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Worst streak at the worst moment

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 13, 2009

83010104RT23_76ERS_RAPTORS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY ! S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

The season high fifth straight loss, a 111-104 decision at Toronto, came in the worst moment for the Sixers (40-40, .500), now tied at the 6th spot with the surging Bulls.

Iguodala’s face is the picture of  Sixers’ feelings.

Chicago is 40-40 as well but coming off four consecutive wins and with a better schedule (@ Detroit, currently 8th at 39-41, and vs the same Raptors).

Almost Everything is going wrong in Sixerland as of late. The most worrying part, to me, is that it seems we can’t put together a total team effort.

Nearly any given night a couple of our key players look MIA, so that the good, even excellent performances of single guys are eventually wasted.

The game vs the (lousy) Raptors, that snapped a four game losing streak (…) was another good example of these struggles. 

We ended up with five players in double figure, which is apparently contradicting what I just wrote. Unfortunately what could be seen as  “balanced offense” is more a “lack of reliable options” in crunch time.

Raptors built a fourteen point lead at mid fourth quarter (102-88), Sixers fought back and cut it to four (104-100 with 2.50 to play) but Toronto (smartly and) repeatedly went to the line and secured the win by knocking down seven of eight free throws before the horn.

I think it wasn’t a coincidence that in the two most important possessions down the stretch, Sixers turned it over badly.

With the score at 104-100, Andre Miller had an unnecessary offensive foul on Calderon, while when we were trailing by five but with a chance to stay in the game (109-104, 40 seconds left), Iguodala forced a drive, Marion stole him the ball and was fouled.

It was Iguodala’s TENTH turnover of the game (!). He threw away the ball in many ways: a behind-the-back pass to…  the first row at the end of the first quarter was perhaps the worst (he immediately apologized, to be honest, realizing the mistake), but he had many bad ones.

Andre Miller grabbed an offensive rebound but missed the (uncontested) putback under the basket after two minutes. He basically never recovered, finishing with an awful 2/14. I think he took good shots, they simply weren’t falling. Layups, short jumpers, drives, even a three: no way.

As you might guess, with the two Andres having subpar performances, Sixers have troubles in facing any team. What made me nuts yesterday, is that the most damage was actually made by Patrick O’Bryant, Joey Graham, and Quincy Douby (!!), three stiffs that combined for 26 points on 11/15 off the bench.

Yes, Toronto went on that run in the fourth with Calderon, Bargnani AND Bosh on the bench !! CB4 checked back in with 7.36 to play, but Toronto was already up seven (93-86). Bosh did his part immediately, adding two nice field goals.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Croatians, Donyell Marshall, Guidos, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

It’s raining threes. And losses.

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 11, 2009

(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY – S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

Ok, Sixers fans, this nasty dunk by Iguodala on LeBron James, to close the first half, is the best thing from last night’s game on Sixers’ side:

While getting swept 0-4 by the New Jersey Nets is simply unacceptable, being down 0-3 in the season series vs the Cavaliers seems fair. And everyone obviously smells another sweep completed in the last game of the season, Wednesday 15th at the Quicken Loans Arena, because Cleveland, guess that, is simply a better team.

Ok, actually my concept of “team” is slightly different. These Cavs are more a one-and-a-half man show, with the other guys on the roster knowing their (marginal) role and able to step up in different games. It works well, though. 

I don’t want to take anything from Cleveland, they have built smartly around LeBron James, I simply like(d) better other squads, that fit more with the word “team” (example: the 2004 Pistons). 

But anyway, Sixers lost their fourth straight (40-39, .506) and the final 92-102 score, in front of a sell out-but-pretty-silent crowd, explains well what happened at the Wachovia Center.

Sixers gave a decent effort, fought hard until the end, stayed close for 48 minutes, but came up short at the end, buried under an impressive three point barrage. Even Zydrunas Ilgauskas, in an off night, knocked down one, from the corner, to give Cleveland an eleven point lead (87-98) and definitely close the game.

While Cavs connected from downtown pretty much at will, finishing with a remarkable 12/23, the stone handed Sixers made their first three with 4.15 left in the game (courtesy of Green), and the second, absolutely useless, came in garbage time.

