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76ers versus Bobcats – 01/26/08

Too bad the NBA does not use elementary school basketball rules (specifically, 24 minutes in a game), because the Bobcats would have one more victory. Unfortunately for them, there was a second half to play…and the tired Sixers were a lot better than the tired Bobcats. In particular, Gerald Wallace seemed to be affected significantly by having another half to play – he finished the night just 4 of 17 from the floor. Who can blame him though – he played 48 minutes Wednesday against Dallas, 44 last night, and another 40 in tonight's game.

That is not to say the blame for the loss is on Gerald – far from it actually. Despite the poor shooting from the floor, he managed 20 points, thanks to hitting 12 of 15 from the line, and added 10 assists (a season high). He was the most effective Bobcat of the night, by some measures: When Gerald was on the court, the Bobcats were +16.5 points per 100 possessions, 120.3 offensively to 103.8 defensively. Considering that difference and the number of minutes Crash played, you can see how severely different things must have been in those other 8 minutes to still lose by 7.

The real issue was that Raymond Felton was missing tonight – meaning Jeff McInnis got more minutes…and Derek Anderson. Got to love those backup “point guards” (and yes, I remember being all for bringing DA back – but his numbers have taken a significant dive this year). In 42 minutes, the duo combined for: 9 points (4 of 11 from the floor, with no FTAs), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, and 5 fouls. Not good, not good at all.

Final note: Emeka has continued his recent run of good play tonight, with 17 points and 16 rebounds. That puts his averages over the last 4 games at 17.8 points and 11.6 rebounds – maybe he is starting to mesh with Nazr (and get over playing for a new contract?). Whatever it is, the team needs for it to continue… and the return of Raymond, to be competitive and continue their recent strong play.
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