When Andrew Bynum's... eccentric hairstyle is the highlight of the game, it clearly wasn't a very enjoyable night for Sixers. Or their fans.
The Philadelphia 76ers were completely run out of the Wells Fargo Center tonight, falling to the (formerly winless) Detroit Pistons 94-76. And unfortunately for the 11,879 in attendance, there weren't even $1 hot dogs to help soothe the pain.
Pistons' center Greg Monroe led all players with 19 points, 18 rebounds, and even threw in six assists for good measure. Kyle Singler - a last-minute addition to the starting lineup after Rodney Stuckey was a late scratch due to the flu - finished with 16 points, 13 of which came before halftime.
(It should be noted that Singler was deemed so inconsequential by the makers of NBA 2K13 that he's still missing from the game's roster, six weeks after its release.)
Lavoy Allen had perhaps the best showing of any Sixer on the night, although that isn't saying all that much. In a reserve role (Kwame Brown got the nod at center, sadly), Allen scored 14 points and pulled down six boards in 26 minutes. Jrue Holiday added 12 (on 4-for-13 shooting), while Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young went a combined 3-for-17 on the night and finished with seven points.
This was by far the Sixers' worst performance of the season, and one of the worst of the Doug Collins' era. As a team, Philadelphia shot 29.8 percent from the floor (the worst shooting performance ever at the Wells Fargo Center), were outrebounded by 19, and were thoroughly dominated by the Pistons despite only turning the ball over four times on the night.
Quite frankly, there was no juice, no toughness and no swag anywhere to be found. But other than shooting, rebounding and playing defense, the Sixers played great.
One play that summed up the entire night: Late in the second quarter, Pistons' center Greg Monroe attempted a free throw with his right eye closed after losing his contact lens during a drive to the basket. And, quite naturally, he made the shot.
For what it's worth, the Sixers' coaching staff can use the game film as an example of what not to do on offense. There seems to be very little ball and/or player movement in the Sixers' halfcourt sets at times, and the team is overly reliant on 3s (or, even worse, long 2s) to score points. And as we learned tonight, when those shots aren't falling, the 76ers have the potential to get blown out by just about any team in the league.
Shortly after tip-off, it was clear that this one was headed in the wrong direction. Detroit ended the first quarter on a 15-4 run, outrebounding the Sixers by a margin of 19-8 in the opening period.
It didn't get much better at halftime: The 76ers went into intermission down 52-34 after going 13-for-43 from the field in the first half. Through the first two periods, Holiday, Turner and Thaddeus Young had a combined total of nine points.
With Bynum not set to return any time soon, perhaps the Sixers need to embrace a team rebounding approach (or, at the very least, better shot selection) so that they don't get completely outworked on the glass. Tonight was the second consecutive game in which they were outrebounded by 17 boards or more, and the Pistons outscored them in the paint 42-28.
Coming up on Friday is the Utah Jazz, who were the 6th-best rebounding team in the league heading into tonight's action. That one should be fun.
Player of the game: Andrew Bynum's hair. We will link to this picture incessantly. You have been warned.
Anti-player of the game: Evan Turner. Everyone is entitled to having a bad night, but 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes simply isn't going to cut it. Turner's fantastic rebounding ability helps to offset some of the negatives in his game, but unless he starts scoring on a consistent basis, he may not be long for the starting lineup.
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