After the Indiana Pacers (48-17) ran out to a 9-0 lead to start things off against the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night, tonight's game had the look of a 25-point blowout. Except that it never came to be.
The Sixers (15-50) fought like a team full of players on 10-day contracts (which isn't too far removed from the truth), and put together a pretty decent effort for a team on a 19-game losing streak. While the loss will go down as another disappointing result in a disappointing campaign, there are a few important takeaways from the 76ers' showing against the Pacers:
Thaddeus Young and the good game that wasn't: Young led the Sixers with 25 points (with 10 assists and six rebounds for good measure), but he needed a healthy 31 shots to put up those numbers. He also had his shot blocked five times on the night - all in all, it was a rough night for the 76ers' captain.
Despite missing ALL OF THE SHOTS, the Sixers had a legit chance to win tonight: Twice, they cut the lead to 3 witn less than five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but they were never able to get over the hump. There may not have been a hump had they not shot 39 percent as a team on the evening.
Homecoming Weekend didn't go quite the way we expected it to: All eyes were on Evan Turner as he made his return to the city of Philadelphia, but he was largely inconsequential tonight (two points on 1-for-4 shooting, four rebounds, four assists). The same can't be said for Lavoy Allen: After playing just 13 minutes for the Pacers heading into tonight's game, Allen scored 13 points during a 17-minute run.
Sometimes, the Sixers played good defense. And then, there were other times: For the eight time this year, the Sixers forced at least 22 turnovers in a game. Part of that is due to the increased pace, but part of it is due to active hands in the passing lanes and gambling on defense. That said, when you gamble on defense, you tend to give up a lot of open shots: The Pacers shot 58 percent from the field tonight.
First, there was the Jordan Flu Game. Now, there is the Wroten Shoe Game: Tony Wroten's shoe exploded. This is an actual thing that happened. Jake Pavorsky said that they were the Jordan Cherry 10s, whatever that means.
Byron Mullens was a thing for a while tonight: BJ Mullens led all scorers in the first half with 12 points. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds and was tied for a team-low with a -1. Conversely, Roy Hibbert and Luis Scola combined for 13 points and six rebounds. I can't explain it, either.
Only nine players saw action tonight: Brandon Davies is still injured, Eric Maynor... is not that good, and we'll have to wait a little while longer before Darius Johnson-Odom makes his Sixers' debut. What about Arnett Moultrie, you ask? Well, it looks like he's headed down to Delaware.
It might be a while until the next win: The Sixers' upcoming schedule looks like this: MEM, at IND, CHI, NYK, at CHI, at SAS, at HOU. There MAY be a win or two in the bunch, but no more than that.
Let's do this again tomorrow, kids.