MLK day is not Sixers day
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 21, 2009
It started with a buzzer beater, it ended with another buzzer beater (in the pic).
Sixers’ winning streak stopped at seven games (20-21, .488) as Dirk No-Shit-zki (I’m stealing this from poster BillyRayBate of the Sixers board of philly.com, too funny) hit a tough fallaway shot over Reggie Evans as time expired to give Dallas a heartbreaking 93-95 win.
That trademark jumper ruined a fantastic, unlikely run that allowed Sixers to tie the game at 93 with 8 seconds to go after being down twelve with 2.16 left (81-93, on a three by Terry). That 12-0 break unfortunately will be rememebered only because it set the stage for Dirk’s winning shot.
With that, Mavs swept the season series vs us.
(This recap comes WAY too late because yesterday I didn’t realize it was MLK day and so didn’t even try to catch the game live, I watched it today, replayed. No need to go on details about it, since everything has been already said, but still there is room for some thoughts)
1) I am ok with Reggie Evans taking the assignment to guard Dirk on the last play. Who says he’s undersized, didn’t contest the shot well bla bla bla forgets that Reggie stripped him the ball and forced Dirk to a charge few possessions before that final play, just in the midst of our run.
By the way, I think Dirk can knock down that kind of fallaway jumper guarded by Yao Ming carrying Manute Bol over his shoulders. You can’t block it, all you have to do is just make it tougher, and Evans did it well.
Putting Dalembert on Nowitzki could have meant watching Sam getting burned on a drive, or committing a foul falling for one of Dirk’s patented fakes and sending him to the line. So DiLeo took a decision I can live with. Hey, Reggie played the whole fourth quarter and was a big spark for our comeback, give him credit.
2) I am less ok with SEVEN missed free throws in a game we lost by TWO points. The importance of making fouls shots at a decent rate has been addressed so many times on S4Ge that I won’t bother repeating it. Last time I covered this was… uhm, in the last post !!!
3) It simply wasn’t our night, I guess. Last time Jason Kidd hit SIX threes (on eight shots !) was… well, please tell me because I really don’t know. To his credit, he’s shooting a career high 38% this season, over his standard 33%.
4) speaking of point guards, I liked a lot Ivey’s contribution. He had a season high eleven points and looks like he found his role in the rotation, more confident.
5) hear this, Iguodala was clutch (!!), scoring on a dunk, a tough three and a tough drive (in the pic below) to tie the game. To me, that’s just as shocking as good to underline.
So Sixers close the first half of the season with a record under .500, something that looked prettu much unpredictable before the season started. But now I am optimistic that we can turn it around in the second part of the year.
Considering all we went through in these first 2 1/2 months (change of coach, injury to Brand, unbelievable losses etc…) I would safely say we can make a nice run from now until April.
The schedule looks favorevable. Sixers play eight of the next ten games at home, and five of them vs teams that are currently under .500 (NY, Washington, NJ, Indiana, Memphis).
If we go 7-3 in this stretch, which seems doable, we could be at 27-24 at the All Star break: nothing spectacular, but a nice base to build on for the remaining part of the season, hopefully at full strenghth.
Sixers don’t play before Saturday, when they will face the Knicks. And with Brand !
But Sixers4guidos is setting up a couple of surprises so stay tuned.
(for more on the Mavs game, seen from another perspective, check this article by Mike Fisher of Dallas Basketball)