Sixers finally pull out a 48-min effort
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 13, 2009
And the outcome was the final 115-106 W over the Raptors, a game that wasn’t close as the score might suggest (31-31. 500).
I am happy to keep this recap short: Sixers started to run away in the second quarter, progressively increasing their lead, that reached 20 points with 1.10 to play: 56-36.
Give credit to the Sixers because they continued to stay focused after the break, making five of their first six shots.
Toronto tried some (crappy) zone defence but Sixers never panicked, attacking it with patience and hitting basically all outside shots (finally !!), including a rare set up three by Andre Miller. Guido Andrea Bargnani had a three just before the buzzer to end the quarter 92-74.
Raptors cut the lead to nine points early in the fourth (99-90, 7.04) but Williams nicely fed Evans for a layup on the following play, Iguodala had a steal and knocked down a couple of free throws and Sixers completed the job, without scaring their fans. Good win.
Thaddeus Young will receive honours because he scored a career high 29 points, and he actually played great, scoring from everywhere, but I’m happy to praise two guys that IMO had an even bigger impact on the game, and that I ripped on this blog many times this season.
1) canadian citizen (?) Samuel Dalembert was a difference-maker. His stat line speaks for itself (and the 19 points are a season high), but what you can’t read there is the focus, the attitude, the determination he showed. In the pic, you can get a rough idea of his guard capabilities…LOL.
He was aggressive on both ends of the floor, and simply deleted Bosh, emphatically blocking him three times and basically keeping Raptors’ All star out of the game for the whole night.
The question is: should we be happy for that, or mad because he doesn’t do this every night? Not saying he has to shoot 9/13 every day, or knock down fall away jumpers as the shot clock expires (he did that yesterday) but… you know what I mean.
2) Lou Williams played SMART, EFFICIENT basketball. Maybe one of his best games this season. He was a huge factor in the second quarter break.
Lou was taking the ball to the rim (three consecutive times, for a dunk and two layups, resulting in 7 quick points), cut the dribbles, never forced the issue. I think he took the first outside shot only in the fourth, hitting it by the way. Five dimes and one turnovers in 25 minutes of action is also nice. Well done young fella, just go on like this.
Other points I think are worth mentioning are:
- Iguodala had a “quite” night, we didn’t need his scoring vs Toronto. He had to leave for some minutes with a lower back strain, but when he was in he contributed with some good defence, assists, steals.
- Similar for Miller, who took only five shots and had a streak of five consecutive +20 point games stopped. Nevermind.
- Sixers shot free throws extremely well last night: consider that four misses came in garbage time (Young and Evans).
- Toronto is a slumping team that showed no passion and aggressiveness. Pretty disappointing, really, I would be extremely critical of this attitude if I was a fan. Six consecutive losses and counting….
SIXERS4GUIDOS’ BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: Toronto took only three free throws in the entire first half !!! Can you say “soft”? – In the same stretch, Chris Bosh was held to a miserable 5 points – Sixers shot 15/22 in the second and 16/21 in the third, how about that ??? It means 31/43, 72%. You can’t lose games that way – Guido Andrea Bargnani had a nice game, but his actual impact, if you go see, was close to zero…uhm…
And finally a special feature I am happy to post.
COOL RAPTORS LINK
Before the game I had a quick exchange of thoughts with Romy of Hoops Heads North, an excellent Raptors blog. Here are my answers to his questions about the Sixers (didn’t have time to put him some Qs about Raps, sorry).
But I’d like to link also his recap of the game and another nice post, a collection of the lesser known nicknames in the NBA, fun reading definitely, that is having a lot of success around the Web, make sure to check it out.
Sixers meet the Bulls tonight in the last game at the Spectrum, I hope I’ll be able to post some nice old pics of the glory days later, for fellow nostalgic, aging fans…
Log on to the mighty Blog-a-Bull for the best coverage about Chicago.