Even as I was writing my defense of the young Sixers, namely Iguodala, Dalembert and Korver, I had a tingle of doubt. Sure, Dalembert's been playing better, sure Iguodala has looked like a future star, and yeah, Korver can hit the deep shot, but... It was always that but that lingered in the back of my mind. Well, I think tonight's 100-98 win over the Nets in overtime goes a long way to back up my argument.
The Nets trotted out two all stars tonight, one who's over-the-hill, and the other who only plays when he feels like it. They've got all the hype, but the Sixers have all the heart. Dalembert was a man tonight. Take a look at this line, 14 points on 7 of 10 from the field, with 17 rebounds and 4 blocks. Impressive, right? Well, now look at Iguodala's line: coming off a triple-double against Golden State Iggy backed it up with 23 points, 15 assists and 7 rebounds. He hit a clutch three which put the game away in overtime, locked down Vince Carter in the fourth quarter and willed this team to victory. Sam and Iggy are co-players of the game.
Korver's shot was off, but there was a game-within-a-game going on out there tonight. Old Man Kidd and Carter had heavy legs coming down the stretch, and there's a reason for that. In the fourth quarter, Korver abused a smaller defender in the post, then shook a bigger defender off a screen to bury a three. Lawrence Frank had only one option, he had to put Jason Kidd on him. Korver proceeded to run Kidd over, around, under and through a series of screens for the remainder of the quarter, and all of overtime. Vince Carter couldn't offer any help because Andre Iguodala was doing the exact same thing to him. The Sixers motion offense and young legs ran the Nets out of gas, and it paid dividends in the end.
The Nets were coming off a tough overtime loss to the lowly Hawks yesterday, and traveled down the turnpike with redemption in mind. Sadly, none was to be found. This Nets team is in serious trouble. They're slow, they're depleted and I think this era is coming to an end. Carter's going to make a run for the money, Kidd is going to beg out, and Brooklyn is probably going to welcome a rebuilding Nets team in a couple of years when the stadium is complete.
Not only did Iguodala finish with 23 points and 15 assists, but he played tough D on Vince "On/Off Switch" Carter, holding him to 34% from the field. (AP Photo/George Widman)