Monthly Archive  February 2011

 
 

GM 56 RECAP: HOUSTON – NO PROBLEM

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/17/11 11:54 am EST

As you recall the 76ers finished the previous season with a 27-55 record.

Under the new regime of head coach Doug Collins, the 76ers have matched that 27 win total with 26 games still remaining. 

The 27th win came over the Houston Rockets in an efficient 114-105 effort. 

This was the fourth straight Western Conference opponent the Sixers have faced, going 3-1 against the opposing side.  The victory marks a franchise record three straight road wins in Houston.

The 7-6 avoided losing back-to-back games — after the Memphis debacle Tuesday night — for the first time in 14 games.  Momentum has tilted towards Philadunkia’s home team during that 14 game span, as they run up a 10-4 record in that span.  Capped by last night’s sound W, this recent stretch is a very positive way to head into the midseason All-Star break as the NBA is put on hiatus while “the best” showcase their talents in LA. 


Continue Reading

GM 55 RECAP: BEAR CLAWED

Posted by: Kevin Jones
02/16/11 11:14 am EST

Ten first quarter points and an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers were too much for the Sixers to overcome Monday night.  The Grizzlies were able to complete the two-game series sweep over the 76ers 102-91 in Memphis, a win in which they held the lead the entire evening.  The Sixers (26-29) are now 5-15 when they commit more turnovers than an opponent.

This loss was the complete opposite of the January 28thcollapse in Philadelphia but the feeling of disgust is the same exact emotion Sixers fans are feeling.  If you put together the fourth quarter cave in and Monday nights first quarter the Grizzlies combined to outscore the Sixers 68-31.  Ten points happens to be lowest output in a quarter all season and the quarter included seven turnovers. 

It looked like third grade girls basketball at some points.


Continue Reading

REELING IN THE KNICKS

Posted by: Kevin Jones
02/14/11 2:05 pm EST

My oh my are things shaping up our 76ers way in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. 

Without even a sniff of an all-star on the roster, Doug Collins has transformed his young team into a squad that plays some of the best fundamental basketball in the League.  The 76ers rank near the top in the League in limiting turnovers, bench points and assists.

Rarely are the Sixers able to produce two 20-point scorers together.  Rarely (Until recently) are the Sixers able to play consistently on the road.  And rarely do the Sixers play their best basketball in the fourth quarter.

For so long on this website we’ve been trying to peg down a player on the Sixers who can time after time become the teams closer.  But at the very moment, I would argue that having numerous options — Lou, Andre, Jrue and Elton — will help this team in close games during the fourth.  

The team that stands directly in front of the 7-6 just happens to be the slumping New York Knicks, who’ve by the way have lost 11 of their last 16 games.  New York peaked too early thanks to fresh legs and a new superstar in Amare Stoudemire.  The Knicks strong start had nearly all League experts and bloggers wondering if the Knicks could not only make the playoffs, but push for the second round.

Then January hit.  Opposing coaches began to recall ways to beat Mike D’Antoni’s system: slow the game down.  And even some of the Knicks players have begun to slow on D’Antoni’s frantic pace.  The losing skid has fans begging for a blockbuster trade to land Carmelo Anthony.


Continue Reading

GM 54 RECAP: ROLLIN’

Posted by: Kevin Jones
02/13/11 12:51 pm EST

It is now official: The 76er team who started the season 3-13 no longer exists.

Saturday night the Sixers (26-28) absolutely demolished the Timberwolves 107-87, to come within two games of .500, the first time since the team started 0-2.

If this contest was played in December, or even January, it would have had trap game written all over it.  We had lost nine out of our last ten at the Target Center, and the night following our best wins usually had resulted in a disheartening loss. Now its mid-February and Doug Collins can completely transform the identity of this team depending on who the opponent is.  Tonight it was fast break basketball (24 points) and an extreme use of ball-handlers that wore the T-Wolves down. The Sixers are 4-1 in their last five road games and have won the past two on the road by a combined 54 points.

WOW.   


Continue Reading

GM 53 RECAP: HOW YOU LIKE US NOW ?!?

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/12/11 10:47 am EST

The 76ers beat the best team in the NBA last night.  It wasn’t pretty, but rather a sluggish duel between two teams who played with a defensive mindset for the entire game. 

Scrappy, slow-paced and defensive is a style usually played by Gregg Popovich’s Spurs.  It’s a style that typically gives the Sixers a lot of problems, but last night the home team went toe-to-toe with the Spurs in the half court and came away with arguably the biggest win of the year.  It was only the Spurs ninth loss of the season.

The Sixers improved to 25-28 on the season, having won eight of their last 11 ball games.  It’s looking more inevitable that this team will overtake the New York Knicks — who lost to the defending champs last night and are 26-26 — for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. 


Continue Reading

FO’ with the FOES: SA SPURS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/11/11 2:04 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 San Antonio Spurs who own the best record NBA.

We’re going to keep this one brief as despite their improved play of late, we don’t think the 76ers have any chance of winning this game tonight.  The Spurs are simply one of deepest, most talented teams in the League.  They’re clicking on all cylinders right now and unless the Lakers pull off a major trade, we expect SA to represent the West in the 2011 NBA Finals.  So to go through all the matchup problems the Spurs present for our “closing in on .500″ Sixers would be a waste of time.        

