They say close only counts in horseshoes. And they'd be correct, but damn this one was close for a moment. Well, close for the 2014-15 Sixers, considering the smallest deficit the Sixers faced in the 4th quarter was 5 points, but after the number of losses from start-to-finish the Sixers have had over the past few weeks dammit close means soemthing to me. But Kawhi Leonard's and-1 put an end to the dream, a dream that will die but rise again Wednesday night in Minneapolis where the weather is cold and the failure even colder.
To the key bullet points from tonight's game:
- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Nerlens Noel all did not play in tonight's game. Duncan simply had a rest day, Parker was listed as having bruised ribs, and Noel is day-to-day
- The Sixers have scored over 100 points in three of their last four games. That in itself is not that much of an accomplishment, but consider that before this stretch of games the Sixers only scored 100 points once in their first 13 games.
- Luc Mbah a Moute continues to find new ways to fail. Tonight he shot a meager 3-10 from the field for 6 points while finding new ways at failing to make jump shots.
- Nothing says "rebuilding" quite like JaKarr Sampson playing meaningful minutes down the stretch. Nothing also says "rebuilding" quite like Alexey Shved scoring 19 points in 28 minutes going 7-16 shooting.
- Robert Covington went 3-for-6 from the field and 3-3 from beyond the arc. Take a look at that stat line and treasure it forever
- There were moments during the game where you could not tell the Spurs were benching two of their top players. Some Sixers losses are just ugly to watch in every which way, but this was not one of them. The Spurs alone made this game worth the price of admission, if only because it is fun to see them do basketball things against people helpless to defend it. Yes, Jerami Grant, Brandon Davies, and Robert Covington (magical scoreline aside) were helpless against the Spurs.
- Not all games are or will be like this, and Marc Zumoff, Malik Rose, and Molly Sullivan have to watch and comment on them anyway. Think of them, then send them a kind and thoughtful message acknowledging their eventual conversion to Buddhism.
- A friendly reminder the Sixers lost 26-games at one point during the 2013-14 season. They are up to 17 now. The world's greatest trampoline awaits at the bottom, but the Sixers remain far from the bottom.
- Sixers next three games: @ Minnesota, vs. Oklahoma City, @ Detroit. Two of those games are something like winnable!