Although it was only one game, it really was an amazing game. The Philadelphia 76ers stunned the Miami Heat last night 114-110 and looked really good doing it. New head coach Brett Brown had his guys ready to go against the defending champs as they raced out to a 19-0 lead to start the game.
As you probably already know, rookie Michael Carter-Williams had a debut that he will probably never again be able to duplicate; 22 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists and nine steals. Evan Turner had 26 points and Spencer Hawes added 24 and nine rebounds. Besides the fact that Thaddeus Young had an off night, I think the only knock you can have about this performance is the bench production.
Now we knew going into the season that this roster was extremely thin. With four of the 15 players under contract out for an extended period of time because of injury, the Sixers only dressed 11 players. Two of which, Hollis Thompson and newest acquisition Brandon Davies, did not play.
Tony Wroten looked great off the bench; 14 points in 23 minutes on a shockingly good 6-of-9 shooting. But the rest of the bench, Lavoy Allen, Darius Morris and Daniel Orton, combined for only eight points, four rebounds and zero assists in 44 minutes.
You can’t expect the starting five to have this type of production and log this many minutes every single night. So we are going to need a little more from the bench to stay competitive. It doesn’t even have to necessarily be in terms of scoring. Orton grabbed only one rebound and committed four fouls in 15 minutes of play. Allen, Orton and Morris were the only three players on the team to have a negative plus/minus for their time out on the court.
The Sixers play back-to-back games on the road against the Washington Wizards and home against the Chicago Bulls. If the team wants to continue some of the magic we saw on Wednesday night, we need more productivity on both ends of the floor from the second unit (besides Wroten).