Monthly Archive  February 2012

 
 

GM 26: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
02/08/12 10:04 pm EST
San Antonio Spurs 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 90 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 29 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -6

After a couple nights off, a nice game by EB.  The talent has left him, but he still gets by on heart, guts, and the lingering memory of what he used to be. He’s like a walking Bruce Springsteen song.

Andre Iguodala, SF 36 MIN | 7-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | -7

The best player in the NBA who nobody really thinks is any good, Iguodala vigorously defended his belt tonight.  He scored 17 on 11 shots, and made Tim Duncan look really old when he blew by him for a first period finish. Not that that’s too difficult. (The “making Duncan look old” part, I mean. Dunking is really difficult.)

Nikola Vucevic, C 15 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -9

Not a great performance by the kid. He hustled, but never got in rhythm offensively (see points: 0), and made a couple poor choices—like following up a third period o-board with an ill considered kick-out that led to a turnover. Momma said there’d be days like this…

Jodie Meeks, G 24 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -13

Yikes. It took Jodi 24 minutes to get 5 combined points/rebounds/assists. His production looks even worse too when you consider the guys he lined up against scored approximately 75 points.

Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | +3

Jrue, like pretty much everybody in a Sixer uniform, got turnstiled a few times by Parker, but moved the arrow a bit in the right direction with his distribution. That said, thus far Holiday’s junior season in the NBA still grades out as a solid “Meh.”

Lou Williams, PG 29 MIN | 8-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | 0

The points are misleading here. He made some poor choices in the shot selection department.

Thaddeus Young, F 31 MIN | 8-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +1

Thad takes ‘Philadunkia Sixer of the Game’ honors for his explosive performance. That this isn’t a real award should do nothing to diminish the energy he provided on both ends of the court.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -9

He struggled from the floor, missing more than once by margins that called his sobriety into question, but acquitted himself nicely on the defensive end.

Evan Turner, SG 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -10

Not a great night for the rapidly improving Turner. Didn’t do much on offense and struggled to stay in front of Tony Parker when he was assigned the thankless task.

 

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Tonight In this Frustrating Loss.


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FO’ with the FOES: SA SPURS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/08/12 12:30 pm EST

This we still have a buzz from the Lakers win 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 key upcoming 76ers opponents — features tonight’s opponent the red hot San Antonio Spurs.

Tonight’s game should be a highly entertaining contest between to two well coached and similar teams that are simply playing great basketball right now.  The Spurs have won 5 straight and are in first place in the Soutwest Division.  The Sixers have tasted victory 6 of their last 7 and are perched in first place in the Atlantic.  The 7-6 are one of the top defensive teams in the League - 86.64 ppg. for foes (2nd) and 42% on FGAs for opponents (5th).  The Spurs are not shabby on D either as they give up 93.5 ppg. (12th) for the season, but they have cut that number to 85 ppg. during their recent five-game winning streak.  The 76ers are tops in the League in point differential at 10.04 per game, while the Spurs are ranked 9th at 4.19.  Finally, the Sixers feature six players who are averaging double figures in scoring and a total of eight who are good for 9 points or more a night.  San Anton’ typically puts four players a night in double figures and a total of six average better the 9 points a run. 

One last interesting number…The Spurs have lost four straight and nine of 11 in Philadelphia.

That’s enough of the stat crunching.  Let’s look at the Xs & Os of this game.  Tonight we’re looking at one match-up in particular as the key to this game — Jrue Holiday vs. Tony Parker.  Parker has been absolutely tremendous during the SAS five game winning streak – 22 ppg., 7.8 apg. and only 2.2 turnovers per night.  Of course included in this stretch of All-Star caliber play by Tony was the 42 point and 9 assist outing against the OKC Thunder.  Holiday has too stay in front of Parker and keep the former Mr. Eva Longoria in check tonight.  Holiday is certainly capable of accomplishing this task as he’s been a standout defender all season.  Honestly, it’s hard to remember a PG who moves his feet on defense as well as Jrue does every night.  That will come in especially handy tonight as he attempts to prevent Parker from driving the lane on the Sixers.

Yes the Sixers will have trouble down low with Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter.  That’s especially true since Hawes will most likely miss yet another game.  However, the Sixers showed against the LAL on Monday that they can survive their worst nightmare outing on the interior and still grab a W.  But, they can’t get a win tonight if they get pounded in the paint and Parker has a great run as well.  So for us, the Holiday vs. Parker battle is the key to this game. 

No pressure Jrue, we’re just saying.       

For a little more insight into the Spurs team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Andrew McNeill from 48minutesofhell.com to answer four questions on the Spurs from us here at Philadunkia. 


