Thursday, March 13, 2008

HUGE Win on the Road for the 76ers

Had to come back today to post a 2nd time to give some love to the Sixers.

Despite not shooting all that well (40% as a team) and despite missing their floor leader, Andre Miller, for the final 7 minutes of the game, the Sixers went on to gut out an 83-82 win over perennial Eastern Conference power Detroit Pistons.

Andre Iguodala managed 22 points on 6 of 22 shooting, but most importantly, he made 9 of 12 free throws, but Iggy was not the whole story here.

With Miller out (low back bruise and ab strain), everyone seemed to contribute from Sam Dalembert (15 boards, 3 blocks that should have been 4 but for a bullshit goaltending call) to Rodney Carney (16 points on 7 of 10 shooting) to even Jason Smith, who used all 5 of his fouls (I mean that in a good's not a horrible thing to be an energy guy and come out, play physically, and use up your fouls).

It's been said by better writers and observers of the team than myself, but I cannot say enough for the style of play this team has taken on since Ed Stefanski became the GM. Don't listen to me.....take it from Chauncey Billups (from Phil Jasner's article in today's DN):

"I think you've got to run different sets that sometimes you might not run," he said, "because [the Sixers] are locked in, and that team is long and very athletic, and they used that to their advantage."

Basically, what that means is that a coach is using the talent he has in the most appropriate way. Not sure there is another coach in the city that can be said of other than Mo Cheeks. Sure, this Sixer team definitely has holes (no consistent, dead-on 3 point threat, no low-post offensive presence) and Lou Williams' development sometimes scares me (1 for 10 shooting last night....yikes!), but you can't dispute that this team has been damn entertaining for some time now.

It's fun that Sixer basketball is starting to matter again.

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