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Sixers Grow Up, Down Bulls

Sorry about the comments being closed, guys. I accidentally hit the wrong button when I published.

Looking forward to the sixers celtics match up, and I really do hope the sixers take out the celtics, so that Kevin Garnetts Celtics career ends on a sour note...not as sour as he deserves, but having the crap beat out of him at center court while an entire stadium cheers isn't likely to happen.

Before you start looking at players, the sixers have a distinct advantage over the celtics roster...the sixers are the second youngest team in the league (according to last nights game) and that includes grandpa brand. I don't know where they rank - but the celtics are old...run those old men up and down the court...every miss, hell every make...run. Put a body on Kevin Garnett, KG gets all this praise for being 'mentally tough' - Kevin Garnett is a punk, he's not a bull dog, he's a chihuaua, they bark alot and scare people off, but if you stand up to them they back down like the pussy (cats) they truly are...if Spencer Hawes ever wanted to be a tough guy...this is the time.

Throw KG off, don't make it easy for Rondo to do what he does, Iguodala play defense on Pierce...this series is winnable, even with both teams healthy.

Doug, Lavoy Allen did nothing to you...give kid a break...

Might be helpful to break out Battie and his six fouls on KG as well

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

This changes daily - so if you go tomorrow you won't see the thing about Iguodala (and how it was Battie who gave him the FT advice)

And you can see how the philadunkia punkia gave Luol Deng the MVP for the game...

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Turtle Bay reply to GoSixers on May 11 at 14:10
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Really like this article. Didn't know about Collins backing off when the media reports came out that he was losing the team.

just hope the Sixers don't adopt a "we're just happy to be here" mentality after the emotional win last night. they know they can beat Boston but that arena has got to be intimidating for a young roster in the playoffs.

I'm hoping that after winning three games like that, any intimidation is gone from this group.

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Mike reply to Brian on May 11 at 12:53
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2nd round playing 4 future HOFers who have already won a title is different than this version of the Bulls though. but more than the intimidation factor is that i'm hoping just winning a round in the playoffs didn't feel like their championship to them.

reminds me potentially of the 2007 Phillies when they finally got into the playoffs after 14 years on the last day of the season, celebrated like they had just won a title and then got swept in the 1st round.

Rondo is now a future hall of famer?

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Turtle Bay reply to GoSixers on May 11 at 14:37
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I guess it's somewhat hard to predict now, but if I had to guess I would say yes.

Let's see how Rondo does once he isn't playing with three hall of famers before canonizing him.

The other three future hall of famers are old, one is hobbled, they are beatable, they're much closer to the end of their career than the beginning...the sixers youth and energy is an advantage against the grand dames of boston

Not to mention I'd like to see one team GO AFTER the big punk instead of being scared of him...he has demonstrated impulse control issues his whole career - push his buttons

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Mike reply to GoSixers on May 11 at 17:12
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umm pretty sure he will be if he has 5 more seasons like his past few

The future is not set in stone, nor predictable, not even by Miss Cleo...he has played at a HOF level for his career so far, but if it ended tomorrow would he be in? If the answer is no,he's not a future hall of famer...let's see what Rondo does when he's the center of the team and doesn't have guys like Allen Pierce and Garnett to cover for the fact that he can't shoot a lick

I'm not going to comment on intimidating or not, at least to the players (the refs might cave, cause that's what refs do, subconsciously, for loud fan bases) but this is the team left in the playoffs that the sixers traditionally play more often than either the pacers and heat, so they have the familiarity with Boston and its fans more than heat or pacers fans.

Hell, it's been almost 15 years since doug collins won a round in a playoffs, let's hope HE isn't just happy to be there

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eddies' heady's reply to Mike on May 11 at 11:15
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I know it was a relief and all, and a much exciting moment, but they acted like they had won a championship last night. Iguodala up on the scorer's table and all.

Put yourself in the shoes of the 8th seed. Even with situations that will likely never happen again (1st seed with their two stars out for most of the series), they were still facing title contenders in the eyes of most people. At the very least ECF favorites if Noah were to come back for a game seven and then move on to the next round in regular season form.

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eddies' heady's reply to Cin on May 11 at 12:35
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Don't know who "most people" are that you're referring to but beating a team comprised of CJ Watson and Omer Asik and Rip Hamilton starting with a mostly hodge podge bench is nothing to stand up on the table and 'shine' to. And struggling like hell to even beat that group. It'd be comparable to an 8 seed in the NCAA tournament beating a #1 seed - only to get to the Sweet Sixteen, and mugging to the crowd while doing it.

