Monthly Archive  August 2010

 
 

EVAN TURNER ON THE LINE

Posted by: Lance Epstein
08/30/10 8:45 am EST

Late last week the 76ers set up a conference call for a host of great basketball bloggers with the franchise’s new poster boy — Evan Turner.  The second overall pick in the 2010 Draft answered questions on everything from what he knew about the Sixers debacle of a season last year to his struggles at the Orlando Pro Summer League to playing with Andre Iguodala to what he is working on this summer to  Jrue Holiday’s game and his recent exchange with Michael Jordan. 

Of course someone asked him about cheesesteaks.  This is Philadelphia after all.

Lance Epstein handled the duties on this one for us here at Philadunkia.com and you can read his full transcript of the confernce call after the jump.   


Continue Reading

SUMMER MO’

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/24/10 10:19 am EST

Mo Speights has had an interesting career arc.

He showed All-Star potential flashes his rookie season (his PER was so high that February that it called into question the validity of PER as a performance metric) and then faded pretty badly down the stretch (not uncommon when someone used to doing something 35 times is suddenly supposed to do it 82). 

He then came out of the gates hot his sophomore year before partially tearing his left medial collateral ligament in game ten (He was averaging a super-efficient 13 points and 6.4 rebounds at that point, sported a 0.215 WP48, and looked poised to make “the leap”), and when he returned never quite re-found his swing (He finished with a WP48 in the negative, mostly because he went from shooting 64 percent at the rim to 55.8 percent and started to attempt 20 footers –which in his defense went in more often than you would expect them to, though not necessarily often enough to justify taking them).  At best, he’s moving sideways.

But despite his tough year, the Sixers, as evidenced by their trade of Dalembert, are clearly counting on him to contribute.  Is that unreasonable?  Maybe not.  He’s young, and if he’s healthy – which he assures us he is - Speights has a chance to be a very productive basketball player.  If the 7-6 are going to get even within shouting distance of the playoffs (so Iguodala can yell “Please take me with you” to the Heat) they’re going to need a big season from the Big Mo.

Last night the big guy in question was generous enough to put aside some time, tolerate an incredibly lousy connection, and talk with Philadunkia from Las Vegas, where he’s hard at work training for the upcoming season.  Hopefully what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.


Continue Reading

ANALYZING ED

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/20/10 9:08 am EST

On August 11th Philadunkia’s home team hired Rod Thorn as President of Basketball Operations, effectively demoting Ed Stefanski.

At the time many people, including all of us here at Philadunkia, were asking is this a good move?

In an attempt to answer this larger question we have broken it down into its component parts:

Did Stefanski deserve the demotion?

Was Thorn the right hire?

And if not Thorn, who?

After the jump we take a stab at the first question and examine the Stefanski era.


Continue Reading

NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/18/10 9:08 am EST

Courtesy of Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post these are Evan Turner’s rookie portraits from Getty.  Based on the photo at left the Sixers have made a slight change to their road uniforms which now has blue and white trim all the way around the neck line.  When the Sixers introduced the new, retro uni in 2009 (see pic after the jump), the jersey had white on the front of the neck line only, with blue-only trim around the rest of the collar.  Not a major change, but worth noting we thought.

SI.com lists former Sixer and future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson as one of the best available free agents.  Also on the list are former Sixers Louis Amundson, Larry Hughes and Jerry Stackhouse as well as Philadelphia native Ronald “Flip” Murray.  That’s not a bad five to have out on the floor.  Well maybe not in the NBA, but it certainly would win a few at in the Sonny Hill League.


Continue Reading

SIXERS BENCH WILL PLAY PIVOTAL ROLE IN 2010-11

Posted by: Lance Epstein
08/16/10 9:45 am EST

Every playoff team in the NBA has a starting five that can match up with the crème de la crème.  However what separates the contenders from the pretenders are the all important bench players.

Look no further to how vital a bench can be to a team’s success than the final four teams left standing at the end of the 2010 NBA season.  The Phoenix Suns were able to go four to five deep with their bench of Lou Admunson, Leandro Barbosa, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley and Goran Dragic.  The Boston Celtics had players such as Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen.  The Orlando Magic’s reserves boasted J.J. Reddick, Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass and Jason Williams. More importantly, the world champion Los Angeles Lakers who had a so-called “weak,” bench still managed to run out Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar.

While the 76ers do not have the experienced veterans and in some cases the talent that those teams have coming off their bench, they do have the potential to go eight deep and those players have the ability to keep the Sixers in games. 


Continue Reading

BOONE TOWN

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/13/10 8:09 am EST

The Sixers currently sit a player short of a full roster.  This will be a very tricky spot for the triumvirate of Thorn / Stefanski / Collins to fill.  It’s tricky because the Sixers need a very specific kind of player.  It’s very tricky because the free agent cupboard – and the Sixers’ war chest – is nearly bare.

An old Chinese proverb says, “A problem well defined is a problem half solved.”  Because we always listen to old Chinese proverbs, let’s define the problem before we jump to the solution.  Here’s where the Sixers stand as I type this (Just a paragraph ago they were sitting and now they’re standing.  That’s progress.  I credit Doug Collins.)


Continue Reading

NETS SOUTH ?!?

