Monthly Archive  March 2012

 
 

GUT CHECK TIME

Posted by: Tim Parker
03/23/12 9:48 am EST

It’s not how you start but rather it’s how you finish.  Although, a great start often a good launching pad for a successful ending. And, in the case of the 2011-12 76ers, it is their scorching hot start to the season that has them in position for a division crown and a top 4 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Yet, as great a story the Sixers have been this season, they haven’t really exceeded expectations by as wide of a margin as one may think.  They sit in first place in the Atlantic at 26-21.  That’s great and all, but we knew that they would end the season in the 35 to 40 win range and we knew that they would be a scrappy, tough team, centered in defense and athleticism.

What we didn’t know is that New York Knicks and Boston Celtics would fall off a cliff at the start of this compressed season and hand the Sixers the division on a silver platter.  However, after Wednesday night’s mediocre performance, that platter is slowly becoming a dish designated for hors d’oeuvres

 
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GM 47: RAPID PUKES

Posted by: C. Smith
03/22/12 10:01 am EST
New York Knicks 82 FinalRecap | Box Score 79 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -2It’s a shame that the Sixers wasted a solid night from the “Ol’ Chevy” as Malik Rose has dubbed him.  Still the fact that he has no lift at all was further proven when his dunk attempt on a pretty cut and pass from Dre was rejected from behind by Amare.  The five blocks were impressive.
Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-6 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -9As the “leader” of the Sixers, you have to make something happen during your team’s 0-14 stretch in the 1st Q.  Dre did NOT do that and went scoreless in the 1st Q.  At times he simply looks lost. Hey Dre, you have like a 40-inch vertical leap…TAKE THE BALL TO THE HOOP WITH AUTHORITY!  Ohh yeah and hit your FTs.
Spencer Hawes, C 19 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -7A simply ugly night for Hawes (See Vucevic).
Evan Turner, SG 26 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2Any confidence that was built over that tremendous 3-game stretch is now gone.
Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 16 PTS | -5Jrue was the only Sixer who showed enough gonads to put the ball on the deck and go to the hoop.  His defense on Lin was also tremendous during the quarters 1-3, too bad Collins didn’t have enough sense to keep him locked on Lin during the 4th.  He hoisted one or two ill advised 3PAs, but other then that a good night.
Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -4LW also hoisted up a number of ill advised jumpers, but I expect that from #23.  The two 3PAs he drilled were huge in the Sixers comeback.  It’s a shame he can’t play a lick of defense, because if he could he would be a very solid player.
Sam Young, SF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +2Sam took a horrible shot, but also had a filthy block.  Those were the only two plays he was involved in all night.  Either play the guy for significant minutes or leave him on the bench.  It’s simply unfair to give him this type of tick.
Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +3A decent night from Thad, that good have become his usual great night if he had seen the floor over the last 8 minutes of the game.
Jodie Meeks, G 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +9That’s more like it Capt. Streaky.  Hell, Meeks even took it to the rack on one play for a bucket.
Lavoy Allen, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS | Your bigs are getting crushed and a young, athletic and physical PF sits on the bench???  Lavoy is officially in the dog house.
Nikola Vucevic, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS | “Big Nik” did a hell of a job cheering for his teammates while on the bench.  Too bad Collins did have the sense to put that energy out on the floor, especially with Hawes having a nightmare game and the NYK bigs steam rolling us in the paint.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night…


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FO’ with the FOES: NY KNICKS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/21/12 2:50 pm EST

This ‘the Eagles finally have a real middle linebacker’ 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 surging New York Knickerbockers.

To be honest, we once again debated whether or not to write this preview.  Yes we know the Knicks have won 4 straight under Mike Woodson – vs. POR; vs. IND; @ IND and vs. TOR.  And yes we know that NYK’s superstars ‘Melo and Amare have recently been playing with more urgency after they got D’Antoni fired.  And yes we know New York’s defense has improved.  And yes we know that New York beat Indiana twice in a back-to-back set of games — the same Indiana team that recently manhandled the 76ers.  Finally, we also realize that Linsanity has returned to form in his last three games and is averaging 16.6 points, 7 dimes and 5 boards per night over that stretch. 

To be honest, we don’t care.  The Sixers should win this one easily because they are the better team and thus tonight is not a “big” game in our eyes.  This is the same group of Knicks that rode Linsanity to unbelievable heights only to crash and burn.  It’s also the same hapless group of Knicks the Sixers pounded into the ground at the WFC last Sunday and I expect similar outcome tonight.  Why??  I’ll tell you why.  The NYK don’t have the heart or character to do what it takes to win on a consistent basis in this League – play solid defense every night. 

So, tonight the Sixers should use this formula to bring home another W.  Let the Knicks play iso ball all night and allow ‘Melo to shoot 15+ times in order to score 17 points.  ‘Melo’s frequenting hoisting will render Amare a non-factor.  Then have Holiday and Turner handle Lin.  Use the “Night Shift” to build a cushion in the second quarter and come out of the locker room after the half and deliver the knockout blow with suffocating defense, thus sending the Knicks on another downward cycle in their rollercoaster season.  Ohh yeah, and be sure to score 100 points so everyone gets free Big Macs.

