Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sixers Beat Pistons; Phils Show Iron Hands

Last night was another of those nights where the remote control got a workout. Going back and forth between the Sixers, Phillies, and even the Pittsburgh - Ottawa NHL playoff on Versus gave me a decent look at all three events.

Sixers Beat Resting Pistons

The Detroit Pistons definitely showed up at the Wachovia Center, but they way they used their players, it looked more like an exhibition game as Detroit played all of their players last night against the Sixers en route to the 101 - 94 Sixer victory.

Andre Iguodala had 25 points, which included 4 3-pointers, to go with 5 steals, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Samuel Dalembert also hung up dominant numbers with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Back to Iguodala momentarily: I'm sure this will come up more prominently after the season is over and we have time to reflect on the big picture, but I think it's time that Sixer fans come to the reality that the Sixers are going to have to give Iggy his money this summer. Iguodala is the heart of a team that has Andre Miller as it's soul. He fills up every statistical category every night that he plays. He plays defense as hard, if not harder, than anyone in the game.

The Sixer bench guys pitched in as well; Jason Smith had good energy scoring 8 points and 5 rebounds in extended minutes and Lou Williams managed a 12 point, 7 assist effort.

As of this AM, the Sixers sit in the 6th, 1 game ahead of Toronto, and would be poised to play the Orlando Magic, should the season end today.

Other items:

- Seemed like old times last night....Jimmy Lynam coached most of the 4th quarter, because Mo Cheeks apparently had to leave bench because he wasn't feeling well.

- I cannot think of a worse look than that of Pistons guard Walter Herrmann, who sports a Eurotrash style pony tail. I had thought that Flip Saunders was drunk and allowed one of the members of the WNBA Detroit Shock to get extended minutes.

Phils Lose

Despite the ambiguity around Rollins' injury, he did not play last night in the 7 - 2 loss to the hated Mets.

The game itself was miserable; the Phils committed 4 errors and of those, two were by Rollins' replacement, Eric Bruntlett, in the same inning. Combined with the Chase Utley error in the 1st inning that led to a run, that meant of the 7 runs the Mets scored, only 1 was earned. Yikes!

That doesn't let Kyle Kendrick off of the hook totally. He threw 71 pitches in only going 2 1/3 innings and walked 6. He struck out the same number of batters I struck out last night, which was none. That's not acceptable.

On the bright side, long reliever Chad Durbin (potential replacement?) went 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief to keep the Mets at 7 runs.

Offensively, some key Phils continue to struggle. Victorino, leading off in place of Rollins, needs to pick up the pace. He took an 0 - 5 collar last night and left 3 men on base. Shane Victorino's lack of offense in the early going should be a big source of concern for the Phils. Is this guy a top of the order player? Ryan Howard did pick up a base hit last night, but is still hitting only .188 and struck out twice.

Series continues tonite with Adam Eaton facing John Maine.

Misc. NHL Playoffs

Watched a little of the Pittsburgh-Ottawa game last night....the Pens just came out of the gate and just sucker punched Ottawa 4 - 0. It seemed like Gary Roberts growled at Ottawa and they all collectively backed down. Someone on the Sens needs to drop the gloves with Roberts. Also, despite getting the shutout, I didn't think Fleury had to do much to get it. The Sens just looked real passive.

Of concern to the Flyers, was that I thought the game was evenly called (5 power plays apiece). Consistent officiating will be a factor in the Flyers playoff success.

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