It's not every day that you get to write a headline like that. Hopefully, this will be the last day the Sixers are at or below .500 though.
Even though they played their second straight close game to team which I consider to be inferior to the Sixers, it's still good to see them above .500 for the first time
. Actually, if you asked just about anyone who doesn't watch the Sixers, they'd tell you Philly is red hot. They've now won 5 of 6 games. Of course, we know better.
The Sixers barely managed to come away with two wins, on their home court, against the Clippers and the Warriors. Both teams were short handed because they made deals with the Knicks on Friday. Both teams could have easily walked out of the Wach with a W. I would say that's unacceptable, but truth be told, it is acceptable. I don't care if they win pretty or win ugly at this point of the season, I just want to see wins on the board and, more importantly, positive signs that the team is coming together and figuring out who and what they are now that Elton Brand is on the team.
After the jump we'll try to stay positive as we breakdown the game.
Let's start out by looking at the +/- from the game
, it pretty much tells the story. Every starter was at least +10, no one on the bench was in the positives, with Willie as the worst-performer with a -8. This has been a theme, and I thought Mo made the needed adjustments tonight in the first quarter, but when the third turned to the fourth, he was back to his old ways.
Iguodala was the only starter on the court at the beginning of the fourth, and he had Lou and Willie in the backcourt. It's not really surprising the Sixers only managed to put 4 points on the board in the first 5:29. Again, it came down to a little over 6 minutes of basketball to decide this one. Much like Friday night's game, the Sixers put together that string of offense and defense to bring home a W. In fact, their half-court offense was even more impressive down the stretch tonight than it was against LA. From the 6:31 mark, when the game was tied, 76-76 (wow, didn't even realize that was the score until I just checked my notes), the Sixers had 9 offensive possessions and scored 13 points. The dagger was yet another premeditated three by Andre Miller.
This time, Miller fed Brand in the post, then leaked out beyond the line on the strong side of the court. Exactly where he should always be to provide an easy outlet pass for EB. Miller's man lagged off to kind of give a half-assed double on Brand, EB kicked it back to Miller who took a dribble and sort of hopped into another ugly, flat three pointer that went down. Yet again, I was amazed.
Miller's three-point shenanigans aside, the Sixers blew a 22-point lead, 18 at the half, and allowed Golden State to come all the way back and tie the game up. This can't happen, and I don't think it will happen if Mo can avoid using too much of his bench at once, at least until Lou finds his rhythm. Royal Ivey was a DNPCD tonight, I think he needs to get some of Lou's minutes for the time being. We need to have an actual point on the floor at all times.
At the end of the day, a win is a win. This game is actually more impressive than my write up and the box score will tell you. The Warriors were the highest scoring offense in the league coming into this game, the Sixers held them to 81 points. 25 below their average.
The Sixers also managed to win a game without scoring a single point on the fast break. That bodes well, I guess. Although I don't want to see them stuck in the half court exclusively too often.Player of The Game:
Sammy. 8 points, 16 boards and 2 blocks.Team Record:
LB and the Bobcats, tomorrow night.Irony of Ironies:
In the first half, Sammy got the ball at the foul line and started lining up one of his awkward shots. At the last second he spotted Andre Miller wide open under the hoop. He rifled a pass to Miller, it hit right off Miller's hands and trickled away out of bounds. How many times has the shoe been on the other foot?