Sixers, Sam, Lou bounce back immediately
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 23, 2008
You see how it’s nice to knock down those effin’ free throws.
A perfect 4/4 from the foul line by Andre Iguodala in the last 22 seconds of the game gave Sixers a key 91-87 win against New Jersey, lifting our record at .500 again (35-35).
It was one of the ugliest and most boring close games I’ve ever seen (LOL). All I wrote on my paper for the first two quarters was “airball”: Harris started, Carney followed, Nachbar continued. All of them on wide open jumpers.
You see, it wasn’t exactly an exciting show, but still Sixers held a seven point lead at halftime (49-42). The “best” part came in the first quarter, when a motivated Dalembert had eight points, and fellow serbian Nenad Krstic replied with three long jumpers, showing he has range.
The worst part for the Sixers was yet to come: at the beginning of the third quarter Iguodala had an exciting alley oop dunk that seemed to spark a possible Sixers run (51-42) but, instead, Nets went on their own, reaching a 58-66 lead with 4.5 left on a basket by Josh Boone that capped a 13-0 spurt.
It was Thaddeus Young to keep us in the game in those moments, with a tap in + a steal that led to a dunk by Iguodala. That shaked a little bit our stagnant offense, and at the end of the third it was “only” 68-75 Nets.
Sixers fortunately woke up in the fourth, playing great defense and finding ways to draw fouls and get to the line: Lou Williams gave us the lead at 78-77 with a couple of free throws, while Iguodala missed both one minute later, after Vince Carter picked up his fifth foul.
Samuel Dalembert came up big down the strech, with two huge blocks on Carter and Josh Boone and an offensive rebound: he clanked both free throws with 1.35 to go and the score at 86-85 Sixers, though. This play came after another costly miss by Thaddeus Young, a blown layup that could have put us up five at 88-83 (Carter made it 86-85 with a dunk).
Another series of misses followed: Carter (jumper), Thaddeus Young (blocked by Krstic), Dalembert (tough fallaway jumper as the shot clock was winding down) and Boone (contested layup).
Then Iguodala finally decided that it was time to go to work and took it strong to the basket, drawing a foul by Richard Jefferson. He made both from the line (88-85, 22 seconds left) and on the next possession got the rebound and was fouled after Carter misfired on a three pointer. His second trip to the charity stripe with 14 seconds to go iced the game (90-85).
It wasn’t the kind of win that makes you celebrate, but still it showed some good signs:
1) Sixers improved to 13-7 in the second game of a back-to-back and, mainly, showed an ability to regroup after a bad loss like the last one in Orlando
2) Lou Williams played a great game off the bench, with key baskets and a good mix of drives and outside shots. Well done. The awful choices he made in Orlando are hopefully left behind.
3) Dalembert stat line is pretty impressive and he had a great impact indeed. If he could only make his free throws under pressure… he is a better shooter from the line than the stats tell. After he got embarassed by Howard last night, he recovered.
4) Iguodala showed leadership and some balls: his last four foul shots were simply perfect, a sign he was confident: his body language was good as well
Andre Miller did his as usual.
Thaddeus Young crashed the boards like he can do, he still has to improve finishing around the basket: he will do that. Anyway, he did contribute to our final run, especially on the defensive end.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUST STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
Nachbar and Green had a remarkable brick-shooting contest, that Willie won thanks to his fourteen misses in less than 25 minutes of action… – The best play of the night came in the second, when Jason Smith blocked a dunk attempt by Nachbar, starting a fastbreak concluded by Young with a monster dunk
A hectic week is coming, with four games in seven days, starting from Monday night in Boston. Can we steal one vs the #1 team in the NBA or will we get swept this year ???