Texas trip ends on a sweet note
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 16, 2008
(Guys first of all a short premise. I know these recaps come late, but it’s really impossible for me to watch live the games played West when I have to go to work the next day, due to the time zone difference.
So I watch the archived game when I get back home and then write down my BS.
I chosed to do like this to assure at least some original content having real knowledge of facts, instead of throwing out some meaningless crap early in the morning after checking the boxscore… hope you understand my point and forgive the delay).
Dear old, cool throwback uniforms and arguably the best quarter of the season gave the Sixers a really exciting 111-107 win at Houston, snapping a 7 games losing streak (15-24, .385).
I don’t know what make me happier, to see those beloved unis again or the comeback win on the road (we were trailing by sixteen in the third, 67-83 with 2.20 left) with our young guys playing a major role in the decisive stretch.
Ok then I’ll list the things that I liked:
1) Dalembert’s game overall, and his impressive first quarter. He knocked down his first five shots, all on long jumpers that left Yao speechless. Immediatly after knocking down his fourth (if I recall well) the camera showed Sam with a cool smile ( in the picture he screams) that meant like “Hey, why are you surprised, I can do that !!”. Yes, his range is way longer now and he is effective also from the distance. That is really nice, we need more weapons on offense. He finished the first period with 12 points on 6/7 shooting and had 14 at the break (7/10).
Sam was decisive at the end as well, first when he scored on an alley oop pass by Iguodala to put the Sixers up three (107-104, 35 seconds left) and then blocked Scola’s putback off a Yao’s miss. Iguodala then iced the game from the line. Saying he outplayed Yao would be wrong, but their duel was one of the most interesting things to watch last night.
2) Thaddeus Young had a terrific game, he played the entire fourth quarter scoring 8 points and adding a couple of steals. Not coincidentially he scored the basket that gave Sixers the lead (94-92) and another one immediately after, off an offensive rebound. He later took a charge, showing smartness and courage at the same time. “Young vet” is a nickname that really fits him.
I love the way he always lets the game come to him, he is NEVER frenetic or nervous, doesn’t force a thing and takes what defenses give him (Carney, please take note…). In our half court he’s always reactive and with his atlethicism you can always count on him for steals, deflections, blocks from the weak side. He’s improving every minute he is staying on the floor and he’s definitely showing he has all star potential. Just go on like this, kid.
3) Andre Miller was excellent offensively, he was the only one to score effectively in the third, when Houston went on that run led by Ming (13 + 2 blocks in the period). He understood that the team needed his points and took a lot of tough shots that allowed us to stay in the game. He added 8 in the final quarter too. What else do you need ?
4) Lou Williams had finally a big game after passing through a long slump, that he can hopefully put behind his back after last night. He was the third Sixer to score 8 in the fourth and made also some huge plays defensively, with two steals. And how about the six assists in 22 minutes? The biggest one was for Green’s three pointer in transition that tied the game at 92: another player would have taken the shot, because Lou was open too.
I also noticed that he and Iguodala exchanged smiles in many occasions, meaning that some “misunderstandings” they seemed to have in the previous games are over. Wins cure all, of course.
5) Willie Green had two very solid performances, both at San Antonio (where he possibly was my MVP) and at Houston. He has a clear role in this team and without him it would be hard this year. Of course, he would be ideal as a 6th-7th man, and if Sixers want to become a serious playoff team next year that will be his spot, but right now he’s the best option at SG, forget about Carney. Give him credit, he also cut the forced shots and seems to play more under control (yes, I wrote it…).
6) I have also to praise Cheeks because pulling that game off, in the second night of a back-to-back, after 7 losses and being down 16 in the third, it’s a heck of an accomplishment. These guys play hard every night and never give up… remember when they cut a 16 point deficit to 4 in the fourth vs Bulls: well, this time they went further.
I would like to see Jason Smith on the court more, let’s say around 20 minutes per game, but Booth did a nice job defensively on Yao yesterday so it’s ok. Carney did limited damage, thank God, and even scored on a three (wow !).
[About the 82-89 game vs San Antonio (14-24, .368) I have to say it was one of the 'best' losses that I saw... these guys gave 100% again and it took an unbelievable exploit by Manu, with the four threes in two minutes down the stretch, to beat us. But I was proud of my Sixers at the end !!]