Maybe it was due to it being the second night of a back-to-back, or the last game of a four-game West coast trip, but Philadelphia was back looking like the sloppy team fans have been forced to endure for much of the season. The Sixers were soundly defeated, 107-91, as the Jazz used a big second quarter and 13-0 run to end the half and cruise the rest of the way. The starting line-up, in particular, was off its game tonight, with each starter having a double-digit plus-minus rating on the night, led by a remarkably bad outing by Jrue Holiday at -38.
The Sixers displayed little ball movement on the offensive end, finishing the game with just 9 assists as a team, including an astonishingly-low 3 assists in the first half. This total was partly due to the fact that the team actually did a nice job getting to the foul line, shooting 23-28 from the charity stripe on the evening, but there were also plenty of instances of ‘clogged toilet bowl’ offense where guys tried to do too much themselves.
Defensively, Philadelphia was not sharp in their defensive rotations, as the Jazz finished 7-14 from behind the arc, including hitting 6 of 10 threes in the pivotal first half. No one player dominated the action for the Jazz, as the opposition continued to work the ball around and find the open man, which could be found easily more often than not against an undisciplined Sixers unit. 7 different Jazz players would go on to record double-digit scoring efforts.
Dorell Wright led the team with 19 points, continuing his case to become a coveted free agent for a contender in the offseason. Wright would make a great three-point specialist, hybrid stretch-four for a lot of teams and I’m sure he’ll have his share of suitors following his time with the Sixers. Also, Moultrie had a career-high 14 points and 8 rebounds. Regarding Moultrie, there is no reason he shouldn’t be receiving over 20 minutes each night during this final portion of the season. As much as I enjoy watching Thad Young play, and despite Spencer Hawes’ improved performance over the past couple weeks, the Sixers are in a position where they can afford to shave off some of their minutes and give them to the young guy. The rest of the season should primarily be about player evaluation and increased game experience for the team’s youth for next year and beyond. Unfortunately, with Doug Collins’ future with the team being called into question by the media, you know he will do everything to maximize every chance to pick up a meaningless win.