It wasn’t the worst performance the Sixers have put forth this season; fans have lately been treated to nights where the effort simply there wasn’t but Monday night was not one of those occasions. Philadelphia played one of their better games offensively and accrued 10 steals on the game, showing some level of defensive intensity. However, time and time again, whenever the Pistons needed a bucket, they dumped it inside to Greg Monroe. The third-year big man once again instituted his points in the paint doctrine, tallying a game-high 27 points and 16 rebounds, including 6 offensive boards. The Sixers should do whatever they can to acquire such a big man, I’m sure nothing could go wrong.
Following a 9 point, 5 rebound effort in the first quarter by Monroe, the Pistons jumped out to a sizable lead which they carried through the middle portion of the second quarter. The Sixers then made their best push of the game, going on a 17-2 run to turn an 8 point deficit into a 7 point lead. Dorell Wright scored 7 points during that stretch and had a great overall game for Philadelphia, leading the team with 22 points and 6 assists, while also collecting 8 rebounds. I’ll say it again, I’m not sure why Wright wasn’t a major part of the rotation all season long; he will assuredly get a nice free agent contract from someone during the offseason.
The battle on the glass made all the difference in the third quarter, as the Pistons recorded a 7-0 advantage in offensive boards during the frame and built a 9-point lead. Arnett Moultrie received plenty of court time in the game, and did a nice job offensively, but was manhandled on the defensive side by the larger Pistons front line. 2 defensive rebounds in 25 minutes is not going to get it done, and his inability to clean up the glass during the second half of the third quarter was a big factor in last night’s defeat.
Among other participants, Will Bynum had a huge game off the bench for Detroit, providing 22 points of instant offense and dishing out 6 assists. For Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes recorded 13 points and 9 rebounds while doing a fair job on Andre Drummond, though Drummond was limited by a sore right ankle. Jrue Holiday dropped 14 points but committed 5 turnovers to only 3 assists. Holiday’s needed improvement as a distributor while taking better care of the ball will be one of the key things the young guard will need to work on in the offseason if the Sixers are to make any marked progression next season. The team will travel to Indiana to send Collins off Wednesday night in his final game as head coach.