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First Round Matchups: The Points

This advantage is clear as day to me. If Alston is going to pull up for a three, just put a hand up. But don't leave him open on a kick-out.

We must absolutely make the most of the mismatch. Miller should take Alston down the blocks often. I can imagine him getting to the line a lot in this series.

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Tom Moore on Apr 16 at 9:02
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I think it's a draw with each having an advantage at the offensive end. Alston is so much quicker than Miller. If he continues to beat Miller off the dribble, he doesn't have to score -- he just needs to kick it to the open 3-pointer, of which Orlando has many. Dribble penetration has been a huge problem for the Sixers all year.

I realize it's anecdotal evidence, but I just went through the game logs and Alston has historically done nothing against Miller and the Sixers, whereas, Miller has performed pretty well.

I think dribble penetration is less of an issue when we're talking about a guy who is not a good shooter and is not a good finisher on the drive. All quick, small guards don't give the Sixers problems, the quick small guards who also happen to be good do. I see this matchup as a huge advantage for the Sixers, if they choose to exploit it.

I agree with Tom. If the sixers don't start covering their guys on the 3pt line, it is going to be a long series for us.

The point about dribble penetration is key.

But wil Millr even be guarding Alston? Doesn't Green guard the PG and Miller cover the SG?

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Alvin reply to tk76 on Apr 16 at 20:27
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That's my understanding as well. Sure, Miller won't be able to keep up with Alston, but I expect Green to be the one tracking Alston anyway. And when Lou is in, Lou and Alston can run each other off the park.

Hey, news this morning, KG is out for the playoffs! Maybe the Bulls knew this and tanked yesterday. Now I'm kinda upset we didn't get to stick at the 7

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Real and Speightacular on Apr 16 at 11:14
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I'm with Tom here. I think it's more of a wash. Alston, to his credit, doesn't seem to take a whole lot of threes -- at least this season anyway -- unless he's on a hot streak or it's a blowout and he wants to practice. And I think we can give Gundy enough credit to bark something fierce in Rafer's ear should he keep hoisting 3s when they're obviously not falling. Alston's main skill, drive and kick, suits the Magic perfectly and that's why they got him. Most guards have a hard time keeping up with him, much less flat-footed Miller; Alston's going to penetrate basically at will.

These guys are the same height, but Miller's got more trunk junk so he can back Alston down in the post without too much trouble. Two things about that: 1) Orlando's help defense might thwart that advantage often enough and/or 2) If Andre is in the post a lot, it'll mean Philly's playin the half-court offense a lot and that, at present, is not their forte.

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Tom Moore on Apr 16 at 11:50
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Green may start on Alston, but Miller will likely switch over to him later in the first quarter. DiLeo had Green on a number of points at the outset in the regular season.

The Magic depends on the 3 - the sixers defend the 3 for crap

Oh yeah - they have a big man who can play offense and is the DPOY

You can go player by player - but it's probably going to come down to what it always comes down to with the sixers

3 point 'differential'
defensive rebounding
FT shooting


Well at least they miss their FT's too.

Overall, Boston without KG is a much better match-up. I don't think they could handle a healthy Thad with anyone on their roster.

Boston is still the better team, but overall would have been a more favorable match-up.

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john reply to tk76 on Apr 16 at 12:33
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I don't think so
Miller loses the 'point guard match up'
Allen and Pierce are still good and get the calls in the playoffs
they have a better and deeper bench even without the 'great' posey and brown
and their starting center would still be better than ours.

The sixers wouldn't beat either team in my opinion - they just aren't 'close' to being a contender - and a solid first round thrashing might be the best thing to wake the front office up from any delusions of 'closeness' they might have

No, as I've said before, you will just hear them blowing smoke about Brand returning and Iguodala and Lou working on their jumpers this summer.

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john reply to tk76 on Apr 16 at 13:08
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Combine that with a bad coaching hire and i'll be done with stefanski

Nothing I hate watching more than the guaranteed first-round loss. Especially now that the first round goes seven games! If the matchups in the West weren't so entertaining (albeit meaningless this year), they would be wise to just skip the first round altogether and go to 8 playoff teams.

