When all else fails, give the ball to Thad. Not exactly what my offensive philosophy would be, but it worked in a big way tonight. Sixers up 2-1. A few quick thoughts after the jump.
First of all, it was great to meet JoshG for the first time, and great to see Tray, Rob and Mike as well. DeanH, Mike W, sorry we didn't get a chance to see each other, but I'm glad you were there.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy meeting up with you guys at the half to commiserate, or celebrate as the case may be. Two thoughts from that conversation stuck with me after the game, first was Mike saying, "I think we're just better than them." Could it be true? The second was how shocked JoshG was with how quiet the crowd was in the first half. They'd come to life in a big way late in the game, but early on, it was dead in there.
The official tally was 16,492, which is pitiful. We were wondering if they'd sell out on Sunday with a win tonight, the consensus seemed to be they might sell out game 6 if they have a 3-2 lead coming in. Disappointing, but probably true.
I'll have a full write-up in the morning. I want to watch the telecast on my DVR before I put too much down here, but I will share a couple firsthand observations. I was screaming at DiLeo for playing Willie Green down the stretch. I understand why he took Lou out (screwing up a pick and pop, which sprung Rashard Lewis for a wide-open three), but putting Willie in for defense was laughable. That being said, Willie took two hard fouls on Howard that saved dunks, both excellent plays. He also hit a big jumper down the stretch.
My last thought is about the Magic's last possession. When Dwight Howard was fouled by Green and hit the first free throw to pull the Magic within 1 point, I said to Tray, "I hope he hits the second so we've got the ball for the win." My point was that had Howard missed, I had no confidence in the Sixers icing the game from the line. That's going to be a problem at some point.
Check back later for a full wrap. Up 2-1, can you believe it?
By the way, thanks for keeping the game thread going in my absence, guys. Great job.