Monthly Archive  November 2010

 
 

FO’ with the FOES: MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Posted by: C. Smith
11/19/10 2:32 pm EST

This Friday 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 Milwaukee Bucks.

The Sixers will be without Andre Iguodala again tonight and that will make an already difficult game with the Bucks brutally tough.  To be honest, the Bucks will provide numerous issues for the 7-6.  Milwaukee is one of the best defensive teams in the League and is holding opponents to 92 ppg. (3rdbest in the NBA).  The 7-6 have struggled to score the ball through out this year and they’re coming off a season-worst 36.8% shooting in Wednesday night’s 94-86 L to Toronto.  So buckets could be a rarity for the Sixers.

At the other end of the floor, the Bucks perimeter players — Brandon Jennings, Corey Maggette and John Slamons – will give Philadunkia’s home team major trouble.  Jennings especially killed the Sixers last year with an average of 15.8 points per game.  He pumped in 31 points Tuesday night and is averaging 22 ppg. in his last four runs.  So basically Jennings is on fire right now.

Of course complimenting the Bucks perimeter game is big man Andrew Bogut and his sidekick Drew Gooden.  Bogut who has “struggled” this season is hitting for 12 & 10 a night and Gooden is good for 10 & 6.  We all know that the Sixers are horrible at defending bigs, so expect both of them to have monster nights.

Still despite all of the challenges listed above, we don’t think the Sixers will get run out of the gym tonight.  Why do we make this shocking statement?  Well look back at last year.  Even during that train wreck of a season, the Sixers managed to go 2-2 vs. the Bucks.  For some reason they give the Bucks, a team that on paper is significantly better on paper, a hard time.  The Sixers accomplished that task in 2009-10 with the clown Eddie Jordan masquerading as their head coach and with pathetic efforts out of Brand in the last two games of the series (5 points total on 2-of-14 shooting).  Collins is a significant upgrade from Jordan and Brand is playing near his LAC All-Star level and those items should be enough to keep this game from getting ugly.  So for tonight we’re predicting a respectable loss by the Sixers without an outside shot at an upset.     

For a little more insight into the Bucks team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Jeremy Schmidt @ bucksketball.com to answer two questions on this Milwaukee squad from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on the Bucks from an insider’s perspective. 


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THE NEXT 10

Posted by: Kevin Jones
11/18/10 3:34 pm EST

The Sixers playoff hopes are already in critical condition and are quickly approaching life support with each and every loss.  To be honest, the next ten games could ultimately paint the picture of our 2010-2011 Philadelphia 76ers and determine the succcess of this season. 

Can this team win seven out of ten games and motor closer to .500?  Or will they lose seven out of the ten, dooming this season before Christmas Eve, pretty much guaranteeing another top five draft pick and making Doug Collins wish he had never left his announcing chair? 

Will the players start believing in Doug Collins message and step up during this vital stretch?  Can Iguodala and Brand play like All-Stars, TOGETHER.  Will Jrue Holiday who is hardly 20 years of age and has been wildly inconsistent through the first twelve games, grow up over night and become a solid floor general?  Is it possible that the Sixers staff can squeeze some production — wait make that any production — out of the center position?  Could Joide Meeks finally be the answer to the Sixers 3-point shooting woes?

Unfortunately the answer to all of these questions will have to be “yes”if the Sixers are going to get this season back on track in the next ten games.  So we’d better hope the “team message” President Rod Thorn gave to the squad today in their meeting before practice hits home. 

Here’s a look at the upcoming ten games on the schedule for the 7-6.

  
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GM 12 RECAP: OHH LORD

Posted by: Kevin Jones
11/18/10 11:31 am EST

I’m not sure who had less energy last night down at the WFC — the 76ers on the basketball court or one of the smallest home crowds I’ve seen in several years.  But can you really blame people for not showing up?  After all, last night’s contest featured two 2-9 teams each playing the second game in a back-to-back set. 

When all the ugly basketball was over, a road weary 76ers team fell at home last night to the lowly Toronto Raptors (one of the NBA’s worst franchises — ever) because they got handled in the fourth quarter.  The Raptors left the City of Brotherly Love with an eight point victory as well as bragging rights among the NBA’s cellar dwellers and put the Sixers in a nightmare 2-10 situation.