The total from behind the arc in the three games played between the two teams is Cleveland 23/59 (39%), Sixers 4/31 (12%)…. bball is quite simple !! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Sixers blow another one in Charlotte

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 9, 2009

83009655KS004_76E_BOBCTForget the ‘furious comeback’ (from -20 in the second to +4 in the fourth), forget the BS about the “pride”, the “reaction” etc etc, the game in Charlotte will go down as a 101-98 LOSS, while it should have been a WIN

And forget the 4th seed also, with a 40-37 (.519) record, that spot is definitely out of reach, we’d rather think aboout making it to the 5th, because Miami is there with a 1/2 game advantage, and our schedule looks extremely tough: three of the five games left on the road, and the two at home versus Boston and Cleveland, that both have important goals to reach.

And then again, when you get blown out by the Nets and you lose to the Bobcats immediately after, you can’t expect nothing good vs stronger opponents.

How about this: Sixers’ record against New Jersey and Charlotte is 1-7 (!!). So there you already have the answer to the question “Why didn’t we get home court advantage in the playoffs ?” that you’ll ask yourself at the end of the regular season. 

As you might guess, I am SLIGHTLY disapponted after losing for the third time this season to Larry Brown’s team. But after all, there is a reason why Sixers are floating around .500 all year: they could never find any consistency.

So there you have the exciting Ws at LA Lakers, vs Spurs (in a blow out), at Portland, the sweep against the Rockets (yes, we did that. And they had Yao and TMG in both games), and then the Calvin Booth-ugly losses at Minnesota, at Golden State, at O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A f’n C-I-T-Y (+ the 1-7 aforementioned record) that leave you speechless… That’s immaturity in the best case, mediocrity in a more realistic analysis.

After watching the Charlotte game, I remembered what George Karl said after we let another W slip away, in Denver: “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” . Remember that game?

I mean, how can you possibly allow Charlotte, the third worst offense in the NBA (less than 94 PPG) to score 63 points in the first half ??? On 57% shooting (22/38)? And 5/11 from behind the arc ??

Or allow Raymond Felton (good player, nothing more) to score 21 at the break, 32 at the end, setting a new career high ???

Yes, Lou Williams played very well again, the third quarter comeback was nice, we saw a possessed Willie Green almost singlehandedly carrying the offense (13 pts in the quarter on 4/5, including three treys), but we couldn’t finish the job. One more time. Another wasted effort. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Larry Brown, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Serbians, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

The Andres carry Sixers to playoffs

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 5, 2009

Pistons 76ers BasketballFinally the stretch of several weeks of crazy work SEEMS over, and starting from today I’ll “normally” watch and blog the remaining Sixers games.

This couldn’t have been more timely because I just enjoyed the 95-90 W over the Pistons that officially brought Sixers (40-35, .533) to the post season.

And I am 3/3 on the prediction I made some days ago about the last ten games.

But what matters the most is that ALL Sixers, in Thaddeus Young’s absence, picked up the slack and showed some great effort on both ends of the floor in the last three games, not coincidentially all won.

In the last one, vs the Iverson-less Pistons, the two Andres carried the load, not only offensively, because they logged in 90 out of the possible 96 minutes (!!!).

This was an “interesting” move, especially in such a tough, close game, that looked like a playoffs matchup. As minutes, and quarters, were passing, I was asking to myself “Why in the hell we aren’t making any sub at all ???”

DiLeo gave the explaination after the game: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Sixers lose Thad, thank Theo, Willie & Reggie

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 1, 2009

And Marreese Speights, actually, but there was no room for another name in the title.

The 98-85 W over Atlanta (38-35, .521) was a costly one, because Thaddeus Young got injured and is going to stay out 2-3 weeks (= will miss the rest of the reg season and perhaps be back at a certain point during the playoffs).

Hawks 76ers Basketball

With 2.15 remaining in the first quarter, Young landed on Josh Smith’s right foot, sprained his ankle and didn’t return. Today Sixers released an official statement to clarify his conditions.

A pretty serious injury for the forward, that was perhaps playing the best basketabll of his (young) career, and a tough break for the Sixers. The good thing is that we have a deep bench with lot of solutions, and many guys can/MUST step up in Thad’s absence.

They started doing it yesterday night.

And the thing I’d like to underline is that the role players had a key… role in the win over the Hawks. In this order:

1) THEO RATLIFF, coming up big in the fourth, when Sixers went on a 14-2 run to close the game (from 80-79 with 8.30 to play to 94-81 with 4 min left). “The rattler” had a dunk, a jumper (!), some boards, a block and a key steal on Pachulia, coming off a Hawks timeout, that led to a fastbreak dunk by Iguodala. Tremendous addition off the bench.

