Tony Wroten Wins, Sixers Lose to Pelicans Because Defense is Optional

JUST WATCH - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The first half was fun. The second half was not. 121-105 Pellies.

With Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten returning for a home game against a struggling Pelicans team, it seemed like the Sixers had a good shot at winning this one and reigning in that New Orleans first rounder a bit more -- not the case. The Sixers still don't do much in the way of team defense, and the Pelicans capitalized by hitting wide open jumpers and scoring 121 points.

Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, and holy hell Anthony Davis all played great basketball games -- beating the Sixers inside and out, on the boards and in the open court, getting into passing lanes, and stopping them at the rim. Sixers just don't like covering people. It's a philosophical issue more than a talent one. New Orleans is a good basketball team that is only going to get better. I am pleased for their likeable bunch, though don't love the devaluing of that Sixers-owned first rounder much.

Anyway so they lost. Michael Carter-Williams played badly. Jrue and others forced him into bad shots and bad passes. He had a double-double (10 and 10) but it was an ugly, ugly night for him. Spence was alright, slowed a bit by injury, but a fine 12-9-3 for the big fella. Thad, an uglyish 15-12-4.

Evan Turner also had a good game, rare against former BFFs of his (remember Dre?) -- he went to the basket, absorbed contact, and hit open jumpers. Only a few ugly Evan shots tonight. Most importantly, he hit some threes. He finished 9-15 (3-3 beyond) with 22 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists. Getting awfully close to trading him.

But for real, tonight was about Tony Wroten. Kid can throw down, kid can flip in some crafties, kid can make the dirty pass. Just let Wroten be Wroten. He's as enjoyable as a fire extinguisher that's going off on its own volition. Bring your poncho, watch it all happen. In his first game back from lower back soreness, the GOAT had a career-high 24 points on 13 shots.

Other whatevers:

  • James Anderson at one point took three three-pointers from the same spot on the same possession. He missed all of them. It was Sixers.
  • Daniel Orton did not play. We dunno why yet.
  • A few dunks from Thad and Lavoy, which is kinda rare and nice to see.
  • Eric Gordon is so much more fun when he's playing. Feel like that needed to be said.
  • No tribute for Jrue. Huh.
  • The Arizona-Duke game was excellent. This Nova-Kansas game is pretty great so far too. College ball, guys.
  • MORE JEFF WITHEY, PELICANS, COME ON.
  • Maybe it's because I just enjoy this team on principle, but I quite like Elliot Williams. Obviously Hollis Thompson too. Williams has a chance to be actually good with his athleticism, his jumper, and his cute left-handedness.
  • And how much fun is Brandon Davies?
  • This was my first game thread loss of the season. That's inexcusable. Dave and Tanner remain the only undefeateds.

The Bird Writes for more. Happy Friday, ladies. Go have fun with a vice or six. Sixers at Detroit on Sunday.

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