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An Epic Collapse

Good 42 minutes of trying to win.

Lousy 6 minutes of trying not to lose.

Overall, some positives can be taken once you get past the agony.

Here's a funny thing. This was by far Hawes' best game of the season. I mean, it wasn't even close. He scored efficiently, he grabbed boards and he handed out 4 assists. The team went into a horrific slump halfway through the fourth quarter and Collins didn't even think for a second to bring Hawes back in.

I mean, I can't say it crossed my mind at the time, but I'm not the coach who insists on starting him every game. You'd think a coach who puts that much faith in him would at least think about re-inserting him when his team is sinking faster than the Titanic, no?

tk76 reply to Brian on Dec 3 at 22:43

It passed my mind at the time.

They have won the last 2 by using their most experienced group down the stretch. Hopefully the important players learn how to close with more experience and good instruction. But I could care ;less if Hawes is in down the stretch.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Dec 3 at 22:56

Sorry, I'm guilty too. It passed my mind also in that 4th. And I though to myself - what the hell did you just say?

Ah yes, I was nervous they might win this game. Gotta keep up the pace to get the number 1 pick this year.

Yo but seriously, at least we got a good look at Battie in crunch time minutes though, right? I mean this couldn't be the same 34 year old guy who couldn't crack the rotation for a 12 win team last year. I just hope Collins has Speights taking good notes on the sidelines for his written exam later this season. And then we can can decide whether to extend the Tiger for 3 years, 20 million ok? It's just good to know the coach has his priorities in order when playing the young guys, right?

His priority is to win games. He's been pretty clear about that from the get-go, hasn't he?

eddies' heady's on Dec 3 at 23:00

As for the wrap - well fucking said. nothing mattered in the end, they still lost the friggin' game

What was the deal on that lack of rebound by Dre off that free throw? Did he just misjudge it or what?

No, he did everything perfectly. Elevated, got both hands on the ball, then it just popped out. Literally, like it was covered in grease or something. No one touched him, nothing. Just right there in between his hands one second, floating through the air the next.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Dec 3 at 23:09

So it was the opposite of Ice Cube huh? - Vaseline.

Only the Sixers, only them. It's a common occurence, oh well.

At least he's finding out some things about his pieces and what he has and doesn't have with some of 'em. He just has to keep their attention, their confidence, and most importantly, focus..... No locker room whispers. Everyone on board with becoming one.

Rob reply to Brian on Dec 6 at 13:41

i know this comment is late, but i watched the replay of the rebound several times. Actually Zaza Pachuilla (sp?) swipes at Iggy and gets a piece of his arm below the wrist which pops the ball free. It happened very quickly and was probably very difficult for the refs to see with all the bodies in the lane. However, Iggy could have been stronger with the ball in my opinion which probably would have resulted in him holding on or drawing the foul. Not trying to blame the refs, but he was hit on the play...

Really? I didn't see the hand on the arm, but that makes sense. It looked to me like it just popped out.

Rob reply to Brian on Dec 6 at 13:58

there was a replay from a camera postioned under the basket looking down the lane toward the free throw line. Zaza came across the lane from the opposite block and knicked Dre's left arm below the wrist. It happened very quickly and I only became certain of it when i watched it in slow motion. The baseline ref, Mauer, would have had the best look at it. That's why Dre turned to him looking for the foul. Again if he is a bit stronger with the ball...he probably either holds onto it or gets the call.

Jesus, Horford and Smith combined to shoot 9/30, for 24 points and we lost the game.

I DVRed the game to watch later tonight, but caught the last 5 minutes of the game at the bar. I thought to myself well maybe I should watch the end of this game since they are up by a nice margin... I guess I cursed them.

How did Turner look coming off the bench? Did he handle more of the ball or did most of those points come off the wing?

eddies' heady's on Dec 3 at 23:14

I think I might just enjoy myself and submerge my mind into this game again.....what torture,... but positives existed right? We dominated those cats. Everyone played rather well except they all folded voluntarily but moreso forcefully at the end? For what reason, I'd sure like to know. DC got some 'splainin to do.

