GM 1: DISTURBING DEJA VU

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/29/09 10:17 am EST

magicThe best news about last night’s season opener in Orlando is that thanks to the Phillies and Game 1 of the World Series, few people actually witnessed the debacle put on by the 76ers.

We easily could have reposted our recap from Game 6 vs. Orlando in the 2009 Playoffs under a new title and our thoughts from that disaster would also apply to last night’s effort by the Sixers.  That fact is amazing to us considering the 2009-10 Sixers obviously have a new head coach, a new offensive system, two new starters, a new sixth man and new uniforms.  Yet they looked almost identical to the team Orlando dismissed from the playoffs last April.  Put bluntly, last night’s opener was difficult to watch at times.

Now we realize that this was just the first game of the year and that Orlando is a very, very good team (possibly Top 5 in the League) so we’ll try not to slam the Sixers too hard.  In fact the best thing for everyone involved in Philadelphia could be to forget this game ever happened, move on and focus on Friday’s home opener.

With those thoughts in mind, we’ll just provide you with a few quick notes on the season opener and put this one behind us.

 

thaddunkvmagic10-09Most disturbing items about last night’s opener:

Perimeter defense :  The Sixers still have no clue how to defend the perimeter.  The Magic shot 10-16 from 3 in the first half and 16-29 for the game.  Ryan Anderson (4-7 from 3) frequently had time to sign autographs before launching his 3-ball attempts.  Even more disturbing was the number of times no Sixer even made a late, token effort to rush at the open shooter.  Their defensive rotations were especially poor.  Ohh yeah, did we mention that Magic sharpshooter Rashard Lewis did not play?

 AI9 :  Andre Iguodala had a very rough start to the season.  Forget about his 3-11 shooting.  Iguodala looked as if he had left his offensive game in Philly.  Iggy did not score his first bucket until there was 1 minute and change left in the opening half.  As the so-called “best player” on the Sixers and a borderline All-Star, AI9 can not go scoreless in the first half of any game if the Sixers are going to be successful this season. What other “star of a team” in this League allows this to happen?  None.  Lastly, Iggy’s drives to the cup, which are usually a thing of beauty where very helter-skelter last night and he frequently ended up with off-balanced 6-footers instead of dunks or lay ins.

Louis Williams:  Yes he scored 18 points on 6-9 shooting from the field, but the Magic’s Jameer Nelson and especially “J-Dub” made Louis look slow and clueless defensively.  That’s not a good sign considering Williams (15 points & 5 dimes) is O’town’s backup point man and last night was his first game back after he sat out all of last year in a self-imposed retirement.  If Louis can’t stick with Williams what is he going to be like against guys like CP3, Deron Williams and Rondo?

 

speightsvmagic10-09Most encouraging items about last night’s opener:

Marreese Speights :  As Thad said in his interview that was posted yesterday, Speights is “a baller”.  He had 26 points on 10-11 from the field and he was everywhere.  But our favorite part of Speights’ night will not show up on the stat sheet.  After a follow slam over Dwight Howard (pic at left), Speights was talkin’ up a storm and Howard eventually got in Speights’ grill and did some yapping of his own.  We’re sure Howard gave our man the “You’re kidding me, right young buck?”  treatment, but to his credit, Speights did not back down.  He really showed some toughness and attitude by staying toe-to-toe with Howard until the refs separated the two.  The Sixers could use more of that attitude because there are too many nice guys on this team.

1st Quarter :  For one quarter of the game, the Sixers actually looked like the could hang with one of the elite teams in the NBA. They played together on offense with solid ball movement and on the defensive end they actually competed.  But they could not replicate that performance in the 2nd Q and that’s when the Magic blew this game wide open.

Bigs :  With Brand, Speights, Jason Smith and yes even Sammy Dalembert, the Sixers have a group of talented forwards / centers that will give them the flexibility to tinker with  many different lineups this season.  At points last night all of these guys showed flashes of serious offensive game.  Down the road this group could provide nice match up problems for opposing teams.

 

NBA.com has the lowlights from the Sixers at Magic opener.

Comcast SportsNet’s Dei Lynam filed this report.


 
 
 

7 Responses to “GM 1: DISTURBING DEJA VU”

  1. Baker
    29. October 2009 at 13:55

    Magic – Possibly a top 5 team….LOL. Your credibility just fell off the NBA map!

  2. Philadunkia
    29. October 2009 at 17:36

    Baker — In no partcular order the the top 4 teams in the League for most “expert” season previews were the Lakers, Cavs, Boston and San Antonio. How is the reigning eastern conference champion (Magic) not a candidate for that 5th spot?

  3. Frank Lapidus
    29. October 2009 at 17:52

    I think what he means is that you’re selling the Magic short by saying they’re “possibly” a top five team. They definitely are.

  4. Ryan
    29. October 2009 at 19:27

    I think Baker was implying that they are without a doubt a top 5 team in the league not that it is a stretch to consider them in the top 5. I was a bit taken back by the statement also.

  5. Michael Royster
    30. October 2009 at 08:52

    I agree that the Magic are a Top 5 team. You have a team with 4 All Stars on it (when Lewis returns), you can’t leave anyone down their roster with an open jumpshot and you have the young Shaq clogging up the middle. The only teams that really have the the same credentials are the Lakers and Boston. Cavs do not have a dominant big man or better shooters than the Magic (Sorry Shaq)and San Antonio are good but a very flat athletic wise. I have faith that the Sixers are going to do very well this year as soon as the coaches philosiphy wears off and they start playing ball like they know how to do, high speed and defensively aggressive. When the Sixers run they are the most exciting team (in my opinion) to watch and their running tires out their opponents. You see Orlando the other night. They looked like they just ran their warm-up Roughhouse Game at the park instead of finishing a NBA game. Bottom line we have to do what we always have done and make the opponents play how we want to play.

  6. Philadunkia
    30. October 2009 at 10:45

    I don’t think you would get much of argument from any of us here at Philadunkia that on paper, the Magic are a Top 5 team. However, we’d all like to see them play a little more with Vince before we officially place them in the Top 5 becuase we think he is a step back from Hedo as far as fitting in with the Magic’s philosophy and other players and thus they could fall back a step in 2009-10.

    Michael — we think SA got a lot more athletic this year with the return of a healthy Manu, the addition of RJ, McDyess and Ratliff as well as the drafting of Blair

  7. Bhel Atlantic
    2. November 2009 at 11:47

    Philly needs to figure out how to dump Dalembert’s contract on some other team that needs a center. It’s a joke that Dalembert is making $12 MM this season (and in 2010-11) and Speights is making less than one-sixth of that. Give Speights the ball!

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