Monthly Archive  February 2010

 
 

GRADING THE TRADE

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/19/10 2:51 pm EST

Believe it or not there were some “NBA experts” on the web who actually took the time to evaluate the last minute, small-time deal the 76ers and the Bucks put together featuring bench warmers Royal Ivey and Primo Brezec of the Sixers as well as a second round pick in exchange for Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson of Milwaukee.

To be honest the deal means nothing to us.  Ed Stefanski is basically hoping that after 41 games in the NBA, Meeks a guy he loved at the 2009 NBA Draft, is better prepared to contribute in the League during 2010-11 then anyone he could select in the early second round of this June’s NBA Draft.  However, we’re trying to figure out how the Sixers are going to evaluate Meeks and what exactly he may be able to contribute to the team next season with the very limited minutes he will see in the remainder of 2010.  With the stack of guards and guard-forwards currently on the roster of Philadunkia’s home team (Holiday, Iverson, Green, Williams, Kapono & Carney), we don’t see Meeks getting much tick.  Additionally, Edddie Jordan has proven through his ridiculous treatment of Jrue Holiday, that he does not like to play rookies.  Basically the deal could be a huge waste of time of Meeks doesn’t get some shots up in a Sixers uniform soon.

After the jump we present what the experts had to say bout the Sixers acquisition of shooting guard Jodie Meeks from Milwaukee. 


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EB TALKS TO 950 ESPN RADIO

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/19/10 11:34 am EST

Thursday afternoon just before the NBA trading deadline was set to pass, 76ers power forward Elton Brand took to the airwaves on 950 ESPN Radio’s  Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes Show. 

First, we have to give Brand credit for actually coming on the show.  In the wake of Tuesday’s simply embarrassing, 30-point loss to the Miami Heat many NBA players would have cancelled on an interview for local sports talk radio.  So hats off to #42 for having the guts to face the hot seat that sports talk radio can be in this town when your team is stinking up the joint.

To say that Bruno and Mayes tossed Brand several softballs at the start of the interview is an understatement.  In our opinion there is no room for softball questions when a player’s team is 20-33 and was just scorched at home by 30-points.  But hey, that’s just us.  Eventually Bruno and Mayes actually got around to asking questions that Sixer fans want the answers to and in the end it turned out to be a decent interview. 

As for Brand, well he played it safe and avoided throwing anyone under the bus.  That’s always been his way since he entered the League.  No matter how bad the situation, he always plays the role of the good teammate and rarely utters a harsh word to the media.  Brand did hint that  he has been frustrated with the number of minutes he has received and Eddie Jordan’s tendency not to play him in key situations, but we’ve heard those insinuations before.  However, Brand did have a couple of interesting things to say about this Sixers team and Brand actually talks of making the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

After the jump are some of the better clips from Brand’s interview yesterday on 950 ESPN Radio… 


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A TRADE & A QUICK LINK

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/18/10 2:40 pm EST

Well, it’s certainly not the blockbuster, cap space freeing deal that we demanded, but at least Ed Stefanski didn’t get shut out…

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford is reporting that  Milwaukee Bucks and  our Philadelphia 76ers have finalized a deal that will send Jodie Meeks, Francisco Elsonand to the Sixers for Primoz Brezec , Royal Ivey and a a second-round pick.  Meeks, a 6-4, 208 pound rookie shooting guard out of Kentucky was selected with the 41st pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by Milwaukee.  Meeks has seen action in 41 games this season for the Bucks and is playing 11.9 minutes of run a night.  The limited tick Meeks has received led to averages of 4.1 ppg and 1.5 rpg during his time with the Bucks. 

Our analysis of this trade — who cares?  However we do have two questions.  (1) Why would the Sixers give up a 2nd round pick in this deal?  and (2) Why would Stefanski trade for another member of the 2009 NBA Draft class when his head coach refuses to play the talented rookie the Sixers already have on their roster (Jrue Holiday) for the extended minutes he deserves? 

To us there is a much more interesting blurb about a member of the 76ers in this week’s Sports Illustrated. 


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GM 53 RECAP: TIME FOR A RANT

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/17/10 5:18 pm EST

There’s really not much to say about last night’s debacle down at the Wachovia Center.  The 76ers (20-33) simply got worked, smacked and man-handled at home by a solid, but certainly beatable Miami Heat squad.  Given the way the Sixers played going into the All-Star break, to say that last night’s effort was disappointing is a gross understatement. 