For a little more insight into the Knicks team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Mike Kurylo from KnickerBlogger.net to answer four questions on the improved Knicks from us here at Philadunkia.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/21/12 10:09 am EST

Tawanna is taking The Answer to the wood shed.  She’s now demanding to know about all the women Iverson slept with during their marriage.

Good bye Noc and good luck in the Olympics.

Meredith is leaving her gig as the Sixers sideline reporter.  Mehhhhh

csnphilly.com’s Marshall Harris wonders if Holiday can keep up this scoring out burst.

Over at SI.com, the Sixers have dropped to #11 in the NBA power rankings“If Hawes can get back to playing nearly 30 minutes per night, and second-unit scorers Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young don’t slump simultaneously again (although being defended by Miami and Chicago has been known to induce slumps), the Sixers could re-establish momentum.”

Max Rapport of sixers.com looks at the mono-y-mono battle between Dre and Melo in their previous 3 match ups this season.


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WHY YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT ANDRE IGUODALA

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
03/20/12 6:18 pm EST

“I write that piece at least annually,” Derrick Bodner of Liberty Ballers told me a couple months ago, after I complimented a post he’d written explaining why Iguodala is much better than most of us appreciate.

The reason Bodner wrote that one, and I just wrote this one, is because he is.

The issue is perception.

The problem with Iguodala, or I should say the problem with us, is two fold: 1.) Andre’s been the best (and usually highest paid) player on teams that generally haven’t been very good and 2.) basketball fans (or coaches, or GMs) don’t do a very good job recognizing the contributions of players who don’t score.

The first one isn’t really our fault. The second one is.


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GM 45: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/20/12 9:54 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 105 FinalRecap | Box Score 80 Charlotte Bobcats
Elton Brand, PF 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +21

A very solid game for EB who had to be embarrassed by his performance in Chicago on Saturday night.  Brand started strong and his 8 points in the 3rd Q was a big part of the Sixers simply putting away the cats in this one.  Just more evidence that Charlotte is the cure for whatever ails your NBA team.

Andre Iguodala, SF 31 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 3 PTS | +12

Dre looked disinterested at best and we wonder if he is simply exhausted.  Dre had zero points in the 1st half.  He was especially dreadful in the 3rd Q when he missed a 3PA badly and then two trips later he drove to the cup and instead of taking it strong, he clearly avoided the oncoming contact and ended up hittting the underside of the basket with a finger roll.

Spencer Hawes, C 24 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +13

He recovered nicely from a horrid first half and given the injury Hawes is struggling with, that deserves an A in my book. Hawes seemed to be moving much better last night and as a result his production (His first double-double since Jan. 16) in limited minutes was a big plus for the Sixers last night.  Hawes had several loose ball / follow buckets which is an encouraging sign. If he can give us this type of effort every time he is in the lineup, a lot of the Sixers offensive woes could go away.

Evan Turner, SG 27 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +14

That’s back-to-back dreadful performances by ET.  Any did anyone else notice that he was not happy about being removed from the game 3 minutes into the 3rd quarter?

Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +20

Jrue is simply on fire right now having scored 50 points in his last two games.  Tonight he complimented the scoring with trips to the FT line, as well as 6 dimes and tremendous defense on DJ Augustin who has killed the Sixers in the past.

Lou Williams, PG 23 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 19 PTS | +15

He recovered nicely from a terrible first couple of minutes during the second quarter and helped ice this game during the third. His 3-point shooting was a welcome sight for this team.  His dime to Thad that led to a 4th Q slam was so sweet.

Sam Young, SF 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -4

We’d like to see more minutes for Sam.  I am especially intrigued with the Dre – Louis – Sam – Nik – Thad lineup that Collins out out on teh floor at the end of the 1st Q.

Thaddeus Young, F 28 MIN | 10-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +12

We can’t say enough about how good he has been on 99% of the nights this season.  Just another night at the office for Thad.  The throw down yungsmoove had in the 4th Q was filthy.

Jodie Meeks, G 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +20

Better, but still not good enough for a guy who simply has one job — make open jumpers.

Lavoy Allen, PF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +1

Needs more minutes.

Nikola Vucevic, C 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +1

Absolutely needs more minutes.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night…


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THE LAST GOOD THING

Posted by: Matt Swiman
03/19/12 10:34 am EST

We’re skipped the usual “Rapid Reacts” post that should have followed Saturday night’s loss in Chicago because no one here at Philadunkia could stomach writing about yet another Sixers loss to a top team.  

Collins & Co. have now lost three straight and 11 of their last 16.  Thanks to an inept half court offense, Philadunkia’s home team is averaging only 84 points per night in their last three contests.  Additionally, the Sixers usually outstanding defense has gone MIA in the two most recent games vs. Miami and at Chicago.  

