The 76ers went 1-6 down the stretch run of the regular season and at times looked, well frankly, pathetic. So while we realize that going 1-6 is no way to build momentum for a long and successful journey through the NBA Playoffs, we did pick up on a few things that we believe the Sixers can build on and at the same time will give us the fans some sort of hope to cling to as this squad gets set to start postseason play.
Here is the Philadunkia list of 5 Positive Things that Came from the 1-6 Streak :
Andre Iguodala got his swagger on : We requested that he step up and be a hero over the last fiive games of the season and while he fell short of the Hall of Justice status we asked for, Iggy did play very solid ball. He hit for 17.3 ppg., but if you throw out the debacle in NJ (5 points) that average climbs to 19.1 ppg. More important then stats however was the fact that Iguodala showed glimpses of the aggressive, fiery attitude we will need from him to be successful in the playoffs. During the recent seven game stretch, he took the ball to the hole with authority, appeared to relish taking big shots, directed some yapping at opposing players and got in people’s face on defense. If ‘Dre can take those elements of his game to another level and truely lead this squad, we may have a chance against the Magic.
X&Os : We now know that the Sixers set plays for “we need a bucket to win the game in the final seconds” do NOT work. It’s better to find that out during the next-to- last game of the regular season then during Game 5 of the First Round of the Playoffs. DiLeo, Jimmy Lynam and company will now have several practices to come up with some new X&Os to get a last second hoop. Hopefully they’ll be a little more imaginative this time around.
Thad’s ankle is solid : Young said in the post game interview last night that he still doesn’t have his “lift” back yet, but other then that we thought he looked great. Thad appeared to cut and slash without any hesitation which is the key to him playing effectively. His scoring touch certainly was quick to return — 19 ppg. in the last two regular season runs. Also his defense did not show any ill-effects from the injury as Thad had 3 thefts per game over the last two contests.
Willie Green showed a glimmer of hope: If you skipped watching the Boston game once you learned that KG and Ray Allen were back in Beantown, then you missed Willie G’s decent effort against the Celtics. It was only one game, but we’ll take any positive signs we can get from #33. These days when it comes to Green, 5-7 on FGs and 1-2 on 3-balls for 11 total points is a great night. In fact he may have been “in the zone” as far as we can tell. If Green can learn from the Celtics game and “play within himself ” as they say, he could be of help in the playoffs. That will require Willie having to limit himself to putting up only 5-8 shots a game. Most importantly, the shots Willie takes must be good looks.
Theo Ratliff proved he can haul major minutes : You can laugh but this will be especially important against the Magic, which figures to be a series where Big Sammy will be in foul trouble frequently. We had questions about Theo’s ability to play more then say 12-15 minutes a game frequently, but he proved us wrong. During the 1-6 streak Theo had games where he hauled 25 and 26 minutes and another three games where he played 16 or more ticks a night. Going back a little further to the Pistons game, Theo put in 31 minutes of work. He didn’t exactly fill the stat sheet with his extra time on the court, but who cares. Where just happy he’ll be able to give the Sixers extended minutes vs. Superman because we will need them.