A road win against Orlando would normally qualify as an impressive accomplishment, but the victory came under extreme circumstances. Orlando was literally missing half their team due to either injuries or pending trades, forcing them to play Malik Allen – of all people – 22 minutes.
The Sixers still deserve credit for winning the game, given it was the second of a back-to-back on the road, and no matter how depleted the Magic were, they still had Dwight Howard for 40 minutes – who finished with 26 points and 20 boards. But, I'm no more impressed by this win than I was when the Sixers beat the Nets on the road a few days ago, because the roster Orlando trotted out there tonight was awful.
It's nice to see the Sixers begin their brutal eight-game road trip with a win, but for the fans out there who only care about development and the future, you best shield your eyes. The veterans – Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Lou Williams – shot a combined 21-38 from the field, and scored 65 of the team's 97 points. The rest of the team was 13-39, and scored only 32 points.
Wins are much more enjoyable when they're sparked by young guys like Holiday, Meeks, Turner, Young, and Hawes, not Elton Brand and Lou Williams.
More observations after the jump.
- For the sixth straight game the Sixers held their opponent under 42% shooting.
- Jodie Meeks has gone completely cold from beyond the arch. He was 0-3 tonight, and 3-20 in his last five games.
- Jrue Holiday was invisible for the the majority of game, and played only 22 minutes. He finished with 5 points on 7 shots, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.
- Spencer Hawes had his worst game in while, fouling out in 26 minutes. He finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 turnovers, and was man-handled by Dwight all night. In Hawes' defense, Howard eats most opposing centers alive – Spencer was just another victim.
- Louis Williams had his best game of the season. He played 30 minutes for only the fourth time all year, and scored 24 points on 9 shots. His 2.7 points per shot is about as efficient as you'll ever see from a guard, and it was because he was able to get to the line 14 times. He had his way with the Orlando defense the entire night, finishing with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and only 1 turnover.
- Mo Speights scored 7 points on 7 shots tonight, played bad defense, and only grabbed one rebound. Most – if not all – of his field goal attempts were (ill-advised) jumpers.
- Andre Iguodala was a beast, doing all his normal Iguodala-things (defense, fast breakin'), and for once his jump shot was wet. He was hitting fadeaways, step-backs, threes, you name it. He'd reach superstar status if he shot like this consistently.
- Evan Turner played 9 minutes and was aggressive on offense! He took 5 shots during his nine-minute run, but only made one. Four of the five were jump shots, which all happened to miss ... badly. His only make was a drive to the basket where it appeared the ball was stripped from him, but he recovered and made a two-foot floater. Not the best showing from Turner, but at least he was aggressive on offense. Baby steps.