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Best Of Three

On your third quarter quandary, the guys only shot 7 for 18 (with one an end of quarter heave), I think, with 3 turnovers (roughly their average per quarter tonight). It doesn't have to do with SVG, Willie, or any other suggestions. It just comes down to making shots.

The second quarter was the killer for me tonight. Looking back, that is where we had to win the game in a sense, by holding them down but not capitalizing on it.

Good to see the clarity on the Magic post game comments, as I didn't see them like that either. I just thought they were implying they wanted to avoid Iguodala at all costs.

Spot on with the Iguodala observation, they were trying to take it out of his hands all night with the doubles. That is why he had 11 assists.

Someone had mentioned Lou's +/- in the game thread - when he played almost 11 minutes in the second quarter we had a whopping 14 pts scored but fortunately only 'gave up' 12.

We hit two game winners, they hit one. It's the playoffs baby. Chalk it up and move on.

It took me the whole ride home to get some perspective, but there's no reason to hang your head. I've watched a ton of playoff basketball and I think it's safe to say no team has shown as much effort on a consistent basis as the Sixers. Like I said before, each game is the most important, now they need to get it done in game 5. Nothing impossible about it.

hanwayl on Apr 27 at 6:04

I was so pissed with Lou's foul on Lewis, too. He was freaking trying to steal the ball from Lewis' hands when they were already under the basket. Not smart.

Going into the next game, I hope they know that strategically speaking, they've done all the right things. It was just a matter of execution/shooting touch. So hopefully that fighting spirit carries over to Florida.

deepsixersuede on Apr 27 at 7:36

Brian, that place WAS rockin, I hope it translated to the nationalT.V. watchers. Iggy deferred well, my only issue is his penchant for leaving his feet on passes.I thought Orlando!s defense was the key, nothing came easy for us.But to come back again in spite of no snipers is telling as far as the heart of this group, and bodes well for us when Elton and a shooter is added next year. This series I believe we are playing as a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, something they didn!t do all year.

My ears are still ringing a little bit, just imagine if it was sold out.

If I had told you the Sixers would own the defensive glass and shoot better from three than Orlando, would you have given Orlando even a slim chance to win the game?

And turn it over less... and grab 10(+7) offensive rebounds... and shoot better from the line.

That was probably the most bizarre game from a statistical standpoint of the season.

no question about it, if you're losing and have the ball, you take the best shot possible regardless of the time; it's only if you're tied that you can afford to hold for the last shot.

any chance someone can post the text from that espn insider article about iguodala?

I'll second that.

I understand both sides of the last shot argument.

I understand the whole idea of maybe giving yourself a chance if you miss by going early. But that does not change the fact that going early gives the opponent a chance to beat you in regulation and OT. That really waters down your odds of success. It would be different if Sam's dunk gave them the lead. Then the whole equation swings the other way. Then you need just one stop for the win, instead of one stop and OT.

1. You have a chance to control your destiny and go for the win. Even if the odds were slightly better with a quick shot (and they are not, see below), you take the chance to win. Its like kicking a field goal down 3 with 2 minutes left when you are on the other teams 15 yard-line.

2. I like numbers and have a math background, but will try and keep this simple and use round numbers...

Say you tie the game with 12 sec left. Give the opponent a 50% chance of winning in regulation and another 50% chance of winning in OT.

That means your early score must have a 4X higher likelihood of working then your chances holding for the last shot. Otherwise you are playing the wrong percentage...

-you could say that a dunk is 100%- then even a 25% chance from 3pt would be as good or better a choice.

BUT that early score was not 100%. Maybe it was a 70% play (including the risks of driving and Sam making the catch.) That would mean even a 20% chance of a 3pt shot would be playing the odds better.

I get the mathematical argument, but I think there are just too many variables in a basketball game to break it down like that.

First of all, if it was a 24-second possession with Orlando having the ability to score at any time in the shot clock, then yes, it's roughly a 50% chance they will win the game in regulation. That was not the case, however. Orlando had 14 seconds to work with, and they were intent on using as much time as possible, meaning instead of taking a shot with a 50% chance of converting, they instead got at best, what a 30% shot to win it? Probably even lower than that. That skews the math greatly. After all, if Orlando shoots too quickly, then the Sixers have more time to take the game-winning, or game-tying shot on the other end.

