The game started out well when Nick Young hit a long two to put the Sixers up 2-0. The Mavericks then went on an 11-0 run and it looked like the Sixers would be sent to the woodshed. With the help of Nick Young and Evan Turner getting hot from the floor and Dorell finding all the Wright stuff notching eight points including two threes in the first half, the Sixers ended up taking a 34-32 shock lead in the 2nd quarter, something that seemed would not be very likely after the first four minutes of the game.
The Sixers went to the break down 57-52, although it could have been much worse. That this game was tied with under 2 to go in the first half was amazing. After 24 minutes, this was a close game that felt like it was not close at all.
Then in the 3rd quarter, the Sixers would once again improbably take the lead in a game that always felt like they were going to lose. It felt like they were getting blown out. It felt like they should have gotten blown out. But they weren't getting blown out.
Until the 4th quarter. The Mavs took control in the 4th quarter and would never look back. The Sixers would try to make a run, but it was too little too late, and the Mavs never had to worry about this one slipping away.
Offensively speaking, Maalik Wayns did have a decent game today, which included some nice passing. Defensively speaking, he was anything but decent. Sheep's defensive game needs to improve because right now he is leaving guys wide open. This should be rectified as soon as possible because right now the Sixers are struggling defensively and Sheep's minutes are doing nothing to help this new malaise that ails the Sixers. The last time I criticized Maalik in a blog post, he was inspired enough to call me a hater and impress in training camp. This may be the spark Sheep needs to make a big impact on the Sixers. You can't do it, Maalik.
The Sixer who surprised and impressed the most today was Dorell Wright. He connected on 8 of 18 shooting for 25 points including an awesome 7-13 from beyond the arc all in just 30 minutes of playing time. With Holiday absent, the Sixers asked Dorell to play a little point guard, and while he won't be mistaken for Chris Paul any time soon, Dorell was amazingly enough not awful at playing the point position.
Speaking of not awful, Kwame Brown was not awful tonight. I repeat, Kwame Brown was not awful tonight. I re-iterate again because of how shocking of an event this was, but Kwame Brown was not terrible tonight. He did not do a lot on the stat sheet offensively, but he played a half decent defense tonight on Chris Kaman. Again, Kwame Brown was not awful tonight. Oh May
ans, how you torture us so.
Evan Turner's jump shot was silky smooth tonight. He connected on 3-6 three pointers this season and is 48.9% from beyond the arc this season. What planet is this what is happening everything I know is a lie!!! It was not a totally great offensive night for Evan, as his 17 points on 7-16 shooting could have been more efficient.
Speaking of poor shooting nights, man did Jason Richardson ever blow chunks in this one. 11 points on 5-14 shooting is a sign that tonight is just not your night. Richardson struggled all evening long in the shooting aspect of his game. However, if there was one bright side to J-Rich's game tonight the Sixers were a +7 with him on the court in a game they ultimately lost
But as bad as Richardson was, the Sixers' team defense was worse. Perhaps it should not be a surprised since their best defenders from last season are either off the team or injured and their big off-season acquisition Bynum is still hurt, but it is painful to watch. 104 points allowed against the Pistons. 96 points allowed against the Bulls. 95 points allowed against the Pacers. 111 points allowed against the struggling Lakers. And tonight 107 points against the mediocre Mavs. I am sure Rich and Derek could break down the film and tell you exactly why that is a whole lot better than I could, but the Sixers have been nothing short of excruciating to watch on the defensive end for the past several games.
Even with Wright playing amazing, the Sixers just are not a good team without Bynum and they are a bad team without Jrue Holiday and Bynum. No incredible performance from Dorell Wright can erase that sobering fact.
For more on yesterday's game, check out Mavs Moneyball.