December 13 Philadelphia Daily News:
“THE NEW ORLEANS Hornets started the season as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, winners of 11 of their first 12 games.
Since then, they’ve been mediocre.
Yesterday, against the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center, they were downright putrid.
The Hornets converted just one of 21 shots from the field during the second quarter and went a span of 8 minutes, 14 seconds without a field goal, paving the way to an easy 88-70 win for the Sixers.
Just how bad were the Hornets? In the first half they were 6-for-42 from the field for a paltry 14.3 percent. For the game, they finished with a franchise-low four assists on 24 made field goals. Also, Chris Paul led them with 25 points – the only player in double figures. He shot 8-for-12 from the floor, while the rest of the team made just 16 of 67 (23.9 percent).
Easing through games isn’t something the Sixers can afford to do – if they want to win many. But they glided effortlessly through this one, improving to 8-15 with their sixth win in seven home games and their fifth victory in the past seven, overall.
“You don’t know what to expect from a noon start,” said coach Doug Collins. “I’m always concerned about energy. I thought we came out and did a great job defensively, got off to a great, great start. I took a timeout there in the third quarter because I thought we were jackpotting around, but we came out and got our focus back.
“New Orleans had four assists today. We made them play a lot of one-on-one basketball. Because they were struggling to score, Chris Paul was looking to score. And so David West and Trevor Ariza were 4-for-21. Marco Belinelli was 3-for-9.”
Said Paul: “We just weren’t making shots. We kept settling for outside jump shots instead of attacking the basket. It’s been like that for a while. Coach [Monty Williams] told us even in preseason not to fall in love with that jump shot. We’ve got to figure out ways to score.”
The Sixers have been doing just that lately. Yesterday was another exhibition in balanced scoring as Lou Williams led the team with 17 off the bench. Andre Iguodala collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Elton Brand posted his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday had 12 points. Unlike the Hornets, the Sixers shared the ball very well, accumulating 24 assists on their 33 field goals. They also drained seven three-pointers and scored 32 points in the paint.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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