We just can't suddenly forget that the Bulls were without arguably their two best players and key cogs, their best offensive player and best defensive player, and the Sixers still could barely beat them.

Look, where I'm coming from is that I never remember Dr. J or Mo Cheeks and the like jumping up posing and celebrating collectively on court like they clinched the Larry O'Brien trophy when they only defeated the Celtics or Bucks to make the Eastern Conference semis.

Call it old school or whatever, but this 8th seed feel good story of taking down a much depleted #1 seed is as much their own doing as anything else. They should have never been an 8 seed.

Basically, even though you haven't, act like you've been there.

In your life you've never been caught up in a moment?

Sheesh - you're just looking for reasons to criticize Iguodala it seems

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mixville reply to eddies' heady's on May 11 at 12:47
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I think it was a little silly to jump on the table...especially when CJ watson almost made that shot!

But everyone wants to diminish the bulls. The non rose Bulls beat Boston twice, Miami, Orlando and Philly during the regular season. They were very good. They were greater with Rose, but still very good without him.

And to those who count Noah as an all star level player that is fine...but didn't he play in game 2 when the sixers won going away in Chicago?

The reality is you play who you play, and if you were down by 3 with 25 seconds left and somehow won a game, it would be strange if you weren't excited!

At least Iguodala jumped on the table when the series was over. I remember Pierce and Antoine Walker jumping on the table in Game 3 of the ECF in 2002 after their comeback from 20+ points down to the Nets, only to lose the last 3 games of the series. My view: if a player comes through in the last seconds to win not only a game but a series, he's entitled to whatever celebration he wants afterward. The series is over and they're playing a different team in the next round. And why was Iguodala supposed to act like he had been there before when he had never been there before?

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eddies' heady's reply to Statman on May 12 at 11:29
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"And why was Iguodala supposed to act like he had been there before when he had never been there before?"

Because he's been in the league going on 9 years and he's a veteran. Paul Pierce and Antione Walker's doings have no bearing here, I'd bet you thought they looked like jackasses when they did it. Whether it's the middle of the ECF or the end of the 1st round, it still wasn't the last clinching game of the NBA Finals, when such self-centered actions still wouldn't be appropriate but probably a little more understandable.

You say "he's" entitled to whatever celebration "he" wants and I guess this is where we differ - I say "they". This is/was a team game and to seek out a spotlight individually just doesn't sit well with me, share and revel in the joy with your teammates that all helped to get "you" there. Yet, don't be so overzealous collectively like the pinnacle was achieved, that's all.

I forgot to mention this in the post, but I really should have.

The hard foul Spencer gave on Asik, and the box out on the second missed free throw (which allowed Iguodala to sneak around and get the board) were two HUGE plays. If he gives a soft foul or doesn't do a great job on Gibson, the Sixers probably lose this game.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on May 11 at 11:17
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Did you think that Gibson was shoved on that rebound attempt? I couldn't really tell who or if he was shoved? He just looked to skedaddle out of the lane rather quickly.

Don't know. He might've been. They aren't going to call something like that w/ the series on the line, though. I mean, the Celts fouled a guy before the ball was inbounded on the critical play and the refs called the foul, but ignored the rule.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on May 11 at 11:27
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They called it, but ignored what rule? Not sure what you're talking about here.

They called the foul, but then didn't give Atlanta the two free throws.

They did a review and claimed that the pass was 'in the air' when the foul occurred, which seemed like BS if you watch it live you hear the whistle before the ball leaves the guys hand...but I didn't have the instant replay they had, just seemed to me that in live action you heard the whistle and the ball was still in his hand.

Horford still had a chance and biffed on the FT's

Because it potentially could have changed the outcome of the game everyone wants to call Hawes' foul a flagrant.

He made an attempt to block, came down over his shoulders in flailing fashion unique to only him, and denied him the opportunity for the shot by pinning his arms. He didn't whip him to the floor. He didn't try and deliver a blow. In fact, he tried to lessen the effect of the contact once the shot had been denied by not coming down on Asik and throwing his weight away from him.

It was really a damn smart foul to do his business and not go for the Artestian decapitation.

