Last night looked like it was going to be bad.
Maybe not Minnesota bad, and maybe not the first Pistons game bad, the two low points of the short season so far, but bad nonetheless.
The 76ers were content shooting lon jump shot after long jump shot. Meanwhile, the Pistons were getting to the line at an alarming rate. At the end of the first half, the Pistons had more made free throws that field goals, yet led the 76ers 49-46.
Then all-star hopeful Jrue Holiday came back, not that player we had seen the previous 3 games, and all was well in 76ers land. Holiday scored 21 points and dished out 4 assists in the second half alone, leading a second half surge that was a joy to watch, and mostly covered up the sloppy basketball we had to endure during the first half. Holiday's jump shot with 39 seconds left capped part of
6 4 straight points by Holiday and gave the 76ers a 5 point lead that essentially iced the game.
Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young kept the 76ers in the game in the first half, scoring 9 and 10 points, respectively. Some would have you believe Hawes did his part as well, as he scored 15 points and pulled down 8 rebounds in the contest. He even blocked 3 shots!
The 76ers started the second half off on a 14-0 run, turning a 3 point half-time deficit into an 11 point lead. A quick, inexplicable 8-0 run by the Pistons brought them right back, making it a close game from there on out.
What was encouraging to me, and why we ended up getting the good Jrue Holiday over the one we had the last few games, was his shot selection. In the second half, it appeared Holiday made a concerted effort to get the ball into the paint and take his man off the dribble. That spin move he put on Andrew Drummond was a thing of beauty.
The 76ers had 28 shots at the rim compared to only 24 from 16-23', a reversal of the trend from the last few games. The 76ers are 7-3 when they have more field goal attempts at the rim than they do from 16-23'.
Evan Turner made another corner 3 point shot attempt, which is quickly becoming his second favorite spot on the floor. Turner is now shooting an even 14-28 (50%) on corner three point attempts this season, after shooting a combined 12-40 (30%) during his first two seasons.
Your +/- leaders so far on the season are Thaddeus Young (+77), Jason Richardson (+44), Jrue Holiday (+11) and Lavoy Allen (+6). They are the only 76ers in the positive. Maalik Wayns (-49), Spencer Hawes (-70), and Dorell Wright (-91) are on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The 76ers have now won the rebounding battle for 4 straight games, after having lost it in 7 of their previous 8. While they didn't do an appreciably better job of keeping Detroit off the offensive glass last night (they gave up a 30.4% offensive rebounding percentage to Detroit last night, compared to 30.8% in their first game), the 76ers did a much better job getting offensive rebounds themselves (33.3% copmared to the 19.6% rate in the first meeting between the two teams.
Player of the game: Jrue Holiday: 25 points (11-20), 8 assists, 5 rebounds
Next up: Wednesday, at home, against Chicago.