Even though the only thing that matters during the regular season is wins and losses, there is much that we can gain from the Sixers latest preseason double overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors.
On a positive note, we will start with the good.
Jrue Holiday: During summer leagues, Jrue seemed to be turning a corner and showing glimpses of something special. He cooled off a bit when the preseason started. Last night however, he was given a large amount of playing time and excelled. He played almost 46 minutes and finished 7 of 12 for 18 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists and only 2 turnovers. In case you weren’t paying attention that is a triple double. Yes it was preseason. Yes they were playing the Raptors. I know all that. But, it is still an impressive outing for a young guard still coming into his own.
Evan Turner: His game wasn’t as great as Jrue’s however, there were flashes of promise. He finished with 13 points, and a very impressive 12 rebounds. When your guards can consistently rebound it will open up a lot of opportunities.
Now the bad.
Elton Brand: I suppose we must accept the fact that the Sixers will be out rebounded on a nightly basis. If your guards are your leading rebounders, that is a problem. Rebounding is a team effort but, Elton Brand needs to step it up on the glass. He barely had more rebounds than Lou Williams who was on the floor for four minutes less than him. In fact, Brand recorded 6 rebounds in just over 32 minutes while Speights recorded 4 rebounds in 12 minutes. It comes down to effort. It is frustrating because Brand knows how to play basketball, he knows how to position himself and box out. In my opinion, I don’t think he has the desire to be the leading rebounder on the team on a nightly basis. He would rather give half of an effort, collect a check (a mighty big one at that) and go home.
3-pt Shooting: On the night we were 3 of 17. That is 18% from beyond the arc. Quite frankly, that must improve. On average last year the lowest 3-pt percentage for a team was Detroit at 31.4%. In this contest specifically, if we had gone between 30-35%, we win the game. Of course, every team will have poor outings from deep. We can’t make too big of a deal from one night.
The next opportunity to tune up is Tuesday October 19th at 7 PM versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. Let’s see if Coach Collins can help the team make some improvements.