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Take It Back

By Jeff Koch on January 21, 2013.

Oh my.

I suppose, in the vein of “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good”, we can say, “sometimes it’s better to win ugly than to not win at all”. What an ugly game from start to finish. In the first half, it appeared that the Spurs were in control, running out to a double digit lead early in the second quarter. But it didn’t pass the eye test. No outside shots were falling (just 1 for 9 in the first half), and the team just looked sluggish on both ends. What was really going on was that Philadelphia could not hit a jump shot…or anything outside of about 5 feet from the basket. So it appeared the team was in control.

But in the second half, the 76ers started attacking the basket AND making some jump shots, the Spurs still looked flat, and suddenly the game flipped, and the 76ers had a seemingly insurmountable 7 point lead with about 5 minutes left.

Which makes me think of another saying involving luck: the harder I practice, the luckier I get. Let’s modify to: the better the team executes, the luckier they get. Coming down the stretch of the game, Philadelphia had 11 straight empty possessions (scoring 1 point on a Leonard intentional foul under 2 minutes and nothing else), while the Spurs chipped away at the rock, executing as they have thousands and thousands of times before, and getting clean looks and some baskets. Not a lot, and nothing pretty; but enough to take control at the last minute and win going away.

There was nothing pretty about this game, and nothing overly positive to take away on either side, I would imagine. But winning ugly is an important skill to have. And the harder you work, the better you execute, the more “luck” you’ll seem to have, and you’ll find yourself on the right side of more “ugly” wins.

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