Things turn “normal”, Orlando wins
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 29, 2009
Game 5 went exactly how everybody thought Game 1, 2, 3 and 4 would have gone.
Needless to say, the Magic won, 91-78, gaining the 3-2 lead in the series and some momentum.
Sixers fought well, showed their nice pride one more time, and should be praised for the effort, but fell short in the fourth, for the reasons that I’ll try to explain.
1) our leaders worn out.
DiLeo again played Iguodala & Miller WAY too much, 46 and 44 minutes respectively.
This is short-sighted, if not plain stupid, as I already pointed out after Game 4, when they both got 45 min. Imagine how fresh their legs & their minds were at the end of Game 5… bad decision definitely.
Consider that Dwight Howard,that is 23 y/o and is a beast, logged in “just” 37 minutes, with no particular foul troubles.
And Magic depend on him just as much as we do on the Andres, if not more (you might want to check his stat line…).
2) ZERO contribution from the bench.
Of course the initial assumption should be that ‘in order to contribute you first have to play’, which is correct, but anyway this time Lou & co. didn’t do a damn thing worth mentioning.
In fact Marcin effin’ Gortat alone scored as many points as our whole bench, which should tell you everything you need to know. The second unit combined for a miserable six points, eight rebounds and five assists – all by Williams.
It’s the first time that our bench is outscored – and outplayed – by Orlando’s, and this is pretty worrying. Also because Magic backups are nothing special, and I’m being kind.
3) we were dominated under the boards.
The final 45-33 margin in Magic’s favor, even if huge, doesn’t give you the idea of how tough life was under the boards for us. Howard collected 20 rebounds at the end of the THIRD quarter (!), of which 9 offensive. Orlando finished with 15 offensive rebounds, something that really killed us, because basically all of them resulted into putback dunks or easy tip ins.
Howard’s big game leads me to another point that has to be addressed.
4) Sam Dalembert should [profanity avoided] go play soccer.
But not at the end of the season, immediately !!
Every Sixers fan is unfortunately used to his MORONIC fouls, a complete set that he has been showing us for (too many) years. Tonight he managed to surprise us, though. This time he took it to another level.
Two of his first three fouls were committed on OFFENSE, one dumber than the other. His fourth came after 15 F’N SECONDS of the second half (!), on a less-than-useless double team on the baseline. Sam, evidently not satisfied with this, thought he would add two of his trademark goaltendings in the fourth quarter. He’s the complete package (LOL).
5) few minutes for Sam = few defensive rebounds = few fastbreak points.
We were able to run only for a stretch in the fourth, when we cut the 80-68 Magic lead to six, 82-76. This made things complicated as our jumpers were not falling tonight, even the good, open ones.
Lewis had a great game for Orlando, posting up smaller opponents: a couple of times he was guarded by Miller ! More bad news, his outside shot is apparently back, 3/5 from behind the arc.
We couldn’t take advantage of Lee’s injury: the rookie went down early in the game with a shoulder injury and didn’t return (hope everything is well, I’m sorry for the guy).
His back ups, Pietrus and Redick, actually didn’t do much, especially considering the lot of minutes they got (they had 10 points in 60 minutes, on 2/9 !!), but the combination of Howard (terrific, again), an effective Alston and Lewis was enough for the tired Sixers I saw.
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS – When Willie Green is your best player, you are going to be in trouble.. still much props to him for the good game - Funny how both teams shot 16/37 and had 20 rebounds at the break (45-39), the difference was that Orlando had five threes, Sixers two, and bench points were 15-4 – We turned the ball over badly on three consecutive possessions in the third, helping Orlando take a ten point lead, 52-42 – Marreese Speights collected his third consecutive DNP CD. Another nonsense, to me – Howard did everything he wanted to do tonight. Including elbowing Dalembert in the first, that was a cheap shot. Will he get suspended? Mmmhh…. (UPDATE: Enrico at ‘The 700 level’ has the video, pretty clear, uh?)