Doug Collins made the move to bench rookie Evan Turner, who has been anything but valuable the past 5 games, giving the starting gig to Jodie Meeks. The Kentucky product responded early, knocking down a three and attacking the basket for 5 first-quarter points. The real story of the first quarter was Spencer Hawes, the severely underperforming center we got in the Dalembert deal. He scored 9 points on 5 shots, snagged 5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. He was the beneficiary of a few dump passes by Andre Iguodala as well as some inside jump shots over smaller defender Marvin Williams. Easily his best quarter as a Sixer.
The defense was swarming at times and lackadaisical at others. Josh Smith hit a few of his fadeaways but Al Horford missed a bunch of shots he’d normally hit. If Elton Brand (7 rebounds already) and the other Sixers bigs can’t cover Atlanta’s moneymakers, the game will turn the other way quickly. Right now, we’re outshooting them 55% to 37%.