Sixers vs. Celtics game review 10/08/2008
First preseason game
Theo Ratliff- Still has excellent shot blocking ability and runs the floor much better than I thought he would. Missed an easy dunk when it looked like his knee went out underneath him. Got posterized against Kansas State disappointment Bill Walker on a broken play. If he doesn’t perform Speights could very well take his minutes, very fast. Grade C minus.
Louis Williams- Showed excellent handling and defense on the perimeter. Was looking for teammates in the first half, but showed that he is still the Sixers best offensive player. Next to Thad, LouWill looks very, very good. Came in as PG for Andre Miller. Pure stroke from 3 and showed excellent confidence with zero hesitation at the end of the third quarter. Made a circus shot in the fourth where he appeared to be blocked but threw the ball up just as he touched the ground and banked in the shot. Looked like Iverson on a cross over drive when he got fouled and made both free throws. Made multiple steals in the fourth quarter that were huge turn arounds to the game. Looked dominant at times. Found an open Speights after driving from the right, very Iverson-esque. Made two crucial free throws late in the game with 20 seconds left to give the Sixers a 3 point lead. The “start Louis Williams bandwagon” has officially begun. Grade A plus.
Andre Miller- Looked lazy on offense in the first half. Made an excellent transition pass to Thad. Looked good on a drive in the second half, which is his game. Grade Incomplete. Not sure what I really saw from him.
Andre Iguodala- Looked extremely passive in the first half. Made a bone head lob to Sammy when he could have just drove to the hoop for an easy lay up. Has no idea where to get Elton Brand the ball in the paint and looked very uncomfortable together. Finally showed a good touch from 3 when he had an open look. Looks to be taking command of the ball more on the transition. Jump shot reminds me of last year, inconsistent. Found Brand down low on a nice drive and dish to the hoop, Brand got fouled and made the free throw. This is key to the season. Really picked up his game in the second half. Grade C.
Thaddeus Young- Our best player in the first half. Showed incredible smarts and defense on the perimeter. Outside shot looks 100 percent improved with excellent fundamentals. Stroke looks extremely smooth and fluid. Made an excellent step back jump shot to start the second half. Looks twice the player he was last year. Can’t say it enough, his jump shot looks soooo much improved, another huge key to the 08-09 season. Made an excellent steal and finished with a silky smooth layup using his left hand on the break. Made an unbelievable play while double teamed under the hoop and made the basket. Played almost 40 minutes. Grade A.
Elton Brand- Looks a bit slow in the first half. Got blocked several times due to elevation, but he was never a high riser in the first place. Looked ok in the first half, not worried. Looked very bad when he got pick pocketed from Rajon Rondo. First step looks very slow. Shows excellent snap and finish on his free throws. Rimmed out a turn around jump shot that looked like it could have gone in 9 times out of 10. Was charged for an offensive foul on a BS play where Leon Powe deserved an Oscar. Grade B minus.
Royal Ivey- Trying to make his mark on the offensive end but failed miserably. Shot selection was bad in the first half. Plays and looks a lot bigger than his listed size. Could be a solid defender but looked very sloppy on both sides of the ball. Made his first basket of the game with a minute left to give the Sixers the lead, talk about ironic.Grade D. Saved himself from an F after making a key basket with less than a minute left.
Samuel Dalembert- Looked ok in the first half. Showed nice touch on a pull up j on transition. Good boxing out skills. Boston is running an offense similar to a street game so Dalembert really does not have a role tonight. Grade C.
Marreese Speights- Looked excellent in the first half. The kind of player you build around. He is always around the ball. He is definitely an NBA player. Shows excellent hands around the hoop and is an excellent finisher. Showed an excellent block on the weakside that was picked up by a Celtic for an easy lay up. Showed excellent help defense for Reggie Evans and caused a poor shot for the Celtics. Broke up an alley oop using his athleticism and long wing span. Made a huge steal with a minute left and looked horrible on a missed lay up. Was always around the ball late in the game though. Grade B minus.
Willie Green- Started out fast in the first half and did his role which is to score. First guard off the bench for Mo Cheeks in the second half. Airballed a wide open mid range jump shot. Louis Williams and Willie Green are now light years apart on offense. Grade C minus.
Kareem Rush- Didn’t even hear or see his name. Grade N/A
Reggie Evans- Looked like an absolute scrub in the first half with 3 fouls and giving the team no fire. First big off the bench. Looks very slow, much slower than last season. Traveled while trying to make a move on offense. Offensive game is scary similar to lsat year. Foul machine. Only good play was when he screamed for the ball when the refs gave it to the Celtics and won it back. Was attacked on defense countless times. Missed a wide open lay up with no one in front of him with 2 minutes letft. We’re gonna miss Jason Smith. Out muscled Leon Powe for a crucial rebound after a Celtic miss with 22 seconds lefts. Grade D plus.
First half- Very sloppy at times. Outside shooting looked to be solid but ironically our inside game was very poor. We didn’t seem to be into the game, maybe since Boston could not miss from outside. Announcers were extremely, extremely annoying and said nothing about the Sixers at any point in the game. I found it funny how the one Boston commentator said that Bill Walker was going to make the roster because he made a dunk lol. Boston simply made shot after shot in the first quarter. Every time the Sixers got it close the Celtics put it away with long range shots.
Second half- Thaddeus Young looks like he is playing 1 on 5 with the starters. No chemistry seen with our starters. Young is every where on the court from running in transition to fighting for offensive boards. Every time the Sixers cut it close the Celtics put it away again with a ton of mini runs on offense. A completely different team in the third quarter with hustle and pushing the tempo. Iguodala played a lot better but still shows an out of control type of offense with shot selection and bone headed passes. Brand got more involved in the third and took control. Defense really stepped up, both on the inside and perimeter. Elton Brand lost position to Leon Powe in the paint and gave up an easy lay up. Evans absolutely looked like the worst player on the court. Similar to the first half, LouWill and Thaddeus Young are the two best Sixer players on the court. They look much improved from last year, on defense and offense. LouWill dominated on offense for the Sixers once the fourth quarter began. Announcers continue to be horrendous when they say Gabe Pruit was playing good defense on LouWill when Williams was dominating on offense in the fourth lol. Disgraceful. LouWill and Thaddeus Young were simply every where on the court in the second half and looked like man among boys. Scalabrine…what a joke. Does the Irish mafia pay the Celtics to keep this guy on the roster? Speaking of a joke, those UMASS fans are horribly annoying after calling Reggie Evans an asshole for a legal rebound with 20 seconds left. Louis Williams and Thaddeus Young carried us the entire second half.
Grade B plus.
Player of the game: Louis Williams