Sixers before acquiring Ish Smith: 1-30
Sixers after acquiring Ish Smith: 1-0
Move over Steph Curry, there’s a new MVP. Joking aside, the Sixers got a much-needed morale-boosting win in Phoenix Saturday night. It was their first road win of the year, and now that they have multiple wins, maybe things around the team can normalize a bit and the spotlight on their atrociousness will dim now that the novelty is mostly gone.
Smith only had 14 points on 15 shots, but along with Isaiah Canaan, Philly now has a pair of respectable guards, quelling one of the biggest complaints about The Process, in that the team drafted all those bigs but lacked anyone capable of setting them up for success.
Philadelphia was certainly aided by facing a reeling opponent. The 12-20 Suns are now starting Alex Len in place of Tyson Chandler, are still dealing with the Markieff Morris saga, and lost Eric Bledsoe to a scary looking knee injury in the second quarter.
To be fair to the Sixers, they were also down a man, as Jahlil Okafor sat out. Canaan picked up the scoring slack, with an efficient 22 points, while Nerlens Noel posted a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, two blocks). Nik Stauskas added 17 on 7-10 from the floor and Carl Landry chipped in 16 points on, again, 7-10 shooting in just his second game of the season.
Philly once again lost a sizable early lead, as their double digit advantage turned into a deficit by the third quarter, but a flurry of shots late in the frame from Stauskas put the Sixers ahead for good. They’ll continue their road trip on Monday in Utah.