Update: I forgot to mention how much of a stud Samuel Dalembert is. On Monday he flew straight from Minnesota to his home country -- Haiti -- to help with the earthquake aftermath. After being in Haiti for 48 hours he jumped on a plane, flew to Philly, rushed through the airport, literally ran through the arena and straight into pre-game warm-ups. All he did in the game was post a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards. Rumor is that he hasn't slept 2 hours since the weekend. To be able to play an NBA game and play effectively with all the stuff going on with him, his family and his country is unbelievable. I'm proud to say that he plays for my favorite team. End Update.
Can't blame this loss on the coach. A healthy Sixers team just lost, at home, to a Blazers team without their best player and both of their centers. There were no major coaching gaffes down the stretch and the Sixers "best" lineup was on the floor during crunch time. Maybe the loss of Andre Miller hurt the Sixers more than we thought -- he dominated tonight.
Here's the breakdown of the "Big Five":
Despite the smooth line Jrue posted in the box score (10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists on 4-7 shooting) he did not play well. He had four turnovers -- at least two came on terrible passes -- and his vaunted defense was Lou-like at times. He did lock down Andre Miller in the fourth, and did an okay job on Steve Blake (lost him a couple times on screens and late rotations), but he had no chance guarding Jerryd Bayless tonight. Bayless blew by Jrue at will resulting in easy layups or a trip to the line. Jrue was a little too aggressive and was caught gambling one too many times.
I'll admit, I had to check the box score to remind myself Lou Williams played tonight. He finished with 11 points and 7 dimes, but I never found myself saying "Great move Lou!" or "Great pass Lou!" I don't know what else to say. More often than not Lou's stats are just that -- stats -- empty stats. There's a reason his minutes are dwindling. I didn't pay too close attention to Lou's defense, but him and Iverson were torched by Andre Miller all night. However; he did accumulate the best +/- of the night, so he must be good!
Typical Andre Iguodala game. He did all he could.
23 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 8-14 shooting, and nice defense all night.
Thad was terrible again. He was 3-12 from the floor, and only grabbed 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes. He makes absolutely no impact in a game unless he scores 20+ points. There was a play in this game where the Sixers had a 2 on 1 fastbreak, Lou set up Thad for a wide open slam, and Thad clanked it off the rim. That basically sums up my feelings on Thad Young.
Speights only played 12 minutes tonight. He didn't play much defense. He shot almost every time he touched the ball and finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.