Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

NY Guidos can’t stop Sixers

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 19, 2009

82989555NB005_76ERS_KNICKSNB001_ROCKETS_KNICKSNew York, the city where thousands, millions, of fellow guidos came, settled and live, was a no match for us last night, resulting in a 97-107 Sixers win at the Madison Square Garden.

The seventh consecutive win lifts us at .500 (20-20), and the last time we were at that mark was…uh, I can’t remember it… no, wait, actually it was 7-7 on Nov 24, after that crappy loss in Charlotte.

Few thoughts after the game.

Slow start, allowing Knicks to connect on nine of their first eleven shots (19-12) but good reaction to close the FIRST QUARTER up one, 25-26.

Another good reaction after NY had its biggest lead in the SECOND QUARTER (43-35 on a three by Q Rich, for his fourteenth point).

We smartly took advantage of some mismatches created by Knicks’ lack of bigs and small guards, and worked our way in the low post several times, to took the lead on a jump hook by Dalembert (48-49), who had a nice stretch also defensively.

Iguodala scored on an amazing “catch and shoot” three pointer while he was up in the air just before the buzzer sounded to put us up by two at the half, 50-52. Andre had 20 points at the break, on 7/10.

We extended the lead at the beginning of the THIRD QUARTER, quickly going up by ten thanks to Andre Miller (50-60) and after Knicks went on their own 7-0 run, fueled by… Sam Dalembert (TWO defensive three second violation and a traveling violation…), we answered with another 10-0 run to take a +13 lead, 57-70.

Knicks were helping us, missing jumper after jumper (2/17 in the quarter at a point…), and turning the ball over (8 in the period) to spark our fastbreak points.

 Too bad we couldn’t capitalyze more, because Ivey had a bad  turnover in the last possession and we dumbly left Harrington wide open in the corner and the former Warrior knocked down a three for the final 66-76 – it could have been a +15 easily.

When Marreese Speights completed with a high flying dunk the daily alley oop pass by Lou Williams at the beginning of the FOURTH QUARTER (70-82), I honestly thought it would have ended in a blow out. Instead, Guidos Knicks fought back, carried by a spirited Harrington, who had six consecutive free throws and back-to-back threes to make it a three point game (81-84).

Guido Danilo Gallinari had a role in this run, connecting from downtown and assisting Harrington for the second three, in transition. I was happy to see him playing after a long absence due to back injury: he had his first basket(s) in the NBA last night, after he scored his first points in the League on a couple of free throws in the first game played between the two teams (31 October, jeez !!).

Iguodala had a terrific dunk on Danilo few plays after those threes, and when New York came within one, always with Harrington connecting from long range (!! he put 17 in the quarter…), it was Speights to score another big basket after an offensive rebound (90-93). Iguodala and Miller eventually sealed the game.

I have a few things to add after this nice win on the road.

FREE THROW SHOOTING WAS ATROCIOUS ! We closed the first half with 7/14, and we were 10/21 at a point in the fourth !!! Lou Williams missed his fist three shots from the line, that’s completely unacceptable, it could have costed us the game (not to mention it affects negatively my fantasy team, LOL). MAKE THOSE FOUL SHOTS PLEASE !! It’s so annoying to see all those bricks from the line, really !

The same Lou Wlliams allowed Knicks’ comeback in the fourth, with some AWFUL, CONSECUTIVE offensive possessions, in which he was probably the only Sixer to touch the ball (dribble, dribble, dribble…). Zero passes, zero circulation —> no work for the defense —> forced shots as the shot clock was expiring. Di Leo had to put Miller in quickly.

Knicks’ hole in the paint is something I’ve rarely seen in the NBA. With a healthy Brand, he could have scored 30 easily.

To our credit, we took care of the ball nicely, rebounded well – just like we were supposed to do with such a small, undersized opponent – and didn’t panic when they went on that run and the crowd went back into the game. The importance of having a veteran, smart PG is showed in such situations.

Iguodala was wonderful again, his stat sheet speaks by itself, and this time tells us the complete truth.

We play the Mavs on Monday, that will be a nice rematch.

In the meantime, check this article about Brand’s return, I agree with what Di Leo says:

“Our problem earlier in the season was that everyone tried to fit him in,” DiLeo said. “Elton will fit into the way we play and we’re not going to try and fit into the way Elton plays.

I like that attitude and also what his team mates say about him, he will be  a real asset for us, no BS !!

SIXERS BASKETBALL !!

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