Looks like you haven’t lost a step, Bubba Chuck !!
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 7, 2008
In 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).