Guys, it's official -- the Philadelphia 76ers are playoff bound. Today the Pistons came in to Wachovia Center, fighting equally as hard for their playoff lives. The game was close throughout, with the Pistons actually leading for most of the game. But the Sixers were able to do what they have done best in the past month or so -- keep the game within striking distance for three quarters, and as Zumoff would say, "lock all windows and doors" in the fourth.
During their current three-game winning streak, the Sixers have outscored their opponents 21-16, 25-16 and 27-16 in the fourth and final quarter. It doesn't get much better than that. The Sixers stellar fourth quarters can be accredited to: defense, energy, and good substitutions.
It feels great to get win number 40, clinch a playoff berth, maintain our slight lead for the fifth seed, and leave the door open for the fourth seed.
Click through for "Likes" and "Dislikes".
Things I liked:
- Andre Iguodala's in-transition, behind-the-back, reserve layup.
- Three Miller-to-Iguodala Alley-oops.
- An electric (generous) crowd for a couple minutes at the end, after being pretty quiet for most of the game.
- DiLeo's substitution of Reggie Evans for M16 with 2:02 remaining in the game. It was a game-saving substitution.
- Andre Miller's triple-double.
- Donny-Ice being +8 despite only playing six minutes, and attempting one shot. The Sixers are just a different with him on the floor. Whether it's his ability to stretch the defense, or his underrated rebounding/defense, I don't know, but he's an absolute difference maker.
- The Sixers being on national TV.
- Lou Williams play as of late. He was huge in getting to the basket today. He seemed to be settling for less and less jumpers every game, and him driving to the basket not only got him to the line or easy buckets, but it opened up lanes for his teammates to cut and take the pass. Lou was huge when the Sixers were struggling in half-court. He came in and dominated the ball. Very Iverson-esque, I though.
- 21-26 from the line.
- Reggie Evans hustle and clutch free throws at the end.
- Sam Dalembert's awful defense. He let Kwame Brown destroy him for goodness sake.
- Sam Dalembert's 0 rebounds. Unforgivable.
- Jon Barry.
- Marreese Speights inability to box out or hustle for rebounds. Unforgivable. DiLeo benched him immediately, so he'll learn. I'm not too worried.
- WIDE OPEN threes. I noticed the players really fail to close out on defense. As soon as you see a dude with a wide open three, you have to close out. DiLeo has to continue to pound this in their heads before playoffs.
- Announcers calling Marreese Speights, Marreese "Spites" or "Sprites".
- ESPN's coverage of the game in general. It sounded like neither announcer had watched a quarter of Sixers basketball the entire season.