A Breakdown Of The Sixers Game One Win

A Breakdown Of The Sixers Game One Win


As you know by now, the Sixers stole one from the Pistons in game one of the seven game series. Haven't caught Sixers fever just yet? No worries, our buddy Goot wrote up a nice quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game.

1st Quarter
Thaddeus Young got the start and made Mo look good, with an early steal, dunk, and a couple of nice put backs.  Rasheed Wallace heated up and scored 8 of the Piston's first 12 points.  The Sixers shooting went cold and they didn't hit a shot in the last 4:28 of the quarter allowing the Pistons to take a 27-22 lead after 1.

2nd Quarter
The Sixers playoff inexperience showed in the 2nd quarter, they had too many turnovers, poor shot selection, and the Pistons owned the glass.  After a 'Sheed 3 to put the Pistons up 11, Mo realized he need Reggie Evans and Dalembert in to defend against 'Sheed and bench player Jason Maxiell(who ended with 10pts and 9reb. at the half).  The refs wanted to make sure 'Sheeds stat line was full and T'ed him up for arguing a foul called against Prince.  The Sixers entered the locker room down 13, 31-58.

3rd Quarter
The Sixers were determined to make this a game and came out hot, going
on an 8-0 run to start the half.  After a Pistons' timeout, they
answered with a 9-0 run of their own.  After trading a few shots, the
Sixers went on another 10-0 run and eventually ended the quarter down
70-63.

4th Quarter
Andre Miller came out like a man possessed and stole the ball from
Hamilton and hit a layup to set the tone.  Miller went on to score 12
of his 20 points in the first 6 minutes of the quarter and the Sixers
took their first lead since the 1st, 78-77.  Reggie Evans hit a
turnaround at the top of circle as the shot clock expired to keep the
Sixers ahead.  92% free throw shooter Chancey Billups missed 3 of 4
foul shots and Lou Williams hit a 19-footer, and the Sixers held a
84-80 lead with 2 minutes to play. The Sixers came out of a timeout and
Iguodala booted the ball driving to the net, the Pistons scored on
their next possession down the floor to pull within 2.  Andre Miller
missed a running jumper and Reggie Evans was there to tip in to put the
Sixers up 86-82.  'Sheed takes off his headband to show he means
business and draws a foul at the other end and knocks down his foul
shots.  Iguodala got fouled, made his first, missed his second, and
Maxiell got called for a lane violation, but Iguodala missed again.
Billups regained his form and sunk 2 foul shots to pull within 1.  The
Sixers got the ball out of a timeout and Iguodala made a pass to Sammy,
who then got called for an offensive foul (personally, I think it was a
bad call;  Maxiell got to the spot after Sammy was already in the
air).  With 26 seconds left on the clock, the Sixers were up 1 and the
Pistons had the ball.  The Sixers defense clamped down, Tayshaun Prince
missed a 19 footer, and Iguodala collected the rebound and got fouled
at 11 seconds.  With Iguodala at the line, he missed his first...
NOOoooo.. but hit his second to put the Sixers up 2.  Pistons took
their last timeout.  Right before play was about to start, 'Sheed leans
in on the Sixers huddle. He had a smile on his face, but that's messed
up... you don't pull that crap in the playoffs.  The Pistons run their
play and it's to 'Sheed, Karma pays him back and he misses it .
Iguodala secures the rebound, gets fouled, and thankfully makes both
shots to end the game.

Notes
If the Sixers are going to stay in this series, Reggie Evans (11-14)
needs remain a factor down low, Rasheed Wallace (24-9, 7 blocks) and
Maxiell (11-12, 6 off) were eating them up in the second quarter.  The
Sixers really stepped up the defense in the second half, when they held
to Pistons to 35 points on top of 39% shooting for the game.  Andre
Miller took the game over to begin the 4th and was the primary reason
the Sixers pulled out a win.  The Sixers need to make their free
throws, and they were lucky to win after shooting 19 of 27 at the line.
It's not often Chauncey Billups is going to miss 3 free throws in the
4th quarter.  Game 2 is set Wednesday night 7:30pm.

-Goot

(Inquirer Image)

Cubs reward Theo Epstein for turnaround with 5-year extension

Cubs reward Theo Epstein for turnaround with 5-year extension

CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had dinner with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Arizona around the start of spring training.

If Epstein had any doubt about a contract extension, it ended right there. And on Wednesday, it became official.

Chicago announced a five-year extension, rewarding Epstein for an overhaul that has the long-suffering franchise eyeing its first championship since 1908.

"He started it off by saying some really nice things about me that might have hurt his leverage a little bit, and then I returned the favor by telling him that even if we couldn't work out a contract it would get awkward because I would just keep showing up to work," Epstein said. "As an employee, I will. I kept ruining my leverage."

The deal comes with the Cubs wrapping up one of the greatest seasons in franchise history and their fans believing this just might be the team to end the 108-year World Series title drought.

Chicago reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and was a major league-leading 101-56 heading into Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh. The Cubs clinched the best record in the majors with more than a week left in the regular season.

"In the five years under Theo's leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game," Ricketts said. "Now, the results are on the field."

Terms were not disclosed.

