Too many idiots with a Sixers uniforms on
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 27, 2008
Who follows this blog perhaps knows I always try to be balanced and stay calm, even in the toughest moments – and God knows how many bad times we’ve been through in the last years.
I also love to make fun of negadelphians and their pessimistic, half-empty, losing attitude.
But the 105-101 loss at Denver left me so sad and angry that I finally decided to vent. Maybe it will help. If not the team (now at 12-17, .414), at least myself and my poor Sixers fan nerves.
If you think you saw a lot of ugly, crazy, unlikely, depressing Sixers losses over the years, you better make a recount, because this one should immediately jump into your Top 3.
When the game ended, I was completely speechless. Unbelievable.
I didn’t know what to do. Kinda like Iguodala on that final possession. Scream? Throw the lap top out of the window? Beat my wife? Instead, I just switched the computer off, and went out to take a walk and breathe some fresh air. The most coward decision, perhaps. Kinda like Iguodala on that final possession.
Let’s recap the last plays briefly. With Sixers down one, Lou Williams throws this bold alley oop that Marreese Speights turns into a crazy basket, while drawing a foul. Fantastic play, even if the score remains at 100-101 (17 seconds to go) because the rookie can’t make the ensuing free throw.
Denver has the ball, Billups gets doubled and finds Martin at the top of the key. Grand Kenyon has no one in front of him (!) and takes the right decision, goes straight to the basket, aggressively and dunks the ball with two hands: 102-101 Denver, nine seconds left.
You might think: “Where the fuck were out shotblockers?”. The biggest, dumbest one – do I need to say his name ? – just stayed under the rim, ATTEMPTING to foul Martin (more severe refs would have called it).
But the Sixers still have the ball to win the game. They, idiotically, decide to give it to Iguodala, at the top of the key. One dribble, two dribbles, a sissy, hesitant spin move… —> an embarassing traveling violation.
(That actually saved Andre from an even worse outcome, because after he moved his pivotal foot, he jumped up in the air and threw the ball against Nuggets defenders…)
Then Atkins is fouled with three seconds to play, but, before he can shoot, Andre Miller gets a tech (!!), so that Billups knocks down one free throw. Then Atkins makes his pair: instead of a one possession-game, it’s over, 105-101, right.
Let’s rewind the tape, on that last offensive possession.
To put it simple, Iguodala clearly didn’t know what to do. He is a bad outside shooter, and he is aware of it: of course, also defenses are. And he had just missed another last second shot, vs Indiana, remember? Another spin move, this time in the paint, resulting into a forced, bad, missed shot as time expired.
But there was also game when, in a similar situation, he dished the ball to Andre Miller in the corner, to win the game. Miller missed the last second three and we went to overtime, vs Chicago (a game that we eventually won, but that is another story).
So Sixers are basically 0/3 in last possessions in crunch time. And our lack of execution and poor decisions with the game on the line has been addressed on this site many times, for example just in this recap of that Bulls game.
So let’s list the idiots that costed us a game in which we wasted a 17-point lead in the third (57-74) and a 12-point lead in the fourth (76-88), playing some very good basketball.
#1 idiot is Sam Dalembert, of course. I am far from being a Sammy basher, but the amount of stupid plays he has been piling up this year is actually shocking. He never had a high basketball IQ, and he will NEVER be a smart player, we all know that, himself included. The problems with him are two.
First, as time passed – and this is his SEVENTH year in the League, so all the “give him time”, “he started playing ball late” excuses are over – , he should have AT LEAST cut the dumb plays. I am not saying eliminate, just reduce them. No way.
Expect from him nothing less than 5-6 among goaltendings, unnecessary fouls (offense/defense, he’s at least being consistent in that…), fumbles, turnovers per night. Every given night, literally.
Against Denver, he had a sequence of: foul on a jump ball (!! I swear: he grabbed Nene’s arm while the ref was releasing the ball, I couldn’t believe my eyes…), that led to a costly three by JR Smith (88-92) + 0/2 from the line on the other end + a loose ball foul on Nene, that of course made both free throws to pull Denver within two (90-92).
That’s the second problem with Sam: he ALWAYS chooses the worst moments to pull a boneheaded play out of his arse. If Sixers are playing well, he will immediately stop the flow, kill the momentum. If our opponents are on a run, he will fuel it. Then, he will put his “disgruntled” face on, and/or complain with the refs.
#2 idiot is Andre Iguodala. I actually should feel sorry for him because he was exposed in such a bad way on that final play that the whole League will make fun of him for weeks – let alone Sixers fans. But I really can’t, even giving my best effort.
How can you be so stubborn, arrogant, and, let’s be honest, IDIOT, it’s beyond me.
I hope he watches the tape over and over, until he either develops a go-to-shot in similar situations (my suggestion: the dunk…) or learns that it’s better to leave the stage to grown folks, or anyone with half a clue of what to do with the ball. In the meantime, he should be embarassed of himself.
#3 idiot is Andre Miller. About the technical foul, he said he “didn’t say do nothing or say nothing”, but fact is he was in the wrong place at the wrong moment. “I was just trying to stall the free throw”, Miller again. Too bad, because he played a very good game versus his former team, clearly fired up. But from a veteran like him, a mistake like that is simply unexcusable.
The list of idiots could be longer, but I’ll give a free pass to Tony Di Leo for his poor coaching (how can you possibly come up with that kind of shot at the end? Nothing better to draw? How can you give Rush a starting spot one time and then a DNP CD in the next game ?? How can you wait so long before pulling Dalembert out ?), just because he’s in the sixth game of his career (?) and was given a car with a broken motor.
But there is more.
We missed TWELVE free throws (18/30) while Denver was nearly perfect from the line (24/25). Bad enough. But even worse if you think that SEVEN missed shots came from Williams and Iguodala, meaning two guards/primeter players. Awful.
Nuggets’ FIFTEEN THREE POINTERS are a season high. At a point, they were 6/8 from behind the arc in the final quarter, and they finished with seven (!!). That absolutely killed us. Smith, Kleiza, Atkins, everyone was hot: many of them were transition shots or long threes, so give them a lot of credit. But yes, with the Sixers it’s always easier.
Two sentences to conclude:
“The thought that comes to my mind is, bad teams lose games they’re supposed to win, and good teams win games they’re supposed to lose,” Nuggets coach George Karl said.
Can’t argue with that. Sixers are a bad team, definitely.
“Nah, I’m going to take it to the basket,” Martin said, when asked if he felt like taking another jumper when he received the pass from Billups. “The lane was there, their big man just stood under the basket”.
I can’t add nothing to that either.
All the good things we did last night (many of them, really, that’s the saddest part), aren’t worth discussing after a loss like this.
Read PickAxeandRoll’s recap for a knowledgeable Nuggets’ fan perspective, excellent post as usual by Jeremy.
Sixers play the Jazz on Monday, check SLC Dunk for coverage about Utah.
I’m done with the vent, hope it will be the first and last one.
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: Speights (excellent again) somehow airballed… a dunk – Nuggets started the third quarter shooting 0/7 – Sixers reached +17 on a dunk by Iguodala in the third (57-74) – Hey, I almost forgot, Denver was playing without Carmelo Anthony !! – Nuggets had seven turnovers in the first quarter – Sixers 15 – Opponents 84: points scored on three pointers over the last three games… it was 0-39 before last night – The better Another AI scored a shot at the buzzer to win the game last night: Iverson gave Pistons a W vs Oklahoma.