I bet if I counted how many times I've started a reap with this sentence, "Well, it wasn't pretty," the number would be somewhere in the teens. I hate to do it, but I'm going to start this one the same way... This game wasn't pretty, but the Sixers came out with a win, and that's the most important thing.
The Sixers came out of the gate sluggish, and I promised I wouldn't blame it on the first game after a road trip, so I'll stick to my word. I just wanted to mention that. Smiley Face.
The second half was played much like I expected the entire game to. The Sixers made the proper adjustments, and it showed. After going into the locker room down six, the Sixers came out and outscored the Wolves by 14 in the second half. Also; the Wolves grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the first half -- only three in the second half. The Wolves shot 50 percent from beyond the arch in the first half, and only 40 percent in the second. As you can see, the second half went according to plan, and I was impressed with the Sixers ability to make adjustments.
You might look at the 12-27 three-point shooting for the Wolves and say to yourself, "Man, the Sixers perimeter D sucked tonight!" And you'd be partly right, but part of the Wolves good shooting was luck. Rodney Carney was 7-8 from beyond the arch. He's a 33 percent shooter on the season. We watched him for two seasons in Philly. We know he's not that good of shooter. Most of his makes were also contested. I'll credit his 88 percent shooting to a simple hot streak -- that's all.
Overall, it was a solid, grind it out victory. This is a team the Sixers were supposed to beat, and they did just that. And the best thing about the W, is Miami lost tonight. The Sixers now sit just half a game out of the fifth seed. Watch out Miami! Here we come.
Next up is Charlotte on Friday, which is another game we should win. And now that they're officially acclimated to the east coast again, there should be no excuses to play a bad half, let alone a bad game.
Now I'll leave you with the good old random/player observations.
- Thad Young gets the first bullet point, and it's well deserved. He continued his torrid March with yet another 20-point game. This kid gets better every game. Tonight he unleashed a lethal jab-step fadeaway. I've never seen someone add new weapons to his game as quickly as Thad does. It was also nice to see him get to the line 14 times. My only issue with him is the rebounding -- only three in 40 minutes.
- Lou went 1-9 from the floor, but I was impressed with him being able to contribute in other ways, much like Iguodala normally does. Lou still got to the line eight times. He only had one turnover (not a jump pass). He had five rebounds and five assists. He also had a steal and two blocks! It was just a good overall game by Sweet Lou.
- I'm normally a Reggie Evans supporter, but he was awful tonight. Craig Smith ate him alive, and I think it was a poor decision on DiLeo's part to play him at center. Their defense was much, much worse with Reggie at the five.
- Theophilus was brilliant in limited minutes tonight. He rebounded, and played great D.
- Good to have Zumoff and Salmi announcing again. I really missed Zumoff when Iguodala hit that buzzer-beater.
- It sucks to have games start at four (my time) again.
- If the Sixers would've lost to a team that started Kevin Ollie, Bobby Brown, Rodney Carney, Brian Cardinal and Craig Smith, I probably would've made like Tupac and faked my death, only to return in time for the playoffs.