Monthly Archive  February 2010

 
 

FO’ with the FOES: MINN. T-WOLVES

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/09/10 3:42 pm EST

This 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 opponents, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who like the Sixers, have won four straight coming into tonight. 

Minnesota is responsible for the arguably the Sixers most embarrassing loss of the year.  In a season full of bad Ls for the Sixers, that’s really saying something.  If you think back to that MLK Day matinee game, you’ll remember that Jonny Flynn torched the Sixers for 29; “Big Al” Jefferson put up 23 & 13; and Ryan Gomes scored 14 of his 16 in a wild 3rd quarter as Philadunkia’s home team blew a 20-point lead and lost 108-103 in OT.  Ohh yeah, we forgot to mention that the T-Wolves won without big man Kevin Love that game.  Embarrassing does not begin to describe what happened in Minny that day.

Okay, so now that we’vehad our history lesson, let’s talk about tonight’s game.  We expect a high scoring affair tonight as the game will feature two of the worst defensive units in the NBA.  Minnesota is giving up 106.5 ppg. on the season, the third highest opponents scoring average in the League.  The 76ers are allowing nearly 100 ppg., which ranks Philadunkia’s home team 14th in the NBA in opponents’ scoring average. 

The biggest question for us regarding tonight’s game is how will the Sixers attempt to defend the T-Wolves’ Jonny Flynn, while also keeping the big-man tandem of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love in check and not allowing Corey Brewer many open looks?  It’s a tall order and it’s not one we think the Sixers can handle, but here’s how we would do it. 

First you have to lock-down Flynn as he is the key to the Wolves offense.  So Jordan should simply take Jrue Holiday and play the Sixers rookie every minute of the game that Flynn is on the floor.  Hopefully, Holiday’s fantastic on-ball defense will keep Flynn out of the paint and thus limit the number of easy looks the Wolves rookie gets.  If Holiday can keep Flynn out of the lane, it should restrict the number of bunnies that Jefferson and Love put in off of Flynn assists or follows.  Additionally, keeping a wrap on Flynn should cut down on the wide open 3-ball looks for Brewer, who is quickly becoming a feared long-range shooter in this League, as the drive and kick to an open shooter scenario will not be available to Flynn.  Once Flynn is dealt with, you then use the Sixers deep list of bigs – Brand, Sammy D, Speights and Jason Smith to make Love and “Big Al” work hard for every basket.  Finally, you assign Iguodala the task of guarding Brewer.

Let’s hope Jordan has learned something from the brutal loss in Minnesota back in mid-January and doesn’t make the same boneheaded coaching mistakes he made on that day — like guarding the ultra quick Flynn with Iverson and Louis.  Additionally, let’s pray that the Sixers players come out fired up and hungry to avenge their brutal loss to the T-wolves back in January.  We like the Sixers to win the game tonight.  The Wolves in general can not shoot, play no defense, struggle mightily from three-ville (32.9%) and their two premiere bigs are very slow.  Plus we have the whole revenge thing going for us.  So if everything goes according to our plan tonight, the Sixers will extend their W streak to 5-games and unfortunately keep Jordan’s job on life support.

For a little more insight into the Timberwolves team the Sixers face today, we turn to our man Patrick Hodgdon from howlintwolf.com to answer two questions on the Wolves from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Minny squad from an insider’s perspective.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/08/10 1:42 pm EST

CSNPhilly.com says that Allen Iverson and Louis Williams were excused from practice this morning. 

By posting a Twit-pic on his Twitter account, Louis provides evidence that he has the flu.

But Kate Fagan of the Inqy Tweets that Iverson was back at practice today.

The Phoenix Suns had scouts at the 76ers – Hornets game on Friday night to watch AI9.

Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer author of their basketball blog “Ball Don’t Lie” comments on the AI9 for Amare trade.  Among Dwyer’s wise words, “The Suns, apparently, are willing to break the bank for this guy.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, a trade with Dallas involving Iggy, Elton Brand or Sammy Dalembert seems unlikely as it would “clog” the Mavs payroll for years.  


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GM 49 RECAP: 3

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/06/10 12:52 pm EST

That’s right the 76ers (18-31) have won three straight for the first time during the 2009-10 season.  We’d be happier about the W if it weren’t for two things: The first is that the Hornets were missing two starters last night (Chris Paul & Marcus Thornton).  The second is the idea that this win streak will probably save Eddie Jordan’s job.  Still a win is a win as they say, and with all the trade rumors circulating around Philadunkia’s home team right now it’s good to see that the Sixers players are still focused on playing hard and winning. 

