Monthly Archive  March 2011

 
 

THE NEXT 6

Posted by: Philadunkia
03/25/11 7:04 am EST

Sixers fans, incredibly, we have 11 games remaining.  Can you believe how quickly the season has come and gone?  Unlike what we expected — a long, dreadful, losing year — the Sixers have played at an optimal level for their respective talent pool. 

Sitting sixth in the East, in this preview we look ahead at two critical looming match-ups against legit championship contenders, a pair of potential snoozers and a couple of playoff contending teams trying to claw for the last seed in their conference. 

@ Miami Heat

Two teams that climbed in the postseason standings with completely different built rosters.  The Heat are comprised of a collection of superstars (Wade, Bosh, LeBron) and misfits that surround them with no consistent role-playing threat.  They have a few shooters, some useless big men and a young coach in Erik Spoelstra who acts as Pat Riley’s puppet. 


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GM 71 RECAP: JUST LIKE WE PREDICTED

Posted by: Kevin Jones
03/25/11 6:53 am EST

 25-6 fourth quarter run spurred by the Sixers unsung heroes buried the Atlanta Hawks, narrowing the gap between the fifth and sixth seed to a mere 2.5 games.  Seven Philadelphia 76ers were in double figures Wednesday night, the 20th such time six or more players have scored 10 or more points.  The 7-6 walked off the court to a roaring standing ovation from the hometown faithful and clipped the Hawks 105-100.

The box score is the epitome of Doug Collins basketball.  All five starters in double figures.  Only six turnovers. 10-of-18 from behind the arc and 48 percent from the field.  But more notably it was Thaddeus Young’s overwhelming energy (7-for-12 for 16 points and six rebounds) that ignited the spark which set off the fourth quarter fireworks at Wells Fargo.

The Sixers (37-34) were weirdly in dire need of some defense after nearly three quarters of watching the Hawks play their one-on-one isolation games.  Thad Young was an animal in the fourth quarter, pressuring the paint which forced the Hawks big men to throw up uncomfortable-looking shots.  His block on ’superstar’ Joe Johnson with 5:28 left was one of the more memorable moments of the Sixers season.  This comes from a player whose only true weakness this season has been post defense.


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FO’ with the FOES: ATL HAWKS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/23/11 2:36 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 reeling Atlanta Hawks, who simply got a beat down from the Chicago Bulls last night.

In our opinion the Sixers should absolutely win this game tonight and thus pull to within 2.5 games of the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference.  We say this with confidence for three reasons.

The first reason is that despite their 1-2 record vs. Atlanta in 2010-11, the Sixers have played very well, in fact very well at times, vs. the Hawks this year.  The Hawks won 104-101 in a nip and tuck affair at Philadelphia back on Oct. 29thwhen the Sixers were still finding their way under Doug Collins.  Of course who can forget the major meltdown in the final seconds that led to the 93-88 debacle in Atlanta on December 3rd (The 76ers led from the first basket of the game until the final 31 seconds).  To be honest, the Hawks were extremely lucky to pull that one out at home.  Then on February 8th, the Sixers administered a 117-83 ass-whoopin’ to the Hawks in Atlanta.  In typical Sixers fashion, they put six players in double figures that night on their way to completely dominating the game.  So despite what the lineups say on paper and less then .500 the series record this year, there is no doubt this 7-6 squad gives this Hawks team fits.  


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PODCAST #5

Posted by: Philadunkia
03/22/11 9:39 am EST

Now that your NCCA Tournament bracket has completely fallen apart, it’s time once again to turn your attention to the playoff bound 76ers for just a few minutes. 

The Sixers are coming of a West Coast swing in which they racked up a disappointing 2-3 record and now stand at 36-34.  However 8 of the last 10 games in the 2010-11 season are at the WFC where the Sixers are 22-11 this year.  So it should be a strong close out to the season for the 7-6. 

