Yesterday was a good test for Process Trusters: Did you actually believe at any point that the Philadelphia 76ers were going to win against the Pacers in Indiana last night? Even when they were up six with a minute and a half to go? If so, it's hard to know whether to envy you or feel bad for you, but certainly, you still have a long way to go in your Sixers journey. If not, then hopefully you reacted like I did when they ultimately lost their lead in regulation and bowed to Indy in OT: more amused than anything.
It was still mostly an encouraging performance on the road from four of our five starters. Robert Covington had his best game of the season, now officially out of his ungodly early season slump, ending with 23 points on 8-16 shooting, with six rebounds and awesome defense. Gerald Henderson was similarly excellent on the wing, holding his own against Pacers star Paul George on defense and making 8-14 shots for 17 points, including a three that could've been the game-winner in regulation. Dario Saric hit huge shots as well and notched his first double-double of the season with 14 and 12, and though Jahlil Okafor's defense was typically costly in some big spots, he had his best offensive night of the season, scoring 15 on 7-11 shooting.
But unfortunately, you have to start five dudes in a basketball game, and our point guard had one of the worst offensive nights I've ever seen from a professional basketball player. Sergio Rodriguez ended with two points on 1-14 shooting, including 0-7 from downtown, and I don't specifically remember if all 13 of his misses were terrible, but it certainly felt that way. (Late in this one, it seemed like he just straight threw the ball at the basket, seemingly just to try a different approach.) Time and again, the Sixers came down to their point guard being given space on the perimeter and needing to make an uncontested shot, and time and again, he came up short (or long, or wide, or into the wrong dimension altogether). There were flashes of Jrue Holiday's famous 2-24 shooting night in Charlotte a couple years back, though at least it felt like the Damaja was just getting historically unlucky on occasion. Give Sergio another 14 jumpers last night and he only misses 'em worse .
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So yeah, the Sixers blew this one, thanks to an open three for Jeff Teague and a nice baseline jumper from Paul George to tie it in regulation; happens. The 76ers were playing without Joel Embiid anyway -- just part of the Sixers' recovery plan for Embiid, no need to freak out unless he's out next game as well -- so any win would've been asterisked at best. 0-7, but we'll get 'em on Friday, when the Pacers visit Philly and JoJo will be back in the mix. He better be, anyway: We need The Process this week more than ever.