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Turtle Bay reply to Brian on May 11 at 14:13
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Yeah, the Hawes foul on Asik was huge. I mentioned it last night and GoSixers freaked out at me. Didn't notice the box out of Gibson at the time.

Any guesses for Dollar Bill's opening salvo today? I think I'll break out some EAP...

I do not think all failure's undeserved,
And all success is merely someone's luck;
Some men are down because they were unnerved,
And some are up because they kept their pluck.
Some men are down because they chose to shirk;
Some men are high because they did their work.

John Cusack never said things like that - ever

I imagine Dollar Bill will be mostly quiet today but is busy composing several stanzas of iambic pentameter in case Iguodala fails in the next round. (Though, to DB's credit, much of his analysis for the first round was on target.)

It's a riot that you used Edgar Guest's sentimental applesauce as a vehicle by which to gloat. At least you're trying.

Iguodala's series shooting: applesauce with mold; 26 for 74 (.351), 5 for 23 (.217).

Iguodala's postgame antics: a derivitive Allen Iverson/Norma Rae moment on the scorer's table, brought to you by dint of career duration, odds and a bottomless ego. [Ominous sign?: Allen is out of the NBA; Norma Rae, celluloid counterpart, was ousted from her factory job for union organizing.]

Don't let the fact that Deng - Iggy's defensive assignment - shot 36 for 79 (.456) & 8 for 22 (.364) and grabbed 8.3 rpg reduce your Iggy-ecstacy, though reason of course warrants.

Iguodala remains just as he was before last evening started: a remarkable 8-yr. veteran with an unintended cartoonish persona and a shot that fluctuates like a Gallup Poll and often lands harder than a Ted Nugent rant; in general, a very wealthy wanker.

Duty bound, I congratulate you and your hero on his surprising making of two (2!) consecutive free throws when missing both would've necessitated another game. Yay. Yay.

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gerald H reply to Dollar Bill on May 12 at 0:07
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haha. true that people celebrating 2 consecutive free throws are pretty sad. especially with the vigor they have spouted that this "proves" Iguodala is worthy.

I'll have to use your own logic in response here. Back when Iguodala handcuffed Melo on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, you said when it counted, Melo was able to score. Well, when the series was on the line, in the fourth quarter of game 6, Iguodala was putting the game away while Deng sat idly by.

I'll take Melo for Iggy right this minute. But Glen Grunwald wouldn't.

Deng's bucket at 3:35 & 5 defensive rebounds (!) in Q4 dispel your 'idle' notion. And he wasn't idling in closing seconds either; he was futilely trailing jet-packed Iggy after Iggy's open foul lane claim on ball & sprint upfield for 80 yds and a 1st-and-goal at the 5, 15 free feet from paydirt. :)

Thibodeau must still be moaning and pounding the floor about his #1 D team goin' braindead, energies drifting for offensive rebound, not getting back, stopping ball advancement - golden rule #1. As luck would have it, Collins was out of timeouts or Bulls set D/Sixers lose.

You can have Melo. In fact, you could probably watch the second round on TV with Melo, he's got a super comfortable seat he watches the second round from every year. Funny you give Deng credit for 4th quarter stats beyond points, yet judge Iguodala only by that column...except of course when he fills that column, then points don't matter.

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don caper reply to Brian on May 12 at 11:14
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Yeah, that's actually not true. Melo has been to a conference finals. Iguodala has not.

don caper drains one from beyond the arc!

Is there a reason why you change your handle every time you leave a wise ass comment, Turtle Bay?

And you're absolutely right, Chauncey Billups took Melo past the first round one time. 1/9 in his career.

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I'd rather comment elsewhere reply to Brian on May 12 at 12:36
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I don't see how stating the truth is a wise ass comment.

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I'd rather comment elsewhere reply to Brian on May 12 at 12:39
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Also, you're right. Because Chauncey Billups was on the team it didn't "count" that Melo got to the western conference finals. Great logic.

Point was, yes Chauncey Billups was good enough to get the Nuggets past the first round that one year. Every other year, when Melo didn't have someone else there to actually provide meaningful production, he has flamed out in the first round. In fact, he's got the worst playoff winning percentage of any player who has ever appeared in 50 playoff games.

