Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

Looks like you haven’t lost a step, Bubba Chuck !!

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 7, 2008

iverson_300_080106.jpgIn one of the most emotional games of the season, Allen Iverson exploded for a more-than-predictable big game and scored 38 points to help Denver get a 109-96 win, and end Sixers’ trip West at 2-4 (14-20, .412). 

Let me make this clear: I LIKE ALLEN IVERSON. I always liked him. I am a big fan of him. This said, I am a Sixers fan first.

To me the ideal conclusion of last night’s game would have been Allen getting his 38 (or more) points and Sixers come out with a W. This would have helped also my fantasy team.

The whole game went more or less like everybody thought: Denver always ahead with Iverson & Melo running (literally) the show and Sixers trying to stay close.

Well, maybe no one expected that the “lil’ man” would have dropped 15 (6/8) on us already in the first quarter (22-29), or that Nuggets would have taken a 11 point lead (14-25) thanks to a ridiculously soft zone defense, that had Melo laughing (4/4, 10 points). On Sixers’ side, former Nugget Reggie Evans – after hugging George Karl before the tip off – grabbed a remarkable 7 rebounds in the period, highlighted by a spectacular block of local guy Jason Smith on a dunk attempt by Nene Hilario.

At the beginning of the second, Sixers second unit did a great job: Lou Williams, Gordan Giricek and mostly Thaddeus Young (9 in the quarter) made us tie the game at 31. Our rookies showed no fear for Sixers’ former All star: Thad stole him the ball nicely on a play, while Jason Smith fouled him hard on a fastbreak.

Iverson took care of business moments later, when he scored while being fouled by our center: Smith had to leave the game with three penalties. Iverson reached 20 on that “and one”drive, in 16 minutes played !!!

A high-speed, turnovers-full phase of the game followed, with Sixers stubbornly insisting on forcing passes and rushing (and missing) shots instead of slowing things down a little bit. That’s Denver’s favorite way to play: they run two identical plays with Camby at the top of the key assisting Melo for easy alley oops. Nuggets lead was stretched to 15 (36-51, 1.38 to go), then Sixers made a little run to close the half at 43-53.

Half time stats had Denver shooting 22/45 (0/5 from downtown, though), Iverson had 20 points on 7/11, Melo 19 on 8/9 (…). Carter had 0 points but 7 assists, Camby 0 but 8 rebounds. Young was surprisingly Sixers’ best scorer with 9 (4/6, including  a three from the corner), Miller had 6 but on 3/10, Iguodala 5 (2/3), Green 4 (2/8), Reggie Evans had 2 (1/4) + 10 rebounds, Sam 6 (3/9) + 6 boards. Sixers shot 19/51 overall (37%) and 2/6 from the line(…).

The third quarter was interesting, Miller had some very unusual turnovers but tied the game at 62 (5.09 to go) after Iguodala even scored a three while being fouled (he missed the free throw though).

Then Iverson went to work again, with two threes and an assist to Nene for a (non converted) three point play: 62-70. Camby did the rest, with 4 blocks and 8 points in the period, Sixers’ 5/13 from the line and idiotic offensive goaltendings on threes (…) didn’t help much, either: 67-77.

Jason Smith start of the fourth was nice, he exploded for 6 points in response to Kleiza’s effort (dunk + three) to keep the Sixers in the game at 76-86. But when Najera hit a three (…) and Kleiza made a hook to put Denver up 15 (80-95, 6 minutes left) the game was over.

There was still time left for the funniest moment of the night: Louis Amundson went in for a 1 minute cammeo and he took the time to be dunked on (by Melo, on a backdoor move) and rejected (by Camby, after an offensive rebound), to complete another Nuggets’ block party (15 in total). That’s how our 6 games road trip ended.

I have few questions to ask before giving Iverson all his props again and get ready for the next game vs Bucks (get ready, Brewhoop crew):

1) why do many of opposing point guards have career nights vs us? Ok, I’ll give you a Deron Williams (15 + 15, 15 + 20 in two games) or Chris Paul (16 + 9, 13 + 10) but freaking Anthony Carter a career best 15 dimes ??? Do we want Mo Williams to have a triple double on Tuesday? Hey, he can do that…

2) why do we (always) put ourselves into early holes (10 points deficits in the first quarter or similar) only to (always) fight back to (try to) tie the game and (often) come short at the end? Is it too much asking to play hard from the tip off? Or how about a shake in the starting line up, inserting a fresh Young, to name one?

3) why we continue to run plays for Reggie Evans in the low post? Why giving him the ball? At all I mean? It’s either a brick/block (LOL) or a turnover, and this since game 1.

I would like to have some… answers (no pun intended).

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4 Responses to “Looks like you haven’t lost a step, Bubba Chuck !!”

  1. Aarick said

    Our defense has been bad these past couple of games, especially Willie Green. He has struggled since coming back. It doesn’t help having to guard Kobe and AI on consecutive nights but he needs to get back is rythyme on the offensive end.. Thaddeus had a great game. I love the kid’s hustle. Jason Smith also had a strong block on Nene. They should get more minutes, especially TY with the departure of Korver and Rodney Carney being inactivate last night (thank you Mo).

    I think there is a reason you give the ball the Reggie Evans the ball in the post. Every now and then you have to throw the dog a bone for him to stay focused and get you those rebounds. You know there is a good chance that he won’t make it but if it means giving up an offensive opportunity to get 150% effort out of him and 10 rebounds in the next 15 minutes so be it.

  2. totally agree with you on the first part Aaron – and thanks for coming back here, always a pleasure. I’ll give Willie a pass (damn, I am becoming too soft with him ?) because he has been out for quite a lot and he needs a couple of games to re-adjust.

    hey, we missed Green on both ends of the floor, sad to say but true, especially after experiencing what the alternative is… btw, cast your vote on my Carney poll, LOL

    as for the “feeding the dog” thing, u r right on point again, I understand we have to give the lil kid a candy sometimes but my point is we are giving him too many, how about one per half and not more ???

  3. Ricky,

    Young needs to start, you’re dead on there. I think the Reggie thing comes down to this. When he’s on the floor, defenses know they don’t have to worry about him, at all. They try to lock down everyone else, and honestly they could care less where he catches the ball. When you see the ball going to him in the post, most likely it’s because either the other team is playing really good D on the perimeter and locking those guys up, or 2 the offense has gotten lazy and taken the path of least resistance: Reggie on the block.

    It’s sad, and I think the real solution is to cut Reggie’s minutes down and get him out of the starting lineup. I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon, though.

  4. Completely correct Brian/Depressed fan

    The only thing is that not only the defenses don’t care about Reggie getting the ball, I think they HOPE that he gets it, because they know he will fumble it, get blocked, or throw a brick. And of course there is always the “final solution” (LOL), foul him and clean the glasses that he will eventually broke shooting from the line.

    In any good team Evans would be a 8th man to play 15-18 min off the bench (= Denver last year), I think everybody in the Sixers organization knows that and Stefanski said that getting a scoring PF will be our priority this summer (well, not that it took Stefanski to realize that, but anyway…)

    Realistically, I guess the only solution NOW would be putting Jason Smith in at PF, if I think about it I say “do it now” but when I think it deeper I am not sure it will help HIM.

    Of course Jason Smith is far more talented than Reggie and has the potential to be 10 times the player Evans ever was, but maybe for his development we have to be a little bit more patient, getting the starting spot would perhaps put too much pressure on him and I won’t like to impact his confidence, he’s slowly but progressively improving. Would you do that?

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