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Sixers Lose Game, Bulls Lose Much More

jswigga on Apr 29 at 3:08

well written piece. Liked the pics and detailed analysis...

This next comment may cause me fire, but is anyone else out there not bummed that a Sixer - any Sixer - hasn't stepped up to take some of the limelight? I mean, all season long we've heard various sports media remind us that the Sixers are a team w/o a superstar. A team with no go-to guy who can carry and lead them.

Is the reason b/c the Sixers lack that guy or because no one want to be that guy?

matt reply to jswigga on Apr 29 at 9:27

I'd guess Iggy, Turner, Lou, and Jrue have all wanted to/tried to 'that guy' at times. We've all seen how that turned out. Offensively, the Sixers don't have one truly dominant player.

Was truly sad to see Rose, a great and unique player, go down. Wasn't overly surprised though as his daring, full-tilt forays to the basket, while thrilling to watch, have always upped his risk levels. I wish him a full, speedy recovery. And I don't blame Thibodeau one iota... loved his "I don't work backwards" postgame retort to a second-guesser.

Offense too Jrue-centric to start. He dominates ball and jitterbugs a la AI Sr. without same finish/foul draw-ability. Collins' method beyond his chatter-madness: gooses chosen one(s), whispers "open sesame; score for me." Impulse-O.

Prediction: Turner's jutting, animated chin will precipitate more trouble at some point in this series. He's miles behind his high school rival, #1 of the Chicago Bulls, except in schlocky attitude where he's situated near the top. Boulder on his shoulder.

Thumbs up to Coatesville's Richard "Rip" Hamilton for veteran product placement and shooting accuracy in a big contest.

Bulls' balanced scoring is indicative of Sixers' late season-trending imbalanced defense. If their D doesn't improve, Rose-less Bulls will continue to stomp. More S. Young & Battie might serve the cause some; if you're in a battle, you need battlers.

eddies' heady's reply to Dollar Bill on Apr 29 at 10:44

Totally agree on Sam Young and Battie, particularly Young.

Does this mean we now just get beat by C.J. Watson and John Lucas III?

It could, in conjunction with the rest of a deep squad. Both are capable of helpful pockets of scoring. Bulls' board superiority/habit adds to the stoppage trouble. Coach Curry has his hands full.

"Depressedfan" - Dollar Bill

Good post. IMO I think you are not giving Chicago's defense quite enough credit. The Sixers may have generated some of the types of looks they wanted, but Chicago's length bothered them to where they could not finish. Had the refs not been uncharacteristically willing to call fouls then the Sixers wuld have been unable to score at all. How many shots did the Sixers hit in the second half? They only hit 33 FG's all game.

Again, I don't think that was bad shooting as much as it was the Sixers unable to hit shots over the Bulls length. It reminded me of when the Sixers struggled against the long Pistons defenses 5+ years ago where AI would get in the lane but could not finish. Similarly, those AI led Sixers could only generate points when fouls were called- but at least that team knew how to draw fouls.

So unless the loss of Rose leads to increased TO's and fast break looks for the Sixers- I don't see how they break 90 pts consistently this series. In fact I think they scorer less in the coming games because I don't expect them to go to the line 31 times- that is hugely out of character. But on the flip side, Jrue and Hawes missing easy looks inside against a team with length is not out of character.

It sounds like Turner is going to start next game. Now that Rose is out, does anyone think he might guard CJ Watson (with Jrue on Rip)? Thought Turner did an ok job on Watson but he has trouble getting around screens, I don't know if he'll be able to stay on Rip.

tk76 reply to MCT on Apr 29 at 12:32

Sounds about right. Collins said he does not want ET chasing shooters and Jrue seems the best at contesting shooters off
f of screens. Also, ET thrives when guarded by smaller players.

Playoff preview from Simmons, in which he completely ignores the Sixers BUT somehow talks himself into picking what might be the weirdest Finals matchup ever: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7863321/nba-playoffs-preview

Mike reply to das411 on Apr 29 at 16:08

not really that weird. few people are picking Memphis but the West is pretty up for grabs amongst those top 5 or 6 teams. and Miami is Miami.

Long but interesting article in the NYTimes today about Thibodeau - when did he coach here??


Dear Andrew Bynum

Please have an awesome playoffs and then go to the lakers and say it's me or kobe - just in case the sixers can get real lucky

...is that more or less likely than the new owners making a play for an injured DH12 and then Dwight pulling a Danny Tartabull/Albert Belle and deciding that oh no, his kneesbackwhatever are so bad he'd rather retire than play here?

johnrosz on Apr 29 at 19:05

Iggy hasn't been healthy at the end of the season since when, the ORL series?

They have no chance if his knee is going to negatively impact his play.

Had a stretch where he was getting beaten badly by Deng too.

And I've never been so disheartened about Jrue...that one play where he turned the corner, beats his man and doesn't even try to go after Noah who's all alone at the rim. Is he afraid of contact?

