With just two days remaining in the regular season, only 3/5 of the Sixers regular starting lineup made the trip to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks. Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Thaddeus Young stayed at home and Louis Williams hung out on the bench, allowing some of the role players to play major roles in the outcome against a mostly second string Bucks squad.
No players took advantage of this opportunity more than the on-and-off-again starters of the second half of the season; Evan Turner and Jodie Meeks. Evan looked determined not to let any offensive possession end without him having some kind of a roll in the outcome, whether it be by way of assist or shot. I took him an absurd amount of shots to do it (29) but Evan notched a career high 29 points to go along with 13 rebounds (why he was allowed to have the ball) and 6 assists to put together a very "Evan Turner" type line. What was disheartening from his game tonight was that Evan didn't get to the line a single time during the regular flow of the offense (his free throws came from the Bucks playing the foul game at the end). Evan was falling in love with the mid-range jumpshot a little too much for my liking tonight. While he was hitting at 50% clip all night, that number isn't likely to be sustainable, so getting to the rack becomes an imperative part for being an all around threat.
Despite the lack of free throws, it was great to see Evan play with as much aggressiveness as he did. Was it that the fear of being pulled wasn't there? Could be. All I know is that Evan put the offense on his back (doe) tonight and was the focal point of just about every possession on that end of the floor.
Also showing up to the part (Orestes made sure he was invited) was Jodie Meeks. I wasn't quite sure if the player I was seeing out on the floor was Jodie. There was a Sixer player with the number 20 on the back of his jersey getting to the basket and even getting to the free throw line. Jodes got himself to the line 9 times for the game and connected on 8 of those attempts. Not only was he doing the unusual, but Jodie decided he's bring back "M33KS" for the first time in what seems like 20 games. Jodie dropped three jumpers from beyond the arc, prompting his BOSSness to tell Jodie "Stand right there all night, bro." Jodie ended the night just behind Evan with 27 points (on 19 shots) had his name spelled wrong on the CSN bottom line for his reward (Jody Meeks). His defense was suspect per usual but Jodie had himself a nice showing that his dad, and ours as a blog, can be proud of.
While Turner and Meeks were most of the team tonight, some other guys got some burn too. Check them out after the jump.
- Xavier Silas, friend of Liberty Ballers, made his NBA debut in which he looked a little shaky to start. His first half stats were 0-3 with a turnover but he turned it around in the second a half. Savior (new Linsanity) hit both shot attempts in the second half and gave it his all defensively. I tend to cheer for Silas more than I probably should so I'm happy that he got a couple field goals in his first game. Also, Collins awarded Silas with the team's Ace of Spades honor tonight.
- Spencer Hawes was not good at all tonight. In his 27 minutes, Spence missed 10 shots and it's not like he barely missed them either. He had a chance, against a depleted Bucks frontline, to put together a nice statical night that might fool a GM into giving him more than he's worth. He did just about as much of the opposite as possible.
- Craig Brackins was all about making up for the time he spent on the bench this season. Brackins did his best Mareesse Speights impression and jacked up two jumpers as soon as he entered the game, missing both of them. The Brackins was unleashed, and the result was about what everyone expected (1-6 for 2 points, 3 boards, 2 assists).
- Jrue Holiday didn't get involved very much in the offense but had active hands defensively, totaling 5 steals on the night. Just to end the season in style (he'll sit out tomorrow's game in Detroit), Jrue threw down one of his patented open court lefty dunks. One particular play that stood out was when he found Evan for an easy dunk in transition, in which Jrue smiled from ear to ear afterwards. When Jrue is the happy, the world is at peace.
- MVPs of the Game Thread have to go to soman319 and TwistyWristy for their impeccable Destiny's Child Remixes (Sixer Themed). This is what happens during the end of the regular season.
- Tony Battie played 10 minutes. We all collectively strangled ourselves for 10 minutes. Coincidence?
- What do you think Iguodala, Brand, and Thad talked about when they watched the game at Dre's bungalow? My guess is how sore EB is from his intense Zumba class this morning.
- BOSS had to have borrowed the suit coat he wore tonight from Lavoy Allen. That thing was way too big. Or maybe he needs such a big coat because it's the only thing that will cover his enormous SWAG.
- Aaron Rodgers was at the game. It was a nice little surprise for this little boy. Evan took a picture with him afterwards and posted it to Instagram so I can stare at it 24/7.
- The Sixers ended the season winning my last two game threads after they only won 3 all season. Funny that when it doesn't matter if they win/lose, they win.
Tomorrow is the last game of the regular season and it's against the Detroit Pistons. The Knicks barely knocked off the Clippers so they still control the 7th seed. The Sixers will "clinch" the 8th seed with either a loss or a Knicks win against the Bobcats. If I know this team like I think I do, they'll win by 20+ tomorrow and the Knicks will just forfeit leaving the Sixers to match-up with the Heat in the first round.