Tired legs or lack of killer instinct?
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 2, 2007
In the second game of a back-to-back Sixers squandered a 18 point third quarter lead to lose 94-92 in overtime to the well rested Nets. New Jersey snapped a 5 home games losing streak, and made Sixers fall to 5-11 (.313).
It was another tough loss. Tough to swollow and to explain. Sixers played very well in the first half, six players scored in an excellent first quarter (19-28), when Mo decided to play some trap defense that helped slowing down New Jersey’s offense: Nets turned the ball over five times and apparanetly struggled figuring out how to attack us.
In the second Sean Williams had a great impact defensively (4 blocks ! just like Brandan Haywood last night… damn, looks like these athletic young centers love to play us !) but the Nets continued to play like a (bad) jump shooting team. Korver and Lou Williams connected from three point and Sixers’ lead was quickly lifted to 29-46, to close the quarter at 35-51 on a couple of free throws by Iguodala.
At halftime Sixers shot 58% from the field (20/34), 9/11 from the line, and outrebounded the Nets 22-12. New Jersey was 13/34 (37%) including 2/13 from downtown.
At the beginning of the third Sixers had their largest lead at 35-53 (nice assist by Sam to Green !). HERE WE LOST THE GAME. We missed two layups to go +20 and started making an unbelivable amount of dumb mistakes, that Nets could take advantage from. So, instead of killing a game that was close to be over, we let them make a (little) run. That’s the point: our worst quarter in the season (10 points) had nothing to do with our opponents’ improved play. We did all by ourselves.
Nets didn’t do anything special to get back into the game: they were not hitting shots like crazy, or playing lock down defense. They were pretty average on offense (25 points scored, far from impressive), same in their half court.
But it was enough, because we couldn’t make shots, simple as that: 3/16 in the third is a stat that doesn’t need further explainations I guess. That includes open jumpers, putbacks, layups but doesn’t include the unforced turnovers and the dumb plays (uncompleted alley hoops etc). So at the end, with the score at 60-61 we had still a 12 minutes basketball game to play, instead of garbage time.
In the fourth Nets had their second lead of the game on a turnaround jumper by Carter (62-61, the first one was at 11-9 in the 1st) and then the two teams started trading baskets, with New Jersey led by a Jason Kidd in great shape. Iguodala was our leader in this quarter, playing very well on both ends of the floor. But the 70-75 Sixers lead turned quickly into a + 4 Nets (81-77) and things started looking bad.
Nets seemed to have locked the game when they build a 83-79 lead with 49 second left on a questionable goaltending call against Dalembert (to me the block on Jefferson’s shot was clean). Sixers reacted and tied the game with Iguodala and Miller going 4/4 from the line: in the middle of those trips to the line, Wright missed a crucial three pointer from the corner. Carter last drive came up short: 83-83, overtime.
Sixers were awful in the beginning of overtime, shooting 0/6 from the field: not that New Jersey was spectacular, but their 90-85 lead (Carter on a long jumper, with 15 seconds to go) was enough to basically win the game. In the final seconds Lou Williams’ three and the long series of trips to the line (Iguodala twice, Jefferson, Carter) simply prolonged Sixers’ agony.
Mo told Iguodala not to miss the second of his free throws when there was ony 1.8 second to play, and I realize now it’s easy to say “It was a mistake” but still, I want to say it. I thought that immediately.
Anyway it would be stupid to focus on this now, Sixers lost the game earlier. In the third, like I said. I felt that while screaming at my monitor, watching the bonehead plays piling up.
That’s why I have a problem reading: “Tonight we did what we were supposed to do,” said Andre Iguodala, who scored a team-high 24 points. “It just didn’t go our way”. Uh?
I would rather agree with another statement: “We should have won the game,” said center Samuel Dalembert, “That’s all I have to say about this.”
1) Korver played 32 minutes (too many) and wasn’t good again. You look at the boxscore and you might think he wasn’t that bad, but he missed a lot of key shots. He should have been pulled out before.
2) (hear this…) I would have played Willie Green more, especially in the third, when we couln’t make a shot to save our lives.
3) Sam had troubles playing vs Sean Williams (a phase of the duel in the picture). Williams, by the way, is a beast.
4) watching Reggie Evans shooting free throws is scaring: he even airballed one (LOL)
5) Sixers are 0-2 in overtime this year and the first time (vs Golden State) was another second game of a back-to-back, in which we let a 13 point lead getting erased… uhm…. back to the title of this post !