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Collins Pulls Strings, Sixers Do Work

Good quality win. They needed to show to themselves that they CAN pull it of late in the game and that's exactly what they did. They won the game in a playoff manner and they have to be happy with it.
But at the end of the day a win is just that a single win. They cannot afford a letdown at Milwaukee tonight. The Bucks on paper are a strong team and are playing at home but they are a much worse team offensively then the Sixers even in the half court. The Sixers have been good against them of late, hopefully that will continue.

I used to think going 3-2 on this 5 game road trip would definitely be a success. Does that still hold? Or maybe, just maybe we can expect more?

In the last 18 games of the season i see only 4 games of the unlikely to win variety. The other 14 are all winnable. How many of them can them win?

*they

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Spencer Flaws reply to Xsago on Mar 12 at 4:58
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what's your other one? i only see three that are unlikely to win. (at Chicago, at Boston, and at Miami.)

@Portland. Second game of a back to back, last game on the road trip and Portland is playing really well right now (they are basically the Sixers of the West). The Portland game is probably the toughest game of them all.

On another note, the Sixers are now 7-2 over the last 9 road games. Their road play i think is on of the underrated in-season improvements that they've accomplished (right up there with their half court offense which is better since i can remember, even though it is still not good enough).

How did Turner play? Didn't have time yet to check out the game. For some reason I love to watch this guy play, even though I feel he doesn't get enough touches. I guess he suffers from being such an allround player. For Meeks it's kinda one-dimensional...THREEE ;D.

PS: I just love this blog, I've been checking it out for some time now and finally decided to throw in my 2cents from time to time. Good stuff!

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to HendrikDB on Mar 12 at 9:22
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It was not one of Turner's best games. He only played about 14 minutes, 4 points 0/3 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 fouls, 1 turnover.

where would this team be with Sammy in the middle? Can we fault Collins for not be able to make that work?

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CM reply to DV on Mar 12 at 10:19
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Dalembert is a flake.

The reason for the improved play is the roster buying into Collins' system - if he didn't want Dalembert, I'm okay with that.

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bebopdeluxe reply to CM on Mar 12 at 10:26
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At the beginning of the season, I was good with the "get rid of Sammy - he doesn't want to be here" way of thinking...but you have to wonder what could have been if Collins could have gotten Sammy to buy in.

Of course, if Hawes played games like last night more than twice a month, this point would be moot.

Hawes has been playing pretty well for about 2 months now imo. It's his minutes that hadn't gone up until last night. Can't blame him for that.

Can I blame him for lousy defense and piss poor defensive rebounding because he has less verticla than a tree?

Sure, but at least from my observations, opposing centers tend to dominate us when he's not on the floor. Brand is severely undersized defensively at center, Hawes is the best option we have.

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Tom Moore on Mar 12 at 10:19
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Collins puts ball in Iguodala's hands again at end

http://ow.ly/4d4XP

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Tom Moore on Mar 12 at 10:33
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Video: Iguodala on the Sixers playing well at home and defending Paul Pierce:

http://ow.ly/4d5cL

Great analysis of this game. I am glad to see credit given to Meeks. We mostly see him as a one dimensional player but watching him in person on the court his effort on defense is really good. He is trying to be a strong defender in Collins system and last night guarding Allen he did a great job. Meeks also is sneaky quicky and he is strong. As much criticism we have giving of Stefanski and deservedly so, Meeks was a great find. Also as worthless as Hawes has been most games you can see how much better this team is with a serviceable Center in there. I wish there was some way Hawes could be consistent and play like he did last night. All in all a very good win last night and reminded me a lot of the Spurs game here.

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CM reply to Rob_STC on Mar 12 at 10:57
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With Meeks, the matchup really determines how effective he can be defensively. Allen is almost a perfect cover for him b/c he just has to chase him around screens and doesn't have to be physical against a driver.

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Rob_STC reply to CM on Mar 12 at 11:25
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Good point. Agree with you on that.

Great to see them hold on for the win. If only they had beaten OKC, I'd be sky high...

