Let's get one thing out of the way: tonight was not a moral victory. There are no moral victories - there are only losses. That's what tonight was for the Sixers. A loss.
With that said, tonight went a lot better for the Sixers than originally expected. Coming into this game, it was clear the Spurs were the better team. They rank 5th in offensive rating and 4th in defensive rating. They had a 32-11 record. It was also clear the Sixers aren't good. They were 3-7 in their last 10 and were struggling to score or play defense well.
I was prepared to write an obituary for the Sixers chances in tonight's game. I would talk about how the Sixers hopes of winning this game rested in the Basement of the Alamo. I'd explain how that was a somewhat vague reference to a scene in a Pee-Wee Herman movie, and that it's topical because the Alamo is located in San Antonio, which is where the Spurs play. I might have made a note about Dave Rueter might enjoy this joke, but I'm not really sure. I'd mention the time Malik Rose made a "basement of the Alamo" joke one time in a Sixers game. It would have made for a fun part of the recap. It's a shame it didn't happen.
Instead, the Sixers surprised us and played better than we expected. For all of the 10 Sixers fans watching the game on national TV (I'm still not sure why this game was scheduled to be nationally televised), I think they'd agree.
It didn't start out that way, though. Long two point attempts and highly questionable defense from the Sixers allowed the Spurs to jump out to a 49-35 lead at the half. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the Spurs pick and roll offense wreaked havoc on the Sixers. It looked like the Sixers had no chance of winning this game. Things changed when there was a Sixers run late in the 3Q and into the 4Q. The Sixers actually took a 7 point lead at one point and looked like they could really win this game. The Spurs, who were probably bored, looked disinterested and the Sixers took advantage. It also helped that the Spurs were missing a number of good, wide open looks. Out of character for them.
It wouldn't last. Multiple terrible offensive series from the Sixers ensued. Long two pointers reigned and turnovers ensued. Had the Sixers been able to capitalize on those possessions, they feasibly could have come away with the W tonight.
But they didn't.
I wrote in the game preview:
If the comeback win against Toronto is going to serve as a turning point for the season as some might suggest, the Sixers have to go out and prove it tonight.
...and they did have a chance to prove it, despite the horrible first half. They blew a good opportunity to get back on the right track. It won't get easier with the next 3 games coming against the Bucks, Knicks, and Grizzlies either. They could easily lose all 3 of them.
Welcome to your 2012-2013 Sixers. Fan Population: 10.
- Evan Turner had himself a nice night. He had 18 pts (15 shots) 12 rebs and 7 assists.
- Spencer Hawes wasn't as bad as he can be (GASP!). He finished with 16 on 12 shots and was a part of that run that helped put the Sixers up. I thought his defense was better than I expected it to be against Tim Duncan at times.
- TNT showed Doug Collins tell the team "He's OK with them taking a 20ft jumper..." which was much to Sixers fan's chagrin. He then finished saying "...but we need to attack the basket." The Sixers did get closer looks a bit after that, and that contributed to the run they went on.
- Tim Duncan (my favorite NBA player of all time) and Tony Parker are still very good. Too bad they don't play for the Sixers.
- Swaggy P's new haircut. He also helped spark the late run by sprinkling some swag sauce all over it.
- Spurs FT: 19-26. Sixers FT: 7-11. That's just not going to cut it.
Jrue Holiday had 1 FTA the WHOLE GAME. Ugh. He also had an inefficient 15 points on 20 shots and 6 turnovers to go with his 8 assists. He struggled with Parker, too.
Dorell Wright started in place of an injured Jason Richardson (knee) and was 1-5. He missed a pair of back to back wide open corner 3's at one point. He has to make that shot. It's why he's on the floor.
- Charles Barkley said a billion times on the TNT broadcast that the Sixers shouldn't re-sign Andrew Bynum in the off-season. File this under "Reasons Why The Sixers Should Absolutely Re-Sign Andrew Bynum This Off-Season".
- Speaking of the big guy, here's a mini update on him.
- Lavoy Allen is now using ARWL's photoshop as his Twitter avatar and changed his Twitter name accordingly as well. Big ups to ARWL!
- Shelvin Mack actually played a little.
- DNP - Kwame Brown, Arnett Moultrie, Jason Richardson
- Complete Spurs vs 76ers coverage here
- SA perspective - Pounding The Rock
Up Next: @ Bucks 1/22/13 - 8 PM EST. Second of a back to back, which will be tough.
In honor of MLK Jr. Day, I leave you with a quote:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."