So the Sixers lost 99-93, sealing a 4-0 series defeat as a part of an 11-game regular season losing streak against the Heat. Again, this is not fun. We’ll go good-bad-ugly for the review, since I didn’t do the preview (thankfully, Stephane did).
The Good: Evan Turner’s outlier game
I know that it doesn’t seem too “good” when I call it an outlier. But statistics suggest that Evan Turner had some good fortune with his performance tonight. Why? Because he’s struggled in the area he dominated to score 10 of his 26 – the short corner, on the right side of the court (when facing the rim from midcourt). Via this CourtVision post from Kirk Goldsberry, Turner shoots only 26% from that range. By my count (and confirmed by ESPN’s shotcharts, though you have to be careful with them because sometimes they add other shots), Turner scored 10 points on 5-9 from this range. Four of the made shots came against the defense of Terrel Harris, who not coincidentally was a -13 on the night. However, he finished o-3 in the fourth, suggesting that it was mostly a situation of getting the right matchup.
Yet I can’t help but feel it’s a good thing he’s trying to be aggressive when he has a good matchup, and that he’s aggressive at getting to the rim, even if he’s still avoiding contact. It’s a good thing that he’s taking 19 shots, because the Sixers desperately need a go-to scorer. And getting some burn defending LeBron James can’t hurt for his future, right?
The Bad: Who are you, and what have you done to Jrue Holiday?
Jrue Holiday has had some bad nights this year, especially against the Heat, but this one will be difficult to top. 6 turnovers offset 6 assists; many were of the WTF variety. He did make some nice plays for teammates, but his mind seemed elsewhere with some of his decisions. Meanwhile, Mario Chalmers significantly outplayed Jrue, which was one of the keys Stephane alluded to pre-game. As it turns out, giving up the advantage to the Heat at the point isn’t going to turn out well for most teams, given the rest of the roster.
The hope is that he can recover from this tomorrow night, when it will be Jose Calderon, a defensively suspect point guard, serving as his primary defender.
The Ugly: Please be okay, Andre
Andre Iguodala, for those of you who don’t know, left the game after getting inadvertently poked in the eye by Chalmers in the third quarter. The stretch immediately following resulted in five quick, easy Miami points, and they held at least a 3 point lead the rest of the way. Eye injuries are nothing to laugh about – Amar’e Stoudemire suffered a detached retina and has worn goggles during games ever since. While Iggy wearing goggles seems like it would be awesome, it won’t be if the injury is serious and long-term. He spoke with reporters after the game and still seemingly had blurry vision, but he hopefully will be okay for the stretch run.
In a related story, following the injury LeBron scored 19 of his 41, including 14 in the fourth quarter. While Andre has struggled against LeBron, he has at least done an adequate job defending him one-on-one. The Sixers threw double teams at LeBron in the fourth quarter to no avail. He was almost unstoppable.