The Sixers 108-97 win vs. the Nets was an exercise in therapy. Philadelphia has had stretches in the last month where they would come out 1st half hot and then fade as soon as the second half began. Not in this match up. The Sixers took care of business on their home court and sent the Nets back to Jersey with yet another loss. Thaddeus Young sat this one out with a fractured thumb. There’s a Father-son interview you might appreciate in the recap as well. I’ll add a nice one with Chris Douglas-Roberts later.
It was the Sixers defense which propelled them to this must win. The Sixers played with a sense of urgency and also played with pride. The team needed this win as bad as any this season. The core of this team is not used to being in such a dubious position and have to get wins any way they can to build considering what next year will bring soon enough. Listen to Elton Brand’s comments post game regarding the 1972-1973 Sixers 9-72 record and how the Nets are currently threatening that record for NBA futility with a 7-61 slate of their own:
I asked Elton why the team was so aggressive:
“Third quarter. We’ve had tough third quarters. We had the lead at half time similar to what we had against the Knicks so at the beginning of the third quarter I wanted to be aggressive…get buckets…and push that lead up. Coach called my plays and that’s what we did.”
I wanted to get from Andre Iguodala what he should get across to the younger players on a losing team being he’s the leader and what he’s learning of himself through this stretch. 1:43 mark:
I ask Eddie Jordan where Jrue Holiday was and is as a basketball player around the 2:40 mark:
For the game, the Sixers shot 56% from the floor (42-75) and made a concerted effort to drive to the hoop. After shooting 6-25 from behind the line against the Knicks, the Sixers fared far better vs. the Nets…shooting a mere ten threes and hitting four. Inspired slasher Andre Iguodala tossed in 20 points and dished 8 assists. Jrue Holiday continues to impress and again had a great all around game with 19 points, 7 assists and 7 boards. He looks 19 but his game is not that’s for sure. If he continues to develop, he has a chance to become a great player. Brand had 12 and 8, Dalembert 10 and 9. Rodney Carney, Lou Williams and Jason Kapono all chipped in with 11.
The Nets were paced by Chris Douglas-Roberts 23 off the bench but shot a paltry 41% from the floor. Terrence Williams, who is as athletic as they come, scored 13 and grabbed 7 boards. Brook Lopez had 12 but only 5 rebounds. Keyon Dooling had 15, Kris Humphries (had a sick dunk on Dalembert) 10, Jarvis Hayes 12.
The Sixers out rebounded the Nets 41-36 and play Chicago Saturday night.
Recently, I’ve done interviews with random fans. Pre-game, I spoke with Terry Grice and his son Terry Grice Jr. …who was attending his initial NBA game:
MT: What are you expecting out of the Sixers and Nets tonight?
Terry Grice: They both are at the bottom of the basement. We just want to see a competitive game and see what each team has.
MT: You are a Sixers fan? How long?
TG: Since the Dr. J era…so since the ’70’s.
MT: Is this something you do often with Terry?
TG: Because of the family, not too often.
MT: You spoke of Doc. This season is one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory. How does that sit with you as a Sixers fan?
TG: Not good. When you pay your money no matter if you are home watching it on TV or at the game, you wanna see quality basketball. You want to see something at least. Something positive. Other than that, there’s not too much to look forward to.
MT: Terry Jr. How long have you been a basketball fan?
TGJR.: Kindergarten. Since I was six.
MT: Who is your favorite player on the Sixers and overall?
TGJR.: Andre Iguodala and Kobe in the league.
MT: Do you play the sport?
TGJR.: Yeah, I play at my house and with my friend around the neighborhood.
MT: What’s it like for you to come to the game with your Dad?
TGJR.: I’ve never been to a NBA game. This is my first. I want to see an overtime Sixers win.
MT: What do you want to see Andre do?
TGJR.: Make a lot of threes. Good defense. He’s the best player on the Sixers. I want to see a couple of dunks too.
MT: Since you’re obviously not six anymore (We all laugh. Terry jr. is a big strong kid), who was that Sixer you’ve always followed?
TGJR.: Allen Iverson.
MT: How disappointing is it for you knowing he’s not here?
TGJR.: I was hoping he would play but he’s not going to play. I guess it’s the family issues.
MT: How does it make you feel when a player like Allen Iverson is no longer with the team?
TGJR.: They signed him to a contract. Then he’s not going to play. Everyone was hoping he would make it to the playoffs because of his return. It was disappointing.
MT: Were you happy when you learned he came back on the team?
TGJR.: Yeah. I thought they would have a better chance of making the playoffs. He was an important part of the team.
MT: You have a pretty articulate kid here Terry. Obviously, this is a good moment for you…hanging out with your son on his first NBA game.
TG: I’ve told him to soak it all in. I’ll do the same. Even though I’m an adult, what I got the most from was sitting close and hearing the conversations on the court and the ball bouncing. It was something I could appreciate. After the game, it’s something you could see on TV on ESPN. I told him to soak it all in.
During the game, it affected me to see Terry Jr. enjoying himself with his Pop. I remember those moments and will cherish them forever. I was encouraged to see Terry Jr’s face light up when Andre Iguodala got loose for a break away dunk. His excitement was more than a highlight. Later, iI was sad to see they were gone from their seats because I lived through their moment. These are the people I want to affect and in an uneventful game, it was the best play of the night.