Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We won! We won!

After competing hard for the previous two games, the Sixers' effort was finally rewarded with a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. You can check out the write up of the game here.

What led to the victory? In a word: offense! A bit of a shock if you've been following the Sixers this season, but there's no denying it. The Sixers had by far their best offensive game of the season-- they had their top offensive efficiency rating (126.4), lowest turnover rate (11.1%), best true shooting percentage (59.8%), and best offensive rebound rate (39.5%). It was basically a perfect storm. Well done, fellows.

On the other side of the ball, the Sixers forced their normal high turnover rate, but other than that it wasn't one of their better performances. But you know what? I'll take the victory.

If you want to see a perspective on the game from the other side, check out Brew Hoop's game recap and post-game thoughts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two "good" losses

I hate to call any loss a "good" loss, but I think the Sixers' last two games fit the bill. After the miracle comeback against the Trailblazers and the blow-out loss to the Wizards, it was important for the Sixers to start playing their opponents tough through the entire game. And they did that in their last two games, an 88-93 loss to the Pistons and a 98-100 overtime loss to the Warriors. Sometimes the other team just hits a game-winning shot...not really much you can do about it at that point.

As usual, the Sixers' defense was very good-- limiting the Pistons and Warriors to offensive ratings of 99.0 and 94.8 respectively. On the other end, the Sixers' offensive efficiency was as dismal as ever, clocking in at 92.2 and 95.5 respectively. The efficiency ratings for the game against the Warriors demonstrate just how close (and perhaps fluky) that game was: the Sixers actually had a better rating than the Warriors, but lost because the Warriors had slightly more possessions-- 103 to 106 by my estimates. This three possession difference is somewhat fluky, and probably resulted from some freak occurrence of shot-clock management at the end of quarters.

I noticed that Reggie Evans had 9 rebounds in 22 minutes against the Warriors, so I'm a bit curious to know why he didn't play more. Unfortunately, the popcorn machine game flow isn't posted yet, so I can't see how the Sixers did while he was on the court. In general, I thought the lesson to be learned from the Jazz's demolition of the Warriors in the playoffs was that teams should go big and just kill the Warriors on the offensive glass. So in my mind, it would have been the perfect type of game to play Evans big minutes. Oh well.

We played two solid games, now it's time for a victory!