Sixers win while not at their best

Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young double-team the Nuggets' Ty Lawson during Wednesday's opener. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The 76ers shot 35.3 percent, committed 16 turnovers, missed 18 three pointers, were outrebounded by seven and still beat visting Denver, 84-75 in the opening game for both teams. 

In short, the Sixers played less than their best and were still able to come out with a win. 

“This was a grind it out win to say the least,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. 

Spencer Hawes with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young (13 points, 6 of 12 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) were probably the only Sixers who had strong games. 

Yes, Jrue Holiday had a double-double (14 points, 11 assists), but he shot 5 of 16 and added three turnovers. As hard as it is to believe, Holiday matched his total double-double output from all of last year. 

Still, he is capable of better performances and the bar should be set high for somebody who has a chance to be an all-star. 

It is going to take the Sixers some time to jell together, but the fact that they were able to win at less than their best, is an encouraging first sign. 

And the Sixers even had to show some character when Denver cut a 14 point fourth quarter lead to 71-70 when Denver’s Ty Lawson hit a pull-up jumper with 4:41 left. 

So while there won’t be many style points, there were a number of encouraging signs. And if the Sixers can win against an opponent that is predicted to be a Western Conference playoff participant while not performing at their best, one can only wonder what it will be like when the team truly starts to jell.