March 19, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives to the basket to score during the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
After two straight games against where the Sixers offense struggled to score (against the top-2 non-Doug-Collins-coached defenses in the league), The Bobcats and their 29th ranked defense were exactly what the Sixers needed to bounce back to form.
That's not to say the game was entirely rosy, as a dreadful second quarter had the Sixers up just two at the break. But the Sixers outscored the Bobcats 59-36 in the second half en route to their third comfortable win against Charlotte this season.
Jrue Holiday led the way with 20 points on 8-13 from the field, to go along with 4 rebounds and 6 assists (5 of which were in the second half) to only 1 turnover. Thaddeus Young (20 points on 10-12 from the field), Louis Williams (19 points on 8-12 shooting), Elton Brand (16 points on 8-13) and Spencer Hawes (13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) also provided big contributions.
The game was largely a tale of two halves, both from an individual perspective and in terms of team success. Evan Turner came out strong, scoring 6 points in the first 8+ minutes of the game as the Sixers jumped out to a quick 7 point first quarter lead. Turner wouldn't score for the rest of the game, shooting only 3-11 from the field while only playing 27 minutes in the game, his lowest since becoming a starter. His minutes have dropped in 5 straight games, although he is still averaging 35+ minutes per game over the 8 game stretch.
Louis Williams and Spencer Hawes, on the other hand, came out struggling. Williams did score 9 first half points, but his two first-half turnovers were of the ugly variety, and he had a couple of other head-scratching decisions that limited his effectiveness. That being said, he was simply unguardable in the second half and really helped the Sixers expand a 10 point game into a blowout.
The star of the game, however, was Jrue Holiday, who was consistent offensively throughout the contest and shut down Charlotte's opposing point guards. Charlotte point D.J. Augustin scored just 7 points on 8 shots as Jrue Holiday did a good job of pressuring him away from the basket and preventing the Bobcats from getting into a rhythm offensively, assuming of course they are capable of that. He also carried the Sixers in the first half while they were struggling, scoring 14 on 5-6 from the field.
The Sixers flat out dominated inside. Charlotte gave up an astonishing 15 offensive rebounds on only 40 missed Sixers shots, with the Sixers outscoring the Bobcats 50-26 on points in the paint.
There's really not a whole lot to take away from this game, and the second quarter was one of the more frustrating quarters to watch. That being said, snapping a three game losing streak and righting the ship, regardless of the quality of the opponent, was key. The second half was the Sixers-against-poor-teams basketball we've come to expect, and Hawes provided a glimmer of hope in the second half. It was also nice to see Turner and Holiday flourish while on the court at the same time, even if it was only an 8 minute run in the first quarter followed by Turner going 0-fer the rest of the game.