Monthly Archive  May 2011

 
 

CHOCOLATE THUNDER, CAPT. MORGAN & the SIXERS…OHH MY

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/27/11 9:12 am EST

On Thursday night, 76ers legend Darryl Dawkins (with a little help from his friends at Captain Morgan) threw a “house party” to kick off summer 2011 in Philly.  Needless to say if there is a party hosted by “Chocolate Thunder” and sponsored by Captain Morgan, the Philadunkia crew was going to be in attendance.

In addition to promoting Captain Morgan Long Island Iced Tea (a ready-to-pour mix of rum, vodka, whiskey, gin and triple-sec liqueur) the party also benefited two good causes — the Captain Morgan’s First Mate Fund and a charity of Dawkins choosing.

Most importantly, the party provided Philadunkia scribe Nabeel Ahmadieh a chance to spend a few minutes with the man from planet Lovetron who was more then willing to discuss the current state of the Sixers.

Full Darryl Dawkins interview after the jump.


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SWEET 16

Posted by: Kevin Jones
05/26/11 9:18 am EST

As glorious as the 2010-11 NBA season was for Doug Collins and the 76ers franchise, a couple of glaring weaknesses were established this past year for our beloved Sixers:

  • Opponents’ height advantages became a serious problem.  Even though rebounding wasn’t necessarily an issue – the Sixers ranked 13th– post defense was a nightmare.  Spencer Hawes isn’t imposing, Elton Brand is generously listed at 6’9” and Mo Speights failed to turn the corner in that often pivotal third NBA season.  With Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Al Horford, The Miami Heat… heck even Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert in the East, the Sixers need a big answer on the defensive end.
  • The backcourt is a crowded mess.  Jodie Meeks’ explosion ability – 20 points in one quarter, the main factor in a win over the Bulls– kept him at the shooting guard position majority of the season. Meeks is the only deadly three point shooter on the roster and will remain a Sixer for quite awhile.  That leaves questions as to how much time Evan Turner and Lou Williams will see the floor. Lou was a big reason why the Sixers held it together through a rocky January.  Turner played some of his best basketball in the postseason and extremely reassuring sign that he will one day lead this team. And I mentioned Monday how this now Jrue Holiday’s team.

So it’s hard to believe Rod Thorn is going to draft a guard, unless he’s absolutely in love with Jimmer Fredette and can move Lou Williams.  I would suggest drafting a center to replace Spencer Hawes but this year’s class is rather feeble and rather international (a.k.a. highly risky).  


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DEJAVU AT #2 ???

Posted by: Kevin Jones
05/24/11 11:16 am EST

It’s exactly one month from the 2011 NBA Draft, so of course the trade rumors and draft predictions are running rampant. 

Most experts are agreeing on the fact that Duke point guard Kyrie Irving will become the no. 1 overall pick and new face of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  After that it gets a little interesting, being that the Minnesota Timberwolves have already made it known that the second overall pick is being shopped. 

Heavily.

There’s one rumor that keeps popping up all over the internet.  We’re not sure where it started or who to give credit to, but we here at Philadunkia are unable to ignore it any longer.

It’s a trade between the T-Wolves and our beloved 76ers and it’s is rumored to go down a little something like this…


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POINT DRIVEN

Posted by: Kevin Jones
05/23/11 10:54 am EST

People whine all the time that the Sixers don’t have a star on the roster.  Well maybe they actually do…

Sports go through trends.  Often times teams copy tendencies of other winning franchises.  Take for example the 2007 New York Giants in the NFL.  The Giants front office approached the draft and free agency heavily targeting defensive linemen.  Even with future Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, the Giants realized that rotating fresh bodies to pressure the quarterback could become a winning strategy. And it was.  In Super Bowl , the Giants took down the undefeated Patriots, primarily because of their defensive line.  In turn, the value of d-linemen has skyrocketed, so much so that a record 12 of them were taken in the first round the following year.

So what in the hell does this have to do with Jrue Holiday and the Philadelphia 76ers?  Well, just like the NFL, the NBA is changing.  If you look around the game of basketball, more and more teams are having their point guards become the centerpiece of the offense and the face of their franchise, as opposed to the wing player’s we saw dominate most of the 2000’s – think Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Tracy McGrady, etc.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/20/11 10:31 am EST

Dei Lynam at csnphilly.com is in Chicago for the NBA combine and has some quotes from the various bigs the Sixers are considering at #16. 

You can watch the NBA Combine live on ESPN3 and ESPNU today.

Staying with the 2011 NBA Draft…


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DRE or DENG — WHO YA GOT?

