The Sixers have been talking
about bad calls, non-calls and officiating since last night's loss. They've been delicate in choosing their words, and I don't really know if they should be. I do know that Detroit didn't commit one defensive foul in the entire fourth quarter, so draw whatever conclusions you will from that. I'm not going to worry myself with poor officiating. To be honest, I'm more shocked when the refs do a good job these days, and I count myself lucky whenever I'm lucky enough to turn the TV on and see that Violet Palmer is not on the floor. After the jump, we'll look at the stretch that cost the Sixers the game.
OK, let's forget the whistles. This 4:53 period in the fourth quarter sunk the Sixers, and I don't really think bad calls had a whole lot to do with it.
Andre Iguodala made two spectacular plays in a row, first taking a defensive rebound coast-to-coast for a layup, then picking off a pass and driving right down the court for a dunk. At that point (9:56 to go) the Sixers were up 89-83 and the Pistons took a 20-second timeout to regroup.
Here are the offensive possessions the Sixers had following Iguodala's dunk:
- Reggie Evans comes off a down screen for a 17-foot jumper from just beyond the foul line. He misses.
- Marreese Speights passes on an open 15-footer, dribbles into the lane and takes an off balance lefty scoop from about 8 feet away. He misses.
- Lou misses an 18-foot jumper
- Iguodala gets called for a travel, then gets a technical called on him.
- Lou misses a layup in traffic.
- DiLeo calls a timeout with the Sixers now trailing 89-91. Out of the timeout, Andre Miller dribbles into a three-point attempt with 3 seconds left on the shot clock, he misses.
Over that stretch, Detroit went to the line 5 times, grabbed three offensive rebounds and outscored the Sixers 10-0. That was the ballgame.
The mistakes didn't end there, but when Iguodala slammed home that dunk you saw some celebration going on out there. You saw the Sixers relax, thinking they had the game in the bag. The following possessions were lazy. They didn't work for good shots. When they finally got their act together, it was too late. The refs didn't help, but the Sixers really have no one to blame but themselves for this loss. It's never easy to win on the road, but you make it very easy for refs to give calls to the home team when you stop forcing the issue down the stretch.