someone else as our closer?

Thaddeus Young, F 36 MIN | 6-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +3

We love the double-double he had last night as Young-Smoove was one of the few Sixers who brought the energy and did not look tired.  He was rewarded by Collins with a start in the 3rd Q.  But we’ll only think of one thing for Thad in this game…How on earth did he miss that point blank tip-in during the final seconds?

Jodie Meeks, G 18 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4

With ET in the starting lineup, Meeks became part of the “Night Shift” and provided an instant lift off the bench.  He nailed two 3PAs at the end of the 1st Q.  Then he hit another to open the 2nd Q and threw in a driving lay-up for good measure. Jodie had tallied 11 points at half, but Capt. Streaky only scored 1 bucket the rest of the way.  He missed two wide open 3’s in the 3rd and finally another one at the 5 min. mark of the 4th Q.  Uggghhhhh

Lavoy Allen, PF 7 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +3

Let’s just move on.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw last Night…


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GM 38: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tim Parker
03/05/12 9:43 am EST
Chicago Bulls 96 FinalRecap | Box Score 91 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 33 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | -5

Elton Brand was a huge reason the Sixers were in this game at all.  For EB it was his third straight double-double.  While Joakim Noah had a field day grabbing boards, Brand stood tall and helped to get the Sixers extra possessions.  His jumper was precise as it was last year.  He played some of his basketball of the season.  Though, he needs to be more of a factor in the 4th quarter, as he his the most important veteran on the team.

Andre Iguodala, SF 40 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | -6

Had it not been for two horrid 3 point attempts in the closing moments of the game (one was an air ball early in the shot clock and down only 2 points & the other missed the rim and hit the other side of the glass), Iguodala’s efforts would have been more than satisfactory.  He had the jumper working early in the game, did an outstanding job of getting his team involved offensively and was his usual spectacular self in transition offense (though, there wasn’t too much of that).  Yet, the last Iguodala memory from this one will probably be his last 2 shot attempts.  FYI…Those two awful misses were the only two FGAs by our 2012 All-Star and the alleged leader of this team in the 4th Q of a tight game. 

Lavoy Allen, PF 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5

He’s learning, sure.  But, his turnovers are becoming unacceptable to take.  He’s not providing much anything else to the Sixers (at least on this night) other than being a big body.  The least he can do is be more careful with the basketball.

Jodie Meeks, G 15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -6

Absolutely Horrendous!  The following should sum up his night…There was a sequence in the third quarter where he missed 3 WIDE OPEN threes in one offensive possession.  He’s supposed to be a shooter.  Allen Iverson was also supposed to be a point guard.  And Stephen Jackson is available.

Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -3

Holiday was hot in the first half.  He got involved in a bit of a mini-duel with Derrick Rose early on.  That didn’t last long. He became more of a facilitator in the second half.  It’s good to see him being more aggressive , but he’s got to start developing more penetration into his game.   That dime he dropped to Thad on the break during the 4th Q comeback was a thing of beauty.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 0-7 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | +5

It was a rough night for Lou.  There were no 4th quarter heroics, when his team could have used it the most.  He jacked up two horrible long jumpers in the early 4th that helped produce a 8-0 run for the Bulls.  Though, it was impressive to see him hustle defensively, dish the rock, and look to his teammates despite his woeful shooting night.

Thaddeus Young, F 28 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | -1

Young was very quiet in the 1st half, but he woke up like a monster in the 2nd half.  His 4th quarter kept the Sixers alive as the Bulls started to pull away. He did just about everything in the 4th. He dropped huge jumpers.he finished fast break opportunities and hit big free throws.  He didn’t get much help though.  He had a good defensive night, though he and the Sixers got caught on some switches and Derrick Rose simply got the better of him at times.

Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -6

Turner did not play well.  He made terrible shot selections, including a shot in the 4th quarter that helped the Bulls score on the other end and establish an 8-0 run.  That was a pivitol point in the game as the Bulls stretched their lead to double digits in the 4th.

