Quantcast Philadelphia 76ers 2008: Weekend of mixed results for 76ers

 

Weekend of mixed results for Philly

 

After three games into the young season the Sixers are showing deficiencies. They lack consistency and the ability to utilize their depth, talent and well balanced offense. Philadelphia split their weekend games with a beat down of New York Friday night but went to Atlanta for their first road game of the season and lost to the Hawks. The Sixers missed a chance to make it two convincing wins in a row after Atlanta overcame a 23 point first half deficit to beat Philadelphia 95-88. The loss Saturday drops the Sixers’ record to 1-2.

Philadelphia 76ers hats The 76ers must have found some motivation after the city of Philadelphia celebrated the Phillies’ World Series title earlier Friday afternoon. Philly bounced back nicely from their opening night loss to Toronto, looking completely different as the team was firing on all cylinders. They led the whole way on 59% shooting as they pounded the New York Knicks 116-87. All active Sixer players who suited up scored against Mike D‘Antoni’s new up-tempo style Knicks, who managed to score only 87 points after opening their season Wednesday night by piling up 120 points against Miami.

Philadelphia has had three different players lead the team in scoring in each of it’s first three games. Though pleasing to see different players step up to have big games, I hope it’s because of the athleticism and talent of this somewhat young team and not the fact that the first scoring options like Elton Brand and Andre Igoudala are not being the leaders that they are expected to be. Against the Knicks, Elton Brand led the Sixers with 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Eighteen of his points were in the first half. Jamaal Crawford Led New York with 14 points. Andre Miller also had a great game for Philly, having 20 points eight assists and seven rebounds. Willie Green and Lou Williams came off the bench to help the Sixers with 18 points and 15 points respectively. Rookie Marreese Speights had six points and three boards in his pro debut.

Against Atlanta on Saturday, Thaddeus Young was the Sixers’ leading scorer with 22 points, shooting 4-6 from three-point range. It was Joe Johnson‘s stellar night for Atlanta that was the difference. He scored 35 points including a dunk with 1:53 left in the game that gave Atlanta it’s first lead. Mike Bibby added 19 for the Hawks as Atlanta improved to 2-0 for the first time in a decade. For Philadelphia, Brand had another good nigh with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert had 12 points, 11 rebounds and Andre Igoudala added 16 points. Philly point guard Andre Miller had another consistent game by handing out eight assists to go along with his 11 points. Philadelphia shot well from the line Saturday night, hitting 12 of 14 foul shots (85%).

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Despite the 1-2 start, one has to feel good about what the 76ers are showing. It appears they have all the weapons and pieces they need to contend in the Eastern Conference this year and quite possibly for the NBA title. They just need get some games under their belts, learn to play together and put those pieces together. They showed signs of excellent passing, unselfishness and the willingness to work together. The Sixers use their talent and athleticism by moving and sharing the ball. After years of seeing Allen Iverson fill up the stat sheet while teammates received a front row seat for the action, finding the open man is something that Sixer fans are not very accustomed to watching their team do. Although Iverson was loved by the Philly fans and depicted the tough-nosed, hard-working people of Philadelphia, it’s exciting to see a glimpse of five people playing together as a team. As this season progresses things should get pretty exciting for fans around the Wachovia Center. Let’s just hope they can work out the kinks and stay healthy. Now that Philadelphia folks have that fresh taste of championship still on their minds they’ll want the Sixers to keep it that way.

The Sixers return home to the Wachovia Center to host the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, November 3. It will be their first game against a Western Conference opponent this season.

 

 

By Jay Lewis
Pro Basketball Fans Philadelphia 76ers Correspondent


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