Sixers making tankers happy
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 12, 2008
I thought about putting a “Sixers, where shit happens” title, but then again I am not your typical negadelphian so let’s take the best part out of the sixth straight loss, a 97-100 decision vs the Bulls (14-23, .378).
The “good” thing is that we are almost officialy in a tanking mode. At least I am.
Our GM Stefanski is too and this since he decided to trade Kyle Korver for Gordan Giricek a.k.a. “the expiring contract”, a player that didn’t see a minute of action last night.
So I will not make a big deal out of this loss, even if there would be a ton of reasons to do that.
The biggest question is: how can you turn a 18 point lead in the first (25-7, 2.25 left) into a 5 point deficit at the half (40-45)? We are talking about a 15-38 run in 14 minutes, guys, and against a Deng-less Chicago team, that looked like done after that start.
Possible explainations: “We WILL NOT close this game” (my thought when we were up 18), “Sixers are a terrible basketball team” (Bulls commentators’ opinion from the studio at the half), 5/18 vs 13/20 on field goals in the second quarter (fact). Yes, it was the same Bulls team that knocked down 5 of its 21 attempts in the first period.
Ok, so how do you go to the locker room after that half? Frustrated? Disappointed? All this stuff, right ? Ok. But how are you expected to get out of the same room to start the second half, considering that after all you have 24 minutes to play and the game is open? Spirited? Fired? Pumped up? Ok, at least focused !!
So look at the sequence at the beginning of the third:
Gordon hits a three — Iguodala turns it over — Hinrich scores on a lay up — Iguodala is fouled and goes 0/2 from the line (…) — Ben Wallace is fouled and goes 2/2 (!!!) —> 40-52. Sixers basketball, baby.
Sixers shot 4/17 to start the third, a quarter highlighted a block by Nocioni on Thaddeus Young, another spectacular rejection by Tyrus Thomas on Andre Miller, followed by an high flying dunk of the same Thomas on a transition. Nocioni scored 8 in the period, including a long three with the shot clock expiring at the end that gave Bulls a 58-70 lead.
To the Sixers’ credit they didn’t give up in the fourth. And I was thinking about a blow out when Hinrich connected on a three (Bulls had 9/19 at that point…anything familiar ??) and Thomas made two free throws, putting Chicago up sixteen (63-79, 9.30 left). Instead, Sixers fought back, with a great help from the Bulls (after all there must be a reason if they are 14-20…).
Iguodala, Louis Williams and Dalembert put the Sixers in the game again and after Andre’s layup made it a six point game (88-94) Bulls turned it over with a silly traveling violation: make it 90-94 with one minute left.
Here Nocioni had the decisive basket and beat the shot clock for the third time in the night (pretty impressive, a total of 8 points scored in these situations for him…), giving the Bulls a 6 points lead with 40 seconds to play. Good night.
Dalembert’s howardesque night (21 + 20) was wasted then, and Sixers will have to focus on their mistakes and shortcomings again: lack of killer instinct, a rain of costly turnovers that reached its peak in in the second, poor circulation (only 15 assists, Bulls had 28) and mostly the inability to put the ball in the damn basket when it counts, even from the line (11 misses, Iguodala was 3/8 at a point).
Lou Williams last second three adjusted our global percentage, but we scored twice from behind the arc in the previous 47.58 minutes… same old story.
losses games are on the road, vs San Antonio, Houston and Boston. Tankers are drooling.