2) W-I-L-L-I-E G-R-E-E-N, providing consistent, timely scoring all night, coming off screens to knock down the elbow jumper, now officially his best weapon.

3) REGGIE EVANS, a warrior that went out for another of his 20 minute-fights, playing hard nosed defense (see the pic), going for every board, picking his opponent’s pocket, and even providing some extra-offense in the third (6 pts), with a couple of unlikely lefthanded layups/hooks.

Hawks 76ers Basketball

4) MARREESE SPEIGHTS, finally coming out of his recent slump (4/17 in the last four games) with a nice series of crafted shots around the rim (hooks, layups) and mostly a couple of thunderous dunks in the fourth that woke Sixers up after Atlanta came close, too close.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 1 Comment »

-10, are Sixers ready to run?

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 31, 2009

83007451AE020PISTONS_76ERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY ! S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

Ten games are left after the 101-97 loss at Detroit, Sixers stand at the 6th place in the Eastern conference with their 37-35 (.514) record, and their schedule doesn’t look easy.

Tonight Sixers meet the 43-31 Hawks, that already secured a playoffs spot and hold a comfortable four game-lead over 5th seed Miami (39-35). Atlanta seems in a great position to keep home court advantage in the first round.

The game is the first of a three game homestand. Here is Sixers’ remaining schedule, with my predictions:

  • Atlanta (W)
  • Milwaukee (W)
  • Detroit (W)
  • @ New Jersey (W)
  • @ Charlotte (L)
  • @ Chicago (L)
  • Cleveland (L)
  • @ Toronto (W)
  • Boston (W)
  • @ Cleveland (L)

In my opinion tonight’s game could spark us to a small winning streak: I am afraid we will lose again to the Bobcats, good and rising, while for the last two games we could perhaps take advantage of the fact that Cavs and Boston will probably already be sure of their 1st and 2nd/3rd spot and maybe rest some starters.

But I am predicting a L at Cleveland, just not to be too optimistic: if Sixers really go 6-4 in this last stretch, they will finish the season 43-39.

That would mean a +3 improvement in wins versus last year (= still mediocre), and matching the record of 2004/2005, which by the way was Sixers’ last winning season (…).

If you remember, it was Jim O’Brien’s year, with Iverson & Webber. Sixers lost 4-1 to the Pistons in the first round. That costed Obie the job, and it costed all Sixers fans six more years of Dalembert (LOL), because after that – good - series by Sammy, King rewarded him with that infamous notorious deal.

I think 2008/2009 Sixers are ready to finish the season strong and make some noise in the playoffs.

More than likely they will NOT pass the first round, because we match up pretty bad with Orlando AND Boston, but I think a series with the same Hawks could be very interesting, and give us a good chance for the upset. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Billy King, Chris Webber, Donyell Marshall, Jim O'Brien, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Sixers finish West trip in winning fashion

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 25, 2009

83006849SF013_76ERS_BLAZERSAnd sweep the Blazers !

Pretty amazing way to end a tough five game road trip: a 108-114 OT W over Portland to lift us up to a 36-33 record (.522).

So here was the situation for the Sixers at tip off: fifth game in seven nights (!). Second night of a back-to-back. A raucous, sellout crowd. An opponent with a 28-6 home record, coming from its own 3-2 road trip.

Not exactly the best scenario, right?

But Sixers pulled out a heck of a game, a total team effort on both ends of the floor, coming out of Portland with one of the biggest wins of the season, in a key moment of the year.

I just managed to finish watching the game replayed – this time without any idiot friend telling me the final score… – and I am still pumped. Crazy game, it would took too many words to recap.

To give you an idea of how weird of a night it was, let’s start saying that Sixers had only a five point lead after the FIRST QUARTER (26-31), in which they shot 13/16 (81%) !!!!

In the SECOND QUARTER, despite Blazers’ big men literally partying under our rim, we progressively extended the lead: thirteen on a jumper by Thaddeus Young (36-49), sixteen (the biggest) on a three point play by Williams: 40-56 with 1.20 left.

Lou had nine points in the period, but what shocked the Blazers (and not only them perhaps, LOL) was the mighty Reggie Evans adding ten: Portland shooting 1/14 from behind the arc obviously was also a big factor to explain the 44-58 halftime score. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Lou Williams, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers corporate, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 3 Comments »

Once they were Kings

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 24, 2009

83006862RW015_76ERS_KINGSToday, they are just a bad team, unfortunately.

