Last Night’s Bench Production was Pleasant Surprise for Philadelphia 76ers
It took overcoming a slow start to the second half, but thanks to a comeback and strong play in the fourth quarter and overtime the Philadelphia 76ers got their usual output from their two best players in Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. But on a night like this the Sixers needed a little bit more to put them in the opportunity to win, and they got that from some unlikely heroes.
The Sixers’ bench is currently ranked 25th in the NBA averaging only 28.1 points per game, and the bench already took a little bit of a hit before and during this game. Brett Brown was forced to insert Daniel Orton into the starting lineup for the second straight night as Thaddeus Young continues to not be with the team for personal reasons. Brown also lost his best bench player in the third quarter when Tony Wroten went down with a strained back.
So where would the production come from if the Sixers were going to win this game? Lavoy Allen nearly had a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds — just shy of his season high in points at 10 and tied a season high in rebounds. Elliot Williams was also able to contribute with six points, but the real story was Hollis Thompson. He doubled his career high last night when he poured in 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and pulled in seven rebounds.
Thompson scored in a variety of ways including offensive put backs, an extremely athletic alley-oop and one three-pointer. Thompson picked up the slack for Turner while he struggled in the first three quarters, he stepped up for Wroten when he went down, and he was in at the end of the game when Michael Carter-Williams fouled out. It was refreshing to see the bench score 35 points last night, just don’t expect it consistently until some of these young guys get more experience.