And the award for corniest title goes to...
In all seriousness, I'm not upset about tonight's loss. I'm almost immune to emotion when it comes to this team. I need a shot of energy AKA Reggie Evans for the last 23 games of the season. I'm feeling the same way I did in the beginning of the season, during the Cheeks era -- no expectations, immune to losing, and becoming short of patience with this team. I hope that changes. I really do. But tonight just seemed like one of those games where I was just going through the motions.
First things first, the Hornets are the better basketball team. There's no doubt about that. They came into tonight's matchup completely healthy, and the Sixers came in without the necessary momentum to pull off an upset. Surprisingly, the Sixers survived a tough first quarter, and kept it pretty close throughout. The same things that have plagued them for the entire season, reared their ugly head once again tonight -- the inability to shoot the three, or defend the three, and the inability to close games.
The Hornets showed us first hand how to close a game tonight. The Sixers started to make their run. They were playing solid defense, hitting a couple shots, and eventually had the lead down to three with a minute and a half to go. Then Chris Paul, mister I only shoot 34 percent from three during the season, hits a HUGE three -- the proverbial dagger, to push the lead back to six. The Sixers had another chance to make it interesting, but showed their "un-clutchness" by failing to grab a defensive rebound. It all goes back to "bad teams find a way to lose."
As for the individual performances, both Andre's were magnificent, Miller in particular. I honestly can't say enough about Andre Miller. There's no doubt in my mind that he's the Sixers best player. Without him, they'd struggle to win 35 games in the East.
Everyone else was complete garbage, and that's not an understatement, except for two guys... drumroll please. Marreese Speights and Reggie Evans. Reggie helped turn the game around in the first and second quarters with his energy, rebounding, and solid defense on scorching hot David West. (30 points for the game, and 14 in the first.) And Speights rebounded and defended well, the two things we always get on him for. It was nice to see him contribute in other ways on a night where he wasn't good offensively.
Other than that it was just a case of good team beats bad team.
And here's the two stats, everybody's been dying to see.
Opponents' threes: 10-16
Sixers free throws: 15-18
Our record is now 29-30, and I just want to let you know that I'm watching the Heat/Cavs game right now, and there's no way were catching them for the fourth or fifth seed. We're also not going to beat them in the playoffs, unless something happens to D-Wade, God forbid.
Next game isn't 'till Saturday against the Grizz, which also happens to be my birthday!