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GM 25 RECAP: “BEAT LA, BEAT LA”

Posted by: Tim Parker
02/07/12 9:12 am EST

24.

There’s nothing particularly special about the number.  It falls neatly between 23 and 25, just so.  Yet, on an early February Monday night in South Philly, the number 24 was so very significant.  Ultimately, 24 was a magic number for the Sixers in a 95-90 thrilling win over the Lakers.

Through 24 games, the Sixers firmly planted in first place in the Atlantic Division; a position almost no one expected to be in at the start of the season.  Still, there are many who concluded that they will just fade into the background eventually for one reason or another.

So, when #24, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers came to town, the Sixers once again had to prove that they belonged and weren’t just some fluke that would blow away like a leaf in the wind.  Through, the first 4 games of the 7 game “death row” stretch as Coach Collins has called it; the Sixers are 3-1, including a demolition of the Chicago Bulls.


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GM 25: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tim Parker
02/06/12 11:07 pm EST
Los Angeles Lakers 90 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Philadelphia 76ers
Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-5 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | +9

If Collins had locked Iguodala in on Kobe Bryant from the start would this game have been a blowout?  His defense on #24 in the 2nd half was excellent and was a major reason the Sixers were able to pull this one out. He didn’t score much until the second half but he had an active and solid night overall.  Coach Collins’ decision to halt all the defensive switches the Sixers typically execute and have Dre stay on Bryant late in the 4th Q totally saved this W for the 7-6.

Lavoy Allen, PF 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +7

He’s not Elton Brand and he certainly did not play like it. Though, he didn’t hurt the Sixers in a game where everyone’s best effort was needed. Allen is continuing to show good court awareness but has to grow especially defending down low and grabbing boards.

Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | -1

Hawes was horrendous in the 1st half. He didn’t shoot well and was an absolute non-factor against Andre Bynum and Pau Gasol on the boards.  His lack of toughness didn’t hurt the Sixers in the end but midway through the 4th it looked as if his lack of physical play would have been a major factor to a Lakers win.  His teammates bailed him out.

Jodie Meeks, G 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -6

Meeks had the worst possible start that he could have imagined.  He earned 2 quick fouls on two questionable calls that sat him on the bench.  Though, that turned around quickly as he began to drains his 3′s and showed great hustle defensively, including diving for loose balls and sacrificing his body.

Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | +11Holiday had an impressive 3rd quarter that kept the Sixers in the game.  He worked quietly and efficiently.  He ddin’t do anything fancy or amazing but he got better as the game went along and played solid defense along the way.
Lou Williams, PG 25 MIN | 7-12 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +3

Mr. Willams was fantastic.  He simply took over the game for the Sixers in the 4th quarter — 14 points (He also scored 12 of the Sixers last 14 points.).  It seemed almost that he couldn’t miss.  The Lakers had no answer as Williams drained shots from all over the court including 2 monster shots from downtown.  One coming with Sixers trailing in the 4th, the other would propel the Sixers final run to pull away.

Thaddeus Young, F 24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -7

Young didn’t get much play late in the second half.  Though, when was in the game he had an ok performance.  He was solid defensively but the matchups were not there for him on the offensive end unless he was being guarded by Troy Murphy.

Evan Turner, SG 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | 0

His first task was to help guard Kobe Bryant.  That ddin’t go over so well.  At times Kobe took Turner to school which ultimately led to the end of defensive switching among he and Iguodala.  Turner was solid otherwise in this one.

Nikola Vucevic, C 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +9

Vucevic did not back down from the challenge of playing against Bynum and Gasol.  He actually held his own.  Out of the Sixers big man rotation, he had the best game of them all.  That’s not much though.  The good news is that his post game is continuing to improve.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Tonight…


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FO’ with the FOES: LA LAKERS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/06/12 12:52 pm EST

This Monday 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 key upcoming 76ers games — features tonight’s opponent, the dreaded Los Angeles Lakers.

The Sixers — winning 5 of their last 6 — are about as hot as they have ever been over the last two years and outside of the 3rd and 4th quarters against the Heat, we really like the way the team is playing right now.  We’re getting contributions from everyone of offense – including the rookies Lavoy Allen and “Big Nik”.  On the other end of the court, we are playing the usual lights out defense that Collins preaches. 

Throw in the fact that this is the 3rd game in a 6-game east road swing for the LAL as well as this stat — the LAL are 3-8 on the road this season — and we really like our chances of seeing the Sixers get their 13th home victory of the year tonight.

