A new star is born
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 10, 2007
Yes, because the 103-105 home loss to the Toronto Raptors (record: 2-3, 40%) could be a POSITIVE turning point for the future of this storied franchise. It could mark the day of the birth of a future NBA star, Louis “at will” Williams (in the picture, listening to the best PG in Sixers history during last night’s game).
Stats tell us something but I am trying to go beyond the 21 points in 20 minutes (19 in the 4th quarter !!), the 3/3 from 3pt, the 4 points play in a close, tough game and a dramatic finish… what is important here is to realize we have a FANTASTIC, young player, athletic, with an unbelievable talent and some rare ability to keep his composure and make the right choice when it counts.
No, no selfishness, no 1-vs-5 when he was feeling hot, no forced shots, no willing to show he’s “the man”, no urgency to prove something: he scored all those 19 points always taking the right shots, dishing the ball when it was the best option. Impressive for a 21 y/o guy in a League where the egoes usually dominate.
And this coming directly from the high school, where he was a sort of a God (I guess) and after riding the pine for three years, a very long period if you basically are a teenager, already making thousands dollars to play your favourite sport. Shows he learned to be patient (the most difficult thing at that age. with all the hype, the money etc) and kept the right mentality, without bitching or screaming.
He’s also clutch, which doesn’t hurt. It’s true that “two free throws by Bosh gave Toronto a 103-100 lead before Williams had the opportunity for a three-point play with 15.2 seconds left, but he missed the free throw” but what he had done before that was simply amazing.
Sixers lost the game, right. Why? Well, I won’t repeat how the (enjoyable) game ended – after all guys at NBA.com get paid to fill the “Full play-by-play” page – I think that the key factors were:
* we could NEVER get a defensive stop when we needed it, especially in the fourth, in many consecutive possessions, when we were trailing by 3, 2 or even one point…Toronto scored 34 points in the final quarter and scored like three times just before the shot clock expired
* we gave up too many offensive rebounds in clutch moments, leaving many second chance points to the Raptors
* our perimeter defense was bad (gave up 9/18 three pointers), with many missed assignments that led to wide open shots by Toronto dangerous shooters
* free throws pct was low again: Iguodala even scored where he was trying to miss intentionally, and this after an (unintentional) previous miss, down 3 with 1.8 left… we lost by two and misfired seven times (69%) from the line
* Dalembert’s two quick fouls took him out of the game immediately and he could never really get back into it
* Korver had a sub par game
But since I am always your “half full” type of Sixers fan, here is also what I liked:
* we never gave up, again (down 10 in the third at 69-79, immediately came to tie it at 87)
* Iguodala had a heck of an all around game (26-8-7) and cut the turnovers to 2, all in 44 minutes of intense play
* the other rookie, Jason Smith, had another very solid game and showed once more he has range for his outside shot facing the basket
* fellow guido Andrea Bargnani, who killed us in the season opener, was held to a quiet 9 points thanks to some good defense, and could never take advantage of the mismatches that his team mates created for him in the low post. But right now the series is Sixers 0-Guidos 2 (LOL)
So I must say I am very satisfied with what I saw today. The bitter end doesn’t change the sweet taste that I sensed for 47.58 minutes.
Stay positive Sixers fans, then, we have some reasons to be happy for.
Since yesterday, a new, bigger, exciting one.