Got to another Sixers game last night at home against the Bucks. Despite a valiant 24-9 run to tie the game at 82 at end the third quarter, the Sixers looked lost. One of the worst defensive performances by a Doug Collins' coached team that I have ever seen. I shutter when I say it about a Philadelphia sports team, but at times the Sixers looked... well, soft. Now don't get it completely twisted. I realize the Sixers were in a tough spot last night after winning 3 straight on the road and coming home to a game that they were "supposed" to win, but I still expect them to keep the Bucks under 100 points at home.
Now to elaborate on my "soft" comment. Brandon Jennings went bananas. Put up 33 points (not to mention 8 assists and 4 steals) and was slicing through the lane with the ease of a knife through warm butter. Not one time did any of the Sixer big men (or any other Sixer for that matter) think of laying a hard foul on the little guy (he literally looked like a 12 year old when compared to the other guys on the court). Does not make any sense. Put the guy on his ass and he is going to be thinking of that the next time he tries to drive the lane. Karl Malone would have never let that happen. Shaq would've never let that happen. But the Sixers let it happen time and time again. I realize the culture in professional sports has changed across the board with every league emphasizing player safety, but all I am asking for here is a hard foul. You know who would be the perfect man for the job? Andrew Bynum.
I know this is an extreme case, but I am just trying to make a point. The Sixers need Bynum in the lineup and they needed him yesterday. He'll provide the big man presence they need on defense, and although this post has not focused at all on the offensive end, he'll provide an inside game the likes of which the Sixers haven't seen since Dr. J. This will give the Sixers the unique ability to play a half court style when he is on the floor and a fast past, run and gun style when he is on the bench. That is going to prove a very difficult task for teams to game plan for defensively because the two styles of play are such polar opposites.
I'd be remiss not to mention Jrue's line of 25 points and 6 assists on 10-18 from the field. He has been nothing short of magnificent on the offensive end to start the year; now he just needs to cut down on his 6 turnovers per game average.