Sixers on the rollercoaster. Pacers next.
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 14, 2008
Not entirely my fault, again, because my f’n Int’l League Pass decided not to work before, during and after the 80-93 home loss to Utah (2-5, .286, but maybe it was better skipping that kind of “show”), and I could watch the 106-96 win in Toronto (3-5, .375) only yesterday.
I’ll keep this short, because we have to get ready for tonight’s game vs Pacers (btw, check Indy Cornrows for great Pacers coverage).
The game with Utah was terrible, from what I’ve read basically everywhere. The four day rest didn’t help us at all, apparently, and the Jazz beated us easily, with a 30-13 fourth quarter.
And here comes the original content from your fav guido blogger: I’ve made a little research and found that Sixers LOST EVERY FOURTH QUARTER in each of their last five losses, while they outscored opponents in the final period in each of the three wins. See a link? At least superstition-related?
Going through the numbers, what is most interesting to me is the margin: in the five losses, the combined score of the fourth quarters is Opponents 134 – Sixers 87 (!), with an average of 26.8 – 17.4 The stat includes three routs, 29-13 in Atlanta, 31-20 in Miami and the embarrassing final 30-13 vs Jazz. A fix anyone?
When we won, on the other side, we beat our three opponents for a combined 85 – 66 (the average is a closer 28.3 – 22).
The Jazz took our team to a season low (hopefully we won’t fall any deeper), with the usual predicable reactions between fairweather fans, but the good thing is that our guys bounced back immediately and with a great team effort came out of Canada with a nice win over the Raptors the night after.
Five guys in double figure, Miller AND Iguodala AND Brand playing excellent all around games, and all together for the first time, a mighty contribution from the bench by our favorite whipping boy Willie Green and by rookie Speighter-man, and Raps were shocked, despite their three seven footers dominating inside – in Dalembert’s absence.
What I especially liked in that game was:
- a key play in the third when Speights blocked a layup and Iguodala finished the following fastbreak with a wonderful dunk (from a possible 56-59 to 54-61)
- Willie Green not only scoring, but also repeatedly finding the open man (!): his nine dimes are close to his career high ten
- The small lineup Miller-Green-Iguodala-Young and Brand Cheeks went with in the fourth
- The good ball circulation that led to Green’s decisive three (88-100)
- Brand hugging Miller during a timeout, showint they are ok
- good defense with many deflections and forced turonovers
What we still have to work on is:
- too many isolation plays down the stretch, all plays in which the defense didn’t work at all and we didn’t take a good shot (an horrible brick by Iguodala, that wanted to show he was “the man”, an airball by Brand on a contested jumper)
- Lou Williams, that I am a great fan of, settling for too many jumpers and not making the team play: his 1.5 assists in 20 min of action are simply unacceptable
- We left Toronto dangerous shooters wide open too many times. Unlike the previous game(s), Raps just couldn’t hit all those threes but they were all excellent looks, we can’t allow that
No “bonus stats and random thoughts” this time but the key number to me were Toronto’s nine turnovers in the fourth: give us some credit for that. 30 assists vs 19 also tell us a lot. To be honest, Calderon left with an injury in the third, and clearly Toronto is another team without him.
Still, it was an encouraging win, it showed these guys have some character and pride.
Let’s hope we can start a nice streak of wins, or at least good games: after tonight’s meeting of the two Rush brothers (will Kareem get some playing time? hope so), we will play five consecutive games vs sucking teams that are under .500: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Clippers, Golden State, Charlotte. It means that I expect Sixers to reach a winning record before facing Orlando.
We already proved that we can blow out bad teams, so let’s go on.
Ouh, and by the way tonight I’ll try to watch also Lakers-Pistons, and root for AI of course. Let’s go Pistons !!!