It wasn't unexpected, that the Sixers lost tonight in their season-opener to the Miami Heat - 97-87. It also wasn't unexpected that Dwyane Wade (30 points), LeBron James (16) and Chris Bosh (15) combined to do most of the damage to the Sixers.
What was a bit of a befuddlement was that James Jones came off the bench to score 20 points and nail six three-pointers to basically put away a Sixers team who had battle admirably in the first half.
With the Big Three garnering most of the defensive attention, Jones was left to wander freely to his favorite spots beyond the arc and drain wide open three's as easily as he might in an empty gym.
Allowing such easy three-pointers was a major flaw for the Sixers last season, but this game didn't appear to be an extension of those problems. This really seemed to be Jones benefitting from playing with three of the best players in the league.
The starters scored just 30 points for the Sixers, and Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday particularly struggled. Hawes didn't score in 14 minutes and Holiday collected six points and five turnovers in his 21 minutes on the floor.
Rookie Evan Turner played well, scoring a team-high 16 points and converting a crossover move on Wade that will certainly be on many of the highlight shows. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young each came off the bench to score 15 and Elton Brand collected 12 points and nine rebounds.
Game two is Friday against the Atlanta Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center.