|MC Dub With The Scratch|
As for actual analysis... this game looked like one of those Nice Try Young Guy games with five minutes left. They had ran out to the big early lead, but the Heat rained down threes in the third quarter, scoring 45 freaking points, with Ray Allen ending it with a 50-footer for funsies. The Heat were on the back end of a back to back, but they were not playing badly. Sure, they could have been better with the ball, but give rookie PG Michael Carter-Williams some credit for getting those, too. The Heat did not, by any means play badly; the Sixers just hit every damned thing.
Beyond MCDub being everyone's new jersey purchase, is there any greater takeaway? Plenty, actually.
> New HC Brett Brown has them trying hard on defense, but that wasn't the most encouraging thing. Rather, it was that the vast majority of shots were either from behind the arc or in the lane. No more two man screens for 20-footers from big men! It's like actual analysis was done or something, or the franchise is suddenly in the hands of people who have won in this century.
> When Evan Turner has one of those occasional good games, it's easy to forget that he's given us a world of evidence that he's not actually, well, good. But since he's usually wet himself against Miami, we'll take what we can get.
> Philly won this game with Thaddeus Young not shooting for a high percentage, which seems six kinds of impossible, really.
> Spencer Hawes hit a big three late, and while I still hate him out there, give the devil his due; that was huge.
> LeBron James looked weak for most of the fourth quarter, without playing major minutes. This won't last, of course, but he might not be the eater of worlds until, say, December.
> The big bucket of cold water: Miami sat Dwyane Wade in this game, mostly because they don't need to go balls-out to win every regular season game, and he's destroyed the Sixers even more than James over the years. Maybe they win this game with Wade in the lineup, and he's probably playing the next time they meet, when James wants to put MC Dub back in his place.
> The Sixers had a half dozen chances to killshot this game late, but couldn't finish in transition, or rebound any number of missed threes.
> If you can see this game on replay or encore, do it. It's so worth it.
> Tony Wroten, Daniel Orten and James Anderson? Actually athletic and useful, and a nice change of pace / dreaming moment that new GM Sam Hinkie has magical powers.
> Could they actually be good? Well, they get the Bulls later this week, and if MC Dub is the best player on the floor again... well, they just beat the freaking defending champions with a roster that wasn't supposed to win more than 15 games this year. Chances are still not good, but...
> The Elephant in the Room, or Your MC Dub Line: 22 points, 7 boards, 12 assists, 1 turnover, 9 steals, one of them in the last minute on James, along with a beastly board with 27.5 left, and the defining opening score steal and finish. That's the most steals ever for a guy making his NBA debut.
Other than make some more free throws and getting the Sixers to upgrade from McDonalds to Chipotle for the post-game free meal, dude was borderline perfect tonight, and the best player on the floor in a game with LeBron Freaking James.
Call him the Day One favorite for Rookie of the Year, is all I'm saying.