It's the story of the season. The Sixers lead by 12 after three, still by double digits in the final five minutes, and coughed it up late. To Darren Collison: Sixer killer and Quincy Acy: still was more fun on the 2012 Baylor Elite Eight team. Seriously, if Anthony Davis doesn't exist, that team is absolutely torching Kansas in the National Championship game. Tyshawn Taylor isn't keeping Pappy Jack in check. And Brady Heslip? Elias has actually confirmed that to this day he has never missed a three-pointer.
So, the Sixers. They lost, but as always in these Processes (TM) and moral victories, there were silver linings. The six turnovers were brutal, but Jahlil Okafor looked, dare I say, Boogie esque going post-iso for post-iso with Boogie Cousins. Facing up and supplementing his polish with finesse rather than Cousins' mass, but the aesthetics are kind of similar. He just isn't shooting threes or, you know, playing with three players living over his back.
Robert Covington was pretty awesome all things considered as well, serving as a reminder that when this team is good and he never has to dribble again, seven turnovers becomes two and he can really hone in on his strengths. He nailed seven threes in Rudy Gay's eye, so the strengths are there.
And Nik Stauskas. This was his version of a revenge game. Flashing confidence at times, and looking like a deer in the headlights at others, but still showcasing enough skill to drop in four threes and a 30-footer in honor of crowdsourcing and "for me, Stauskas."
Now, of course, the Sixers did lose. And you've gotten the same spiel about blowing late-game leads ad nauseam, so instead of copying and pasting one of the 14 recaps from November that could fit here, I'm going to get to the notes on what's really important.
- So back to the 2012 Baylor Bears. This team, you guys. Perry Jones III (that guy you're still angry the Sixers passed on twice and drafted Arnett Moultrie over, despite him being out of the league already), Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller, Brady Heslip, Pierre Jackson, Cory Jefferson, AJ Walton. Quite possibly the most fun band of almost-NBA-players-but-not-quite-good misfits.
- I keep forgetting this is a Sixers blog. Hollis Thompson did some things tonight, all of which were bad. He was 1-of-7 from deep, and made some rough plays which, as hard as some of us have been on Hollis lately, is not characteristic of the type of player he is. He can give you 20 minutes of smart play and make some threes for you when the deficit is already insurmountable, but tonight just wasn't his night to flaunt those skills.
- Holmes was a monster in the first half on the offensive glass, and actually may have eaten glass before picking up some tough fouls and seeing the bench for most of the second half. But yeesh, is he a force on the offensive glass and around the rim. Would love to see him develop a mid-range pick-and-pop game, because right now with what he loses for you on the defensive glass as a small-ball five, he's not bringing a whole lot more to the table than Carl Landry. But he's exciting, high-motor and high-energy and has his work cut out for him. I like his chances to be a change-of-pace rotation big down the line, and at No. 37 in the Draft, I'm not sure how much more you can ask for.