This was without question the hardest-to-watch professional basketball game I've ever encountered. It was painfully lopsided, with the home crowd booing heavily for most of the game until the end when they erupted in cheers for Boban Marjanovic. I feel for them. What exactly is Philly's plan? The 2016 version of the 76ers has to be the worst team in the history of the NBA. They make the 2012 lock-out season Bobcats look competent.
The Spurs started the game unfocused and the Sixers actually built an early four point lead. The Spurs, led by Tony Parker early (the Wee Frenchman scored or assisted on seven of the Spurs' first eight buckets) and then LaMarcus Aldridge (20 points, 9 rebounds in the first half), then outscored the Sixers by 40 over last 20 minutes of the half. That's right, the Spurs outscored their opponent by two points every minute for almost an entire half of a professional basketball game. Ridiculous. Preposterous. Inconceivable.
By the midway point of the second, the Sixers were clearly flummoxed and punch-drunk and I was dreading having to watch another 24 minutes of pitiful basketball. Brett Brown, who Pop speaks highly of at every opportunity, said something to his guys in the locker room -- perhaps about not setting the NBA record for worst loss ever -- and the Sixers at least came out in the second half with a little spark, a little energy and that's tough to do when the game is already over. I'm not saying they were good, they somehow managed to be outscored by the Austin Spurs in the second half, just that their effort wasn't exactly nauseating.
Enough about this one -- there's nothing to learn from it.
Your Spurs improve to 18-4. For the opponent's fans perspective, check out Liberty Ballers. Please don't antagonize anyone over there if you visit.
Popovich Quote of the Night:
Is it tough looking at the score and result being friends with Brett Brown?:
Well, what's tough is I know he's a hell of a coach but it's not a fair battle, talent for talent. It's ridiculous.
Game Notes and Numbers:
- 36: The margin after 24 minutes, a Spurs franchise record for largest lead at halftime. The Spurs even let the Sixers lead by four, four minutes into the game.
- 51: The final margin, another franchise record.
- Jonathon Simmons hit only 4 of his 13 field goals, but he got to the foul line (6-for-8) and finished with 14 points on the night. I like Simmons and hope that he continues to see the floor and develop.
- Boban Marjanovic. The giant Serbian was the only thing that the fans in attendance were into in this contest. He finished with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, grabbed four boards and notched two steals. He hit a beautiful turnaround hook from the right block with three and a half minutes to go in the game and the crowd erupted. That's right, the most pleasing experience for the fans in attendance was watching the opposing team's real life giant put on a show. Boban drilled an 18-footer near the top of the key with two seconds left on the shot clock on the Spurs second to last possession and what happened. Naturally, the crowd lost it. That WAS fun, and in a game like this, I'll take it. h/t to SanAntonioGiant for the GIFs.
- 61.8%: The Spurs field goal percentage for the game. Yes, that's a season high. Ho hum.
- 4: The Spurs only hit four deep balls on the night, on 11 attempts. They dropped 119 points (another season high) and only hit four threes. That seems absurd. It also seems like maybe Popovich told his guys to, you know, not score three at a time.
- 68: Points Philly scored. Yes, that's a season low for a Spurs opponent this season. Yes, it also seems like more than they scored. No, it's not impressive.
- 7: Spurs turnovers. As if the Sixers needed everything to go against them, the good guys refused to cough up the ball.
- 26: LaMarcus dropped 26 on Philly in just 21:30 of playing time. I'd say that was really impressive, but Sixers. He went 11-of-15 from the floor.
- +62.3: That was the net rating (how many points you outscore or are outscored by per 100 possessions. For reference, the Warriors have posted a +16.5 NetRtg in their 22 wins this season. Speaking of NetRtg, this game is going to skew the Spurs' numbers for some time.
The Spurs will face Cory Joseph and the Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday night and finish out the week hosting the Lakers on Friday and visiting Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks on Saturday night. At least the Silver and Black will get two games against competent teams this week.