With the game in doubt, the Sixers went to Jrue Holiday, who delivered with 15 points in the 4th quarter on his way to a 24 point (on 12 shots), 6 assist, 3 rebound, and 5 turnover performance, helping the Sixers sweep the preseason home and home in their final game before the season kicks off next Monday.
"My first two years [in the league] I wasn't even seeing the ball in the last 3 minutes of the game unless somebody passed it to me," Holiday said after the game, saying it was an honor for the coaches to have that much faith in him. With more performances like that, he'll have the ball in his hands a lot more with the game on the line.
Holiday had two 3-pointers and an assist during a 1 minute, 18 second stretch in the 4th which saw the Sixers turn a 1 point deficit into a 7 point lead, sealing a "perfect preseason" for the Sixers.
That stretch run masked what was otherwise a pretty sloppy and ugly game, one that certainly gave Doug Collins ample ammunition to keep his troops focused over the layoff. Between turnovers committed and offensive rebounds given up the Sixers gave away possessions like they were old St. Nick on Christmas morning.
Since this is a preseason game, I'm going to do something I typically don't like to do and go the bullet point route. Some thoughts after the jump.
- I thought the rotations interesting, and more representative of what you'll see in the season, at least early. Xavier Silas and Dwayne Jones didn't see the court until the final seconds, and the bench basically consisted of Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights and Nikola Vucevic on the front line and Evan Turner and Louis Williams in the backcourt. The only real intrigue was Speights coming in before Vucevic, although as Vucevic gets more comfortable and Tony Battie gets in shape that very well may change, especially if Speights continues to play like he is.
- I also found it interesting how much Evan Turner was initiating the half-court offense, not only when he and Louis Williams shared the backcourt but also when he was in with Jrue Holiday. It's evident that Turner's minutes and role will be more consistent this year, and averaging 14.5 points on 44.4% from the field in the preseason is a good start.
- Speaking of Evan, his shot has looked much better in these two games. More on that later.
- I thought Jrue struggled through three quarters, particularly with his turnovers. He was obviously money in the 4th.
- Good seeing Iguodala come alive in the second half. He's been prone to some slow starts throughout the years, and the first 6 quarters of preseason basketball didn't inspire a ton of confidence offensively.
- NIkola Vucevic was a very mixed bag, particularly defensively. He played some solid man to man defense, but defending the pick and roll is going to be a significant issue.
- Speights looked like...Speights.
- Interested to see what the crowd will be like at the Wells Fargo Center in a few weeks. The stated attendance of 6500 tonight was a joke.