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Sixers Stiffen In Fourth, Take 2-1 Lead

So dude delivers 21 to go with 9 reb, has the best +/- stat of the team (not a great believer in that stat, but if I recall well you are), scores 10 in the decisive quarter and hits what turns out to be nearly the game winner and all he gets is "kudos" because he blew 3 layups in the third, when the whole team combines for 4/21.
Hating is fine, but this probably went overboard.
Brian, come on, you are better than that.
How would you assess Iguodala's game? I am interested.

You must've watched a different game. Hawes was absolutely terrible for three quarters, getting pushed around by everyone in a red jersey.

For the record, it's painful to have to depend on our center hitting 20 footers in order to say he had a good game.

Anonymous reply to Jeff on May 5 at 19:20

Or just looked at the box score and said look at points and rebounds. I don't need to watch no game to now who played well. Static numbers can tell me who played well

The situation would agree with him

For those who were not there (but you should be tomorrow, it will be AWESOME) 700level actually has decent video of the new intros:


Sure would be interesting to know what exactly DC said to Hawes after all of those misses...here is his postgame:


..hey Brian or TK, did you guys try to comment on here at all during the game last night?

I left a comment at the half, but otherwise I usually ignore my phone during the games. I don't want to get caught up w/ the comments during the game.

how did andre look in person?, looks hurt through my tv

I didn't notice anything, but he really wasn't doing anything on the offensive end. Just taking jumpers (and missing them). His D was very good on Deng, but Deng isn't exactly explosive. He can just play positional defense on him and close out on shots. He didn't seem to be hampered when he was chasing Rip, but he didn't spend a ton of time chasing Rip.

A few leftover comments from Game 3:
- I agree that Jrue's 3-point play was one of the most important points of the game. A miss there and the game was ahead toward a desultory blowout loss.
- That said, Hawes' jumper was a bigger basket, being only the 4th go-ahead basket this year in the final period of a Sixer win. If the 4th quarter is taken in isolation, Hawes was the MVP. Of course, he was a big part of the reason the Sixers were behind by so much.
- I continue to be impressed with Turner's ability to get off good shots in traffic. If he can do that consistently, he'll be able to get away with having an erratic jumper (reminding me, again, of Andre Miller).
- The best part of the game was that the Sixers won despite having several players play terribly. I don't expect Brand to go scoreless again, and I don't expect Thad to go 2-8 either.
- Iguodala looked like he was really laboring (most evident when he picked up a loose ball and couldn't beat everyone down the court), but he wasn't hitting his jump shots before the injury either. But his defense is as good as it's ever been. If he holds Deng to a draw (and Iguodala really seems to be inside Deng's head), the Sixers have the advantage.
- Watson and Lucas may be better outside shooters than Rose, but neither really has good passing instincts, making the Bulls a lot easier to defend.
- Korver is reminding me of 04-05, when he was completing shut down by Prince in the playoffs. If he's relied on to be a primary scorer, his team is in trouble.
- I haven't been impressed with Asik at all. They say he's a good defender, but he committed three important shooting fouls down the stretch (mostly because he was a little clumsy). Noah's loss turns the Bulls from very good to average.
- I for one was glad that Thibodeau took Ronnie Brewer entirely out of his rotation, in favor of Jimmy Butler.
- I've watched with interest as Thibodeau's coaching reputation has taken a hit in this series. For all the criticism that Collins has gotten this year, Collins has seemed a step ahead so far. But coaching "ability" is 90% player performance.

Meanwhile, the performance of former Sixers continues to amuse. Speights was -22 in 18 minutes today (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers), while Reggie Evans was +8 in 24 minutes with 11 rebounds but went 2-8 from the line, including 2 misses that almost lost the Clippers the game. As with Korver, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but they are essentially the same players.

Nice wrap up. Bulls have no real playmaker with Rose gone, and now no real defensive anchor now that Noah is gone.

Iguodala has been great defending Deng, but Rose absence also plays a big role in Deng's ineptness on offense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think Deng's offense is dependent on Rose creating looks for him.

It's amazing how important matchups are in playoff series. I would contribute Jrue and Turner's great play to their defender's inability to defend them well.

All things said, Sixers really have a good opportunity to win this series now. If anything, this series should make Chicago reconsider roster needs in the off-season. For one, they need another playmaker on the team.

To clarify, I didn't mean to take away from Jrue and Turner's performance. They've been great, and I hope this is a positive sign of things to come.

A couple notes on the Bulls defense. First, I think Watson's a better defender than Rose, but you can't discount the amount of energy Jrue (and others) would be exerting on the defensive end trying to contain Rose. It's no picnic chasing Rip off those screens, but it's not the same as defending Rose on the ball.

Second, Turner has a big advantage when Rip, Korver, Watson or Lucas are on him, I'm not sure about Butler, haven't seen enough of him. I can't understand why Thibs hasn't used Deng on him more (Deng switched onto Jrue for a while last night, but he hsan't spent much time at all guarding Turner). Also, Brewer is a very, very good defender, and a guy who would give Turner problems, but he's completely out of the rotation now. I don't get that. I'm thankful, but I don't understand it. Maybe Thibs thinks they need the other guys out there for offense.

I wouldn't count out Thibs resorting to other options and using Brewer on Turner. I'm just glad it hasn't really happened yet.

As for Watson and Rose, I don't think Rose has ever been a very good defender, but I would say he's gotten better since his rookie season where I remember him being...not good at all, to put it nicely. The energy exertion, as you mentioned, is a huge factor, and Jrue has certainly benefited from this, despite the tougher defender on him.

Despite the injuries to the bulls, the sixers can still lose tomorrow if they come out over-confident. They need this win.

Re Speights, Evans: Plus/minus numbers mean little regarding player performance or court value; the individual's number is totally context dependent and an unreliable indicator. For instance, Elton Brand, who was abysmal in his 26 min last night (0-5, 0 pts, 2 rbs, 1 TO, 4 PF) "achieved" a +9 for the game. Likewise, C.J. Watson who contributed quite nicely to the Bulls' loss "achieved" a +8 for reader-only miscontruance.

Speights had a +13, Evans a -13 in Gm 2. That also tells me little about each individual's actual performance or court value on that night. Jrue was a -25 in Gm 1, worst on Sixers by 12, and worst of ALL players that competed; how true is that integer as an indicator of relative play quality?

* misconstruance

I'm hoping Dougie C gives Sam Young some burn tomorrow to give iggy some relief at the 3

Evidence says he's not inclined to use Sam. But since he had a change of stubborn mind on Turner, Sam deployment isn't totally out of the question but I wouldn't bank on it.

Gm 3 - old, old story: free throws (26-14). TOs (8-15). steals (8-5). resolve (and a heaping helping of ankle-luck). Sixers bested Bulls in each category. Result - Sixers win despite shooting from field like the ball was deflated or oblong (26-76, 1-14). Ugly, sweet. Pat Riley gave a thumbs-up.

Spencer "Pinata" Hawes saved the scoreboard day (7-15, 6-6); Brand & Iguodala, a two-headed $30.5 million expense this year, added 5, with Iggy getting easy credit for holding Deng, his one-armed, one-directioned (due to left wrist torn ligament) opponent down [with no Rose to create space, set up his J, he's limited].

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