Kobe apparently well “supported”
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 22, 2007
At least judging from last night’s 106-101 Lakers win at the Wachovia center (10-16, .385).
Sixers lost the first game to the Lakers since 2000, breaking a 7 home games winning streak, and despite keeping Bryant to a very quiet 19 points with 30% FG, including 0/5 in the fourth.
It was the so called “supporting cast” (Bynum, Odom, Fisher) to carry Los Angeles to its 16 win of the year in the second night of a back-to-back. That made me optimistic about the end of this game: I was thinking that Lakers could be a little bit tired, also because their loss at Cleveland of the day before was a tough, close one.
I was thinking that the good recent aforementioned tradition, the atmopshere of a finally crowded arena, the fact that usually Iguodala steps up against Kobe could give us a win.
I was even mopre optimistic when I found out that we were wearing retro uniforms again (yeah !! in the picture, Andre Miller, my MVP) and that Doctor J was attending the game: he even gave a speech before the tip off, stating that “Twenty five years is much too long, let’s get it done !” after receiving an ovation from the fans. Well, it was all useless. Anyway. Here is my recap.
Sixers started well in the first, with Andre Miller knocking down his first 4 shots and tying the game at 12 after Lakers lead by 6 at 6-12. Young checked in for Reggie Evans, who picked up two quick fouls. Lakers gained a lead again with a 7-0 run, sparked by an excellent Derek Fisher (I’ve always liked this guy, too bad he always played for the wrong team…) who was distributing the ball to his team mates, and finding Bynum for multiple alley-hoops.
A three point play by the young Lakers center made it 14-22: Carney went in and had a couple of baskets (!!) but Bynum continued dominating the glasses, especially under the offensive end, and the quarter ended with Lakers up 8 (24-32): Bynum collected 11 points on 5/6. Interesting how Cheeks used 10 players in the first, including Kevin Ollie, who was replacing the injured Lou Williams in the rotation.
In the second Bynum’s dominance reached its peak: Lakers’ big man almost singlehandedly put his team up 9 (29-38) and had 18 on an a ridiculous 8/9 when Phil Jackson, pretty unexplicably to me, decided to pull him out for a rest: moments later Ronny Turiaf pushed the lead to 11, Lakers’ largest (31-42).
Sixers’ defense was simply atrocius, allowing Farmer go for an uncontested coast-to-coast lay up, for instance, or Lakers reaching 50 points with more than 4 minutes left. It was Andre Miller keeping us in the game (16 points at the half, 8/11) because Iguodala was setting for long jumpers that weren’t falling… five Lakers turnovers in the last five minutes helped us too: a dunk by Willie Green, who played some solid defense by the way, cut it to 53-56 at the half.
At the break Bynum had 18 points on 9/10 + 8 rebounds and Lakers scored 36 points in the paint (…) vs Sixers’ 16: under the boards LA edge was 24-17. Iguodala was 2/10 from the field while Sixers overall shot 48%. Kobe didn’t score in the second and was kept to a more than acceptable 9 points.
Iguodala started the third very effectively, putting 9 quick points including a three and a driving dunk, and immediate benefits followed: Sixers first tied the game at 59 and then Reggie Evans with two free throws, coming after a previous 2/2 (!!!), put us ahead at 70-68 with 6.41 to play.
One could think that it was a sign by the basketabll gods, right? Well not exactly: after a sweet mid range jumper by Sam stretched Sixers’ lead to +3 (75-72) Lakers went on a 10-0 run, with Fisher scoring 8 consecutive points (he had 11 in the quarter). My boy Lamar Odom was very hot too (17 at the end of the period), scoring at will over the smaller Evans and Carney.
Hey, seems like Mo loves to put our 6’7” small forwards on ou opponents’ 6’10” power forwards…. remember the Kings game, with Korver on Mikki Moore ??? Well, same result here, of course. The quarter ended with Iguodala dishing to Ollie for a 81-84 Lakers lead.
Not much to say about the fourth, unfortunately: after Carney’s jumper made it 83-86 Lakers had another 7-0 break off 5 points by Farmar and the 83-93 lead with 9 minutes left was basically the decisive one.
After the -6 highlighted by the same Carney (87-93) the teams combined for 9 consecutive empty possessions (misses, turnovers etc). Willie Green gave Sixers the last hope (91-96, 4.32 to go) but then Iguodala dumbly fouled Kobe on a three point attempt and at 91-99 the game was definitely over.
At the end of the day it suck losing liking this, I would have preferred get killed by a 45 point game by Kobe rather than allowing Bynum a career high.
More random thoughts:
1) THIS Korver is HORRIBLE. I am a big fan of him and I understand that you can’t pull out a shooter after the first two misses, that it makes sense to wait for him a little bit because he can give us a spark at any moment etc etc…but for God’s sake, 31 minutes and 3/11 (he scored his fourth field goal in garbage time) is unbelievable !!
Please notice he is going on misfiring on WIDE OPEN shots, where he should be almost AUTOMATICAL, and also pretty easy two pointers, with no defenders around him. Under the basket he got blocked twice but this is somehow normal… put his ass on the bench please.
2) Rodney Carney was actually very good ! Eight points in 16 minutes (4/7 with a missed long three he had to take because the shot clok was expiring) and a decent defense… last game he played was on December 10th vs Houston, when he was scoreless in 10 minutes, with 0/3: this means he came from four consecutive DNPs, on two he sat out due to the flu, though.
He (finally) let the game come to him, didn’t force or rush anything… why he didn’t play more TONIGHT in Korvers’ place is beyond me, it was clear from the beginning that the two of them were in opposite conditions last night. Clear for everybody but one.
3) the old checks stealer Kevin Ollie was solid off the bench but to be honest with you I would prefer to have Lou back soon…guess why, LOL.
4) Andre Iguodala missed another chance to step up in a big game and show he’s a really franchise player. Yes, the 9 assists are nice, he was good defensively on a (injury bothered, remember) Bryant but he again didn’t understand than in games like this, when your outside shot is not falling, you have to take it to the rack. I hate Kobe but his comments after the game were funny:
“You get a little tired defending him,” Iguodala said. “There were a few times I was trying to catch my wind.”
Bryant laughed when asked about Iguodala’s defense. “He did OK,” Bryant said.
… and “ok” here means “yeah, ok…” :-)
5) Cheeks used a 11 men rotation and threw also Booth’s ugly face and butt on the floor. It didn’t work (the 11 men rotation, not Booth’s butt) but I like this.
Tonight vs Memphis, and it will be us Sixers playing on a back-to-back.
I would like to end with a Doctor J quote: asked if he can still dunk, he answered with a smile: “I still dunk, once a year”. Priceless.