Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sixers have no cure for the Magic

The Sixers played an incredibly interesting game despite the 108-106 loss to the Magic last nite. I thought it would cool down after a 33-33 1st period. But both teams kept sluggin it out. The Sixers kept pace even when Iggy was saddled with early foul trouble. All 5 startes from both teams scored in double figures. And the Sixers did a great job of frustrating Dwight Howard. Boy is that guy buffed or what? He and Sammy are the same height, but Sammy looks like a toothpick next to 'em.

It's kinda funny ... I was one of the few who took in Wednesday's team record setting blow-out (112-69) of the Milwaukee Bucks and it was not nearly as entertaining. But it did remind me of the old days of run and shoot basketball ... ABA style. The Sixers athleticism serves them well when they push the ball. That's the style of play I expected to see more of this season. Their half-court offense has no punch. The back door stuff they run looks good early in the game. But everybody is looking for it at crunch time.

They have yet to develop that unstoppable play. Like the monster pick and roll the Magic run with Howard and the sharp shooters at the 3 point line. Or that go to post up player that can back someone down into the paint.

Some of that has to be coaching. I am not one of those that advocates Cheeks immediate dismissal, but X's and O's is a weakness. Stan Van Gundy has made a huge difference with the Magic this year. I would have never guessed anyone could have gotten' the consistent play he has out of Hedo Turkoglu. He has instilled a killer mentality out of a traditional soft European player.

Cheeks is doing a good job with the young players. I like that he's starting the rookies. I like how he's pushing sweet Lou to learn the point. But a trademark of the really great coaches is what their team does after a time-out. Do they score or get the stop? The Sixers had a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds. What happen ... they didn't even get a shot off.

'nuff said.


Reggie Evans was a beast in Wednesday nites game. As if he took his benching (Jason Smith started) personally and extracted his pound of flesh from the Bucks. For the record, I like to see him come off the bench. That's another good move by Mo.

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