You can blame the disaster that was the Sixers last night on any number of items: ice cold shooting, ole’ defense, poor execution, horrific lineup choices by the coach or the inability to sniff let alone grab a rebound.  These ills have plagued the 76ers all year and the fact that they all came together in basketball’s version of  the “Perfect Storm”  that resulted in a 30-point loss is of no great shock to us.  The only thing that amazes us is that it took this long for it to happen — again.   


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FO’ with the FOES: MIAMI HEAT

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/16/10 11:31 am EST

This first post All-Star break 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 upcoming 76ers opponents — features tonight’s opponent, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.   

Tonight’s game down at the Wachovia Center will be a match up of two teams with very little in common during 2009-10.  The Miami Heat are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, while our 76ers are improving on defense, but statistically speaking are still one of the most defensively challenged squads in the League.  This Miami team is comprised of an All-World superstar in D-Wade and some decent complimentary pieces.  On the other hand, the Sixers have no real superstar and a number of complimentary pieces that don’t mesh together all that well.  The Heat are directed by a solid head coach in Eric Spoelstra.  The Sixers, well we have Eddie Jordan.  The Heat are currently in the NBA Playoff race and expected to be a “buyer” at the trade deadline.  As you know the Sixers are not currently in the playoff race and are expected to be a “seller” on Thursday.

But this preview theme for tonight’s game is not all doom and gloom for Philadunkia’s home team.  In fact, we think the Sixers have a great chance to win this contest and here’s why…The 76ers were hot (5-1) heading into the All-Star break, Miami was not (2-5).  The 76ers should be well rested, as none of the Sixers players participated in the NBA All-Star weekend events.  Miami should be a little tired as three of their players – Dwyane Wade, Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook were in Dallas over the weekend for the on-court events and the off-court festivities.  Finally, with the trade deadline looming on Thursday, this could be the last game as a unit for this current 76ers roster and we think that will provide some extra motivation for the team to go out a play well.  We think that extra push will enable the Sixers to overcome their deficiencies when compared to the Heat “on-paper” and win this one.

On last note…We’re very interested to watch the return of Allen Iverson tonight after 6 games away from the team.  For us here at Philadunkia, we’re more interested to see whether or not Allen is immediately inserted back into the staring lineup, who’s minutes will be impacted by his return and what kind of shape Iverson is in, more so then how he actually plays.  If Iverson squaks at the reduced role we’d like to see him have in his latest return to the Sixers, it could be a career defining mistake.  If he accepts a reduced role, doesn’t upset the chemistry that developed while he was gone and provides a needed spark at times, he could be a valuable asset down the stretch.

For a little more insight into the Heat team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Matthew Bunch from hothothoops.com to answer two questions on Miami from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Heat squad from an insider’s perspective. 
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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/15/10 2:30 pm EST

Obviously there have been close to 100 or so trade rumors involving the 76ers over the last couple of weeks, but here’s one we had not heard or read at all until today.  It’s one of the more interesting Andre Iguodala trade rumors we have heard as it would free up some cash for the Sixers and also return a player who has been an enigma so far in his short NBA career, but is also a player with, and here it comes, the much feared p-word…”potential”. 

It’s a three team deal that in essence would send AI9 to the Suns; Amare to Miami; and Michael “B-Easy” Beasley to Philadelphia.  A lot of minor pieces would have to be involved to make it work from a cap standpoint, but it probably doesn’t matter now as ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher reports the Sixers killed the deal.  Which some of us here at Philadunkia were a little shocked by. 

We’ll be the first to admit that Beasley is not the all-around player that Iguodala currently is for the Sixers.  In fact it’s not even close as of right now.   Additionally you could argue that Beasley is the same player as the Sixers Thaddues Young, so why add another scoring small forward.  We also realize that Beasley has been a roller coaster ride on the court over his first two years and that’s he’s had significant issues off the court.  Despite all of this, we’d still be very interested to see what kind of offensive numbers Beasley (15 points & 6 rips per game currently) could put up if he didn’t have to defer the rock every night to an All-Star caliber player such as Dwyane Wade.  Plus Beasley is only 21 years old and is still under his rookie contract (2 yrs. @ $4.6 million per remaining), so if the Sixers do not like what they see over the next year or so, the lefty forward could easily be moved at the 2011 trading deadline. 

The Sixers would also get some cap space in this deal as either Miami’s “Q” Richardson and his $8.7 million expiring contract or Udonis Haslem and his $7.1 million expiring contract would certainly have to be involved to make the dollars work.  If you combine this deal with another trade that moves Sammy D and his awful contract, the Sixers would be in decent shape to be a player in this summer’s free agent market. 


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TWITTER FIGHT

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/11/10 12:22 pm EST

Last night’s loss at Toronto was one hell of a roller coaster ride for the 76ers (full game recap coming) and no player better exemplified the drastic up and down night it was for Philadunkia’s home team then Louis Williams. 

