This may be nit-picking, especially when the 76ers provided such a dominating performance, but was anybody else wondering why Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand were in the game so long in Monday’s 103-83 rout of the Washington Wizards?
With the Sixers holding a 99-81 lead and 2:08 left in the game, Brand, Iguodala and Holiday finally got the rest of the night off.
The Sixers led 33-14 after one quarter and the game ceased being competitive long before the quarter ended. At halftime, the Sixers led by 30. If ever a night for an extended breather, this was the one.
Still, Holiday played 36 minutes, 45 seconds; Iguodala played 32:09 and Brand was in for 29:10.
Not outrageous totals, except that this was one of the nights where they could have been even less. Plus, the longer the players are out there, the chance of injury is greater.
Coaches throughout the NBA, including Doug Collins, talk about watching minutes in this condensed seasons.
Without injured centers Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic, the Sixers only had 11 available players, but Andres Nocioni didn’t play and Craig Brackins only appeared for 1:32.
It was especially surprising that Brand was in so late in the game, especially since he was sent home from shootaround with a stomach ailment.
And we don’t want to downplay the fact that this was arguably the Sixers most impressive win of the season, even though the opponent is right now the worst team in the NBA – on merit.
So it was a great performance, but this was a night where more minutes could have been saved, especially for future opponents who actually pose a legitimate threat.