From a happy ending. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about being a Sixers fan these days, I don't know what does. First, I want to thank all the guys who made it down to the Wach for the first Depressed Fan field trip earlier tonight. It was great meeting you, and I really enjoyed being surrounded by a group of guys who love the Sixers and understand the game. For the guys who couldn't make it through the blizzard, I'm truly sorry. We're going to do it again, hopefully under better circumstances.
I couldn't bring myself to put that picture on the home page, for obvious reasons. When the shot fell, I didn't think there was a question that he got it off in time, but I guess AI9's release is slower than I thought. A round of high-fives for the whole group, a quick replay or two on the jumbotron (they stopped showing it as soon as they showed the definitive angle) and the night pretty much went to hell.
I don't have the rotation data done (I'll probably do it when I get home after the Eagles on Sunday), but I do have a quick thoughts that stuck with me after the game:
- I'm glad Eddie Jordan has a new man crush. He's moved on from Willie to Speights, and it's definitely a step in the right direction.
- Speaking of Speights, the guy was noticeably favoring that left knee late in the game tonight. He never came out, but one play in particular I thought he landed kind of funny on it and he definitely didn't look comfortable. Perhaps 35 minutes in his third game back (2 weeks ahead of schedule) isn't the best idea for an MCL injury.
- Brand was basically unstoppable on offense. I should say the Clippers couldn't stop him. The Sixers found several ways, mostly by not giving him the ball on the blocks. Blame the coach or his teammates, but he was hot enough to drop 30 tonight, if he was simply given the ball.
- Brand did jack shit on the glass, though. You can chalk some of it up to having much bigger players on him all night (Kaman and Camby), but still, 3 boards in 36 minutes is atrocious.
- Thad Young's disappearing act was also frustrating. He scored the Sixers first ten points and essentially had a monumental mismatch all night long, yet he only took one shot in the fourth quarter (a missed three) and one shot in overtime (a missed tip-in). He missed a tip in overtime as well. Again, coach or teammates, you place the blame.
- Lou Williams made his triumphant early return from injury, played 24 minutes and shot 2/9 from the field. He was 0/4 from three, but I think one of those misses may have been our fault. A play developed right in front of us in the fourth quarter, we could all see what was going to happen and "NO, NO, NO!!!!" shouts were pretty loud before, during and after the long three he attempted. Given the size of the crowd, I'm pretty sure he heard us.
- Speaking of Lou, his minutes came directly out of Jrue Holiday's share. Now Jrue didn't play a good game tonight. He had trouble with Baron's strength on the defensive end, and he was 0/6 from the floor, so I'm hesitant to say he's going to be the odd man out of the rotation when the Sixers are full strength, but I will say things are sure leaning that way in my mind.
- Eddie Jordan continues to be a moron. Willie Green in back court and Marreese Speights in the front court when he has a chance to set his lineup for defense and the team absolutely needs a stop. Jordan did this again and again and again. Pitiful coaching.
- Willie had a pretty good game by Willie's standards, again. He played 36 minutes, only attempted 7 shots, and I think only 2 of them where what I'd call bad shots. He handed out 7 assists, an amazing total for him. His defense was deplorable, as it always is, but I guess it isn't his fault he's put in these situations. Put it this way, when opposing coaches see their best player being guarded by Willie with the game on the line, they have to feel pretty confident. Jordan tried to put Iguodala on Baron down the stretch, but Willie switched the matchup himself after he idiotically left Eric Gordon to double down on Baron when Iguodala had him handled in the post. This was a mistake Willie made several times throughout the game, but hey, he got after it.
- Highlight of the night for me. During halftime the Sixers randomly chose 20 people from the stands to shoot three-pointers for free tickets to their next home game. Each fan got two shots. How did they fare? 0-40. Only about 10 of the attempts weren't complete air balls. The Sixers are definitely representative of their fan base, they shot 3/14 from deep on the night.
- One fan did amaze in one of the timeout contests. The poor guy had a cast on his left hand, so he had to shoot one-handed. He drilled a layup, a foul shot and a three in less than 45 seconds. Good work (obviously, a Clippers fan).
This is where I would usually say something about how you can't lose to the Clippers, at home, but who are we kidding. The Sixers should've been underdogs coming into this one. As far as I'm concerned, if you're a betting man there are two things you should take into account when handicapping the Sixers. First, give the opponents an extra five points against the spread. Second, always, ALWAYS, bet the over.
Player of The Game:
Iguodala. Another monster second half (his third in a row), 9 boards, 7 dimes, 4 steals, 50 minutes of play (on the back of 42 minutes in Boston last night) and literally a blink of an eye away from sending everyone out in the snow with a warm feeling in their stomachs.
@ WASH on Tuesday
One final note, Iguodala was making plays all night. Eddie Jordan's insistence that he isn't a two-guard, and isn't a playmaker is completely asinine. If he wanted stops down the stretch he should've gone with Iguodala (on Baron), Jrue (on Gordon), Thad (on Thornton or Butler), Brand (on Camby) and Dalembert (on Kaman). I don't care how players are performing on the offensive end. That's the unit that gives you the best shot at getting a stop and securing the rebound against the units the Clippers were trotting out there to win the game.