Monthly Archive  December 2010

 
 

FO’ with the FOES: LA LAKERS

Posted by: C. Smith
12/17/10 1:42 pm EST

This frozen 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 two time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Sixers are about as hot as they have ever been over the last two years and we really like the way the team is playing right now.  We’re getting contributions from everyone of offense – including Spencer Hawes.  SURPRISE.  On the defensive end we are also playing very well – the Sixers are ranked 10thin opponents scoring average (96.6 ppg.) and 4th in opponents’ 3-point percentage (33.3%).

Throw in the fact that this is the 6thgame in a 7-game road swing for the LAL and the idea that a significantly inferior 76ers squad (to the current team) gave the Lakers all they could handle in both match ups last year and we have to say we like our chances of seeing an upset tonight.


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IVERSON UPDATE

Posted by: Philadunkia
12/16/10 3:18 pm EST

Is there trouble in Turkey?  It certainly seems likely…

Last week there were numerous rumors circulating around the internet and main stream media that Allen Iverson could be close to bolting from Besiktas and returning to United States.

Apparently the Sixers legend and former NBA star is not happy with his role on the team as well as has the criticism his play has received since his arrival in Turkey.

“The Answer” reportedly expressed his disappointment regarding the chemistry between the club and the fans, as reported by Talkbasket.

Of course, Iverson denied the rumors that he is unhappy in Turkey via a posting on his Twitter account.


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GM 25 RECAP: 3 Ws IN A ROW

Posted by: Philadunkia
12/16/10 9:01 am EST

After a lackadaisical first half, the 76ers put together a well-executed third quarter to grab a 105-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.  The Clippers got off to a great start and held a 56-53 halftime lead.  They were 4-7 from beyond the arc and rookie sensation Blake Griffin had already recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. 

However, thanks to an electric 22-6 run, beginning on three made free throws by Jodie Meeks, the 76ers took a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Sixers (10-15) scored their season-high total for the third quarter recording 34 points.  While the Clippers were outscored by 16 in the third and only finished the 3rd with 18.  A great Sixers quarter following a sloppy first half.  All thanks to defense really picking up in the second half.


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GM 24 RECAP: AGENT DOUBLE ZERO

Posted by: Kevin Jones
12/15/10 10:35 am EST

There was just one player in the 76ers 82-77 Tuesday night victory over the New Jersey Nets that excelled on the basketball court.  It surely wasn’t Andre Iguodala who had only three points heading into the fourth. Nor was it the sizzling-hot Jodie Meeks.  It wasn’t Brook Lopez or Devin Harris for the Nets either.

The player with the hottest hand in the Prudential Center last night happened to be Sixers center Spencer Hawes.

Hawes dialed in a season high 18 points to help Philadelphia (9-15) end its eight-game road losing streak and bury the Nets even further down in the Eastern Conference basement and it was an amazing sight to witness.


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THAD ON THE HORN

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
12/14/10 11:22 am EST

Well, the Michael Vick comeback train keeps rolling and it’s certainly an amazing return to glory for a player who hadn’t started a game since 2006 and spent 21 months in prison in the interim.

And now the Phillies have secured the front page headlines after stealing Cliff Lee from the clutches of the hated Yankess and returning him to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. 

Across the street though at the Wells Fargo Center, much less ink has been spilt over another former-Atlanta resident in the midst of a pretty remarkable comeback of his own.   And while it might not be quite as impressive as number 7′s recent accomplishments, it certainly has us here at Philadunkia pumped for what lies ahead.

Thad Young had a nice rookie season.  He shot 54% from the floor, posted a WP48 of 0.126 (Average is 0.1 for a vet, 0.04 for a rookie), produced 4.1 wins, and logged playoff minutes. And he was 19. The sky was the limit.

What did he do as a follow-up?  Something no one saw coming.

He got much worse at everything.

Over the next two seasons, as his minutes rose his production fell.  His field goal percentage dipped 70 points. His rebounds per 48 minutes fell by a pair.  He turned it over more, he hit his foul shots less. Rim rattling dunks were replaced by ill-considered 3′s.

Last season was his nadir.  He posted a WP48 of -0.029 and -1.3 wins.  The once-promising Young had entered the Adam Morrison zone, and the Sixers, not coincidentally, entered the Lottery.

Despite Young’s fall, hopes were (relatively) high coming into the season.  The Sixers brought in Doug Collins as coach and also added a hyper-productive young wing who promised to take the team to new levels. And that wing was…Thaddeus Young.

In an inexplicable reversal, through 23 games, Thad is third in the NBA in FG%.  He’s improved on the boards.  He’s shooting a career-best from the line.  He’s halved his turnovers.  He’s back.

He reached critical mass on Dec. 7 against the Cavs. He went 11/12 from the floor and 3/3 from the line for 26 points, pulled in 11 rebounds, swiped two steals, and turned the ball over all of zero times.

Now pick your jaw off the ground, dust it off, and listen to this: I spoke with the renascent Young on Friday night and wrote down what he said.  We covered his resurgence, contract status, Evan Turner’s struggles, and Charles Barkley. You’re welcome.

Q and A after the J.


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THE NEXT 10

Posted by: Kevin Jones
12/13/10 5:45 pm EST

Okay so we’re starting understand more and more about this Sixers team as the schedule continues to elapse. Recently, the 76ers haven’t had trouble taking care of teams their supposed to beat.  New Jersey, Portland, Charlotte and Cleveland were all downed in Philadelphia by a new and improved 76er lineup.

Starting shooting guard Jodie Meeks has provided this once dead-team-walking an uplifting boost of energy and a barrage of three pointers.  Forward Thaddeus Young, 22, is playing the best basketball of his career and even Spencer Hawes is emerging as a genuine big man who can compete with the bulk of the League’s centers.

