It's time for the back-to-back against the New York Knicks and the game at the Atlanta Hawks. Finding useful information from tonight's 106-92 win over the New Jersey Nets feels a little like trying to write an art review on someone's coloring book. That is to say, the Sixers did exactly what they needed to do tonight at the Prudential Center, they colored inside the lines. But who knows what other kind of wonders and talents they'll be able to unleash as this season continues to move forward and they're given more opportunities. Give them a better canvas (the Knicks, the Hawks, etc.) and we'll start answer the question: Is this for real?
That's our roundabout way of saying: nice win for the Sixers. They looked darn good. They scored 35 fast-break points and built a lead of 21 points. Point guard Jrue Holiday posted the first triple-double of his career with 11 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. In the locker room after the game, Holiday looked much more excited than we've ever seen him. You can check out the video of Holiday, which should be embedded below.
As for the Sixers' game, the reality is they're about 20 points away from a 14-game winning streak. In the last 14 games, the Sixers have won nine games and lost the five by about 20 combined points. Since starting 3-13, they're one of the more solid NBA teams. Not amazing, but solid, and that's about double what anybody hoped for.
Here were a few takeaways from tonight:
*Andre Iguodala playing more point-forward is noticeable, but it's certainly not game-changing. Best guess would be that Iguodala handled the point spot about three or four more times than usual tonight. It obviously isn't going to affect Holiday's game since he had his best all-around game of the season tonight. Iguodala did a great job with skip passes and swinging the ball, which was where Lou Williams/Holiday/Jodie Meeks came up with some of their points.
*Meeks actually is quite fast. During one transition bucket tonight, he produced a burst of speed that was actually eye-opening. Tonight was the best he's looked in transition.
*Spencer Hawes didn't play well offensively, but he did a nice job on Lopez and grabbed tons of rebounds. Still, you can't help but worry about this facet of the team's game. It was a victory, but Kris Humphries and Lopez were powerful inside. If the Nets weren't such a disaster in other areas, this would have been a significant problem for the Sixers.
Overall, there's nothing earth-shattering to say about a solid victory over the Nets. What seems most pronounced is the change from two months ago to today. Today didn't even seem to be about getting the victory, that was basically a given. It was about the point difference, blowing them out, and maybe practicing the zone offense. At the end of the game, it was about whether or not Holiday would get his 10th rebound.
Sixers fans should be excited about these next three games. Knicks, Knicks, Hawks. No reason the team can't go 3-0 and get more folks around the NBA talking.
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