When Sixers will grow up…
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 29, 2007
Thirty-two assists (32) on thirty-nine field goals (39). I don’t know if this is a record, but I dont’ care, it’s truely impressive. That’s what I want my team to be.
Jazz gave the young Sixers a lesson of veteran team basketball, coming out of the Wachovia Center with a 95-106 win after a nice game and a good effort (uhm, I am starting feeling happy even after losses: low standards or tanking mode already approaching?). Sixers’ record is 4-10 (.286).
It was the second night of a back-to-back for Philadelphia and it showed: Sixers’ start was terrible, with three turnovers in the first two minutes and an immediate 2-13 Jazz edge.
We reacted pretty quicky, and a balanced offense orchestrated by Andre Miller made us tie the game at 15 and then have our first lead at 19-17 on a three by Andre Iguodala. On the other side Deron Williams (a MONSTER) started creating for himself and for others, finding Okur and Boozer (in the picture) for easy baskets: that lasted all night.
After a close first quarter (27-25, Okur 8 pts), Jazz’s second unit struggled at the beginning of the second: back to back steals and an assist by Kyle Korver (he eventually had even a block !!) gave the Sixers a 33-27 lead, our largest.
Things were about to change soon, when Boozer went back in: Lou Williams forced some shots (0/3), Sixers missed free throws (5/9…) and Jazz with Harpring & Millsap took advantage of Dalembert’s absence (3rd foul, a charge on Boozer) to take a 44-49 half time lead. Sixers had a lot of turnovers (12), the most irritating ones when our receivers couldn’t grab the ball just under the basket.
Interesting that at the break Utah’s big men Okur and Boozer combined for 0 (zero !) rebounds. Iguodala had 13 points on 6/8, Miller 9 on 4/6, Boozer 12 on 6/7: Jazz as a team shot 54% (20/37) but were surprisingly outrebounded (20 to 16).
In the third Utah consolidated its lead: it was 46-57 with Ronnie Brewer getting to work and Sixers giving up silly three point plays and turning the ball over. Things got ugly when Korver missed some wide open shots: he didn’t stop throwing (unusual) bricks until Mo pulled him out. Too late, if you ask me. And I am a Korver fan.
Cheeks put Rodney Carney in when the score was 48-61 and the swingman finally gave some signs of life, and had a little impact: an offensive rebound, two foul shots, combined with a nice streak by Lou Williams, to cut the deficit to 66-73.
I can’t forget to mention that after those two nice plays Carney had a couple of bonehead ones (a bad pass on a fastbreak and a dumb foul falling for a pump fake when the shot clock was winding down…)… but it’s still an upgrade over the sad games he had over the past weeks… a small step forward, let’s say… he also scored a three in the 4th, so let’s give him a pass this time. The third quarter anyway ended at 68-77 (Brewer 17, Okur 16, Iguodala 18).
Deron Williams put on a show in the fourth quarter, dishing out every kind of assist you can think of. Sixers came to -5 with 8 minutes to go: it was 80-85, with Sam going 2/2 from the line, but then were constantly beaten on every hustle play, loose ball, key battle under the boards. Williams punished all these mistakes, making every team mate happy in transition (Boozer had 12 in the 4th), or calmly scoring when needed.
The guy is at his third year in the NBA but shows veteran leadership, and carries what he clearly feels it’s HIS team in the best way a coach may wish. It’s a pleasure to watch for every knowledgeable fan. Utah’s circulation of the ball is something to teach in basketball classes.
Few notes to finish:
1) we adjusted the % of free throws when the game was over but missed too many when it really counted. Again.
2) Korver and Green combined for a whoppy 3/19 from the field (woah !!). To Green’s credit, he at least managed to get to the line 7 times (career high or what ??). Hopefully we will never see Korver missing so many open shots, and he’s surely the most disappointed one.
3) Sixers without Dalembert are a totally different – and weaker – team. Whenever he can’t stay out of foul troubles, we dramatically struggle rebounding the ball and protecting the paint. Jason Smith actually had four blocks (nice) but he still isn’t the intimidating presence that Dalembert is. Sammy, we need you there 35 min a night.
4) again, Lou Williams is a player: started with 0/3 (one shot was blocked) and 0/2 from the line, ended with 13 + 6 + 6, with 4/8 FG, 5/7 FT. Personality anyone?
Here was your “half full” type of recap after another loss. :-)