Archive: April, 2008
It's hard to find anybody who feels the Sixers can extend their playoff series to a seventh game.
The fans don't seem to be too excited about things, especially since as of late Wednesday, only 12,500 tickets were sold for the game.
If the Sixers have done nothing else this year, they have at least earned respect for never quitting. And if their season ends on Thursday against the Pistons, it probably will be because they were beaten by the better team.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The 76ers haven't always played well this season, but even in defeat on many occasions, they have shown plenty of fight.
In the last six quarters they haven't shown that same spirit and now they could be down to their final four quarters of the year.
Coach Maurice Cheeks insisted after Tuesday's 98-81 loss to the Detroit Pistons that put his team down 3 games to 2 in the best-of-seven series, that there is plenty of fight left in his team.
There is a general feeling that the Detroit Pistons have finally woken up and that they will now go on and put the 76ers away in six games.
Here are three words that we would say to that - Not so fast.
While the Pistons looked like they crushed the Sixers spirit with Sunday's 93-84 win, who is to say they have turned the corner for good? Or who is to say the Sixers have finally faded?
The 76ers have shown they can bounce back from one demoralizing loss. Now they have to prove they can do it again.
Even Maurice Cheeks admitted that it was difficult not to look ahead when the Sixers led the Pistons by 10 at halftime of Sunday's 93-84 defeat. Now the Sixers are back to their accustomed underdog role.
If Detroit comes back to win this series, everybody will point to the Pistons 34-18 third quarter.
So much of the talk at both the 76ers and Pistons practices on Saturday centered on the first five minutes of Game 4. Both Andre Iguodala and Rodney Carney said that the first five minutes will be crucial.
"We have to be ready in the first five minutes," Iguodala said.
Added Carney, "I think the first five minutes will determine how the game will go."
After checking with the NBA office, it's now official, this reporter's pick of Detroit beating the 76ers in five games can't happen.
The Sixers made sure of foiling that prediction with Friday's 95-75 pounding of the Pistons to take a two games to one lead in their best of seven series.
It helped to be energied by the crowd, but the Sixers also made the Pistons look like a tired, old team.
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.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The 76ers played like a team that was satisfied with a split. Despite the Sixers being more athletic and having younger legs, it was the Detroit Pistons who looked fresh and certainly rejuvenated during Wednesday's 105-88 win over the Sixers to even their best of seven series one game apiece.
"They not only hit us, but continued to hit us," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Everybody knew the Pistons would come out with their best shot, playing with a sort of desperation that they haven't shown in the final few weeks of the season, when they had already clinched the No. 2 seed.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- One gets the feeling from spending time with the Detroit Pistons the last few days that they are both surprised and annoyed at losing the opening playoff game to the 76ers.
Both emotions are understandable. The Pistons gave away a game they had full contol of and give the Sixers all the credit in the world for taking it away.
Because they are smarting from the loss, the Pistons will likely come out smoking on Wednesday and it has nothing to do with the ridiculous pre-game fireworks.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – After losing Sunday's opening playoff game 90-86 to the 76ers, the Detroit Pistons insisted that they didn't take their opponent lightly.
And in this case the Pistons are to be believed. What seemed to happen is that when the Pistons took a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter, Detroit appeared to think the game was over. At that point, the Pistons appeared to relax mentally, while the Sixers kept charging.
"Usually when get leads in the second half it's because we take care of the basketball, get shots we want and our ability to make free throws," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said after Monday's practice. "Those are games we don't let slip away."