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Philadunkia 4on4: Mid-Season Thoughts

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/14/16 12:14 pm EST

76erscrystalballTonight’s game against the Bulls will mark the 41st contest for the 76ers (4-36) of the 2015-16 season.  Thus, it’s time for our annual mid-season edition of Philadunkia’s 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5″.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?” 

Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

After the jump, Philadunkia scribes C. Smith, Michael Kaskey-Blomain, Jeff McMenamin and Tyler Cook will examine four questions surrounding our 76ers as we hit the mid-season pole.


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Can the Defensive Woes Be Fixed?

Posted by: C. Smith
01/12/16 12:03 pm EST

cov&granteditedWith the addition of Ish Smith (via trade for two 2nd round draft picks) and Elton Brand, it’s clear that Sam Hinkie’s “process” has been rudely interrupted by Adam Silver via Jerry Colangelo and Mike D’Antoni.  For a “process” faithful like myself Silver’s interference is an annoying development as one could argue that the 2015-16 season was Hinkie’s finest tanking draft positioning work to date.  The 76ers had never been a safer bet to finally secure the No. 1 overall draft pick than they were pre-Silver/Colangelo.

Colangelo and of course Mike D’Antoni have screwed up “the process” by adding the solid point guard (Smith) and veteran leadership (Brand) that the 2015-16 roster has desperately needed. The result has been 3 wins in their last 9 games and a sense of hope (albeit false hope) for everyone involved with the franchise.  However, if Colangelo and D’Antoni are dead-set on continuing to make the mistake of improving the Sixers in short-term, then their next move should be to help Brett Brown fix one of the worst defenses in the Association.

That will be easier said than done.

 


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Road Trip 6-Pack

Posted by: C. Smith
01/04/16 1:48 pm EST

76ersaltlogoIn case you were overwhelmed with Christmas presents or too busy watching the Mummers strut their stuff, we wanted you to know that the 76ers just finished a six-game road trip in which they assembled a 2-4 record.  The “successful” road trip inspired Jahlil Okafor to declare, “We really made huge strides this road trip”. Now, please remember, Jah is a rookie so he may have gotten a little excited about the team’s play on the road trip.

While there is absolutely some truth to Jah’s statement, it should be noted that a number of the same old problems simply killed the Sixers on their recent six-game West Coast swing.

After the jump I’ll take a look at three areas of improvement during the road trip as well as three problems that continued to plague the 76ers over the last six games.


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Worse Than We Ever Imagined

Posted by: C. Smith
12/23/15 7:29 am EST

062713_hinkie-sam_600Back in October I wrote a post detailing that in the first month or so of the 2015-16 NBA season Philadunkia nation would have to exercise a significant amount of patience with this 76ers team and “the process”. In that post, I theorized that because of injuries, learning to play together and an unfriendly opening month of the schedule that the Sixers would struggle mightily out of the gate and cause us to nearly lose our minds.

The opening month of the season went as I predicted as the Sixers played energetic and entertaining basketball (for the most part), but posted a 1-18 record.  The problems I listed back in October were a big part of the slow start to the season. However a slew of unexpected issues also came to the surface in November and December and now those issues have turned the Sixers (1-30) into a pathetic, unwatchable team on another 12 game losing streak (FYI…average margin of defeat in last ten defeats is 18 pts.).

After the jump I’ll look take a look at the unexpected issues that have pulled the 2015-16 Sixers down to a depressing depth.


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Fo’ with the Foes: Atlanta Hawks

Posted by: C. Smith
12/16/15 12:03 pm EST

atlantachiceditThis edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” – Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games – features tonight’s opponent, the Atlanta Hawks who are in an awful slump right now having lost 3 in a row and 6 of their last 10. To be honest, I like the 76ers chances of stealing a win tonight.

(I can’t believe I just typed that line.)

After the jump, I’ll look a Fo’ key items for tonight’s game. Additionally, we’ll get a little more insight into this Atlanta team the Sixers face tonight from our colleague Brad Rowland at Peach Tree Hoops, as Brad will answer Fo’ questions on his Hawks squad from us here at Philadunkia.


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Drama Is Not What the Sixers Need

Posted by: C. Smith
12/14/15 3:22 pm EST

dantoniThe 76ers record stands at 1-24.  They have dropped 7 straight games.  The last four loses have been by an average of 23 points.  Brett Brown’s roster does not boast  an NBA starting caliber point guard or shooting guard and features two dynamic bigs that may not be able to play together. They lead the NBA in turnovers (17.4 per game). Lastly, the Sixers have been awful on defense, ranking at the bottom of the League in points allowed (102.8 ppg.– 23rd).  In short, the 76ers are an absolute mess on the court.

