Monthly Archive  January 2011

 
 

CONTROLLING LOUWIL FEVER

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/21/11 1:02 pm EST

When a sports franchise is under .500, fans of the team are keen on putting their two cents in on why things aren’t running so smoothly.  In particular, people will clamor about how the roles of certain reserve players should be increased.  And with the way the Sixers bench has been scoring in this 2010-2011 season, calls for lineup changes are filling up the message boards, blogs and even the newspapers.

Over the past week, Lou Williams-fever in Philadelphia has reached its boiling point and rightfully so.  The reserve guard’s 20-point performances and late game heroics this week against Milwaukee and Charlotte won the 76ers two ball games at home.  Had these two contests gone the other way, they would have been devastating blows to this season.  So Williams and his supporters probably believe they have legitimate reasons to call for more playing time recently.

On the surface of the stat sheet (18.75 ppg. & 3.2 apg. in his last 8 games), it looks like Williams is a player Philadelphia could not live without, but we here at Philadunkia have been covering this team for a while and we have yet to see Lou Williams “come through” on a consistent basis and thus warrant the minutes and shots he is currently receiving. 

In our opinion, Louis is what he is — a very good 6th man who can provide significant offensive punch, but that’s it.  So before the Louis Williams fever hits epidemic proportions in the City of Brotherly Love, we thought it was time for a reality check.

Using our friends from Basketball-Reference, I’ve come up with a chart to compare Williams to six other NBA guards who play in a reserve role and to be honest, the numbers don’t look good for Louis.


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GM 42 RECAP: HONDO’D

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/21/11 9:34 am EST

The Sixers caught a break prior to the game when the Charlotte Bobcats announced that Tyrus Thomas would be unable to play.  Thomas took a nap after pre game shoot around and when he woke up, his knee was swollen.  It was later discovered that Thomas magically suffered a torn meniscus and is now scheduled to be out up to two months.  He’s averaged 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds this season while being an effective defensive post presence. 

When these teams met on Monday, Thomas was out due to a League mandated suspension and the 7-6 snuck by with a win.  In Charlotte however, the absence of Thomas did no good for the Sixers because DJ Augustin went bananas in the first half and then Gerald Henderson closed out the game for the ‘Cats, who handed the Sixers (17-25) their second straight L, 100-97.


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FO’ with the FOES: CHARLOTTE

Posted by: C. Smith
01/20/11 3:18 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 the Larry Brown-less Charlotte Bobcats.

We’re still reeling mentally from last night’s loss in Orlando and we can’t imagine the Sixers are doing much better.  In addition to the psychological damage done by last night’s loss, the Sixers will also be dog-tired physically coming into tonight’s contest.  The Charlotte game tonight is the second game in a back-to-back road set for the Sixers as well as the third game in four days for the 7-6.  As a cruel bonus to the madness that is the NBA scheduling czars, two of those three games went into overtime.   

In short, we don’t see the Sixers winning this one tonight.  Yeah, we know the Sixers just beat the Bobcats three nights ago.  And yeah we know you could argue that on paper the Sixers are a better team.  However, the NBA grind we mentioned above sometimes just wears a team out and produces a let down game.  Tonight has “let down game” written all over it for Philadunkia’s home team. 

In addition to the “let down game” theory, the naked eye, the stats and the “experts” all say the ‘Cats are playing better ball under new head coach Paul Silas.  They looked solid in their win at Chicago on Tuesday, so they also have a little momentum going for them.  The tired Sixers on the other hand are 2-3 in their last five; are 3-5 this year in the second game of a back-to-back set and 1-3 when that second game is away from the WFC.  Again we think the Sixers fall flat tonight (so take the Cats and give the 3 points), but we hope we’re wrong.  We really do, because this team and its faithful are in desperate need of a pick-me-up.

For a little more insight into the Bobcats team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Brett Hainline from queencityhoops.com to answer two questions on the ‘Cats from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Charlotte squad from an insider’s perspective.


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GM 41 RECAP: DISAPPEARING ACT

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/20/11 8:29 am EST

Orlando is a formidable opponent with legitimate hopes of making a trip to the NBA Finals.  The 76ers are still very young, trying to build towards the future with aspirations of a bottom playoff seed.  So it comes as no surprise that the Magic snuck by with a victory against the Sixers.

Except this game, like so many others, the Sixers had in the bag but still managed to some how come out on the losing end.  After a questionable four point play by Jason Richardson at the end of regulation, the Sixers and Magic went into overtime tied at 90 a piece but Orlando came out victorious 99-98 after the extra period.  The win bumps the Magic to 27-15 and credits them with seven wins in the last 10 ball games.  For the 7-6 it marks another gut wrenching loss and drops their record to 17-24.


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PODCAST THRICE

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/19/11 1:08 pm EST

We know this city is still reeling over the Eagles playoff loss and also the preoccupied with who is going to bat 5th for the Phillies this spring, but the Sixers have played some decent ball of late and if the season ended today, Doug Collins & Co. would be a participant in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

So Philadunkia scribes Nabeel Ahmadieh and Kevin Jones are back with another podcast to help you focus on the NBA season and specifically our improving 76ers.