That being said, this will not be an easy win for Philadunkia’s home team to grab.  There are a couple reasons for that statement.  The first is that this group of Lakers has simply owned the Sixers in recent years.  The Lakers have won 5 of the last 6 between the two teams, beat the Sixers twice last year and have won four straight at the Wells Fargo Center.  So history is not on the 7-6’s side in this match-up.  Of course the Sixers team that will take the court tonight vs. the LAL is vastly different then the one LA has faced in recent years, so this could be the night LA’s dominance of this Sixers roster comes to an end.

The second is the obvious one — that guy named Kobe.  “The Black Mamba” loves to put up big numbers in front of the perceived “hometown crowd” that hates him so much.  Much like MJ he feeds of the hatred spewing from the seats at the WFC and it drives him to put the dagger in our hearts every trip to Philly.  Last season the Sixers tried Holiday, Iguodala and others on Kobe in an effort to slow him down and were met with mixed results.  At the WFC in early December last season, the Sixers (mostly Iguodala) held Kobe to 9 points on 3-11 shooting.  Then late last December in LA, Kobe rang the Sixers up for 33 & 4 when Dre missed the game because of injury.  For the record that’s a 21 ppg. average vs. the Sixers in 2010-11.  We think the 9 point effort was a rare happening for #24 in blue and gold and you know the moment the booing starts tonight you’ll see the fire in Kobe’s eyes and a wicked grin on his face – so look for another big run from Kobe tonight.  

The third reason the Sixers will need a max effort tonight in order to pull of a win is the two headed monster that is the Lakers frontcourt.  Andrew Bynum is back and looks great and Pau Gasol has been rock solid this season.  Gasol absolutely owned the Sixers during 2010-11 as he averaged 20 & 10.5 in the two games between the teams in last year.  In the first game last season Bynum had 8 & 15.  Because of injury, Bynum was a non-factor in the second run last year.  Just as an FYI, Bynum is hitting for 21 & 10 in his last four games.  The stats say the Sixers interior defense has improved only slightly since last year, which is not good, thus we expect the Lakers to pound the ball inside and let these two go to work.  Unless Hawes, Brand, Allen and Vucevic can make a surprising stand against the Laker bigs, that LAL game plan will spell tough sledding for the Sixers.

Still if the Sixers can slow down one of these two facets of the Lakers attack, while also getting out on the break and running vs. the ancient Lakers and playing up to the solid overall standards they have established for themselves over this 2011-12, a win is an absolute possibility tonight. 

For a little more insight into the Lakers team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Brian Kamenetzky from ESPNLA.com / Land O’Lakers to answer four questions on this Lakers squad from an insider’s perspective 


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GM 24: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/04/12 10:14 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 98 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 Atlanta Hawks
Andre Iguodala, SF 36 MIN | 3-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 10 AST | 9 PTS | +9

Obviously he got his teammates involved tonight, rebounded and played his usual stellar D, but he has not scored the ball well now in two straight games vs. top notch defensive teams, so that is a concern for us. Dre also took a couple horrible shot in the late 4th Q that had us throwing the remote.

Lavoy Allen, PF 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +7Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -15

In his 1st career start, Allen continued his run of great play. The one thing we have noticed is that Lavoy is a lot stronger then we had imagined. Numerous times last night the Hawks tried to get physical with him but had no luck. In fact Lavoy seemed to thrive in the physical game that developed down low. With Hawes back, he didn’t get much burn in the 2nd half and we’re not sure why. Not a huge deal, just something worth watching in the future.

Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +6

While he looked a little rusty in spots and he was obviously limping, Spence had a big game tonight. You wouldn’t have known that he had missed 10 straight games, that’s for sure. It’s amazing how much more flow there is to the Sixers offense when Spence is in the lineup. The bucket he hit with 2:40 remaining in the 4th and the shot clock running out was a huge basket in this game.

Jodie Meeks, G 27 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +5

We could have used more of this on Friday night vs. the Heat. His second quarter performance was fantastic tonight and included 3 steals (by our count).

Jrue Holiday, PG 30 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -3

We didn’t need much from Jrue tonight which is good because we didn’t get much. His main goal vs. ATL was to keep Jeff Teague from going off and for the most part Jrue did a good job there.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | +13

We all know that Louis loves to put on a show for his hometown folks in the ATL, but we really could have used a performance like this out of him on Friday night. He hit some baskets a key moments tonight vs. the Hawks. Was anyone else completely shocked when he passed the ball up the floor to Big Nik with time running out in the 2nd Q? We’re sure Vuc was shocked, but he drained the 3-ball anyhow. LW did hoist a couple awful shots in the 4th, but we’ll try to over look that tonight.

Thaddeus Young, F 32 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +4

Another rock solid outing for Thad. The buzzer beater he hit at the end of the 1st was a thing of beauty to watch and propelled the Sixers to a great 2nd quarter run.

Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +11

Thank you Coach Magee. Turner is a completely different playe this year and when his raises up for that mid-range jumper we now find ourself yelling, “Money” instead of covering our eyes. Another great all around game from Turner.

Nikola Vucevic, C 21 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +3

This rookie can flat out play. The thing that impressed us the most vs. ATL is that he established great position down low and then was nearly impossible to move. He outside touch is watery as well. His drive to the tin for a left handed lay in in the 3rd Q was ridiculous.

After the jump, Six Things We Saw Tonight


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GM 23: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
02/04/12 6:07 pm EST
Miami Heat 99 FinalRecap | Box Score 79 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 23 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -5

A non-factor.  Where have you gone 2010-11 Elton Brand?  We sure could have used you last night.  Even after Collins ran several plays for him to open the third quarter, EB still could not get on track.

Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | -11

AI9 disappeared against the Heat?  Wait where have we heard that one before?  When the Sixers struggled offensively in the third, Dre was no where to be found (1-2 on FGAs).  His stellar defense in the first half is the only thing that kept him from getting a grade of D.

Tony Battie, C 17 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Did a nice job of containing Bosh in stretches of the game.  That’s it.

Jodie Meeks, G 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -4

Capt. Streaky killed the Sixers chances in this game with his missed shots — wide open looks by the way — in the early third quarter.

Jrue Holiday, PG 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | -11

Holiday played a very solid defensive game for most of the contest.  He also had some great drives to the tin in this contest and did a decent job of getting others involved.

Lou Williams, PG 29 MIN | 6-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -16

Another off night for Louis shooting the ball — 35%.  As we all know if he’s not scoring the rock, he’s not doing us any good at all.

Thaddeus Young, F 26 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -15

Despite missing a few bunnies that he usually hits, Thad had a very good game.  He presents a serious match up problems for the Heat and the next time the two teams match-up, we’d like to see Collins run more sets for #21.  However, we will say that the Heat did a better job then most teams of forcing TY to shoot jumpers instead of slicing to the rim.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -15

The rookie more then held his own again last night. He’s actually become a big enough threat that other teams will have to start game planning for him. It will be interesting to see what Collins does with his bigs rotation (Hawes, Big Nik, Battie and Allen) if Hawes ever gets healthy. Until then we have to ask, “Why not just start Allen?”

Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -18

ET had an okay game.  He (along with a lot of the Sixers) settled for too may jumpers, but his defense was rock solid as usual. 

Nikola Vucevic, C 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3

Mop up duty only. We would like to have seen “Big Nik” get some burn in the game when it was actually still a game.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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WHAT WOULD HAPPEN…

Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
02/03/12 2:25 pm EST

…if the Sixers beat the Heat tonight?

Honestly, what if?

What once would have seemed a dream is not out of the realm of possibility in this year’s NBA. 

Remember the League is not really the League in 2012.  It’s different.  Something we’re not used to; like Adam Sandler playing a serious and unfunny Charlie Fineman in Reign Over Me and being good at it.  Like Kim Kardashian actually committing to a man instead of her “career”.  Like America actually caring about an athlete from Minnesota not named Joe Mauer or Adrian Peterson.  Like Skip Bayless admitting he’s wrong about ANYTHING.  Like Seal not married to his super model wife.  Like Peyton Manning going from the highest of highs to unemployed.


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THORN TALKS TO CNNSI.COM

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
02/03/12 11:32 am EST

Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe, who has been in Philadelphia the last few days covering the Sixers to within an inch of their life, sat down with President Rod Thorn earlier this week to talk about how far this upstart team can go. We highly recommend you read the interview in full here, but for the time being here are a few takeaways:

 

SI.com: As this set of elite teams comes in — the Bulls, Heat, Spurs and Clippers — what are you looking for from the Sixers? What do you want to see?


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MY STATS DON’T LIE

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
02/02/12 5:06 pm EST
Hips & stats, both very reliable.

To mangle an old Bill Parcells line, you are what your numbers say you are.  And right now the Sixers’ numbers say they’re really, seriously, undeniably good.

In the aftermath of the 7-6’s 98-82 drubbing of the best-record-in-basketball Bulls, TrueHoop maven Henry Abbott had this to say on the topic of the Sixers’ legitimacy:

Justin Kubatko, of Basketball-Reference, doesn’t mess around with numbers.  He doesn’t get all excited about things that don’t matter.  And the other day in The New York Times he wrote:

“There have been 38 teams in N.B.A. history with a point differential of at least plus-10.0 points a game through their first 18 games.  The median winning percentage of those teams was .753, which translates to 49.7 wins over a 66-game season. Additionally, 24 of those teams advanced to the N.B.A. finals, with 19 claiming the championship.”


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