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Jesse reply to Brian on May 12 at 13:51
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Fair point. I just think that Melo is getting overly slammed by the national media. He is a very solid offensive player, not on the level of LeBron or anything, but people make it seem like if he's on the team, there is no way they can do anything in the playoffs, which is just not true. According to most wing defenders, he is one of the toughest players to guard in the NBA, and I believe that if he is utilized in an intelligent manner, he can be an extremely dangerous offensive weapon and one that can help elevate his team.

In fact, he would be great next to Iguodala and Jrue. He could handle a large bulk of the scoring load, and the guards could make up for his defensive deficiencies.

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I'd rather comment elsewhere reply to Brian on May 12 at 12:41
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I guess Syracuse didn't win the national championship his freshman year either. You know, because Warrick and McNamera were on the team.

Juan Dixon won an NCAA championship as well. Really meaningful stuff in the NBA.

False. I judge players on their whole game and merit, not hype or wishful projections of what they are. (Don't waste your time comin' back with Anthony selfishness/debit D stuff; am well aware).

The Deng rebound stat "beyond points" were in refutation of your false assertion that he was idle/impotent is all.

Points always matter until the scoreboard plug is pulled. For a change, Iggy got 7 in 4th, which was beneficial for Sixers; I described his getting 2 of them to get the win - was that depiction unfair, wrong or slighting?

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D reply to D on May 11 at 14:47
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"The key to this series is Rajon Rondo. If the Sixers just can't find a way to somehow contain him, I think that they're going to be in real trouble. If they can contain him, I think maybe they could take a couple of games."

I just did an interview with NPR in Philly. Will post a link later on.

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Stan reply to Brian on May 11 at 13:04
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Did you call in or did you visit their headquarters? Just curious, because I wonder if they make you to lean into your mic and speak slowly.

Nah, it was over the phone, unfortunately.

correct me if im wrong but has a team tried defending rondo without giving him so much space, id still go under on all the pick and rolls but when he has the ball just dribbling id prefer if they try to get up on him so its harder for him to see passing lanes and tell people where to go

Someone mentioned that exact thing on one of the networks covering the games this season...sure you 'dare' rondo to shoot by giving him that space, but you give him court vision. With Ray Allen not starting (yet) maybe you want to put Evan Turner on Rondo to start?

I think they definitely put Turner on him. Avery Bradley isn't the shooter Allen is, obviously, but he's excellent at moving w/out the ball and finding creases along the baseline. I suspect Doug will want Jrue chasing him around. If Rondo's penetration becomes a problem, he'll probably adjust. A better question might be if Collins decides to go small w/ the starting lineup. Garnett and Bass shoot most of their shots from the outside, Hawes and Brand are going to have to be willing to cover them out there, otherwise you have to go small to take that stuff away. The good news is the Celts are the worst offensive rebounding team in the league, so you really don't get punished for going small.

I'm telling you - you start Battie in game one - put him on rondo - and have him hack the heck out of him until he gets his six

Evan has to stay on Rondo as the default match up. Ray will probably be up to a full compliment of minutes with a couple days of rest and Jrue is so much better these days at circumventing screens and snuffing out catches. Plus, Rondo's lack of range will keep Evan closer to the basket.

Garnett never gets called for his moving screens

Ironically, Dre is getting a lot of national love for his performance last night. I say ironic because his usual great defense what most of us praise him for, was lackluster.

Whatever. I'm happy he came up so clutch.

I think this is a terrific opportunity for the Sixers to make the conference finals. The Celtics are a very good matchup for them IMO, even better than the Bulls. They are not a danger on the offensive glass, they do not have dangerous post up players, you can play Young extended minutes, you have the perfect defenders for Rondo, Allen and Pierce in Turner, Holiday and Iguodala.... Just so many favorable situations.

The Sixers are younger deeper and have played them well in the regular season. They better be in a winning mindset. This is a great opportunity.

A quick question for all of you guys. How much does this team resemble the 99 Knicks? Can the same thing happen all over again? We can only hope.

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Stan reply to Xsago on May 11 at 14:33
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We don't have a C like Marcus Camby and the #1 seed didn't lose it's two best players in 99.

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Mike reply to Xsago on May 11 at 17:16
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yea i mean do you really not know that answer? in addition to what Stan said, the '99 Knicks didn't have to go through this year's Miami Heat

This, while it probably wont change the long-term outlook, is gonna be fun. As banged up as the Bulls were, the Sixers have more than a puncher's chance against Boston. Thad will get, and better take advantage of, the opportunity he'll get to score this series.

