I just finished watching the much-anticipated game on a delay, and the 21-point game was magical. A part of me wished it would've been a little closer, but then again, I was happy to eat my hot wings and french fries in peace. I would have hated to see the Sixers blow a 20+ point lead to the favorite team of the person I was sitting next to. I don't want anyone to see me meltdown after a blown 20-point lead. It's not pretty. Although, I did get a little nervous late in the third and early in the fourth, for the most part it was a very relaxing game.
Here are some quick thoughts about the game in general:
The quote from one of the Blazers' announcers summed it up best. He said, "Folks, the Sixers are not this good and the Blazers are not this bad." He's exactly right. I expected a much better game. It just wasn't the Blazers night. I was disappointed in nearly every Blazer's performance except for Brandon Roy. He's the real deal.
I haven't read any recaps or any comments regarding the game, but I'd be shocked if someone, specifically a Blazers fan, hasn't mentioned the officiating. I don't think it was blatantly one-sided, but the refs seemed to "let 'em play" rather than calling every minor bump or touch a foul, and that definitely favored the Sixers. Reggie "the enforcer" Evans threw nearly 100 elbows at 10 different Blazers and somehow got away with it. Some might say the officiating was questionable, but honestly it wouldn't have mattered tonight. The Sixers were the better team.
DiLeo is a much better coach that Cheeks. It manifests itself more and more every game. The offense is better. The defense is better. The substitutions are better. Some people weren't incredibly excited about DiLeo's five-three's per game quota, and it could just be a team getting hot at the right time, but it could be the Sixers getting the green light, allowing them to shoot with more confidence. You can't argue with the numbers. In back-to-back games the Sixers have shot lights out from downtown and when they're doing that, they are a very, very dangerous team. Not only were they making them, but DiLeo looked like he had an offense in place which allowed players to get open shots, and they made 'em.
Most 21-point victories are more exciting that this was. Normally the Sixers are running and dunking all over the place. Tonight, they seemed to actually play like a real basketball team. If this continues, I'm going to have to adjust. I've gotten used to seeing them out-run and out-jump everyone.
We only had 9 turnovers, and only 3 in the first half. I guess that explains the boring game. When the Sixers are running like crazy against another super-athletic team, they turn the ball over a lot. It's a high risk, high reward type of thing. Ultimately I was surprised we only turned the ball over 9 times, but that seems to be the trend against slower teams. I believe they only turned it over 8 times against San Antonio.
11-23 from beyond the arch speaks for itself. I was sitting here watching the game with Jason and absolutely shocked every time the Sixers made a three. I was trying to explain to him that they have never, ever shot like this. It will be interesting to see if the Sixers are just hot right now, or if it has anything to do with DiLeo giving them the green light.
19-21 from the line. Fan-freakin-tastic!
The Blazers had 5 more offensive rebounds than us and 7 more total boards. I didn't like that at all.
Five. Five-game winning streak that is! It's our longest of the season.
And now I'll give you guys a standing ovation for carrying the game thread without me. 228 comments is incredible. As soon as I'm done writing this I'm going to go read every single one of them to see what was going through your heads during the game.
Andre Iguodala was a beast. Did anyone realize he could hit open threes? 4-6 from downtown! The bad news is, he only scored 29 points. 38 games into the season and we still haven't had a player score 30 points in a game. This is getting ridiculous.
Marreese Speights made a few rookie mistakes, but for the most part he was a monster on the glass, he blocked a couple shots and had a few monster dunks. Not to mention his pull up jumper from the elbow. It was just another day at the office of the Mo man.
Willie Green was horrible.
Sam Dalembert actually played some quality minutes tonight. He was blocking/contesting shots like crazy. He even had a tussle with the legendary Greg Oden. Personally, no matter how well Sam plays, I still can't stand the dropped rebounds, or the turnovers.
Andre Miller was decent. He wasn't really needed though. His standing 3-pointer was classic.
Thaddeus Young was basically non-existent for most of the game. He only played 22 minutes, but when he was in there his jumpshot, along with every other Sixer, was money. His limited action wasn't because of injury or anything like that. He just didn't match-up well with the Blazers.
Lou-Will was classic Lou-Will.
Overall, tonight's game was satisfying. You can't argue with a 21-point win against a legitimate western conference team. Next up is the Spurs on Friday. And now I'm exhausted, so I'm going to read the game thread comments, watch American Idol on delay and hit the sack.