Just two days ago the Sixers were in serious danger of missing the Playoffs altogether, but two straight wins has given them a three game lead on the Milwaukee Bucks with just eight games remaining. With a soft schedule upcoming, the Sixers look like a sure bet for either the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference
Toronto had beaten the Sixers by 20+ points a week ago and the Sixers were playing on the road, where they've struggled lately. Neither mattered, as the Sixers finished the game with only four turnovers and 53 percent shooting.
The Raptors were without their best player in Andrea Bargnani, fielding a team full of average players and D-Leaguers. Despite the discrepancy in talent, the Raptors hung with the Sixers for much of the first three quarters, before the Sixers turned out the lights in the fourth.
As usual, the Sixers enjoyed contributions across the board and the newly-emplyed night shift continued their sparkling play from a night earlier. Thaddeus Young scored 17 points on 8-12 shooting, Lou had 10 on four shots and Spencer Hawes Stone Cold Stunned his way to 10 points, four boards, two assists and four blocked shots.
A couple more observations after the jump.
- Nikola Vucevic played very well during his 20 minute run as a starter. He finished with 12 points (on nine shots), five rebounds and three assists. For a rookie, he always appears calm and confident in his role. He can step out and hit a jumper and is probably the Sixers best offensive threat from the post – as sad as that is. He's also a tougher rebounder and defender than Spencer Hawes.
- Jrue Holiday had a solid game with eight points, seven rebounds, seven assists and zero turnovers. He attacked the basket a few more times than usual.
- Jodie Meeks is 8-34 from beyond since his seven-3 game. Orestes weeps.
- I don't know what happened to Spencer Hawes since he got benched, and it could just be a case of going against guys like Jordan Williams and Aaron Gray, but he's balled out in the last two games. He's doing it on both ends and played like the Wight Howard we knew and loved early this season. I wouldn't put too much stock into these two games, though.
- Sugar Bear racked up a cool 11 points and eight boards.
- Evan Turner had a few nice moments during his 24 minutes off the bench. He finished with six points, eight boards and six assists. As always, he's a strong rebounder and a much better player with the ball in his hands. Also, neat new shooting sleeve for the Villain.