A few leftover observations from Game Six (busy morning at work, didn't have a chance to write):

- Echoing Rich's comments from earlier, I thought this might have been Iguodala's worst defensive game of the season. He's had a couple games where his man went off (one game vs. Granger comes to mind) and a couple where his man got too many offensive rebounds (one vs. Carmelo comes to mind), but this was the first game all year where it was both. He lost Deng on two inbounds plays and fouled him (with no call) on a third that missed. And the Bulls got a lot of their offense early in the 4th off the simple high screen from Asik where Iguodala would trail Deng and allow him to turn the corner. In terms of outplaying his man, Game 4 was a better overall game for Iguodala.
- That said, the 4th quarter might have been Iguodala's best offensive quarter all year. Considering the circumstances and the relative play of his teammates (I think there were 4 airballs in the quarter), it could have been the best offensive quarter of his career. His basket with 9:21 left snapped a scoring drought of 4.5 minutes and was the first Sixer score of the 4th quarter; I thought that was a huge shot. His 3-pointer to tie the game with 5:50 was a big shot. His penetration and kick to Lou for a 3-pointer at 4:01 was another big play. Out of the 16 points the Sixers scored in the quarter, Iguodala was involved in 14 of them.
- There were many near-miss plays that went the Sixers' way to lead to the finish, but here were two that I haven't seen mentioned: (1) on Thad's bucket with 0:12 left, he was on an island vs. Gibson and lost him by going right, then threw in a lefty scoop -- his type of basket, but he doesn't make that shot all the time [and nobody else on the team makes that shot], and the Sixers had nothing on that possession until then; (2) on Asik's second missed free throw, Iguodala *almost* committed a lane violation by touching the ground before Asik let it go.
- It's amusing reading the Sixer message boards and seeing the Iguodala critics grudgingly give him respect for coming through last night. Such is the nature of his relationship with the fanbase that the reaction would have been five times as loud or forceful if he had missed one or both of the free throws.
- As for someone who didn't come through, how about Carlos Boozer? He was one of the main reasons the Sixers got up by 12. For all his poor shooting, some of his turnovers this series were even more inexplicable (e.g., passing to no one for a backcourt violation, throwing a crosscourt pass 5 feet over Korver's head).
- Deng played a lot better than I expected in the last couple games. I think he won the head-to-head vs. Iguodala 2-1-3 in this series (I called Game 6 a draw). But I doubt Deng would have been able to make the coast-to-coast play that Iguodala did.
- So it's on to the Celtics. The key for me is whether Iguodala has a good defensive series vs. Pierce, who (when healthy) is a more versatile offensive player than Deng. And if Garnett and Bass hit their long 2's, it's going to be hard for the Sixers to win, so I'm hoping that fatigue plays a factor.
- Second round for the first time in Depressed Fan history! Let's enjoy the ride ...

Four different videos of the end of the game:
- National call on NBA.com by Ian Eagle (an excellent announcer) and Greg Anthony
- Bulls announcers Neil Funk (former Sixer announcer) and Stacey King; notice Iguodala's "jig" after his second free throw
- Sixers announcers Zumoff and Malik Rose (unfortunately obscured by some fan's commentary, but this is the only one I could find); I found it odd that Zumoff didn't say anything after the first free throw
- Fan's live reaction (he and his friends all thought Thad had made the basket after Iguodala was fouled)

Asik doesn't even look up to where he's shooting until he's already in his free throw motion. As a commenter on YouTube observed, he missed those two before he even stepped up to the line.

think i saw someone mention back to backs in the playoffs, there arent any for at least the sixers/celtics series

@usat_jzillgitt
PHI-BOS schedule: Game 1 SAT; Game 2 MON; Game 3 WED; Game 4 5/18; Game 5 5/21; Game 6 5/23; Game 7 5/26

I won't be in town for another Sixers game unless they make the ECF. Just having that as a possibility seems comical.

Here's the interview from NPR. link. It's the very end of the May 11th episode.

Great job Brian, all that time practicing on Sixers Beat Blog Talk radio has paid off :).

And I never get used to how different your voice sounds from my expectations based on your avatar image.

Thanks. There's a story that goes along with it. I'm always surprised by my voice as well.

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tk76 reply to Brian on May 11 at 22:10
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I don't think you will need to come up with a new blog name anytime soon. But winning this series coming up would make this season special and memorable. Sort of like the 93 Phil's but without talent.


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