Still, despite all the losing, makeshift lineups and embarrassing statistics, I have been impressed that this roster and coaching staff have stuck together in the locker room and that even during the lowest point of “the process” there appears to be no internal drama on this team.  Which is why this past weekend’s rumors regarding former Lakers/Knicks/Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni possibly joining the 76ers staff are raising significant issues in my basketball mind.


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Process This…

Posted by: C. Smith
12/08/15 11:35 am EST

colangeloEven for those of us who completely “trust the process”, there is no denying that the 76ers last 2+ seasons have been painful to live through (Last night’s 51-point loss to the Spurs was possibly the most painful moment.). Every individual no matter how mentally and physically tough, has a specific threshold for tolerating pain and once that point is exceeded, you will plead for mercy. Well, apparently a 1-20 record, a host of off-the-court issues from prized rookie Jahlil Okafor and allegedly a push from NBA commissioner Adam Silver have forced the 76ers’ ownership group to finally cry “mercy”.

Thus, on Monday, the Sixers announced that Jerry Colangelo — a Hall of Famer and the man responsible for resurrecting USA Basketball — will join the franchise as a special advisor and chairman of basketball operations.

After the jump, are three different takes I have assembled from my NBA contacts on the most recent move by Josh Harris & Company in “the process” .


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Kobe’s Philly Farewell

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
12/02/15 3:12 pm EST

kobeThere were some boos, more cheers, and even more emotion.

 

Draft implications aside, Kobe Bryant’s last professional game in Philadelphia went about as well as it could have for a Sixers supporter also appreciative of Kobe’s career.

 

There were vintage Kobe moments – like his three three pointers in the game’s first two minutes*. The game also had its share of modern day Kobe gaffes – he was 7-for-26 from the field – which served to remind the packed Wells Fargo Center, and the player himself, why he is walking away from the game after two dominant decades with the Lakers.


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Rapid Reacts: Beat LA, Beat LA…DONE

Posted by: C. Smith
12/02/15 10:16 am EST
Los Angeles Lakers 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 103 Philadelphia 76ers
Robert Covington, SF 34 MIN | 8-16 FG | 5-11 3FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | +18 +/-Cov continues to play at a very high level (21 ppg. over his last 3 contests) and last night he was simply on fire. His 9 points in the 3rd quarter helped the 76ers grab the lead in this game. Then in the 4th Q Cov drained a huge 3-ball that pushed the Sixers to close out a game for once.

Jerami Grant, SF 31 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +7 +/-I’m not sure what got into Grant coming out of the locker room after half time, but Brett Brown may want to bottle it up for future use. Grant scored 8 points in the 2nd half, but to me it seemed like he simply took over the game with his athletecism and energy.

Jahlil Okafor, C 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +13 +/-A solid night for Jah, especially considering this was his first home game since all of the off-the-court issues came to light. However it have become obvious to me that right now the rookie struggles when matched up against true centers such as Hibbert and D12.

Isaiah Canaan, PG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-7 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +13 +/-Canaan is a shoot first player and tonight because his shot was “on”, so mentality that worked for the Brown and the Sixers for three quarters. However, if you watched the 4th Q closely, you probably noticed that after a few ill-advised plays by Canaan, Brown replaced him with McConnell for clutch time.

JaKarr Sampson, SG 19 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +10 +/-Between Stauskas and Sampson, it’s like nobody wants top grab the starting SG job and own it.

 

 


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Showing Some Fight

Posted by: C. Smith
11/27/15 10:11 am EST

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 8: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2015 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 8, 2015 at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York.Despite not having won a game this season, the 76ers have displayed a great deal of heart and fight on the court every night.  Now it appears they can fight off-the-court as well.

Unless you fell into a post-Thanksgiving dinner coma, you aware that TMZ Sports has posted a grainy cell phone video showing 76ers’ rookie Jhalil Okafor punching out a heckler in the streets of Boston late on Wednesday night.

The “fight” (in the video it looks like only 2 punches were thrown) came after a very tough loss by the Sixers to the Celtics in which Jah and Co. blew a late fourth quarter lead and suffered their 16th straight loss of the season.  Okafor scored 19 points in the loss up in Boston and during a post game night on the town, he was apparently in no mood to be clowned on by a Boston faithful.

 


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