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/17/11 1:39 pm EST

If you’ve tuned into NBA postseason basketball since the Sixers destruction, I’m sure you’ve witnessed the impressive Chicago Bulls team of late.  The Bulls, who finished first in the East, recently demolished the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the second round.  Granted it is a seven game series, and nearly everyone expects the Heat to fight back, it’s still hard to ignore how good the Bulls looked. 

Mainstream media mainly credits this season’s MVP Derrick Rose and Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau for the Bulls’ resurgence.  Rightfully so, those two have been the driving force behind the 21 win turnaround from a year ago.  He has instilled his defensivphilosophy which has flourished incredibly in Chicago as Derrick Rose has attacked the rim with arguably the most explosive power we’ve ever seen at the point guard position.  With all that being said, there is an x-factor in Chi-town that may go unnoticed:  Luol Deng. 

In Game 1, Deng pestered LeBron James all over the floor by applying constant ball pressure defensively.  He managed to contain James by keeping his total at just 15 points on 5 of 15 shooting.  Offensively, he was equally impressive scoring 21 points including four three-pointers, snatching four steals and grabbing seven boards.  On the season, Deng has averaged 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. 

Luol Deng shares many similarities to one of our dear Sixers.  That certain individual, like Deng, is an aboveaverage scorer but not a go-to guy, a premier defensive specialist and a solid rebounder for his position.  Also, in recent years they’ve both been discussed in League circles during trade talks. 

Yes, I’m talking about Andre Iguodala. 


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/13/11 10:12 am EST

At Philly.com Ashley Fox writes that with Boston, LAL and San Antonio looking old in this year’s playoffs, Doug Collins remains pleased with his young roster.

As you know by now, former Michigan star Robert “Tractor” Traylor died on Wednesday.  But did you remember that Traylor was briefly a Sixer?

AI9 tells Food Republic magazinethat he has always liked vegetables and has a “catering service” that brings him wraps before every game.

John Miller at phillysportsdaily.com writes that NBA lineups ar egetting “hyper-athletic” and the Sixers are primed to take advantage of that swing


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DRE DAY

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/12/11 9:44 am EST

Slowly, but surely, the 76ers embarked on a promising regular season that led to a playoff berth following an appalling 3-13 start.  With a young nucleus, and a seasoned head coach, the Sixers witnessed the most surprising turnaround in the NBA by someone NOT named Derrick Rose. 

Had the team continued on a path similar to the 3-13 opening record, Andre Iguodala would’ve been traded during the All-Star Weekend.  Instead, 76ers’ President Rod Thorn and GM Ed Stefnaski lobbied to compete for postseason contention once the club began meshing and production improved on the floor. 

Obviously, keeping Iguodala was vital to the team’s turnaround thanks to his 14.1 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds per game and superior perimeter defense (led to NBA’s Second All-Defensive Team).  However, now it’s time for the lifelong Sixer to departure The City of Brotherly Love.   

At this point it seems inevitable that Dre is a goner with the offseason approaching.  And the feeling is mutual as seen by AI9’s no-show to meet with team officials.  


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COACH OF THE YEAR

Posted by: Kevin Jones
05/10/11 9:46 am EST

Historically speaking, another Doug Collins coaching masterpiece is going to vanish into the back of many sports fans minds over the next few months.  People will remember ’10-11 (it still feels weird to type that like ’96-97) now for its riveting postseason, which has probably killed two dynasties — Lakers, Spurs — possibly started a new one — Grizzlies — and for the official coming out party of Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.

The fast facts on Rose are mind blowing. The youngest MVP ever at 22 years of age.  Rose increased his scoring by five points per game, his assists by 1.7 and his three point shooting by seven percent.  In 21 of the 81 games Rose played, he scored over 30 points, dominating the paint with his unstoppable shiftiness to the basket.  A full blown superstar hasn’t elevated his game this quickly…well maybe ever.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Chicago outlasted both Miami and Boston for the number one seed out in the east.  In addition to Rose’s MVP, rookie coach Tom Thibodeau collected coach of the coach of the year honors, leading the Bulls to the best record in the NBA.  This is Thibodeau’s first head coaching gig since a stint with the D-III Salem State team in the mid 1980’s.  Chicago’s successes are undeniable, but did Thibodeau actually out-coach Doug Collins this season?  

Hardly!


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EXIT INTERVIEW: ANDRE IGUODALA

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/09/11 9:53 am EST

After a regular season that exceeded expectations, and a post-season that more or less met them, Andre Iguodala has already had a very trying offseason.

Always a lightening rod for controversy and never popular with the fan base, Iguodala skipped his exit interview with the 76ers front office executives and is said to be trying to force his way out of town.

Amidst these rumors swirling about the longest tenured Sixer, we at Philadunkia got an opportunity to sit down with him this weekend and get his take.

He looked pretty tired.


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