76ers stumble in to the All-Star break losing 94-92 to the Bucks

Monta Ellis and Nick Young jockey for a ball during the Bucks win over the 76ers Wednesday night.The 76ers season, hopefully, can be rescued with some rest and time away. In what has become an all too familiar story, the team couldn’t hold on to a lead and close out a game. Wednesday night, in their last game before the All-Star break, the 76ers (22-29) couldn’t hold on and lost 94-92 to the Milwaukee Bucks (26-25) who are now 4 games above the 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the east, with only 51 games to go.

As a team, the 76ers need to find a way to play a complete game. A full 48 minutes. It’s just not happening this year. The first quarter was the best as they finished with a ten point lead, but the Bucks started their comeback by outscoring the 76ers 25-22 in the 2nd quarter. The 76ers shot 56% from the field in the first half, while holding the Bucks to only 35.6%.  But, that’s where all of the good ends.

Nick Young hit 4 of 5 shots to start the game, but only had one shot in the second half and didn’t score at all. When Young is on the floor and playing as well as he has of late, then you need to find a way to get him the ball. Jrue Holiday didn’t help with 5 of the teams 15 turnovers in what has become more the norm than the exception. If the 76ers are to succeed regularly, Holiday needs to cut down his turnovers. The 16 points and 12 assists are great, but the turnovers are hurting the team.

What the 76ers are seeing is that starting Spencer Hawes is a positive, but Doug Collins hasn’t learned that Lavoy Allen is not the answer for the team and should be starting Arnett Moultrie. Hawes, in 41 minutes, had 19 points and 9 rebounds against the Bucks. It’s good to see Hawes getting the minutes and producing results, which should be something that continues for the rest of the regular season. The problem with Allen is that he’s just not good enough. There has to be a reason that he was picked at the end of the 2nd round in the draft and Moultrie was drafted in the 1st round. Moultrie, when he is on the floor, contributes and adds a big, talented player to the rotation. Allen is good for a few points and rebounds, and lots of fouls. He shouldn’t be getting close to 30 minutes per game while Moultrie is only getting 19 minutes.

I don’t know what’s happened to Doug Collins, who just can’t seem to get the team together and put the right pieces together to get the team to play the best. If he was, then he wouldn’t have Royal Ivey on the floor at the end of the game. Looking at the stat sheet and seeing names like Damien Wilkins, Royal Ivey, and Jeremy Pargo just hurts me as I’d like to actually see people that can play.

Too often it seems that the 76ers settle for jump shots and when they’re not hitting them and they’re not penetrating the lane, there’s not going to be much to worry about for an opposing team. Last night, they seem to have played just ok, but not good enough to hold off the Bucks.  With players like Montae Ellis, 27 points, and Brandon Jennings, 21 points, the Bucks have to very good scorers who love to shoot. Nick Young is that type of player, he just wasn’t given any shots after a 14 points 1st half.

Hopefully some rest and time away will be good for the whole team and also for Collins, who should be using the All-Star break to figure out how to get this team in order to make a push for the playoffs over the last 31 games. If the Sixers can’t climb out above the 7th seed, they’re in for a very short playoff run as their likely opponents would be either the Knicks or the defending champion Miami Heat, who seem to be getting stronger by the game.

This weekend is the NBA All Star game in Houston and Jrue Holiday will be representing the Sixers in the game on Sunday as well as in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday night. His competition in the challenge is defending champion Tony Parker of the Spurs, Jeremy Lin of the Rockets, Brandon Knight of the Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers, and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks.  Parker and Holiday should be favorites for this event, but with no one playing defense you can’t count out Jeremy Lin.

The Sixers are back in regular season action after the All-Star break on February 20th at 8:00 pm against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tim Sullivan

Born and raised in Fishtown. Bleeds Philly sports. You can follow him on Twitter @IrishTim74.