Nikola Vucevic, C 22 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +2

Lavoy Allen could learn a thing or 2 from his fellow rookie.  Vuc had more than a solid game as he scored in various ways.  He backed down Noah at times.  He knocked down his smooth buttery jumper.  He made nice inside moves to score and he battled all night long in the trenches.  It would have been interesting to see how he would have performed in the 4th quarter but Thaddeus Young needed to be out there.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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RESET BUTTON

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
03/04/12 1:56 pm EST

Tonight the Sixers face the Chicago Bulls at home(again). If you recall, the biggest win of the Sixers season so far came against the Bulls a little over a month ago at home to a final score of 98-82 on February 1st. B ack when the win occurred, the Sixers were the talk of the NBA.  ESPN.com’s own John Hollinger had the Sixers atop his power rankings and ESPN.com’s Marc Stein held the Sixers slightly below that ranking, coming in at number three. Analysts were debating whether or not this team was actually a championship contender.  This was of course before everything that transpired for the Sixers during the rest of the month of February.

After February 1st, the Sixers held the second best record in the league at 16-6.  Today the Sixers stand at 22-15.  During February the Sixers went 6-9.  The Sixers have only had three constants which have happened during this time.  The Sixers continue to lead the League in defense, now allowing just 87 ppg.  They also still stand atop the Atlantic division, with the suddenly hot Celtics nipping at their heels just three games back, and the Linsanity Knicks only three and half back.  The team has also had to play without starting center Spencer Hawes for a good portion of this time, as he logged just two games for the month of February. 


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GM 37: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
03/03/12 3:11 pm EST
Golden State Warriors 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 105 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +13

This is the Elton Brand we’ve been waiting to see all year.  Brand had a strong double-double(14 points, 14 rebounds) as well as played with high intensity on the defensive end (two steals, two blocks).  He had the team fired up all game and the team responded.  It’s a good thing to see and hopefully he can keep it up.

Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | +14

Andre has been playing some of his best basketball of the season after the All-Star break.  Maybe he finally wants to play the leadership role for this team.  Andre had a double-double scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while also dishing a team-high six assists.  His improved play this season is a great thing to see.  You can tell he wants to win more than ever and will do anything he can for that to happen.  He also hit a three to give fans free Big Macs and put the Sixers over the century mark late in the game (For the 1st time in 19 runs).  That’s a clutch shot in my book.

Lavoy Allen, PF 20 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6

Lavoy had himself a solid game.  10 points and seven boards in 20 minutes is all the team’s asking for.  They’re the type of numbers he’d put up nightly for the Temple Owls.  Maybe he’s got March Madness on his mind?

Jodie Meeks, G 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +5

Jodie was…well Jodie.  He played little minutes as Doug Collins found other options to take his spot on the floor.  Is there a worse starter in the NBA right now?

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | +24

Jrue played some pretty good D on shot machine Monta Ellis, holding him to 10-22 from the floor.  He also added 13 points while dishing four.  Once again this wasn’t a great performance by Holiday, but enough to get the W.  We’re all waiting for him to step up.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 9-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 25 PTS | +13

This game was Lou’s apology for not showing up in the 4th in the teams loss to the Thunder.  Lou hit for 25 on 9-15 shooting.  He also dished three assists, which seems to be a skill he’s been using more often.  His 25 points was a game-high, well…he was a fourth of the way to Wilt’s 100.  We’ll get to that after the jump.

Thaddeus Young, F 28 MIN | 6-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +14

Thaddeus has been playing some inspired basketball lately.  Young had 16 points and seven rebounds, however he did have a tough time guarding a bigger David Lee who hit for 24 and pulled down 15 rebounds.  Since the ASB Young is averaging 17 points and eight rebounds for the now famous “Night Shift” (Although it was hilarious that ESPN announcer mark Jones did not know the Sixers bench had that nickname).  It could be time for Collins to plug him into a starting role.

Evan Turner, SG 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +12

When is Evan Turner going to get more PT?  In seven of the teams last 12 games, Turner has seen the court for less than 20 minutes.  During that same time-span the Sixers are 4-8.  When Turner has played 25 or more minutes this season the Sixers are 9-7.  The Sixers aren’t dramatically better with Turner on the court (Except for at rebounding.), but better nonetheless.  He would definitely put up better numbers than four points and five rebounds.

