Magic game, magic loss
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 2, 2008
We need more ping pong balls for that lottery, especially since teams like Memphis are blatantly tanking*.
The 106-108 defeat vs Orlando at the Wachovia Center snaps a 2 game winning streak (…) for the Sixers and sets our record at 18-29 (.383).
In my humble opinion it was the best game of the season, for sure the most uncertain and enjoyable to watch as a fan: 48 minutes of fun and great basketball, really.
It really sucks to see a show like that ending with your team inable to inbound the ball with 2.4 seconds to go (in the picture, Howard after his decisive steal), but anyway looking at the big picture it’s ok like this.
Ron Jeremy’s Stan Van Gundy’s Magic take the W and go on trying to catch the Celtics (go Magic !!), while Sixers showed a lot of heart, toughness, a couple of flashy talents (Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young) and proved once more that they could compete with a top team in the East.
The absence of injured Jason Smith (twisted ankle) pushed Mo Cheeks to start Thaddeus Young at PF for the second time this year. In the FIRST QUARTER we struggled to contain Turkoglu (7 points) and Iguodala had to be pulled out after 6 minutes because of his second foul (12-14): Carney checked in. Crappy defenses on both sides and an immediate impact off the bench by Lou Williams (7 points also for him) closed the period at 33-33, after Orlando had a 7 point lead (24-31) the largest for either team in the night.
In the SECOND QUARTER we managed to gain an early 36-33 lead and the game remained an high scoring one. Bogans and Dolling played well offesively for the Magic and when Iguodala picked up his third Orlando went on a quick 5-0 run, 42-46. Dalembert and Green combined for a 0/4 from the line but, hear this, Reggie Evans made both free throws (!!!!!) and guarded Dwight Howard for a while, after Sam was called for his third. At the break it was 60-59 Sixers.
Some HALF TIME STATS: Sixers shot 50% (23/46), Orlando 53% (22/41), rebounds were close (24-21 Magic) while we had the edge for fastbreak points (16 to 7). Lou Williams led Sixers with 15 points, Green had 10, Andre Miller 9, Young 7, while Iguodala was held to only 4. On the other side Howard with 11 was the most effective, Lewis and Hedo had 9 each, Doooling 8.
Iggy’s troubles continued in the THIRD QUARTER, he missed his first two shots, including an airball. Maurice Evans and Lewis connected twice form behind the arc (70-76) and Dalembert was whistled for his fourth few plays later. But Reggie Evans gave us a huge spark,
flopping drawing two offensive fouls by Lewis and Howard and hitting another pair of free throws, believe it or not.
Andre Miller took the load offensively and Sixers closed the period with a line up with Reggie Evans at C (!) and Andre Miller, Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala and Rodney Carney around him (!!). At the horn it was 84-87, because Mo Evans hit his second three pointer, while Carney blew a layup under the basket with 2 seconds to go…
The same extra-small line up started the FOURTH QUARTER: Sixers played strong, aggressive defense putting some good pressure on Magic guards but – guess that – they struggled under the boards. Turkoglu started scoring again with his drives (10 points in the period), Magic had a 91-97 lead but we tied it at 99 with four straight points by Thad “Young vet” and a field goal by Andre Miller: Sixers even went up one, thanks to a three pointer by Lou Williams (102-101) !
On the finals plays, with the score tied at 106 (Iguodala’s lay up, 1.36 left), Andre Miller misfired on a fall away jumper, Magic had a shot clock violation (we played solid D here)and Lou Williams couldn’t score on a drive. I must say they both were good shots, not exactly two open looks but not forced plays either.
Then Iguodala fouled Turkoglu – someone might complain, but I think the call was correct – with two seconds to go (106-108 after Hedo converted from the line) and on the final play we couldn’t inbound the pass, Howard stole the ball from Dalembert. Game over, cheers for both teams.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
On the final pass, Miller was supposed to give the ball to Iguodala for a quick shot but Turkoglu was all over him and so Andre tried to dish it to Dalembert – This was actually the second attempt, because on the first one we couln’t inbound the ball at all, and we had to call another 20 second time out – “That’s something we’ve got to work on in practice, getting the last shot up” Cheeks said after the game. Mo, I have news, you are the coach !!! – Reggie Evans shoots 83% from the line and we can’t win a game ???? – Sixers had only four turnovers in the first half, and closed with eight – Home town hero Jameer Nelson played less then 7 minutes but was cheered by a group of fans – Dalembert had a nice block on Dwight Howard in the first quarter – Orlando reminded us how it’s nice to have three point shooters…
Check Ben’s cool blog, Third quarter collapse, for a Magic fan’s view of the game.
Sixers go to Atlanta to meet the Hawks on Monday and then have five straight home games before the All Star break.
* Pau Gasol traded to the Lakers for… well, basically garbage? The league should investigate that, seriously. Grizzlies could have thrown Rudy Gay and Mike Miller in, while they were at it… unbelievable. This trade makes the “Vince-Carter-to-the-Nets-for-two-hot-dogs-and-a-pair-of-Zubaz-pants” look like a steal…