Painful. That could be the word used to describe what it feels like to watch the 76ers play lately or it could be what you would describe the punch that Carmelo Anthony threw to the back of Spencer Hawes head during last nights game. The 76ers (22-32) went to New York with hopes of turning their luck around against the Knicks (33-20). They would have no such luck, losing 99-93 as Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Amare Stoudemire had 22 points as he brings himself back from preseason knee surgery. For the 76ers Jrue Holiday, again, led the team and all scorers with 30 points on 12-24 shooting.
After a poor shooting 1st quarter from both teams, the Knicks broke it open in the second quarter to take a 52-40 lead at the half. As the Sixers do, they tried hard and fought back, but it wasn’t enough as the Knicks held on to win in the end. This is a common story for the Sixers this year and it’s not getting any better. If there’s a positive sign for life form the team, it’s Spencer Hawes getting in to a little shoving match with Anthony and Tyson Chandler after Anthony hit Hawes upside the head while going for a rebound. Anthony was given a flagrant foul, while Hawes and Chandler each received technical fouls. The way the Sixers shoot, I’m sure that if Hawes tried to hit either one of the Knicks players, he would have missed as he was 3-11 from the floor.
It’s not fair to say it was just Hawes though, as he finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds in 29 minutes. If you have a 7 footer and you’re playing against a team that has two good ones playing, you might want to get him more minutes. Doug Collins doesn’t seem to agree and continues to insert Lavoy Allen, who had 10 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes. There was no time for Arnett Moultrie nor Kwame Brown, even though they could have used the size up front against the Knicks.
If there was a real positive, it’s that Thaddeus Young returned to the lineup after missing time with a calf injury. While his shooting was a bit off, going just 5-12 from the floor, he did finish with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Hopefully, as Young regains his health, we’ll see a lot less of Allen, but I doubt that.
Andrew Bynum has participated in his first full practice with the Sixers, but we shouldn’t count on him coming back as Collins said that he’s not close to being ready for a game. It’s leading up to a painful end of the season for the Sixers who are going to see Bynum come back and play a few games, get the team excited and probably resigned by the team for some ridiculous contract under the hopes that he’s healthy all next year. The big question is whether Doug Collins is back for the team next year? He seems to have lost this team and his system is lost on a roster of slashing guards that he asks to shoot jump shots.
The 76ers next game is Tuesday, in Philadelphia against the Orlando Magic (15-41). Game time is 7:00 pm.Tags: Andrew Bynum, Doug Collins, Jrue Holiday, Lavoy Allen, loss, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young