Monthly Archive  April 2009

 
 

KEEPING THE MO

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
04/21/09 9:03 am EST

iguodala04-21iiiParallels are often drawn between the world of sports and that of superheroes, with athletes frequently being depicted as having incredible powers, above and beyond those of the average human.  If this parallel has any merit than the Sixers must have gotten their collective inner-Superman on, because they sure dodged a bullet in Game 1 of the Orlando series. 

 

Typical of storylines involving non-mortals, things did not look so promising for our heroes for a while, as the Sixers were simply were outplayed for most of the game, but especially in the third quarter. For three full quarters, the Philadunkia faithful most likely had that sinking feeling they have become so familiar with over the past few years from recent first round exists.  However, thanks to major contributions for the apparently ageless Theo Ratliff and Donyell Marshall, along with some late-game heroics from their star, the Sixers managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and gain the upper hand in the series.
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ABRACADABRA: IGUODALA’S FADER CAPS SIXERS MIRACLE WIN

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/20/09 1:24 pm EST

iggy04-201What a comeback W by the 76ers in Orlando last night and while many people are writing and saying that the Magic “choked”, we’d counter that the Sixers snatched the game from the Magic’s clutches. The effort and execution put on the floor by the Sixers in the second half last night, especially in the 4th quarter, was the difference in the game and the Sixers should be given the proper credit. It took heart, guts, detrmination, some big baskets and some key X&O moves to pickup this victory in the unfriendly confines of Amway Arena.  Here’s a bunch of our notes from the Game 1 victory.

As we expected, the Magic’s Dwight Howard was a force from the jump.  The Sixers tried double-teaming him, but he fought through the traffic and ended the 1st half with18 points and 7 rebounds. DH ended with 31 & 16, but it was not enough. We also have to ask why the Magic do not get the ball to Howard in clutch time? Instead they choose to run plays for their solid, not great and ceratinly not superstar level wingmen.

The Magic shot 48.7 percent (37 of 76). But take away Dwight Howard‘s 11 of 13 and Orlando was at 26 of 63.

The upset was of historical proportions as the Magic are 48-4 when leading after three quarters and 52-1 when leading with five minutes to play. It was the biggest lead the Magic blew all season. 

The Magic (5-18), the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league, got out shot from behind the arc by the Sixers (7-12) — the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the league.
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UPSET SPECIAL WINNING LINK DUMP

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/20/09 7:22 am EST

sixers04-20ldMarques Hayes of the Daily News writes the Sixers win was magical

Ric Hoffman of the Daily News notes that even after Iguodala missed those end of the game FTs, his teammates still had faith that Iggy could get the winning bucket

Philly loyal blog the700level.com presents a video titled Philadelphia: Where Amazing Sunday Happens

Marques Hayes of the Daily News with a story on “Big Homie”, Donyell Marshall who was clutch last night

CSNPhilly.com has some post game video clips

orladnomagicdaily.com notes that Stan Van Gundy is upset with his team

David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel writes that the Magic got no production out of Lewis and Hedo and that really hurt Orlando

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel blog “Open Mike” asks, “Does this Magic loss qualify as a choke?”

The appropriately named Magic loyal blog thirdquartercollapse.com can not imagine a worse way to start the post season

Here’s the recap and highlights from ESPN.com

SECURE THE PERIMETER

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
04/18/09 7:24 pm EST

hedo04-18Where is the perimeter defense? This is something I’ve had to ask myself all season long for the Sixers who look dumbfounded when it comes to their job of guarding the 3-ball. There have been countless times during the regular season where the lack of perimeter defense has led to a Sixer loss.

 

Against the three best three-point shooting teams in the League, the Sixers have come away with just one win in nine tries. The Celtics, Cavs, and Spurs have all left the Sixers befuddled this year from beyond the arc and the problem for the Sixers is that they will most likely have to go through two of these teams in order to make it to the NBA Finals.

 

In the Sixers four losses to Boston this season, two of them can be blamed on perimeter defense. On February 3rd, the Sixers held a 99-97 lead over the Celtics with 7 seconds to go. Just minutes before, Ray Allen hit a game tying three for the Celtics to make the game 97-97. On that play Andre Miller was supposed to be guarding Ray Allen but he got hit with a screen and by the time Reggie Evans came overtop to help, Allen’s shot was already leaving his hands. With only 7 seconds left in the game and the Sixers only up by two the last thing they needed to do was let Allen get off another good look at a three. Instead the play ran like this: Thaddeus Young was guarding Ray Allen who took the inbound pass, Allen than passed the ball off to Paul Pierce who drew Thaddeus Young over on a double team and left Ray Allen wide open in the corner. Pierce noticed this right away, threw the ball to Allen, and it was game over for the Sixers after Allen made the shot with ease. 

 

Sixers players have to stick to their men on defense in situations like those. You have to trust that Iguodala can make that stop on his own at the end of the game instead of doubling Pierce and leaving your man open. The Sixers too often leave their man to double, only to get burnt by a wide open three.
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5 WITH THE FIRST ROUND FOES

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/17/09 10:08 pm EST

82989539JG018_Magic_SixersWe caught up with Zach McCann from Orlando Magic Daily and exchanged some Q&A on the upcoming 76ers vs. Magic first round playoff series. Zach had some interesting insights about watching Dwight Howard play on a nightly basis and the role of Philadelphia’s own, Jameer Nelson in the Magic’s two early season wins over the 76ers. Additionally, OMD is as confident as we are that the Sixers will need a miracle to pull off the upset. Our thanks to Zach for his time and insights.