Louis scored 26 points against the Raptors last night on 9-13 shooting.  Twenty -two of those points came in the second half and were key to the Sixers ability to comeback from a 23 point deficit and tie the game at 93-93.  At one point in the 3rd Q, Louis scored 10 straight points for the Sixers.  Amazingly enough, he accomplished the same scoring feat in the 4th quarter. 

But as we said above, along with the high moments Louis displayed last night there also came so lows.  Unfortunately for the Sixers those ill-advised plays by Louis came with less the two minutes to play in a close game; a.k.a. “clutch time”.  Well some Sixers fans didn’t take to kindly to Louis’ decision making down the stretch and hit Twitter to express their frustrations.  As everyone in Philadunkia nation knows, #23 is an avid Twitter fan, and Louis fired back through his TeamLou23 account.


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FO’ with the FOES: TORONTO RAPTORS

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/10/10 6:36 pm EST

This snow bound Wednesday 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 upcoming 76ers opponents — features tonight’s opponent, the Toronto Raptors (28-23) who having won 7 of their last 8, are just as hot as the 76ers right now. 

Thanks to their five game winning streak the Sixers are riding so high right now that they probably could have flown to Toronto on Tuesday night after their rout of Minnesota without a plane.  But make no mistake, the Raptors are not the Minnesota Timberwolves.  In fact if we’re totally honest, we unfortunately have to admit that the Sixers have only a slim chance to win this game tonight and extend their streak to six games.  Here’s why… 

Forget for a second that the Raptors are on a hot streak right now and playing some of their best ball of the year.  If you break this game down by personnel, Toronto presents some serious match-up problems for the Sixers.  With Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani they have bigs that are tough to handle from multiple locations on the floor.  CB4 (29, 9 & 6) and Bargnani (23 & 6) absolutely crushed the Sixers back in early January.  As a bonus, Bosh has been virtually unstoppable of late.  Over the past six games, the All-Star is averaging 28 points and 14 rebounds per run. Our old nemesis Hedo Turkoglu will be raining threes.  Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack provide a nice 1-2 punch at the point and they will shred the ole’ defense of Louis and Willie Green.  Rookie DeMar DeRozen is a sick athlete who can get up and down the floor with Calderon or Jack to finish on the break.  Last but not least, the Raptors bench is solid and when they’re on, they can be almost dangerous. 


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GM 51 RECAP: KILLER INSTINCT FOUND

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/10/10 11:22 am EST

For one of the few times this year, the 76ers (20-31) showed that when they get a team down, and we mean down big in this case (22 point halftime lead), that they are capable of putting their foot on the opponents throat and simply crushing any hopes their foes have of recovering. 

In what was a nearly a mirror image of the first half of their embarrassing loss to Minnesota back in mid-January, the Sixers jumped on the Wolves in the first quarter, then blew the game open in the second quarter and led by 22-points at halftime.   Sound familiar? 

However, unlike the game against the T-Wolves in mid-January the Sixers never let the Wolves get closer then 17-points in the second half and cruised to their fifth straight win. 

In the opening quarter, it seemed obvious to us that the Sixers were determined to get the ball to the rim either with the bounce or through post play.  The game plan worked and produced a number of lay ups and dunks for the Sixers in the early going as well as a 12-4 run.  The Sixers also received a very balanced scoring attack in the 1st quarter : Willie Green — 10 points; Elton Brand — 8 points; Andre Iguodala — 8 points; and Jrue Holiday 6 points & 3 dimes.  Philadunkia’s home team combined their offensive success with four steals at the other end of the floor and led at the conclusion of the 1st quarter 30-23.


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QUICK AI9 LINK

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/09/10 9:47 pm EST

It’s halftime of the T-Wolves at 76ers game and with Philadunkia’s home team having scored a season-high 73 points in the 1st half and leading the Wolves by 22 points at the break, we started cruising the world wide web.  Hey, what can we say, we’re confident the Sixers will NOT blow a 20-point lead to Minnesota twice inside of a month. 

Anyways, we stumbled across an interesting post at AOL’s Fanhouse on Andre Iguodala that we wanted to pass along.  The post which was written by their NBA blogger Bethlehem Shoals, basically compares AI9 to Lamar Odom in that both were miscast as superstars in waiting during the early part of their careers. 

The post asserts that both Odom and AI9 as well as their respective teams (Heat & 76ers) would have been better served if these players had been groomed in the mold of a Scottie Pippen-like wingman to an NBA superstar or even possibly as a third option.


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