Great game, terrible ending for the Sixers. I’ve been to most of the home games and this was by far the most entertaining and exciting Sixers game so far this season. They game out slow, gradually picked up the energy, dominated in the third quarter to take the lead, stayed with the Magic throughout the second half and came up 2 points short. Good effort that simply wasn’t good enough to earn the “W.”
I read all the comments you guys posted throughout the game during breaks and read through all of the post game comments. I really am not sure why 90% of the conversation is about Samuel Dalembert, but hey I guess it’s just one of those complain about Sammy days for people. I don’t have a problem with talking about Sam but I think right now people’s focus are in the wrong place if they think Dalembert is the biggest issue.
Howard made 4 total field goals and 13 free throws. Sammy used up his 6 fouls in 25 minutes, Ratliff used 4 of his in 18 minutes and Brand used 4 of his in 34 minutes trying to help out with Howard. I was completely satisfied with the way the Sixers handled Howard. They made him beat them from the line and he did just that 13-18 is fantastic and uncharacteristic for him. If the Sixers played the exact same game he likely shoots 9-18 next time and it’s a Sixers win.
My Top 4 Reasons Why the Sixers Lost to Orlando (in no particular order)
This game was rather close. And if you look at the boxscore this is what you would see. Even in rebounds with the Sixers grabbing 14 offensive boards (5 more than Orlando). 25 assists (7 more than Orlando) on 36 made field goals for the Sixers. 14 Sixers turnovers vs. 17 for Orlando. 79% free throw shooting for the Sixers. 14 fastbreak points to 10 for Orlando. Not a terrible game by the Sixers at all. But I point to a few possessions, mistakes and bad judgement that had a major impact on the outcome of the game…
- Poor game management. After Rashard Lewis made that contested three to take the lead with 4.7 seconds left a timeout should have been called by the Sixers to advance the ball and set up a game winning play. Oh yeah, they didn’t have any. Why didn’t they have any? Because Mo cheeks absolutely wasted a timeout during the third quarter. The Sixers were on a 12-5 run, erased a 10-point half time deficit and had Orlando on their heels having just scored a fastbreak lay up. The Sixers had the ball with a chance to take the lead and Mo calls a timeout for no reason whatsoever. I completely flipped out in my seat because I thought that was a critical mistake by Cheeks. Turns out it was more costly than I originally thought. What’s worse: the Sixers came out of the timeout only to have Willie Green dribble around two screens at the top and take a contested long duece (basically what the offense does most possessions) only to miss. Wasted timeout, poor coaching and guidance coming out of the timeout. I need to dedicate and entire post just to this because it’s becoming a trend with Cheeks.
- Missed layups by Andre Iguodala. 4th quarter is money time and Andre Iguodala missed two very lightly contested lay ups (I am being generous here saying they were even lightly contested). I have no clue why he didn’t simply dunk on both those opportunities but the fact remains you must put the ball in the hole there. 2 baskets, 4 points – the Sixers lost by 2.
- Andre Iguodala dribbles the out of bounds trying to slip through two defenders by behind his back, through his legs. I guess for a split second that big contract got him thinking he was Kobe. WTF is exactly what I said during the game. That came with 1:51 left in the game, the Sixers with the ball and up 90-87. Critical turnover there. Another reason why his basketball IQ should be questioned. Although he made two clutch free throws the sum of his 4th quarter resulted in him coming up small to me.
- Andre Miller sucked in a big big away. He was 3-13 from the field and only had 4 assists in 34 minutes. But that isn’t what pissed me off the most. The score was 92-91 Sixers and we had the rock with a minute left. Elton Brand had just hit three straight mid-range jumpers and clearly had his shot and swagger tonight. Instead of making sure he touched the ball and got a shot (like a good point guard is suppose to do – get the damn ball to the hot man in a position to score) Andre Miller dribbled around the top of the key, around two or three Brand screens and took a highly contested jumper from the right corner – brick. Again my reaction simply was WTF. How does Elton Brand not even touch the ball there? Terrible decision making and floor leadership by Miller in that spot.
I think those 4 things really had a major impact on the game and they were all in the Sixers hands. They had complete control in those situations and didn’t make the right decision, the right play or execute effectively. That is the difference between winning and losing close games against good teams.
Random Game Notes
I saw J.J. Reddick make 25 straight threes in pregame and Andre Iguodala was only able to make 5 in a row once. That is the difference between a professional shooter and everyone else
Why the hell did Mo take Thad out with 3:54 left in the first quarter when he scored the first 7 points of the game and looked extremely sharp. No freakin’ wonder he ends up disappearing later in game. Poor in-game player management by Mo.
Marreese Speights needs to get more low post touches. He is our best true low post offensive player. Also, this kid just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time at the end of quarter doesn’t he?
Elton Brand is playing below the rim on offense right now. I would say he has some lingering issue with his Achilles but he doesn’t have any problem exploding and blocking shots above the rim on defense. I wish I knew what the issue was on offense. He needs to start working with the heavy ball when practicing his offensive moves.
I have so much stuff running through my head right now I could go on for days. Instead I will try to break them up into some smaller post between games. Tough loss but some better play. Need to improve much most to have a chance on Friday.
Next game: Friday @Boston Celtics