Payback time for Turkoglu & the Magic
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 27, 2009
Well, perfect way to end a shitty bad day. A last second loss.
Hedo Turkoglu hit a tough three with one second left (in the Getty Images pic) to give Orlando a 81-84 W at the Wachovia center, and tie the series at 2-2.
We saw Turkoglu countless times on You Tube in these days, reviewing the game winner that Iguodala scored on him in Game 1 over and over. Now the Magic forward will be on the right side of some footage soon. Payback time.
Hedo hit a lot of game winners in his career, building himself a reputation of being a clutch player: maybe this is the most important shot, as it avoided an overtime that could have easily put his team into a 1-3 hole. Not to mention he was having a crappy series so far (11 PPG on 23% from the floor !!) so this play was huge, unfortunately.
Sixers came only close to another memorable comeback: trailing by ten with 4.32 to go in the fourth (69-79), and honestly looking in a slump, they went on a stunning 12-2 run and tied the game at 81 on a dunk by Dalembert, off a nice feed by Iguodala when there were 14 seconds to play.
But Orlando had the last possession and Turkoglu made sure it was the decisive one, knocking down a contested three over Thaddeus Young. You can only tip your hat off to him, we couldn’t play better defense. Iguodala’s desperation shot at the buzzer hit only the side of the rim. Series even.
There are few points I want to address before going to bed.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
1) shooting. Despite a nice 8/19 from behind the arc, we shot poorly, staying at 35% at the end of the third (22/62), that not coincidentially saw us down nine, 55-64. You are not going to win many games like this, obviously.
2) poor rotations. I could say “no rotations” because DiLeo tonight decided not to use the bench. Three of our five starters logged more than 43 minutes (!!) which is something I really don’t understand, and disagree with.
First because it’s known we have a HUGE edge over Orlando as for bench contribution (even tonight, with few substitions made, we outscored them 15-4…), second because two of our starters were in an off night. And I’m clearly talking about the Andres.
3) not only they should have got some (deserved) rest, because they carried us to this point, but Miller and Iguodala weren’t playing well tonight, so others should have checked in, and perhaps picked up the slack. Marreese Speights had his second DNP CD (and I disagree with this also), Marshall and Ivey played a meaningless seven minutes combined. Not a smart idea, really, especially considering it’s gonna be a long series and we need fresh legs down the stretch.
I won’t blame the Andres for their subpar performance (many will do that, I know, but I don’t care), in a series it can happen to have a bad game. I’m blaming the coach for not taking them out.
Of course there are other things that keep our hopes pretty much intact, despite the hurting loss.
Here is WHAT WORKED:
1) rebounding. We outrebounded Orlando again, and allowed their first of a ridicuolous three offensive rebounds with 8 minutes left in the fourth (!).
2) three point shooting, of course. This should give us confidence for the next games. We can hit them from outside.
3) “limiting” Howard. I know it sounds stupid after he had 18 + 18, but he was less of a factor than in the other games. His 6/12 from the line is encouraging also, the reggiemiller-esque performance of Game 3 was accidental, I assume. Unlike the other games, this time he was double teamed on many plays.
4) related to 3), Sam Dalembert had another good game, working well on defense and boxing out their big men (ok, man…) to secure the rebounds. He contributed also offensively, which is always a plus.
5) perimeter defense was ok. We denied Orlando the open looks in the first half (1/8 from three point land). Magic shooters got hot only in the third, when they knocked down three threys in the mid of a 13-2 run that put them up by ten (41-51). But the final 6/20 from behind the arc is acceptable.
Too bad the sixth trey was the decisive one (at least we didn’t pull a Chicago, that tonight left Ray Allen wide open on the last shot for the second time in a series….).
Back to Orlando, but also back to Philadelphia, because there will surely be a Game 6. The series is getting even more interesting, with all these last second shots piling up, game after game…. I’m proud of my team, even after the loss.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS – Magic started the third draining all of their first seven shots… – Willie Green was excellent in the first quarter, with eight points – Sixers shot only two free throws in the first half, not a good sign – Orlando had nine turnovers at the break, but two for the rest of the game – After the (pathetic) 16.492 attendance of friday, the arena was NOT sold out, again: 16.464 tonight, LESS than in Game 3…. I am speechless.