DISCLAIMER: Some of these posts may look familiar to the loyal readers from Sixersoul. You are not crazy. These posts were taken from my old site, edited and added to Liberty Ballers. This helps us avoid starting with a blank blog and it also gives any new readers a chance to accommodate themselves with the writing, so they know what to expect at Liberty Ballers. If you've read this before, bare with me. The posts will be brand new after these first 3-4 posts.
The season is now less than a month away and I don't think I've ever been so geeked to start basketball season in a while. The upcoming season promises magical things and I'm sure there will be many magical moments, so I thought it would be cool to look back at last season and count down the top 10 Sixer games. It's been a couple months since the season and my mind might be a little cloudy on some of them, so if I miss a game or pull a Roger Clemens and mis-remember some minor details please correct me. If you think my list is completely whack or just feel like coming up with your own, feel free to do so in the comments section. Without further adieu:
10. New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Feb. 20, 2008)
This game was over before it started. The Sixers were coming in on a terrible loss the night before. Just before the All-Star break Philly was showing signs of life and ended the first half of the season on a five game winning streak. Then, we had a huge letdown game in Minnesota where our win streak came to an end on a 104-88 loss to the terrible T'Wolves. This Knicks game was ultimately the start of a trend for the rest of the season. No matter how big of a letdown the Sixers had, they put it behind them and came out the next night or next quarter like a new team. And after the Minnesota letdown the Sixers came home to play the Knicks. Philly took a 37-17 in the first quarter and the rest of the game was just a party all-around. It was a great game to watch because the crowd seemed into it, I never once worried about a comeback, but rather if we could beat them by 40, and the Sixers did just that. Thad Young had his best game to date and Philly ended up winning 124-84. This was easily the least stressful game of the season and one of the most enjoyable to watch.
9. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzles (Dec. 22, 2007)
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to watch this game, but this makes the list because of the way it ended and the disappointment it caused me for missing it. The game really needs no explanation. All you need to know is the Sixers won on the road and then this video sums up the rest.
iguodala game winner (via Grizzli3)
8. San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers (March 15, 2008)
This game was during a month where Philly went 11-4. Of those 11 wins, five were against playoff teams, including Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and San Antonio. This game might have been higher on the list, but at the time it just seemed like another day at the office for the Sixers. The win brought the Sixers to within one game of .500 and made their playoff chances look very possible. My thoughts during this game were, "Are we really going to beat the Spurs in a grind it out game in March, when the Spurs are in their playoff gear?", "Can Sammy really shut down Tim Duncan at the end of the game?" and "Does this mean Philly really has a shot at the playoffs?" The answer to all those questions was yes. The Sixers held a small lead throughout the entire game, until the fourth when the Spurs made their push. Andre Miller had an absolutely ridiculous game, finishing with 32 points (11-14 shooting) , 7 assists, 5 rebounds and ZERO turnovers. They tried defending him with everyone. Mike Finely couldn't stop him, Tony Parker couldn't stop him, Manu Ginobli couldn't stop him, Jacque Vaughn couldn't stop him and even the oh so wonderful Bruce Bowen couldn't stop him. Everybody on the Sixers played near perfect basketball, only turning the ball over a whopping four times. Besides Miller, if I had to single one player out, it would be Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert owned Tim Duncan defensively in crunch time. Cheeks allowed him play one-on-one for the most part and Sammy made it pay off, either blocking or bothering Duncan's shots in the last few minutes. This was one of the most balanced, team effort victories of the season and it came against the defending champs.
7. Phiadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls (March 14, 2008)
This game was just one night before the Spurs game. It was in Chicago and the Sixers looked completely out of it, down 16 entering the fourth quarter. The Sixers then went on to outscore the Bulls 40-20 in the fourth and won the game 110-106 in Chicago! If I'm not mistaken the lineup Cheeks had out there for the comeback was Kevin Ollie, Lou Williams, Rodney Carney, Iguodala and Jason Smith. I could be wrong on one or two of those players, but I'm 100% sure Rodney Carney was on the floor because he was the star of the fourth. He finished with 18 points, with 12 of them coming in the final quarter. He was 3-3 from downtown in the fourth including one that cut it to a three-point lead and one that gave Philly their first lead of the 2nd half. This was just another one of Philly's great comebacks throughout the season.
6. Portland TrailBlazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Nov. 16, 2008)
Speaking of comebacks, this was THE comeback in my opinion. It also doesn't hurt that it was against my good friend Jason's favorite team. Not to mention the fact that it was basically Lou Williams coming out party. Here's the quote from the post-game that I really enjoy:
"The 76ers mobbed each other at midcourt and the fans went wild as confetti made out of programs and scraps fluttered through the air."
Jason mocked me for getting excited about the team getting over-excited for the 9th game of the season, but this team is young and inexperienced and I'm glad they celebrated like they did because I celebrated just the same. The way a team celebrates also shows how much team chemistry they really have. We all knew the Sixers had great chemistry, but this was just a reminder. It was also a reminder of how fun this team is going to be to watch grow into championship contenders over the next few years. For the game itself, the Sixers were down 41-16 at one time. Are you kidding me? They ended up cutting it to 25 in the second quarter and 22 in the third, but all of a sudden the lead was under 10 and the Sixers had all the momentum. The Sixers made 25 of 33 shots to end the game for the highest-shooting percentage in a half in team history (76 percent). In the middle of the comeback, like every other comeback this season was none other than Lou Williams. Lou scored all of his 19 points in the 2nd half. He dropped the final 10 of the third quarter and then started the fourth with the first 4. He was an absolute spark plug. He finished with a line of 19 points (8-13 FG, 2-3 threes, 1-1 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 25 minutes. Little did I or anyone else know, these performances by Williams would be a regular occurrences for the rest of the season. Philly had a knack for the comeback this year and Lou was always involved.
That's all for games 10-6.
Your guys' thoughts? Own lists?