Iguodala and Brand anchor current Sixers success
Sitting in press row, a common theme has developed: Philadelphia plays stellar defense, withstands a run in the first half by the opposition, goes on a tear of their own and eventually wins by 20 or more. It’s something to get used to for the past couple of seasons, games at the Wells Fargo usually ended with the Sixers getting buried to a cascading tremor of boos and unhappy fans shaking their collective heads…disgusted and unsatisfied. The arena has not been filled to capacity but given the consistency of this team, that may very well change.
There have been stretches of success. The years Andre Miller anchored the offense, Philadelphia was an Atlantic Division contender but those teams seemed to top off and couldn’t get past the likes of Detroit come playoff time. Now, it’s very early, but this team seems to be unselfish almost to a fault and very determined to shake off the recent past.
The Sixers sit at 7-2 and winners of 6 straight. It was their 5th win of 20 points or more. Their 16 point edge over the opposition is best in the league. Philly has outscored opponents by a total of 144 points. Dating back to the start of the 1985-86 season, it is the third hightest point differential by any team through the first nine games (Chicago with 170 points and a 9-0 mark in 1996-97 and Seattle with 154 points and a 9-0 mark in 1993-94)
It was also the 4th straight game a team has shot less than 40% vs. Philly.
This was a day Sacramento just looked beaten without their leading scorer Marcus Thorton who was out with a thigh contusion. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 and 10 but it seemed like Elton Brand’s 21 and 10 were so much more. Like he says in the vid below, sometimes it might be this player or that one but “All the time us.”
Video courtesy of Tom Moore.
This is a team that has given up all ego. The game was never in doubt despite the score being close early. The NBA is crunching time into a 66 game capsule and in these stretches of games both home currently and away later on as spring approaches, we’ll know if this team is a true contender. It sure looks that way.
It is everyone. Spencer Hawes has been playing stellar but he was limited to 10 minutes Tuesday because of a lower back strain. He’s day to day and should be fine but in his stead, his teammates are doing whatever it takes.
Evan Turner was two assists shy of a triple double (16 points, 10 boards) in his 33 minutes. Jrue Holiday was 17, 8 and 6. Jodie Meeks made 3-5 three attempts and had 14. Lou Williams had 15 and Thad Young 10. Everyone is scrapping. No one is allowing themselves to get lost in a limelight sure to come.
Doug Collins isn’t having it. He constantly speaks of working hard, picking each other up, playing defense, executing, communicating…all of the things necessary to provide this team with a humble base. A consistent base to get them through the season.
Even former Sixers are coming out and commenting on the team.
The 112 points was a season high…as was the 56% shooting. Philly has out shot every team this season…it’s 2nd longest streak since the start of the 1985-86 season (10 games from 1/19-2/5/90). It was the 4th straight game Philadelphia has held a team under 90 point and the 6th time overall.
Two Kings from the area, Tyreke Evans and Jason Thompson had 15 and 13 respectively. The Sixers travel to New York Wednesday to face the Knicks.