Monthly Archive  November 2010

 
 

FO’ with the FOES: TRAILBLAZERS

Posted by: C. Smith
11/30/10 5:19 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 opponent down at the Wells Fargo Center, our favorite former point man Andre Miller and his Portland TrailBlazers. 

Believe it or not, we expect the 76ers to win this game tonight.  Yes we know Vegas has installed the Sixers as a 3.5 point “home dog”.  And yes we know that Portland is a very talented team that is playoff tested and lives in the brutally tough Western Conference.  And yes we can see where many would say that on paper Portland is a better squad then Philadunkia’s home team.  But this isn’t the Blazers of 2009-10 that battled hard every night despite major injury problems.  Nope, this Blazers team appears burnt out, is sitting at 8-8 while riding a 3-game losing streak and is on the brink of an internal meltdown. 

The Sixers should be able to capitalize on all of those issues and get a W tonight.


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INTERVIEW WITH DAVE BERRI of “WAGES OF WINS”

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/30/10 10:39 am EST

There is a lot of resistance to stats amongst the general basketball consuming public.  Well, not stats. New stats. We love the old stats. Points, assists, points…did I say points yet.  We just don’t like people telling us what they mean.  We like the power to control the narrative and we resent it deeply when nerds with quiet certainty wrest that power away from us.  “Why don’t you watch the games?”, is the only counter we can muster in the face of their overwhelming facts.

People hate, absolutely loathe, being proved wrong.  These same people have uniquely strong opinions about sports. And those opinions come from a position of knowledge.

Sports are probably the most complicated thing that the general public understands well, and for a long time, it was the subject area where the knowledge of the average follower most closely rivaled that of the experts, the practitioners.  I’ve read a little about Afghanistan, but I obviously don’t have anything resembling the comprehension of the place that, say, David Petraeus has.  I could though, I’m pretty sure, coach or GM a basketball team better than a lot of the guys who get paid millions to do it.  A lot of people could.

So getting proved wrong about sports, a thing we understand nearly as well as we give our selves credit for, makes people crazy.  One of the most enthusiastic perpetrators of this insanity is Dave Berri.

Berri –economist, professor, author, columnist, blogger– is the architect of win score, wins produced, wp48, and a host of other handy tools for understanding the why and how of basketball outcomes. A couple months ago he answered some of our questions on the Sixers(fyi, he saw this start coming) and now he’s provided some A’s for our Q’s on some of the nitty gritty of his methods.

Berri makes us crazy after the jump…


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IVERSON UPDATE

Posted by: C. Smith
11/29/10 4:48 pm EST

We are happy to report that over the weekend (11/27/10),  Allen Iverson had far and away his best game in Turkey.  After starting, but seeing limited minutes and scoring only two points last game, Iverson certainly needed a break out effort.  On Saturday, Iverson was again in the starting lineup for the Besiktas Cola Turka Black Eagles and played over 20 minutes on the night.  In true Iverson fashion he responded with a great game. 

Included in Iverson’s 14 point, 8 dime outing was  a late second half explosion that kept his Beşiktaş team in the game and helped produce a much need win for the Black Eagles who are now 2-1 overall and 1-1 in league play since Iverson’s arrival.


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TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/29/10 10:32 am EST

People, as a general rule, don’t like things that remind them of their mortality.  The fact that we’re all slowly dying is a downer and people hate downers (I guess Percocet is an exception).  This is, in part, why it’s so painful to watch the decline of a veteran athlete as his body breaks down and betrays him: It doesn’t take a huge imaginative leap to understand the same thing is happening to us.  There are worse betrayals though.  That’s just the physical, white collar folks can convince themselves, a man is much more than that.  What offers no quarter for rationalization though is a much more complete, much more ghastly, and only slightly less inevitable sort of fall; a mental one.  The point where the accumulation of rich experience and the wisdom it affords ceases to offset the natural loss of neurons that come invariably with age and you just get…well, you get dumber.  And that, I’m starting to sense, is the sort of fall people think Doug Collins has taken.

Collins has had a rough go of it for sure.  He’s playing Evan Turner too erratically, he’s made demands of Jrue Holiday that are often peculiar, sometimes contradictory, and occasionally wildly different from one night to the next, and most damning, he just doesn’t seem to have a hold on the team: See Andre Iguodala’s off-balance, wing-and-a-prayer, I-hope-they-foul-me, “shot” with time expiring against the Wiz the other night.  Was that the sort of shot a well-coached team takes with the game on the line?  And what to make of the “post-concussion symptoms?”  The vertigo, the headaches, the missed time: are those the maladies of a hearty, capable man?


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GM 15 RECAP: TURKEYS

Posted by: Kevin Jones
11/25/10 11:56 am EST

One thing was made clear to me in the 76ers ugly loss Wednesday evening in Toronto: The 76ers may be able to assemble a victory or two with Andre Iguodala but it’s going to be nearly impossible without Elton Brand.  Right from the outset the Raptors picked the correct theme to sting the 7-6. Toronto knew our Sixers were tired from Wednesday night’s heartbreaking overtime loss; both physically and mentally.  The Raptors knew we had no post presence to slow the game down and their up-tempo start propelled them to a commanding 33-18 first quarter lead. The Raps would go on to win 106-90 an the Sixers, well on the eve before Thanksgiving, they played like a bunch of turkeys.

