If there is anything good you could say about the grinding 82 game NBA schedule, it would be that after a disappointing loss like Wednesdays loss to Portland there is always a new game in a day or two. So there is little time to brood. You just have to get up for the next game.
Eddie Jordon started a new line-up tonite. Sittin’ Thad Young and Lou Williams for Elton Brand and Jrue Holliday. If you have been watching at all, YungsMuv21 has not been playing well lately and Brand has been one of the few steady performers. For Williams it was not so much about his performance but about overall team defense. Jordon stopped just short of saying it, but the combination of Williams & Iverson in the backcourt is just too frickin’ short. Teams were posting up Iverson to start the game and sending the Sixers chasing their tails to cover it up. And lets face it …. Eddie Jordon does not have the balls to sit Iverson. So Lou was the odd man out. Holliday played only 15 minutes, but he did set the defense tone the Sixers needed.
It is hard to tell how much this new look will work out because the bench outscored the starters tonite. Thad Young-is-smooth was electric. Scoring 18 point in the 1st half. He was spinning and hoopin’ and loopin’ and giving Dallas fits. The combination of Thad and Williams played extended minutes in the 2nd period. Which took a lot of pressure off the starters. The most exciting thing about this Sixers win was (1) They played good defense. Sure I agree that Dirk was off tonite, but the Sixers held the Mavs 19 points under their average. (2) The Sixers forged a 12 point lead going into the 4th period and held on to win the game. (3) the Sixers beat a very good team tonite (not just a team with a winning record).
So I feel a lot better than I did this mornin’, but I gotta keep it real. The true test is to keep it going. They play 4 games in the next 7 days. A 2 game Home and Home series with the Pacers (15-28), a road game versus the Bucks (17-24), and the Lakers Show next Friday. Seriously, I don’t think 3-1 is too much to ask for … seriously.