Monthly Archive  March 2011

 
 

ELTON TIME

Posted by: Kevin Jones
03/04/11 11:51 am EST

I can say without hesitation that Elton Brand is having his best season as a Philadelphia 76er.

Brand missed all but eight games of his contract year with the Clippers but had boasted four consecutive 20 point seasons, all with a franchise stuck in a black hole.  Brand’s signing in the summer of 2008 was known as the top acquisition, as the scoring forward would be teaming up with Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala.

Then a devastating shoulder injury would limit Brand to just 29 games played and last season during the complete mess that was the Eddie Jordan era, the forward averaged 13.1 points and 6.1 boards.  Easily the worst season of his career.  Frustrated Sixer fans were openly booing the 80-million dollar man and various blogs were of full rants describing how Brand’s poor play and contract will set this franchise back for years.

Now let’s enter the current situation.  Brand’s averaging 15.2 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, both tops for a team (who barring any unforeseen late season collapse) that will be playing games in late April.  Those two serious injuries in the middle of Brand’s career has morphed his game from a bulldog-scrappy power forward to becoming a finesse player with smarts.


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LATE PICK UP P(OWE)LEASE

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
03/03/11 10:18 am EST

Though word had leaked well ahead of time that the Sixers wouldn’t be players at the trade deadline, and the current roster is playing so brilliantly right now and so completely annihilating expectations it requires some serious mental gymnastics to hold a pessimistic thought about them for too long, it was still kind of maddening to sit back last week and watch other squads make team-improving moves the Sixers (probably) had the pieces to make but didn’t.

Take Kendrick Perkins.  It’s a matter of fact that the most gaping hole on the 7-6 is a good center who preferably doubles as a strong defensive presence.  Which is exactly what Perkins is.  And to acquire Perkins, the Thunder moved only Nenad Kristic and Jeff Green, the latter of whose game was described like so by polymath blogger Matt Yglesias:

You might think a starter on a good team like Oklahoma City could be the extra athletic wing player Boston needs, but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny once you realize that . . . Jeff Green is a bad basketball player. His three point shooting (.304) is bad, and he’s a poor rebounder. His field goal percentage (.437) is also bad. He’s bad. He’s a young guy, and was a starter on a quality young team, so he gives the superficial appearance of being one of the good young players of the Oklahoma City Thunder. But he’s not. He’s a bad player, and it’s just a coincidence that he had some good teammates

So that was the main piece Sam Presti and OKC surrendered to get an above average, battle-tested center whose departure from Boston was so painful for his teammates it caused a near mutiny.


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GM 60 RECAP: J.E.T. LAG

Posted by: Kevin Jones
03/02/11 10:52 am EST

After an emotional outpouring of 33 Sixer points in the third quarter, things were looking bright heading into the fourth.  But the 76ers went stone cold from the floor (including an 0-7 streak at one stretch), scoring just 16 points and squandered away an opportunity for what would’ve been one of the most impressive victories of the season. 

Jason Terry’s season-high 30 points crippled the Sixers lackluster fourth quarter energy. Dallas escaped with a 101-93 victory.

Terry was mainly torching Jodie Meeks but damage was also done on Lou Williams and occasionally Jrue Holiday.  Terry, who most are predicting to take home the NBA’s Sixth Man award, connected on 13-of-18 shots including three first half triples that paced Dallas to with a seven point advantage (51-44) heading into the locker rooms.  In short, J.E.T. was simply lethal.  It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Doug Collins commanded his stopper Andre Iguodala to stay glued to Terry that the Sixers could slow the Mvas sharp shooter down some, but by then it was too late.

There were two key moments in the fourth quarter where our Sixers had a chance to swing the momentum in the favor of a willing home crowd, but failed.  I rarely pinpoint losses on single players, but if I’m Evan Turner, I’m going to be tossing and turning in my sleep tonight.


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THE NEXT 10

Posted by: Philadunkia
03/01/11 10:42 am EST

The Sixers sent no players to the All-Star game.  Just Jrue Holiday to the Rookie-Sophomore challenge game.  However, this team still sits in playoff contention without a go-to superstar.  All thanks to head coach Dough Collins preaching a philosophy of team unity. 

Now that the All-Star break has come to a close and we’ve won four straight out of the gates, it’s time for the Sixers to continue their ploy for the postseason.  Looking ahead at the next slate of 10 opponents, we have seven contests that are winnable.  The tougher games will be played at the Wells-Fargo Center against the Mavericks, Thunder and Celtics.  And the last four contests will be on the road against teams we’re capable of beating. 

Let’s take a look at the upcoming challengers as we try to jump the New York Knicks as the sixth seed in the East. 


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