Among the numerous topics Nabeel and Kevin discuss on today’s podcast :

  • The recent 5 up and 4 down run
  • Louis Williams’ heroics and his role as the Sixers closer
  • AI9 — Trade him or not? 
  • Mo Speights coming to life
  • Thad’s January struggles
  • Potential lineup changes

 Full podcast after the jump…


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GM 40 RECAP: SWEET LOU

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/18/11 10:25 am EST

The last three 76er games have provided a pretty accurate measuring stick for the fans and for Doug Collins as well on the reality that a 2011 playoff berth is within the team’s reach :  The Sixers (17-23) are going to be right in this playoff hunt until the very end.

Lou Williams and company were able to avenge Tuesday night’s handling from the Pacers by winning back-to-back close games, an unheard of theme prior to this week.  The triumphant victory for now locks the Sixers into the 8th seed with a 1.5 game cushion.  Or possibly even better, it prevented a meltdown loss that could have divided a young team.

Monday afternoon it was the new-look Charlotte Bobcats who left the Wells Fargo Center with their heads sunken after a deflating overtime defeat.  The first half was what I call a snoozer.  I was almost tempted to flip over and check out some of the other NBA action on.  But who knew these two teams together could provide for so much late game entertainment.


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GM 39 RECAP: A MUCH NEEDED WIN

Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/15/11 3:38 pm EST

The 76ers playoff lives flashed before their eyes Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Brandon Jennings-less Milwaukee Bucks.  But somehow, someway, the Sixers (16-23) were able to secure their first victory of the season in a game decided by less than three points.  Philadelphia was able to grip a one point lead and forced Milwaukee point guard Earl Boykins to take a deep corner three which rimmed out as time expired.

The 95-94 final score was an ending I wasn’t envisioning early on in the first half. At one point in the half the Sixers led by as much as 15, shooting a whopping 72 percent from the floor and had an extended two quarter 17-2 run.  It was one of those nights where the Sixers rode Lou Williams offensively.


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FO’ with the FOES: MILWAUKEE BUCKS

Posted by: C. Smith
01/14/11 4:28 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 Brandon Jennings-less Milwaukee Bucks.

There’s really not much to say about the game tonight down at the WFC other then the fact that it’s a HUGE game as we believe it to be an absolute must-win for the 76ers.  Philadunkia’s home team is coming off two of their worst Ls of the year — @ Detroit and vs. Indiana – so Collins & Co. must get the ship righted right now, otherwise this season will go down the toilet! 

You can forget us trying to give you any of the X&O’s or matchups to be exploited in this preview, because we don’t care how the Sixers get a W tonight.  All we want from this squad is for them to come out with some energy and intensity, play tough defense and jump all over this struggling Milwaukee squad (2-4 in January) from the opening tip until the final horn.  Tonight the Sixers need to make a statement – to the fans, themselves and the League — by posting a double digit, coasted home in the 4th  type of win.  Anything less would be unacceptable.   

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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PULL THE PLUG ALREADY

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
01/14/11 11:30 am EST

With the All-Star break slowly approaching, there’s not much to be said that hasn’t already been said about the Sixers this season. Right now they stand just on the edge of the playoffs in the 9th slot, with a 15-23 record.  There’s too many similarities that stand out with this team from a year ago.  The team is still without a superstar, they can establish leads but not close out games, and although the rotations on offense are better then a year ago they are still inconsistent and have ultimately doomed the team in certain games this season.

However there are many more bright spots this season then a year ago.

Willie Green and Samuel Dalembert are gone, two players who have lived by the word inconsistent. Perimeter defense which killed this team last year seems to be better then average this season.  Elton Brand is finally showing that he can play close to the level he used to play.  The Sixer bench has been playing great, especially Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams.  It also seems like the biggest question this year is finally being answered.  Evan Turner, a player who the Sixers organization is depending upon to be its future, looks like he’s getting comfortable in the offense and is finally being effective.


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MELO DRAMA

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
01/13/11 11:01 am EST

It’s a sound business strategy, whenever there’s a big swapping of assets on the horizon, to find a way to interject yourself into of the proceedings, act a as sort of middle man, and feast on the scraps.

(I don’t know anything about business.  I think I saw this in a magazine.)

The Nets, Nuggets and Pistons have such a deal on the horizon.  As has been widely reported, this deal has been agreed to in principle by all three teams and the only thing holding it up is Melo’s refusal to agree to an extension with the Nets.  While the Knicks remain his top choice (a combination of proximity to his wife, Lala Vasquez’s, career and the possibility of forming his own big three with Stoudamire and Paul are reportedly the draw of Gotham) the Nets can clearly offer the Nuggets a better deal, and once management emphasizes to Melo that its NJ or nowhere (unless the Knicks make an incredible final offer, but what do they have though that matches Favors?) he will, I imagine, take the money and the first plane to Jersey rather than sign his extension under the new, and less generous, CBA.  Long story short, we’re assuming the Nets deal, in some form, is a go.

But before the paperwork on this deal hits the League offices, it’s worth considering ways the Sixers can elbow their way in. 

 
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