In a fittingly weird fashion for my last game thread of the season, the Sixers pulled a win from the jaws of defeat (and the refs) over the same Indiana Pacers team that had defeated them earlier this week. In overtime no less, Doug Collins used extremely odd lineup changes to get a much needed road win, basically guaranteeing the Sixers a postseason berth.
The game was full of anomalies. The Sixers took 33 foul shots. Louis Williams had a 4-point play. The Pacers got called for a 5-second inbounds violation. There were tons of jump balls. The officiating was horrendous for both teams. Lavoy Allen only played 8 minutes, but most of them were in the waning moments of regulation. Doug Collins cursed out *someone* walking into the locker room.
But the biggest anomaly was the Sixers winning a close game in overtime.
- There's a lot to be said about Doug's rotations tonight. Most of which would be in regards to how little sense they made. But for all of the quirkiness, the Sixers got a W, so good for Doug for being creative. One thing that's completely unacceptable is having both Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams in at the same time as George Hill and Paul George. I don't know why Indy didn't go to PG more often because he's got half a foot on Jrue, but maybe it had to do with Lou covering Hill. He scored a bunch of points in a hurry, but then Lou managed to do a decent job on him. Especially later in the game, when Lou got a piece of his shot, forcing a huge miss.
- More Lou - On the same day that word got out that Lou is definitely going to opt out of his contract (but now there's this - uh oh), he played an extremely Boss game. A ton of terrible shots, some of them falling, and mostly terrible defense. But my favorite Lou play of the day was when a loose ball bounced to him when he was on the ground with 20 seconds left in overtime and he immediately touch-passed it to a streaking Jrue for a devastating breakaway layup. Also, 3 blocks. Again - a weird, weird game. (
- Jrue had himself another solid game, playing increasingly impressive defense against very different opponents. Some seriously questionable shot selection that he probably learned from Boss, but 17 points on 14 shots, 7 assists, 4 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks is certainly filling it up. A one-handed leaner going across the lane was big time also. Terrible shot, but as the School of Bossness tells us, if it goes in, it doesn't matter.
- Whatever is going through Andre Iguodala's head during foul shots must be something terrifying, because he is a horrendous foul shooter. 1-5 on the night, including an 0-2 trip in crunch time. He seems absolutely hopeless up there. I feel for the guy. Closing on 60% from the line this season. He did, however, hold Danny Granger to a 2-11 night, because he remains the best perimeter defender in the league even when he doesn't give a crap. A few nice jumpers from Dre as well.
- Lavoy got absolutely stuffed by Roy Hibbert on a dunk attempt. Lavoy got angry and pushed Roy after. Roy's big so he fell. The end.
- Jodie Meeks, Spencer Hawes, and Nikola Vucevic were all bad. Hence why Lavoy played some minutes towards the end. Spence ain't happy. He's most definitely gone next season.
- Sugar Bear. Old School Chevy. Whatever. Elton Brand matched Tyler Hansbrough midrange jumper for midrange jumper tonight. There was banging, there was bruising, and that's the way Elton likes it. It seems like he's been a better player than last year despite almost all of his stats being down a bit.
- Malik Rose said "rape" at one point. I don't remember the context.
- Someone who did play well in limited minutes was Evan Turner. He was used by Doug mostly on defense late in the game, but he didn't play at all in the 3rd quarter after doing a nice job distributing (4 assists in 17 minutes). He was whistled for a bad charge foul when Hansbrough slid under him on a nice take. Definitely should've gotten more play tonight, especially Meeks had 27 mostly worthless minutes.
- I just got a call from Dave Rueter, drunk, asking whether or not Sharone Wright should be the next in the Remember this Guy series. He had 7 slices of pizza, 4 shots, an Aquafina water, and was criticizing the pizza as being "mediocre". His fiancee Mara called him names for leaving his own birthday party early because he had too much to drink. It was pretty great.
- Thaddeus Young with 15 points on 7 shots. Some bad defense, but holy cow is he effective (awkwardly) on the offensive glass. Went to the line 8 times tonight and pulled in 5 O-boards. I wish the Sixers were good SO BADLY just so he could have infinity value as a sixth man. To better days....
- With a Milwaukee win over New Jersey (holy Brandon Jennings), the Sixers only need one win or one Bucks loss to clinch a playoff spot. Unfortunately, they are in a unique position to still match up with Miami. We'll have more on it later, but don't rule out that terrible series just yet.