Game #24: Yup… the wheels are coming off…

Never really close in a 111 to 98 LOSS to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Dropping the Sixers to 12 wins 12 losses on the season.

Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner

So how did it happen? No Holiday of course, but I’m not sure it would have mattered. The Sixers were green eyed with envy as the watched the Lakers indulged playing style under cool dad coach Mike D’Antoni.

Who’s got two thumbs and doesn’t care if you jack up a 100 bad shots?  THIS GUY!!!

mike dantoni THIS GUY

“But coach… the Lakers don’t have to play defense! and Mike D’Antoni let’s them stay out to 10… on weeknights! and Eddie Jordan has a trampoline in his yard! and they keep thier thermostat on 75, and…”

“well God Damn it, why don’t you just go live with Mike D’Antoni then!”

This lakers team has a ridiculous combined 33 All Star appearances on their roster, and they certainly play defense like it’s the All Star game...

The impulsive Sixers couldn’t help themselves and were baited into a defense optional playground shoot out. And that’s a great strategy when you against Kobe Bryant. Wait… I mean that’s a horrible strategy when you play against Kobe Bryant…

Kobe strafes the Sixers for an effortless 34 points. and the much maligned supporting cast of Chris Duhon, Darius Morris, Metta World Peace and Jodie Meeks combine for 60 points and a dozen made 3’s. Most of them uncontested. The Lakers cruise to 111 points inspite of taking their foot off the gas halfway through the third…

kobe brandy prom

Inter Personal Observations:

1)This really heartwarming reunion pretip: Bynum sharing some United Nations Agenda 21 conspiracy theories (thanks a lot, Spence). Kobe stifling convulsive laughter while telling Bynum how much they miss him…

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum

Kobe had this to offer Post Game:

“really a special player at both ends of the floor. I don’t know what he’s doing with that perm, but I guess he’s a trendsetter.”

2) Doug Collins slow walk into Orientalism and madness.

76ers Collins Basketball Doug Collins Crazy shirt Doug Collins Sixers logo

I don’t know if it’s a Colonel Kurtz kind of thing or an Island of Dr. Moreau kind of thing. But Collins is definitely going nuts, and definitely doing it in a Marlon Brando kind of way…

Look, I get it. A defensive guru, hoisted by his own petard after gutting his made-in-his-own-image defensive club in favor of the fools gold of Kwame Brown and 1 dimensional shooters. That’s got to sting.

petard

THE GOOD:

1) A meaningless visitation from the Holy Fool, Nick Young. Levitating for 30 points, on 23 shots and 6 made 3’s. All in a rout, not that he ever knows what the score is anyway. Here he is soaring for a largely uncontested dunk against 5 Lakers.

2) A weirdly effective Dorell Wright. 6pts/7rebs/9ast in 26 minutes and some passable defense on Kobe Bryant. Sixers actually outscored the Lakers by 4 points with Dorell on the floor. While his jumper remains trapped in a well, I actually like him the best of the shooter triumvirate of Richardson/Swaggy/Wright. At least he has some other useful basketball skills.

3) Kwame Brown post defense: let’s not fool ourselves, Kwame had a crappy game, but he did demonstrate his one exist-ant basketball skill

THE BAD:

1) Defense on Bryant: Everytime Richardson had Kobe it was clear out, and he destroyed him. This was a bad idea 12 years ago, and it’s a worse idea now.

2) 3pt defense: The Lakers role players went bananas but the Sixers certainly helped by letting them shoot all those warm up shots during the game

3) A Rare Bed Crapping by Thad Young. Maybe his worst game of the season. Metta World Peace demolished him for 19pts/16reb/4stls/2blks. Including 5 offensive rebounds and 3 3’s. Ouch…

In tribute, let’s watch World Peace rapping about weight lifting while being spotted by sexy naked ladies…

4) Kwame Brown’s wearing invisible oven mitts.

kwame brown bad hands

Half of the Sixers turnovers were the direct result of attempted passes to Brown. His hands are famously bad, so maybe the blame really lies here…

5) The entire Sixers team, for rifling post passes to guy who is wearing invisible oven mitts. “He’s standing wide open under the basket… I shouldn’t…but… I… I can’t resist…” Guys, there is reason the opposing team is leaving him wide open under the basket. He doesn’t have opposable thumbs.

and that leads us to…

THE UGLY:

The 76ers just can’t resist. They have assembled perhaps the weakest willed bunch in the NBA. They will get baited into any shootout, they will take any bad shot, and will cede any defensive matchup the opponent wants….

And that’s why we are 3 months away from Collins and Royale Ivey re-enacting this…

And despite his comically bad performance as de facto GM this off season (and I’m not even counting the Bynum thing, remember his plan was to start Kwame/Spencer frontcourt?), I still believe Collins is the coach for this team, and a nasty losing streak might be just what the doctor ordered.

This team needs to realize that it kind of sucks; Collins needs to fully process his horrible error; and Bynum or no Bynum, your core players of Jrue/Turner/Thad are all plus defenders and the Sixers need to figure out how they rebuild themselves (again) as a defensive basketball team.

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