Monthly Archive  January 2011

 
 

GM 47 RECAP: NICE REBOUND

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/31/11 10:33 am EST

The wounds suffered from Friday night’s collapse against Memphis are now starting to heal a tad after the Sixers 110-99 handling of the Denver Nuggets.  Surprisingly the Sixers (21-26) were able to protect a marginal lead for most of the evening on their way to completing the season sweep against Carmelo Anthony and his Nuggets.

Some may complain often about this team’s inconsistency, but with a first year coach and one of the youngest rosters in the League, the Sixers have no reason to be hanging their heads.  Sunday night’s victory ensured Philadelphia of its best monthly record so far this season at 8-6.  And since the woeful 3-13 beginning chapters, the Sixers are now 18-13 and boast an undeniably first-rate home record of 15-8.

The Sixers were able to combat Denver’s excellent night at the free throw (21-of-24) and three point (10-of-19) lines by forcing 17 turnovers and getting the ball out in transition for 22 fast break points. Anthony never was able to find his isolation game and committed six of those 17 turnovers himself.  Andre Iguodala called Carmelo ‘the hardest person to guard in the NBA’, and still the Sixers lockdown defender was able to frustrate a star-player again, holding Anthony to 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field.  AI9 also forced ‘Melo into committing six turnovers.


Continue Reading

GM 46 RECAP: THAT SUCKED

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
01/29/11 11:15 am EST

Jan. 28, 2011, around 9pm, these were the salient facts about the Sixers: they had won three straight games, 17 of 29, and were holding the seven spot in the East.  They were young, willing to play defense, and seemed very much like they were at the beginning of something. Furthermore, the something they seemed to be at the beginning of seemed much better than the something they had just ended.

More immediately, they were up 21 points on the Memphis Grizzlies, at home, and in the process of winning in the sort of convincing / inevitable way that good teams beat bad teams when they’re at home.

A few minutes earlier, when they went up 66-46, Eric Snow said “I see why people are changing their tune about the Philadelphia 76ers,” and Mark Zumoff, not to be outdone, started running off stats about how the Sixers were reborn under Doug Collins and said the word “defense” many times.

In that moment, I felt something in my guts.  A turning point had occurred.  Maybe not in that moment, but in that moment I realized it.  The Sixers had crossed the Rubicon. We were…good?

Minutes later I learned in disturbing fashion that the answer to my question is — not yet.


Continue Reading

FO’ with the FOES: MEMPHIS GRIZ

Posted by: C. Smith
01/28/11 3:54 pm EST

This Friday, snow-crazy 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 victim, the Memphis Grizzlies.

Despite the Griz’s smooth offensive talents, their athleticism and the recent winning ways (5-3 in their last 8), we expect the Sixers to get a W tonight and establish their first four game winning streak of the season.  However, we don’t think it’s going to be an easy W tonight (Even though the 76ers have won six of the last seven meetings between these squads).

The major issue for the Sixers tonight will be containing Memphis bigs Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.  We all know that the Sixers struggle mightily with big men who can bang, rebound and score.  It just so happens that in Z-bo (20 & 13) and Gasol (11 & 7) the Grizzlies have two bigs who can do all of those three things and together they form one of the best big men duos in the League.  Additionally, Randolph is absolutely rolling right now.  He is coming off his 12th consecutive double-double (32 double-doubles on the season) with 20 points and 16 rebounds vs. the Nets on Wednesday.  Randolph is averaging 23.0 points and 14.7 rebounds during that 12-game stretch.  Gasol has been no slouch of late either.  In his last three runs, he’s hitting for 17.6 ppg. to go along with 10 rips per night.  We’ll need a major effort from Brand, Hawes and Speights to keep Zach and Gasol under wraps, but it is not an impossible task.

We imagine the Sixers game plan will be to try pressure the Memphis perimeter players so that they can then get out a run on the OJ Mayo-less, road weary (4 straight away games) Grizzlies.  The 7-6 should be able to do that successfully tonight as Memphis averages 14.4 turnovers a game.  Thus, if Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes and the new, “improved” Mo Speights can keep the Grizzlies’ two bigs from taking over the game, we love the Sixers chances of extending their win streak to four games. 

