Smart loss at MSG
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 26, 2008
Play hard, fight until the end and then lose the game. Whether it’s for missed free throws, lack of outside shooting (like it was last night) or whatever else, I don’t care. We need more of those ping pong balls in the lottery.
Let the Knicks and other franchises rise to useless 33-35 wins, we need to stay below that number and get a top pick. In the meantime, it’s ok if you play like this, and with Mo at the helm, there is still more hope. He didn’t make any particular mistake last night, to be honest, but he can always f’k a game up with his decisions.
Some fellow tanker on the Sixers board of Philly.com described the matchup vs New York as a “must lose game”. Another poster followed him saying this is a “must lose weekend” (tonight we play the Bobcats). I second that. And that’s why the 81-89 loss (16-28, .364) has a sweet taste. Three losses in a row, 2-11 in 2008? Fine with me. Just let the young plays play, develop them, make them improve.
Versus the emerging (?) Knicks we saw one more time what is good and what is bad with this team. Among the good things:
1) we played hard for 48 minutes, one more time, and always as a team
2) we played solid defense overall
3) we limited the turnovers finally
4) we grabbed a lot of offensive rebounds, for many second chances points. Evans had a team high 6.
Among the bad ones:
1) we never scored from behind the arc, as usual
2) we couldn’t run for fastbreaks, at least just not like we usually do
3) we missed crucial free throws again. This time it was the two Andres combining for a 1/4 in the last 3.40 min, pretty uncharacteristic.
4) we gave up too many offensive rebounds, because we didn’t box them out (Sam with 3 defensive rebounds in 31 minutes ?), David Lee did his nice job under the boards once more. And New York made a better use of their second chances than we did.
5) our second unit had a sub par game. Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young didn’t give us the usual spark off the bench, the only Jason Smith was active but in only 19 minutes of action (Evans had 31, too many). Calvin Booth was decent in Sam’s place (Dalembert picked up two quick fouls in the first) but…well, he’s still Calvin Booth. Rodney Carney knocked down a three in the second, after missing a layup, and that’s the only play when he was noticed.
6) Iguodala had a terrific first half (18 with 7/11) but was limited to 6 points on the second, with 3/9. Those misses from the line costed us a lot, honestly.
7) overall, our offense was pretty much stagnant and the circulation poor. These guys don’t move much without the ball, if you pay attention, and many times our possessions end with a one-on-one play with the shot clock expiring. To NY credit, they played a very good defense, using a lot of zone (what a surprise, LOL).
The decisive plays came down the stretch. Andre Iguodala scored on a jumper to put Sixers down two, 80-82, then he had a chance to tie the game but missed both free throws with 3.34 to go, on the following possession he also fouled Crawford while the Knick scored on a drive (80-85).
Dalembert missed a jump hook and grabbed the rebound but Reggie Evans was called for an offensive foul under the rim, Knicks turned the ball over but Andre Miller made only 1/2 from the line (81-85, 1.40) and then the same Crawford drained a long jumper from the top of the key to close the game (81-87, 57 seconds left).
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
We need a Zach Randolph type of power forward that can score and board. Just not Zach Randolph, please – Nate Robinson is horrible, for the life of me I wouldn’t want him on my team even for free – The funny thing is that he actually played well – Every team has its Reggie Evans I guess: Eddie Curry shot 3/9 from the line with four straight misses – The Sixers highlight of the night came in the fourth when Iguodala followed his own miss and dunked the ball over a couple of Knicks - Ed, sign TWO shooters next summer, please – Sixers started the 1st shooting 2/9 (4-14) then made four in a row (12-18) – Willie Green could never catch fire.
(*= that was actually BEFORE the game, LOL)