And I say this as a former Kings fan: I used to root for the team with “deda” Divac, Bibby, Peja, Turkoglu, Christie, Webber etc when they were battling for the supremacy in the Western Conference with the fucking Lakers… now it’s just a nice memory.

Sixers (35-33, .515) made a quick work of Sacramento, on coast to a 100-112 W that wasn’t as close as the final score might tell.

We led by as many as 29 points, and let the Kings get closer only in the final period (92-103 with 5.40 to play), quickly putting them to sleep again after that “threat”.

The game was basically over after one quarter – which saves me a lot of typing, LOL. Sixers jumped to a 20 point lead (13-33) and closed the period at a comfortable 17-35. 

Iguodala simply DESTROYED Sacramento from the start, scoring 17 points in the first (!), on 6/6 shooting, including two treys and a couple of dunks. In the same period, Kings turned the ball over eight times (!!), many of them unforced.

Sacramento is a bad team, badly coached, and with horrible playmaking. Garcia did his best to keep them into the game (he was 4/5 from behind the arc at a point in the second) but he was pretty much left alone by his team mates. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Calvin Booth, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Old Suns still shining enough

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 19, 2009

83006986BG011_SUNS_76ERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY ! S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

Sixers’ 126-116 L at Phoenix was blackouted in Italy, I couldn’t watch it.

As usual when this happens, I watched the highlights, I read the boxscore, the play-by-play page and many reports so I’ll try to focus on some sure facts and try to make some points.

Sixers now stand at 34-32 (.515), 6th in the eastern conference rankings, 1 1/2 games behind the 5th seed Miami (36-31).

The western conference trip has three stops left, Golden State (tomorrow), Sacramento, Portland. I think we have good chances to win the next two games, vs weaker opponents, while the final matchup vs TrailBlazers will be a tough one.

Ending the trip at 3-2 would be very good.

Speaking of yesterday’s game, here is what the crew at Bright side of the Sun thinks of us:

The 76ers are a good team with a lot of nice pieces. They run the floor really well and move the ball in the half court. Unfortunately for them, against the Suns they were outmatched inside giving up an 80 to 50 “edge” in points in the paint  and 26  to 8 second chance points.The 76ers are 2nd on the league in offensive rebounds so that’s quite a feat.

In its recap the Suns’ blog is underlining how Suns now have some good “chemistry” and “balance”, that were all lacking before.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Iguodala goes Hollywood, sinks Lakers at the buzzer

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 19, 2009

(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY – S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

The title of this post could have been “More timely three point shooting“, following the one below this. Or “Finally a buzzer beater that goes the right way”. Whatever.

All I can say now is I am one of the happiest bball fans on earth. I could have been the happiest overall. Becasue of this (I love how the video is 100% Lakers until the 2.10 mark…LOL): 

(PREMISE: as you might easily guess, from Monday to Friday it’s extremely difficult for me to watch Sixers games live. When they play in Philly, or anywhere in the East, games start at 00.30-1 AM. It means going to bed at around 3.30-4, and get up at 8, to go to work my butt off for 10 + hrs in office…. when Sixers play West, that’s completely impossible, because games start at around 3.30-4 AM GT – Guido Time)

So I had this plan for today: resist and DO NOT check the score of the Lakers game all day (that’s always a pretty tough task for a die hard fan, believe me), RUN home from office, watch the game replaying, but… “live”: without knowing the score, I mean !!

Had this plan be completed, I would be the happiest fan on earth now. Really.

INSTEAD…

Fellow guido and f’n idiot Raffaele, co-founder of Sixers4guidos, that I hadn’t heard from in like 3-4 weeks (not missing anything, btw…), decided to drop me an email that consisted in these few words: “Biggest win of the season. Why no post up yet?”.

The response was like: 1) (tons of profanities) I was trying to avoid knowing the score, you idiot. Your useless ass completely ruined me the surprise… And 2) the post will be up as soon as I’ll watch the game, you retard. 

So here I am now, trying to recap (yes), the biggest win of the season, (too) many hours late, I know. What can I do?

Let’s start from the finish. Andre Iguodala, whose clutchness has been questioned many times - also on this site of course - hit a fantastic three pointer over Trevor Ariza at the buzzer to give Sixers a 93-94 W over the Lakers at the Staples Center:

82992848NG027_76ERS_LAKRS

Sixers have won four straight games now, and their record is 34-31, .523.

That shot couldn’t have been more timely, for many reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers corporate, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

 
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