For a little more insight into the Grizzlies team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Chip Crain from 3 Shades of Blue.com to answer two questions on the Grizzlies from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Memphis squad from an insider’s perspective.


Continue Reading

CHUCK SPEAKS ON THE SIXERS

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/28/11 10:42 am EST

Two days ago Charles Barkley’s took some time off from playing “turrable” golf and then put down his Taco Bell five buck box for a second in order to utter some apparently well thought out comments on the state of the Philadelphia 76ers.  Chuck’s comments produced very spirited debate here in Philly as many Sixers fans were enraged while others among the faithful were left nodding their heads in approval. 

Here at Philadunkia we’re just as divided on Chuck’s comments as the rest of 76ers nation, so we have decided to look at both sides of the spectrum.

In case you missed it, below are Chuck’s words of wisdom:  

“Why is Doug Collins trying to win games?” Barkley told Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s stupid. They should develop the young guys and try to get a better draft pick.”

“Doug’s a great coach.  Don’t get me wrong,” Barkley added.  “But sometimes coaches get carried away with their own egos.  But in a situation like this, it’s not about them.”

After the jump, Philadunkia scribes Nabeel Ahmadieh (pro) and Kevin Jones (anti) “debate” Sir Charles’ comments.


Continue Reading

SIXERS REWIND

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/27/11 2:59 pm EST

If you could have any super power in the world what would it be?

A lot of people would choose the ability to fly, or the ability to be invisible.  But for me the obvious choice has to be time traveling.  The ability to see the future, or even better, go back and fix your past mistakes could be the most beneficial tool ever.

Let’s pretend that Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski could go back in time.  He would obviously travel back to January of 2010 and fire head coach Eddie Jordan, replacing him with Doug Collins.  This brilliant ”re-do” would have given Collins 40-or-so games to play with this roster, gauge his exact draft needs and most importantly implement his proven winning formula: defense, defense, defense. 

How much better could the 76ers look now if Collins was on the job dating back to Jauary 2010? 

In my opinion much, much better.


Continue Reading

GM 45 RECAP: MO – MENTUM

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/27/11 10:45 am EST

Heading into the Air Canada Centre to face the Toronto Raptors, the 76ers have struggled in the New Year on the road having lost five consecutive.  Overall, the road hasn’t been very friendly to the 7-6 this year as their 5-18 record on the season indicates.  However, in Toronto last night their road luck changed as the Sixers beat the Raptors 107-94 and improved to 20-25 on the season. 

The victory is the third straight for the 76ers and ran their record to 1-2 vs. the Raptors in 2010-11.  Toronto seized the two previous games between the teams back in November when the 76ers were struggling pitifully.  It was part of their 3-13 stretch, and Raptors’ center Andrea Bargnani owned the 7-6 in those two games, including a 30 point effort in Philadelphia. 

This time around things were very different.  The team continued to respond to head coach Doug Collins’ defense first philosophy, held Bargnani to 17 points and beat the Raptors thanks to Mo Speights and a great second half. 


Continue Reading

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
01/25/11 3:14 pm EST

With the NBA All-Star break around the corner and thus the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, we here at Philadunkia still stand as a blog divided on just what approach the 76ers should take for the remainder of 2010-11. 

Should the Sixers hold a fire sale and look ahead to 2011-12 and beyond? 

Should the Sixers be a “buyer” at the year’s trade deadline in effort to move up in the Eastern Conference standings and possibly entertain the idea of winning a 1st round playoff series?

Or should the 7-6 do nothing and see how this season plays out ?

After the jump, Philadunkia scribe Tom Sunnergren tackles this all important issue with his own unique twist.


Continue Reading

GM 44 RECAP: THAT’S HOW WE ROLL

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/25/11 11:04 am EST

Thad Young had his best game since early December, starring in the 76ers torrid offense pace with 24 points and seven rebounds in Monday night’s 105-95 defeat of the Phoenix Suns.  It’s the first time the Sixers (19-25) have swept the Suns in nine seasons, and in both defeats it was the mostly the younger players who marked their stamps on the blowout wins.

