A game of shortcomings in Indy
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 19, 2009
I saw that pretty much coming (just check the title of the post below this one…).
So I really can’t say the 100-89 loss to Indiana, breaking a four game winning streak (27-25, .519), shocked me.
Still, it pissed me off enough.
First, we lost to a team that was 21-33 before the game.
Second, Pacers are bad enough with their full roster but last night they were without Dunleavy Jr. and Foster.
Third, we should, and could have won, despite playing bad basketball for large part of the night, horrible bball for extended stretches, and trailing for 48 minutes.
Let’s make a short recap and then try to analyze good things and bad ones.
In the FIRST QUARTER we started sluggish, to say the least, immediately digging double digit deficits: 12-2, 17-4. We didn’t get back on defense quickly, we missed a ton of easy shots, Hibbert (…) and Nesterovic (……..) abused Dalembert. The 28-18 final score was even a bargain.
But the worst part was yet to come, because in the SECOND QUARTER we forgot to guard Granger (9 pts) and Murphy (7 consecutive pts), letting Pacers building a 20 point lead (49-29, 4 minutes to play). A nice 14-1 run put us back into the game, and at the break Indiana’s lead was cut to eleven (55-44).
I think we lost the game in the THIRD QUARTER, particularly when we had the chance to make it first a three point game, then a five point game, but with the score at 66-60 and 68-60, Thaddeus Young and Willie Green misfired on w-i-d-e o-p-e-n threes on two consecutive (key) offensive possessions, leaving the door open to Daniels to push Pacers’ lead to double digit again (70-60).
I think that was the turning point, because after those plays we missed another bunch of fastbreaks, layups, dunks etc, and, thank also to some help by the refs, Granger carried Indiana’s offense, and the Pacers’ lead was extended, from 73-62 to 80-62.
During the FOURTH QUARTER the same scene was repeated: some solid, Sixers-style basketball with tough defence to cut the lead to six (86-80), immediately followed by unforgivable mistakes, like leaving Murphy all alone at the top of the key for an easy three (!), and allowing him another jumper to close the game definitely (89-80 and 91-83).
Deserved, disappointing loss, a great chance to improve our record blown. Playoffs teams have to pull out games like this one.
REASONS WE LOST?
An AWFUL pile of easy shots blown. Evans missed a putback just under the basket with the nearest Pacer at around 12 feet from him, Green missed a fastbreak dunk, Young had a couple of layups rimming out, Ivey couldn’t make a shot to save his life, Lou Williams couldn’t convert a three despite some great looks, Speights (injured, bad ankle) hit only the backboard with a jumper he usually makes etc etc…
Even Miller was an uncharacteristic 2/10 which says it all: he couldn’t take advantage of TJ Ford in the low post, like he usually does.
Horrible three point shooting. Young made one from behind the arc in the first, then a dozen of bricks followed for the rest of the game before Marshall knocked down the second: unfortunately it was already garbage time….
Free throw shooting was woeful again, with a lot of misses coming from the perimeter guys, one more fucking time…
Forgettable defence, especially on their big men. You just can’t let a raw rookie like Roy Hibbert and a fading veteran like Rasho Nesterovic combine for 10/16 from the field, you know what I mean ? Pacers won the battle under the boards, 50-45…
Offense was offense confusing/confused, sometimes actually pathetic: in the fourth quarter we ended up TWICE with Reggie Evans taking an unlikely shot with the shot clock winding down.
Once he was (dumbly) fouled by Nesterovic, and the same mistake was made by Granger few plays after that, with the All star fouling Green while our guard was attempting a forced jumper. This only to mean that Pacers did their best to help us, contributing also seven turnovers in the fourth !!
Some bad coaching, honestly, first time in a while. Green and Dalembert were left on the court for way too long in my opinion, while Marshall and even Rush could have been used more and earlier, to open that defence.
Not a great display of basketball on both sides, you got it… When Miller is off, it shows. Lou Williams had some flashes but played poorly as a PG again. I agree with Liberty Ballers’ analysis, some great points on Jams’ recap.
While this is Indy Cornrows’ point of view, check it.
Sixers have a chance to bounce back tonight vs Nuggets, we have that hurting loss at Denver to delete. Get the Nuggets’ fan perspective at Jeremy’s Roundball Mining Company and PickaxeAndRoll, both great blogs.
Ouh, yes, there is also that trade deadline approaching, but I just hope/think we will stand pat 🙂