Deflating loss for the fans and a missed opportunity for the Sixers that they need to quickly move on from and make the most of their new found home court advantage.
Analyzing Game 2 Using the 6 Keys
Put up more shot attempts.
- Sixers: 75
- Magic: 79
Force turnovers and take care of the ball yourself.
- Sixers: 16
- Magic: 13
Control the boards with a team approach.
- Sixers: 37
- Magic: 44
Minus 7 overall and minus 5 on the offensive end
No more “hope” perimeter defense.
- Magic FG%: 43%
- Magic 3pt%: 26.1% (6-23)
The perimeter defense was decent but far from great. Orlando still continues to get and miss some open three point shots, but whenever they are attempting to shoot off the dribble those shots are highly contested. Where our perimeter defense broke down is on containing penetration all the way to the rim. For the second straight game Courtney Lee was able to get to the rim with ease.
Foul Dwight Howard.
Howard was 3-7 (42.8%) from the line in 30 minutes while the rest of the Magic were 19-23 (82.6%). I thought the Sixers did a nice job confusing Howard in the post and make him hesitate and eventually kick out the ball without us fully committing to doubling him. All night the Sixers dug down on him darting in and out raking at the ball. He didn’t know whether the double was coming and he should kick out or if he was singled covered and should attack. That coupled with his foul trouble made him extremely passive finishing with only 6 shot attempts.
Take Hedo Turkoglu out of the game
3-10 from the field, 3 turnovers and only 3 assists. Sounds good right? Yes, except he was 9-11 from the line scoring 16 points. Same goes for Rashard Lewis as well. 4-14 from the field but 7-8 from the line for 16 points. We’ve done a good job keeping these guys from lighting us up and contesting their one-on-one shot attempts but we can’t continue to foul them and give them easy points at the line.
Game 2 Specifics
I am going to attack this with a few concerns in the from of questions that should spark some conversation going into game 3.
Where was the bench?
- 83 minutes
- 12 points on 5-20 shooting
- 18 boards
- 3 assists
- 3 steals
- 1 block
- 5 turnovers
The bench gave the Sixers very little in this game. In fact no one gave anything besides the Andre’s and Thad.
Lou Williams makes me want to vomit. After a nice game 1 he reverted back to the player we have all come to loathe.
Where are the free throw attempts?
Season average: 27 FTA per game
- Game 1: 20
- Game 2: 18
Why are we not getting to the line? Are the Magic players that sounds defensively (they gave up 27.5 FTA per game during the regular season)? Are we afraid to attack the rim with Howard defending?
Where are the offensive rebounds?
Season average: 12.7 per game
- Game 1: 7
- Game 2: 9
We must win this battle in the series. It’s literally strength vs. strength. We are the 2nd best offensive rebounding team vs. them being the #2 defensive rebounding team in the NBA. I understand Sam gets in foul trouble, but what is the reasoning for never bringing him back in the game?
Where are the fast break points?
Season average: 17.6 / +6.5 differential
- Game 1: 9 / +2 differential
- Game 2: 12 / +2 differential
With them shooting so poorly it makes no sense to me why we aren’t getting out and running much more. The first game they only had 7 offensive rebounds, how did all those long defensive rebounds not lead to fast break opportunities converted to easy points? Is the Magic’s transition defense that good or are we not attacking enough?
What Does it All Mean?
I point these things out because they represent the identity of the Sixers. Their core strengths. And even in the game 1 win they have not excelled in those areas. This is serious concern for me and makes me really think long and hard about what is really going on here. Are the Sixers really playing well or have we simply not seen Orlando play a good game yet, particularly shooting the three ball? And if they do start to shoot to form, will we simply get blown out of the gym?
This is the reason I harp on missed opportunities. In the back of my mind I can just see the Magic starting to shoot the ball better and making them significantly tougher to beat home or away. Tonight the Sixers had another game on the road where the Magic shot poorly. Lewis and Turkoglu had bad offensive games. Dwight Howard only takes 6 shots and fouls out with3:11 remaining in an 8-point game. A team that needed to be carried by a rookie shooting guard. And we pissed it away.
I said before the game this team needed to start showing a collective killer instinct. Well that takes a higher level of concentration, competitiveness and sheer determination to win, and win more than your foe. We are still waiting…
Game 3: Friday at 8pm on ESPN