The 7-6 were able to feast off of an uncharacteristic 16 Phoenix turnovers and things really swung in their direction following a 20-10 run ending the first quarter.  Part of the win can be credited to Doug Collins for sitting Spencer Hawes on the bench with 4:34 left in the first, opting to go with a quick lineup against the lethargic Suns, who were putting the closing touches on a 3-2 five game road trip.

Elton Brand thrived in his role at the center spot, scoring 22 while seizing nine rebounds.  His nine third quarter points were mostly soft jumpers and kept the Sixers trucking when the Suns threatened to sneak up from behind.  Brands shooting touch opened things up underneath for Young, who had several soaring dunks and an alley-oop.

Still, Brand was the only starter in double-figures, meaning the Sixers would need a successful evening from either Lou Williams or Evan Turner.  Or how about both.


Continue Reading

FO’ with the FOES: PHX SUNS

Posted by: C. Smith
01/24/11 3:38 pm EST

This Monday 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 fun to watch and relatively hot Phoenix Suns.

After a solid win over the talented but road weary Utah Jazz on Saturday night, the Sixers take on another Western Conference foe that much like the Jazz, will provide plenty of match up problems for the home team.  Obviously defending Steve Nash will present a number of challenges for the Sixers backcourt.  Back in December Nash lit up the 7-6 for 23 & 15.  Ageless swingman Grant Hill always seems to give this Sixers roster trouble and outside of the Detroit game the other night, Hill is playing arguably the best ball of his recent career (14.7 ppg. & 5 rpg.). 

But it’s Marcin Gortat that we’re especially concerned about in tonight’s contest.  As we all know the Sixers have significant trouble guarding bigs with talent, and the Suns’ Gortat certainly falls into that category.  Additionally, Gortat seems to have found his niche in PHX and he has been rolling of late (see below for stats).  Gortat tore up the Sixers during his time in Orlando and that was in a limited role behind “Superman”, so the thought of Gortat getting 30+ minutes against the defensively challenged Sixers frontline is very scary.  If the Suns are wise enough to run Gortat and Robin Lopez at the same time for extended minutes, the Sixers will be in real trouble.

Despite all of the above challenges, we really like the Sixers chances of securing a win tonight.  Even though the Suns defense is improving, it has not gotten good enough that they can stop the Sixers from scoring — at will.  See the 123 points we hung on PHX back in December as evidence.  If there’s one thing the Sixers can do, it’s get buckets.  That’s especially true if Collins continues to give Louis Williams a long leash.  So trading baskets with the high powered Suns should not be a problem with the Sixers. 

There’s little chance Alvin Gentry will use our above idea and run Lopez and Gortat together for significant portions of the game, so that will help the Sixers bigs hold their own on defense.  With the trio of Brand, Speights and Hawes playing “decently” on that end of the floor, the Sixers much higher ranked team defense (13th overall vs. Suns 29thplace ranking) will be too tough for the Suns.  In short, the Sixers defense will come through with several stops along the way and bring home a W for the home team.         

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


Continue Reading

THE NEXT 10

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/24/11 10:35 am EST

After the Saturday night’s 96-85 victory over the Utah Jazz, the 76ers face a favorable run of games in their next five matchups.  However, looking further down the road, viewing the next ten games, it’s alerting to note the daunting challenge that lies ahead.

The first five opponents in the next 10 games have combined for a 90-126 record.  Three of those games will be in the Well-Fargo Center.  The road games come against tissue-soft division foes the Raptors and Nets.  The only team currently with a winning record is the Denver Nuggets who are distracted by the ‘Melodrama and carry a 5-13 road tally. 

Following the lighter five game slate is a scary challenge.  The Sixers will play three of the top six Eastern Conference teams and the League’s best, the San Antonio Spurs.  These ball clubs hold a combined 117-59 record.  Keep in mind that the Sixers will face the Knicks in back-to-back games, one at home for each. 

Sitting 7th in the Eastern Conference standings at 18-25, we will be clawing with the Bobcats, Pacers, Bucks and Pistons for two playoff spots.  It’s crucial to see how this team competes against winnable competition, followed by how they respond to stronger teams in the final five. 

Let’s take a look at the next ten foes, the to watch for each opponent and the each game’s X-factor. 

 
Continue Reading