Philadunkia scribes Nabeel Ahmadieh and Kevin Jones are back with another podcast that brings you up to speed on the playoff bound 76ers.

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

  • Playoff seeding and potential matchups
  • Bench play
  • Jodie Meeks’ hot streak
  • Jrue Holiday’s role for the post season
  • The recent West Coast swing & the tough 4 game stretch coming up
  • AI9’s candidacy for Defensive POY

 Full podcast after the jump…

 
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GM 70 RECAP: LIMPING HOME

Posted by: Kevin Jones
03/20/11 10:58 am EST

I honestly was expecting a loss to the Trailblazers, it just didn’t play out the way I anticipated.  The Sixers were not a tired team playing in the second game of a back-to-back on the west coast in Portland. They shot 50 percent from the field, limited turnovers (10) and even outrebounded the superior-sized Blazers. 

In the end Wesley Matthews’ (pic at left) 17 first quarter points, a quarter in which Portland ended up with a healthy 36 total, was too much for the 76ers (36-34) to overcome.  We didn’t hold a single lead in the 110-101 loss, which was a sour ending to the five game road trip.

Andre Iguodala’s sore knee held out the Sixers glue man, giving Evan Turner his first start in ages.  Turner produced another discouraging effort at this point in the regular season.  His early foul trouble limited him to 17 minutes with six measly points and three rebounds.  Oh and he also was credited with a team-high three turnovers.  Turner didn’t lose this team the game because he just simply can’t stay on the court long enough too.  Tonight’s performance makes it abundantly clear that ET probably should get comfortable with being a spectator because that’s whta his role should be limited to when the playoffs roll around in a month.   


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GM 69 RECAP: KICKIN’ ROYAL BUTT

Posted by: Philadunkia
03/19/11 8:52 am EST

As we predicted in our “Fo’ with Foes” preview post, on Friday night the Philadelphia 76ers dismantled a hopeless Sacramento Kings team 102-80.  The game was hardly close, entertaining or much of a contest.  The Sixers swept the floor with a disengaged Kings team in front of their home court at Power Balance Pavilion.  To describe this game in a single word: Massacre.     

With the victory we’ve now defeated Sacramento six straight times, all by double-digit margins.  The loss reaffirms the Kings hold of the bottom seed in the Western Conference.  Some of the struggles can be attributed to missing franchise stud Tyreke Evans for 21 games. 

The New York Knicks on the same night lost to the Detroit Pistons marking their fourth loss in five games.  New York is now 35-33, while the Sixers are 36-33.  So if you understand simple math, you realize we are now in the sixth seed slot in the Eastern Conference.  Astonishingly the Carmelo Anthony experiment in New York has taken a sour turn.  Interestingly enough, his former franchise, the Denver Nuggets, is 8-3 since his departure. 


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FO’ with the FOES: SACTO KINGS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/18/11 5:53 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 Sacramento Kings who are the Sixers foes for game four of the current five game West Coast swing. 

Hopefully the energy, scoring and defense that characterized the second half of the Clippers game is a sign of things to come for the Sixers and the recent slump is now officially behind us.  If that is the case, then this meeting with the last place Kings who will be without star guard Tyreke Evans again tonight, should end up in the win column for the 7-6.

Sacto has lost 7 of their last 8, gives up nearly 105 ppg. (7thworst in the League) and the Sixers have won six straight vs. the Kings.  The Kings also have to be a little distracted with all this talk of moving to Anaheim swirling around.  Plus, and if we’re all being honest here, without Philly native Evans, there is no one of this roster who scares you.  Yes whe know they have a bevy of 7-footers on their roster — DeMarcus Cousins, Donte Green, Jason Thompson and our old friend Sammy Dalembert – and skilled 7-footers usually give the Sixers trouble.  But none of those bigs is skilled enough to beat the Sixers by themselves, so we’re not as worried about the interior size mismatch tonight as we normally would be in our previews.


