With an off day in the 2009 World Series, this seems like a good time to recap the Sixers first three games. Before I get into the Sixers, I want to give a shout out to Cliff Lee. He is without a doubt the best pitcher we have seen in a Phillies uniform since the days of Curt Schilling. No matter what happens in the rest of the series in New York, Cliff Lee deserves all the credit in the world for getting this team as far as it’s come. Let’s keep thinking positive and focus only on Game 6, one game at a time. Lets Go Phils!
Now onto the Sixers. I’ll admit I have not been able to watch any of the first three games due to the Fall Classic but have caught all the highlights and read all the articles, so here is what I have to say about the first three games. After a terrible opener in Orlando, the Sixers rebounded nicely with wins against Milwaukee and New York. However, there are several issues to address.
Number 1: Defense
It hasn’t been there at all for the two games against Orlando and New York. The Magic shot 55% from the field, and 55% from the 3-point mark, torching the Sixers in a lopsided 120-106 game that was never as close as the final score. Against the Knicks, they blew a 23 point lead to allow them to force overtime. Thankfully, Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams brought their A-games, combining for 59 points, 21 rebounds, and 11 assists to lead the team to a 141-127 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden. The team is struggling to defend both inside the paint and from beyond the arc, something that they need to remedy immediately. They did play a great defensive game against Milwaukee, taking their home opener by a score of 99-86 behind strong performances byAndre Iguodala (19 pts, 9 reb. 7 ast.) and Samuel Dalembert (10 pts, 12 reb., 2 blk.). One of the most important things I noticed about that game was that Dalembert only had one foul. He went on to have a great game and had a +18 for the night. In the two poor defensive games against Orlando and New York, Dalembert has 5 and 6 fouls, respectively. This led to his inability to contribute, which hurt the Sixers defensive game tremendously.
Good start overall offensively, as it seems the team has adjusted well to Eddie Jordan’s Princeton offense. But the team has to be able to defend the opposition better. Otherwise they have no shot.