I have to be honest here. I'm a huge DeMarcus Cousins fan. I was one of the guys who was wishing the Sixers would have drafted him (or Derrick Favors) instead of Evan Turner. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. (Thanks Doug Collins.)
So when Boogie comes to town and puts on an absolutely monster display, I can't help but feel happy about it. It didn't matter who or how many tried to guard him, either. Yet, despite his absurd 39 points and 24 rebounds, his team couldn't find a way to pull one out against the young, scrappy Philadelphia 76ers.
Oh.... wait, I'm supposed to be writing a recap for the Sixers?
This was game was truly a roller coaster in terms of highs and lows for each team. A hot-shooting Robert Covington propelled the Sixers to a 7 point lead after the first. Poor defense by the Sixers, quick transition buckets for the Kings, and an unstoppable DeMarcus Cousins caused the Kings to gain a 13 point lead at the half.
Brett Brown was visibly angered by the Sixers poor defense prior to halftime and explained his frustration to Molly Sullivan prior to the beginning of the 3rd quarter, as well. Thankfully, whatever message he relayed to the team at the half was received loud and clear.
After letting the deficit balloon, the Sixers began a blistering run in the 3rd quarter that lasted until early in the 4th, against a Kings defense that's susceptible to poor stretches of play. And by blistering run, I mean a ridiculous 40 to 9 (!) blitz that turned a 18 point deficit into a 13 point lead.
However, the Kings came back knocking in the final 5 minutes. Thankfully, the home squad was able to hold off the visitors despite a very physical homestretch that featured volley ball moments, football tackles, and tough basket after basket. The refs let them play, as they say.
After some nice wins over Washington and Atlanta, moral victories in losses to Chicago and Oklahoma City, it was nice to see the Sixers continue it's recent trend of better, competitive play last night. How many more wins does this team have in them?
And sorry, Boogie.
Odds & Ends
- Brett Brown will win Coach of the Year someday. He's been absolutely amazing and arguably Sam Hinkie's best decision during his tenure. Night after night, he gets this team to compete and improve. Last night, especially, he challenged his team after witnessing them falter on defense in the first half. And, boy, they responded.
- Nerlens Noel put up a decent stat line (16 pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast) and made a valiant effort in his battle with DeMarcus Cousins. However, Cousins clearly dominated the match up between the two. The bigger, stronger Cousins seemed to have his way with Noel, who looked like a kid overpowered by his older brother (Both Centers being Kentucky Brethren).
- I want to also give credit to Noel for showing some maturity and leadership as well. Despite having an extended stint on the bench in the 2nd half, Noel made sure to give a shout out and credit his team mates (HANK!) for stepping up and picking up the slack, after the game.
- Also, did Hinkie also trade for "hands" at the trade deadline? Because all of a sudden Noel catches everything.
- After watching his big men struggle to hold down the beast they call Boogie, Brett Brown thawed Henry Sims out from cold storage and brought him in to try to match Cousins' physical play. Big Hank didn't show any rust after being buried on the bench for 3 games, as he provided a much needed boost and hit some big shots down the stretch.
- I was totally wrong about Ish Smith. After his first few games, I wanted to bring back Tim Frazier. Lately, there are moments where he looks like he's a more-controlled Tony Wroten or less-turnover-prone Michael Carter-Williams (I'm kidding... but only like kind-of kidding). Last night, he was the spark that ignited the Sixers comeback. Kudos to proving me wrong.
- Luc..... please stop shooting.
- The Sixers play a SEGABABA tomorrow against the Brooklyn Nets. Welcome back, Thaddeus Young!
Check out Sactown Royalty for what our opponents had to say about the game.