Sixers win game, lose Brand
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 18, 2008
Maybe I’m slowly becoming one of those negadelphians I’ve always disliked, but the 93-88 W over the Bucks (11-14, .440) gave me more bad indications than good ones.
But I would also like to keep my optimistic-wannabe composure (LOL) so I’ll cover first what went wrong, and eventually leave with some sweet notes.
First of all Elton Brand went down in the third, with the Sixers down seven (54-61, 7.23 to play) and never got back. The diagnosis is “dislocated shoulder”: I am not a doctor but I have the feeling that his comeback won’t be so quick, the injury looked pretty serious immediately, as the way he fell to the ground after fouling Mbah a Moute was pretty bad.
Second, Iguodala was horrible. I’m not talking about the (awful, yes) 2/14 from the field, or not only that. It’s the fact that he missed every clutch shot and took bad decisions in crunch time.
He reached the lowest point when he went on a fastbreak and had only Luke effin’ Ridnour facing him. You think that the outcome would be a thunderous dunk, right? No. he went up like a sissy, Ridnour touched the rock, that bounced on Iggy and fell out of bounds. Bucks ball, with Andre (dumbly) complaining with the refs for the (excellent) call.
Yes, he had seven dimes and six boards, but you expect better from him. He missed many open and contested jumpers, turned down many outside/three point shots (one would say: wise decision, since he can’t shoot. I’d say: yes, in general, but SOMETIMES you have to take them) and never looked confident enough, as one would expect from a supposed-to-be star.
His stat line in the fourth looks like: 0/4, three rebounds, two turnovers. You rate him.
Third, Lou Williams simply is unable to make his team mates play. He dribbles way too much and DOES NOT look for the others. When he passes, that’s because giving the ball was the only option left. Two assists and three turnovers in 32 minutes is really low for a (combo, ok) guard, especially if you think that he keeps the ball for like 10-15 seconds on every single offensive possession. 5/9 from the line is also unacceptable, there is no reason for a player like him not to be over 80%.
On the other side, the same Lou Williams was MONEY in the fourth, with 12 points and mostly the two decisive baskets, a jumper for a four point lead with less that two minutes to play (90-86) and the following tip shot after he missed an easy layup that basically closed the game (92-86, 1.13). This, after another layup had given us the first lead of the night (81-80, 6 minutes left).
In crunch time, Lou confirmed that he’s our best go-to-guy, this year like it was last year. He is creative, strong, can beat his men off the dribble pretty much at will, has RANGE (…) and is not afraid to take responsabilities. Impressive indeed, and his slow (very slow…) start of the season seems finally past.
Speights had perhaps his best game as a pro, stepping up big time in Brand’s absence. His three field goals are all dunks, an encouraging sign of great aggressiveness. He had two terrific putback dunks and completed a fantastic alley oop in the fourth, despite being fouled, in what was surely the best play of the night (his reaction in the pic).
His accuracy from the free throw line shouldn’t be underrated either, 6/7 from a big man is excellent (80% for the season, Iguodala is currently at 72%, just FYI..). In general, he looked active, focused and showed a fighting attitude that every Sixer shold have.
Andre Miller was extremely solid offensively, a fact that will make us forget he got repeatedly burned by Ridnour (4/4 to start the third, all on drives). His critics will shut up for a while, hopefully.
Few points left.
Reggie Evans gave a good contribution off the bench, driving two offensive fouls from Bogut and providing some key extra possessions with his work under the offensive board. After three evans-esque misses just under the rim, he finally made a layup and celebrated as if he just won a playoff series, that was some funny stuff.
If I was a Bucks fan, I would be pissed off like crazy for letting this game slip. 2/18 in the fourth is pathetic. They had misses from everywhere, mainly on open jumpers. Bogut was hampered by fouls all night, Redd was horrible (that will cost me a lot of fantasy points, f’k…), Jefferson barely perceived.
Still, they kept the lead for basically 42 minutes, thanks to a balanced offense. And how about those three dunks by Gadzuric in the second quarter ??? I was about to kill myself. Anyway, SIXTEEN possessions with ZERO field goals won’t help you winning games in the decisive moments.
Di Leo is 2-0 now but the work to be done is still a lot. Let’s see what happened to Elton, crossing fingers.
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: this is Brew Hoop’s recap, interesting to see Bucks fans’ point of view – Willie Green had a nice game and no, the four assists are not a typo… – Former Buck Royal Ivey was a DNP CD – Even Dalembert gave signs of life, we’ll need him to step up if Brand will be out for a while – I won’t mind starting Thad at the four now, at least in the next two games vs Washington and Indiana.