Although this was just a regular season game against the bottom-grazing New Jersey Nets, the Sixers brought a little extra to the Wells Fargo Center Friday night. The Sixers mutilated New Jersey by a score on 90-115, clinching a well-earned playoff spot.
“They’re a fun group to coach,” said Collins after the game. “We now know that we’re in the playoffs and we want to keep winning.”
It seemed as if the Sixers were playing games with the Nets; literally. Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala were throwing down dunks like they were in a real-life version of NBA Jam.
“Thad has been amazing,” said Collins. “When he and Lou (Williams) play the way they do off the bench, it makes us a different team.”
Young finished the game with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in only 20 minutes of game time. His efficiency and hard work has won Collins over. Throughout the season, Collins has expressed his admiration for Young on multiple occasions.
Elton Brand, who was described as a “tower of power,” by Sixers’ broadcaster, Marc Zumoff, finished the game early, due to the point margin, but managed to tally 21 points, to go along with 7 rebounds. He shot 7-12 from the floor and 7-8 from the charity stripe.
Jrue Holiday continued his up-climb and scored 17 points, collected 7 assists and rebounded the ball 6 times. The beat-down served by the Sixers allowed every player that dressed for the game an opportunity to play. Some still have much to prove as the playoffs near.
Evan Turner has seen his minutes greatly decrease as of late, resulting in more playing time for gritty small forward, Andres Nocioni. Along with Turner, Marreese Speights has been spending more time on the bench, and Hawes’ solid play of late has impressed Collins enough to increase his minutes as well.
Once again, the Sixers limited the other team’s threat to an ineffective output. Deron Williams only scored 4 points, thanks to the defense of Holiday and the Philly backcourt. Williams only took 8 shots, missing 6 of them.
The 76ers have now swept the Nets in back-to-back seasons. They will be right back at it tomorrow, traveling to Milwaukee overnight to face the Bucks at 8:30 p.m.