Sixers fight well, Mavs win
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 3, 2009
When you are quite happy after a loss it’s either you are a bball masochist or your standards are really low.
Being a Sixers fan, I’d pick the second after the Mavs came out with a 96-86 W (13-19, .406).
It’s a film we have watched many times already this season.
Sixers fight for the whole game, play well in the first half, build a nice lead – this time the biggest was at +12 in the third, 42-54 – and then slowly let the other team, reguardless of its strenghth, come close, then closer, then tie it, and eventually win it down the stretch.
The scaring thing is that for all of us, fans and players I mean, this story, and that end, seem inevitable: it’s like everyone is waiting for the moment if which our destiny will be set.
This time there is nobody to put the blame on in particular. Every Sixer played pretty well, and everyone did some (evitable) mistakes. You put together all those little mistakes and you have to comment another loss, simple as that.
We kept the best rebounding team in the NBA (45.5 boards per game) below its average (40), we kept them to an impressive 34% from the field in the first half, we rotated many defenders on Dirk Nowitzki (Young, Evans, even Iguodala..) and “limited” him to a 11/27 shooting night that one would have considered “good” before the game.
Too bad he scored 31 anyway, including all the key baskets in the fourth, when he went 6/9…
We scored FIVE THREES !!! Last time we knocked down so “many” it was vs Washington, six games ago ! Useless.
Hey, we limited Jason Terry to TWO first half points, on 1/9. Guess when he reached twenty-one, on 8/17 ???
Ten minutes left in the fourth, Nozitzki makes a jumper and Mavs gain their first lead since the first quarter (71-70), the crowd gets into the game again. Sixers ball, Lou Williams takes an awful, forced shot with no rythm, misses badly, Kidds gets the rebound and Nowitzki connects from three: 74-70, the AA arena erupts.
A key moment.
Few plays after that, Nowitzki makes a tough jumper while drawing a foul from Miller: the three point play puts Dallas up five (83-78). Then Lou drives and gets blocked by Dirk, Jason Terry can go on a fastbreak for an easy layup (85-78, four minutes to go).
Another key moment.
Sixers down seven but with a chance to stay in the game (87-70, three minutes to play), Lou Williams dribbles, turns the ball over and commits a loose ball foul on Jason Terry. “The jet” makes both foul shots and closes the game (89-80, 2.48).
It’s plays like those that cost you games.
This time it happened to Lou Williams (three times, you saw) but it wouldn’t be fair to call him out. Or not only him. He had a solid game.
Miller had eight turnovers (!) and took some uncharacteristically bad decisions: forced drives, offensive fouls, unlikely passes. You need something different from your savvy, veteran PG.
Sam Dalembert made Eric f’n Dampier look like Olajuwon in the first period. And offensively… ok, nevermind.
“Sixers are a one man team right now” (referred to Iguodala repeatedly going one-vs-one) and “Sixers are vulnerable at shot fakes and pump fakes, because they want to block shots and get steals”: Mavs commentators. Difficult to disagree.
Mavs shot 11/15 in the fourth, I guess that helped, also… and how about we didn’t shot a free throw in the second half ??
But it’s the small things that killed us last night. Those that separate good teams from 13-19 teams.
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: We are still the best team in the NBA for fastbreak points, with 17.5 per game. Should we actually be happy for that ?? – Dallas is actually third in that ranking – Brandon Bass looked excellent, an energy guy off the bench – Jason Kidd played some old style, tricky defense on Iguodala, putting always the hand on Andre’s face while he was taking the shot (a perfect sample in the pic), but we could say that Iguodala outplayed him overall – Tonight in San Antonio, in the second night of a back-to-back… I expect a similar game, and a similar end – Marreese Speights was a DNP CD, apparently. WHY IN THE HELL ?????????