If you missed the first half of tonight's game at Dallas, you missed pretty much all the good basketball you were going to see out of the Sixers. Philly went into the locker room up 50-43, and really played an excellent first half. They limited their turnovers, kept the Mavs away from the hoop, forcing them to take contested jumpers, crashed the boards, and ran their offense to perfection.
After the half, they got crushed. The Mavs opened the third with a 16-2 run, and never looked back. The final was 99-84
. It's a shame they didn't stop the game after two quarters, because the Sixers were the better team in the first half.
This game isn't a back breaker or anything. No one expected the Sixers to win a game at Dallas. In fact, it'll be a shock if the Sixers don't fall to 2-6 tomorrow night, but they still need to get something out of these games.
Tonight, I want to take a look at what's wrong with Andre Iguodala. If you pick up a paper in the morning and see this stat line, you're going to think he had an awesome game: 15 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. Yes, his peripheral numbers were great, he was on the verge of a triple-double, but the numbers I want to talk about are his shooting percentage (5/15, 33%) and his turnovers (7).
For long stretches of the game, Iguodala is trying to force the action. A fair amount of his turnovers come from trying to force passes into the lane. Some of them are because the bigs aren't catching the passes, but most are because there just isn't a lane to throw the ball through. He needs to be smarter with the ball, and he needs to be smarter with his shot selection.
Some of the blame for Iguodala's turnovers can be traced back to Kyle Korver. Korver has to be able to stretch the defense, and he's in the middle of a horrible shooting slump (3/9 from the floor tonight, 37% for the season). Without an outside threat, there are really two things you need to defend against when playing the Sixers: 1) Interior passes to bigs, and backdoor passes near the hoop. 2) Penetration. Unfortunately, you can effectively defend both of those things by packing the lane and leaving the outside shooters open. Every team the Sixers play realizes this.
When Allen Iverson was traded, Andre Iguodala took the weight of this team on his shoulders. Right now, he's trying to do too much. He needs to step back, take a breath and play within himself. The opportunities are there, he just needs to let them develop. I like what the Sixers did tonight when Josh Howard was on Andre. They sent him right down to the post where Howard could not handle his strength. There aren't many swing men who can handle him down there, and I think they should think about using him in the post more often.
Keep your chin up, Sixers fans. This is a really rough stretch in the schedule, and things could be worse, our point guard could've left the team
without our head coach/GM even knowing about it. Isiah sure runs a tight ship in NY.Player of The Game:
Jason Smith, 5 personal fouls and 2 blocks in 15 minutes.Team Record: