That's a pretty awesome picture. This was with 10 seconds left.
Last night was ugly, everybody did some overreacting, and now it's time to think about what just happened. The Sixers lost to a very very good Thunder team, and there's no shame in that. I decided to put my analytical cap on and re-watch the last five minutes of the game on mySynergySports.com, which has a great deal for the second half of the season if you're interested. Here are some bullet points starting at the five minute mark.
- 4:52 - Jodie Meeks misses a long two. He was coming off a screen and got a pass in rhythm from Andre Iguodala. I would've rather him continue to cut towards the basket, but it was an open look and one that he normally makes.
- 4:47 - Kevin Durant nails a three with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. Nothing you can do when he decides to launch.
- 4:10 - Iguodala goes behind the back to Meeks for a wide open three. Brick. Gotta keep taking that shot, it's a high percentage one. This pass from Iguodala also marks the last time he touches the ball inside the three-point line the rest of the game.
- 3:56 - Louis Williams checks in for Meeks.
The rest after the jump.
- 3:40 - Thaddeus Young takes it to the basket. Goes away from the basket because of Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. He's got to take it stronger and get to the rim, those fly-by hooks won't fall, even for Thad.
- 3:20 - Durant gets a superstar foul on Iguodala. Great defense, he got the call. Tie game.
- 3:10 - Lou attacks the basket, takes an awkward mid-air one-armed leaner from 8 feet out. NOt a terrible shot, but something more controlled would have been nice. Missed.
- 2:29 - Elton Brand, with the shot clock at 5, takes possibly the worst shot of his career. A contested baseline fadeaway with no lift from 17 feet out. Airball. Awful.
- 2:13 - Durant misses a three that he'd normally make. Russell Westbrook crashes the boards, gets the long rebound over Thad, who didn't put a body on anyone and didn't go after the ball. Another defensive rebounding issue for Thad.
- 1:56 - Jrue Holiday plays great defense after a switch onto Durant, forcing a contested leaner. The shot misses, but Thad gets caught out of position and Ibaka secures another offensive rebound. Oh, Thad. Brand comes over late and fouls Ibaka after he already missed the shot. 10-1 OKC run.
- 1:45 - Lou passes to no one, dribbles around, settles for a 19-footer over Perkins with 17 seconds left on the shot clock. Airball. Thad brings in the offensive rebound, finds a wide open Jrue in the corner, misses the open three. Sometimes, shots don't fall. Brand with a frustration foul on Perkins. The Thunder went 6-10 from the line from here on out, giving the Sixers plenty of chances.
- 1:18 - Westbrook plays great D on Jrue, knocking the ball away with only 4 ticks on the shot clock. On the inbound, Iguodala hits Jrue who passes between two defenders for an open Brand 12-footer. Brick, again. Thad fights for the board, gets hacked, no call, gets his own rebound, reset. Down 3.
- 0:55 - Jrue draws Brand's man away, expects Brand to roll to the basket. Elton is slow on the roll and Jrue's pass goes to Ibaka. Not a great pass, but Elton needs to get to his spot. Turnovers hurt.
- 0:34 - Jrue gets Durant on a switch again, plays absolutely phenomenal defense on him and forces a contested 18 footer that misses. Thad rebound.
- 0:26 - Thad outlets to Jrue, who starts the fast break with Andre. Jrue finds himself in mid-air with Andre covered under the basket and hits the trailing Lou for a transition three. As we had learned earlier that day, transition three's are hard, and Lou misses. A missed opportunity for an easy bucket. James Harden rebound and fouled. Misses both. Timeout Collins.
- 0:17 - Iguodala inbounds to Lou in the corner, tries to dribble around two guys, loses his handle and turns it over. I'd rather get something to the basket there, not in the corner. Another turnover. Collins, presumably, bleeding internally. Lou doesn't foul Durant because he's pouting, then 7 seconds run off as the Thunder pass the ball around the Sixers. KD gets fouled, makes one. Down 4.
- 0:10 - Jrue inbounds to Meeks who turns around and immediately hoists a fadeaway three, blocked by Perkins. No reason to rush THAT much with 10 seconds left.
- 0:06 - Dre inbounds to Lou, who gets trapped and immediately passes back to Dre in the corner. Andre takes his first shot in 5 minutes after being the best player for the Sixers the whole game. Cotton from deep, 1 point game.
- 0:05 - Durant's fouled, makes first, misses the second. The three Sixers on the line are Dre, Jrue, and Nikola Vucevic. No Evan Turner or Tony Battie even though they're the best defensive rebounders outside of injured Spencer Hawes. Westbrook gets around Dre and pulls in another offensive rebound, his 7th of the night. Iguodala released too early from his box out and Westbrook stuck a hand in there and poked it out. Dre needs to clear him way out - that O-Board is on him. Painful. Game over.
A lot of things went into the Sixers losing this game. Missing open shots that would normally fall, not getting the ball to Iguodala, not getting to the line AT ALL compared to the Thunder's 16 foul shots in the last 4 minutes, and simple defensive rebounding. If Collins didn't sleep during the All-Star Break, I suggest an Ambien because this game certainly didn't help.
Hoopdata Advanced Box Score if you're interested. 42.2 Offensive Rebounding Rate and 43.6 Free Throw Rate for OKC. Yeesh. The Sixers were 18-22 on shots at the rim and 6-27 on long two's. Man, if there was only some way to correlate success with taking more shots at the rim.