Following a tough loss to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night the Sixers were in need of a bounce-back victory to maintain their first place pace, which is why their eyes lit up when they saw the Wizards on the schedule – twice in two nights. In the first of a home-and-home, back-to-back with the last place Wizards the Sixers won handily at the Wells Fargo Center, by a final score of 120-89 en route to their eighth win of the season.
There's not much analysis to be done in this one. The Sixers led from start to finish and all but buried the Wizards in the third quarter – leading by as many as 34 – as they do against most bad teams. They saw the Wizards trim their lead to 16 about mid-way through the fourth – which Coach Collins was not pleased about – but turned the jets on once more and ended up winning by 31.
One theme I took from tonight's game – and it may be a non-issue – is the intensity of Doug Collins. The only reason I bring it up is because of the stories we've all heard about Doug eventually wearing out his welcome with teams for being too intense and too hard on his players. Well, tonight Doug yanked Jrue Holiday from the game after one minute of play because Jrue committed two turnovers, and later yanked Jrue again for another miscue. Collins was also furious early in the fourth when the Sixers seemed poised to blow their large lead. Now me personally, I like the intensity and the short leash Doug has with his players, especially Jrue. Jrue is still extremely young and an important piece of this franchise's future, so now is not the time for him to become lazy, cocky or anything of that nature. I haven't been too pleased with his apparent lax play at times this year, so I like seeing Doug put his foot down. And what coach wouldn't be pissed about his team blowing a 34 point lead? Like I said, I have no problem with Doug; I'm just pointing out the first signs of Collins potentially "wearing out his welcome" sometime down the road, which he has a history of doing. It's nothing to fret about at the moment, but something to keep an eye on.
As for the game itself, it's difficult to find anything the Sixers did wrong. They shot 55 percent from the floor, hit 12 threes (in 18 attempts), and had seven players score in double figures. Jodie Meeks was the star of the game, hitting 10-11 shots (6-7 from deep) for 26 points. He also accumulated a game high +/- of +36. Hawes had a double-double in his return. Turner finished with an all-around 12 points, 5 boards and 4 assists. And Lou had 19 points, 6 assists. Andres Nocioni even got into the action with a late three pointer.
Side note: Each game I fall more and more in love with Malik Rose as a color commentator. MEEKdonalds, everybody! Another side note, "The Executioner" Bernard Hopkins was asked who he likes on the Sixers during an in-game interview with Meredith Marakovits and his response, after stumbling for a few seconds was "Eye-donna". It's pretty clear he was trying to pronounce Iguodala, and it's also pretty clear he had no idea where he was during the interview. Nice try, B-Hop.
Player of the Game: Jodie M333333ks
Up Next: @Washington tomorrow night