Wow, did anyone just see this comeback by the Clips? Holy shit

yep that was pretty freakin hilarious...especially since REGGIE EVANS of all people was right in the middle of it!

Brian, check your email...

Hopefully it wasn't just martell webster

Alright, this single play killed them in Game 1:


It highlights (indirectly, because it's focusing on what the Bulls did well) how bad of a job Jodie did trailing Rip. It's not in the article, but Pruiti said he would trail on all screens of Rip going down, and shoot the gap on the pindowns where Rip or Korver is going up, thus making him flare. So, basically the exact opposite of what Jodie did.

I like that strategy especially if Boozer is the "single" guy in the single double set. Let's see him set a good flare screen when he knows there's no shot in it for him on the play.

That's a good article. What I'm wondering is whether Hamilton, Korver, and Deng can continue to shoot 70%+ on catch-and-shoot long 2's. Generally, I don't think the Sixers mind those type of shots, but they have no shot if the other team hits a lot of those. On the other hand, the Sixers didn't do a good job defensively at any distance other than "at the rim" (because of Brand's blocks).

By the way, one of the ESPN writers was advocating the center-less Brand-Thad-Iguodala-Jrue-Lou lineup that a few of us have wanted for a while now.

Rich reply to Statman on Apr 30 at 17:20

I felt the same way after the game. I heard people say the Bulls could have played better, but they were unusually hot from mid-range and long twos. It's a tough proposition, because generally the Sixers are OK with that shot. My problem with the shots are the curls for Rip when Jodie trails of a pin down. That's a 10 footer, and one he looks comfortable hitting. Make him flare out and take longer ones.

This year, Rip is 43 percent from 10-15 feet and 38 percent from 16-23. Interestingly, much less of his shots from 10-15 are assisted on. So I guess the book on him is to let him flare out and shoot a long deuce, and let him take that shot instead of putting it on the floor. It just looks like when he can step into it, the shot looks a lot better. Get him moving away from the rim.

Korver is 41 and 40, and he may have been just having one of those games. The big key with him and the other guys is not having a big sacrifice rebounding position i an effort to halfheartedly show on the screen. When they start missing these shots, they have to get a body on their bigs.

I didn't watch much of the game, but it was funny to see Speights behind the play on a bunch of the Clips' transition points during the Memphis collapse. I don't know why he was playing.

Man, that was really tough to watch. Never seen an implosion like that before. Wonder how they're going to pick themselves up for game 2.

Rich reply to Brian on Apr 30 at 16:06

I wonder too. How were they up so much though? A lot of those mistakes are totally correctable.

Didn't see the first quarter. In the second half, though, they were just unconscious from three. The crazy thing is they weren't extending the lead all that much. They pretty much stopped going inside and started heaving threes.

Then the Clips took away their inside stuff by playing really physical (Kenyon and Evans) and the Clips got some guys hot from the outside (Nick Young and I think Mo Williams). The 22-1 run was a blur.

My favorite post game comment reported is the part where Chris Paul had to beg Del Negro to put him back in the game.

Blake Griffin travels a lot

The heat are a living nightmare Im so happy we aren't playing them....

Brian, fantastic detailed analysis. Thanks so much.

The way I see it, this is a big moment in the careers of the Sixers veterans-Andre Igoudala and Elton Brand, Igoudala in particular. Igoudala has never won a playoff series in his career. For the first time, due to the injury, Igoudala is potentially the best player in a series, and I believe the only 1012 All-Star. I want him bent on proving that he is indeed the best player. He needs to outplay Luol Deng on both ends of the floor.

Elton Brand has won one playoff series in his career. in 2006, when Brand's best ever, MVP candidate caliber seasib ended with a very entertaining 7 game loss to the Suns in the second round for the Clippers. This may be his last chance to advance in the playoffs as an effective, integral part of a team. The Sixers likely need Brand to have at least one big fourth quarter effort if they're going to win this series. Brand came up large in a couple huge games that kept the Sixers season from complete collapse-his huge 3rd quarter at home vs Boston, alongside Jrue's, and an MVP like 4th quarter vs the Hawks at home a week later. He has a favorable matchup vs Boozer, which he exploited in the first half Sat before fading.

Deng was there this year too, but it's a good point that the veterans could see this as an opportunity. If Brand can last I can definitely see him carrying the team for at least one win. Turner maybe can go off for one solo. Then we're only looking for two balanced team wins which sounds reasonably possible. If tomorrow's a blowout loss I'd say forget about it, otherwise, I see this going 7.

Right, right, Deng did make it...believe first time for both he and Dre

Would be nice to think that Igoudala could carry the load for one win as well-get it going on offense with some successful drives, get the defense worried about that, then knock in some threes and go off-but really, it's going to be vital to get consistent high level performances out of him

I really like the stuff you put in here. Very applicable information. Consider yourself book-marked.

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