OK, this is getting a little bit alarming. For the third time in four games the Sixers have not only played extremely well, but they've come away with a win. In tonight's 104-89 win over Atlanta. For you casual readers out there, let me tell you what happens if this team doesn't finish with a high lottery pick:
1. Mo Cheeks may keep his job as the head coach, which is the worst-case scenario.
2. Instead of having the desirable situation of having to choose between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, Billy King will have to evaluate talent deeper in the first round. I don't know about you, but I'm not too confident that he's capable of that. My bet is that he'll waste all three first round picks and the only thing we're going to have to show for Iverson is Andre Miller (unless King trades him too).
3. If the Sixers finish out of the lottery altogether, they lose their own first round pick because of a ridiculous trade King made a couple of years ago. See point #2 for the ramifications of this, just subtract the third pick.
4. Because of points 1,2 and 3, the Sixers are going to become the laughing stock of the league. If they haven't already.
OK, that's enough perspective. Back to tonight's game: The Sixers led wire to wire, powered by Samuel Dalembert's monster game (19 points, 10 boards and 7 blocks). The Hawks made a run late, but Andre Miller scored six straight points on three possessions to put the game out of reach. He demanded the ball, drove to the hole and hit a flat jumper as well. Miller is your player of the game, they buckle and fold in the 4th without him. He finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists.
Andre Iguodala may have been the third option on this team when Chris Webber and Allen Iverson were running the show, but he's clearly the go-to-guy at this point. When the game is on the line he's calling for the ball and delivering. The best thing about the way he's been playing down the stretch is that he isn't settling for jumpers. He took the lessons he learned from A.I. to heart, and has put them to good use. He's making a living from the free throw line, putting himself in harm's way and converting on the foul shots. In this four game stretch Iguodala has gone to the line 45 times, converting 38 of the attempts.
Andre Iguodala is going to be a big piece of the future for the Sixers, let's just hope he isn't the only piece. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)