Andre Iguodala Leads Sixers To First Series Win Since 2003

May 12th, 2012 by Sam Shipley | Filed under Basketball, General, Sixers.

Sixers Win! Sixers Win!

Andre Iguodala stepped up to the free throw line with 2.2 seconds left and knocked down the 2 biggest free throw’s of his career. A C.J. Watson desperation 3 pointer went off the back rim, and that was it. The Sixers won their first playoff series since 2003, and won their first series at home since 2001.

Iguodala and Evan Turner jumped on the scorers table and began to celebrate with the crowd, as the curse of being “one and done” was no more. After 8 seasons of agony, pain, struggle, the Sixers finally were able to have a celebration of their own and were able to do it in front of their home crowd.

Iguodala’s two free throws gave the Sixers a 79-78 win and a 4-2 win in the series, as the Sixers became just the fifth 8th seed  in NBA history to upset a #1 seed. Ever since signing his $80 million dollar contract, Andre Iguodala hasn’t been exactly what you would call a “fan favorite”. He has never averaged 20 ppg in his career, he made the all-star game just 1 time in his career, but on this night during his 2 free throw attempts all of the hatred toward Iguodala was put on hold. This was his night, his moment, and now Andre himself has finally delivered this city a first round playoff win for the first time in his career.

Iguodala finished Game 6 with 20 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds on 7-12 shooting, by far his best game of the series. Andre battled through that Achillies injury, and delivered the type of game that Sixers fans want to see every night from him.

Holiday and Williams each had 14 for the Sixers, as Spencer Hawes had 8 points and snagged 10 rebounds. He was the only Sixer that had somewhat of a good night on the glass, as Chicago out rebounded the Sixers 56-33.

This was not what you would call the best offensive game for the Sixers as they shot just 39% from the field, had just 5 offensive rebounds, and failed to reach 80 points once again. However, the defense was just good enough to help out. The Bulls shot just 37% from the field, and most importantly for the first time in this series the Sixers took Carlos Boozer out of the game.

After dominating the first 5 games of the series, Carlos Boozer played just 27 minutes. He wasn’t injured, he just shot 1-11 from the field as Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes were all over Boozer. He didn’t look comfortable on the floor, as every shot seemed to be a contested fade away jumper.

Despite being out rebounded so badly, the Andre Iguodala grabbed the most important one. He grabbed the Omir Asik missed free throw with 7 seconds left and went coast to coast to draw the foul on Omir Asik. Just a 62% free throw shooter in the regular season, Andre looked relaxed at the free throw line. Doug Collins however, didn’t on the bench. He was slouched over, and couldn’t even watch. When asked if he was nervous Collins said, “I wasn’t nervous, I just wanted it for Dre so bad”.

Iguodala shot 79% from the free throw line in the series, a 17% increase from the regular season. Andre said that he talked to Tony Battie about what might help him at the line, and Tony said that he envisions his daughter when he is at the line. So Andre said he now “talks to his son” while at the line, which keeps him much calmer and focused and that showed for sure in the series and especially with 2.2 seconds to go.

The Sixers will face the Boston Celtics in round 2. They were 2-1 against Boston this season, and this playoff series brings back memories of the old classic playoff series between the two teams. This is for sure a rivalry renewed as the past of the Atlantic Division (Boston) will face the future of the Atlantic Division (Philly). This series will be a war for sure, but for now all we know is Andre Iguodala’s two free throws will be talked about in this city for a while.

Game 1 is Saturday at 8 p.m. in Boston

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