Credit this win to the 76ers bench.  Led by Thaddeus Young’s 19 points, the Sixers reserves provided a significant boost last night after the first-five seemed to be lacking some energy and their shooting touch.  Starters Elton Brand (5-13 on FGA; 6 TOs), Andre Iguodala (6-15 on FGA) and Sammy Dalembert (2-6 on FGA) all struggled out of the gate, so the bench received extended minutes early on last night and the result was 30 points in the first half (50 points overall) from the Sixers reserves.  On paper should have been a blow out win by the Sixers, and basically the subs bailed out the starters and the head coach in this one.


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TIM LEGLER TALKS 76ers ON 950 ESPN RADIO

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/05/10 10:51 am EST

As you may recall a couple weeks back Philadunkia posted an interview with our favorite ESPN NBA analyst, Tim Legler.  Yesterday Legler called into the Mike Missanelli show on 950 ESPN radio here in Philadelphia to of course discuss the sad state of the 76ers. 

Missanelli and Legler covered a lot of the same topics we did in our interview with Legs, but Mikey Miss also touched on a few issues that have developed since we spoke with the Big 5 Hall of Fame guard / NBA analyst.

After the jump are some of the better excerpts from Legler’s interview yesterday on 950 ESPN radio.


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GM 48 RECAP: DEUCES ARE WILD IN WIN

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/04/10 3:00 pm EST

The 76ers (17-31) looked fluid on offense and played some semblance of defense last night and the result was that Eddie Jordan’s team notched a OT win (106-103) against a solid team in the Chicago Bulls.  Unfortunately the win has raised two big questions for us here at Philadunkia – but will get to those items in a minute. 

First we need to talk about the huge nights by two Sixers players: Elton Brand (26 & 9) and Andre Iguodala’s (25 points, 8 boards & 8 dimes) that were the keys to this impressive victory — the Sixers second in a row.

From the jump the Sixers appeared determined to get the ball to the rim on the Bulls one way or another and Elton Brand was more then willing to be the workhorse on the blocks, so the Sixers went with that route.  EB scored 10 points in the 1stquarter on 5 of 6 shooting which enabled the Sixers to get off to a smooth start.  Brand had 16 in the first half and on the night Brand was 12-22 shooting, grabbed 9 rebounds and in general was an absolute beast down low.  He also threw in two blocks during the OT (3 total).   

The return of Andre Iguodala’s game was the other story last night.  AI9 has been struggling badly of late and against the Nets his body language and facial expressions were characteristic of player who has lost confidence in his game.  Given the fact that he didn’t get his first points until 3:20 remained in the 1stquarter, we figured the funk was going to continue against the Bulls.  Well we were wrong.  Last night Andre appeared to find his game (25 pts. on 11-19 shooting) and regain some confidence.  A large part of Iguodala’s return to form was thanks to numerous drives to the rack for easy buckets.  Iggy still hoisted up six 3PAs (1-6) which is far too many out of him for our liking, but those ill-advised shots aside, he played a very good all around game.  In addition to scoring, AI9 frequently led fast breaks for buckets, in the half-court he made some great passes that led to easy scores for teammates and he grabbed some key boards.  It would have been nice if he could have made a few more free throws (2-7), especially the one he missed at clutch time, but that’s being picky. Again in our opinion the key to his whole night was that Iggy got to the rim for scores or trips to the free throw line.   


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FO’ WITH THE FOES: CHICAGO BULLS

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/03/10 3:10 pm EST

This 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 one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls.   

This is going to be an interesting game to watch tonight as it’s a match up of teams going in completely opposite directions.  On one hand, the Bulls are absolutely rolling right now (more on that later) and head coach Vinny Del Negro has had a large part in getting this team turned around after a horrible start to 2009-10.  Mean while, Philadunkia’s home team started off shaky and has steadily regressed to the point where they absolutely stunk up the joint in three of their last four games.  Additionally from the body language and facial expressions we have seen the players displaying lately, head coach Eddie Jordan has lost this squad.    

From an X&Os standpoint, we think the Sixers are in a lot of trouble tonight.  First, the Bulls feature All-Star Derrick Rose, one of the best scoring point men in the League.  Since we know that starting Sixers point guard JrueHoliday (a defensive standout) will only see about fifteen minutes of action thanks to Jordan’s unexplainable lineup rotations, Rose will spend most of the night blowing by Louis Williams or Willie Green.  The Bulls also shoot the 3-ball decently (35.2% — 14thin the NBA) so that won’t help the Sixers perimeter defensive woes either.  Chicago is no slouch on the interior as well.  Loul Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Brad Miller can all score and hit the glass.  Finally, the Bulls are young, athletic and can push the rock for easy fast break buckets.            

The Bulls have also turned it up a notch at the other end of the floor and become a very, very solid defensive club.  They’re second in the NBA in opponent’s FG percentage (43.6%) and rank among the Top 10 in the NBA in a host of other defensive stats (More on that later).  That’s not good news for a Sixers team that has frequently struggled to put the ball in the bucket this season and it’s especially bad news for a Sixers team that tonight will be missing one of its more consistent scoring threats in Allen Iverson.   One of Iverson’s children is ill and the Sixers have given Allen permission to skip the game in order to be with his family.    

