“You just saw an old team”. That’s Kobe Bryant after the Philadelphia 76ers handed the Lakers a 103 – 99 loss on New Years day.
Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner combined for 48 points, 15 assists, and 15 rebounds, to lead the 76ers (15-17) while the Lakers (15-16) got 36 points from Bryant, but not much from anyone else on the team. When Turner and Holiday are on their games, they’ve been playing like there’s not a better tandem in the league. I understand the LeBron James/Dwayne Wade or Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook tandems are the big names, but the 76ers play a different style of team ball that doesn’t feature a “superstar” although Holiday is obviously the breakout player this year.
The game comes down to possessions and the 76ers made the most of their, while the Lakers squandered theirs. Shooting 39% from the floor (37-94) isn’t going to win you many games, no matter how many Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Bryant or Pau Gasols you have. Kobe gives you that chance any time that he’s on the floors, but not on this night. Not while going 14-29 from the floor. Basketball is still a team game and the 76ers play it very well, but mostly when Holiday is on the floor.
Turner and Holiday look to be cornerstones that the 76ers can continue to build around. You can stop holding your breath for Andrew Bynum, who doesn’t really seem interested in the NBA as much as he is bowling and shopping, but we can focus on the talent and game playing that these 76ers display on a nightly basis.
What we need to see is if the 76ers can get production from the inside, but that haven’t really needed it as long as Turner and Holiday are on their games, which seems to be more often than not. Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown aren’t giving much, but it doesn’t seem that they get much of a chance with the way the “small ball” has taken over. Hawes, against the Lakers, put up 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in only 27 minutes which is quality minutes. On the other hand, you have Brown who had 6 boards in 15 minutes, but zero points and only attempted 1 shot. While he’s not expected to do much, Brown needs to do more, making his minutes on the floor, however minimal, quality minutes.
It’s a new year and there’s no better way to start if off by playing a complete game against a team that many were saying would be in the NBA finals, but can’t seem to get it together. Judging by the way he’s played all year, Jrue is making it a Holiday season, all year long for the 76ers.
Tonight, the 76ers continue their road trip against the Phoenix Suns (11-21) at 9:00 EST.Tags: Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, Kobe Bryant, Kwame Brown, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Pau Gasol, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes, Steve Nash, win