The Philadelphia 76ers fell to the New Orleans Hornets 111-99. The Hornets came out on fire, shooting 76% in the first quarter and 53% for the game. The Hornets lead by as much as 20 in the fourth quarter. Despite a jump-shooting clinic put on by Nick Young in the fourth quarter, the Hornets made enough plays down the stretch to drop the Sixers to 16-23.
If anyone still believes that the plus-minus stat is directly correlated to a player’s effectiveness on the court, here you are:
The Good - Jrue Holiday's All-Star Game Chances
No one deserves their first all-star appearance more than Jrue Holiday. Holiday had 29 points, 11 assists, and four steals. He played some solid defense on Grievis Vasquez. He even scored eight points in the final four minutes. However, the Sixers were already in too far behind.
Nick Young provided a much needed spark off the bench. Swaggy P scored 14 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. He had the crowd on its feet. They begged Dorell Wright to pass up an open shot to get the ball to Young so he could take a contested jumper. Seriously!
The Bad - “Sixers Don’t Defend Anymore”
I didn’t say it. NBA TV Analyst Greg Anthony said it. The Philadelphia 76ers backed him up.
The Hornets made their open shots, they crashed the glass, and they cashed in on the Sixers’ turnovers. Vasquez and Gordon got hot early thanks to some lax defense by the Sixers. The Hornets also beat the Sixers in rebounding, 48-32.
I looked forward to tonight’s game between the Sixers and Hornets. Having never watched the New Orleans during the first two and half months of the season, I was surprised when the league announced that Greivis Vasquez was named Western Conference player of the week two weeks ago. He may not have the athleticism of Russell Westbook or the quickness of Rajon Rondo, but Vasquez made all of the plays for the Hornets. He finished with 23 points and nine assists, including the three-pointer with 2:44 left to put the Sixers away for good. It’s far too soon to put him in the upper echelon of point guards. If he plays like this for a long period of time, he belongs in the discussion.
The Ugly - Same Script for Holiday
We've seen this type of game before: Holiday making plays left and right while his teammates enjoy the best seats in the house.
It was somewhat disheartening to watch Holiday out on the floor, creating the majority of the offensive through the first three quarters. It reminded me of what Derrick Rose went through in Chicago a few years ago: a young scoring guard surrounded by guys who should be able to shoot (Wright and Richardson), some undersized bangers (Allen and Young), and an underappreciated/underperforming swingman (Turner). That Chicago Bulls team was marginally more talented at each position compared to this Sixers team. Look how that team has improved since 2010. It's not that crazy to see this Sixers team follow in their footsteps.