Sixers dance towards the playoffs
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 2, 2008
I know this recap comes late.
I am sorry but I am having troubles finding the games. Anyway, it looks like i just found a new, cool way :-)
With that one, I just managed to watch the whole Nets game, so here are my (late) thoughts.
While the Sixers dancers were battling in the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA Dance team bracket, the guys were sailing to the first round.
Sixers beat the Nets 97-108 and at 38-37 (.507) got very, very close to clinching a playoffs spot.
With Toronto and Washington (38-36) still 1/2 game ahead and Atlanta (34-40) three and 1/2 games behind, Sixers could finish anywhere between the 5th and the 8th seed, especially considering that now they have to meet the Hawks in two games of a back-to-back, home-and-home series.
No need to go quarter-by-quarter now (it was a good, solid win on the road), but what was nice to see in New Jersey?
* Salembert playing a fantastic all around game on both ends of the floor, coming up big in the third quarter with consecutive blocks, rebounds, intimidations. He finshed with five rejections but altered at least four-five more shots. Gigantic.
* Andre Iguodala dishing the ball like a 6’7 playmaker (10 dimes, many of them worth the highlights reel). The kind of game that makes you think that he can really be a franchise player, and that he puts his team and the W ahead of himself and his stats. Very, very good, a pleasure to see.
* Lou Williams killing the Nets with three consecutive, huge field goals in the fourth that stretched Sixers’ lead from 91-96 (a corner three with 3.45 to go) to 93-100 (a long jumper after a nice pump fake with 2.27 left). In the middle of those two, he made a tough “up and under” drive.
* Willie Green stopping his quarrels with the rim (LOL) and finally playing a solid game offensively after the late struggles.
* our bench giving a good contribution again: Rodney Carney couldn’t find his rythm initially, missed a couple of layups and had a charge in the second quarter, but knocked down two big threes in the fourth. Wow.
Jason Smith went back into the rotation and played well too, not hesitating to shoot or take responsabilities. Very effective.
* Andre Miller being simply his usual self: the real leader of the team on the floor. He even made it to my front page (LOL).
In general, there are a couple of things that I noticed and I liked:
1) many and different players stepped up in different moments of the game. Green & Iguodala started in the first quarter/half, then it was Salembert’s turn in the third, finally Lou Williams and Carney in the fourth, with Miller assisting them all across the periods.
This tells you a lot about the TEAM attitude, the depth and the variety of weapons this squad has. Props to the coach for that, one more time.
2) I had the feeling that this will be the playoffs rotation. Not coincidentially it was a playoffs-like game: if you look at the minutes got by every single player I think you have the picture of what will more or less happen in the post season, when in my opinion Miller, Iguodala and Salembert will stay around the 40 min territory.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
How about the 10/10 start by the Nets? They ended the first at 15/22, while Sixers started 7/9 and finished 12/17 – Nets didn’t attempt a free throw until 5.18 left in the third !!!! – By halftime, Iguodala with 14 points was the best scorer, Harris, Carter and Jefferson had 13 – Best Sixers play of the night: Salembert blocks Krstic, Miller gets the ball, doesn’t even take a dribble and throws it to Iguodala for an “and one” fastbreak dunk – On the other side, Carter fed Jefferson with a nice lob for a high flying reverse dunk – It’s nice to make the free throws….
Let’s cut Hawks’ wings now. They should fear us and not the other way around.