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/12/10 10:53 am EST

Yesterday, the 76ers continued their odd, borderline incestuous relationship with the New Jersey Net franchise by hiring Rod Thorn as the new “President” of the franchise. 

Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the story last night via his Twitter account and now several news sources have confirmed the hiring.  The Sixers will be holding a press conference later today.

Apparently Thorn will move into the organization as general manager Ed Stefanski’s direct boss.  Stefanski worked for Thorn for six seasons in the New Jersey Nets organization. 


Continue Reading

76ers 2010-11 SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/11/10 10:03 am EST

Yesterday over at ESPN.com 93 of ESPN’s best basketball minds predicted the final 2010-11 standings for Eastern Conference and for the 76ers the outcome was not pretty.  The brain trust over at ESPN forecasted that the Sixers will finish 11th in the East on the strength of 31 total wins. 

If that prediction for the Sixers upcoming season wasn’t hard enough to stomach, the minds at ESPN followed it up with this little blurb, “Even a new coach (Doug Collins) and the No. 2 pick (Evan Turner) didn’t give Philly much of a boost in our forecast.  While the Sixers have the raw materials to emerge as a surprise team in the East, our panel fears their roster of bad contracts, mismatched pieces and redundant talent will render them mediocre at best.”

OUCH.

While we agree with most of the analysis blurb, we thought the prediction of 31 total wins was low for the 2010-11 76ers.  After all in 2009-10 they battled through having clueless Eddie Jordan at the helm, injuries to key players, playing with no point guard for half the season,  no defensive presence, the Allen Iverson experiment, a near mutiny, in-fighting as well as severe apathy down the stretch and still pulled in 27 wins.  So we believed that a “fresh start” under new head coach Doug Collins would be worth at least 10 more victories in 2010-11 and that the Sixers would rack up 37 or so wins this coming season. 

Of course that theory was assembled before the 76ers schedule for the upcoming season was released yesterday.

After close analysis of the Sixers 2010-11 brutal schedule, we’ve decided that Collins and the Sixers have a very tough road to haul during this upcoming season and thus the minds at ESPN may be correct.  31 Ws might be a nice accomplishment for the Sixers in 2010-11. 


Continue Reading

TOUGH GIG

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/09/10 11:09 am EST

We all know that Doug Collins faces a very, very difficult challenge in turning around the 76ers.  Guiding Philadunkia’s home team to a better season in 2010-11 will be the the least difficult part of Collins’ stay here in Philly (Several of us here at Philadunkia could coach the 76ers to 30 wins). 

Building a consistent winning franchise here in Philadelphia will not be so easy.  The 76ers are young and talented, but they have a lot of repetitive pieces and players that don’t fit together all that well.  Additionally, the Elton Brand riddle / enigma still needs to be solved.  Last, but certainly not least, the Sixers are cap strapped for the near future.  These items make the long range goal of building a championship NBA team here in Philadelphia a daunting task. 

So we’ve established that securing a parade down Broad Street in honor of the 76ers will be a monumental feat, but just how tough is the immediate road (2010-11) that lies ahead for new head coach Doug Collins? 

Well according to Foxsports.com…


Continue Reading

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/06/10 10:31 am EST

Two weekends ago some friends and I took a nine-hour drive to the southern tip of North Carolina for a week of sunshine, warm ocean, and some much-needed R and R.  I rode down with my buddy Keely, who brought to the table an old Saab that gets great MPG’s, an IPod with the new Roots album on it, and a head unusually well packed with ideas about sports.  When casual conversation took us as far as it could (Northern Virginia) we moved into an NBA fantasy draft.  Our drafting principle was this; the teams we’d picked would actually play—well imaginarily–but we had to pick them as though they would play.  So you didn’t want to just gun for big names and big numbers.  The goal was to construct the best team possible– not just an All-Star team.  After a hard fought rock-paper-scissors contest to secure the first pick we dove in and the names started flying off the board.

And then after a while, the names stopped flying.

Keely had frozen up.  He was sitting on his pick and was a versatile three shy of filling out his starting lineup (CP3, Wade, Duncan, Howard), but he was stumped.  He had scorers.  He had a distributor.  He had a take charge, crunch time guy.  What he needed was a glue guy.  Someone who could burn at several spots and defend, hopefully multiple positions.  Handle the ball if need be.  Hit an open jumper.  Press.

But who?  There aren’t a lot of guys in the Association that fit the profile.  After five minutes of quiet contemplation he took the cowards way out and drafted Melo.  Fair enough, I thought, a three’s a three.  But something nagged at me, tip of my brain, until we can a couple more miles and the root of the nag showed itself.  There had been a perfect fit for him waiting on the board.   A guy who brought everything to the table his team lacked.  A guy with the versatility to lend a hand wherever one was needed.  A guy who plays on both ends of the court.  A guy with a difficult name to spell.

That guy is Andre Iguodala.  I was struck by the implications of this.  Wow, I thought, Andre Iguodala should have gotten picked to play on one of two imaginary super-teams my friend and I made up on a car ride while we were delirious from NoDoz and Red Bull.  He’s that good?

He is.

So while I doubt this is exactly the way these teams get picked, what I’m saying I get Andre making the final 15 (and eventually the final 12) for Team USA.  What I don’t get is that other people don’t get it.


Continue Reading