The halfcourt heave by Andrea Bargnani turned out to matter more than it originally seemed, as these two teams played some of the worst defense seen this side of the millennium in a Philadelphia matinee. Andre Iguodala came 2 rebounds shy of a triple double, and his 5 steals demonstrated his constant activity on the defensive end. His 33 points (on only 14 shots) came one shy of his career high of three years ago. 4-7 from beyond the arc, and got to the line 14 times. Despite the evident lack of defense being played on him (by Antoine Wright, Sonny Weems or Hedo Turkoglu), his jump shot was rocking tonight. The past two weeks, as Jrue Holiday's playing time and performance have increased, Iguodala has benefited from having an actual point guard at the helm. He's such a better player when someone else is creating for him. And going back to Eddie Jordan "monitoring his minutes," he played 49 today. Way to go Eddie.
Holiday was cash. It's not a secret anymore. And it's not "showing flashes." He's flat terrific. His 3-point percentage is now over 40%, and in the past month or so he's made about half his shots. Lower the turnovers and the kid's a top 10 point guard right now. 25 points on 12 shots, 7 assists with only one turnover. You're watching a phenomenal player develop.
In addition to the horrendous defense (56% FG, 11-24 from three), the rebounding was just as atrocious. Take away Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert's 19 rebounds, and the rest of the team combined for 8 rebounds (6 defensive) in 182 minutes. Elton Brand managed a meaty ZERO rebounds in his 25 minutes of floor time. That's unacceptable and embarrassing.
With Iguodala, Holiday, Louis Williams, and Willie Green, the Sixers had 4 players with over 5 assists. When there's no defense the team is moving the ball and hitting shots, the offense is potent. It's just a matter of committing to both sides of the ball and working as a team. Which no longer matters of course, but at least we got the loss and saw some terrific games out of Andre and Jrue. Oh and Jodie Meeks didn't play. Boo.