It was a surprisingly fast start for the Sixers. Out of the 43 games played this year, the Sixers had only finished the 1st quarter with a lead 10 times. They were 9-1 in those games. Clearly that bode well for the Liberty Ballers. A 5 point Sixers lead at the end of the 1Q evolved into a 12 point lead at the end of the first half, and then after an explosive run in the 3Q the game was all but over. Garbage time ensued and the Sixers came out victorious with a much needed victory at home.
I can't stress enough how awesome last night was.
Seriously, it couldn't have gotten much better. The Sixers won. The Knicks lost. All those silly Knicks fans at WFC (hello, Spike Lee) got sent home early after watching their favorite team get obliterated right in front of their eyes.
And the man largely responsible for these glorious acts? None other than the man, the myth, the legend, the lover of fruity pebbles... Jrue Holiday. The recently named All Star put on a peformance to remember with a career high scoring mark of 35 points along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. His single turnover came on a half-hearted behind the back pass when the game was already over. I'll overlook that one, Jrue. He wasn't too shabby on defense either. Jrue held Raymond Felton (who returning from injury) to a mere 8 points on 8 shots.
Jrue found success in a multitude of ways. Whether it was creating an open look for a team mate by driving to the hoop, getting to the rack for high percentage shots with the possibility of drawing a foul, or hitting tough shots with his syrupy sweet jumper, the Knicks did not have an answer for him.
Looking at the bigger picture... last night was the kind of game that makes waiting for Andrew Bynum to return a little less difficult, even if only for a short while. The performance was therapeutic. It served as a reminder that we have a bright young talent in Jrue Holiday to look forward to for years to come. It allowed us to think about the possibility of a Holiday-Bynum connection once the big guy gets healthy. It gave us a satisfying victory over a hated opponent. It gives us hope.
- I already talked about Jrue, but Evan Turner and Nick Young each put in good performances too. They each finished with 20 points. Evan overcame a rough start that featured questionable shot selection and careless turnovers. Swaggy P hit a couple big 3's and led the team in FTA. I feel like he's been attacking the basket more lately, which is obviously a great thing.
- Spencer Hawes started for the first time this season and finished with 4 blocks. He wasn't as horrible as he could have been so I'm putting him here. Plus Zumoff called him "an underrated weak side help defender". Good one, Zu.
- Arnett Moultrie got some playing time! It was only about 4 minutes, but during that time Nick Young got fouled while shooting a 3 and made it. Coincidence? I think not - it's clear to me Moultrie's greatness makes every player on the court better the instant he steps on it.
- Holy crap the Knicks shooting was horrendous. Take a look at the Knicks starters not named Tyson Chandler... Iman Shumpert 1pt, 0-6 / Jason Kidd, 0 pts, 0-3 / Ray Felton 8 pts, 2-8 / Carmelo Anthony 25 pts, 9-28. J.R. Smith came off the bench shooting 0-8 for 0 points. Yuck yuck yuck. Give the Sixers credit for playing good defense, especially because I thought rotations looked better than they have been. But don't leave without thanking the Knicks for shooting so terribly.
- Damien Wilkins played ~21 minutes. Dorell Wright did not play at all (DNP - Doughouse). Sigh.
- Officiating wasn't great There were a number of questionable calls and the refs were way too quick to give out technical fouls. 3 were handed out with one each for Doug Collins, Royal Ivey, and Tyson Chandler.
- Doug Collins had to leave the game in the 3Q to get medical attention. Coach Curry took over for the rest of the game. Word from the Sixers beats is that he has blocked nasal passage / sinus infection. He's currently listed as day to day. Get well soon, Doug.
- Sixers beat writer Chris Vito is speculating that the Sixers may have Bynum in their long term plans based on a comment Coach Curry made in the post-game presser. Check it out for yourself.
- DNP - Kwame Brown, Dorell Wright (Doughouse), Jason Richardson (knee)
- It was an all around good day for Philly sports. Villanova beat Syracuse and the Flyers had a big win.
- New York perspective - Posting and Toasting
Up Next: Home vs Memphis Grizzlies, 7:00 PM - 1/28/13