Florida 2, Sixers 0. Panic time already in Philly
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 7, 2008
Yes, the trip to the Sun State was EXTREMELY disappointing, not much for the two losses but for how they came.
Still, there’s a long way to go before hitting the panic button. In Philly many fans already did it. Pretty predictable, anyway.
Here are my aggregate considerations after watching (replayed, again, and in both cases already knowing the final score) the 106-83 blowout vs Heat (2-3, .400) and the following 98-88 loss to Orlando (2-4, .333).
First off WE ALL NEED TO CALM OUR FIREY ASSES DOWN. Especially you, fans in Philly.
Yes, you are just as pissed off as I am but let’s try to be rational for a while.
This team is playing really bad. Main points:
1) the offense is a total mess. We are not running plays, not executing, not hitting open shots. Difficult to win games in these conditions.
We got a 20 PPG low post scorer this summer, after a desperate research for a big man who could put points on the board, and we are not using him properly. Brand is rarely fed when and where he likes to get the ball, and when he has it, he is double teamed. Shocking, uh?
Well, we got him just with that purpose, drawing attention from defenses ! True. Too bad he doesn’t have a shooter to give the ball back to to, and when he does it, the final outcome is often a brick from the perimeter.
2) – Strictly related to 1) – Andre Miller thinks he’s Iverson. 24 shots vs Orlando !!! TWENTY-FOUR SHOTS !! And two assists ????? In 34 minutes ?????????? He took 18 also in Atlanta (= another bad loss). Andre, you have to DISTRIBUTE the ball, not eat it. Remember what you were doing last year? Yes? Ok, do exactly the same this year please. Take your shots when you’ve got a chance, of course, but don’t force drives vs Superman (=3 shots blocked) or force jumpers.
On defense, he was lit up by Jameer Nelson, and this says it all. Lazy and passive, immobile as a statue. Definitely not a good show to watch.
Ok, ok, we all know Miller has usually slow starts and gets progressively better, but for God’s sake, get ready soon, because we need you at the same MVP level of last year. And no, WE SHOULD NOT TRADE HIM this year. Ok? He has to lead us to 48 W and to the second round.
3) Iguodala is doing his best Nick “the brick” Anderson impersonation. Embarassing in Miami, wher he scored his first and only field goal in garbage time – and probably just because Cheeks put him on the floor for that purpose, in order to avoid him an even worse humiliation. Improved to “bad” in Orlando, where he at least put up some numbers, but was still awful offensively and had a team high five turnovers.
In the Sixers board of Philly.com many guys are already jumping at him, with the 80 million $ stuff, the “overrated” label, the “trade him” idiotic proposals (even in case we would want to trade him, you think this would be the right period? You’d get back a package in which the best players would be like Jerome James or Kwame Brown…) and all sort of crap you can think of.
Andre has to man up, and this soon, otherwise he’ll hear boos. I am confident he will go back to his usual level. How about starting with a better focus on defense, Andre? Offense will follow.
4) Cheeks is doing a poor job. No, we shouldn’t fire him after six games, and neither after twenty, but clearly many things have to be fixed.
Seems that our guys don’t know what to do with the ball, spacing and circulation are terrible, guards often take a dribble or two and throw a long jumper (and I’m talking to Lou Williams, yes buddy, you too…), with the other guys not even sniffing the ball, or stubbornly drive to the hoop hoping to create something (= in many cases, a mess).
Rush threw an airball with his first shot in Miami, and he was wide open. In the same game, the first play was a stupid shot clock violation. We allowed Mario Chalmers collect a franchise all time record NINE steals, courtesy of TWENTY-FIVE fucking turnovers !!!! All signs that ideas and minds are not clear.
Defensively, it looks like no one can stay in front of his man, helps rarely come, communication is poor.
Still, since I always want to stay optimistic, I would like to point out some positives I saw:
1) guys always fought back. From -24 to -9 in the 4th in Miami, from -23 to -6 in Orlando. At least they are not giving up. Of course, it’s difficult to recover when you’ve dug such a big hole, and that’s exactly why the Heat replied with a 12-0 run to close the game (78-69 —> 90-69)
2) some players are getting better and better. And of course I’m talking about Thaddeus Young (always great/good) and Marresse Speights, who seems to deserve a role in the rotation.
Quick suggestions to end:
1) use Evans more. Yes, I repeat it. Put him in earlier when things start go South, even for a couple of minutes. And of course not to improve the offense, but to set the tone defensively, and get a sort of “psychological boost”. Tell him to kick his team mates’ asses if they don’t play D.
2) bench MIller a lil’ bit. Cut his minutes if he’s shooting that much (and that bad). Perhaps give Ivey a chance if we need to step pu in our half court
3) try some small ball. Inserting Rush (a s-h-o-o-t-e-r) at SG, and switching Iguodala to SF and Young at PF for a while, maybe with Brand at C. Let’s see if running more makes things easier.
4) move the franchise to Wyoming (LOL). Maybe those f’n negadelphians will stop with their annoying whines and bitching. Geez, they finally won a title few days ago, after a 147 (right?) year waiting, and they are back complaining full time… will they ever learn?
5) make your memory work. Last year we started the season 5-13 (FIVE WINS – THIRTEEN LOSSES, it means we were EIGHT games under .500, not f’n TWO…), and with a WAY WORSE TEAM than this one, and still made the playoffs.
I’m done now, and I feel better. It took a while, though.