With 11:16 left in the fourth quarter the Miami Heat were leading 68-61. Donyell Marshall was subbed in for Theo Ratliff. From that point on, Donyell outscored the Heat 10-9 all by himself. This win was 100% Donyell, a guy who had played 2 minutes in the past 11 games, total.
I've been tracking the rotations for the past few games, and I'm glad I did tonight. Obviously, check out what happened once Donyell was entered into the game first. It's highlighted for your convenience.
Something Mike mentioned in one of his first-person reports was really highlighted tonight. Crowds at the Wach seem to get more hyped by made threes than breakaway dunks. It's not difficult psychology to grasp, with this team a two-handed jam is a much more frequent occurrence than a made three. Well, it seemed to me like all 20,100 fans in attendance were going crazy when Marshall starting draining threes in the fourth.
One other thing to take note of from the chart above. Iguodala saw about 7:30 at the shooting guard, a good deal of that time he was guarding Dwyane Wade. The Sixers outscored Miami 16-12 over that stretch.
I sincerely hope someone asks Tony DiLeo why he hasn't gone to Donyell more often, especially when the team obviously needs outside shooting to loosen up a zone. This is the second game that Donyell has entered, unexpectedly, early in the fourth and completely changed the game for the Sixers. He did it against
Iguodala and Thad again had excellent games. They combined to shoot 14/30, for 38 points, 12 boards, 6 assists and only 3 turnovers. Thad was again aggressive in looking for his shot. Iguodala went to the line 12 times, but only converted 7 of the opportunities, which was the only blemish on his game I saw today, but something that needs to be improved upon.
Andre Miller again put his own offense on hold and dished the ball all night long. He followed up his 13/13 game with 10 points, 11 assists and only 1 turnover.
Tony DiLeo had a quick hook with Lou Williams in the first half and probably should've been quicker to yank him in the fourth as well. Lou and Willie continue to derail the offense. Today, they combined to shoot 4/19 (1/8 from three). Lou did have a couple of nice plays at the end of the game, including a nice shot-fake, then dish to Donyell for one of his three threes.
It's off to the left coast now for the Sixers, but this is a trip they can, and should, emerge from with a better than .500 record. We're really in crunch time now, and I'm hoping today was a preview of the type of rotations we'll see from DiLeo over the final 18 games.
Player of The Game: Donyell
Team Record: 33-31
Up Next: @ LAL on Tuesday night.
I completely forgot to mention two things: 1. Sammy was huge, again. 8 points, 12 boards, 4 blocks and huge at the end of the game on defense, again. 2. Marshall wasn't just scoring out there, he also grabbed 5 boards and drew a couple of key fouls.