For the fourth time this season, the 76ers lost a seeming improbable game, that most teams would win 95 out of 100 times. This time because of a four point play with less than 20 seconds left as the Magic went on to win in OT 99 to 98.
The Sixers were up 3 when the Magic fouled Lou Williams to put him at the line. He, just like in the Pistons collapse loss, failed at the free throw line, making one of two. At the other end, Jason Richardson hit a three pointer while being fouled by Iggy, and completed the four point play to tie the game up with 17 seconds left. It was arguable that it actually wasn’t a foul because after review there was no contact, but the simple fact is that he shouldn’t have been reaching in on J-Rich as he was shooting a three to begin with. Even after all of that, the Sixers still had the last shot to win the game, but Lou Williams dribbled the ball for 15 of the 17 seconds before taking a fade-away three with 6’10 Brandon Bass in his face.
In the overtime, can you believe it, Lou Williams fouled J.J. Redick as he hit a three to convert the second four point play of the game. The Sixers didn’t give up and cut the lead to one and had the ball for the final shot. The last play, in which Doug Collins decided not to call timeout to set up a play, was run through Iggy. He drove right and threw up a brick which Evan Turner got the rebound and took an off balance shot which missed as time expired. Bare in mind, Dwight Howard fouled out with a minute left in regulation, which makes losing in overtime that much worse.
I don’t like blaming guys for losses because it usually is a collective effort but Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala are almost solely to blame for this one. Lou is one of the worst defensive players in the NBA, and he kills the ball movement because of his over dribbling. He takes too many bad shots, and while he is a great scorer off the bench, you have to take a second look at what he actually brings when he causes the Sixers to lose such close games. Iguodala is what he is at this point. He needs to be traded for both him and the organizations sake. Iggy had a good long run here but it is time for Turner and Holiday to take over this team as its future.
These are the type of losses which can hurt chemistry and really derail all progress, and it has happened to the Sixers four times already! In that regard, you have to give Doug Collins a lot of credit for keeping them together and focused. While I don’t always agree with his substitution pattern, there is no doubt he is a good teacher and very good coach. Now if GM Ed Stefanski would do his job and make some moves, this team could be in the playoff picture for years to come.
About the Author
Written by Bennett Snyder
Recently graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism. I have been a sports fan since before I could speak. While every kids dream of making it to the professional level didn't work out for me, I still have a strong desire to be around sports 24/7. I was born and live in Philadelphia, but spent most of my life in central New Jersey, so this tri-state area of NJ/NY/PA is my forte. If you have any questions you would like to ask just email me, no matter which sport, because i follow them all except golf and nascar.