You know that you’ve reached the end of the line when the coach is using the word “competitive”. It’s over for the 76ers and it’s time to let it go. Last night in Chicago the Bulls (33-25) handed the 76ers (22-34) their seventh straight loss 93-82 behind Joakim Noah‘s triple double (23 points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocks). Think about that for a second. Noah had a triple double with 11 blocks and over 20 rebounds. The 76ers have a way of making mediocre to good players look like they’re the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain.
Doug Collins is left to tell us how the 76ers effort was there, that they were competitive and that last night they just ran in to a great front line with Carlos Boozer also finishing the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds. It’s another game and another excuse for why the 76ers can’t win.
Did they try? Yes. Were they competitive? Yes. Then why can’t they seem to win ballgames? It’s a very simple answer, talent. The Philadelphia 76ers just don’t have enough of it to compete in the NBA. Not this year and not next year, unless something drastic and dramatic happens. I’m not talking about Philly’s biggest bowler, either.
Jrue Holiday is trying his best and he’s got the talent. Last night, Holiday finished with 22 points, but only 3 assists. That’s a reflection of his teams lack of talent more than his inability to get them the ball. Nick Young finished with 5 points on 1 of 6 shooting. Most of them come on off balance shots that make it look like he’s interested in getting on SportsCenter more than helping this team win. He’s a gunner that can’t shoot and that’s why he’s on his 3rd team in the past two years. Under a confused Doug Collins is the only way that Young is a starter in this league.
Spencer Hawes has come alive for 20 points and 15 rebounds, which is what should be expected of Hawes. He needs to be more assertive in the low post, even though that’s not really his game. He’s playing well, but there’s not much else happening with this team. Evan Turner had 12 points and 8 rebounds, but in watching the game, doesn’t look comfortable in this offense. He’s obviously learning to play off the ball more and this is really the first season where he’s been given an honest chance to do that, but it become harder when you have Nick Young on the floor and he’s taking away from Turner’s development.
In the paint, where the 76ers are being dominated on a regular basis, they have no answers for other teams centers or even power forwards. Thaddeus Young is just coming off an injury, but he’s never quite performed as we thought he would, although he’s a good player, he’s not what the 76ers need down low. There is still Arnett Moultrie, who hasn’t been given any sort of chance by Collins. In seven minutes last night he was 2-2 for 4 points, but with the way the season is going he should be getting Lavoy Allen‘s 14 minutes. Allen is just horrible. I get that he’s a local guy and a feel good story playing for the home team, but he’s not talented enough to be out there more than Moultrie. His 2 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 fouls in 14 minutes last night are proof of that.
This team will continue to struggle as long as any team puts out two larger players down low and the 76ers keep firing away jump shots as they do. I’ve said it a lot and I’ll keep saying it, with two good slashing players in Turner and Holiday the 76ersshould be getting a lot of fouls when going in for layups. The problem is that they don’t go in the paint, rather settling for pull up, fade away, or off balance jumps shots, no matter how close they are to the basket.
It’s just not going to get better any time soon and don’t expect that the biggest bowler in Olde City will help any time soon.
The 76ers are home against the Golden State Warriors (33-25) on Saturday night at 7:00 pm.Tags: Arnett Moultrie, Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, loss, NBA, Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young