Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Disaster strikes!

Okay, disaster didn't actually strike, but the Sixers did lose their season opener to the Toronto Raptors. Since I assume the Sixers are going to finish the season behind the Raptors in the standings, I guess I can't be too surprised they lost to them. Still, stealing a few games against mid-tier teams like the Raptors will go a long way towards boosting the Sixers playoff chances.

Much to my chagrin, I can tell from looking at the box score that a few things happened in today's game that I really wished hadn't happened:

(1) Mo Cheeks played a small line-up. How do I know? Well, our centers and power forwards (Dalembert, Evans, Smith, and Booth) played only 64 out of the 96 minutes available for the two big man positions. I understand Dalembert only playing 25 minutes-- he's coming back from injury so maybe his conditioning and timing isn't that good (he picked up 4 fouls in 25 minutes which could be a sign of rust)-- but why did Reggie Evans only play 22 minutes? In that time period he had fifteen rebounds! The man is a machine on the glass, and he should be playing more even if he isn't doing anything else.

(2) Willie Green played big minutes, and so did Rodney Carney. Cheeks played Green for 33 minutes and Carney for 16 minutes. You know my opinion of the two of them, so as far as I'm concerned we effectively conceded the shooting guard position to the other team for the full game. To be fair, it doesn't look like either player was that bad tonight, but based on their playing time it's clear that Mo Cheeks and I don't see eye-to-eye on this issue.

[note: ESPN's box score only accounts for 229 out of the 240 minutes played by the Sixers. I'm assuming this is the result of the way they rounded minutes played, but it means my discussion of everyone's minutes might be a tad off.]

The good news is that for the most part it seems like the Sixers played the Raptors pretty tough. Most nights Igoudala isn't going to cough up 6 turnovers, and assuming a slightly better showing from AI2 the Sixers would have had a real shot at victory. And Dalembert will hopefully play more minutes as he gets healthier.

All in all, a mixed bag, but not a bad start to the season (although a loss is still a loss...).

Current Record: 0-1

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