Sunday, March 11, 2007
The 76ers win again in Indiana | Andre Igoudala
lead all scorers with 25 points and the 76ers win their 7th straight game. Impressive. I was curious to see how they would respond on the road after much success at home. Mo says he has not only worked to teach them to play in the NBA, but to WIN in the NBA. Those lessons were on display last nite. The Sixers comeback from a halftime deficit to take control in the 3rd period. They played lock down defense when they needed it and salted away the game at the end.
Now I have some concern about the 76ers new found success. I am reminded of the rock climber looking down the hill. Patting himself on the back and exalting "Look how far I have come". Failing to realize that a glance up the hill reveals they are only a third of the way to the top. Don't get me wrong. I am happy with thier success, but I need to keep it real.
Iggy has answered many questions, but many questions remain for this team. As witnessed last nite. Willie Green is not the dependable second scorer every team needs. I still say his defense is suspect. Korver can be shutdown when a team focuses on him with a taller, faster and/or more physical defender. Hunter's offense is one dimensional, he can't shoot free throws and rebounding eludes him. Sammy ... Sammy I am still not convinced about the wunderkind. I keep hearing his recent play is why he was given such a big contract. The intensity has improved, but the B-Ball IQ has not. I can't help but think we can do better. Miller is solid but not a 40 minute guy. The point guard position drops off considerable when he's not in the game. Kevin Ollie ... he's okay, he's got heart, but he's not the future. Sweet Lou has grown on me, but is still learning. Carney can play but is not yet a threat. There is still much work to be down.
The Sixers have had the luxury of a home schedule during this resurrection. Just returns for enduring their first 22- 33 games on the road. But they have been playin' the weaker teams. They have been playing teams on the second of back-to-back games. At the end of road trips. With star players injured. No, all their success is not due to the grace of the basketball gods. But it don't hurt.
The next two weeks will be revealing. It will show us if the 'P' word should be spoken above a whisper. It will enlighten us to weather this young squad is ready to handle "Man Business" (as David Aldridge so aptly put it this week). Their opponents will be playoff teams. After the Hawks, they play the Bulls, the Jazz, the Rockets, the Pistons and oh a trip to Miami after a tilt with the Bobcats. Not many easy games there. Will they go 2-5 or 5-2?