Now, he is a Sixer. However, he has had problems getting in Maurice Cheeks rotation this season. I do not know whether it was because Elton Brand was out or Mo was looking for a spark off the bench, but gosh darnett this guy stepped up tonight. The box score does not tell the story. Marshall's line has eight points on 3-6 shooting, with 2-4 of that being from behind the arch in 13 and half minutes of work. He also had three rebounds in the game. Still, this 15 year vet hit a clutch three pointer with 35 seconds left to give the Sixers a two point lead 91-89. At that point, the boys in black never looked back.
href="http://www.nba.com/games/20081205/PHIDET/boxscore.html">The Sixers defeated Allen Iverson and the Pistons out in Detroit in a spirited comeback 96-91. Like I said, they did it without Elton Brand. They did this after being down almost the entire game. Until sometime in the fourth quarter (before Marshall's clutch three), the only other time the Sixers had the lead was 4-2. They had to outscore the pistons 38 to 24 in the fourth to win this exciting game.
This was an overall team effort. Andre Miller led the way with 19 points on 5-8 shooting and 9-10 from the line. Miller collected six rebounds too. Andre Iguodala had 14 points on 5-11 shooting and 3-3 from the line. He also had eight rebounds. The only other player in double figures was Lou Williams off the bench with 16. My point is tonight the contribution was spread throughout the team. Marshall, Williams, Willie Green, Theo Ratliff and Reggie Evans provided positive minutes off the bench. Also, Marreese Speights, in his first ever NBA start, did a solid job with eight points on 4-11 shooting and 6 rebounds.
I hope this is not the case because the man cost a lot of money and will be on the floor a lot this year, but it may be that the Sixers play better without Brand on the floor. I might be talking very crazy right now, but look at it this way. This is the best team the Sixers have defeated all year. They played the best overall team basketball to do that. This win looked a lot like the way the Sixers played in the second half of the season last year. Brand was not on the team last year. Catching my drift? I am not saying that we are better without Brand. Obviously we are not. He provides a half court offensive threat that was missing last year, especially in the playoffs. Hopefully when Brand comes back, the Sixers can maintain this type of play where everyone contributes.
Going back to Marshall. The man can flat out shoot the basketball. The problem is he never sees the floor. Mo, your team lacks a perimeter game. Now I am not saying play him 20-25 minutes per contest. I am saying more in the range of 15-20. At the least, play him like you did tonight–13 and a half minutes. But so far this season, Brand has had problems in the paint when he gets the ball because everyone collapses on him and he has no shooter to throw it to. If Marshall is on the floor, he is a formidable threat that teams have to respect. This will make the game easier for Brand once he gets back. Since you refuse to play Kareem Rush, a nice young shooter off the bench, then play the crafty veteran Marshall. You saw what happened tonight–a W against the stinking Pistons at the Palace.
Lastly, I want to touch on this. As everybody knows, Allen Iverson is on the Pistons. I mentioned this earlier. I just want to say, watching him play tonight brought back so many great memories of the old days. Damn, Sixers basketball was fun back then. I am not saying it is boring now, but back in the days of "The Answer", my oh my we were spoiled. He is such a tremendous talent that I think at times (especially with all of the drama surrounding him) we took it for granted.
From what I could tell from tonight's game though, he is not the same old A.I. He does not take a thousand shots a game. He is distributing the ball beautifully and being a solid floor general, while having that unbelievable scoring ability. See what happens when you put people, not one other great player, but people around Iverson? His game is taken to new heights. Not to take anything away from guys like Ratliff, Aaron McKie, Eric Snow, George Lynch, Tyrone Hill, Jumaine Jones and Dikembe Mutombo because those guys were great. They were and are our heroes. I am not going to leave them in this comparison. But in Philly, Iverson had Keith Van Horn, Glen Robinson and Chris Webber for second go to guys. Jokes. In Denver, he did have Carmelo Anthony, Kenyan Martin and Marcus Camby. The only problem was those guys are all superstars. You can't have four superstars on one team and be successful. Now, in Detroit, Iverson has Rick Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell. Each guy is a solid player who fits into their own role.
You know what, these guys are like McKie, Ratliff, Snow, Lynch, Hill and Mutombo, except a little more talented. This Pistons team will go far and will have a shot to knock off the Celtics in my opinion.
But let's hope the Sixers pull it together and knock both those teams off instead. By the way, the Sixers record against Iverson since he left Philly is 3-1. The next game is tomorrow night at the Wach against the Nets at 7:30 p.m. Hopefully our boys can string off two in a row and move this thing in the right direction for good.