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I know that you tend to shy away from placing blame on the refs and I do too, but they deserved more than a little subliminal comment. The calls did not go both ways last night, it was really frustrating. Not the reason they lost but it made the game hard to watch. The way the game was called in the first half compared the 3rd qtr was night and day.

I don't understand leaving peja open 5 times in a row. Brand looked bad with the ball in his hands (against Hilton Armstrong). Speights didn't get enough time and sammy was dominant on the boards, i'm not sure why he didn't play more in the second half.

Thad was great, tough loss, but this is still a solid team at home even without chandler at west.

Even a bigger impact than the call by the refs was the teams lost focus becasue of the refs.

When a team (Iguodala mostly) focuses more on the refs then the opponent you will lose every time. I hope DiLeo uses this game to hammer this home. Whining does not help. You have to be like a crafty vet and channel that frustration.

I was expecting DiLeo to get a T in the third quarter. Iggy definitely lost his cool later on.

How much lift has Brand lost compared to what he really had earlier this year? I don't recall seeing much before the injury either...

This was an ugly game that I turned off after the third 3 pointer early in the 4th quarter...I just couldn't watch it any more.

There seemed to be some questionable coaching - not going to Brand - not going to Thad - that I hope was a one game hiccup.

Brand had zero lift for the first month of the season, right around Dec. 1st, he seemed to be getting his legs back under him. Finishing w/ dunks instead of those fade away layups. Now he looks like he's back to where he was at the beginning of the season, which is probably to be expected.

Extremely frustrating game to watch. That makes back-to-back games where we let the other team absolutely rain three-pointers down on us. Lou Williams flat out sucked, which didn't help things. And why was Marreese Speights left on the bench for most of the game??? We needed a spark and he stood a chance of providing it.

Oh yeah... horrible refereeing... just horrible.

Dileo is having a hard time finding minutes for both Brand and Speights off the bench. Once Brand is a starter hopefully Speights will return to more regular minutes.

I'm still hopefull that Speights ends up as the starter next to Brand next year.

BTW, this was my take right after the game, although Brian has already effectively debunked my faulty Brand observation: http://www.phillyarena.com/archives/2009-01-26/Hornets-loss-Highlights-Correctable-Problems...-tk76

All of these Sixers' bugaboos were on display in tonight's disappointing 101-86 loss to the Hornets. Disappointing mostly because these are correctable, albeit recurring issues.

1. Poor FT shooting. 12-20 won't get it done in a close game.

2. Letting concerns over officiating effect their game. The Sixers depend on a game having flow. Refs with happy whistles break that flow, and the Sixers let themselves become more concerned about the refs then the opponent, leading to...

3. Open shots for 3pts. Some teams are lazy, this team just makes mistakes. Sometimes, the more they hustle, the more the over-commit, over-help and leave guys open. They need discipline. Sometimes you don't help your teammate.

4. The 3rd quarter lull returned. Another game where the opponent turned the game around from the closing monets of the 1st half and the opening of the 3rd. A 6-3 run in the last minute of the half followed by a 10-0 run to open the 2nd half. The NBA is a game of runs, but the Sixers tend to let up the same time of the game many nights. Note that this is a the starters are in, and some of the sixers starters are poor.

5. Poor flow with Brand. This is expected and excusable, but it also was a recurring theme before his injury.

All 5 of these problems are correctable, and are holding back a team that does not lose for lack of talent or effort.

I agree that the officiating got to the sixers' heads and that that is more harmful than the officiating over the long term, but that doesn't excuse the inconsistency of the calls last night.

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