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The Magic are good, the Sixers are not; final score: a lot to a little

  • Overall, the best thing we can do as Sixers fans, is completely forget about this game, and look ahead to the home-opener against the Bucks on Friday. That said, if this team doesn't get chewed the (bleep) out on the way home, we're in big trouble, and the John Wall watch will officially begin.
  • Sam Dalembert had an interesting game. He came out and took four shots in the first four minutes including an 18-foot hook shot, a dribble-drive and a long jumper. Then, right before he was subbed out he had back-to-back blocks on Dwight Howard. He is a decent shooter from the perimeter, but he needs to refrain from taking shots unless he's wide open. He had two fouls at halftime, picked up three straight to start the second half, and sat with five for the rest of the game.
  • Lou Williams scored 10 points in the first quarter, and looked good doing so, but he was torched on the defensive end. He got left in the dust by a basic Jameer Nelson crossover, he failed to get out on the three-pointer for the entire game, and his double-teams on Dwight Howard were absolutely worthless. (This is something I complained about during the playoffs.) If you are going to double, don't walk over and weakly put up your arms; force the ball out of the guy's hands and hope the D rotates or foul him. The last thing you want is for the guy you're doubling to take an easy shot like he's shooting over a 6-foot garden gnome. 
  • Princeton Offense, where are you? The offensive sets looked the same to me.
  • The perimeter defense still sucks. If the Sixers are going to go anywhere -- this year, or in the future -- they are going to have to defend the three. I'm not a defensive expert or anything, but it seems like their rotations are slow, and when they do rotate, they don't run at the shooter hard enough. I realize the harder you run at them, the more likely they are to drive right by you, but there's normally help in the paint, and dunk is worth less than an open three-pointer. In the NBA you cannot just jog at the shooter and clap your hands to distract them (This is what I do when I play) like this is some pick-up game at Mission Hills Park.
  • Speaking of defense, the Sixers defense can be described in one word: uninspired. 
  • Elton Brand, or Elton Evans as I was calling him during the pre-season, looked slightly below-average, which is better than I expected. I expected him to come out and look like my grandpa. The explosiveness is gone, but he is still capable of making a fadeaway and playing okay defense. Regardless of how much Elton has lost physically, he has a high basketball IQ, and that makes him better than Reggie Evans -- unfortunately, it's close.
  • Andre Iguodala was non-existent. He aired his first jumper, barely grazed the rim on the second, had a signature "1 for 2" from the foul-line, missed a technical free throw (which he shouldn't be taking anyway) and turned the ball over on fancy pass attempts. He also played some uncharacteristically bad defense on a few fast breaks.  
  • The first five off the bench, in order, were: Speights, Carney, Smith, Kapono, Green.
  • This should surprise no one, but Bill Green is awful. The offense was the most stagnant when he was in the game. A specific play sums up Bill Green's night: Green dribbling at the top of the key, Thad calling for the ball to start the offense, Green still dribbling, Thad calls a little louder, Green still dribbling, Thad starts jumping up and down, Green still dribbling, Thad rips his right arm and hurls it at Green, Green finally passes the ball with about 7 second left in the shot clock. 
  • The Sixers lone bright spot was Marreese Speights. He rebounded better than normal, he played decent/good defense, he was efficient on offense (26 points on 11 shots), and showed some passion, which was nice. He stood toe-to-toe with Dwight early in the game, and even participated in a "let's see how close our faces can get without touching" match. If he rebounds and plays defense like he did tonight, he'll be a very important part of the Sixers this season. I told my buddy the other day that I believe M16 is the most talented player on the Sixers roster, and I stand by that. Please, please, please play stay consistent on defense.
  • The game was over at halftime. It was the perfect time to play Jrue Holiday, but he was inactive. Wah-Wah.
  • One note on the Magic: they're good, they're deep, and they slaughtered us in every way, shape and form tonight. Congrats to them.
Player of the game: Marreese Speights

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