The wrong Bell rang
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 9, 2008
Bucks guard had 21 points with 4 triples and a nice game off the bench to lead Milwaukee to a 87-83 win last night in your empty-as-usual Wachovia Center (14-21, .400).
It was an ugly show and a display of overall poor basketball between two sorry ass teams that at the end become Sixers fourth straight loss, and Bucks third consecutive win on the road. I honestly can’t blame who decided to stay home this time.
Philly fans realized it was going to be another long night two seconds after the tip off (…), when Reggie Evans blew a layup. A 2-12 break followed, with Sixers shooting 1/6 and Bucks 5/6. So much for the “get off to a quick start” theory. Sam Dalembert with three low post moves (!!!) helped us getting back in the game and Sixers tied it at 16, but then came three empty possessions to take a possible lead.
Sixers missed their last 7 shots of the quarter (8/25 at the end, 32%…) and Milwaukee had a 8-0 run to close it with your usual buzzer beater, this time by Bell: 17-26 with Mo Williams pacing the scorers with 9 points on 4/4. Sixers 5 turnovers gave them a lot of help, no doubt.
The second quarter wasn’t better either: the same Mo Williams immediately extended Bucks’ lead to 11 (17-28), Villanueva had an immediate impact off the bench and, in the highlight of the game, dunked on Jason Smith while being fouled. Bell started getting hot as well and Milwaukee took advantage of our many turnovers and missed shots (Lou Williams was 0/6 from the field, included three shots blocked) to end the half up 10, despite Yi piling up bricks. It was 36-46 at the break and I honestly would have booed them: no circulation, poor ball management, poor effort. Instead, fans chosed to ignore them, and I don’t know which is worse.
Half time stats were something to think about: Sixers shot a whopping 37% from the floor (17/43), including 0/5 from downtown and had 10 turnovers vs only 8 assists. Our advantage under the boards (24-20) didn’t help much because Milwaukee had 14 assists out of 19 field goals (on 41 attempts, 46%). Iguodala was our best scorer with 11 (5/8), Dalembert followed him with 8 (3/6) + 8 rebounds and 3 blocks but 4 turnovers, Miller (in the picture, my MVP for last night) had 6 (2/6) to go with 4 dimes and 3 steals.
On a balanced Milwaukee team, Bell had 12 (5/8), Mo Williams 11 (5/7) + 5 assists, Villanueva 7 (3/6) + 4 rebounds, Bogut 6 (2/6) + 6 rebounds and 2 rejections, Simmons 6 (3/6). The only Yi played bad, 2 points (0/5) and 2 rebounds.
In the third quarter Sixers played their best basketball (…), a nice zone press defense and took advantage of five early turnovers by Milwaukee to cut it to 46-49: They took the first lead of the night with Andre Miller’s low post spin move: 52-51 (5.38 left). But don’t worry, Bucks had 9 unanswered points to regain the lead, 58-64 at the end of the period. Sixers had another six turnovers and missed five free throws in the quarter but, hear this, Reggie Evans shot 3/4 from the line. Bogut went up for a nice block on a dunk attempt by Jason Smith in the best play of the stretch.
Bell scored his fourth three pointer of the night to start the final quarter (58-67), Smith couldn’t guard Villanueva but Lou Williams finally gave signs of life and made it 73-76 (5.35) on a nice fastbreak. Green misfired on a potentially tying three pointer from the corner in the next possession but Sixers came close thanks to a tough jumper in the lane by Iguodala, and it was 79-81 with 50 seconds left.
In what should have been the best defensive play of the night, Villanueva got past Green and drove from the baseline for a pretty easy layup, Dalembert went for the block so that Bogut could tip the ball in off Charlie’s miss and give Milwaukee a 4 point lead with 25 seconds left (79-83). Iguodala then missed another three and Sixers were done.
So what is wrong with the Sixers, to lose to a bad team – sorry, but Milwaukee is really bad – that was even without its best player (Redd) and Desmond Mason ?
1) The 0/13 from downtown of yesterday’s night speaks volumes for our struggles in scoring from the perimeter. We all knew without Korver it would have been even tougher (Sixers were among the worst teams in 3 point shooting even with Kyle, remember) but this is getting crazy. How about 17/61 from behind the arc after the Korver trade? That means 27.8 % guys…
2) we always knew we NEVER had a real low post threat. Sam’s exploit in the first period was occasional, he has 80% of his points on alley oops, put backs, dishes and mid range jumpers. I don’t even want to start talking about Reggie Evans, while Jason Smith is a big man with a sweet touch but with no back-to-the-basket moves so far. Actually our best player there is Andre Miller ! He is excellent in posting up smaller players, but he happens to be our PG…
So for defenses guarding us it’s pretty easy: we struggle scoring from the outside and rarely score down low. A win-win situation for our opponents, like I said to Brian/Depressed fan. Our only choice is TO RUN and get easy buckets in transition. When we can’t do that, night comes.
3) slow starts are becoming a rule. I hope I will have time for a deeper analysis with some stats, but it’s a fact that Sixers put themselves in early 8-10 points decifits in the first quarter of many, many games. Too many. The 2-12 start of last night was only the last, and worst, of a long streak.
4) guys are getting nervous. I watched Iguodala angry at Jason Smith when the rookie got hit in the face by a close pass from Andre (LOL) and then frustrated because Lou didn’t give him the ball on another possession at the end.
Judging from body language and faces of many of them the atmosphere isn’t exactly the best one. I sense also that Lou Williams forced shots and lack of defense is getting on his team mates’ nerves. I hope they will regroup soon because in situations like this, breaking apart it could be a nightmare, and playing together, playing hard every night is (was?) one of this team’s strongest assets. Going on losing games is not the best way to come out of this situation of course.
5) things will likely get worse because we play four of our next five games on the road, and with very good teams: the only game with an under .500 opponent will be at home with Chicago so it’s possible that ten days from now we will be at a 15-26 record. The schedule is not helping us at all.
For a Bucks fans point of view about the game check out Brew Hoop‘s nice recap.
I will be out of town for a business trip and come back on Friday afternoon, new Sixers coverage from S4G will be up on that night.