Mike was at the Wach last night to witness first-hand the mugging of Andre Iguodala, the A.I. chants that may lead to a huge setback for the franchise and oh yeah, the Sixers 11th loss of the season. His first-person report is after the jump.
ONTO THE GAME
- Iguodala was the last Sixer out shooting jumpers about an hour
before tip-off. He was working with Aaron Mckie on a catch & shoot
fade-away jumper from the baseline just inside the 3pt line, not a
shot we see particularly often from him, or anyone.
- The size of the crowd is immediately noticeable. I didn't go to the
Memphis game where everyone presumably showed up for Iverson, but this
was the biggest crowd I've seen so far this season.
- Pretty cool to see Dominique Wilkins strolling around the sidelines.
I didn't realize he was the Hawks VP of Basketball, as well as one of
- Also nice to see ex-Sixer Tyrone Hill on the Hawks' bench as a
coach. They have been replaying Game 1 of the 2001 Finals recently on
NBA TV so his gorgeous mug was fresh in my mind.
- These 2 teams are pretty friendly towards one another. I'm not
going to go through all of the players who exchanged hugs because
there were a whole bunch. Dalembert in particular seemed to know
everyone, including an Atlanta assistant coach who I did not
- A young girl who couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 in the row in
front of me was wearing a Joe Johnson jersey. Not sure how that
- I was impressed with Joe Johnson's defense on Iguodala. It's not
something he's known for but he did a pretty good job in the 1st half
before a couple of his teammates switched onto him. Johnson is a lot
thicker in person than I realized. One play where he posted Iguodala
up & backed him all the way down to the basket before converting an
easy layup stands out in my mind. You don't see anyone do that on AI2
- One of the guys who switched onto Iguodala was Jamal Crawford, who I
thought he would abuse. But one thing that's beginning to worry me is
his tendency to fall in love with his jumper. It was another rough
shooting night for him. I also couldn't believe he didn't finish with
a triple double, as he had 7 boards & 7 assists at the half, but
finished with 9 & 8, respectively. I don't blame him for trying to do
too much in the 2nd half, because there weren't a whole lot of options
offensively, but something seems off with his handle. A few of the
turnovers he committed tonight seemed to come when he was dribbling
into traffic & just lost control of the ball. I'm just about the
biggest Iguodala supporter there is, so I assure you I'm not
- Standing ovation for a very large number of army reserves in
attendance was one of the best moments of the night.
- Aside from that, the mini-run that allowed the Sixers to take the
lead 39-37 capped by a Carney breakaway was the most exciting moment
I've experienced of the brief season thus far. When this team is
clicking on all cylinders they can be extremely fun to watch.
Unfortunately I can count the number of times this has happened so far
on 1 hand. The fact that they've all come within the last week is
hopefully a sign of good things to come.
- One play in particular illustrates the difference in having Holiday
run the point as opposed to Lou. Thad was posting someone up, gave up
his dribble & looked for someone to bail him out. Holiday came to the
rescue. But instead of shooting the ball or driving to the lane, he
patiently surveyed the area, and simply gave the ball back to Thad,
whose defender had sagged off. Thad then hit a wide open jumper from
the baseline. I don't think Lou makes that play.
- Now having said that (shameless Curb Your Enthusiasm plug), we
really missed Lou tonight. I never thought I'd say it, but we badly
needed his ability to initiate the offense in the 4th quarter tonight.
Since Holiday was benched from midway thru the 3rd until garbage
time, Iguodala was again forced to do it alone tonight, and he really
struggled in the 4th quarter.
- I realize Holiday wasn't shooting well, but I felt he was still
playing a good floor game. What I am most impressed with is his
patience. He seems to have a very good idea about where & how a play
will unfold, and he almost always makes the right pass. I would have
liked to seen him inserted into the lineup before the game got away,
but that has been Jordan's prerogative all season & even with Lou out
it doesn't look like it will change.
- 2 pretty incredible backdoor passes by Sam Dalembert?!?! Is this
the Princeton Offense?
- Funny moment after Dalembert turned the ball over after a pass from
Holiday on a fastbreak in the 3rd. As Holiday walked back down the
court he said something to Iguodala, who was kind of smiling & shaking
his head. I imagine he responded with something like, "Yea welcome to
the last 6 years of my life. You don't ever pass him the ball on a
- There are few moments as awkward & hilarious as the moment an
attractive, possibly underage female appears on the jumbotron dancing
provocatively. The sound of an arena full of thousands of men unsure
how to react is deafening. This seems to happen at least twice a
- It's becoming disturbing how little Thad influences the game when
he's not scoring. He had another very quiet 22 points tonight, a
phrase I've noticed has been repeated a number of times when he scores
20+. I just looked at the boxscore and saw 2 rbs, 1 asst, 0 stls, 0
blks. And this isn't anything new with him at this point...
- Willie had a nice game in Boston on Wednesday, but he killed them
tonight, per usual.
- "We Want AI" chants at the end of the game. Only perpetuated by a
small group of fans but it was loud enough so that everyone in the
arena could hear. On my way out I also heard a couple different
people discussing this. I know it will never happen & I think it
would be extremely idiotic, but watching a 5-11 team with no hope can
make you pine for some crazy shit. Allen Iverson included.
Thanks Mike, great job as usual.