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GM 68 RECAP: FIRE STARTER

Posted by: Philadunkia
03/17/11 10:25 am EST

The 76ers were in dire need of a spark.  Having lost two straight to Milwaukee and Utah after defeating the Boston Celtics, the Sixers caught themselves battling a feisty Clippers team at the Staples Center.  With under 20 seconds remaining in the half, head coach Doug Collins fired up the troops after getting ejected. 

The first technical came after a DeAndre Jordan missed free throw.  Tony Battie fought for the ball but was called for a questionable loose ball foul.  A heated Doug Collins bickered at the refs and drew a technical foul.  Collins calmly sat down and gathered his thoughts.  Following another Clippers’ missed free throw from Blake Griffin, Battie was whistled for a loose ball foul again.  That was the last straw, a furious Collins approached the refs on the playing floor.  Obviously, he was then ejected with his second technical.  Before he left the floor he spread a few words of wisdom with his bench before associate head coach Michael Curry took reigns. 


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FO’ with the FOES: LA CLIPPERS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/16/11 3:12 pm EST

This slumping 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 surging Los Angeles Clippers.

Yup, that’s not a misprint.  We said “surging” and Clippers in the same sentence.  Even though the Clip-joint is 1-2 in their last three games, they are 5-2 in their last seven runs and have played much, much better in recent weeks.  That recent run of solid play includes an 11-2 record in their last 13 games at the Staples Center.  Meanwhile our Sixers are officially in their first slump of 2011 having lost two straight and 3-of-their-last-4 games.  In addition to some match up problems and injuries, the fact that this game features two teams trending in opposite directions is another reason why we don’t like the Sixers chances tonight.

Obviously the Clippers will present some problems for the Sixers on the interior.  Unless we can restrict Blake “The Poster Child” Griffin to shooting jumpers, he is going to be a nightmare to deal with tonight.  Frankly we don’t see any of the Sixer bigs being able to guard him in half-court or keep up with him on the break, so you can book him for 20 & 10 tonight.  Plus his last game at Memphis may have been his worst all year, so he’ll be extra motivated to wipe that disaster from the memory of every SportsCenter viewer.  Combine that extra incentive with the fact that Griffin must be licking his chops over tonight’s match up with a visibly tiring (and reportedly injured) Elton Brand and the sky is the limit for Blake tonight.  The Sixers will probably also have problems with the Clips other bigs as well.  Keeping 7-footer DeAndre Jordan off the boards (7 rpg.) will be a big hurdle for the Sixers as will controlling Chris Kaman (12 & 7 per) when he is in the game. 

Also, is it me or does Mo Williams always give the Sixers fits, no matter what team he is on?

A tired and slumping Sixers team that faces matchup issues inside and on the perimeter leads us to believe the Sixers losing streak extends to three games tonight.  As always we hope and pray we are wrong.   

For a little more insight into the Clippers team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Breene Murphy at clipperblog.com to answer two questions on his Los Angeles team from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Clips squad from an insider’s perspective. 


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SLUMP CITY

Posted by: Kevin Jones
03/16/11 10:30 am EST

This just feels weird. 

The Sixers have lost 3-out-of-4 games for the first time since a late December stretch against the Lakers, Magic, Bulls and Celtics.  And although February is the shortest month of the year, Doug Collins was able to win coach of the month, thanks to an eye opening record of 9-3. 

The 76ers were able to score over 100 points in eight of those 12 games, showing the NBA that their improved record wasn’t just a product of Collins defensive and attitude adjustments to the Philly ballclub.

So League wide teams are recognizing they are going to have to start bringing some extra ‘oomph’ against the 76ers.  This team has built a living off of protecting the basketball, wearing you down with an energetic bench, ball spacing and forcing teams to shoot rather than expose the weakness at the center position.

Doug Collins is a master of disguising his teams’ weaknesses but recently we’ve unmistakably been getting exposed.


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