There's no two ways about this one, this was a bad loss, and sets the Sixers up poorly for their New Years Eve showdown with the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night.
Against a struggling Jazz team that was without Al Jefferson due to an inflamed right ankle, which paved the way for the second year Favors to have a career night against the team that passed him up, the Sixers fumbled their way into blowing a 13 point second quarter lead. Utah went on a 27-12 run to end the first half, setting the Sixers up for their disappointing defeat.
The bench, which had lifted a heavy burden the first two games of the season, sputtered for the Sixers in this one, hurt in part by a bad matchup for Thaddeus Young going against Utah's size. Louis Williams did score 20 points on 12 shots, with 5 assists to only one turnover, although a very questionable 3 point attempt late in the game and a point blank miss that could have tied the game soured his game somewhat. The rest of the bench, particularly Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, were largely missing in action. Young contributed only 9 points on 8 shots, with 1 measely rebound in nearly 19 minutes of play, and Turner was held scoreless on 0-5 shooting with a turnover in 18 minutes.
Some thoughts after the jump on what was a very disappointing Sixers loss.
- Jrue Holiday snapped out of his funk, at least in terms of scoring. His 22 points on 15 shots came on a wide variety of moves, most exciting of which was his strong attempts in the paint. Still not getting it done as a play maker, though, and it'll be interesting to see what adjustments Collins makes as the season goes forward, if any.
- Remember Evan Turner initiating the offense with the second unit? That seems to have stopped after one game. The past two games it has been almost exclusively Louis Williams initiating the half court sets with the second unit.
- In a related note, ball movement today was not good. Too much dribbling, too little movement.
- There were some bad calls, definitely. The Sixers should have been able to overcome that against this team.
- This probably goes without saying, but Derrick Favors had a really good game, and is showing more and more offensive potential. I was a Derrick Favors fan, thinking he was clearly ahead of DeMarcus Cousins as #3 on my big board, but he looked even better than I was expecting.
- Evan Turner, on the other hand, looked awful. Hopefully it's just an off game, because he seemed to have a start of the season going that he could build off of.
- At some point, Iguodala's jumper has to come back to earth, right? I don't see anything structurally different about it, but the results are vastly superior than they have been at any point in his career.
- Elton Brand with 12 shots to score 12 points, while only grabbing 4 defensive boards in 29 minutes? Hasn't registered a good game yet. Then again, he is playing next to Spencer Hawes, so there aren't many defensive rebounds left.
- Speaking of Spencer, after quieting down during the second and third quarters he made some big shots down the stretch and gave good effort. Would have been nice to convert, or coral and go back up, that tip, though. And where was he on that Gordon Hayward pick and roll late in the game? 38 rebounds in 3 games, though.
- I'd ask why Jodie Meeks continues to start, and in another 2 weeks that may be a legitimate question, but tonight wasn't the game.