Once again the Sixers hung tough with a superior opponent, and once again they fell short, falling to 2-7 on the season. The Mavericks lead virtually the entire game with a couple Sixers runs here and there. Then, in the fourth quarter the Mavs turned it up a notch, stretching their three point lead to 14 within a matter of minutes.
For all you #missionBJ fans this is good news – another hard-fought game with flashes of brilliance from Jrue Holiday, ending in a loss and another ping pong ball. The Sixers will finish the night tied for the second worst record in the NBA.
Observations after the jump.
- After a slow start to the season Jrue Holiday is beginning to hit his stride. The past six games, including tonight, he's averaging 16+ points, 9+ assists, 1.8 steals, 2.6 turnovers and percentages of 49/39/76. He's head-and-shoulders above any other Sixer in terms of running the offense, so naturally the Sixers stall in the half-court when he's on the bench.
- Holiday recorded 13 assists tonight in a variety of ways: drawing the defense with penetration and kicking to the open man, crisp backdoor passes, risky passes in heavy traffic, etc. Some of the passes he made were unbelievable, and ones that only a handful of guys can make. He still makes the occasional lazy pass and gets sloppy with the ball at times, but that'll happen when you're running an NBA team as a 20 year-old.
- It's not just Holiday's court vision and passing that make the offense click, it's his ability to hit a spot up jumper every now and then, keeping the defense honest.
- Like last year, Jrue continues to show flashes of great defense, but he lacks consistency. He made some bad decisions going under screens tonight, and got burned because of them. JJ Barea also torched him too many times for my liking. Just because he's killing it on offense doesn't mean he gets a free pass on D.
- Andre Iguodala returned from his strained right achilles tonight, and looked far from 100%, until his POSTERIZATION of Brian Cardinal.
- Iguodala was okay in his return. He scored 13 on 13 shots, grabbed 7 boards and had 4 assists. He still takes and misses too many jumpers.
- Having Holiday, Turner and Iguodala on the floor at the same time helped the Sixers weak half-court offense because all three can create for themselves and each other pretty well. As the season goes along, Turner and Holiday develop and Iguodala gets healthy, this trio could be deadly on both ends.
- Elton Brand had by far his worst game of the season. He was completely non-existent on offense outside of back-to-back wet jumpers. And Haywood/Chandler killed him (among others) on the glass.
- Turner was bad offensively, but lead the team in defensive rebounds and D'd up his man pretty well. On offense he was passive and may have been affected by Iguodala's return. The ball was in Iguodala's hands a lot, which means less ball time for Turner.
- Mo Speights was bad, really bad.
- Lou Williams only played 9 minutes. The shoulder must have been bothering him, because he didn't look like himself.
- Meeks played 17 minutes and only scored because he shot two technical free throws.
- Ed Stefanski filled for Eric Snow as the color guy tonight and apparently has a future in the business.