The Sixers have won exactly 1 regular season game at Orlando since December 2006.
That's the kind of stat you'll see some cite tonight, as if it somehow explains away this atrocious effort. It's irrelevant. What Rodney Carney, Chris Webber, and Kevin Ollie did against Orlando on December 9th, 2006 hardly has any relevance to the tailspin this team is currently experiencing.
It's even more irrelevant when you look at who the Magic are -- or more precisely, who the Magic are not. Besides the obvious roster overhaul every team experiences over a 6 year period, the Magic are also without huge pieces of their current team. The Sixers losing two of the previous three against the Magic this year isn't even relevant, as the Magic without Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu or Glen Davis aren't the Magic.
Regardless, this is the kind of stuff you have when a team has no legitimate plan, and really hasn't since Larry Brown has been here. Not making any moves because you'd gain an edge in the shortened season? Preposterous. This team never had the talent to be more than above average.
It's hard to sit here and really analyze these debacles anymore. If i were to start, it would be a combination of terrible pick and roll defense and defensive rebounding, a growing trend for a team who prided themselves on their defense earlier in the season. The Sixers have allowed 7 of their previous 10 opponents to have an offensive rating above 100 after only allowing 7 of their first 24 opponents to do so.
Why did Jodie Meeks play over 30 minutes when he scored only 5 points? You've got me, but that's not a new development.
Besides not having a plan, they're also desperate. Moving Thaddeus Young to the starting lineup and sliding Brand to the 5 can be viewed one of two ways: 1) This was a result of trying to take advantage of the Magic injury-depleted front court, or 2) A desperate Doug Collins going against what he believes in in an effort to ignite a struggling team he has no answers for.
If it's the former, the tactic failed miserably. Ryan Anderson abused Thad to the tune of 26 points and 16 rebounds, 8 on the offensive end. If it's the latter, that's more indicative of where the Sixers find themselves as the season spirals out of control. Doug Collins has been a staunch opponent of starting Young and Brand together in the front court since they made the Spencer Hawes trade. Young had started exactly 1 game under Doug Collins before tonight, and that was when Elton Brand was out with an injury.
For Doug Collins to resort to something he doesn't believe in means he's desperate.
Regardless of why, I don't expect it to last long. If I had to bet, I think Spencer Hawes will be back in the starting lineup before long, even if it's undeservedly so.
But hey, at least we should get that ever valuable playoff experience.
Player of the game: Jrue Holiday. 18 points on 7-15 from the field, 8 assists, 0 turnovers. Even so, he did most of his damage early and his defense was shaky. But he's the tallest short person tonight. Spencer Hawes 9 assists look pretty on paper, but weren't necessarily representative of the impact he had on the game in my opinion. Hawes got bullied around on the glass, was a liability on defense, and used 10 shots to score his 10 points. Louis Williams' defense was absolutely putrid, and his 15 points on 11 shots doesn't overshadow that.
76ers vs Magic coverage
Next up: Indiana, Tuesday night at 7 PM for the last home game of the season.