No disrespect, but I can't seem to understand how Dre continues to get unconditional respect from some of you on here. I read this blog everyday and agree with about 90% of what Brian writes. However, no matter how Dre fills the stat sheet he just doesn't seem to know his own limitations. Don't get me wrong, he can play! That's obvious! He just doesn't play to his strengths. I feel like he's always trying to improve on his weaknesses in the middle of crunch time (work on that at practice, buddy!). Really Dre, do we really need 19 foot jumpers at the end of the 4th when were holding on to a lead??? I wish someone could get through to him!

I've also had enough with his bullsh*t faces at the refs after they don't treat him like the star he thinks he is. This guy is seriously delusional. He really thinks he has a jumper, and somehow forgets that he can drive to the hoop on almost any defender in the league. It's sad to say, but I feel more comfortable with some of the scrubs (Nocioni - where was he tonight? Battie, Meeks) on the floor at crunch time than our stars (Dre, Jrue, Lou).

I'm hurtin after this loss!!!

Didn't catch the game, but looking at the box score couple of questions.

How did thad end up +6? did he play good defense or benefit from a run that he just happened to be on the floor.

How did Jrue look? 3 turnovers, not many pts, didn't get to the FT. I'm assuming he had a bad game just wondering if stats are misleading at all.

Did they try to get to the free throw line?

Tray reply to Jason on Dec 4 at 2:01

Probably by not being on the floor at the end?

Well with each game like this, we learn that much more about what it feels like to be a fan of the 2007 Mets...except those games actually mattered, ha!

johnrosz on Dec 4 at 3:14

It's sad that this team is forced to go to Tony Battie as their "inside presence" in crunch time, even in his prime he wasn't exactly Ben Wallace. He's a jump shooting big. Just sad.

I won't kill Iggy, he sensed that they needed that put away bucket, and he tried his best to get it.Just didn't come through. His shot selection was poor late, could've worked the ball for better opportunities I suppose.

Only thing that bothers me, he talks about playing for a contender like he's got some kind of winning pedigree. The missed rebound, the shot selection...the repeated clanks...these are his L's too, man up and own them.

Tray reply to johnrosz on Dec 4 at 13:06

Maybe we should sign Vitaly Potapenko.

RIP Phil Jasner

Gdog2004 on Dec 4 at 8:49

Never has that picture in the top left hand corner of the website looked more fitting then this season.

deepsixersuede on Dec 4 at 8:51

Watching this games finish I thought of how L.Brown would put 4 defenders and A.I. on the court and just get stops and not worry about scoring; well Lou isn't A.I. and Collins may have to decide to go with 5 defenders out there and just get stops when given a lead.

Did Atlanta do anything different defensively except raise its energy level? Brian, your mention of Hawes makes me wonder why we can't run our offense late in games like we do early in games, maybe its just youth and Turner fixes this a month from now and hopefully watching film of this makes it clear to these guys.

johnrosz on Dec 4 at 9:13

Lou Williams was more interested with giving the hometown crowd a show than playing team basketball down the stretch. I find him intolerable, hope Thorn feels the same way.

I thought they were doing situational stuff several practices ago. Doesn't seem to have helped much. Still making bad plays down the stretch. Missing shots I could live with, but it's turnovers, taking bad shots, poor decision-making, defensive lapses.. Grr.

eddies' heady's on Dec 4 at 13:22

Wish Tom was on that road trip to ask Doug. Still curious why they went to the slow-it-down wait til 8 sec on the shot clock one-on-one crap. No player or ball movement whatsoever. For almost half the quarter. If he was in fact calling for that with that much time left he set them up to fail. Can't help but take bad shots when that's the supposed philosophy.

Lou's missed dunk was indeed bad, but they still have a 9 pt lead after that mishap.

Another thing that still bugs me was when they executed quickly near the end with Dre throwing the nice baseline pass under the hoop to Thad who fumbled it. Thad then passed it out to EB at the foul line and he rushes up a jumper that missed badly. We were only down one I think after the Horford free throws. They was still a good amount of time (18 sec) on the shot clock. Why was EB rushing there? You weren't going to get a two-for-one at that point although he was wide open from 15 ft, I guess, so not a bad shot considering the previous possessions that ended with bad looks. It was like they were scurrying as if there were only 5 sec left in the whole game though. arrrrggghhh

deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on Dec 4 at 13:48

the irony is the team missing its go to guy made plays without skipping a beat and our "goto guy by committee" group can't create an open look. The screening, spacing and ball movement all stopped.

