Sixers lose to Grizzlies, continue limp into All-Star break

Feb 21, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) looks to shoot against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

I slept on the game, and the write-up is probably different than what it would have been had I done it immediately after the game.

The game sucked. Collins made a mistake going with Nocioni, one that we all questioned when it was announced. The offense was putrid to start. The experiment failed. Lou Williams was horrible, and has been for 3 games. Evan Turner failed to capitalize on his chance in the third quarter. Jodie Meeks continues to give you virtually nothing. The bench as a whole stank. Iguodala didn't score in the second half.

Yeah, the long jumpers were frustrating. The 8 free throw attempts even more-so. The Sixers shot 35 shots beyond 16 feet to the Grizzlies 26. The Grizzlies attempted 29 free throws to the Sixers 8. If you want your game in a nutshell, that was it.

But this is who the Sixers are. This is who they were when they were winning. This team doesn't have the talent or mindset to play like the Grizzlies. They don't have a post-up threat like Marc Gasol or a perimeter slasher like Rudy Gay. This is why the Sixers aren't championship contenders. We knew that coming into the season, and it should have been evident even when they were dominating teams.

Right now, this team looks tired and beaten down offensively. Shots they were previously making are hitting front rim. Ball movement has slowed. Passes aren't as crisp. They need this break in the worst way.

  • Jrue Holiday's run in the second quarter was at least fun to watch. He scored 13 straight points for the Sixers to pull them back. On the plus side, he's scored 42 points over the last two games, shooting 50% from the field. On the negative, he hasn't drawn contact and gotten to the line in his last 38 field goal attempts. His shot distribution the past two games has been alright, he just doesn't draw contact. Never really has. This is a legit concern for me.
  • Lou Williams was horrible. Flat out horrible. Decision making, execution. "Always has the confidence to take the next shot". I'm sick of that phrase.
  • Credit to Marreese Speights for attacking Nocioni in the post rather than settle for 18 footers, which isn't a given for Speights. He scored 3 buckets early in the first quarter taking Nocioni down low, his only made field goals of the game.
  • The team as a whole was sluggish to start the game, including after the subs game in.
  • The lineup was clearly a mistake with Memphis' size. The look in the third quarter was substantially different.
  • Would have been nice to see Turner capitalize on his third quarter run, wouldn't it? Turner gave Collins no reason to make the lineup change permanent. He hasn't scored in double figures since February 4th, averaging 5.5 points in over 20 minutes per game on 36% from the field in February. I'm sick of excuses. Produce.
  • Props to Lavoy Allen, who was the only one besides Battie who had a prayer of playing physical with the Grizzlies front court.
  • Shame on Marshall Harris for picking Andres Nocioni before the game as his standout star. Andres Nocioni, really? And you're paid to talk about the Sixers?
Let's get a win at Houston and go into the break with some reason to hold our heads up high. Jrue's going to have his hands full defending Kyle Lowry on the pick and roll. Lowry has scored 56 points on 30 shots the last two games and is one of the best pick and roll players in the league with his speed and ability to shoot off the screen.

Regardless of what happens, the Sixers will enter the All-Star break in first place in the Atlantic. Remind yourself of that, and remember that nobody had championship aspirations for this team before the season.

Player of the game: Jrue Holiday
Next up: @Rockets, 8 PM tonight.
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