It looks like Epstein isn't the only Cubs executive with a new deal. He said contract extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod will probably be announced in the next day or two.

Epstein, who was in the final season of a five-year deal when he left Boston in October 2011, had repeatedly said a new contract was a formality, that there were more immediate priorities. Ricketts had echoed that and indicated in the spring that he was prepared to make him one of the highest-paid executives in baseball.

"There was never any real drama throughout the summer," said Ricketts, adding the agreement was finalized a few days ago.

What took so long?

"We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done," Ricketts said. "Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasn't going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure."

The new deal is a reward for a striking transformation that began with the arrivals of Epstein along with Hoyer and McLeod -- his friends from Boston -- following the 2011 season.

The Cubs tested some fans' patience by taking the long approach rather than going for a quick fix, but they have seen the benefits the past two years. Chicago is eyeing even bigger things after breaking out with 97 wins and reaching the NL Championship Series last season.

"When you have great leadership at the top, it usually filters through the rest of the group," manager Joe Maddon said. "A successful organization has that. We have that. I was very happy to hear the news. I'm very happy for Theo and his family and of course, us. It is great. It's a feel-good story. He deserves it. He's earned it. I'm very happy for him."

High draft picks such as 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant made big impacts, as did a number of trade acquisitions, including last season's NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo and potential Gold Glove shortstop Addison Russell.

The hiring of NL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon and signing of starter Jon Lester before the 2015 season showed just how serious the Cubs were about jumping into contention. And the additions of three-time Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward, pitcher John Lackey and veteran infielder Ben Zobrist along with the re-signing of outfielder Dexter Fowler this past offseason added to an already deep roster.

Throw in the emergence of Kyle Hendricks as a Cy Young candidate, and the Cubs are widely considered a postseason favorite.

There were missteps along the way, but the Cubs are in a far different and far better place than they were five years ago. And if they win it all under Epstein, it won't be the first time he helped end a long championship drought.

Before he took aim at the Billy goat curse, he took down the Bambino.

Epstein oversaw two World Series winners in nine seasons as Boston's general manager.

In Chicago, Epstein parted with high-priced veterans and loaded up the minor league system while expanding the team's scouting and analytics operation as part of an overhaul that saw the organization get stripped to its studs.

The Ricketts family also invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years, including new training facilities in the baseball-rich Dominican Republic and the spring training home in Arizona. They are also overhauling Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood.

"There really wasn't anything important to me besides finding common ground, making sure that we could stay and see this thing through," Epstein said. "Our mission has not been accomplished yet."

Roman Quinn likely done for season; Aaron Nola is throwing in Fla.

Roman Quinn likely done for season; Aaron Nola is throwing in Fla.

ATLANTA – Roman Quinn spent Wednesday getting treatment on his freshly strained left oblique. The rookie outfielder will try to gauge his condition by doing some jogging and light throwing on Thursday, but all signs point to his being shut down for the remaining days of the season and continuing his bid to make the opening day 2017 roster in spring training.

“He’ll let me know tomorrow and be honest with me if he still feels it,” manager Pete Mackanin said Wednesday. "There’s no sense in him getting hurt with only four or five games left in the season.”

Quinn injured himself taking a swing in the fifth inning Tuesday. He blew out the same oblique at Double A Reading this summer and missed six weeks.

“I think he’s more scared than anything that it’s going to recur and he’s going to make it worse,” Mackanin said.

That should be enough to shut down Quinn right there.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Quinn said.

Quinn was 15 for 57 (.263) with four doubles, six RBIs, eight walks and five stolen bases in 15 games before going down. He struck out 19 times but had a .373 on-base percentage on a team that struggles to get on base.

Mackanin sees Quinn as a player who could make the jump to full-time duty in the Phillies’ outfield as soon as April, but first Quinn must clear the injury hurdle that has cost him so much time since he was picked in the second round of the 2011 draft. Quinn has missed time with a ruptured Achilles tendon, a torn quad muscle, a broken wrist and oblique issues.

“He mentioned to me that because he’s so lean and doesn’t have a lot of body fat that might be part of the issue,” said Mackanin, referring to Quinn’s oblique issues. “They have so much health food available for the players that this could be a good way to make a change, so we can have a pizza and a burger once in a while.”

Mackanin got serious.

“With him, his big question mark is staying on the field,” the manager said. “That’s always going to be in the back of everybody’s mind because he doesn’t seem to stay on the field as much as you’d like him to. Resilience and reliability are important. So that’s going to be a big test for him next year. It’s obvious what he brings to the table as far as making things happen. He’s a catalyst for a lot of things, the least of which is coverage in the outfield, so it’s a matter of whether he can stay on the field or not.”

In other health matters ...
Reliever Edubray Ramos has a sore elbow and is day to day, and day to day at this time of the year might mean he’s done for the season. Mackanin said the elbow issue is not serious and could be a result of Ramos' pitching longer than he ever has in a season.

Also, Aaron Nola has begun to test his ailing elbow by throwing on flat ground in Florida. He will progress to a mound and eventually face hitters in the coming weeks as the club gauges whether he is fully recovered from his elbow strain or will require surgery that could cost him the 2017 season.