The 76ers will be distributing 20,000 t-shirts for fans at tonight's Game 3 with the Detroit Pistons that say "Run with us." Now the question is whether the Detroit Pistons will allow the runnning to occur?
The Pistons ability to shut down the Sixers transition game was one of the reasons they won so handily on Wednesday, 105-88. The Sixers had just one fastbreak point in the first half, when they trailed by 17 points.
The Sixers were forcing one shot after another and never got into an offensive rhythm.
Coach Maurice Cheeks has emphasized the importance of getting easy baskets in transition. Yet Detroit rarely allows easy baskets. In the opening 90-86 win, the Sixers earned 16 fastbreak points. For a Pistons team that allowed 9.6 fastbreak points per game during the regular season, that was good production for the Sixers.
Without those easy baskets, Andre Iguodala has been struggling, relying too much on his jumper. He has had to shoot the jumper over the long-armed Tayshaun Prince and the results haven't been pleasant. Iguodala is shooting 5 for 24 and he remains the key in this series. Yes, the Pistons did a good job of slowing down Andre Miller with a variety of traps in Game 2, but the biggest key is for Iguodala to get untracked on offense.
Now the Sixers have to adjust, which means Iguodala could be handling the ball more in the open court. And if he could get a few easy baskets early in transition, that would give the Sixers some needed momentum.
Cheeks preached before the postseason that it would be more difficult to get in the running game in the playoffs, but he said the Sixers wouldn't be backing off.
So the Sixers will continue to try to run because the option of attempting to win while primarily executing their half-court offense, isn't the best way to go about beating the Pistons.