Sixers got shot in Orlando
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 24, 2008
I wrote many times and in many places that Sixers are perhaps the only team in the NBA that lacks BOTH low post scoring AND outside shooting: basically, we can score easily only on fastbreaks and in transition, which we do very well.
Well, how about meeting a team that has BOTH (great) low post scoring AND (terrific) outside shooting? The outcome is often close to the 115-99 loss in Orlando (24-32, .428), a game that saw Sixers trailing wire-to-wire.
It started with an alley oop for Howard on the first play (an emphatic dunk for the 2-0 Orlando initial lead) and it ended with Jameer Nelson’s three that marked the last points for the home team (115-96) and Magic fifteenth triple (!!).
I think it wasn’t just a coincidence, because between these two field goals,
Ron Jeremy’s Stan Van Gundy’s team used a balanced mix of inside and outside offense that was too much to handle for the Sixers.
Howard simply dominated Dalembert, the comparison between the two stat lines is merciless but it also tells exactly the truth of how the matchup went. There was a play in the first quarter when Howard, guarded by Sam in the low post, took a couple of dribbles to get into the paint and shoot a little lefthanded hook: he missed it but pushed Sam aside so strong that he could go up again easily and slam home his own miss.
Sam was clearly frustrated and nervous all night, he missed also a lot of free throws, which is pretty uncharacteristic for a good shooter from the line like him. Sixers used also Calvin Booth on Howard for 14 minutes (!) and even if our
ugly seldom used reserve blocked Superman once (!!!), he couldn’t do much to limit him either.
Howard had nine points and seven rebounds in the first quarter (26-16), when Magic built a ten point lead that was more or less the margin they kept for the rest of the game.
Things weren’t easy for us also on the perimeter: Hedo Turkoglu had a slow start, going scoreless in the first, but got hot early in the second, with two threes and an assist for Adonal Foyle (…). He scored 8 in the period and continued to torch us until the end with a lethal combination of threes (four in the fourth !!) and dimes. It was an AAAA-(absolutely awesome all around) game by “brother Hedo“, much respect for him.
For sure, nobody was expecting to see Jameer Nelson shooting 5/5 from behind the arc, but still he did it, while the fact that we NEVER scored from downtown is barely a surprise. The first of our three triples came with 2.39 left, by Willie Green, (107-91), but unfortunately it was too late.
Sixers got close in the fourth when Iguodala dunked the 82-76 with nine minutes left, but Orlando went on a 13-4 run to put the game out of reach: Rashard Lewis scored 8 points in that stretch.
Iguodala played well offensively but struggled on defense, Thaddeus Young had a tough game, first time I saw him a little bit lost: guess what, it’s the 56th game of the season and he has to turn 20 yet… so no worries for our kid.
Green and Miller were good on Magic’s half court, while Lou Williams was the only player to have some impact off the bench. I didn’t get why Jason Smith played only 8 minutes, honestly.
Check Ben’s recap over at Three Quarter Collapse for a Magic fan view of the game.
SIXER4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
At the half, Sixers were 0/4 from three, Magic 6/16: that counts for 0-18… – Keeyon Dooling had a terrific fastbreak dunk at the beginning of the fourth (80-66)- Reggie Evans missed his first game of the season due to a swallen finger, but honestly I think he would have been abused by Magic taller forwards, that like to play on the perimeter, facing the basket – Rodney Carney was completely useless in 15 minutes of action – Sixers play the Magic again in few days – Sixers used the lame, black uniforms… nice to see that Ben from Three Quarter Collapse is supporting my campaign !! – Booth 14 minutes and Smith 8 ???