Last year was the first year in my 10 years of being a fan that I didn't want to stay up to watch the replays, at all. Last night's game was so incredible that I re-watched it at least twice, compared to Eddie Jordan's mess of a team. This team fought, and you know what I caught out of my eye by rewatching the game?
The coaches demanded that the players cheered, that they showed some kind of activity off the bench. And cheer they did, and it was genuine. You could sense the excitement in the air, as when Miami called a timeout a fan waved his hands and asked for our crowd to rise. The fans didn't do it at first, perhaps too much in awe. Mediocrity sucks, competing is awesome. I didn't feel like we had a mediocre group of guys last night, I felt like we had a competitive group of guys.
And when this thing is turned around, everyone will mention this as the turning point: 26 Down.
26 down, James Jones is basically playing out of his rear end and last year's sixers would've thrown in the towel but not these guys. Coming back from a double digit deficit is extremely difficult, coming back from 20+ is very rarely done. Sure, you see little sparks here and there but to come back from 20+ down requires A: Extreme defensive effort, like very few points allowed and B: Offensive explosion obviously.
Defensively speaking, you had Elton Brand leading the way blocking shots and rebounding and he was aggressive all night. Lou was aggressive, Holiday played great late-game 4th quarter defense on Wade. Nocioni, everyone contributed to have that extreme defensive effort.
Offensively, ET and Lou took over. Nocioni contributed and Elton Brand showed he still has life left yet as a offensive option in this league. Holiday with the 2 clutch three's.
The refs were generally awful last night, and they were awful on the game-ending play. Even live, that was OBVIOUSLY a blocking foul. James Jones was no where close to being set on the play, and on the ensuing 76ers possesion. Ball? Well, maybe a little bit and a WHOLE lot of contact on Holiday's body resulting in him being pummeled.
Well, it's the Heat and we expected that kind of treatment from the refs going in. But it's great to be upset at terrible/biased officiating again and it's great to be even more excited about the 76ers playing hard and with energy.
Can't wait till Friday and I'm actually gonna cry when game #82 ends if they play like this every night.