It’s raining threes. And losses.
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 11, 2009
Ok, Sixers fans, this nasty dunk by Iguodala on LeBron James, to close the first half, is the best thing from last night’s game on Sixers’ side:
While getting swept 0-4 by the New Jersey Nets is simply unacceptable, being down 0-3 in the season series vs the Cavaliers seems fair. And everyone obviously smells another sweep completed in the last game of the season, Wednesday 15th at the Quicken Loans Arena, because Cleveland, guess that, is simply a better team.
Ok, actually my concept of “team” is slightly different. These Cavs are more a one-and-a-half man show, with the other guys on the roster knowing their (marginal) role and able to step up in different games. It works well, though.
I don’t want to take anything from Cleveland, they have built smartly around LeBron James, I simply like(d) better other squads, that fit more with the word “team” (example: the 2004 Pistons).
But anyway, Sixers lost their fourth straight (40-39, .506) and the final 92-102 score, in front of a sell out-but-pretty-silent crowd, explains well what happened at the Wachovia Center.
Sixers gave a decent effort, fought hard until the end, stayed close for 48 minutes, but came up short at the end, buried under an impressive three point barrage. Even Zydrunas Ilgauskas, in an off night, knocked down one, from the corner, to give Cleveland an eleven point lead (87-98) and definitely close the game.
While Cavs connected from downtown pretty much at will, finishing with a remarkable 12/23, the stone handed Sixers made their first three with 4.15 left in the game (courtesy of Green), and the second, absolutely useless, came in garbage time.
The total from behind the arc in the three games played between the two teams is Cleveland 23/59 (39%), Sixers 4/31 (12%)…. bball is quite simple !!
Mike Brown kept LBJ on the floor only 36 minutes (that’s like playing just three quarters) but in his absence Mo Williams led the offense very effectively and the other team mates did their job, knocking down timely, open shots from the perimeter, converting easy baskets, playing tough defense, grabbing balls that resulted into second chances.
Cleveland finished the third up six (70-76), and LeBron James – who had a spectacular second part of the quarter, in which he scored eight consecutive points, including a very deep three – sat out at the beginning of the fourth.
James checked back in when there was only 6.12 left to play in the game: the score was 78-85, meaning Cavs’ lead was even increased with him on the bench.
Speaking of things that could irk any fan, Szczerbiak had a season high 18 points off the bench, including 4/4 from three point land. I think the last guy I saw just as mobile as Wally was 7’4 Mark Eaton. The immortal Jazz center had more jumping ability, though.
All the four treys Szczerbiak took were completely uncontested, which speaks volumes of our defense on the perimeter.
Another thing I have a problem with is the 12-24 difference in assists. Of course, having LBJ helps, because whenever he drives, you have to come with the double (or triple) team, and that leaves the big men free for an easy two, or puts the shooters in a condition to take open jumpers. And of course, you still have to make the shots.
But if Willie Green leads your team in dimes (4), there is something wrong in your offense and playmaking. I know Clevelands is perhaps the best defense in the League, but yesterday our circulation was poor, same for the spacing, and the two Andres created less offense than usual.
Last thing I would like to complain about mention, is the rotations. I don’t get how the same Green saw 35 minutes of action, given that he was far from hot (3/13 at the end), and I wonder if Donyell Marshall could have got some playing time, to open their defense a little bit.
We gave up 14 offensive rebounds, too many again, and this time our best rebounder, Dalembert, had no foul troubles. Since Theo is (for the 456th time) not a great rebounder, and since his offensive production is lower than Sam’s (…), as much as I like the guy, I conclude that the 16 minutes given to Ratliff were not a good investment, honestly.
I’m afraid the upcoming game vs Raptors is the best (only?) chance to reach 41 W, because the last two vs Boston and at Cleveland will be ugly. Check Hoop Heads North for coverage about Toronto.