Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

A hectic end of 2007

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 2, 2008

capt_893e586427ad494a945fe7549ab5b103_rockets_76ers__basketball_patm102.jpgYou can’t take some days off for a little vacation around New year’s day, because that’s what happens… In chronological order: 

1) taking advantage of Ricky’s absence, Sixers traded Kyle Korver (in the picture) for Gordan Giricek and a first round pick

2) Sixers lost at Portland 72-97 (13-17, .433) “thanks” to a memorable fourth quarter collapse

3) Sixers won at Seattle 98-90 (14-17, .452) after a far-from-memorable game

After having spent the whole New Year’s evening reading all the news and watching the two games, I have to say the level of interest of those three facts is just reverse:

3) The Seattle game was simply bad. To me it showed few things, that I want to  mention very quickly.

* we have to work on our killer instict. We let a Sonics team without Durant, Wilcox and Ridnour (!!! and they weren’t good even with them…) stay in the game too long. Seattle cut the deficit to three twice in the fourth, (86-83 and 89-86) both on jumpers by Delonte West, and the same West misfired on an open three that could have made it a two point game with 2.16 to play… we should have closed it earlier and with a larger margin… to sum it up, there were all the conditions for a blow out, basically. 

* Lou Williams is amazing at the offensive end (13 points with 11/12 from the line in the fourth) just as much as irritating in the defensive end… he let Earl Watson AND Delonte West score repeatedly over him, and could NEVER defend a pick and roll… at times, it seemed the Knicks game all over again, when Jamaal Crawford scored 16 consecutive points on him… it looks like Lou can turn any opponent into an offensive threat (LOL): I expect Eric Snow dropping threes on us or Dan Dickau exploding for a career high soon… but he really helped us win this game so I’ll give it a cut

* Iguodala scored two terrific baskets when we needed it the most, one off an alley oop pass from Andre Miller (spectacular dunk + foul: 89-83, 3.29 to go), the other on a tough jumper to basically win the game (95-88, 26 seconds left): his confidence is rising and rising and rising… add also a nice three pointer at the 3rd quarter buzzer for the 73-62.

I’ll take the W + some other good things – Dalembert’s six blocks, Giricek’s solid debut, Andre Miller’s long three !! –  and forget the rest (starting from the 9/19 from the line we had at a point…)

2) The Portland game was another one to remember. It seems like these two teams can’t play “normal” games when they meet. You saw by yourself that we got outscored 35-9 in the fourth, that Blazers went on a 21-0 run, that we were up 11 at the beginning of the third (47-36) bla bla bla, so I would add only few considerations:

* we played a poor first quarter, giving up four threes and shooting 7/21 from the fiield. It’s no coincidence that Andre Miller was horrible offensively, 0/6 including a couple of lay ups and many “easy” mid range jumpers

* our second quarter was simply perfect, and again it’s no coincidence that Miller was very good in the period (11 points)… I have only some doubts about the “three point guards” line up that Cheeks used for a while, with Miller, Williams and Ollie on the floor at the same time (??!!)

* to me the key in the third (and perhaps in the game) were Brandon Roy’s three “and one” plays that gave the Trail Blazers new life and ignited the crowd

* the fourth quarter disaster is simply unexcusable, just as much as the 4 technical fouls we collected in the stretch (Cheeks, Williams, Dalembert, Miller)… how about taking care of the ball and slowing the tempo down instead of trying idiotic alley oops or rushed shots when the other team is clearly on fire ??? How about knocking down shots (0/7 to start, 2/14 at a point) instead of getting blocked and/or bitching with the refs ??

1) I have mixed feelings about the Korver trade (you perhaps remember I’ve been a great Korver fan since he came here… I will go on following and rooting for him, by the way) . I think it would be also stupid to judge it now, since it’s clearly a move to free cap space.

From a purely technical point of view, we could even not miss much with Giricek: the croatian is a great shooter too, maybe just not as deadly as Kyle is behind the arc, but close. Giricek is four years older but a little bit more athletic and slightly stronger, while defensively they are more or less at the same level, below average (Korver) vs garbage (Giricek).

The loss of Korver will mean more minutes for Young (finally !!) and Carney (…) in the rotation, something I definitely like. I don’t expect Giricek getting more than 8-10 minutes per game, and no one does, I think.

Gordan’s most appreciated “skill” is his expiring contract, though, be sure of that.

