The 76ers managed to put up a pretty good fight against the overpowering Heat. They played solid defense, holding them under 100 points and forcing 16 turnovers. What killed them, as it always does, was three-point defense. Miami knocked down eight threes on sixteen attempts, six of which came from the out-of-nowhere James Jones. A few of them were very contested, but the perimeter defense has been awful for as long as I can remember and I have no idea how to fix it.
Offensively, things were a bit choppy early on. Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday each had awful games (although Jrue hit a few threes to cut the deficit towards the end) and they got most of their points in transition. Evan Turner had a great first game, bitch-slapping a few of his doubters with 16 points on ten shots with seven rebounds and four assists. Really well-rounded, very similar to the games he had at OSU. Andres Nocioni and Louis Williams also performed well. I sincerely hope Jrue’s poor start doesn’t trigger Collins to start Lou quickly.
Speights did nothing, Kapono did nothing, Iguodala and Brand were mediocre, and Thaddeus Young had a typical Thad game — points and nothing else. He’s a bench scorer at this point.
Good first game from the Sixers and from the big community participating in the game thread at Liberty Ballers, people were pleased with the effort (save for the third quarter collapse) and expected the result.
Sixers go at it again Friday against Atlanta.