Former Sixer Reggie Evans picked a favorable night accumulate a career-high 22 rebounds, including 15 in the first half.  Evans was a one man wrecking crew who just simply wouldn’t be denied grabbing the ball. Last night he read the basketball cowing off the rim nearly flawlessly.  Evans even was able to corral a season-high 12 points against the sorry 76er frontcourt.  Boy could we use a player like him.  The guy we traded for Evans (Jason Kapono) didn’t even touch the floor.

The Sixers just don’t have an energy player in their starting lineup to jump kick a sluggish start.  Thaddeus Young normally plays that role off the bench but last night he was torched defensively by whoever he was guarding.


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GM 14 RECAP: GROUNDHOG DAY

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/24/10 12:02 pm EST

There are a THOUSAND things I can say about the overtime 116-114 loss to the Wizards, seriously, a THOUSAND.  It was a reflection of the 76ers 3-11 season thus far — frustrating, annoying and sad.  It’s been tough to watch this team play so hard, yet continue to find ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

Last night was the second time we’ve faced the Wizards this season at the Verizon Center.  It was the second time the Sixers blew a late lead against John Wall and C0.  It was also the second time this season that the Wiz tied the game in ridiculous fashion during the final ticks.   It was the second time in 2010-11 that the 7-6 have suffered an overtime defeat in DC.  Finally, last night’s L was the second time John Wall has absolutely killed the Sixers (By the way Wall wears #2.) 

We held a fourth quarter fifteen point lead and I was certain the game was over, nothing was going the Wizards way.  Even in the third quarter, when the Wizards connected on four three-pointers to lead a 20-4 run. They closed the gap to one point and we were able to bounce back, slow the opponents down offensively and take back the lead. 

The collapse was ugly and before I get into it, there are many things (of the thousand) I want to mention quickly:


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FAREWELL OLD FRIEND

Posted by: C. Smith
11/23/10 4:07 pm EST

As we all know, “America’s Showplace”, The Spectrum, met its end today, not through implosion (because of the nearby Broad Street subway line) but with the strangely weak force of a wrecking ball.

Fans and former star athletes, including Hall of Famer Dr. J watched as the 43-year-old arena met its slow demise. 

Lauren Hart got the event off to a tremendous start by singing “God Bless America, but it turned out to be a long day for everyone.  In true “Rocky” fashion, the old building refused to go down easy as it took more than six swings for the orange wrecking ball to make a noticeable dent in its brick facade.  It was nearly a dozen strikes before any real damage was inflicted on The Spectrum.  Of course the initial strikes by the wrecking ball were accompanied by John Cougar’s “Crumblin’ Down” and Bruce’s “Wrecking Ball” blaring over a loudspeaker system.

We have Spectrum related video (including the demolition) after the jump.


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MISSING LINK?

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/23/10 1:21 pm EST

Two summers ago, in early June, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to swap forward Reggie Evans for sharp-shooting guard Jason Kapono.  We believed we were getting an excellent three point shooter who had been a two-time winner of the NBA’s Long Distance 3-Point Shootout and a career 45.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc. 

As an organization, the Sixers were in dire need of a player of his type because since the loss of Kyle Korver in December of 2007 this team had continually failed to address the lack of outside shooting.  When the 76ers front office pulled the trigger on the Kapono deal, they were ranked dead last in three point shooting percentage.  For the 2009-10 Sixers Kapono was sure to be a great role player who could stretch the floor and knock down open treys in Eddie Jordan’s Princeton offense.

The man he was dealt for — Reggie Evans — was a decent player but a special role playing forward off the bench.  Evans lacks the ability to create his own shot but excels as a rebounder and is solid on defense.  His physicality would be a great attribution to this current Sixers roster. 

Although it seemed like the right move way back when, we’d be much better off if the deal never happened. 


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IVERSON UPDATE

Posted by: C. Smith
11/22/10 10:53 am EST

In his first official game, Allen Iverson played 24 minutes, scored 15 points and had a host of assists for Beşiktaş.  To say that his second game did not go as well is an understatement.

Allen Iverson scored two points in his second game — his Turkish league debut for Besiktas Cola Turka — in a 74-67 loss to defending champion Fenerbahce Ulker on Sunday.

Iverson was again in the starting lineup for Beşiktaş, but went 0-3 shooting in the first quarter and was taken out of the game with less than a minute left in the stanza.  That was the last action Iverson would see in the first half.  Besiktas trailed 40-35 at half time


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GM 13 RECAP: DID YOU HEAR US COMING?

Posted by: Kevin Jones
11/20/10 8:53 am EST

At last.  Ahhhhhh the feeling of winning. Oh how much we’ve missed you winning.  You know those last little moments before you fall to sleep at night? I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I usually think of my favorite sports teams and how they’re doing before I doze off into my slumber. 

If my teams are doing bad I go to sleep grumpy and usually will awake to a nightmare or even worse, just toss and turn all night. If they’re doing well, I usually have a little smile on face and sleep pleasantly throughout the night.

Well Sixers fans, I bet you slept well last night.  We beat down the Milwaukee Bucks in pretty convincingly fashion last night, 90-79.  The 76ers claimed the lead for almost the entirety of the night and brought home the first professional basketball victory the City of Philadelphia could embrace since November 7th.  The win snapped the Sixers five game losing streak and is something Doug Collins can harp on over these next three off days to keep team morale positive.


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