Both of their big wins (Celtics/Spurs) were about getting stops and hold on. Still waiting to see them learn how to execute on offense those last 5-10 possessions against a tough opponent. I think they'll get there, but it may not be in time for the playoffs. But they need to close out both on defense and offense to be able to win a playoff series.

I of course would've liked POTG for Hawes :). It was great to see him in at crunch time, I believe for the first time all season, and it worked thanks to defense. He's a very adequate center (better than most of the stiffs in the NBA, clearly outclassed by the Howard-Bynum types but there are so few of them in the league).

Iggy would've been my second choice cuz he hit the big shot.

Meeks had a nice game though, it seems like he's developing well, surprisingly.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to stoned81 on Mar 12 at 13:45
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Hawes is slow, has no vertical jump, is very poor in post defense, does not have much upper body strength and doesn't position well for rebounding. There are even rumors that he doesn't work hard. He does understand the game and has a decent shot. His post moves leave a lot to be desired, because he has no lift. He is at best a back-up.

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Tom Moore on Mar 12 at 12:19
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Collins: Sixers would be better off making playoffs than losing like Barkley says they should

http://ow.ly/4d7rm

Great game, and enjoyable Game Thread and writeup (thanks as always to Brian et al.).

I had to watch the Boston broadcast, but it was actually quite entertaining throughout. Here were some nuggets:
* Pregame mailbag question for Mike and Tommy (Gorman and Heinsohn, the Celtics' announcing team for the last 30 years): how long do you think it will take for Troy Murphy to get in game shape? (You'd think, even if a guy isn't playing, that he'd stay in game shape?)
* Both announcers were surprised, just like the Pacers announcers, at how well Iguodala was playing compared to earlier in the season. I know the two early made three's took Pierce by surprise.
* They were raving about the performance of Krstic early, late in the game, not so much.
* Tommy noticed the Sixers were leaving Rondo wide open, and he was hitting a few: "If I were the Sixers, I'd cover Rondo." He said it wistfully, as if he wished the Sixers would do that. Laying off Rondo has been a great strategy for the Sixers this year. As Brian mentioned, doing that prevented Rondo from getting in the lane for wide open kick-outs to Allen/Pierce/Garnett.
* In the postgame, Doc Rivers confirmed that Pavlovic was on Iguodala because of Pierce's 5 fouls. I agree with Brian: this was a really stupid move. If not Pierce, then why not Allen or Jeff Green -- anybody besides a guy who hasn't been playing all season? It should be noted, though, that Iguodala beat Pierce off the dribble at least three times in isolation situations earlier this year.
* Rivers and Dony Marshall (Celtics' postgame show) were lamenting the fact that the Celtics allowed Iguodala to go to his right. That's interesting, because I've never thought about how teams try to defend him (the cynical Sixers fans would say to just let him shoot anything). Now that I think about it, if he goes left it's usually for a pull-up jumper (though early in his career he had a very strong lefty lay-up).

One other note: Pierce shot a decent percentage, but this is now three games where Iguodala has held him to 10 or 11 points. Early in the third, there was an important sequence where Pierce hit a jumper over Iguodala, then went to an isolation and tried to shoot again, but the shot was well-defended and missed badly. For the rest of the game (23 minutes), Pierce attempted two shots. As others have noted, if the Sixers play the Celtics in the playoffs, they will be close in every game because Iguodala defends Pierce well.

Meeks should just play in the 4th quarter; it's decided.

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tk76 reply to CB on Mar 12 at 14:07
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That probably means no Turner.

Can we just send ET to Herb now?

Yeah, but see, should it mean no Turner or should it mean no Lou?

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Mar 12 at 15:44
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If you go Jrue/Meeks/Iguodala then it means Lou AND Turner on the bench.

I said the sixers would only lose 2 games out they next ten im looking good so far.

By the way, check out the DF Facebook page for video of Hawes falling down during the intros last night.

OK that was HYSTERICAL. Gotta give it up to Hawes for taking the self-deprecating bow after the fall.

Why doesn't League Pass ever show the intros? Bothers me greatly.

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tk76 reply to stoned81 on Mar 12 at 15:46
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Agree. Hawesome.


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