The Sixers lost 111-107 in Portland last night, but not without a fight. As is the usual with these two teams, it was a scrap-fest. Here are some of my observations from the game:
- Jrue Holiday had a bad night. Six turnovers, all of his own doing, with only three assists. He’s young, so he should have some high turnover nights. But this was worse than almost any game last year. He was more aggressive with his drives, however, which is something I wanted to see. And he should be getting to the line at least four times per game, like he did last night.
- Spencer Hawes went nuts, nearly recording a triple-double. Happiest about the rebounding, even though he missed some boards, because it’s the biggest weakness this team has right now. When he left the floor, the Sixers got torched on the defensive boards.
- Elton Brand‘s legs looked dead. I have no idea how he grabbed eight rebounds. Very little lift on his jumpers, very slow on covering pick and rolls (resulting in easy baskets and offensive boards, because Hawes and Thaddeus Young had to help him). His minus-20 plus/minus rating was the worst for either team.
- Sixers played only eight guys. Marreese Speights and Nikola Vucevic both received DNP-CDs.
- Glad that Evan Turner was aggressive in and successful at getting to the rim.
- Andre Iguodala‘s jumper looked like it’s old self, which is still not good, but it went in enough. He also played decent if unspectacular defense – he rotated late a couple of times to shooters, most notably Nic Batum.
- Lou Williams scored well and often, but still looks lost on defense and still has no idea how to use a screen. His late game scoring was awesome, but getting there was a rocky road.
- The Sixers, as a group, got to the line a ton in the first half. So it’s surprising that the Blazers equaled them in foul shots before the intentional fouls came (Blazers had a 23-19 edge for the game, and four free throws came late when intentional fouls happened). The Sixers got to the rim, but forced less contact. Also, both sides had some bones to pick with the refs. They let a lot of stuff go, most egregiously when Evan Turner got slapped by Camby without a call.
- Next game is tomorrow night, in Phoenix.