Tonight was the highlight of the ‘06–07 Sixers season for me, by far. Not only because the Sixers came back from a 17–point deficit to beat the Hawks in overtime 109–104, but because tonight was the night that I was at the Wach, in Section 113 row BB, about 3 feet away from the action. The tickets my wife bought for my birthday were amazing, and the Sixers made the occasion special.
Before I get into the game, I’d like to prepare all you loyal readers for a special contribution to the blog, slated to come tomorrow night. Mrs. Depressed Fan will be writing a commentary on the Sixers cheerleaders, be prepared, she has a lot to say.
Anyway, about 14,000 brave souls were on hand for the game, and they got to see a gem from Iguodala (25 points, 8 assists, 4 boards and only 2 turnovers), a monstrous second half from Joe Smith (14 points after the break), a huge comeback from foul trouble for Dalembert (he only played 25 minutes, but finished with 16 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks) and a clutch performance by Willie Green in overtime (Willie Watch will be suspended tonight due to his three early in overtime and two free throws to ice the game, pictured above).
Tyronn Lue pretty much had his way with the Sixers, almost coming away with a triple-double (24 points, 9 assists and 8 boards). It took about 2 and a half quarters for the Sixers to figure out the Hawks’ zone, but once they did, they were pretty much unstoppable. They put up 16 points in overtime. The key to the game was free throw shooting. The Sixers made 42 trips to the line and converted on 35 of them (83.3%).
Kyle Korver didn’t dress for the game due to a wrist injury, and Rodney Carney went down late in regulation with what looked like a serious knee injury. Carney did walk off the floor under his own power, the post game show on 610 WIP said it was a strain. He’s probably going to miss some time.
Speaking of the WIP, I was able to stomach about 20 minutes of the post-game on the way home before turning it off. I’m really sick of hearing about how these games are “must lose” situations for the Sixers. It’s going to take a miracle to get into the top two slots at this point. To say that the Sixers should roll over and die for a few more balls in the lottery is ridiculous. It’s obvious that this team is building for the future ON THE COURT right in front of our eyes. Mo Cheeks got some heckling at the game tonight from fans who weren’t happy with the win. Fine, they paid their money to come see their team, they can express whatever feelings they want.
The talking heads, on the other hand, need to cut this team and front office some slack. It’s pretty obvious that they haven’t done a half-bad job in the draft (Iguodala, Dalembert, Korver are all building blocks. Carney and Lou Williams could become nice contributors down the road). The team will have cap space starting next season. It’s more important that Andre Iguodala lead this team to wins now than it is to get a few more balls in the draft and wind up with Noah. Beyond Oden and Durant, this draft is a crapshoot, pick #3 could yield you as good a player as pick #15. Give it a rest.
Overall, the Philly road trip was outstanding. We kicked it off with a stop at Shock’s bakery (on Lehigh and Thompson) for the best pound cake in the world, hit South Street for a cheese steak, and finished it off with a great game. See the slideshow below for the highlights.