Lewis was ok, but Gortat ??????
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 2, 2009
It’s ok to lose on a late three by Rashard Lewis, like this I mean, but a dunk by Marcin Gortat ????
Sixers always find new ways to blow leads and lose close games down the stretch.
This time they picked the weirdest, leaving Magic’s back up center all alone in our mid court (see the pic, and please check where is the nearest Sixer…) after Iguodala had scored a free throw to pull Sixers within two with 17 seconds to go.
Turkoglu tossed the ball and the long inbound pass resulted into the decisive assist: the turkish-polish axis (?) said the final word in our 100-106 loss vs Orlando.
It was basically a FOURTH quarter collapse, that led to the third consecutive series sweep in Sixers’ last three games (29-29, .500). Unfortunately, this time we were the ones swept.
It looks like the Magic love to play the Sixers: not only they are 3-0 this season, but they also won eight of the last nine games vs us. Can you say “bad match up”? And I would have said they won 23 of the last 24 or something, because I can recall only losses against Orlando.
Too many offensive weapons, too many different ways to beat you, too many Sixers’ weaknesses constantly exposed.
This time, they trailed, and honestly played pretty poor basketball, for nearly 42 minutes, but in the last six everything turned good for them.
The shots that weren’t falling before (4/20 from downtown in the 2nd and third !!) went down when it counted (5/7 in the fourth…).
So it happened that players jacking up tons of bad shots for the whole night suddenly caught fire at the end. Lee (horrible, btw), was 2/11 before scoring seven consecutive points in the 4th, finishing with thirteen in the period.
It happened also that a scrub like Anthony Johnson, a mediocre shooter for his whole career, who had missed a huge amount of wide open shots as well, connected on his only three pointer of the night for the 95-99 lead, a big basket.
It happened that Sam Dalembert, good until then despite initial foul troubles, had a sequence of his, with an airball, a goaltending (questionable, to be honest) that led to a three point play and an offensive foul in three possessions. Of course, he did it in the worst moment of the game, in the midst of their run (85-80 —> 85-86).
It happened, to sum it up, that when it counted the most, Sixers had only one solution (Miller, 10 consecutive points in a fantastic spurt) versus Orlando’s variety of options.
Three pointers (Lewis, Lee, Turkoglu, Alston, even A. Johnson), drives (Alston, Turk), power plays in the paint and off rebounds (Howard).
Now you can add to that Gortat’s trademark 1-vs-0 two handed dunk. Got it?
Good defensive job on Howard, to take him out of the game. Check.
Great game by Willie Green. Check
Good free throw shooting. Check.
Rare three point accuracy (4/4 in the first half !). Check.
A season high crowd of 19.703. Check.
Good, intense defence for most of the night, with many steals and hustle plays. Check.
A questionable call going our way in a key moment (foul not called on Lee, who eventually stepped out of bounds), to give us the ball for the potential game winner. Check.
Orlando missing seven consecutive threes in the second. Check.
Howard fouling out with the game still on the line. Check.
All the aforementioned things happened, and we couln’t take advantage of that.
I have no explaination, except that it’s good to have shooters in any team. Shoooters that don’t lose confidence even if their first (149?) shots don’t go down.
Maybe it would have been better if Dwight could have stayed in. At least I wouldn’t had to witness M-a-r-c-i-n G-o-r-t-a-t scoring a decisive basket against my team.
This is how Ben at THIRD Quarter Collapse (the fine Magic blog) saw the game.
Sixers play New Orleans tonight, check Hornets 247 for full coverage, guys run a great site there.
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS – Orlando shot 6/10 from behind the arc in the first – JJ Redick was ejected for arguing after a tech – Prior to that, he got abused by Iguodala in a way that it wasn’t even funny – Green and Miller had a terrific second quarter that allowed us to close the half up twelve, 57-45 – Iguodala gave us a 13-point lead with 3.00 to play in the third (76-63), after Miller schooled Lee in the low post – Ratliff did a good job in Sam’s absence, knocking down also two clutch free throws (99-99, 2.00 to play) – When you look at Magic’s coach, always remember S4G was the first to come up with the Ron Jeremy/Stan Van Gundy analogy nearly two years ago.