April 06, 2015
The Sixers lost to the lowly (well, even lowlier than them) New York Knicks 101-91 on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. Here’s what I saw:
To quote the fictionalized version of Herman Boone, Joey Crawford (Cardinal O’Hara), Mark Lindsay (Malvern Prep), and Haywoode Workman let the boys play in The Big Apple tonight.
The Knicks took advantage. The likes of Lou Amundson, Quincy Acy, and Jason Smith — Move over ‘27 Yankees, there’s a new Murderers’ Row in town — were aggressive around the hoop on both ends of the floor for the entire game, and the Sixers never matched the #KnicksTape’s brand of physicality. Brett Brown complained about the officiating after the game a little bit, which he rarely does.
“I’m confused,” he told reporters after the game. “We had 55 paint attempts. I’m confused why we only shot [eight] free throws. I thought that people like Jerami [Grant] did a really good job of driving. Evidently, they didn’t believe that there were fouls being made, and so I’m confused.”
You gotta respect Brett bringing some numbers to back up his argument, although I admittedly have no clue what a “paint attempt” is. Honestly, I didn’t think the refs were all that unfair. Sure, a 29-8 free-throw disparity doesn’t look great on paper, but sometimes the game just shakes out that way. At least from the here, the Knicks were a little better, and also perhaps a little tougher. Mostly, the Sixers did a lousy job of guarding a team that, as constructed, basically guards itself.
1. I’m going to talk about his stats in detail a little further down, but Hollis Thompson has been really effective shooting the ball ever since coming back from his month-long absence (upper respiratory infection). He shot 6-11 (5-6 from deep) and was good enough that we’ll even let slide the ridiculous dunk attempt late in the game that got stuffed.
2. Ish Smith had his typical Ish Smith performance as of late: Inefficient volume scoring that was super-fun to watch, and a solid to excellent floor game that was highlighted by an ability to live in the paint on the pick-and-roll.
3. Weird night for Nerlens Noel offensively. On some possessions, someone like Amundson (i.e. not very good) completely stoned him. On others, Noel made impressive offensive moves, a few of which didn’t require a speed move like usual. I’m interested to see if his skill level takes a major leap forward if his strength level does the same. Tonight, he wasn’t at a huge strength disadvantage, a rare occasion.
4. As far as shot selection goes, process did not win out tonight. To be fair to the Knicks, a lot of the mid-range shots that they took were wide the eff open:
A weird game. The Sixers have 2x as many combined PTS in the paint and beyond the arc and half the TOs of NYK but trail by 6 w/ 1:26 left.— Max Rappaport (@MaxRappaport) April 6, 2015
5. CELEB WATCH: I saw Phil Collins, John McEnroe, and Cecily Strong on the broadcast, which is what you would expect from such a hot ticket. Three of my favorites! Collins might’ve gotten the loudest cheer all night from the packed yet reserved Garden faithful. There was a real “Quiet Please” slash Wimbledon vibe in NYC.
1. Like I mentioned above, these Knicks have generally taken Phil Jackson’s beloved Triangle Offense and turned it into something entirely different from how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant executed when The Zen Master was on the bench. Against the Sixers, it actually looked pretty sharp, though. The Knickerbockers were able to score on this specific action multiple times:
These two are usually good for at least one of these per game. Grade: B
Didn’t hand one out during last night’s recap, so to backtrack a little, Robert Covington’s shooting efficiency in Charlotte earned him the nod over Ish Smith. In New York, Thompson was the guy who got it done. Post-Trade Deadline Standings: Noel 10, Smith 6, Covington 6, Thompson 4, Grant 3, Robinson 3, LRMAM 1, Sampson 1, Richardson 1, and Canaan 1.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (shoulder soreness), Thomas Robinson (twisted ankle), and Isaiah Canaan (sprained foot) all missed the game against New York.
Nothing says tank like running plays to get Furkan Aldemir 3 point looks.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 6, 2015
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