Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dead. Sixers worked by Pistons

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
I posted earlier that it was do or die for the Sixers tonight, and they got killed. The Pistons won Game Six tonight in dominating fashion, 100-77, and ended the Sixers' season. Detroit wins the series 4-2, and the Sixers now go into the off-season looking for more parts to help them build for a championship down the road.

The Pistons commanded the game from the outset, building an 18 point lead after the first quarter and they simply coasted from there. They made nearly everything they shot on the night, finishing with a 67% shooting percentage, and forced the Sixers into taking bad shots themselves. Philly finished the night shooting an abysmal 33% and looked completely lost as to how to do anything against the Pistons offensively or defensively.

This was an awful way for an otherwise impressive Sixers season to end. They were completely over-matched and out-worked by the Pistons, and the game ended up being an embarrassing scrub-fest in the fourth quarter as both teams emptied their benches and gave everyone some run. The Philly crowd didn't have much to cheer about and left the Wachovia Center feeling ripped off by the terrible game they had to watch.

The Pistons move on to play the Orlando Magic while the Sixers hit the golf course. The series turned out to be a learning experience for the Sixers. They learned that they aren't good enough to play with the NBA's elite, but they can surprise teams that aren't going to play their best basketball. The Pistons stepped up their game in the final three games of the series, and the Sixers simply didn't have the firepower to match what Detroit was doing.

Next year, the Sixers will look to make a repeat trip to the Eastern Conference playoffs. Their main goal should be to finish the season over .500 and then try to get a top five seed in the East. Once they get into the playoffs again, they can use the experience they had this year to help them as they try to play their way into the second round.

All of that can happen if the Sixers add a post presence to the team in the off-season, a piece that will help them be a complete team with a bright future. Unfortunately, at the present, they went down in an ugly fashion, but we all have to remember to look at the big picture with this team that really had no business even making it to the playoffs this year. Fortunately, with the right moves by GM Ed Stefanski this offseason, the Sixers will be a force to be reckoned with down the road.

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