The impending 10 games on the 76er schedule are going to be the most demanding part of the season.  On tap are  four back-to-back setups, a home contest against the Lakers and then the start of a 16 day, eight-game road trip, where the Sixers will visit Orlando, Chicago, Boston and Denver, along with a bevy of other Western cities and a revenge minded NOH team.

Philadelphia will be seeing super-stars on a regular basis for the rest of December. N ow it’s time we saw some improvement from our own heavy lifters.  Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand haven’t scored 20 points in the same game since an October 29th loss to the Atlanta Hawks.  Neither player has ever been regarded as an elite scoring option, but to overcome this brutal stretch on the schedule their going to have to become exactly that.

After the jump I breakdown the next 10 games on the Sixers schedule.


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WHAT CAN WE DO WITH KAPONO?

Posted by: Philadunkia
12/13/10 11:49 am EST

After watching #72 for the Sixers sit on the bench yet again Sunday afternoon in very expensive jeans and a jacket, it’s safe to say the Reggie Evans for Jason Kapono trade hasn’t worked out favorably.  Although, it did make sense at the time, as of now we don’t need his services.  The emergence of Jodie Meeks combined with Kapaono’s inability to find a role in Doug Collins’ rotation has put Kapono on the bench permanently. 

Kapono has not played more then 12 minutes in a game since the end of October.  Except for the final play of the loss to the Hawks last week, JK hasn’t seen the floor in a game since November 17th and he’s been a healthy scratch in four straight games. 

Basically, it’s time to find trade suitors for Kapono’s skills / his expiring contract. 

The 76ers are in a dire need for another big man to assist them defensively and on the glass.  Hawes has been playing well lately but the other two (Speights and Battie) have been sub-par.  One more post presence off the bench could help the 7-6 mightily.  

We all know Kapono is a great spot up shooter and there are teams lacking from that department around the league.  Ball clubs like the Thunder and Bucks would benefit from his superb shooting skills.  The only issue with some of those squads, and those two in particular, is they do not have the necessary pieces that would interest the 76ers.  Also, the $6.65 million dollars he’s making this season might shy away many franchises.  So what the 76ers are looking for is a team that has a big man with a similar contract, whose body of work is seldom used.    

There are four teams that have a piece that could assist the 76ers and in return use Jason Kapono.  Obviously, we could see a packaged deal occur with more than just Kapono leaving the 76ers, but that seems unlikely early on in the season. 

After the jump are four realistic, straight up trades for JK that work :


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GM 23 RECAP: SWATTED

Posted by: Philadunkia
12/12/10 7:37 pm EST

After the depressing home loss to the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics the 76ers bounced back with authority this afternoon by crushing the New Orleans Hornets in impressive fashion 88-70 (and it wasn’t really that close).  The W gave the 76ers a 7-5 home record on the year including wins in six of the last seven. 

It was a good quality victory against a solid but struggling Hornets team.  With a tip-off time at noon it’s sometimes difficult for teams to get in rhythm on a Sunday morning.  This marks only the second game the 76ers havefaced an opponent with a day time tip-off.  Against the New York Knicks on November 7th was the last time.  Both games though, have resulted in victories.

I was concerned going into the ball game that we might get off too a slow start because our schedule would be thrown off.  However, that was the case for the opposition.  The New Orleans Hornets put together their worst opening half in their first 23 contests which produced a 45-23 Sixers lead at half and the home team never looked back.


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FO’ with the FOES: N.O. HORNETS

Posted by: C. Smith
12/12/10 9:03 am EST

This Sunday morning 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 CP3 and the sliding New Orleans Hornets. 

We really like the 76ers chances of winning this matinee game today.  As we all know the 76ers have won 5 of their last 6 home games and played arguably their best game of the year in their gut wrenching, one-point L to Boston on Thursday night.  So after a horrible start, the Sixers have absolutely been playing much better ball of late. 

On the other hand, after a very hot start, the Hornets are reeling, and have lost 7 of their last 10 (including 3 out of the last 4).  Additionally, the NOH played Friday night and then traveled to Philly, so this odd afternoon start time could benefit a rested Sixers team.  In short, the Sixers are getting the Hornets at a great time and if they play like they did Thursday night the 7-6 should win this game.

However, there is one way the Sixers could lose this game…The NOH love the pick-n-roll game and with an all-world point man like Chris Paul who can blame them.  The Sixers of course have a tough time guarding the pick-n-roll.  As we all know it’s an issue that has plagued this group for a few years now.  So if Philadunkia’s home team allows the NOH to run their pick-n-roll sets all night with little or no resistance, then expect Paul, David West, Emeka Okafor and Marco Belinelli to have big nights and for the Sixers to take a loss.    

For a little more insight into the Celtics team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Michael McNamara @ hornets247.com to answer two questions on the Celtics from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Boston squad from an insider’s perspective. 


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ABC’s of READING WITH EB

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
12/11/10 3:38 pm EST

This holiday season Sixers fans have several things to be excited about.  Despite a heartbreaking loss to the boys from Bean Town Thursday night this Sixer squad seems to be steadily improving while maybe settling finally on a successful starting lineup. 

A large part of the team’s recent success can be credited to the resurgence of Elton Brand, who is beginning to resemble the Elton of old.  However, wins aren’t the only thing Elton and the other Sixer stars are focusing on heading into the holidays.  Elton helped to add some holiday cheer off the court as well by attending a Center City book signing to help raise money and awareness for literacy programs through Sixer charities this holiday season.  Elton was joined by Jennifer Grocki, author of the first-ever Philadelphia 76ers children’s book, From A to Zone D: The Alphabet, Basketball Style in an attempt to supplement those recent wins with some Christmas spirit. 


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