Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lou to the Rescue

Last night was the first time I really got to watch the Tony DiLeo 76ers, and I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed much of the game. The Sixers came out with absolutely no defensive intensity on anyone not named Michael Redd, allowing the likes of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Dan Gadzuric and the Charlies—Bell and Villanueva—to beat them.

The result was a 7-point halftime deficit and 53 points for the Bucks. Not good. And things didn't get much better in the third. Andre Miller, who will never be mistaken for Ron Artest, decided not to even try on defense, allowing Luke fucking Ridnour—the whitest of the white—to blow by him on several occasions en route to 8 points in the quarter, expanding the Bucks' lead. It was pathetic.

And speaking of pathetic, how about Miller's play in general? Awful. Just awful. All the sudden, the guy has decided he's a scorer, not a distributor. Last night, yet again, he chose to look for his shot first, second and third. And if you don't believe me, peep this: the guy had 1, cout em, 1, assist heading into the fourth quarter. Seriously, Miller, stop fucking shooting so much. Jesus! I mean, he did finish with 19 points on 9 of 14 shooting, but that's not what he's there for. He's there to set up others, and he finished with a measly 3 assists. Pathetic. Maybe he's looking to put up numbers in a contract year. Maybe not. Either way, he needs to realize this team functions better when he has 10-15 assists than it does when he has 15-25 points. Plus, his shot is the ugliest thing since Anthony Mason's free throws.

But luckily for the Sixers, the bench came to play. With Elton Brand falling hard and spraining dislocating his shoulder, the Sixers needed someone to step up. Well, a few someones decided to step up.

The catalyst was Reggie Evans, he who earned cult status on last year's squad yet sat buried on the bench with Mo around this year. Well, Evans came in and did exactly what he did last year for the Sixers—hustled his ass off, crashed the glass with reckless abandon and gave this team a shot in the arm.

Hell, he even scored a basket for good measure. It was nice to see him get some action and contribute, pulling down a beastly 9 boards in just 18 minutes of action.

And Reggie wasn't the only backup power forward giving the Sixers life. The rookie, Marreese Speights, came in with energy and tenacity that shows he is growing in confidence each and every game. The young big man nabbed 7 boards in his own right and showed some aggression, getting to the foul line 7 times as well. Oh yeah, and he did this:

Damn! That was pretty tits. Suddenly, with some energy from the bigs, the Sixers were back in this thing. But it was the little man that did the heavy lifting. Louis Williams, who has been underachieving to say the least this season, had a breakout game.

With Brand down, Iguodala in foul trouble and Andre Miller toning it down on the shooting, Lou Will stepped his game up, son. Like a blur of light, he flew by defenders, got the rim, finished, got fouled—simply did it all on the offensive end. In crunch time, the Bucks couldn't stop him, and he carried the Sixers to victory, coming up with every clutch basket and even a key steal down the stretch.

He finished with a game-high 25 points and looked like the guy who had all the confidence in the world last season. It was nice to see. And I must give a shoutout to the Sixers' defense in the second half. They were swarming, suffocating, whatever cliche you want to put in there. Andre Miller, matched up on a switch down low with Andrew Bogut, made a huge steal, jumping the pass, at the end of the game, and his teammates, namely Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young, held Michael Redd to just 6 points on 2 of 13 shooting. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The best part of the game for me? Willie Green being nowhere in site in the fourth quarter. Willie Green stinks. Just flat out awful. He's a chucker, and a pretty bad chucker at that. I say, put Thad back in the starting lineup at the 2 or, better yet, put Lou Will there. Yeah, you won't get much defense from him and Miller, but you may resemble a real offense for once. Anyway, nice win, but I have to say, the team doesn't look all that great. And now Brand is gone. At least that means more Speights and Evans.

BallHype: hype it up!

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