Straying from the usual breakdown of the game, here is a player-by-player breakdown of the 76ers’ 106-94 win in over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Sunday.
C Nik Vucevic — C-
Feel a little generous giving Nik a “C” here as he didn’t provide much today. The rookie got the start over Tony Battie at the 5 but just couldn’t get in any rhythm today. First time in awhile that Vuc didn’t contribute much (no points and just three rebounds) but his 20 minutes of run time was enough to get EB some rest on the bench.
PF Elton Brand — B+
Without Spencer Hawes for the 28th time this season, Elton Brand had to deal with the taller Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all night, and held his own with 13 points and 8 rebounds. You would think the Knicks duo of big men would cause match-up problems for Brand on the defensive side of the ball, but Brand kept both in check, with Stoudemire and Chandler combined for just 17 points.
SF Andre Iguodala — A-
Iggy had it all today. 19 points to go with eight assists, seven rebounds, and four assists–all while dealing with Carmelo Anthony. Though Anthony got his, Iggy put together another one of his typical, well-rounded and statistic filled games. Also, love seeing a guy make a 3-pointer while being fouled, AND making the free throw (not a given with Iggy) to convert the four point play.
SG Evan Turner — A+
In his fourth straight start, Turner edged Lou Williams slightly for the honors of best 76er on the court at the Garden Sunday. His 24 points were second only to Williams, but his 15 boards were a game high for both teams. This is back-to-back games Turner has been the game’s leading rebounder and as a shooting guard, that is saying something. With a 9-14 shooting performance against the Knicks, Turner is now shooting 49% from the field as a starter–including his 1-12 outing against the Bucks. His command of the court against the Knicks is something Philly fans have been waiting for. Give Turner the “+” for showing some fire and getting a technical foul called against him, even though it seemed like a make up call for a tech called against Stoudemire earlier.
PG Jrue Holiday — F
Jrue’s “F” is not a way of evening out a couple of the generous grades above. In a match-up with Jeremy Lin, Holiday appeared to be outmatched and outplayed…and Lin didn’t have a grand performance himself. Jrue was aggressive, something that fans have wanted to see more of, but had absolutely no success. 2-14 shooting is not what the fans wanted to see, and Holiday was helped out with a little luck on one of his makes with a catch-and-shoot heave he made with .5 seconds left in the shot clock. To round out the performance, Holiday fouled out of the game–something you don’t see often of a point guard.
Reserve Lou Williams — A+
Simply on fire. When the 76ers needed a bucket, Lou Will drained one. When the Knicks went on their runs, Lou Will silenced them. Lou’s 28 points was a season-high for the 76ers, but the 76ers still can’t crack the 30-point mark for a player. Lou was a clutch 3-5 from downtown, including one at the third quarter buzzer with Carmelo Anthony draped all over him. Lou also nailed a near impossible jumper over Tyson Chandler to give the 76ers a 51-49 lead at the half.
Reserve Thad Young — B
Quietly, Thad put in 14 points on 6-9 shooting, including a monster dunk in which the Knicks defense parted like the Red Sea and left the lane wide open. Young was quiet on the boards, but aided Brand in disrupting the Knicks low post offense. There were a couple occasions where the Knicks got the ball down low to Stoudemire and he made pretty easy work of Young for points. It was a mismatch, but the Knicks didn’t take advantage of their height against Young too much. Typical Thad performance.
Reserve Jodie Meeks — I
I for incomplete. With Turner’s emergence, Meeks is assuming Turner’s old role of being a part of the 76ers well-taunted second unit. As 76ers fans know, the minutes in that role are limited and Meeks didn’t accumulate any stats in his seven minutes on the court today.
DNP — Lavoy Allen (in Doug Collins’ doghouse), Tony Battie, Craig Brackins, Andres Nocioni.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.