A Lou Williams three point shot that nearly dropped, an inexplicable foul, and atrocious first quarter defense on Mike Dunleavy handed the Sixers their second straight loss, and 4th in their last 6 games. As Doug Collins essentially said after the game, "ball don't lie".
'It was interesting that Lou toilet bowled that one shot that would give us a one point lead," Collins explained. "I said "you know, when you don't deserve to win a game, those shots don't go in". And we didn't deserve to win this game tonight."
Certainly, the Sixers didn't deserve to win this game, for a myriad of reasons. You can point to the start of the game, with Mike Dunleavy repeatedly burning Jodie Meeks, then Andres Nocioni. Nocioni played under 3 minutes in the first half before sitting the rest of the game, as his injury limited his effectiveness.
You could look at the defensive rebounding, which was a problem throughout. The 30% offensive rebounding rate was the worst effort in over three weeks, since the December 18th win at Orlando.
You could look at look defensively, where the Sixers gave up 111 points on 90 shots, with the Pacers shooting 51.1% from the field while making 8 three pointers at a 50% clip. The 55.6% eFG% allowed was the 5th worst effort of the season.
Some, perhaps too many, will point to Iguodala's 1 point effort on 0-7 shooting as the primary culprit, even though Iguodala dished out 7 assists to 0 turnovers, while forcing turnovers and igniting the break.
Or, there's Spencer Hawes, who played less than 5 minutes, yet remarkably managed a -11 in plus/minus during that time. The team was +3 in the remaining 43 minutes.
Whatever the case may be, this was a bad loss. Perhaps one of the worst of the season, considering the Pacers had gone 3-10 in their previous 13.
A few thoughts after the jump.
- Jrue Holiday had one of those games where the stats don't tell the story. 19 points on 14 shots, 3-5 from downtown, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and only 2 turnovers is a nice statline. He played poorly. He got burned on man-man defense, his rotations were bad (failing to cut off the plunging big multiple times on pick and rolls), and his decision to foul (which it sounded like he misheard Collins' yells from the sidelines?) inexplicable. All part of the growing process for a kid so young.
- Iguodala clearly wasn't ready. He may say he's ready, that this wasn't rust or a case of not playing basketball, but he wasn't. You have to go back to Iguodala's second season for the last time he failed to make a field goal in a game.
- Spencer Hawes was awful. Does more need to be said? Not really. Outside of random games, he's been awful for a while now. Check out Doug Collins post game press conference for his frustration with the center.
- According to Doug Collins, Mike Dunleavy shoots 21% in the first quarter of games this year. He shot 6-9 for 15 points in this first quarter tonight.
- I mentioned in the game thread that the Pacers don't get to the line well (29th in the league in ft rate) or crash the offensive glass (27th in the league in offensive rebounding percentage). One of the two held true, as Indiana didn't attempt a free throw in the first half. What happened to the defensive rebounding for the Sixers? Darned if I know, but it was a huge factor throughout.
- Not sure what got into Speights, but that was perhaps the best game he's played since he got injured early last year. I would like if he did more defensively than try to take charges, but the rest of his game was well played. His shot selection was better, including a few inside looks, and he was crashing the glass on both ends. He's averaging 9.2 point and 6 boards in only 17 minutes per game over the last 5, shooting 68.9%.
- Back to back good games from Turner? Say it ain't so. A couple nice moves, a couple nice passes, and good defense. More importantly, he did it with #9 in the lineup. This is the first game he's scored in double figures that Iguodala has played in since December 3rd against Atlanta.
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Next up: Friday, at home against Milwaukee.