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Sixers Rock Pistons, Snap Skid

Fresh off the All-Star break, the Sixers (21-14) were filled with fun and laughter while all eyes were on rookies Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic. By the end of this blowout, even the rooks were joining in on the fun. In other words, this entire game was a hearty laugh for the Philadelphia 76ers as they routed the lowly Pistons, 97-68.

In a 29-point blowout, the Sixers played well in every facet of the game. They scored efficiently, shut down the Pistons’ (11-25) offense with active hands and feet, and controlled the tempo throughout the contest.

Young led the Sixers, scoring 20, grabbing 8 boards, blocking 2 shots, and getting two steals (AP).

For the Sixers, every single starter shot 50% or better from the floor, and the two leading scorers, Lou Williams with 13 points on 6-12 shooting and Thaddeus Young with 20 points on 9-17 shooting, did the same off the bench. Philadelphia also moved the ball tremendously well, dishing out 26 assists as a team. It was truly a offensive team effort, with 6 players in double figures.

On defense, Philly flashed the energy and athleticism they used to earn the number one defense in the first half of the season. After a close first quarter, where Pistons sophomore center Greg Monroe scored 11 points and hit over 70% of his shots, the Sixers’ big men improved their interior defense, only allowing Monroe to score 9 more throughout the rest of the game on only 2-9 shooting.

The rest of the league should start to take notice of the Sixers’ defensive tenacity, especially seeing that they allow a league-low 87 points, 1.7 below their closest competitor, the Chicago Bulls. Only allowing the opposition to score 68 points is a feat within itself, but allowing them to shoot 31.6% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc is even more impressive.

Elton Brand, who had 10 points, three blocks, and three steals and Thaddeus Young, who had two steals and two blocks, dominated the paint while Andre Iguodala, who had 12 points and four steals, and Jrue Holiday, who had 12 points and three steals, disrupted passing lanes and harassed ballhandlers. Overall, the 76ers had 17 steals and forced Detroit to commit 22 turnovers and only convert 14 assists and 31% of their shots.

Meeks defends Rodney Stuckey; the Sixers defense was stifling (AP).

Turnovers created by the defense allowed Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, and Jrue Holiday to push the ball in transition and manufacture easy points. In the first half, the Sixers had a stunning 10-13 conversion rate while stealing 12 and converting them into 23 fast-break points. A pair of Thad Young steals and Lou blocks expanded the Sixers’ lead to double digits as they started the second quarter on an 11-0 run. They earned a 30-10 advantage in fast break points for the game as their lead swelled to 34 points and finally set to a 97-68 victory during a “garbage time” fourth quarter.

Greg Monroe qualified as the lone star for the Pistons with 20 points, but as mentioned above, he faded quickly after a strong first quarter. The wave of big, athletic bodies Doug Collins’ had at his disposal wore Monroe down, even though he still finished with team highs in points, rebounds, and assists. Apparently the All-Star break wasn’t long enough for Mo-town, which has lost their last three despite winning seven of their previous nine.

The All-Star break was more than enough for the Sixers as they looked like their early-season routers, not the struggling 76ers of late. With this monstrous win, the Sixers ended their 5-game losing streak and their 2-game road losing streak.

The Sixers now go back to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the NBA-best OKC Thunder (27-7) and try to end their three-game home losing streak. It will be a battle of strengths, as the Thunder’s mighty offense takes aim at the Sixers’ top-ranked defense.

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Categories: 76ers

Author:Curran Aiyer

Studying Finance, Business Analytics, and International Business at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University with a minor in Spanish. Aspiring to change the world by driving education and the importance of staying informed. Looking to share my learnings and knowledge on behavioral economics and how that correlates with investing in yourself wisely. Originally from Philadelphia and trusting the process.

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