Tonight we’re looking and hoping for one thing from the Sixers — Jrue Holiday getting back on track.  We documented his recent struggles in a post that went up earlier today.  It hasn’t been pretty lately for # 11 and Collins needs to make an effort to get Holiday going early tonight.  We fear that if Holiday’s slide continues his confidence in his own game could shortly become an issue.  That would not be a good thing for the 7-6 going forward.

For a little more insight into the Spurs team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Jesse Blanchard from 48minutesofhell.com to answer two questions on Milwaukee from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Bucks squad from an insider’s perspective. 


Continue Reading

HOLIDAY BLUES

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/11/11 9:17 am EST

The glorified “new offense” featuring Iguodala as the main ball-hander, or point forward, has assisted in winning three of the last five games.  Doug Collins inserted this new practice to improve the involvement of AI9 in the Sixers offense.  On Tuesday, colleague Kevin Jones and I made note of the Pros and Cons of this new offense.

Yes we’ve had some quality wins with this new wrinkle, but the development of our young point guard — Jrue Holiday — has come to a halt.  In that recent piece I highlighted the negative notion of slowing down his progression as a point guard in this League. 

Holiday is only 20 years of age and is still learning the point guard position.  At UCLA he was mainly used as a two-guard (sometimes Holiday was even at the 3-spot) off the ball with teammate, and current Pacer, Darren Collison handling the rock.  As a first round draft pick it was a given that we’d develop his makeup into a starting point guard. 

Jrue has improved rapidly in his second season.  He’s dipped his hand in all facets of the game as a solid rebounder for his size, good scoring option and improving facilitator. 

However, with the launch of this new offense Jrue’s evolution into an elite NBA point man has taken a step back. 


Continue Reading

GM 52 RECAP: SUPER LOSS

Posted by: Kevin Jones
02/10/11 10:48 am EST

To no one’s surprise, the 76ers failed to rally vs. the Orlando Magic last night until it was too late in the fourth quarter.  This loss (99-95) doesn’t seriously damage the Sixers (24-28) current momentum.  But this was a frustrating loss, the kind that makes you grind your teeth and stand up with both hands behind your head. 

Orlando is an extremely streaky team and hadn’t won back-to-back contests since mid January.  This loss should really eat at Doug Collins and the players because with 1:57 left in the third quarter the Magic took their largest lead, a margin of just five points at 70-65.  Orlando put a 12-3 run together to end the third though, firmly gripping momentum for the rest of the game.  The run even allowed them to survive a furious comeback attempt spearheaded by Lou Williams who pumped in 18 fourth quarter points.

It was the first Sixers loss at home since the January 28th meltdown against the Grizzlies.   


Continue Reading

GM 51 RECAP: TOTAL DOMINATION

Posted by: Philadunkia
02/09/11 10:48 am EST

The 76ers and Atlanta Hawks were at halftime as I typed these very words.  Yes, it is my recap and should be followed after the ball game.  However, the way we dismantled the Atlanta Hawks in the first half, racing out to a 65-33 lead, granted me the ability to begin this recap early. 

Was I cheating by getting a head start?  No, just confident the 76ers (24-27) who’ve played inspired basketball of late had the game in the bag.  The 33 point total amassed by the Atlanta Hawks was their lowest first-half output this season.  The Sixers’ 65 points were the most allowed in a first half by Atlanta this season.  Uninspired, disengaged and hopeless seemed to be a fitting adjectives for the Hawks who were without all-star big Al Horford.  

It sort of reminded me of the way the Hawks played last postseason when they limped to seven games against a depleted Bucks team and were swept by the Orlando Magic in the second round.


Continue Reading

FO’ with the FOES: ATL HAWKS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/08/11 5:49 pm EST

This late Tuesday 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 Atlanta Hawks who are winners of three straight games.

The Sixers have had two tough Ls against the Hawks this year, — the Hawks won 104-101 at Philadelphia on Oct. 29th ; and of course who can forget the 93-88 debacle in Atlanta back on December 3rd (The 76ers led from the first basket of the game until the final 31 seconds) – and unfortunately we expect the losing trend vs. Atlanta to continue tonight. 

Despite going 2-1 in their last three games away form the WFC, we all know that the 76ers have struggled on the road this season (7-19 overall).  On the flipside, the Hawks are 17-7 at home this season (15-2 in their last 17).  So those numbers don’t bode well for a potential win by the 7-6.

Additionally, on paper the Hawks are a more talented, more athletic and deeper squad.  Their young and skilled frontline especially presents some significant problems for the 76ers.  Al Horford is not a 100% lock to play tonight, but if he does, you should be aware that Horford is averaging a double-double vs. the Sixers this season (17.5 & 12.5).  Marvin Williams and super-athletic Josh Smith will also give the Sixers trouble in the paint. 

Throw in the fact that Sixer killer Joe Johnson (27.5 points in his last four home vs. the 76ers) will play tonight (He missed the Dec. 3rd game due to an elbow injury) and the forecast for stopping the Hawks on the perimeter in this contest doesn’t look that sunny for the Sixers either.

However, for some reason the 7-6 continually play the Hawks well, so that leads us to believe that Sixers will keep this one close as they have done twice already this season.  Unfortunately just don’t think the Sixers have enough to win this one in Atlanta tonight.  That’s especially true if Jrue Holiday continues his recent struggles and Louis Williams tries to dominate in front of his hometown folks.

As always, we hope we’re wrong.

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


Continue Reading