18 points, 9 assists, and 45% shooting from the floor. That’s what the 76ers are missing when Jrue Holiday doesn’t play. That doesn’t take in to account his control of the team, floor, game and tempo. There were people that questioned what the 76ers would do when Andre Iguodala was traded to the Denver Nuggets, but that seemed to be addition by subtraction. Holiday’s sprained foot has basically sent the 76ers limping in to the toughest part of their schedule, with 10 of 11 being on the road. The 76ers fell to 12-13 last night (and 4-6 on the road) in the Mavericks’ 107-100 victory. It is not known when Holiday will be able to return from his sprained foot but the hope is he can play Wednesday in Houston.
In a huge surprise to no one that’s witnessed the 76ers for the last few years Elton Brand wasn’t a factor for the Mavericks, because he didn’t play at all. The surprise to everyone, except for maybe himself, is that O.J. Mayo is playing out of this world this year and showed it again last night. As he was devalued over the past couple of seasons, the Mavericks took in Mayo and he’s helping them through a tough time with Dirk Nowitzki out. Mayo has established himself as the teams go to guy and will only make the Mavericks, just two seasons removed from a title, that much more difficult should they be able to get in to the playoffs.
If last night’s loss showed anything, it’s that Evan Turner is a much better player when he’s partnered with a true point guard. Playing with a whole lot of combo guards and not much else, Turner managed just 7 of 16 from the floor, while not getting to the free throw line at all. Jason Richardson, Kwame Brown, and Maalik Wayns all followed Turner’s lead by not getting to the stripe either. Four players that are on the floor for more than 20 minutes in any game that don’t get one free throw attempt? Not good for a team that’s looking to build on last season’s playoff success.
If you’re looking for positives in the game, Spencer Hawes finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench while going 8 of 8 from the line. Right now, Hawes is your only hope as any sort of presence down low. Another positive would be that Andrew Bynum didn’t get hurt last night. That seems to just be the watch that we’re all keeping.
Let’s hope that Holiday’s foot heals quickly before it’s too late.Tags: Elton Brand, Evan Turner, Jason Richardson, Jrue Holiday, Kwame Brown, Maalik Wayns, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes