ORLANDO, Fla. Nowadays, if you want to take the pulse of any situation all you have to do is find out what is trending on Twitter.
The tone of anything Sixers related on Monday night after their 113-100 loss to the Magic (see Lynam's Instant Replay) was surely somewhere between disappointment and anger, both understandable emotions given the performance.
The defeat brought the Sixers record to 31-29 and dropped them down to eighth in the Eastern Conference, just two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks.The Magic were without their top two big men, Dwight Howard (back) and Glen Davis (knee). Hedo Turkoglu is also sidelined at least through the remainder of the regular season after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured cheekbone.
That takes an average of 41 points and 24 rebounds out of Orlandos regular lineup. Yet, it was the Sixers who were out-rebounded by 16 and outscored in the second quarter, 40-28.They shot lights out, Doug Collins said. We were 9 for 18 from three. They were 11 for 18. In the second quarter we couldnt stop them. Ryan Anderson had eight offensive rebounds. They crushed us on the boards and their pick-and-roll game strung us out.It was a long list of how and why the Sixers lost by double digits to a shorthanded Magic club.
Daniel Orton replaced Howard at starting center for Orlando. The Sixers countered by going small with Thaddeus Young at power forward and Elton Brand in the middle. That mix still couldnt prevent the Magic from driving the lane and dishing to open shooters, with Anderson (26 points, 16 rebounds) doing the most damage.
"He'd be a Hall of Famer if he played against us every day," Evan Turner said. "He knows how to work the system to his advantage. It seems like he never misses versus us."
Credit their coaching staff for running the plays and the sets to bring out the best in his talents, Brand said. I saw two games ago he was 1 for 7 from three and didnt play well at all, but he sure did play well against us.
Anderson had 27 points the last game he played against the Sixers and followed that up with 26 on Monday. He set a tone and his teammates followed.
Chester native Jameer Nelson (16 points), J.J. Redick (18 points) and Jason Richardson (17 points) all scored in double figures and nailed a pair of threes. Quentin Richardson also added 13 points off the bench and a pair of threes of his own as the Magics usual assault from beyond the arc was on target.
They do a good job running their sets and making you work on defense, Andre Iguodala said. And if you fall asleep on defense, they can hurt you.It is frustrating, Brand said. It is tough to lose when teams hit tough threes, contested threes and late-in-the-shot-clock threes, but we have to find a way to keep playing and get some stops.
The Sixers were able to trim a double-digit deficit to seven on several occasions in the final minutes before Nelson made a layup and drained a three with 1:04 remaining to put the game out of reach.Analyzing the numbers and the oppositions players to try and understand why the Sixers have fallen off to this extent still may not give an appropriate explanation for their poor play.There was bickering, finger-pointing and selfishness on the part of the Sixers Monday. What once was a group that prided itself on a great start to the season because of team chemistry has unraveled at the seams.The Pacers come to town Tuesday night winners of five in a row. If the Sixers can't fix their issues in a hurry, they'll have plenty of time to check out the criticism on Twitter while missing out on the postseason.
E-mail Dei Lynam at firstname.lastname@example.org.