TIME TO MAN UP

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/18/12 4:25 pm EST

For the Sixers the time to toughen up is now. 

It’s not just that they lost Game 3 that’s so disappointing, but it’s the way they lost it.  They didn’t just lose, Boston beat them down.  They were outplayed and out-hustled for the bulk of the game; somewhat surprising from a scrappy Sixer team that has maximized their talent all season.  No, the 7-6 aren’t the NBA’s toughest team, but they can’t allow themselves to be bullied, especially in front of the Philadelphia faithful.

Boston is going to talk, and Boston is going to bang.  That is what they do.  It is no secret that they are an emotional team, spearheaded by superstar hotheads Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who yap almost as much as they produce on court, and this attitude sets the tone for the rest of the squad.  The Sixers have to not only accept this, but to overcome it. 

 

Sure for a team full of young kids it can be quite intimidating to see future first-balloter Kevin Garnett slapping himself in the head with that crazed look in his eye after a couple successful shots, but such is life in the NBA’s second season.  If this Sixer squad is to take next step from low playoff seed to true contender, they must develop some of this tough skin on their own, and there is no better way to do so than not bowing down to Boston.

The 7-6 looked overmatched in Game 3.  They allowed too many open layups and uncontested shots, and all too often didn’t have an answer to the tenacity of KG and Pierce.  The Sixers’ timidness surfaced offensively as well, as they settled for long jump shot after long jump shot.  This team is at its best when players are slashing, attacking the basket, drawing fouls, and kicking out to open shooters; almost all of which was absent in the second half of game three.  Instead the Sixers allowed themselves to be pushed out of the paint and consistently forced contested shots.  If Philadelphia wants a shot of winning the series they must man up and alter this approach immediately.  It starts with Iguodala, the team’s lone all-star and de-facto leader.  He needs to push the pace early and attack the rim.  Regardless of his struggles from the line, the strong play will radiate a message throughout the rest of the team. 

The fact that the 76ers have won five playoff games this postseason serves as a surprise to many, but having seen what they are capable of, along with the state of the rest of the field, they should be far from satisfied.  However, in order to advance the team needs to toughen up, starting tonight and givenBostona taste of their own medicine.


 
 
 

3 Responses to “TIME TO MAN UP”

  1. rob
    19. May 2012 at 00:54

    HUGE.

  2. Duane
    19. May 2012 at 02:07

    Done and done.

  3. Kimberly
    12. June 2012 at 17:33

    Agreed, you guys did well. Congrats. As for the Lebron speculation, every jaackss in America has been throwing in their two sense. I’m a jaackss. I live in America. So here’s mine:No Shot (NJ Nets, LA Clippers) The clips have been awful forever, their owner is a RI-tard, and Lebron doesn’t go out there to compete for the spotlight with Kobe who would unquestionably have the better team, and play much more difficult West opponents on his way to the NBA Finals. The Sports Guy described this as the Fredo Corrleone move, and I wholeheartedly agree. 100-1There is an argument that can be made for the Nets brand new arena, exciting new owner, Jay Z owns part of the team, fairly good young nucleaus despite their record plus a high draft pick but there are two reasons this never happens. First, if you’re going to make this move, you sign a 3 year deal with the cavs and play the I love playing here but I’m not commiting long-term because I want to be sure ownership continues to be motivated to build around me card. The Nets don’t move to Brooklyn for two years, so that gives you time to try and win a ring for Cleveland (and if you don’t you have the perfect excuse to leave the window is closing! ), you never have to play in NJ otherwise known as the arm pit of the world, and you can see how their talent develops and how their new owner does before committing. Second, if you come to NY, you play in Madison Square Garden, not Brooklyn (where the hell is Brooklyn anyway, out near lodai NJ?) don’t you? 75-1A Puncher’s Chance (NY Knicks)Let’s imagine the knicks wet dream scenario: getting Lebron and Bosh. You have to let David Lee go and basically use up all your cap space to get that done (although, you do get more next year when Eddy the Fat Man Curry comes off the books). Next season, your starting five looks like: Duhon; Galinari, Lebron, Bosh, and Earl Barron; with Eddie house, Wilson Chandler, and the rest of a pu-pu platter coming off the bench. Is that team so much better than the Cavs as currently constructed or the Magic, Celtics, Suns, Mavs, Suns, Spurs, or Lakers? It’s definitely a playoff team, no doubt about that, but I’m not sure it’s a team that will dominate in the playoffs. Obviously, they’d try to use the Curry cap space to fill out the parts the next year but that’s no guarantee and if you’re Lebron and you can write your own ticket, isn’t that what you’re looking for as much of a guarantee as possible? Also, if you come to NY, you have to play for James Jimmy Dean Sausage Dolan, one of the most embarrasing owners in all of sports. It IS madison Square Garden and a chance to gain immortality be rescuing the Knicks, but it’s really hard for me to see this happening, especially because it depends on getting Bosh too which is far from likely. 50-1The Dark Horse (Mia)As for the heat, on paper they have a lot going for them, Miami is an awesome city and they already have Wade. But with Wade and Lebron they’ll have no cap room either, making it hard to fill out the rest of the roster, so you’re basically sinking everything into a Jordan/Pippen type-play. Plus, I think you’d have alpha dog issues eventually (playing together for a few days in the olympics was fun for a whole season?) and Miami, while a great city, is not a great basketball city. The fans show up late (as would you if you had their weather) and are tepid at best when they do get there. I’m not discounting it because I think Miami is the dark horse in this race, but for now, I ain’t buying it. 15-1The favs (Cle, Chi)Chicago might be the best move. Good YOUNG nucleaus in Rose, Noah, Deng et al making a dynasty a possibility, cap space, ability to pick the next coach, good combination of a big city but not an overly scrutinizing media, stable competent ownership/management, close to his hometown, all positive things except there are three words that make this a hard move to make: Michael Jefferson Jordan. If he goes to Chicago, do the Jordan comparisons EVER stop? Setting yourself up to being compared to the best player ever who won all of those championships making that the benchmark of success, it’s almost like setting yourself up for failure. Even if he gets his ring, won’t the questions be why not 6 like Michael? Still a great possibility, but the Jordan factor is an issue for me. Will it be for him? 2-1The Cavs They don’t have the horses to get it done right now, they don’t have a lot of room to add pieces, and Lebron was visibly frustrated with the coach in the playoffs. Not good signs. But it is his hometown, he can pick the next coach, and make whatever personnel changes he wants. He knows all the players, he’s comfortable in the city , and bringing a championship to Cleveland would probably rank second in reaction after the Knicks. Plus, he gets to stay the good guy who was loyal to his hometown as opposed to being the hired gun who left for greener pastures and devastated an entire city in the process. I think the smart basketball move is to leave for chicago, but is Chicago SO much better basketball wise to make it (the MJ comparisons, the hired gun criticisms) worth it? To me, that’s the real question in all of this. 2-1

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