The Sixers played decently through the first three quarters and actually entered the final period with a two point lead.  We were only able to muster up 15 points in the most crucial part of the game, but Philadunkia fans should have known this was coming.  In the three previous losses (Cleveland, San Antonio and Dallas) the Sixers had at least one terrible quarter offensively where they scored just 15 points.  But to have that quarter come at home against one of the league’s worst defensive teams (27th ranked) is inexcusable.


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FO’ with the FOES: TORONTO RAPTORS

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/17/10 4:26 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, the Toronto Raptors (2-9) who have looked as bad as the 76ers early on in this 2010-11 season. 

The Sixers return home tonight after a bad 1-4 road swing that ended with a pathetic loss in Cleveland last night and things are not looking good for Philadunkia’s home team.  We can honestly say that last night in Cleveland was the first time this year we were not happy with the 76ers effort on the court.  Hopefully we will not see another poor effort from the 7-6 down at the WFC tonight.  However tonight’s contest is the second half of a road game, followed by a home game back-to-back set and typically in the NBA that scenario spells disaster.  So do not be shocked if the Sixers, who will likely be without AI9 again, are simply worn out tonight and look sluggish against the Raptors. 

The good news for the Sixers is that tonight is the fourth game in a four game road trip for Toronto and the second contest in a road game, then another road game back-to-back set for the Raptors.  Thus Toronto won’t exactly have fresh legs either tonight.  The other good news for the Sixers is that this Toronto team is simply bad (especially defensively).  They lost by 15 last night to a Wizards squad that was without John Wall.  That’s the same Wiz team the Sixers lost to by 1 point in OT with Wall in the lineup.

The bad news for the Sixers is that Toronto has a strong interior game that could us fits. Andrea Bargnani killed the Sixers last year (He averaged 18 ppg. & 5.8 rpg vs. PHL last season.) and is off to another solid start in 2010-11 (19.9 & 4.7 per).  In addition to Bargnani, former Sixers Reggie Evans is playing some of the best ball in his career (11.5 rpg.) and has earned a starting role.  It should be interesting to see how badly the Philly fan favorite Reggie bulls over the Sixers weak bigs.  It’s possible that Evans could grab 30+ boards tonight. 

With Leandro Barbosa out, the Sixers can match up with the Raptors perimeter players (DeRozan, Kleiza, Jack and Calderon) so if the Sixers are to win this game tonight, they must keep the Raptors “low post” duo of Evans & Bargnani from having huge nights.

For a little more insight into the Raptors team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Sam Holako from raptorsrepublic.com to answer two questions on the Raptors from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Toronto squad from an insider’s perspective.


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GM 11 RECAP: L STREAK HITS 4

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/17/10 10:54 am EST

The Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a four game home losing streak after defeating our struggling but beloved 76ers 101-93. 

The Cavaliers attacked the 76ers from all angles with five double-figure scorers including Antawn Jamison, Joey Graham, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker.  This is now the second time this season we have lost to the weakened Cavaliers without their former franchise star — LeBron James.  Also, absent for Cleveland was point guard Mo Williams who has averaged 14.6 point per game. 

The 76ers who were again without “star” shooting guard Andre Igoudala, dropped to 2-9 on the season and 1-6 away from home.  This loss marks the end of a five game road trip which the Sixers came up with only one win, against the New York Knicks on November 7th.  Now we return home for the second half of a back-to-back set, as tonight the Sixers host the Raptors. 

A major issue for this team has been starting games slowly in the first quarter.  Against the Cavaliers this was not an issue as the 76ers ended the quarter with a 23-19 lead.  We were struggling to attack the rim but still managed to get solid production from the wings.  Andres Nocioni and Evan Turner posted seven points a piece in the first.  We continued to fight in the 2nd quarter and saw an unfamiliar face crack the lineup.


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HOLIDAY ROLLERCOASTER

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/16/10 3:17 pm EST

This season is widely understood to be a crucial pivot point in the development of Jrue Holiday: whatever sort of player he will ultimately become, he will go a long way towards becoming it between now and June.

As the story goes, he will either raise his play – become, if not the “top five point guard” his coach maintains he will be, a high-level player – or flat line like some of the other once-promising-rookie-turned-disappointments he shares the Wells Fargo locker room with.  More than even wins and losses, Holiday’s progress is what will determine ‘10-11 as a success or failure

So far, the early returns are mixed.


