If NBA players wore cups.
The Sixers were there in the flesh, but were already on their break mentally. Look at these stats and pretend like you don't know the outcome.
- Shot 51%
- Committed only 9 turnovers
- Forced 22 turnovers
- Held the Grizzles to 6-16 from beyond the arch
Looking at that, I assume the Sixers cruised to victory. That wasn't the case tonight. The Sixers are one of the best rebounding teams in the league, although they've struggled as of late. Tonight they allowed the Grizzles to grab 14 offensive rebounds and out-rebound them 43-26 overall. There's no excuse for that. Well, maybe there is. Marc Zumoff made sure everyone at home knew that Andre Iguodala said, the game before the All-Star break and the game after are the most difficult ones. That's understandable. Think back to school. On the last day before a long break, the last thing you wanted to do was be there, let alone take a test. The Grizzles looked hungry tonight, and provided a test for the young Sixers, but the Andre's made sure they came out of it with a W.
A couple quick things before I get into the play of the Andre's.
- Speights was ballin' again. He made it rain with 18-footers early, but was ultimately limited to 16 minutes because of foul trouble. In those 16 minutes he scored 10 points and grabbed 2 rebounds. A very solid follow-up to his coming out party on Monday night.
- Royal Ivey played spectacular defense down the stretch, specifically on O.J. Mayo.
- Samuel Dalembert was huge. He prevented a deflating throw-down from Hakim Warrick. He blocked Warrick's game-tying shot with 17 seconds left and grabbed a couple big rebounds. Not to mention, his free throw was the once to ice the game. Sammy has finally accepted his role and he's playing well.
- Theo contributed a very impressive 9 minutes. He rebounded, he blocked shots and had a nice put-back slam.
- Willie Green sucked as usual.
- Lou Williams is the biggest beneficiary of the lay-off. The dude is in a monster slump and he's not going to break out of it until he stops taking contested fadeaways and other difficult shots. It would be really nice if the Lou-Will of last year could show up and provid a spark off the bench again. An efficient spark that is, not 20 points on 20 shots.
On to the Andre's. Miller carried the team the entire game. He shot 9-11 from the floor, dished out 9 assists and committed only 2 turnovers. Iguodala was the opposite. He struggled throughout the game. His shot has been off for the past couple games and it continued tonight. That is until the 2:14 mark hit. From that point on Iguodala scored 9 points including a go-ahead left handed layup with 25 seconds left. Not only did he hit a huge shot, but he played tenacious defense on O.J. Mayo the following possession. He basically said, "My boys over at Liberty Ballers don't deserve to witness another game-winner. Everyone stay on their guys, I'm personally shutting down O.J." Andre finally has that "star" quality to him. He's established himself as the go-to guy. At this time last year I would've told you that I wanted to ball in anyone's hands but Iguodala's. Now there's no doubt in my mind who I want taking the "clutch" shots. He better not let his balls get any bigger. He might get 'em floor-burned.
Next up is the Pacers on Tuesday. That's a long layoff, but I think we all need it. As always I'll have all your Sixers updates over the next 6 days, and I think I'm going to start on a huge post that a co-blogger inspired me to do. I think you guys will like it a lot. Other than that I'll probably have an open thread going on for the Rookie/Sophomore game, since our lone representative will be in it (Thad). I'll also post a thread for Saturday and Sunday night. I have big plans Saturday so I won't be here, but I'll find a way to watch it. Somehow. I'm super stoked for H-O-R-S-E. Until tomorrow, grab your Andre Iguodala jersey, and make sweet love to it. We're 27-24 going into the break!