Maybe this was the eye opener that Doug Collins needed or maybe this will cloud his vision even more. Last night in Philadelphia the 76ers (23-34) finally snapped their 7 game losing streak with a 104-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors (33-27). With Nick Young out with an ankle sprain, Evan Turner was free to play like he did earlier in the season and t paid off for the 76ers as Turner finished the game one assist shy of a triple double. Turner finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists combining with Jrue Holiday’s 27 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds to lead the 76ers past the visiting Warriors.
This is what the 76ers have been missing and that Collins hasn’t been recognizing. When Nick Young isn’t on the floor Turner thrives. It was obvious earlier in the season and it’s something that hasn’t happened lately because Young has been in the starting lineup since Jason Richardson went out with an injury. Turner is a very good basketball player, who only this year, is finally getting a chance to show that he was worthy of being the second overall pick in the draft. Thaddeus Young has continued to rebound from his injury and chipped in a solid 14 point and 16 rebound night. The team fell behind by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, but battled back and was able to close out a game that had seen them fall in to their usual routine of getting way behind early.
The main difference was that Nick Young wasn’t out there firing off-balance and wild shots. Royal Ivey finished with 17 points in starting for the injured Young and was 6 for 6 from the field. That’s not going to happen every night, especially with Ivey, but it’s better than the 1-7 nights we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Young. He lights up the scoreboard in the first half, then disappears when the game is on the line. Hopefully Collins realizes that maybe this team is better off with Young coming off the bench. He may not like it, but it’s not like he’s a 27 year old Allen Iverson, he’s a 27 year old gunner who misfires a lot and is on his third team in three years. Collins needs to make that change.
Dorrel Wright got to see some minutes as well and finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds, another example of what can happen when an actual player is given time on the floor to play. The only real negative from the game, besides the 76ers failures early on, is that Spencer Hawes finished with zero points and only 4 rebounds after finishing with 20 and 15 in the last game. His replacement, Lavoy Allen, didn’t do much better as he finished with 4 points and 5 rebounds.
For the Warriors, fighting through a now 4 game losing streak, it was a tough game as they held 16 point and 11 points leads in parts of the 2nd and 3rd quarter, but couldn’t hold on as the 76ers fought back throughout the whole 2nd half. Stephen Curry finished with 30 points and Klay Thompson finished with 29, but it wasn’t enough. Holiday and Turner had control of the game and finally were able to put it away. It was a huge team victory over a quality opponent and hopefully gives the 76ers confidence going forward as they close out the regular season and push for a spot in the playoffs.
The 76ers are in Washington tonight to take on the Wizards (18-39) at 6:00 pm.Tags: Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, NBA, Nick Young, Philadelphia 76ers, Thaddeus Young, win