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Jan 06 2014

Death, Taxes, and Kevin Love: Sixers Fall to Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves 126 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Philadelphia 76ers
Thaddeus Young, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 9-16 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | -22Ho hum, another 20 point effort from Thaddeus Young. He was feelin’ it early, racking up 13 points in the first quarter, and it looked like he’d be the latest guy to take advantage of Kevin Love’s disinterested defense. But the avalanche on the other end eventually pushed him off the court. Most of Kevin Love’s points came on switches and failed rotations, so Young gets a pass for his man’s 26-point outing.

Evan Turner, SF Shot Chart 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -27A brutal showing for Turner on the defensive end tonight. He constantly botched rotations, and was a major factor in the Timberwolves notching their season high in makes from downtown. A shame, because the night started out fairly promising on the other end. The blitzkrieg of threes he gave up eventually overrode the positives on offense.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG Shot Chart 29 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -23Carter-Williams’ defense of Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio was downright confusing. Despite his match-up being known around the league as a non-threat from deep, Carter-Williams consistently pressed Rubio on the perimeter, on and off the ball. MCW continues to show great awareness setting up his teammates, so it would be nice to see the same attention to detail on the other end.

Brandon Davies, PF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8The million-dollar question: is Brandon Davies the worst alley-oop finisher in the history of basketball? He looks like he’s being lobbed a hand grenade when he goes up for the potential finish. It’s never a question of effort, but sometimes the talent just isn’t there. Have to think that his time as a member of the 76ers is close to being up.

James Anderson, SG Shot Chart 22 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -10The first man off the bench in Tony Wroten’s absence, Anderson gave the Sixers good minutes tonight. He did a little bit of everything offensively, knocking down triples and finishing some pretty ones at the rim. An uptick in playing time would seem to be in order.

By The Numbers

  • 16 – the number of threes made by Minnesota, a season-high for the team. An all too familiar scene for Sixers fans.
  • -22.4 – The average plus/minus of the Sixers starting five tonight. Ouch.

Quote of The Game

“You got to go to Facebook right now and like his status because he is on fire!” – Malik Rose on Thad Young

Tweet of The Game

 

Parting Shots

Not many positive things to say about this one. A discouraging effort after a nice win streak out West, without even a free Big Mac to show for it. They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves tomorrow night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

  • robbybonfire23

    Not a bit critical of this – anticipated – loss. The NBA grind of an average of one game every other day over six months – prior to the playoffs, saddles every team in this league with at least a couple losses per month to the schedule maker.

    I cannot believe this team was given exactly one full day off after flying home from the west coast on the heels of a grueling road trip. I believe that had this team been given two full days off, upon returning from its west coast itinerary, it would have been physically and mentally ready to competitively take on Minny or any other team in this league.

    The one positive is that this is a young team, in a league where you cannot have too many sets of young legs, gearing up for the second half of the season. Crammed TV scheduling pressures brought to bear on teams in all sports are over the top, when it comes to how this “overkill” diminishes the quality of the product people spend so much money to support. The public deserves better than the glut of “flat” performances all teams suffer, all too often, no fault of their own.

    • hk99

      And, to make matters worse, they are being forced to go on the road and play again at Cleveland tonight. Yes, they are a young team, but they really only have 5 players – 4 if you want to exclude Evan Turner – who can give them quality extended minutes every game. I wonder what their record is in games in which MCW, Turner, Thad, Wroten and Hawes have all played.

      • robbybonfire23

        Add it up, HK, this team has to play 17 (!) games in January. Why can’t this lunacy be an issue with the union? How can this team be expected to put forth a good performance tonight in Cleveland? Back- to-back games on just one day of rest following a trans-continental, late night flight, on the heels of a grueling road trip and this team is expected to even show up, mentally and emotionally, vs. Cleveland tonight? In whose dream world, besides David Stern’s and the TV-windfall profits, blood-sucking vampires?

        It makes me think that I would be O.K. with no East vs. West games scheduling, during the regular season. And then having all inter-conference games throughout the playoffs, even if it means the two championship-round teams come from the same conference. What is wrong with that, if they are the two best teams in the NBA? Why cannot Portland play OKC, in the finals? Or why cannot Miami play Indiana for all the marbles?

        So that you would have 1 West vs. 8 East; 2 West vs. 7 East; 3 West vs. 6 East; 4 West vs. 5 East; 4 East vs. 5 West; 3 East vs. 6 West; 2 East vs. 7 West; and 1 East vs. 8 West, as your first round match-ups. And it makes sense, too from a variety and a special, post-season format basis.

        Just kill all this coast-to-coast/ wee small hours travel, already. These players are not machines you can just plug in. Enough with these jet-lag, default performances. We are going to have to suffer yet another one, tonight.

        • hk99

          Yours is an interesting proposal. I actually thought the NHL did something smart a few years ago when they implemented the plan in which teams from the East and West only faced each other once per season instead of twice. This did not eliminate the coast-to-coast travel, but it significantly reduced it while still enabling fans in Eastern Conference cities to see Western Conference players every other year. I believe that the NHL reversed this type of scheduling and is now back to where the NBA is.

  • robbybonfire23

    Yes, the NHL is now back to everyone playing everyone, at least once per year. Problem with this is it looks like the NHL and the NFL are expanding to Europe, and soon. The NHL used realignment into four divisions – two unbalanced conferences of 16 and 14 teams, as the first (smokescreen) step toward this objective.

    Don’t get me started on the insanity of over-expansion and the inferior quality of officiating nightmare (complete with the bottom-feeder trolling of now having two referees in hockey, and three referees in basketball) so that they can get 10 blind people employed to go with every one competent official.

  • robbybonfire23

    A fresh unit of 80+ year-old, old-time Philadephia Spas would have done just as well as this schedule and travel-weary team had a chance of doing in Cleveland.

    This league will never present a top-caliber product until teams never have to play two nights in a row. Why cannot his league just have all teams play three games per week on, say, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and let it go at that, with the NHL scheduling its games for Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday?That comes out to 13 games per month, per team, which should be the max, anyway.