Mike is back with his first-person report. Tough loss tonight, it's taking it's toll on all of his. His notes after the jump.
ONTO THE HORRIBLE GAME:
- I am incredibly bitter, so the majority of this is going to be
negative. I am also skipping some of my shorter notes because they
seem stupid & mundane after this terrible loss. I am really starting
to hate this team.
- Dwight Howard throws up about 10 shots from halfcourt during warm
ups. He throws up another 5 or so during halftime. He took maybe 3
foul shots the entire time. Hmmmm....
- Lou Williams brought his mom out to greet the crowd and introduce
the night's theme as building awareness for women & heart disease.
- Perhaps the greatest WTF moment of the season: Mary Carey, most
recently of VH1's Sober House fame (she is also famous for having sex
with people on camera for money), was strutting around the arena the
entire night. It was one of the most epic sights I have ever
witnessed at the Wachovia Center. For some reason I recall hearing
she briefly dated Jason Smith, but I could be wrong.
This team has no killer instinct whatsoever. It's pathetic. For
some reason they get cocky when they get a lead. Cocky about what, I
don't know. They're the definition of mediocre. It's beyond
maddening. I have to stop writing about it or I'll break my keyboard.
- I forgot how well the crowd responds to good shooting. When the
Sixers are hitting their 3's, it's almost as exciting as a breakaway
dunk by Iguodala or an alley-oop from Miller to Thad. When Korver was
here, there was nothing better than that split second between him
catching the ball with a wide open look from beyond the arc, when the
crowd's anticipation builds to a swell, and watching the ball sink
through the hoop. It's been well documented how much this team misses
such an exciting shooter.
- This is also significant because the crowd was completely DEAD for
3.5 quarters. Aside from a few moments very early in the game, and
the very end, there was nothing you could call a home-court advantage.
This has been a problem all season, but tonight it was worse because
there were actually people in the building. They were just
unnoticeable. I don't know what the problem is, because this team
played great basketball through 3 quarters. You have to think at some
point a great home crowd will translate energy onto the court and
account for a win. This should have been one of those nights. It
- I'm not even going to talk about Iguodala's crunch time misses.
We've seen him hit those shots this season and put his team in a
position to win. Instead, I am going to tell you that he was
absolutely on fire early on. He is nearly impossible to stop from
getting to the rim even when his jumper is just average. Well,
tonight his jumper was money, from just about everywhere on the court.
If he wants to take his game to the next level and be considered an
elite player in this league, he HAS to make a conscious decision take
over the game when he knows he's got it going on, score 35+ and put
the game out of reach. What happened instead was he stopped being
aggressive, and deferred to his teammates. Then, when he tried to
regain his touch in the 4th it was too late. This was an incredibly
disheartening performance from an individual standpoint to witness,
because everything about it just screamed "he's not there yet, and he
might not ever be."
- Andre Miller was incredible all night, and I love the guy. But I'd
be remiss not to mention what an incredibly stupid technical foul he
picked up in the 4th. He drove the lane against 3 defenders, nearly
turned the ball over, and luckily got a timeout. Instead of walking
back to the bench happy his team still had the ball, he continued
bitching to the refs, and then threw the ball right in front of one of
them. C'mon dude, you've been in the league, what 9 years? And you
know how many close games this team has blown. So you're going to
just give the opponent a free point, when everyone in the building
knows that 1 point is going to matter? Maybe there's a reason he has
never won a thing in this league.
- Everyone in the building could sense this game slipping away after a
few minutes in the 4th. It was inevitable. I'm telling you, everyone
knew what was coming.
- I'll try to end on a positive note, so I will have to stop talking
about the actual game. In between the 1st & 2nd quarters, 1 of the
members of the dance team came onto the court to the Superman theme
wearing a cape, and performed a dunk off a trampoline. She then
scooted over to Dwight Howard, who had been paying rapt attention and
laughing, took off her cape and threw it in his face. It was the
highlight of the evening. There, that's all I got. If Chris Paul was
not coming to town in 2 nights, there would be no way I'd be able to
stomach sitting through another game. But I love that little guy, so
you'll be hearing from me again on Monday.