Because this one was REALLY ugly.
I mean 79-83 over the Nets playing without Devin Harris.
No wonder we "rose" to 16-31 (.340) after this dreadful show.
Better make the post short and move on.
1) Yes, the Nets had the ball to tie the game with 10 seconds left (77-80), but Jarvin Hayes - that had made four from behind the arc - airballed a contested three.
Thaddeus Young, and I mean T-h-a-d-d-e-u-s Y-o-u-n-g (why I am repeating this? read below..), secured the rebound, got fouled and made two from the line to close the game, 77-82.
Not a glorious end, but it could have been worse.
2) Yes, we managed to get outrebounded by the Nets, 50-47. Not bad.
3) No, I am not done with the ugly stats. What's worse, shooting 36%, missing ELEVEN free throws or letting Jarvin Hayes score 18 off the bench, with four identical corner threes and eight rebounds? Tough race here.
1) Why wasn't Carney used in the second half, since he was so good in the second quarter (nine points)? Jordan put a spirited Rodney back with only 30 seconds left, to protect our six point lead.... he surely felt great.
2) What did Jrue Holiday do so wrong to deserve not getting any minute after he played the first eight? Yes, he missed some shots, but it's not like his team mates were shooting the lights out...
3) How about Brand's 'clutchness'? Or lackthereof? After blowing a layup in Milwaukee to tie the game in the finals moments, this time he bricked a couple of free throws with 22.8 seconds left and Sixeers leading by only three (77-80, right), leaving the door open to New Jersey.Pretty scaring to me, but also telling about what's on his mind in this (sad) moment of his career (more after the jump). no comments
Low standards, again. You know, Sixers fans. They might be happy with losses.
The 91-99 to the LA Kobes was at least a good game, in which we gave a good effort and were beaten by a clearly superior team.
Sixers' record is 15-31 now (.326), good for the 14th position in the conference. Ouch.
Of course, I still wish Lakers all the worst in the season - from a bball standpoint, I mean - but I was pleased to see our guys playing their butts off for 48 minutes.
Recap will be quick.
1) Iverson effect + trade rumors starting to bother him. That's my answer to Iguodala's recent struggles. Andre reached double figure in only one of the last five games. He definitely gets less touches, can't run in fastbreaks much and plays a lot in the post, where he gets ALWAYS doubled and rarely can get a good shot off. And the jumper is not falling, which is not helping. Tough stretch definitely.
2) No, Lou Williams is not a happy camper either. Only eight minutes, by far a season low. The least he played before this game was 19. Which was two games ago, at Milwaukee. When he got pulled out and didn't join his team mates in the huddle during a timeout. Uhm. I see dark clouds coming.3) Yes, it was nice to see Iverson explode for 15 points (6/7) in the third, when Sixers cut an early sixteen point deficit (42-58) to five (63-68). It was vintage AI: a couple of threes, a tough drive finished with a banked shot while getting fouled by Derek Fisher that brought the fans to their feet. Good times. We all knew it wouldn't have been enough to win the game though. Right? (more after the jump) no comments
You can update your list of chokers. Add Elton Brand there.
Ironically (uhm, maybe not), it was him, by far our MVP of the night, to blow the decisive shot, a 1-vs-0 layup with 8 seconds left (same as in the pic, minus the opponent...).
Sixers lost 91-88 in Milwaukee, to fall to a putrid 15-30 record (.333).
Actually after that unbelievable miss, Brand grabbed the offensive rebound and was short on another one, a fallaway jumper.
Then Ridnour went only 1/2 from the line with 2 seconds left, so that Iguodala could misfire on his umpteenth jumper at the buzzer.
So this is the updated stat about our last shots: as a team we are 0/9 this year.
Iguodala is 0/5: misses at NY (Oct 31, end of regulation, Sixers eventually won in OT 141-127), Nov 30 at Dallas (104-102 Mavs), Dec 5 at Charlotte (106-105 Bobcats), Jan 18 at Minnesota (end of regulation, Sixers eventually lost in OT, 108-103 T'Wolves), and Jan 27 at Milwaukee (91-88 Bucks). The "Choke-late thunder" ? How do you like this nickname? I just made it up for you.
Lou Williams is 0/1, last second missed three at Washington, Nov 24 (108-107 Wizards).
Carney is 0/1, last second missed three at home vs the Knicks, Jan 13 (92-93).
So it's actually 0/7. Technically Brand's point blank shot is not a last second attempt, but, I mean, you can't keep a blown layup with eight seconds left out of this list, right? So make it at least 0/8, and 0/9 if you include his following, second miss (which you should do).
