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First-Person Report: Sixers vs. Pistons

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Mike is back with another first-person report after gutting out another ugly loss at the Wach. He'll give us his reaction as one of 12,000+ fans to witness this atrocity with his own two eyes.
PREGAME/SHOOTAROUND:

- Unless AI arrived early tonight, he did not take any additional practice. At 6pm Iguodala & Lou were the only Sixers shooting around, with Aaron Mckie feeding each of them as usual. Lou was the last Sixer to leave the court. After he finished shooting, he sat next to some fans courtside and launched shots from his seat. I thought his jaw was wired shut but he was definitely talking. For the Pistons it was Prince, Bynum, Kwame Brown, and Ben Wallace. Wallace remained on the floor after everyone else had left, shooting nothing but long range jumpers. I have no idea why. Stephen A Smith was in the house again, and had a fairly lengthy conversation with Ed Pinckney. There was also a rare Tony Dileo sighting.

- When I saw the Coatesville Step Team take the court for their pregame routine I remembered that Coatesville, PA was Rip Hamilton's hometown. A large group of family & friends in attendance were probably disappointed to see him not suit up for the game. Hamilton's mom was pretty easy to identify, and I confirmed that it was indeed her after speaking with one of the members of Rip's fan section. He told me to stick around after the game to meet Hamilton & a few other to be determined Pistons, but by the time the crapfest ended I just wanted to leave.

- When the full squads took the court for layup lines, AI was in his white sleeveless T again, while the rest of the team wore their red warmups. After sharing long hugs with just about every Nugget in uniform Monday night, Iverson didn't approach any Piston during pregame. He did eventually embrace Stuckey & Atkins at the opening tip.

- The lack of fanfare for Iverson stood in stark contrast to the festivities the other night. The lower level was about 2/3 full, and upper level about 1/3. It really felt like just another game until the Iverson chants started in the 4th quarter, which I will get to in a moment. And while Iverson obviously gets the biggest reaction during pregame intros, I am glad that Iguodala is still being introduced as the last Sixer. If nothing else it's just a nice gesture to the guy who is still the best player on the team.

- They play Jay Z's "Run This Town" right before tip-off every game now, and I've noticed they cut the lyrics in the same spot each time. I was curious so I checked, and the edited lines are "Black cards, black cars, all black everything, and our girls are blackbirds, ridin with they dillingers," before the vocals come back in. Not really sure why they do that.

- Seeing AI run to the foul line by the visitor's bench and jump in place for a few seconds just before the opening tip, egging on the crowd, is pretty cool to see again.

ONTO TO THE SHITTIEST GAME EVER:

- I'm not going to talk much about the actual play during shitfest '09, because I can't afford to fix a broken computer monitor. Everyone knows how shitty it was. The first 3 quarters may have been the shittiest I have ever seen. I am actually glad Iguodala missed the potential game winner, because then they would have thought they won this shitfest, when I don't believe there is anything noble in letting Rodney Stuckey plus a bunch of scrubs take you to the final possession. It is the coach's responsibility to make sure his team is ready to play every night, no matter the opponent. When the team consistently plays up & down to the level of competition it's on both the coach and the team's veterans. So something is seriously wrong here, in case we didn't know.

- Pistons Coach John Kuester was an assistant in Philly from '97-'03, and then again in '05-'06, so at various points during the game, some of his former Sixers would approach him. Very early in the 1st quarter, during a stop in play, Iguodala discretely made his way over while Kuester was barking at an official, and stole something out of the breast pocket of his suit. Kuester finally noticed Iguodala standing inches away from him, so Andre stuck it back in his pocket and they both laughed.

- Everyone on Detroit's bench doubled over laughing after Maxiel crossed up Sam and sent him falling backwards. One of the bigger reactions on the Sixers' bench came from Sam & Primo Brezec, who both lept out of their seats when Brand hit a bank shot while being fouled.

- Iguodala had a great WTF look on his face after Thad sailed away a pass attempting to start a fastbreak in the 1st quarter. But I was disappointed in his game tonight. He played well in the 4th when he finally turned it on, but he is settling for far too many jumpers right now. He is most effective when driving & dishing to open teammates or taking it himself & finishing strong. He is supposed to be this team's leader, so when he is settling for contested jumpers, the whole team seems to follow his lead, which brings us to...

- Sixers offense in quarters 1-3: 15-18 ft jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot after jump shot.

- This new breed of Sixers' fan may be the dumbest in franchise history. They start playing well towards the end of the 3rd and into the 4th, finally take a 75-71 lead with 6 minutes and change remaining, and the crowd starts a "We Want Iverson" chant. Forget wins & losses, we just want to see Iverson play. The mongoloid sitting behind me actually screamed "Don't give it to him!!!" as Iguodala drove to hole in the final minute. Of course he was ready to shit a brick when Iguodala missed the final wide open 3. Obviously Iverson should have taken on 3 Pistons and not passed the ball to the guy standing by himself outside the 3pt line who has already hit more game winners than Iverson has in his entire career. My favorite Iverson play of the night was actually on Kapono's jumper that increased the lead to 77-74, when he ran underneath the baseline high fiving fans by the Sixers' bench.

- They should be ashamed that they didn't win this game by double digits, but at this point, whatever, I guess they are content with more ping pong balls.
by Brian on Dec 10 2009
Tags: Basketball | Detroit | First-Person Report | Sixers |