|Video of Andre Iguodala's game-winner against the Orlando Magic tonight.|
|I don't like to say I told you so, but Dwight Howard finished with 31 points, 16 boards and 2 blocks. The Sixers won. Play him one-on-one, limit open threes, and this team is very, very beatable, no matter what Howard does..|
|We've done the analysis, we've looked at this series every possible angle. As the Sixers have rested and licked the wounds from a long season with a devastating finish, our excitement for the first round of the playoffs has come to a slow boil. I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for basketball. In-game discussion after the jump.|
Latest comment: from AlvinThanks for hosting this one man. What would be the playoffs be without DepressedFan?...
|We've already talked about the matchups, the overall team strengths and weaknesses. Now it's time to talk about less quantifiable portions of the game and what needs to happen, in broad terms, for the Sixers to end tonight up 1-0 in the series.|
|It's time to put my predictions on the record. Check them out after the jump, and leave your own as well.|
|59-23. That's an impressive record. Daunting, even. I mean, 60 win seasons don't come along very often and the Magic were oh so close. Just imagine if they hadn't lost to the Knicks at home last Friday. That number, 59, along with several others is what so many people are hanging their hats on as we head into game one. The only problem is, the more relevant win total for Orlando is 23.|
Latest comment: from BrianActually, they played well against cleveland. ...
|Pat Riley was always famous for trimming his rotations down to eight men for the playoffs. During the season, he'd dig deeper into his roster, but once the games started counting, he'd divvy up the available minutes among his starters and his three best reserves. I'm very curious to see what Coach DiLeo does with his own substitution patterns in the first round. After the jump we'll take a look at how he handed out minutes in the more important games during the regular season.|
|Since not many pundits seem interested in doing a little research to find an area of the game that favors the Sixers in this series, I'll do the work after the jump.|
|The stats pretty much speak for themselves. Orlando shoots about 26 three-pointers per game, win or lose. In their wins, they shoot over 40.5% from deep, in their losses, 31.5%. This is why every single talking head (outside of Avery Johnson) has picked the Magic to win the series, this is also why I believe they are coming into the playoffs extremely vulnerable. Their reliance on the three is a flaw in the construction of their roster, not a brilliant coaching move by the lesser Van Gundy, and I think it will be why the Sixers can and will make a series out of this first round matchup.|
Latest comment: from BryonBut leaking out alone does not force the pace. Securing possessions leads to opportunity to dictate pace....
|Let's not kid ourselves, you can't even call this one a matchup. After the jump we'll take a look at the stats and try to figure out how Sammy can at least limit the damage Dwight Howard inflicts on the Sixers.|
|Two of the "new-breed" power forwards in the league, or two small forwards playing out of position? Traditionalists would tell you that playing guys like this at power forward can work in the regular season, but when the game gets slowed down in the playoffs, it's going to hurt you. Well, when both teams run a "small" lineup out there, so I guess from a personnel package standpoint, they cancel each other out. Will they cancel each other out in production as well?|
|Part three of the playoff matchup series features Andre Iguodala vs. Hedo Turkoglu. Game on the line, these are the guys who will have the ball in their hands. I'll break it down for you after the jump.|
|If you'll kindly take a look at the "Team Record" box at the top of the middle column, you'll notice that the record has been reset to 0-0. We're now about 48 hours away from Game 1, and it's time to stop worrying about the first 41 wins and start concentrating on the next 4.|
|If you were around this time last season, you probably remember the Q&A's I did with a couple of Pistons bloggers to get the other team's side of things heading into round one. This year, Zach McCann from Orlando Magic Daily has been kind enough to answer a few questions after the jump.|
|Part two of my matchup breakdown series will feature the shooting guards. Your starters, Willie Green and Courtney Lee.|