That's a pretty remarkable list of choking jobs. It includes jumpers (way open & contested), some threes, a layup. Different players are involved but you gotta love how we insist putting the ball in Iguodala's hands down the stretch.Not that others did better, even in "easier" situations - with open looks I mean. Bottom line, Sixers will always find a way to f'k things up down the stretch. I told you tankers shouldn't worry (more after the jump). no comments
Lot of talking lately about Sixers in fight for a playoffs spot, still having time to fix the season etc etc... also, many tankers out there, and many are worried that we won't make the lottery and get a high pick this summer.
Well, in all honestly I think tankers should chill out, have some drinks, light a cigar, "enjoy" our games.
Just keep in mind these facts, coming to my head after the disheartening 98-109 home loss to the Pacers.
1) Fourty-four games into the season (15-29, .341) and we couldn't win more than two straight games yet.
2) Lost to a team whose go-to-guy down the stretch was Dahntay Jones (18 points...).
Interesting facts about Jones: he will turn 30 next December and averages under s-i-x points per game for the career, on 44%. Imagine dear old Greg Brickner, minus the six year-contract Billy King gave him. We got killed by this guy.
3) Held only a three point advantage in the first half despite shooting 61% (24/39).
4) Eddie Jordan is our coach.
I could add more, but I think everybody feels safer now.
After all, this is the same team that lost to Minnesota, playing without Kevin Love, after blowing a 20 point lead, and that struggled to beat the Nets, with a combined six point edge in two games.
Third worst in the East, "trailing" the second worst Wizards only by 1/2 of a game. Sixers "basketball" baby.
1) Yes, we got outrebounded by the Pacers (41-39). It wasn't easy, but we did it. Taking my hat off to the guys and the coach. Giving 21 minutes to Dalembert (13 rebounds) while getting abused in the paint and allowing up multiple layups and off rebounds was especially brilliant, I appreciated.
When asked if he thought of bringing Dalembert in to help limit the Pacers' inside game, Jordan flatly responded, "No."
You gotta love the semplicity here, the decision (*leaves his desk and ideally gives Jordan a standing ovation*). Next time it will be: "Do you want to win games?" And he will go: "Why?".
2) Yes, I am really proud of myself for not throwing up and/or throwing my computer out of the window during the game. Dahntay Jones with eleven fourth quarter points, and seven straight (97-102, 1.42 left), are you f'n kidding me?3) No, no Speights either down the stretch, he sat out the whole fourth quarter, the same period in which he proved many times he can be our best player offensively. We went with 31 minutes of Thad Young (3/12), instead (more after the jump) no comments
Pretty nice win. And some good signs.
Following the remarkable game vs Mavericks, in the second night of a back-to-back Sixers (15-28, .349) took care of business getting out of Indiana with a encoraging 97-107 win.
As sad as it sounds, now Sixers have a great opportunity to win three straight games for the first time this season (...), because they meet the Pacers again on Monday.
I liked what I saw in Indiana, so let's try to focus on the many positives (always keeping in mind that "it was the Pacers", exactly...)
1) Yes, we outrebounded the Pacers pretty bad, as expected: 52-44. The sixteen off rebounds were a key, because we didn't shoot the ball well (with a couple of big exceptions, see below). Interesting how Troy Murphy absolutely dominated the boards in the beginning, collecting eight in the first quarter and twelve at the half, but stopped there.
Sam was a beast in the few minutes he got, I was surprised he didn't play much in the second half. But there was a reason: Pacers have ZERO inside game (not 'few': zero) so they were just settling for jumpers, he would have been taken too far from the basket, so I say not a bad decision by Jordan this time. Also Thad (in the pic, my MVP), Brand and Iguodala were making up for his absence.
2) Yes, it was 7/9 from behind the arc at a point, and we finished at 7/11, 5/6 in the first half. Believe it. Yes, it was the Sixers. Brand had a pair of very nice kick outs that were completed by guys on the perimeter: once it was Iguodala, once Iverson, but maybe I missed some more. That was something we have been waiting for, what?, two years?3) No, don't read the boxscore too quick, check it carefully. I'll help you out in focusing on the best stats. In this order: Thaddeus Young's TEN rebounds in 26 minutes. Only ten turnovers (vs Pacers' twenty-one). Five players in double figure, and nine scoring. 87% free throw shooting. The aforementioned four dimes by Elton Brand. There you go (more after the jump). no comments
We're He's not there yet, but we're he's taking some steps.
In a rare moment of smartness, Eddie Jordan made a big starting lineup change and as a result Sixers beat Dallas 92-81 in one of their best games of the season (14-28, .333).
I'd like to begin this post with two 'interesting' quotes. From Yahoo Sports' recap:
"...said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “They’re a talented team, certainly better than their record.”
He surely didn't mean that, but I read it as = "if properly coached, they would be ranked higher in the standings".
