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ap-201112282115765348979As expected (at least by myself) Sixers followed the bitter loss in Portland with a nice, wire-to-wire 83-103 W in Phoenix, and now lead the Atlantic at 1-1 (.500), LOL.

Not much to recap after such game, the Suns were soundly outplayed in almost every aspect of the game.

Suns starters, "led" by an unrecognizable Steve Nash combined for a pitiful 7/33 from the field, which counts for 21%, while Sixers placed six players in double figure, extending the 34-48 halftime lead to 34-67 in the third.

Yes, it means the second half began with a 19-0 Sixers run (!): Suns' first basket came with 5.48 left, only to be followed by a three point play by Spencer Hawes, that set the score at 36-70.

The remaining part of the game was basically meaningless, with Sixers able to manage the large lead and Collins resting veterans Iguodala & Brand and giving valuable playing time to the young guys.

So definitely an encouraging win, the 2nd straight in Phoenix btw, even if it's not to forget that these Suns look like the shadow of the fun, explosive team that used to kick asses around the League 3-4 years ago.

RANDOM THOUGHTS (after the break)
1) Really, what's exactly the Suns plan? I don't get where the front office wants to head this storied franchise, looks like they didn't have the balls to start a REAL rebuiding process when it was the right time (last year, probably) and now they are stuck with a badly assembled roster of aging veterans and "talents" to be developed.

2) Iguodala is hitting his outside shots: 7/11 from three point land over the first two games (63% !!), while Lou Williams is 5/9. It won't last long, I'm afraid sure, but you can see the extra-boost he gives to the team when his jumper is falling.

3) I liked the NBA debut of Nikola Vucevic, who scored on his first two shots in the league, a tap in + a floater, showing a nice touch. He lost Lopez under the defensive board a couple of times in the second half and committed a "rookie foul", allowing Morris a three point play: he clearly needs to work on boxing out and gaining bulk, but probably has the skills to find a place in the frontcourt rotation. A european version of Jason Smith, say (LOL).

But really, I had the impression that he has nice hands, "sense" for the ball and knows exactly where to go in order to be found by his teammates.

4) Our defense was there, especially in the second quarter: legs, hands, mindset, I liked them all. Loved the overall team effort in our half court.

5) Eight players scoring points in the first quarter, four turnovers in the first half, Hawes hitting the boards consistently (9 + 11) and continuing to show his passing abilities, Turner looking confident, especially in his point forward role, starting the plays with the ball in his hands: all encouraging signs for the rest of this tough western trip

Sixers will play back-to-back, manageable games now, at Utah and Golden State: I think we can win both. Am I getting carried away ??

(PS: what has Speights done to Collins to get overtaken by Craig Brackins in the rotation ??? DNP CD in a blowout win, with like 12-15 minutes of garbage time...)