Game #22: Belated thoughts on Sixers/Bulls

Sixers miss yet another chance to make a statement, recieving yet another defensive goring at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. 96 to 89 Loss…

goring

 

taj thad noah dec 12

Why can’t we beat this team? So far this young season, the Sixers have played ten games against teams ranked in the top half of the league in defense. Their 2 and 8 in those games, with their lone wins coming in thier running, stream of conscionseness brickfight with the Celtics of Boston.

northern ireland riot

Conclusion: Any defense with a half a clue can disrupt the one dimensional Sixers offense.

The Bulls once again cut off the three point shot (2 for 14) and the foul line (5 for 11) and keep the Sixers below 90 points in spite of some half decent 2 point shooting.

And this guy kicked our ass…

21 points on 10 shots. 7 boards, 5 assists, 3 blocks. Jeez Joakim… why so agitated?

Oh right, that whole thing about us lustily cheering his gruesome ankle sprain last Spring. I guess the emotional unguarded Parisian, French/Swedish/American tri-citizen, and basketball free spirit, took that a little personally.

joakim noah young joakim-noah-suit

naoh hamock

So lets take a quick digression on Philly fandom…

I firmly believe that the national storyline of Philadelphia as a steaming and singular cauldron of human bile is rubbish (ok, mostly rubbish).

But let’s be real guys, we do cheer when opposing athletes get injured. We are happy when something happens in a game that gives our team a better chance to win. When we are happy, we cheer.

Let’s imagine we are the NBA’s politest fanbase, the enthusiastic, organized, cowboy hat wearing, supporters of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

thunder fans

Let’s say Lebron James sprains his ankle in game 5 of the NBA finals at the Chesepeake Energy Arena. I’m guessing the Thunder fans would be VERY HAPPY at this outcome. They’d be quiet about it, of course. But VERY HAPPY, nonetheless.

And the fact that Lebron James is going to have sleep with his leg elevated for the next week isn’t really upsetting them right now. (shame on you, Oklahoma! That can be very uncomfortable! Lebron likes to sleep on his side!).

The only difference is you know exactly where you stand with a Philadelphian. If a Philadelphian wants you to sit on something and spin around, you are going to know exactly  when, where, and for how long. In many ways, getting your injury boo-ed is actually quite a compliment, as we reserve it only for great players.

In light of this, I propose that we rename the ubiqutious Philly injury cheering as The Philadelphia Crown of Laurels, the highest honors that our sports fans can bestow upon an opposing player.

Napoleon-Coronation-663x1024

ON TO THE GAME!

THE GOOD:

1) Taking it the Rim: with the bulls camped on the 3 line, the Sixers game plan was to take it the rack. Good for 44 points in the paint, and (for the Sixers at least) a lot of shots at the rim.

Thad banner drive

2) Sixers Shotblocking. Thad gets 4, Lavoy tally’s 2 and a very telling  +14 in 30 minutes. Meaning the Sixers were outscored by 21 pts in the 18 minutes he was off the floor. Here’s a block leading to a rare transition basket.

RIght! transition basketball! the best way to score against an elite defense… Why aren’t we doing this again?

THE BAD:

1) Parade to the free throw line: the heretofore stingy Sixers free throw defense is in disarray. giving up 26 attempts and the Bulls making 24.

2)Richardson’s 3 pt shot.  a tepid 2 for 6 on Wednesday, but shooting 23% for the month of December. That’s a problem for your team’s best shooter.

3) A Troubling Lack of Intensity. In spite of being the among the leagues youngest teams, and one of the leagues smallest teams. The Sixers fail again to take advantage of wounded opponent playing on back to back nights. They just don’t run. They make it very easy on opposing teams.

sixers bench no intensity

 

I can’t explain it.

THE UGLY:

Free Throw Shooting: Guys, if you only get 11 free throws, you better make them. Sixers go 5 for 11. 1 for 4 from Thad, 0 for 3 from Jrue.

But hey It can happen to the best…

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