Nikola Vucevic, C 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +9

Nik wasn’t used much in this game.  Thaddeus Young and Lavoy Allen did enough to stay in the game.  Still love whenever Malik Rose does this call, unfortunately it didn’t happen in this game:

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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THAD’S TIME HAS COME

Posted by: Matt Swiman
03/02/12 2:30 pm EST

The 76ers suffered another disappointing loss Wednesday night in which their inability to score the ball (Highlighted by a nearly 6 minute dry spell in the final minutes of the 4th quarter and a 19th straight game under 100 points.) and their lack of a “closer” were brought to everyone’s attention once again.  After the very frustrating game vs. OKC, I would now argue that it’s time for a change.

Some may think that a big time trade is called for to fix the above Sixers woes.  I would respectfully disagree and suggest that the answer is sitting right on the 7-6’s bench.

His name is Thaddeus Young at it’s time the six foot eight 220 pounder with a ridiculous offensive arsenal and a $8 million a year contract was inserted into the 76ers starting lineup and saw increased minutes in Doug’s rotation.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/02/12 10:48 am EST

Unless you live in a cave, you are aware that the 76ers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Wilt’s 100-point game tonight.  Just a little FYI…The current Sixers have not scored 100 points in a game since January 23rd.  That’s 19 straight games without reaching triple digits.

Tom Moore of phillyburbs.com looks at Evan Turner’s decreased role.

Extensive story from the Atlantic about Dikembe Mutombo’s recent business troubles.  Wouldn’t you be just a little suspicious if someone offered you the chance to buy “tons” of gold in a third world country and then remove it from said country?  I would have been.

How bad have the Sixers 4th quarter struggles gotten?  Well, the respected national hoops blog The Point Forward is even concerned for the 7-6


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GM 36: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/01/12 10:45 am EST
Oklahoma City Thunder 92 FinalRecap | Box Score 88 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 33 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6

Forget the double-double and the solid defense for a second. The old war horse, is…well, old. He started out the game 1-5 and finished 5-14. He showed signs of life in the 3rd Q when he scored 4 straight (6 overall) during the Sixers 15-2 run and grabbed 7 boards. But he was a no show in the 4th (2 pts.) and his horrific off balance shot at 2:23 of the 4th made me throw the remote. What happened to the 2010-11 version of EB?

Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | -8

Another stat sheet stuffing night for Dre and as a bonus he threw in some sick dunks that had the WFC crowd on their feet. Additionally, his defense on KD for most of the night was outstanding. Here’s my two big issues with his game last night: (1) Until the final five seconds of the game, AI9 had only one bucket (a lay-up) and did not attempt a FG in that quarter. The team’s leader can not disappear in the 4th Q of a tight game and Dre did it again last night. (2) Dre should have gone to Collins in the 4th and demanded to be locked down on Durant.  The Sixers got killed several times in the 4th by their usual “switch everything” policy as Holiday ended up guarding the much taller Durant.  It’s what team leaders like Kobe or Lebron would have done.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Lavoy is having a nice rookie year, but last night was a disaster for him.  He had a couple TOs and fumbled away a sure fire dunk in the 1st Q. Additionally he provided no presence on the glass for the Sixers.

Jodie Meeks, G 30 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +13

Capt. Streaky showed both sides of his game last night.  He hit some shots that he’s supposed to hit, but when the Sixers really needed a bucket in the 4th, he went 0-4 and missed some absolutely critical shots.  But a tip of the hat to Meeks on the defensive end as he really has improved that facet of his game.

Jrue Holiday, PG 33 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -8

How hard can it be to figure out which way to guard your old college teammate?  Apparently it’s so difficult that you can’t make the adjustment until hafltime. (But Jrue did have some simply filthy offensive moves in this game.)

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 3-11 FG | 5-5 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | -12

We love that LW handed out 6 dimes last night, but he shot us out of this game all by himself.  0-5 in the 4th to be exact. And the TO Louis had on the set play with 5 ticks remaining is a mistake an eighth grader wouldn’t commit.  If only he had learned to close out games like his mentor Iverson.

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Mr. Consistent had a solid game and his 14 first half point were a huge lift, but he also went MIA in the 4th (1-4 on FGAs). It’s pained us to write that line.  His energy and defense off the bench were excellent as always last night.  Collins has tried Dre and Louis as the “closer” on this team and neither has worked out. Maybe it’s time to give Thad a chance in that role.

