NO SWAG, NO PROBLEM: DEFENSE HELPS SIXERS SNAP LOSING STREAK
They didn't have Swag, but that didn't matter.
Afterward, the Sixers could have patted themselves on the back for a job well done – having snapped a losing streak, having reached triple digits on the scoreboard, having broken out of a stretch in which the opponent beat them embarrassingly by 18 or more points.
Instead, the Sixers spoke glowingly of their defense. And justifiably so.
The Sixers – despite James Harden's 10-for-19 shooting display – clamped down on Houston's hot-handed guard in the biggest situations. Sixers coach Doug Collins tried just about everybody on Harden, from Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner to Jason Richardson and deep sub Damien Wilkins.
“On defense, that's really where we got it done,” Holiday said. “When it came down to it, we tried to get the ball out of (Harden's) hands in big moments and I think we did that.”
Giving Wilkins 11 minutes meant taking time from elsewhere – like sitting otherwise-healthy guard Nick Young. The guy they call Swaggy P was absent in a high-scoring affair. Seems unjust, right? Not for a team that needed a win desperately.
“We've got to get some defensive identity,” Collins said.
Whatever it takes to right the ship, right?