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DISAPPOINTING FIRST 10

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/16/10 11:08 am EST

It seemed like every Philadelphia faithful, NBA fan and proclaimed “expert” pictured the Philadelphia 76ers having a better season than 27-55 shine hey posted in 2009-10.  The only key losses the 76ers encountered was center and locker room problem child Samuel Dalembert.  We replaced the one-year failure of head coach Eddie Jordan with well respected former Bulls, Pistons and Wizards head coach Doug Collins.  Then we lucked into the #2 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and added a promising young draft prospect in Evan Turner.  Turner’s selection was followed by trade for Spencer Hawes a big man with “potential” and Andres Nocioni, a gritty wing player  with a nice outside jumper.  So one had to figure this season should be better then 2009-10 right?

Maybe, we were too quick to jump the gun and expect results from Evan Turner and a new coach?  Maybe, we need to take a step backwards before we take two steps forward?  Yes, it is very early into the NBA calendar but last season at this point we were 4-6, currently the Sixers are 2-8.  Obviously every NBA franchise and fan-base wants to see improvement gradually each season.

You never want to push a panic button too early on in the season.  Teams go on streaks all the time in every sport.  Hopefully this team will figure things out sooner rather than later and get the ball rolling before it’s too late.  Lets look at where we stand thus far and loo at the reasons to panic and the reasons to stay optimistic.    

 
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IVERSON — DNP

Posted by: C. Smith
11/15/10 4:06 pm EST

The Turkish basketball league debut of Philadelphia icon Allen Iverson’s was postponed this weekend.  According to Besiktas officals, Iverson “did not feel ready” to play Friday and instead watched from the stands as his new squad beat host Oyak Renault, 87-81.  The W was the Black Eagles sixth victory of the young season.

Besiktas officials now expect Iverson to make his debut at Besiktas’s European Cup home game on Tuesday Speaking of Iverson and playing in Turkey.  The gambling website Bodog.com has some very interesting future and proposition bets listed for Iverson’s career in Turkey.

After the jump are a few wagers you can make on Iverson while he tries to get his basketball career back on track.


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GM 10 RECAP: TEXAS TOAST

Posted by: Kevin Jones
11/15/10 10:41 am EST

Lackadaisical.  Frustrating.  Unorganized.  Degenerating.  Worrisome.  Uninspiring.  Manhandled.

The final tally: A 23 point loss to the Spurs.  And 23 points makes it seem closer than it actually was.

Pick your poison of the listed vocabulary my fellow Philadelphia fans, because every single word describes the 76ers ugly and embarrassing display Saturday evening in San Antonio.

The horrific display of basketball started right from the get-go, with the Spurs going on a 20-2 run midway through the first quarter.  The Spurs poured in a season high 39 points in the opening flame.

Before every game I cover, I highlight a couple of matchups to focus on.  I keyed in on the Spurs experience in the backcourt and the championship veterans surely didn’t disappoint.  Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili ate away like mosquitoes at Jrue Holiday and company, pestering the Sixers defensively and biting them on offense.


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GM 9 RECAP: 4th QUARTER COLLAPSE

Posted by: Philadunkia
11/13/10 11:17 am EST

Heading into the fourth quarter last night’s game was competitive with the 76ers trailing the Mavericks 78-75.  We were fighting, scrapping, not in great rhythm but getting the job done by attacking the basket.  We hung around and I was convinced the game would come down to the final minutes.  What’d we do?  Nothing, at least it seemed like nothing.

After a Tony Battie two pointer, in his first appearance of the ball game, the 76ers allowed a 10-0 run early in the fourth.  The game was out of hand from there on out.  They would make the score look more respectable losing 99-90, but the truth is the Sixers were duds in the fourth.  In fact, statistically speaking, it worst fourth quarter this season with only 15 points on 5/17 shooting from the field. 

What bothers me most is Philly played well in the first three quarters.  Yes, it wasn’t pretty, but we had 46 points in the paint heading into the fourth.  Dallas is clearly a superior team, maybe the second best out in the West besides Los Angeles and we were hanging with them.  The Mavericks post players are lengthy and they gave us trouble all game but we held our own despite the mismatch on the interiro.  And then the fourth came along and our squad collapsed. 


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