Sixers Take Down Cavaliers: The Preseason Rolls On
Well, the games still don’t count, we played Cleveland which probably should count even less, but regardless of that additive irrelevance, the Sixers still whomped the Cavaliers 113-99 tonight at The Farg.
Honestly, it wasn’t even as close as the final score denotes. I wasn’t able to tune in until midway through the 2nd quarter, when the 7-6 was already sitting on a healthy lead, but what I did see can adequately be described as a controlling win. The defense looked lively; the offense played efficiently and hit the shots they created and even with the starters playing toned-down, preseason minutes, it was enough to cruise.
Some thoughts and observations after the break:
- The new-look Sixers seem to be adapting well to Coach Collins’ directive to shoot more threes if open and off the fast-break. They bombarded Cleveland from deep tonight, going 12-25 from deep. Leading the 3-point parade were newbies Dorell Wright (4-7 from three) and Maalik Wayns (3-5 from three). If we can keep that kind of shooting up when (and if) Andrew Bynum comes back, we should be in great shape.
- Speaking again of Maalik, he put on another great show. Wayns dropped 19 points off the bench including several deep-bombs in the fourth. With his ability to get up and down the floor while finding teammates, proving he can fill it up from outside, as he did tonight, makes him harder to ignore as a serious rotation player.
- As for our other rookie, the jury is still out for me with Arnett Moultrie. Leading up to the draft I forced myself to be ok with the idea of us picking him at 16 (what many sites predicted). So I was fairly pleased when we were still able to grab him later on. He led the SEC in rebounding last year, which bodes well. He’s a very good athlete, runs the floor well for a big and can apparently hit a 15-footer. That all sounds great but I’m really not sure on everything else one needs to be a legitimate player in this league. He got some burn tonight, put up eight points and 6 rebounds and looked…competent.
- On the Cavs side of things, man can Kyrie Irving shoot. Off the dribble, in the lane, from three, from midrange… the way he was draining jumpers tonight I could watch his stroke all day (assuming it’s not killing us on the scoreboard of course). To the silky-smooth end, Uncle Drew had 23 on 8-16 shooting.
- I can’t stress enough that I realize this is still the preseason and come Halloween night (our season opener against the Denver Nuggets) all this will be totally out the window. But, I can’t help but be encouraged by how quickly this team has gelled with all the new pieces and adjusted to an altered play style. I almost worry Bynum’s return is going to screw up the mojo (shameless reverse-jinx).
That’s about it. The Sixers will be in action again this Friday, October 9th against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn. And as always, here’s tonight’s highlights: