Iguodala, please take note
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 4, 2007
And not like a role player. Aren’t you supposed to be our franchise player, after all?
The high flying Josh Smith scored the first two points of the game on a (high flying, right) dunk a couple of seconds after the tip off, and never stopped, in an impressive display of athleticism, efficiency and all around dominant presence, to lead the Lue-less (LOL) Hawks to a 79-88 road win, the first one in Philadelphia after nearly 4 years (!). Sixers’ record is 5-12 (.294) now.
The game was pretty sloppy on our side, Hawks took an early advantage (13-19) and maintened it for the first quarter thanks to many offensive rebounds. A three by Josh Smith at the buzzer closed it at 17-24, with Sixers shooting 3/8 from the line and Andre Miller having 6 points.
In the second quarter Willie Green put on a show (yes, Willie Green was BY FAR out best player last night… enough said), scoring 16 points and giving us the first lead at 44-43. Al Horford showed all his talent on the other half, hitting some mid range shots and low post moves (= exactly what we lack…). The half ended with a 46-45 Sixers lead.
By halftime Sixers shot a remarkable 51% (19/37) but were 6/13 from the line, and it was 4/11 at one time. Green paced us with 19 points on 8/10 (!!), Miller had 8 + 6 assists (he had ZERO in the second half) but the most notable line was Iguodala’s: 2 points on 1/3 FG.
Hawks shot 43% and had only 3 turnovers. Horford led them with 10 points (5/8) + 8 rebounds, Josh Smith had 9, same for Childress, having a big impact off the bench (3/3).
Iguodala scored the first basket of the second half and everyone thought (hoped?) it could be the beginning of a streak. Well, it wasn’t: our usual tendency to miss outside shots, turn the ball over and make dumb mistakes (Jason Smith had a lane violation on a free throw made by Korver, erasing that point…) put Atlanta in condition to make a run. Hawks took a + 7 lead (56-63) with a balanced offense where Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson shined. At the end of the third it was 62-66, and four Hawks already were in double figure.
Kyle Korver had a basket and a block on Josh Smith (!!) to start the fourth, but then things got “normal”. This means Josh Smith rejecting our guards – and not the other way around – having spectacular dunks, knocking down jumpers, dishing the ball to open team mates for easy shots, even drawing charges. He was everywhere, really impressive.
And every lose ball, every key rebound ended in Hawks’ hands, giving them extra possessions when it counted. Aatlanta was up 9, 66-75, on a jumpshot by Williams, off a nice feed by Josh Smith (who else ?), and the game was over when Childress connected from the corner to make it 72-82 with 2 minutes left.
Well, putting the ball into the basket would have made the game still open, or at least interesting, but it wasn’t Sixers case last night (last night ?).
At the end of the day it was the same old story:
1) inability to hit outside shots, escpecially from the three point range: “Philadelphia was 2-of-11 from 3-point range. Over the last three games, the Sixers have hit just 5-of-37 3-pointers, including an 0-for-14 effort in last Friday’s one-point win over Washington”.
2) poor execution, especially in crunch time. Sixers shot 28% in the second half and 6/22 in the fourth. The point is that NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW WHAT TO DO with or without the ball when the game is on the line. I still have to figure out if it’s the players not doing what coach tells them or Mo not giving them indications about which plays to run.
But what is sure is that is always a pain to watch that pile of turnovers, forced shots, airballs, charges… we can point the finger on Iguodala and Lou Williams for yesterday, but it’s not only them and not only yesterday, of course.
3) ZERO low post scoring. Same old story, but yesterday it showed more than ever. Of course this effects our “shooters”: defenses know that we don’t have a threat around the paint so can focus on staying with our guards. Guards don’t have open looks so they brick shots etc etc…
I think the last Sixers big man to get double teamed was Moses Malone, really.
But this game will make history for anoher reason: it’s the last of the Billy King era !! Up next on Sixers4guidos !!!!
Bring on the Celtics !!