And from Kate Fagan's article:
Jordan said his team held an "emotional edge" off the bench. He said he made the move because Brand had earned a starting spot and because he believed that the previous starting backcourt of Williams and Allen Iverson lacked defensive presence.
Now both sentences come as shockers to me.
While I never thought that a team with Iguodala, Brand, Iverson, Williams, Young etc etc could do better than 13-28 at mid season, especially in such a tough conference, I always firmly believed that Iverson and Lou Williams formed a backcourt of solid defenders, I'd even say stoppers. But it's me, clearly.
There are many positives to take from this game and I'll try to recap them. While the new starting lineup, ninth of the season, (...) is still not the one I'd like, seeing Jrue Holiday and Brand back into it at tip off is still a huge improvement over the crap that Jordan has been giving us as of late.
I repeat that MY starting lineup would include Williams - yes, I'd still have Holiday coming off the bench - Iguodala, Young, Brand and Dalembert, meaning the projected starters before the season began.
The bold (?) move by Eddie Jordan paid off, because Thaddeus Young, sitting for the first time, had his best game of the season, exploding for 16 points in the second quarter and carrying the Sixers' bench to a whopping 56 points.
I was extremely pleased by Lou Williams' game as well: his benching had a nice effect, because he played great, spirited. How about six rebounds?
Mavericks were soundly outplayed, outrebounded (49-42, now this is shocking) and outhustled: it was nice to see Iverson, struggling all night with his shot, diving on the floor for a loose ball, Speights jumping around to block shots, Young and even Green hitting the offensive glass for some putbacks.To cut it short, Sixers LOOKED like a team last night. Can they carry it on? (more after the jump) no comments
That's where the Sixers stand (13-28, .317) after the 90-98 loss to the Oden-less, Pryzbilla-less, Batum-less, Outlaw-less, and (in the second half), even Roy-less TrailBlazers.
I'll make this extremely quick as I worked until 10.30 PM (...), got home, watched the game and will have another tough day in office tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to eventually edit the post.
1) Yes, I am happy my man Andre Miller (in the pic) played a great game. He stepped up after Roy had to leave, scoring 14 points in the third quarter, including six straight + a three, that had Holiday rolling his eyes on the Sixers' bench.
He displayed his usual set of low post moves, mid range jumpers, pump/shot fakes. And questionable defense, of course, it's not like he's getting better at nearly 34 y/o. But I love his smartness.
2) No, no problem if your team, any team, misses two, three, four guys. You match up with the Sixers? One player with the hot hand per quarter is enough to come out with a W: Aldridge in the first (8), Miller in the third (14), Bayless in the fourth (14) got the job done for Portland. Simple as that.
3) Yes, Iguodala's stat line looks excellent, and he played a good game overall, but Mr. NO Clutch (0/4 on last second shots this year) missed the three for the potential -1 with 37 seconds left and Sixers traling by four, 90-94.Which could lead us to two further questions: why does he pretty much always take the decisive shot? And also: why did he take a three, instead of driving to the rim? Portland was in the penalty by the way. Yes, he had a good look, but I'm afraid that no look is good enough for Iguodala down the stretch... (more after the jump) no comments
In Italy we have a pretty funny saying that goes like "When you hit rock bottom, you can always start digging".
It's what Sixers (13-27, .325) basically did by losing 108-103 in overtime at Minnesota.
Recap comes two days late, I forgot Monday was MLK day (much respect) in the US so I watched the game replayed on Tuesday, as usual, while I could have caught it live yesterday, since it was a matinee... my bad.
The most shocking loss of the season came against a powerhouse team that: was 8-33 before tip off - was missing its best rebounder and second best scorer (Love) - started the game shooting 7/29 - trailed by 20 points in the second (31-51) and by 17 at halftime (40-57) - was averaging 30% from behind the arc before the game, third worst in the NBA, but shot 7/12 vs the Sixers (58%), missing the last three.
If you are not satisfied yet, consider that Brian Cardinal (1.9 PPG this season, 39% FG) had a season high nine points on 66% shooting, to go with three assists, in twelve minutes of action. That means he was on pace to score 36 in 48 minutes. Brian. Cardinal.
You could write a (sad) book about this game and Sixers' atrocious performance, but I'll save you this, it's too late now for a real recap. Check Kate Fagan's article, and focus on this part:
"Point guard Allen Iverson played 23 consecutive minutes in the second half, committing three turnovers and making 3 of 9 shots. Jordan pulled Iverson with 51.6 seconds remaining in regulation and then never returned him to the floor - not for regulation's final play or the entire overtime".
Final play = potential game winner. Iverson was on the bench. Same for overtime, in which Sixers scored a good four points in five minutes. Shockingly, it wasn't enough to win the game.