It looked like the "prevent offense."

Hello Brian, long time no talk.

Would like to know your (6 everbody's) opinion on some points I made in my last post:
1) four different starting lineups in less than 20 games
1) in the same, limited stretch, Nocioni is the 2nd player that goes from starter to DNP CD (Kapono the 1st)
3) Iguodala's fourth quarter, def/off (looks like the pile of bricks made many forget that he was getting torched by Williams on our half court)
4) you always do a great job of keeping track of rotations, what's with the subs by Collins in the second? He pulled LW and MS, both red hot, to put Jrue and EB back in ---> 16-4 Atl run to end the Q. Made no sense to me, immediately I mean.

Thanks, have a great weekend !

Iguodala's fourth quarter, def/off (looks like the pile of bricks made many forget that he was getting torched by Williams on our half court)

Ricky: it's obvious you're one of Iguodala's biggest critics, but a fair appraisal of his defense on Marvin Williams would show that he did a good job: Marvin (who had a good game) scored 4 in the 4th, one basket a jumper off a pick where Iguodala got no help and the other a ridiculous fall-away shot that was well-contested. Iguodala blocked a third shot. In the 3rd quarter, Marvin got a lay-up off an offensive rebound (maybe you could blame Iguodala for thinking the Sixers had the rebound) and made 4 free throws when fouled by other players. Iguodala also stole the ball from him and made two free throws. Say what you want about the missed jumpers, but it's inaccurate to say that Iguodala got "torched" by Williams.

did anybody else hear Collins, right after the game, say something about "...blow my brains out, but if I did that wouldn't help these guys?"

!!! seriously? after less than 20 games?

mike reply to das411 on Dec 4 at 16:07

can't blame the guy. he cares about as much as a head coach can, and losses like this have to eat away at his soul. the exact quote was something like, i'm proud of myself because a few years ago after a game like this i'd want to blow my brains out, but i can't do that now.

Actually, if he's ready to give up after only 20 games, it means he has no perspective, and he takes the wins and losses too hard and doesn't see the bigger picture.

If he's already close to being burnt out after 20 games that's not good as far as i'm concerned, it demonstrates an emotional instability.

Phil Jackson

These are guys who are on an even keel

OK, the charts are up there now and the game capsule as well.

Quick thoughts from last night:

* Not a popular opinion I'm sure, but I think this team is better than their record shows.
* I thought Collins made good substitutions for most of the game, but the late-game lineup (Battie-Brand-Iguodala-Williams-Holiday) was really lacking. If they were going to run the offense through Iguodala (which I don't mind), they needed a spot-up shooter (e.g., Meeks, as Jrue really struggled this game with his shot, or Speights instead of Battie) or a quick finisher (Thad instead of Brand). If they were going for defense, who knows why Lou was in.
* I kept thinking Collins kept Lou in because it was his hometown, but then why wasn't Thad in more of the time?
* Battie had a couple nice box-outs in the 4th, but that was just a horrible foul on Horford to lose the lead.
* I thought Turner looked good in both his stints, but he had the one bad possession in the 4th where he dribbled the ball on the perimeter for too long (Collins yanked him soon after). The Eddie Jordan technique of playing him against the other team's bench may help his confidence.
* Afterward, I was thinking that this seemed like the type of game Andre Miller would have won for the Sixers in years past. When the other team was going on a late run, he had a knack for making an important basket (often creating space for himself in traffic) or getting fouled.
* I also wondered what it is about Atlanta that causes epic Sixer collapses. Remember this game?

Tray reply to Statman on Dec 4 at 17:15

Statistically we have to be better than our record shows. And while one could come up with explanations for our being a bad fourth quarter team, I don't think there's any real reason for us to be worse in the fourth quarter than the other three. Regrettably, I have to agree with you; our record will improve.

I"m still waiting for explanation on being a bad 3rd quarter team

Good teams win close games, bad teams lose em

Good teams put teams away, bad teams let them back in

Good teams have a go to guy when they need a basket, bad teams have no shot killer

deepsixersuede reply to Tray on Dec 4 at 17:37

I think a veteran p.g. will be on our coaches' christmas wish list if Lou can be moved for a future pick or player. A guy that can push the kids to run the offense when they have a lead, though mentoring Jrue should be the reason for this move and not getting more wins.

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