Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, So Much For That Rampant Hope

Tonight in Memphis, the Sixers came into the game on a definite high. After last weekend's solid work of taking down the Spurs at home, then following up with an avoidance of the obvious trap game in Minnesota, they were just two games under .500, within closing distance of the Knicks to step up to 6th in the East. New York really has only had one good stretch this year, so running past them didn't seem too impossible, and once you get there... well, you never know. It was just nice -- odd, admittedly, but nice -- to feel positive about the town team. And with a road date against the .500 Grizzlies, there was even the possibility of keeping it going, since the Grizz were getting back suspended guard OJ Mayo, and OJ has spent the 2010-11 season just making everything he touches wither and die.

And then the Grizz came out with a 26-10 first quarter, and closed in the fourth with a 25-16 stanza, en route to a pretty easy 102-91 win. Gahhh.

I suppose we should credit the club with a third quarter that got them back to nearly even, with the bench crew of Thaddeus Young and Louis Williams doing damage. Bu whenever you are playing a game with a deep deficit, you need to take the lead on your run; getting close isn't enough. And it's really not enough when you get outscored 22-10 at the point, or give up a 21/10/7 to a guy (Zach Randolph) who is generally a black hole.

Tomorrow, in their final game before the break, the club plays in Houston, who didn't play tonight and are coming off a home game runaway against the Nuggets. Not exactly a recipe for ending the All-Star Break strong, or keeping the momentum they had developed, and the bottom part of the conference (Indy, Charlotte) keeps looking better and better. Can't expect them to win tomorrow night, but it's not as if Houston has dominant talent...

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