That’s why I think that we will have to wait this summer to weight Stefanski’s first move (it didn’t take him that long to pull the trigger for the first time, uh ?): right now Sixers are the franchise with more money to spend in the free agent market (insert drooling smiley here…), being 10 millions UNDER the cap, according to the same GM.

Whom we will sign will tell us if this trade (these trades?) worked. If losing my boy Korver is the price to land a Josh Smith, a Jose Calderon, an Elton Brand  in few months, well, Kyle, it will mean that you did great playing with us just as much as you did leaving us.

We will have more chances to analyze this over the next days/weeks, right now we have a trip West to finish (2-1 the current record, three tough games to go) and our buddy Kyle to meet, this time as a Utah Jazz (uh ! Doesn’t that sound weird?).

Happy 2008 again, it’s gonna be a wonderful Sixers year !!

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8 Responses to “A hectic end of 2007”

  1. Jameson said

    I haven’t looked much at potential free agents but if Josh smith, Jose Calderon, and Elton Brand are the top of guys thet could be out there, please Ed Stefanski spend the money and go out and get one these guys. I would prefer Josh Smith just because he would fit in the best for the best price.

  2. Jameson, welcome to S4G !!

    Yeah, Josh Smith is #1 in my list too, but I guess it’s the same for many NBA franchises, LOL

    Basically he would fill in the best possible way the only big hole we have, at the PF spot (yes, he plays mainly SF, but he has the size of a PF…)

    He is in the same situation of Iguodala, a RFA, so it would probably be tough to get him but Ed is no Billy King so… :-)

  3. Zeke said

    Happy Holidays!

    As you guys are probably aware, Josh Smith could/should be a Sixer right now. Iggy is starting to grow on me, but I was rooting for the 76ers to take JS in that draft. They could have even traded down and taken Smith while receiving something for the trade. I am not going to harp on Billy King’s drafting history, I actually think he did a very good job (Korver, Williams, Thad), even though Carney looks like a huge bust.
    Who knows, maybe Iverson would have liked throwing alley-ops to Smith, and things would have been different. It was clear to me that they was a riff developing between Iverson and Iggy/Korver/Green.

  4. Zeke said

    Ricky !
    I really enjoy your insights, BUT how can you rip our future (Sweet Lou) for his poor defense (he is only 21 for god’s sake) and idolize Korver in the same piece. To say Korver was a “below average” defender is being way too kind. He stinks. The rest of his career is going to be spent as a respectable 8th or 9th man, not a 5th or 6th man like we were trying to make him. I have had great seats to games and personally seen the eyes light up of medicore players like Ricky Davis and Sprewell when Korver was guarding them.
    In fact, if Korver wasn’t a corn-fed white boy, he would have been boo’d out of Philly a long time ago.
    I would have accepted a lot less to get rid of his contract, horrible defense, and momentum-killing 3’s.
    I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because i praised BK for drafting Korver, but it turned out to be a solid pick because we ended up with a first rounder for him.

  5. Zeke !! Welcome back my man, happy new year !

    Not ripping Lou, I really like him and his blossoming is one of the nicest (even if expected) surprises of the year, just pointing out where he has to improve… his defense is “below average”, and I’m being kind, LOL

    Yeah maybe I am biased when it comes to KK because I loved that he always gave 100% effort (on both ends, I mean), but the overall efficiency on defense was poor, u r right

    Utah is the perfect place for him I think, a winning team, well organized, well coached, with great circulation, led by another great PG and many low post threats to open things up for him

    “corn-fed white boy”, LOL !!!!!!!!!!!

    (now let me go find a Korver wig, they surely have them on sales now…)

  6. sixers29 said

    hey ricky,
    Happy new year!!! Sorry for the lateness. In Spain many people love Korver, I had in my blog over 50 comments in only one day. Utah is a good team for Korver and I think he is going to improve his defense but not too much.
    After the trade of Korver, we thought that players like Carney and Thaddeus were going to play more minutes but Cheeks is really…. a bad coach. Now Ed has to trade reggie and green, and probably Cheeks will put Booth in our starting lineup, lol!!

    Best wishes

  7. thanks hermano ! Happy new year to you too !

    50 comments? lucky you, LOL !!

    Yes, I also was thinking that Young and Carney would get more playing time but right now it didn’t happen !

    I hope Green is next, even if we really missed him over the last games, and I hate saying this :-)

  8. [...] that the Iggles are done everybody can watch the Sixers. (Sixers 4 [...]

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