Here’s the quick Q&A with the architect of the O-Town loyal blog Orlando Magic Daily.com:

What is it like to watch Dwight Howard play on a nightly basis?

OMD: It’s really awesome to see his jaw-dropping dunks and blocks, but when you watch him every night you notice the flaws in his game that other people sometimes don’t see. Howard is amazing, don’t get me wrong – but in the post, he’s still a work in progress. Big, strong defenders (such as Kendrick Perkins or Antonio McDyess) can shut him down. At this point, with his back to the basket, he has a decent hook shot and an assortment of other moves that can’t be relied on. But his defense is as good as advertised. Guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have gained some steam as defensive player of the year candidates, and I think that’s ridiculous.

The Magic kept Andre Miller in check during our first two match ups this year, but then Miller dominated the third game. What did the Magic do to keep him under wraps initially and can they do it again in this series?
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STATE OF THE PHILADUNKIA UNION

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
04/17/09 7:58 am EST

iggyfansstreetThe lack of a buzz surrounding the Sixers current post season campaign is not surprising. The city of Philadelphia has experienced an emotional sports roller coaster over the past six months and frankly, people are exhausted.  The ride started with the slow upward climb that was MLB’s regular season, reaching its peak when the Phillies captured the city’s first major sports title in 25 years.  It looked as though the city would continue to ride high during the NFL season, as the hype built around the Eagles, with many picking them as the favorite to win the Super Bowl.  However, the ride twisted and turned all over the place and nearly made us sick to our stomachs after the Birds played an inconsistent regular season, then made an improbable run in the postseason that put them just one win away from another Super Bowl appearance, only to have the Arizona Cardinals slam the brakes on the Eagles post season ride and ask us the fans to exit the cars to the left and have a nice day.

Of course it does not help that a 76ers appearance in the first round of the NBA Playoffs has become commonplace.  So too, however, has a first round exit.  Since the departure of #3 (and arguably even before then) the Sixers have been stuck in mediocre mode.  They are a formidable opponent for any team. However unlike the Phillies and Eagles, they are never regarded as a true contender.  This situation leaves fans at a crossroads; hoping for the best, while trying not to become too emotionally invested in the team.  Thus, a breakthrough is necessary; something to ignite the team and its fans, and generate interest in the club that has not been felt since their 2001 Iverson-led charge to the Finals.  Luckily, Philadelphia sports fans are seemingly always ready to explode (as demonstrated throughout the past half year), and a victory in a playoff series would certainly propel the Sixers back into Philly’s focal point. 
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5 POSITIVES FROM THE 1-6 STREAK

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/16/09 1:52 pm EST

76ers Cavaliers BasketballThe 76ers went 1-6 down the stretch run of the regular season and at times looked, well frankly, pathetic.  So while we realize that going 1-6 is no way to build momentum for a long and successful journey through the NBA Playoffs, we did pick up on a few things that we believe the Sixers can build on and at the same time will give us the fans some sort of hope to cling to as this squad gets set to start postseason play.

Here is the Philadunkia list of 5 Positive Things that Came from the 1-6 Streak :

Andre Iguodala got his swagger on : We requested that he step up and be a hero over the last fiive games of the season and while he fell short of the Hall of Justice status we asked for, Iggy did play very solid ball. He hit for 17.3 ppg., but if you throw out the debacle in NJ (5 points) that average climbs to 19.1 ppg. More important then stats however was the fact that Iguodala showed glimpses of the aggressive, fiery attitude we will need from him to be successful in the playoffs. During the recent seven game stretch, he took the ball to the hole with authority, appeared to relish taking big shots, directed some yapping at opposing players and got in people’s face on defense. If ‘Dre can take those elements of his game to another level and truely lead this squad, we may have a chance against the Magic.
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OT WINNING LINK DUMP

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/16/09 9:22 am EST

76ers Cavaliers Basketball

Thad’s ankle stiff but good to go

Kate Fagan writes Sixers win, end streak, will face Magic

Here’s the recap and highlights from ESPN.com

Cleveland loyal site, Cavs: The Blog writes that it was like Bizaro Day in Cleveland
Lebron’s gear last night was smooth

Anderson Varejao replaces LeBron for James’ pregame powder ritual

1st Round of the Playoff:  Sixers vs. Magic Schedule


LOOKING AT LAST NIGHT’S FIRST FIVES

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/15/09 11:17 am EST

sixers04-15ii2As the Sixers and the Celtics took the floor for the opening tip last night, we were discussing how the Celtics would lineup with KG and Ray Allen both back in Boston. As the players  readied for the tip last night a discussion broke out amongst the Philadunkia staff that even though the Boston was missing two All-Star starters last night, that the C’s still had a better first-five then the 76ers put out on the floor. Upon further examination, it unfortunately seems to be a true statement which is pretty depressing.

 

So you understand how we came to our conclusions, you should know that we graded the match ups on current skill levels, stats and play ONLY, not on long range potential or how a player is developing or “ifs”. Basically the question was, “Who would you rather have in your lineup right now?” Here’s a look at our answers.
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LOSING LINK DUMP

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/15/09 9:18 am EST

sixersthad04-15

 

JA Andrade of ESPN.com says  it’s time to bring back the Sixers – C’s rivalry.

Marques Hayes of the Daily News comments on the Sixers 6th straight L

Celtics loyal blog redsarmy.com declares “Seriously, Philly Sucks”.

More from Hayes as he notes that Young provided a lift but it was not enough . 
 

Here’s the recap and highlights from ESPN.com.

Jordan Raanan  at csnphilly.com writes this loss really hurt.