I'm not quite ready to turn the page to game two prep yet, I'm still running that game one finish over and over in my mind. I left a few key points out of the recap, so here are some bullets to get your day started.
- Andre Miller was absolutely masterful in the post tonight. He abused Alston early on, forcing Van Gundy to double him with Dwight Howard. Three times, Miller sucked his man and Howard all the way to the corner, surveyed the floor, and skipped the ball to the opposite corner. One of those plays ended with Iggy dunking on an unprotected rim. The other two ended in made threes. Beautiful, beautiful basketball.
- Andre Iguodala didn't have a lot of success finishing at the rim in the half court tonight, which is a rarity, but he did take advantage of Dwight Howard's aggression as a shot blocker. Three times he drove to the hoop, drew Howard to him, and delivered a beautiful interior pass to Theo for an easy conversion. We need to see more of this.
- Any time the Sixers induce the Magic starting backcourt (Alston and Lee) to attempt as many field goals as their front court (Howard, Hedo, Lewis), I like their odds of winning the game. 32 field goal attempts for each group tonight.
- If you're a glass half-full type, and you want to make some kind of point about how there's no way the Magic will shoot this poorly from three again (5/18), I'd also like you to at least admit there's no way the Sixers will only go to the line 20 times, converting on only 11 again. They average 20/27 from the line on the season.
- I noted this in the game thread, but Lou Williams looked very, very comfortable as a catch-and-shoot guy on the perimeter tonight. If he can camp out on the weak side and be the beneficiary of swing passes, that adds a whole new dynamic to the offense.
- What I don't like is the phantom defense Lou, Willie and Miller played on Courtney Lee. They at least have to make an attempt to keep him from driving the lane. It was heartening to see the other perimeter guys staying at home when Lee was blowing by his man, but eventually they're going to suck in to help, it's just in their nature. Someone needs to keep him out of the lane.
- Oh, and coming out of this game I'm 100% convinced that you absolutely must make Rafer Alston beat you. 5/15 from the floor, the Sixers went under screens all night long. He didn't do anything with his dribble penetration. He was basically a thorn in the Magic's side all night long. Not to mention the abuse Miller doled out to him on the other end.
I think that's pretty much a wrap on game one from me. Later today, we start talking game two. A quick preview of my preview, "Greed is good.
" - Gordon Gekko.