In the third quarter of last night’s 97-87 loss to the Heat, Evan Turner received a pass on the wing and sized up Dwyane Wade. Looking somewhat similar to Allen Iverson’s famed move on Michael Jordan as a rookie, Turner crossed over on Wade, pulled up, and knocked down a jumper.
Turner’s eyebrow-raising play was a bright spot on a night that otherwise went as expected. The Sixers were predictably outclassed and never really threatened the Heat’s star-studded lineup, as the Heat left Philadelphia with a 97-87 victory.
What wasn’t expected was the horrific showing by Jrue Holiday and the rest of the Sixers starters. Jason Kapono and Spencer Hawes were the pieces that fit for coach Doug Collins, but they weren’t able to keep up. Thaddeus Young (15 points), Turner (16 points) and Lou Williams (15 points) all staked their claim to a starting gig.
“My starters aren’t necessarily my best players, so don’t get caught up in who’s starting,”?said Sixers coach Doug Collins.
Turner ended up with seven rebounds, four assists and a block, shedding rumors of a bust label that were slapped on before the season started.
For the Sixers, it’s something to build on.
What we saw …
1 WHERE WAS JRUE? — All offseason, the Sixers hyped Jrue Holiday as one of the best young players in the NBA. Last night, he was the worst player on the court by a wide margin. After three successive turnovers in the third quarter, he was yanked in favor of Lou Williams.
2 BENCH MOB — The Sixers bench has been winning scrimmages against the starters all preseason. So it wasn’t really a surprise that Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams were two highlights for the Sixers. Somehow, none of the Sixers starters even attempted a free throw.
3 KING’S COURT — LeBron only had 16 points, but he didn’t have to score. The mismatches were everywhere else on the floor, with no one able to match up on Dwyane Wade or even James Jones.
Tale of two locker rooms
There was no tent, jugglers, or an elephant. Yet the case could be made that the circus made a brief stop in Philly last night before the Sixers-Heat game. Metro went inside both locker rooms to find out what the players were saying:
Ninety minutes prior to tip-off, there was barely a place to stand outside the visitor’s locker room. Broadcast media revved their cameras and print journalists shouted questions at Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. If the pressure is getting to his team, they aren’t admitting it.
“That’s fine. We’re not running away from expectations,” Spoelstra said. “The media wasn’t at our film study or practice. We had a good film session and walkthrough. We’re focused on what we need to do.”
Meanwhile, LeBron James held court. The King has been here, done this too many times to let it affect him now.
“I’m used to it. I’ve been dealing with this my whole life,” James said. “When we lose, it’ll be the end of the world for people,” James said. “And when we win, it’ll be we should have won.” MIKE GREGER
Calling the Heat a traveling three-ring circus is an understatement. They are more like a moving target.
Every night, a different team wants to take a shot at them. Last night, it was the Sixers’ turn.
“It’s kind of a zoo,” said Spencer Hawes. “Every time you turn on SportsCenter, it’s just them.”
Normally, it’s not a zoo for the Sixers. Without a superstar, they toil in relative anonymity nationally. Each member of the “Big Three” has more star power than any Sixers.
“It’s definitely weird seeing those guys, just like with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on the same team,” said Thaddeus Young.
Doug Collins recalled his own version of a Rock Star Team, When he played with Dr. J and George McGinnis in 1976-77. He said it “energized” them, playing in front of packed houses every night. ADAM LEVITAN