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.
5. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Phoenix Suns (March 1st, 2008)
This was by far Philly's biggest road win of the season up to this point. They had been playing well as of late and taking care of business at home, but could they march into Phoenix and beat the Suns? They sure could and they did. The Suns were just starting to gel as a team since the Shaq trade. To be completely honest, this was a time during the season where the Sixers put some serious doubts in my mind, but from this game on I believed. The Sixers got off to a fast start, winning the first quarter 28-18, but the Suns came right back and tied it going into halftime. The Sixers played with incredible poise and swagger. Andre Iguodala hit a half court shot at the end of the third that felt like a turning point in the season for me. The Sixers ended up winning the game by a score of 119-114. They stood in there and traded buckets with the Suns in the fourth. They took everything the Suns had and still came out on top. For me, this was definitely the moment I realized this team could actually be really, really good.
4. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
Earlier I would have gone into this game expecting the Sixers to lose, especially to the NBA's best team on their homecourt, but after the victory over the Suns I thought differently. I thought the Celtics might be on a slight cruise control and the Sixers could go into Boston and come out with a big win, increasing their playoff hopes, along with a shot of confidence. The game was pretty close throughout, but it still felt like the Celtics were controlling the game, which they were. With 8 minutes and 20 seconds left in the game the C's took an 80-69 lead. If this were a few months earlier, what would've happened? The Sixers would probably have lost all confidence and got blown out. This team was different though. They were confident. They knew they could win. They were lead by Andre Iguodala. Like it or not, this guy is our franchise player and he showed why this night. The Sixers went on a 19-0 run in the next 6 minutes. I couldn't believe what I had just seen. Philadelphia had gone from down 11 to up 8 in six minutes! Against the Celtics! In Boston! Iguodala scored 10 of the 19 during the run and made big shot after big shot against Paul Pierce, then came down to the other end and played lights out defense. If he could learn how to play every game like he played this one, he'd be a perennial all-star. Now that he's a year older and no longer Elton Brand-less this becomes a realistic possibility. The Sixers ended up winning the game by a score of 95-90 and moved a game over .500 and pretty much clinched a playoff berth.
3. Detroit Pistons vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 3)
This might be higher on other's list and rightfully so. This was the most fun I had watching a basketball game all season. The Sixers ended up destroying the Pistons in front of the type of crowd I'd been dreaming of for years. My boy Sammy D ended up having arguably the greatest game of his career finishing the game with 22-16. The Sixers led from start to finish and took a 2-1 lead in the first round of the playoffs. The final score was 95-75. The reason this game isn't higher on the list was it wasn't close at all which I can't say about the first two on my list and although it was the best crowd of the season, the best blowout of the season, the best home game of the season and ultimately the last victory of the magical 07-08 season, it does not compare to the top two in my opinion.
Here's highlights, since this game gave Sixer fans such a high:
Game 3 round 1 Pistons vs Sixers 2008 Playoffs (via the2008playoffsblitz)
2. Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (March 19, 2008)
Allen Iverson's return to Philadelphia. This was a real emotional game for me. I, like most other Sixer fans wanted to see the Sixers win, but also see Allen do well in his return to the Wac. I got everything I wished for. The Sixers won a nail-biter, 115-113. Iverson did well, scoring 32 and dropping eight dimes, not to mention his kiss of the logo and his "THX Philly" shoes. The coolest part of the game was when Andre Miller abused Iverson in the post and scored on an "and 1" to give the Sixers a 3 point lead with a minute to go. Miller is never one to show emotion, but he made it clear he was very pumped to play against his old team and the Sixer legend he was traded for.
This was the most emotional, perfectly scripted game of the season. I don't have much more to say, except watch this:
Allen Iverson all access (Return to Philly) (via DCMC404)
1. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons (Game 1)
I could not imagine any other game taking the number one spot on this list. Game 1 of the playoff series with the mighty Detroit Pistons. No one expected the Sixers to be here, let alone win a game. Things were going according to plan in the first half. The young Sixers looked nervous. The veteran Pistons seemed to be going through the motions, yet still dominating the game. They took a 51-38 lead into half time and it seemed irrational to think the Sixers could have any sort of comeback. It seemed especially unrealistic since the Sixers half-court offense was abysmal and their so called "star player", Andre Iguodala was getting locked down by a world-class defender. But just like the rest of the season, when you counted the Sixers out, they came out hungrier than ever. The nerves were gone. They're running attack was back and they fluctuated the lead throughout the third, ending the quarter looking at a mere 7 point deficit. The Sixers ended up outscoring the Pistons in the fourth 27-16 and shocked the world with a 90-86 win to take a 1-0 series lead. The Sixers were led by unlikely hero, Reggie "Shrek" Evans. Evans gave the team the toughness and swagger they needed to compete with the Pistons. For the longest time, he looked like the only Sixer not about to wet his pants. His style of play rubbed off on the rest of the team and they started to believe they could come back and win the game. And they did just that. Evans not only helped by playing hard, but put in an improbable turnaround jumper in the last moments of the game. Now, as a Sixers fan I watched them all season. Not once can I remember Reggie making or even taking a shot like he did in the final moments of the team's first playoff game, but that's just who he is. I'll never forget this game and I'm sure it will be looked back on as a building block for an eventual championship team. One can only hope.