After four straight losses, many Sixers should man up
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 1, 2008
Just got home, I did watch (live) the 92-103 home loss vs Bulls (7-10, .412), though, our fourth straight loss. It wasn’t nice.
Sixers turned a 15 point second quarter lead (39-24, 10.20 to go) into a 17 point deficit at the end of the third: 66-83. The partial in less then two quarters was 27-59 then (-32), including a 20-2 run by the Bulls.
Chicago eventually extended the lead to nineteen points (66-85, then 73-92), when the garbage time bell officially rang.
How could that happen? Few considerations, 12 hrs after watching the game – and going to bed pissed off….
1) Sixers always have extended draughts and have troubles scoring in half court. Never heard of that, uh?
Last night, in that ugly spurt we simply couldn’t knock down a shot: drives, jumpers (open/contested), threes, low post moves… no way. In the second quarter Sixers didn’t even go for the offensive rebound: after every miss there were only red jerseys around the rim. Unacceptable. Missing shots is part of the game, missing many shots can happen, renounce to provide yourself a second chance is simply dumb. At least one player should ALWAYS go for the ball after a shot, two would be better. Mo ?????
2) key players are Missing In Action. In details:
A) If you – rightfully – think Iguodala‘s stat line is embarassing, consider he scored four of his eight points in garbage time, “adjusting” his numbers… guess what it was before those two (useless) baskets.
He had a sequence of bricked open three-traveling violation-ball stripped-foul in the third, just in the middle of Bulls’ big run, with Ben Gordon litting him up. It was his fourth foul and Cheeks pulled him out, probably saving our younger Andre more embarassments. Horrible. Andre ????
B) Lou Williams is completely lost, lazy, unfocused, almost scared. He had a comical turnover in the fourth, losing control of the ball by himself while dribbling, with the closest defender at about 13 feet from him. The 1/9 from the field shows only A PART of his struggles. The bad thing, is that it looks like he’s not realizing it, he stubbornly plays always in the same way, forcing shots, taking too many jumpers, not making his team mates play. Lou ???
C) Sam Dalembert is simply a bad basketball player right now. Quick fouls, poor defense, bad shots. Disappointing, to say the least. Sam ???
I could add D (Brand, good numbers but low impact), E (Miller, similar, but killed by Rose on our halfcourt), F, but I’d prefer to stop here. In a word, when Willie Green – in the picture, while idiotically fouling Gordon for a three point play, but at least sporting the cool, classsic Sixers uniforms… – is often your MVP of the game, like last night, it means it’s getting ugly.
3) player management, rotations (= coaching…) is questionable. We played extended minutes in the third with a line up of THAT Lou Williams (= a dead weight), Royal Ivey (decent), Kareem Rush (an alien coming from another planet), Reggie Evans (not exactly your go-to-guy in those moments) and Marreese Speights (ok, but still a rookie). Outcome? A 12-1 Bulls’ break to close the quarter. Mo ??????
4) we set an all time record in traveling violations last night. Brand did it three times if I recall well, but Iguodala, Williams, Speights (and I am perhaps forgetting others) had the same kind of turnover. Talking about fundamentals & focus here. A really bad sign. Guys ?????
5) in this negative stretch we lost games in every possible way. Close ones (Orlando), blowouts (Boston), come-from-behind ones, allowing comebacks to Charlotte & Chicago and wasting nice leads. The complete set.
Solutions? “We let out offense dictate our defense last night”, Cheeks said after the game. How about we start from playing tough defense, and let our offense feed off it ???? Like we did last year, nothing more, nothing less.
Tomorrow in the second game of the home-and-home series vs Bulls, I’d bench Dalembert, honestly, giving Speights the start. I’d cut Williams’ minutes to no more than 15, unless he starts making shots immediately. I’d not forget Young in the second half, which is becoming a (bad) habit. Thad is always our best player in the beginning of games, but we somehow stop giving him the ball later… I have no explaination for that. Maybe… Mo ?????????????
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: I’ve learned that Lindsay Hunter is still alive, and plays for the Bulls - Rose had a fantastic block on Miller and a crossover dribble over our PG that had the crowd (?) stunned – Log on to Blog-a-Bull for best coverage about Chicago. They are even praising Hughes… - Young had 13 points on 6/9 at the half, Gordon only 6, saving his best for the second part - Gooden looked like Garnett in the first half, 18 + 8 with 7/11. Good for my fantasy team (I always liked him, seriously) – Sixers’ record with the old uniforms dropped to 2-3…