You also aren't taking into account the possible positive outcome of a missed shot. If the Sixers had held for the final shot and missed, odds of winning in regulation drop to zero. Odds of winning in overtime drop to zero. Had they missed a shot with 14 seconds remaining, they had several ways to still win in both regulation and overtime. Probably not a great percentage, but their offensive rebounding percentage was 23% for the game.

Bottom line, getting a high-percentage shot to tie the game in the middle of the possession gives you several different ways to win the game. Holding for the last shot does not. I think maybe you could sway me a little bit if you were simply arguing to go for the three, but I don't think I'll be swayed on the timing of the shot. The simplest answer to this debate is to just say you don't want to be in the position with the ball, down 2, with less than 24 seconds to go.

I've admittedly beat this horse to death... but last question:

If the roles had been reversed and Orlando had the ball down 2 with 24 sec left... As a Sixer fan, would you have felt better with Orlando holding for the last shot versus a quick drive and dish from Hedo to Howard for a dunk?

I know I would have breathed a lot easier if they scored the quick two and then gave the Sixers the chance to win it with 12 sec left. If they had held on for a last sec three for the win I would be much more worried.

Well, we were faced with the same situation in game three, right? It's a different proposition for Orlando, for a couple of reasons. First of all, they have I think four 40% three-point shooters on their roster, so the three is a higher percentage shot for them than the Sixers. They were also on the road, the tenet has always been play for the win on the road, tie at home. (you'd have to think home court advantage would kick in in overtime of a playoff game, especially with the crowds in the past two games). The Sixers, on the other hand, don't have any league-average three-point shooters outside of Donyell. Even with better odds, Orlando still went for the quick two to Howard.

That being said, obviously you'd rather get the ball back with the score tied than have the other team drain a three at the buzzer, but just because we'd feel better about the situation as fans doesn't mean our statistical probability of winning is better in one situation over the other. Like I said before, missed shot at the buzzer, it's 100% a win for the team up by two. Made shot with 10 seconds left, it's what, at best a 50% chance of winning in regulation, and a 50% chance of winning in overtime.

Bryon reply to tk76 on Apr 27 at 17:09

If you use the football comparison, it would help to include what down it is on the other team's 15 yard-line. For the sake of your point and the situation last night, that is like it being 3rd down and goal to go from the 15 yard-line with 2 minutes to go. You have to kick the field goal to tie it just to give yourself another opportunity.

They ran around 10 seconds off the shot clock within a play design and the look suddenly presented itself. You have to take it because you are behind.

Not directed towards you, but I bet if they went for the 3 and win and missed, everyone would be clamoring that they should have went for the quick 2.

While the math argument is nice, it holds no weight within a team concept like basketball. Too many variables come into play.

Probably like 4th and goal on the 5 with 90 sec and no timeouts. The FG is more automatic than a pass to Sam... but either scenario you would at best get OT unless you go for it all.

Definitely not cut and dry either way- and they likely lose either way.

i guess it does not take away from their comeback, but still hurts.

I'm not sure I agree with the likely to lose in this situation for the Sixers. Less than 50% chance Orlando scores on that possession at the end of regulation. Then 50/50 at worst, that they lose in overtime. Are you multiplying the probabilities to say they have a 25% chance of winning?

Yep. Thats basic stat's right? If you flip a coin and must get heads both times you have a 25% chance of getting it...

I'm finally ready to move on. I was definitely fixated on the wrong play, and its over. That reminder of the same situation breaking in the Sixers favor game one has me in a better place. Ready for game 5.

I like Lou, so keep that in mind. When Lou made that soft pass, I was mad at Lou BUT THE RECIEVER DID NOT EVEN TAKE A STEP TO TRY TO GET THE BALL!!! NOT A STEP. C

Come on, guys. If you are covered, you have to try. I believe if Iggy passed the ball to Lou, we would be yelling at Lou.

And yes, what a horrible foul by Lou at the end. He did not have his best game but the refs were letting our guys get knocked out and not get a foul called for them.

Mike reply to DeanH on Apr 27 at 19:52

in plays like that the person passing the ball is always at fault. it's just a bad lazy pass. end of story.

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