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Do You Believe?

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Is there a moment when a player becomes a star? Is there one defining play? How about one defining quarter? If any of these arbitrary things can make a player into a star, I think we may have just witnessed a transformation.

This game was not only about Andre Iguodala, but I'm going to spend a fair amount of time talking about him, so bear with me. Let's break down Andre Iguodala's fourth quarter:
  • 64-76, Lakers -- 11:21 - Andre Iguodala makes driving layup (Andre Miller assists) [2 points]
  • 64-76, Lakers -- 11:03 - Josh Powell bad pass (Andre Iguodala steals) [2 points, 1 steal]
  • 66-76, Lakers -- 10:59 - Lou Williams makes layup (Andre Iguodala assists) [2 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
  • 67-78, Lakers -- 10:00 - Andre Iguodala makes free throw 2 of 2 [3 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
  • 69-78, Lakers -- 9:41 - Andre Iguodala makes dunk (Lou Williams assists) [5 points, 1 assist, 1 steal
  • 74-80, Lakers -- 8:27 - Andre Iguodala makes two point shot (Donyell Marshall assists) [7 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
  • 75-80, Lakers -- 8:27 - Andre Iguodala makes free throw 1 of 1 [8 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
  • 81-80, Sixers -- 6:39 Andre Iguodala makes layup (Donyell Marshall assists) [10 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
  • 94-93, Sixers -- 0:01 - Andre Iguodala makes 25-foot three point jumper [13 points, 1 assist, 1 steal]
It gets better, after starting 2/12 from the floor, Iguodala hit 7 of his last 9 shots. On top of that, he was in Kobe's jock pretty much the entire fourth quarter, and most important, he demanded the ball on that final possession. If we try to figure out, a couple years down the road, when Iggy turned the corner, look no further than St. Patrick's Day, 2009.

Now, for the rest of the credit. How many different ways can I type Donyell in all caps? He comes in with the Sixers down by 12 and 10:01 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. From that point on, the team out-scores the Lakers 28-15. He goes 3/3 from the field, all threes. He dishes out three assists, snags 2 steals and gives two hard fouls, negating what would've been wide open dunks. What more can the guy do? Without him, they lose the past two games, simple as that. Again, I ask, how many of those close losses would've been wins had he been given fourth quarter minutes?

This is, by far, the best game we've seen from Lou this season. He carried the team in the first half and made much, much better decisions with the basketball. 18 points on 7/15 from the floor, but 6 assists, only 1 turnover and a +16 plus/minus for the game.

And finally, Reggie. I don't like to say I told you so, but...well, you get it. Reggie was +10 in his 20 minutes of work, he grabbed 8 rebounds, and wreaked havoc on the Lakers' precision offense. He basically got all of Speights' minutes, and you know what? It was a good call by DiLeo. Marreese got torched by Gasol in his limited run and the Sixers couldn't afford a mismatch like that on defense.

Thad only played 6 seconds in the fourth quarter, but I was extremely pleased with his effort. Lamar Odom is a tough matchup and he held his own on both ends of the floor. He was especially good on the boards, using position to grab 7 boards in 29 minutes of work. 6/10 from the floor for 14 points ain't too shabby either.

This was easily the biggest win of the season for the Sixers. The way they won it, well, I'm still shaking a little bit. You couldn't have asked for a better start to this road trip. Thanks to everyone who was here for the in-game discussion, had a great time watching this one with you guys.

Player of The Game: Andre Iguodala
Team Record: 34-31
Up Next: @ Phoenix, tomorrow night.

THE SHOT

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by Brian on Mar 18 2009
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Donyell Marshall | Lakers | Post Game | Sixers |