Sixers Prove They Can Win Close Late – Down Hawks 95-90

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Hoops, Sixers
Tags: , , ,

Tonight was a good night to be at the Wells Fargo Center.  Not only did the Sixers exorcise some of their demons, but they got a much needed win to stay in the hunt to win the Atlantic Division.  There are a few quick interesting elements of the game worth covering.  Doug Collins didn’t seem to suggest that any of the following were any more than fluke or circumstance, but the following happened in the last five minutes of the Sixers game tonight:

1) Lou Williams and Thad Young didn’t even sniff the court.  Doug states that they were both exhausted, and that Jrue, Evan, and Meeks were on the court because they were energetic.

2) The Sixers ran their offense late, they played the way they typically play for the other 43 minutes of the game.  They did not have a single possession of “hero ball,” and they looked for the open man, the mismatch, they passed out of double-teams, and they ran the offense primarily through Elton Brand.  Who was seriously clutch.

I’m not saying I don’t like what Lou brings to the Sixers, and I definitely like what Thad brings, but I do like having 5 solid deferential players on the floor, who make the right play, can guard multiple positions, and can rebound and hit free throws (well except for Iguodala).  Of Brand, Iguodala, Turner, Meeks, and Jrue there’s not one player who’s going to force something that’s not there, when there’s a better play available.  Not surprisingly, play did not break down, the offense continued to flow, and the Sixers continued to get and make good looks.  On the whole Elton and Iguodala were both dominant, they both hit key shots, and Elton was an unreal 10-12 from the field for a throwback line of 25-10-5 and 3 blocks.  Iguodala outplayed Joe Johnson on both ends finishing with 18-8-4 and a block to Johnson’s 15-5-2 and a steal.

Up next the Heat in Miami, which will be a good test.  If recent history tells us anything, this will be a loss, but when the Sixers play like they did tonight, they can make a game of it and they need to give their all in each of their remaining games to have a shot at the division, against the reinvigorated Celtics, and to prepare what is likely to be a very challenging first round match-up in the playoffs.

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