Though the third quarter saw the Nuggets run all over the Sixers, it was the first that left me steaming. Yes, the first quarter which saw the Sixers outscore Denver 25-13. If not for 5 blown easy opportunities, Philly would've been up 20 early. If not for ice cold shooting, they could've put this game away early. The third was about a run, an injury, foul trouble and Chauncey. Those things happen, you live with them, you overcome them. The mistakes we saw in the first, though. They linger. They turn into losses.
Let's get one thing straight before we go any further, the Sixers really shouldn't beat the Denver Nuggets. I had this one as a loss before it began. The deck was stacked against them (coming off a back-to-back, Denver's first game after the break, etc.). The first quarter was probably more about rust on Denver's part and a chip on the Sixers' shoulder after losing badly in Indy last night. Things normalized and they hadn't built enough of a lead to hold on.
This game was officially over when Andre Miller went down. Miller hasn't missed a game in about 25 seasons, so I have a feeling he'll be back on the floor on Saturday. Two days of rest is like an eternity for this guy.
You lose Miller, Iguodala fouls out with 5 minutes to go. You're going to lose. Simple as that. Lou + Willie = 6/23 from the floor. That never helps.
The only guy I was even moderately happy with in this one was Speights. He looked like he was playing on a gimpy ankle, but the hustle was there. Yes, he lost his man a couple of times, but he also made two nice steals by jumping into the lane, came to help from the weak side on an alley-oop (b.s. foul call) and finished with 10 boards, 2 steals and block in 22 minutes.
Two off days to lick their wounds. For us, it's about 13.5 hours until the trade deadline and I have to think we're going to hear rumors about the Sixers, especially coming off these two losses. Whether there's anything to them or not is anyone's guess, but the vultures will feed off this mini-slide. Hunker down, we'll have an open post tomorrow for rumors and/or trades.
Speaking of traded, OKC rescinded the Chandler trade earlier tonight because he failed his physical. We've talked about how even Chandler and Sammy are, statistically (the edge actually goes to Dalembert), should Ed be on the phone trying to get Wilcox and Joe Smith?
Player of The Game: Marreese Speights (he even hit a garbage time three!)
Team Record: 27-26
Up Next: @Miami on Saturday afternoon.