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Game One Bonus Thoughts

"I'd also like you to at least admit there's no way the Sixers will only go to the line 20 times, converting on only 11 again. They average 20/27 from the line on the season."

Well, if you accept the premise that less fouls are called in the playoffs, 20 or less could easily happen again. Then the question is whether we could conceivably just make 11 again, instead of the expected 14, and here too I would say that we've certainly seen them shoot a terrible percentage before. In the last two games of the regular season, you know, including one OT game, we shot 9-17 and 8-12.

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Tray reply to Tray on Apr 20 at 2:36
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That said, I don't see why 5-18 can't happen again too. They just shot 2-18 a few games ago against Milwaukee, 4-21 against Memphis, 7-26 against Toronto, 7-25 against New York, 9-30 against ATL.

Also, I was reading the wrong side of the stat sheet on our foul shots, obviously; however, we did recently go 9-23 against the Nets.

Yeah, my point was it's not like the Sixers played their best game and Orlando played their worst to get this result. Room for improvement on both sides.

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Tray reply to Brian on Apr 20 at 4:57
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Oh, that's true. The next time we win, I anticipate it being by a slightly, maybe even substantially, wider margin. We've yet to play our best game. I don't think the correct fear is "they only made 5 threes and only lost by 2." They could go colder still, and Howard won't be quite that good every game. It's more, we shot 51% and went 7-12 from three and how often will that occur. (And, we only won by two.) This has been an offensively challenged team all season long; why would this change against a quietly great defensive squad in Orlando? It probably doesn't.

I actually disagree about Howard not being as good. If the strategy remains (which it should) play Howard straight up all series 31-16 should be pretty easy for him with all that space to operate. Not sure he shoots 9-12 from the line every game but he certainly can shoot a ridiculous % from the field with a single defender and a lot of space.

The thing to be fearful is I have to imagine Van Gundy (along with defense, defense, defense) will get them refocused offensively and Alston won't be taking 15 shots per game. At least 5 of his shots will be redistributed and I am sure a few of Lee's shots will be as well (although he was good until the 4th quarter).

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Tray reply to Dannie on Apr 20 at 11:11
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I don't know. Howard made a number of tough shots with his left. I don't watch him enough to know how often he converts on those, but I would imagine he isn't usually that good.

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Bryon reply to Tray on Apr 20 at 12:24
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Iggy touched on this in his post-game presser last night. He said something along the lines of Howard made more with his left hand tonight than he probably had all season.

good points, I like the first one about Miller

Brian I am curious to know your opinion about Dalembert, I think he had an ok game, if you take out the stupid 4th foul.

Which tells us even more about Howard's fantastic performance. He won't go 9/12 from the line often though (yes, I am a half-full type...)

I think Sam & Theo did a decent job vs Howard, he's simply too good, he scored also in ways that he wasn't so confortable with earlier (hook shots, lefthanded shots etc)

maybe we have to feed the guys in the low post early in the game, even forcing some plays, and try to make him committ a couple of quick fouls, he still tends to do that sometimes. Otherwise it's gonna be a long series, and a 25 + 20 average is likely

Of course the Sixers can play better- they fell into an 18 pt hole. I expect them to do a better job keeping games close,and they will have to continue to step up late.

Orlando seems like a poor finishing team right now. They are afraid to give it to Howard (FT woes) and their 4th quarter guy (Hedo) is gimpy. If the Sixers can stay close in games, I think the 4th quarter should be to their advantage.

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deepsixersuede on Apr 20 at 8:17
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I wouldn!t mind a little Donyell at the 5 when Howard gets a breather in the first half and second; why wait till we fall behind when he can ignite us in a close game.Gortat has to leave the lane open for our slashers and he is not a major scoring threat.

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Real and Speightacular on Apr 20 at 8:43
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Don't wanna intrude on this high, Bri, but for all this "abuse" Miller dished out, they way you're talking, you'd think it would amount to a big delta in the stats.

They scored the same points. Miller rung up two more dimes with five extra mins of burn. Miller, unsurprisingly, pulled down significantly more boards (7-2) but in that plus-minus column that you put a lot of stock in, it was no contest in Rafer's favour (+1 to -9).

Like I figured, about a wash with those two.

Seems like this series will be decided by the role players. You can make some sort of case for Anthony Johnson and Gortat, but Sixers' bench >> Magic's (how does Pietrus get another NBA contract?)

This is short-sighted in my opinion. The Sixers defensive scheme was to ignore Alston as much as possible. They went under screens, when they doubled, they doubled off of him.

Van Gundy's halftime adjustment was to use Dwight Howard, the defensive player of the year (most likely) to double Miller and get the ball out of his hands. Miller still out-produced Alston.

I'll also put more stock in their +/- numbers in the fourth quarter: Miller +8, Alston -7.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Apr 20 at 14:41
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Fair enough. Were I some sort of Magic/Alston fan, I'm sure I'd have junk to say about Alston's ability to penetrate at will on Miller and how that ability may be put to better use as the series goes on. I doubt he's any slower than Lee anyway.

The argument wasn't over whether Miller would out-produce Alston at all so much as by how much. You've been arguing that the difference is and will be dramatic and I look at the overall and say meh, not so much. This gets into the qualitative pretty quickly.

As Thad and Hedo get healthier I look at the overall balance of the starters as about even as long as Orlando doesn't have one of those freaky shooting nights (with their length, there's not a whole lot that can be done to appreciably bother their shots. They're either on or off). I think the most important difference is going to be in the use and production of the benches.

Anyway, we'll see. Last game was some exciting playoff NBA basketball. It's why we tune in. You never know.


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Flightbrothers on Apr 20 at 10:35
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Been keeping up with the blog for a few weeks. A ton of great insight and information. Miller's ability to keep the dribble while drawing an uncomfortable Howard double team opens up a lot. I think an underrated subplot is how well Young and Iggs match up with Hedo and Lewis. Iggs and Young can switch their screens and there isn't too much of a difference. Also, Hedo cannot guard Iggy, especially on a bum ankle. With Howard out of the game, iggy should drive at will. And as clutch as Marshall was, Lou played an outstanding role. When he hits the outside shot the 76ers are hard to beat!


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