I have not seen a Sixer game like this one in quite a while. The Sixers not only won the game, but they did it easily. Granted the Mavs are not the greatest team in the NBA, but they are almost playoff caliber and they have been winning lately with Nerlens. And the Sixers routed them.
What is going on? Clearly, the answer is Brett Brown. The coach is finally getting his players to execute the way that he wants them to. They are running and spacing the floor, passing and playing team defense. They have just enough talent that if they are hot from three point land, watch out! The Mavs coach had these words
“Philadelphia has been one of the most fun teams to watch this year for me,” Carlisle said before Friday’s game. “I love the way they move the ball, I love how hard they play.”
He also likes the team work the Sixers have displayed.
“They pass the ball more frequently than anybody in the league by statistics,” Carlisle said. They just move it, drive it, share it…”
Carlisle then praised his counterpart, Sixers coach Brett Brown.
“Brett has done over the last four years an amazing job positioning this franchise to keep moving ahead,” he said. “It’s pretty clear next year they are going to take an even bigger quantum leap.”
And this comment from Liberty Ballers is something I have not seen in many a moon
The real story of the game, though, was the Sixers’ backcourt locking up the Mavericks’ perimeter players. The Mavs’ starting unit was rendered completely ineffective against top notch ball pressure from TJ McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Robert Covington. The trio created fastbreak point after fastbreak point, and it allowed the Sixers to open up a huge lead partway through the 3rd.
Praise for the Sixers backcourt? It was supposed to be their great weakness!
I agree that this bodes well for next year. Assuming there are not huge injury issues, and if Joel and Ben Simmons are back, along with one or maybe even two high draft picks AND this group, the Sixers are surely headed fo the playoffs next year.
BTW, Nerlens showed a LOT of class on his return to Philly. He took the time to mingle with fans before the game — he bought them cheesesteaks – and had nothing but fond works for his former teammates. On the court, he played well. Errr … and he was just about the only one on the Mavs squad who could say that. Dirk still can shoot, but he can’t do much else.
The Sixers play the hated Celtics on Sunday and it will be a real test The Celts are in a groove, and leading the division. I will definitely check in on that one!