In perhaps the team's best victory of the season since... the last time they played Phoenix, the Sixers led the Suns from wire to wire behind a terrific all-around effort. For the second time this year, Brett Brown's team beat up on the struggling Suns with Jahlil Okafor sidelined.
-Nerlens Noel set the tone from the jump, bouncing all over the floor. He finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals. Noel was a terror defensively, always lurking under the rim and he came up with some sneaky steals as well. He also was the main character of this post game gem:
-Robert Covington and Hollis Thompson were scorching from downtown from the game's onset, finishing a combined 5-7 from three-point land at the end of the first quarter. It wasn't just the results, as both sharpshooters looked extremely in rhythm as the ball whipped around the perimeter most of the night. As a team, the Sixers finished 11-28 from three, 39.3 percent. It's truly incredible how different this offense looks when the team's wings are connecting from the outside.
-Overall, the Sixers had six players in double figures. Richaun Holmes, T.J. McConnell and Isaiah Canaan even combined for 22 points off the bench.
-Speaking of Richaun, he continues to be such a joy off the bench. The way he relentlessly attacks the glass on both ends of the floor is a never-ending breath of fresh air. In more of a backup center role, he also excelled as the rim protector and back line of defense. I would love to see more of Holmes at the four alongside Nerlens, however. That's a defensive nightmare for opposing wings attacking the rim. And that combo of athleticism would be so dangerous with the Sixers' preferred pace.
-A masterful game from Ish Smith, 20 points, 9 assists and only one turnover. Ish stirred the Sixers' drink in crunch time, but managed to be a dangerous ball-dominant guard without forcing the issue for what I believe to be the first time this season. Yes, he repeatedly shot the ball down the stretch, but he was taking what the defense gave him rather than simply forcing up shots because the immediate lob to Nerlens out of the pick and roll wasn't there.
-Lastly, are the Sixers just TOO GOOD?