My guess is Iverson was kept in for that 23 minute stretch for defensive purposes. That paid off, as we limited Timberwolves to only 33 third quarter points. And on the final possession of regulation, Iverson was probably tired, so Jordan saved him the last 4 seconds of the game. Savvy move.
I like this part as well, always from Kate's article:
Starting guard Lou Williams, who scored 11 points in the first quarter, did not play a minute in the fourth. Backup guard Jrue Holiday, known primarily for his defensive ability, did not play in the third, fourth or overtime periodsAnd you gotta love the Lou Williams-for-Elton Brand substitution in overtime, also. That allowed to keep a completely useless Thaddeus Young in (he played all five minutes, doing absolutely nothing), two proven scorers in crunch time like Iverson and Speights on the bench, and go with a back court of Green and Lou himself (more after the jump, if you are brave enough). no comments
Sam Dalembert and Willie Green have many things in common.
They both are good, if not great guys. Talking about role model citizens, millionaires that REALLY like to help the community: they are constantly involved in many social and humanitarian activities, in the US and abroad.
Sammy's committment for his hometown Haiti (in the pic) is only the last example of many, many good things he has always been doing outside the court. So all I can do I take my hat off to them as persons. Sam, Willie, you have my respect.
On the court, pretty different story. He and Green have been getting a lot of crap from Sixers fans in the last seven years. And I have always been among the ones that were giving them this crap.
I must say around 80% of what they got was 100% deserved. Not being evil, just realistic and fair, calling it like it is. No need to repeat why we (all) always bashed Sam, all I can add is that all the criticisms I made were made reguardless of his fat contract - that I blame Billy King, and only him, for. It's his poor play that drives me crazy, I don't even consider the $.
But hey, I can't argue with 12.4 points, 13 rebounds, 75% (39/52) from the floor, 90% from the line and 2.7 blocks per game. Those are Dalembert's numbers in the seven games played in January !!!Sam was again THE factor in Sixers' 98-86 W over the Kings (13-26, .333). While Thaddeus Young's stat line might look just as good as Dalembert's, it was Sam to change the game and make the final push in the fourth quarter, when Sixers held Sacramento to 4/12 shooting. A couple of key offensive rebounds, a huge block, three free throws. Enough to give us the sixth win in the last ten games. (more after the jump) no comments
(I joined Derek and Brian for their latest Blog Talk Radio show, check it at www.sixersbeat.com, the podcast of 14 March is uploaded there. My guido voice should be at around the 1 hour mark or so, just before the end. Tom Moore was the special guest)
Who is to blame for the 92-93 home loss to the Knicks (12-26, .316)?
Ouh, I have few names to mention.
1) First is Rodney Carney. You simply have to make that last second, uncontested shot. Nice dish (Iverson), open look, feet set, in rythm, coming off eleven fourth quarter points, that included three tryes. Clank.
Thought: it shouldn't be Carney to take a last second shot ! Bullshit. I was fine with the play. Speights got double teamed in the low post, he threw out a decent pass to Iverson, who went for a drive, defense reacted, and Allen set up Carney.
Rodney had the hot hand last night, and he was in a great position on the possession: he had hit another three exactly from that spot earlier in the game.
I'd even say Carney's shot was WAY better than Dalembert's jump hook of the night before. Ironically, Sam knocked it down, while Carney missed it. So nobody will remember the excellent job he did prior to that. It's s a shame that a good/great game like that ends with a decisive miss.
2) Second is Iguodala. It's not the 2/9 overall that disturbs me, that can happen. It's the 0/6 from behind the arc. And the ZERO free throws attempted. I'm not blaming him because he missed six threes, but because he took so many. Should have stopped at three. He was pulling a Kyle Korver while he is... Iguodala.
Of course, a good coach maybe would have told him that. Or called plays for him. Or pulled him out for a while, given that Knicks were playing so much zone. Instead he stayed in for his usual 40 minutes, jacking up threes.
3) Third comes Eddie Jordan, because... well, because you never miss by blaming Eddie Jordan. Knicks played extended stretches of zone defense and the best 3 pt shooter of the team got a DNP CD, while Iguodala took six shots from downtown. Sense?
Then you have the lack of substitutions down the stretch, when he had many timeouts to make the basic defense/offense changes and never did, leaving Iverson and Speights on the court for key defensive possessions. Outcome: from the 90-86 lead with only 1.30 to play to the final 92-93, with Lee hitting an open jumper from the baseline and then the decisive basket, a layup (in the pic)... I liked the Speights move, though: putting him in for the first time with 8.40 minutes to play. It paid off, Speihts responded very well.3) Third comes a pretty crowded group of players. Brand, Young, Williams and Iguodala combined for 8/38: that is 21%, guys. Take out the aforementioned Iguodala and you still have 6/29, 20%. Details below. (more after the jump) no comments