After missing the past 7 games due to a foot injury, PG Michael Carter-Williams returned with a double-double to help lead the Sixers to their 8th win of the season. He contributed 15 points and 10 assists, as well as 3 steals in 35 minutes. But the real X-factor in this game was Evan Turner, who not only had 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, but also had the game-winning layup. He drove to the basket and laid it in, watching as the basketball bounced what seemed like a million times on the hoop before finally dropping in to give the Sixers the win.
Despite the Sixers sub-par record, it was their 7th win at home and brought them to 7-8 at Wells Fargo Center. In this high-scoring matchup, the Sixers were able to use their offense as the way to keep them alive, shooting a very solid 51% from the field. They also crushed the Nets in rebounding, winning the battle 49-36 thanks to the 10 rebounds from Turner and the 9 from Spencer Hawes, among others who chipped in with 5 or 6. Thad Young quietly also had a very good game, going 11/18 from the field (including 3/3 from downtown) for 25 points. He also added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
This output was coming just shortly after there were apparent trade rumors involving Young, saying that Young wanted to leave Philadelphia. He clearly denied them though and went out and proved his worth on the court, although GM Sam Hinkie must have been considering his trade value in his mind. With Young’s salary next year, which would be the highest on the team at $9.4 million, it’s always possible that they’d get rid of him to make room for an incoming rookie, especially since it’s likely they’d get a top pick with the way their season is looking right now. But unfortunately, Hawes and Turner are also in these trade talks and could just as easily be sent away to clear cap space for something else. Time will tell.
As for the game, the win kept them in 14th place in the extremely weak Eastern Conference, but they’re just 4 games back from the Celtics, the division leader. Even though the season has looked bleak so far, there are somehow still playoff hopes. We’ll just see how much longer that lasts…