Evan Turner, SG 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -5

ET’s defense was excellent last night, but 0-3 from the field is no way to get out of the dog house.  Although it’s tough to get anything going offensively with only 16 minutes of burn.  Turn the kid loose coach.

Nikola Vucevic, C 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -3

So in 28 minutes vs. Houston “Big Nik” goes for 18 & 8.  Since then he has played 24 minutes (most of it in mop up duty) @ DET and then 13 minutes last night.  What gives coach?  The rookie should be starting and playing 25 minutes a night until Hawes comes back.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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FO’ with the FOES: OKC THUNDER

Posted by: C. Smith
02/29/12 3:07 pm EST

This edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games — features tonight’s opponent, Kevin Durant and the red hot Oklahoma City Thunder, who may be the best team in the NBA not from Miami. 

We believe this is going to be a highly entertaining contest featuring two very young, athletic teams.  It’s also a huge game for the Sixers as it basically is exam time (again) for 7-6 tonight.  The Sixers went 5-2 during their “death row” stretch in February and one would have thought that would put the League and the “experts” on notice that this squad was for real.  However there were those who still refuse to recognize the Sixers as a quality team and the recent 5 game losing streak only served to give those doubters more ammunition.  A victory tonight by the Sixers could make a strong statement to the rest of the League and the haters that the Sixers are for real (again).

But a W will not come easily tonight.  If fact we’re not liking the Sixers chances vs. the Thunder.  Forget for a second that OKC currently owns a 5 game winning streak and that the Sixers are 1-5 in their last six.  Also try to ignore the stat that tells us the Thunder have won 5 in a row in this series.  What has us worried for tonight’s contest is Russell Westbrook and the match-up nightmare he will present for the 7-6.  The Sixers struggles vs. the League’s elite point men (D-Wil and Parker to name two.) in 2011-12 have been well documented on this site.  Westbrook is yet another of the best lead guards in the Association.  Given his history vs. the Sixers (29 ppg. last year) and the Sixers issues with top PGs, Russ should have a monster game tonight.  That would likely doom any hopes of a Sixers victory.  Then throw in All-World wingman KD as well as Serge Ibaka, James Harden and Thabo and the Thunder present a lot of offensive fire power for the Sixers to overcome — at both ends of the floor — in order to grab a W.

The hope for a Sixers win tonight lies in two things.  The first is the fact that OKC turns the ball over a ton (League’s highest turnover rates at 16.9 per.).  Obviously under Collins, the Sixers value the rock and live off their tough defense that takes it away from opponents.  If the Sixers can get a slew of TOs, get out on the break, score a lot of easy baskets and avoid half-court situations, it could help lead to an upset tonight.  But easy baskets won’t be enough.  The second item the Sixers will need tonight is superior bench play.  Outside of Harden, the Thunder bench is decent, but does not measure up to the “Night Shift”.  If the 76ers starters can play even or better against the first-five from OKC and then Thad, Louis, Nik & Co. have an outstanding game vs. the Thunder’s second unit our chances of a win certainly improve.  Lots of easy buckets + dominating bench play = Sixers W.  

One other interesting note: 6 of the Thunder’s 7 losses this season have come on the road. 

For a little more insight into the Thunder team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Royce Young from dailythunder.com to answer four questions on the Thunder from an insider’s perspective for us here at Philadunkia.


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GM 35: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
02/29/12 8:59 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 97 FinalRecap | Box Score 68 Detroit Pistons
Elton Brand, PF 22 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +14

Brand did a little bit of everything in this game.  Although he wasn’t necessarily a force offensively, he made an impact defensively notching three steals and three blocks.  At this point Brand doesn’t need to do all that much for the team offensively for the team to succeed, but it would be nice if he can continue this defensive intensity moving forward.

Andre Iguodala, SF 30 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | +17

Andre Iguodala fresh off of a nice All-Star game performance showed a little bit of All-Star flare in this one.  Iguodala led the team with 4 steals, had a couple nice dishes and slams in transition, and surprisingly was able to shoot 2-3 from beyond the arc!  He hasn’t been that effective from the outside since February 1st when he went 2-3 from deep in a win against the Bulls.  This is the type of game we’d like to see from Dre every night.  If he can limit his shots to high percentage looks while also creating looks for teammates and being a lock-down defender then the Sixers are going to be very successful the rest of the season.

Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +8

Lavoy got the start, but wasn’t really needed in this game. Four of his “Night Shift” teammates received more minutes than him as he spent much of the game on the bench.  I’m sure he would’ve much rather been sleeping on his couch; Andre Iguodala wouldn’t have minded either

Jodie Meeks, G 36 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +21

Solid overall performance from Meeks.  Doug Collins will do anything to keep Meeks on the floor to stave off reporters asking for his head.  So you know if Meeks logs over 30 minutes in a game, over better players like Evan Turner or Lou Williams, then Meeks had himself an above average game.  He shot efficiently going 4-7 from the field for 12 points, had a couple steals, and played great defense on the likes of Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon.  Meeks logged 36 minutes in this game. When Meeks plays 30 or more minutes this season, the Sixers are 8-4(with two of those losses coming in overtime). Unfortunately for him, his play is usually too streaky though to get him that kind of minutes. This is typically a good thing for the Sixers though.

Jrue Holiday, PG 25 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +13

Jrue, like Brand and Iguodala, also shined on the defensive end notching three steals by games end.  He also added 10 points and dished out five assists.  Not incredible numbers by Holiday, but he did enough to keep the Sixers ahead.  He applied great pressure on rookie Brandon Knight who shot only 2-8 from the field.  Followers of this team are hoping he can find his rhythm both offensively and defensively in the second half of the season. He has a tough task against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder next game.

Lou Williams, PG 25 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +21

Remember when the Sixers let Andre Miller walk in hopes that Lou Williams could handle point guard duties for the team? That turned out to be a complete disaster, but in this game he showed that all the training he had to do did not go to waste(maybe Eddie Jordan did do something right?). Lou notched a game-high seven assists while adding 13 points.  He’s now hit 10 or more points in 31 games this season.  The seven assists tied a season-high (which he had in the disaster of a game against the Magic).  Sometimes it’s better to make the extra pass than taking the extra shot, but people have to realize that Lou was mentored by Allen Iverson who averaged 21 career shot attempts per game.  Lou in comparison has only four games where he’s shot 17 or more this season. Hopefully this is the result of his other mentor, Andre Miller.

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 9-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | +23

Young set the tone for the Sixers in this game and exemplified the kind of heart and hustle the Sixers had been playing with before their five game skid by All-Star weekend. Young had 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half.  He also added eight boards, two steals, and two blocks.  It was only Young’s fourth 20 point game this season after reaching the 20 point mark 15 times last season.  He’s the x-factor for this Sixers team, and his performance in this game is the reason why he was given a 5-year $43 million contract in the off-season.  Just please don’t embarrass yourself on a freebie again.

Evan Turner, SG 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +18

Evan Turner had an MVP type performance in the NBA’s Rising Stars Competition over All-Star weekend scoring 16, rebounding 11, and dishing out seven in a win for Team Chuck over Team Shaq.  It should’ve been enough, if Team Chuck didn’t also have Kyrie Irving who went 8-8 from beyond the arc for 34 points, while dishing nine(As Stewart Scott would say, “the dude is sick nasty”).  On Tuesday night, Turner didn’t do quite as well but still contributed in the Sixers win.  He played great defense while on the floor as well as hit for eight points, grabbed seven boards, and dished out three assists.  Turner now has 12 games this season where he’s grabbed at least seven boards, he had 15 all of last season.  His highlight of the night was a sweet full-court dish to Thaddeus Young, which can be seen here.

Nikola Vucevic, C 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +16

See Lavoy Allen. Just like his rookie counterpart, Vuc didn’t need to do much in this game and the two had nearly identical stat sheets. I’m excited for Spencer Hawes’ return for two reasons. One, because he’s an absolute factor in the success of the team this season. Two, because the battle for minutes between Lavoy and Vuc is going to be exciting to watch. These two rookies give it their all when they’re on the court and contrast each other perfectly. Imagine Big Nik trying to fit in at Temple University or Lavoy Allen sitting around a Montenegrin hookah bar. It would be high comedy at its finest.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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