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john reply to Tray on Apr 16 at 13:21
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few years ago golden state made the playoffs and everyone thought they were 'meaningless'

Spurs could be upset without Manu - Bulls are the hottest team in the league and a bad match up for the celtics without KG

Based on the 'inevitability' theory of this years playoffs they really should skip everything but the finals and just have the lakers and cavs play 3 7 game series - best 2 of 3 - plus they'd get hella better ratings.

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Tray reply to john on Apr 16 at 13:43
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Of course the Spurs could be upset. All the first-round series are tossups out there, except for LA's. I'm just saying that it doesn't matter who wins them, because LA will come out on top. I mean, who cares about Houston v. Portland (other than that it'll be a fun series to watch and will ruin T-Mac's reputation if Yao makes it out the first round without him), it's ultimately immaterial to anything. Out here, Cleveland seems to have clearly separated itself from Boston, and Orlando isn't what it was earlier in the season, but there's a small chance they won't make it out of the East.

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john reply to Tray on Apr 16 at 14:21
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i don't believe the lakers are fait accompli just because they are the #1 seed - if they get portland in the second round and get over confident - they'll lose - the lakers are pitiful in portland over the past 3 or 4 seasons - no ideas why - they just are.

I also see other possible upsets, as early as the first round, not likely, but possible.

Last year the celtics were 'destined' for the finals but then had a questionable first round and everyone doubted them...

There are probably some givens in the first round - but the second round could have more 'upsets' than you think -

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Tray reply to john on Apr 16 at 16:04
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See, I hate upsets. Who wants to see Portland beat LA and deprive us of a matchup of the two best teams in the league? Then we'll never know who the best team in the league really was this year. That's the whole point of the Finals. It's not about Cinderellas and magical storybook rides, or whatever the stupid cliche is. It's a process of determining the true #1, not the team that got hot in the playoffs, or the team that profited off better teams' overconfidence. That's why the NBA is better than the NFL or MLB, because the best team almost always wins (maybe not the year Wade won) and you really get to find out which team that is. Upsets pose a threat to that.

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John reply to Tray on Apr 16 at 21:19
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If you hate upsets then you should hate the playoffs - just give the title to the best team in each conference and have them play 3 7 game series to make sure it's not an upset
The playoffs don't determine the best team - that's not their purpose in my mind - it's to spur fan interest and allow someone to be called 'champion' but it's not always the best team (Giants over Pats) - if you don't like upsets you don't like playoffs in general then - and the playoffs were not created for a fan like you (in my mind) - playoffs were created to spark interest - that's why they're expanded - not for competition but for revenue.

Keep in mind that the nba recently went from 5 to 7 games in the first round - and many believe to cut back on the number of first round upsets.

I love upsets - they make the playoffs more interesting

This is the 3rd easiest advantage in my book. The first two being the ridiculous advantages Orlando has at the 5 and the 2. The Sixers clearly have the advantage. If the Magic still had Jameer, I think many Sixer fans would argue for Miller, but I don't think I would be one after the season Jameer was having.

Yeah, few players can match up with William Green. he is a force of nature that can't be accounted for.

BTW, bummed out by the miracle roto comeback...

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Joe reply to tk76 on Apr 16 at 19:42
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It was a close one. I ended up finishing 2nd and 4th in my other 2 leagues, so I'm happy I took home to W in one. I, unexpectedly, caught someone in points and that really was the difference.

Also, you were 2 steals away from a tie and 5 more threes from a win. So really close.

I look forward to facing you again next season. I was a roto newb this year, so next year I won't make as many mistakes. :)

Congrats, you made a few good moves down the stretch that really paid off.

Overall, hope we can have a somewhat smaller but more active league next year. Too many people mailed it in.

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Joe reply to tk76 on Apr 17 at 16:45
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9 people-ish were pretty active. That isn't bad. I expected worse.

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Tom Moore on Apr 16 at 18:23
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Iguodala today on what gives him confidence that the Sixers can win the series vs. Orlando: "That I'm out there. I feel like when I'm out there, we have a chance to win, no matter what."

What should he have said... Thad is back, so at least we have one guy who can score?

Searing comments out of Marc Steinin his playoff preview of the east:

"What I like: I love seeing the Sixers back in their old '80s uniforms, taking me back to my early teens every time they're on the TV.

What I don't like: Everything else."

Ouch.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/news?columnist=stein_marc&id=4071817

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Alvin reply to Graham on Apr 17 at 0:34
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There are some things you have to like, for example Young's play and Iggy's defense.


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