WOLVES BEAT SIXERS 104-88
If you’re a regular on this site, then you probably know that the Wolves have been better lately. The three losses following the Boston effort leading into the the All-Star Break were a downer (especially the Toronto and LA Lakers losses), but nothing compared to the putrid effort in November and December. Right before the season, I looked at certain factors I would be watching for and winning wasn’t on the list. However, reviewing the list tonight, I’m starting to see some positive results in relation to what I was looking for. This brings us to tonight. In my lust to see the team just pull out a game or two, I totally forgot what it was like to win a boring yawner.
"Turbo" Brewer taking it to the hoop in the first quarter. (AP Photo)
I have had the fortune of attending all 9 of the Wolves home wins this season and for the previous 8 wins, there was some serious energy in the Target Center, no matter how small the crowd was. Tonight, the crowd started to empty out with 3 minutes left in the fourth in the same manner they emptied out of Target Center in the blowout losses. Looking at the box score, I see that the Wolves outscored the 76ers in all four quarters and also somehow shot nearly 50% from the field. When the game ended, I asked my buddy Ryan, "How did they score 100 points tonight?" I still really have no idea. At the conclusion of the game, I think the lineup was Foye, McCants, Jaric, Gomes and Smith and all five were in double digits. Further review reveals that the Wolves put 7 players in double digits. Then I realized something: I think the Philidelphia 76ers I saw tonight are the worst team I’ve seen play so far this year. If nothing, they’re easily in one of the worst situations in the NBA.
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All of the complaints I had with the Wolves when they couldn’t pull it together ring true for the Sixers. Look at this:
1) They put the Wolves in the bonus with over 9:30 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
2) I don’t see a real alpha dog (before Al Jefferson decided to make a mini-leap, I thought the same of the Wolves);
3) They got too little back for their Superstar in a trade (in hindsight, they didn’t even get anyone worth developing);
4) While they have some nice individual players on their team, none of them really fit together;
5) Now with Korver gone, they don’t have anyone that, when wide open for a jumper, makes you say, "Oh, S**t! That’s going in for sure!"
6) Unlike the Wolves, if I could rebuild the 76ers from the ground up, I would cut EVERY player on that team.
How would you like to owe Samuel Delambert $10, $11, and $12 million over the next 3 years? I like Delambert’s game, but not for 8 figures. Also, if I were a team looking at Andre Miller, I would be wary of the fact that (a) almost any young PG in the league has the ability to blow by him off the dribble and (b) even when the game wasn’t in doubt, Mo Cheeks was going with Louis Williams and Kevin Ollie. Oh…and he gets 10 million next year.
Would you like to pay Reggie Evans $4.6-$5.0 million over the next three years? For the price of Delambert/Evans, we get Al Jefferson, who is 23.
I also have to give Bassy credit for his development lately. I was a big Bassy downer and he has me turning my opinion on him around.
Two final, negative Wolves thought before I sign off. Foye had troubles with the full court press both against the Lakers (even when it was just Fisher putting 90 feet of man-to-man on him) and Sixers tonight. I still think he can be a nice scorer and a slasher, but please, please end the Foye-as-a-pure-PG experiment.
Secondly, I thought my man Turbo played a really strong opening quarter on both offense and defense, but he got yanked early and never really got back into it. I would like to see him get more chances to work on his handling, which I think could open the other facets of his offensive game. I want to see Turbo in a few years when he has the bulk to go with his speed and defensive intelligence because I think you will see a true lock down defender in this league.
Speaking of which – say "Hi" to Jersey for me Hassell.