At the top of the basket – Les Cahiers du football |
Good god, it didn’t start so badly though. A TD Garden ready to vibrate, a historic duel (we learn that these are the two teams that have faced each other the most in the history of the league), and a lot of intensity from the start, although all that is strong messy (as usual, we feel that the preseason was used to put systems in place and that the emphasis is on execution … no I’m kidding). Then all of a sudden, after not even 4 minutes, Horford takes a flagrant call for having had the audacity to want to defend a step-back from Harden, Vonleh is the first C’s player to come off the bench, and inevitably everything goes wrong. , the match becomes choppy, the « systems » (annoying quotation marks with the fingers) become terribly stereotyped, everything we hate resurfaces, it’s unwatchable and I still have 28 teams to go, and I give you this opinion definitive while there are more than three quarters left because nothing to fuck, I will put a parenthesis if the rest of the match is better (answer: it is better when the C’s put a little rhythm, which happens a little more often in the second half).
Boston seems to have kept two major ingredients from last year’s run: a certain hierarchy that ensures that everyone knows what they have to do; and an extremely precious flexibility, which goes from playing without a leader to playing without a pivot (thanks to the Swiss army knife Grant Williams), which allows you to run (big use of the counter attack which can no longer be cut this year, all the more simple against Philly that there are three players from the baseline or at the corner on each action and the other two who play while walking) or to hold the ball, to be disciplined to defend from pick and roll or to hold his duels in 1vs1 , all with the feeling that the team is autonomous, in the sense that it does not let itself be caught up in the problems of the coaching staff. The racquet is pretty light without Rob Williams, but it not only compensates, but more importantly it adheres to the pattern of stopping a guy like Embiid with help even when Horford is in trouble. Frankly it’s quite attractive, Tatum seems to have found the perfect balance between playmaking (especially the screen game with Smart which forces the most hidden opposing defender to make decisions), wide game and attack from the circle. No really, if we put aside the few sequences where it’s a little forgotten about the aggressiveness, and those even rarer where it’s a little bit naive, it’s clean, we’ll come back, especially if they’re shelving that awful VistaPrint jersey (well, I guess, it’s ugly and it’s written on it).
Damn as much as I believe in the ability of the Sixers to be competitive, it’s going to be one of the least watchable teams in the league. Their offense feels incredibly nasty like a 48-minute endgame, you know, those possessions where some obscure settlement brokered by technocrats in a European trialogue has been forbidden since the dawn of time to lay down a system, to do more of a pass, and generally doing anything other than pumping up the star to make do with a bad shot. Well that’s it, either with Harden or with Embiid, in front of a supporting cast reduced to the state of spectators (while I find it well thought out to be entitled to some initiatives). Damn, get one out of four balls to Maxey in secondary ball handler in front of a deformed defense, and we will already have the feeling that the rhythm of the meeting inspires and expires like a human being who does not have a long Covid. Well, I’m being severe because the stars weren’t overly inspired tonight and the body language reminded me of the enthusiasm of line 13 on a Monday morning, but there are three quarters of the matches where the duo will do job. In defence, will you ask me if you haven’t already stopped reading? Yeah, I didn’t feel like the scheme maximized Embiid’s deterrence, and that’s a shame.
Come on, I need a coffee, see you Friday.