The Sixers lost to the Detroit Pistons in a close one on Wednesday night by a final score of 110 to 97. It was a pretty good game. Philadelphia kept it close for most of the way and even had the lead at points but the Pistons turned it on down the stretch. The short-handed Sixers, in turn, collapsed. A few bad possessions late in the game allowed Detroit to widen the gap. The Sixers tried their hardest but couldn't recover.
There's a lot to discuss so let's just get right to it.
• The offense looked nice early on. Lots of passing. Good ball movement. Transition buckets. Ish Smith found Nerlens Noel at least a couple times and it was pretty sweet.
Ish to Nerlens by Ish to Nerlens by ✈️ https://t.co/KVKEQAw3Vu— Philadelphia 76ers (@Sixers) January 28, 2016
• NERLENS NOEL. What a game for this guy. He looks so good playing the five. He was dunking on fools all night. His best dunk, of course, was this poster on Andre Drummond:
No one is safe from Nerlens. https://t.co/TJOlYXP4RL— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) January 28, 2016
He followed that up by finishing an alley-oop on top of Drummond. Not bad.
Noel finished with 20 points on a super efficient 9-11 shooting performance. He also had seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. He even hit at least one jumper that didn't look ugly. If defenses are going to give him the space to hit that short jumper, he needs to make them pay, and he did just that tonight.
• There was a Pistons fan at the game knitting. Yeah. Molly French investigated the knitting woman and apparently she was making something for her daughter. I like this theory better, though:
• Jerami Grant, yes, JERAMI GRANT led all Sixers in scoring with a career high 21 points. I've long been a fan of Grant. I'm the one who tweeted this shortly after all he was drafted:
Jerami Grant! I like this pick.— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) June 27, 2014
Therefore, I am directly responsible for all of his NBA success. OK, maybe not.
But he was certainly very good. His 21 points came on 8-13 shooting. He had eight rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block. He had the least worst +/- rating of any starter. The highlight of Grant's night was this poster on Drummond, followed by an awesome Brett Brown smiling sequence:
JERAMI SLAMS AND BRETT BROWN CANT STOP SMILING https://t.co/m9ywPGndEv— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) January 28, 2016
• Not the best night for Ish. He shot 6-18 for only 13 points and had six turnovers to go with his six assists. This dunk was pretty sweet, though!
• The Sixers are now 0-10 on the second night of back-to-back games this season. They still haven't put a winning streak together, either.
• Nik Stauskas was pretty bad. He shot 1-5. He had more fouls (5) than points (4). He had some open looks but he just couldn't hit anything.
• T.J. McConnell is fun to watch when he's annoying the heck out of the other team. The backup point guard had six points on 3-4 shooting. He also had six assists and two rebounds. He might not be able to get shots off at the rim but he's getting better at hitting that short jumper.
• This loss was needed for tanking purposes. The Sixers have been winning a lot lately. They only have two less wins than the Lakers. Take pride in the effort and be happy with the result.
Up Next: The Sixers don't play again until Saturday night when Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors come to town. Yikes.