Honestly after their uninspiring performance against the Nets on Sunday night, we’re hard pressed to find a way the Sixers can win this game.  Their only chance comes with the idea that the Bulls could be exhausted.  Chicago wrapped up a 7-game road trip on Friday night, played at home last night and then flew from Chicago to Philadelphia for tonight’s game.  The Sixers have been off for two days and except for a bus ride to the Meadowlands on Sunday, they have been home since January 28th.  So there is a slight chance that a rested Philly squad could use its fresh legs to steal a W from the weary Bulls tonight.    

For a little more insight into the Bulls team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Matt McHale from bullsbythehorns.com to answer two questions on DAAA Bulls from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Chicago squad from an insider’s perspective.    

BEST DUNKER ON THE 76ers…

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/02/10 5:30 pm EST

One would think that it would be Andre Iguodala, right?  Well according to Iguodala, that’s not true at all.  Apparently the title of best dunker on the 76ers belongs to Rodney Carney.  WOW. 

We know Carney has some serious ups, but we were still shocked that AI9 just handed his championship belt over with out a fight.  Iggy doesn’t even hesitate when responding to the reporters question.  ‘Dre claims that he is now “old” and no longer the best dunker on the sqaud. 

We wonder if “Chief Bolcka” has gotten the news?!

Click out this link, then scroll to the bottom of the page to witness a Sprite Slam Dunk Contest viral video for the full story.

Iggy claims Rodney Carney is the best dunker on the 76ers.

 

PHILLY’S FAVORITE VILLAIN

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
02/01/10 2:34 pm EST

Forget the four rings. Forget the MVP award. Forget the 12 straight All-Star appearances. Forget the numerous All-NBA teams he’s made, and forget the slam dunk trophy. In Philadelphia these accomplishments aren’t the reason why there is so much dislike towards its native son Kobe Bryant, it goes much deeper.

In Philadelphia, arguably the toughest sports town on athletes in America, it’s hard enough for the city’s own athletes to get love from the hometown faithful and it’s even more difficult for an athlete from another city to find any love from fans here. It’s uncommon, but it happens in this city more then you would think.

On April 16th, 2003 one of the greatest athletes of all-time entered the First Union Center to play the last game of his career and was met with a standing ovation from the Philly fans in attendance. Michael Jordan who amassed six NBA Championships, five MVP awards, one defensive player of the year award, 14 All-Star appearances, and hundreds of other accomplishments was loved. He didn’t grow up in the Philadelphia area, he beat the Sixers on a regular basis, and he was the definition of a showboat but he was loved.

In his final game of his illustrious career Jordan lost to the Sixers 107-87, but it wasn’t the loss which Jordan will forever remember it was the way in which Philadelphia fans responded to the moment. “This is the final retirement…The Philly people did a great job. They gave me the biggest inspiration, in a sense.” Jordan said, “Obviously, they wanted to see me make a couple of baskets and then come off. That was very, very respectful, and I had a good time.”

Now switch to February 10th, 2002. The NBA-All star game was being held at the First Union Center and Philadelphia was home to the games brightest stars. Fans were thrilled at the opportunity to see the stars showcase their talent on the court, and the city was soaking in the scene. The West beat the East 135-120 and Kobe Bryant won the MVP of the game scoring 31 points to go with five assists and five rebounds. In the award ceremony following the game, Philadelphia fans showered Kobe Bryant in boo’s like they had done for many years before, and this time for the entire country to see. It was a statement. A statement that you’re not the beloved athlete that you think you are and a statement which showed that until you show a little class and respect, then you will never be beloved in this city.


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GM 47 RECAP: TCB — BARELY

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/01/10 11:18 am EST

We’re not going to waste much time with recapping the 76ers (16-31) escape from the Izod Center with a win over the awful Nets who by the way were missing their best player, Devin Harris.  This was arguably the worst NBA game we have witnessed all season and hopefully those of you with children did not let them watch this debacle last night. 

Yes the Sixers got a win and we guess that’s what really counts (Or is it?), but their supposed to beat the Lebron James courting Nets and they should have taken care of business in a more dominating manner.

It’s unbelievable to us that the Sixers team which was so brutal last night in NJ was the same team that played a very solid game Friday night and took Kobe and the defending World Champion LA Lakers to the wire before losing at the end because the Lakers simply had better talent.  How does such a discrepancy happen from Friday to Sunday night?  It happens when a coach has lost a team, which from the body language and facial expressions on the the Sixers players is what has happened to this squad.

This is all you need to know about last night’s W over hopeless NJ…


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