There’s no need, to rehash what is wrong with the Sixers right now.  The issues have been well documented on this site and we can’t write about them again.  Instead we’re going to turn our attention today to the last remotely good thing the Sixers did — acquiring Sam Young.     

 
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GM 44: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/17/12 5:03 pm EST
Miami Heat 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 78 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 29 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +2

We loved that he grabbed 7 OREB and his hustle on several plays in the second half were a big part of the Sixers comeback, but he was horrific shooting the rock and did not make a single trip to the FT line.

Andre Iguodala, SF 40 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 11 PTS | -9

If you’re a “leader” on a team and you’re not going to get me 20+ a night, you have to play lockdown defense.  Dre usually does that…not so much last night as he was helpless against Lebron.

Nikola Vucevic, C 15 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -3

Well at least he’s finally in the starting lineup, which is a good move in my book.  Also he hit his FT.  Now if we can just get him 20+ mins. a night and teach hime how to draw a foul

Evan Turner, SG 35 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-2 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -3

His defense on D-Wade in the second half was down right nasty (Wade had zero pts. in the 4th).  He even traded some verbal blows with the Heat’s all-world guard, so we like that he did not back down at all.  He also carried the 7-6 offensively when they made their comeback — scored seven in the first 9 minutes of the fourth.  However, his brutal start (3-8) did not help the Sixers at all.

Jrue Holiday, PG 27 MIN | 3-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -20

Was this Jrue’s worst outing of the season? Possibly.  Not even his stellar defense in the 3rd could save his grade tonight. But he still should have played at some point during the final 14 minutes of this game.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 4-15 FG | 2-5 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | -1

Forget for a second that one of the leaders of the “Night Shift” was ice sold from the field tonight.  What has us really upset was his 1-3 shooting from the FT line at the end of the 3rd Q.  Those misses simply killed us.

Sam Young, SF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4

What would you like me to say here?

Thaddeus Young, F 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +3

Thad had some shooting woes last night, but his energy and hustle were a huge reason the Sixers got back in this game during the second half.  His defense on Chris Bosh had the all-star center completely frustrated.

Jodie Meeks, G 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +2

Not doubt that Capt. Streaky provided a huge boost in the 4th Q (7 pts.), but your 3-point specialist has to do better then 1-5 on 3PAs.

Lavoy Allen, PF 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +3

That’s more like the Lavoy we know.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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FO’ with the FOES: MIAMI HEAT

Posted by: C. Smith
03/16/12 3:50 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 key upcoming 76ers games — features tonight’s opponent, the Miami Heat (31-11), who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference..   

We actually debated not writing a preview of tonight’s game down at the Wells Fargo Center vs. the Heat.  The reason for our hesitation – we questioned whether or not this run against Miami is a “big” or “key” game on the schedule.  Yes the Sixers are ballin against the Heat — arguably one of the, if not the best team in the NBA — tonight.  So obviously this is a highly anticipated contest in Philadunkia nation and there will be a packed house tonight down on Broad Street. 

But from a basketball perspective, we still wonder if this is a “key” game for the 7-6.  That debate stems from the fact that the Heat are clearly a better team then the Sixers and have the 76ers “number” as they say.  Anyone who watched these two squads battle during last year’s playoffs and on two occasions earlier this season, should have come to this realization by now.  And please don’t give us the, “But now Evan Turner is starting.” line either.  While Turner has given Philadunkia’s home team a huge boost, ET’s recent stellar play wasn’t enough to down the hot shooting Pacers Wednesday night and it certainly won’t be the answer for the Sixers in their efforts to finally overcome the Heat tonight.    

Now take the above items we already know about the mighty Heat and throw in the fact that tonight Wade, Lebron & Co. come into the WFC angry after their unexpected loss in Chicago on Wednesday night to the D-Rose-less Bulls and the Sixers chances of winning this game get even smaller.  (FYI…back on February 3rd, the Heat came into Philly off a loss @ MIL and simply dismantled the Sixers, 99-79.  Thanks for that CHI & MIL.)

So our advice is to just sit back and enjoy this game tonight between two defensive minded and athletically gifted teams that like to get out on the break and play above the rim.  If the Sixers somehow manage to hijack a W tonight then rejoice in the huge upset.  Should they lose yet another one to the Heat, then simply shrug off the L, pop open a cold one and turn your attention to the NCAA Tourney, because tonight is not a make or break / “key” / measuring stick game for the 76ers and thus yet another L to the Heat should not cause you any stress.

For a little more insight into the Heat team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Tom Haberstroh at ESPN.com’s Heat Index to answer four questions on Miami from us here at Philadunkia.


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GM 43: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
03/14/12 10:22 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 94 FinalRecap | Box Score 111 Indiana Pacers
Elton Brand, PF 34 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -3

Like nearly everybody who wore a Sixers uniform tonight, Elton Brand shot the hell out of the basketball.  Like nearly everybody who wore a Sixers uniform tonight, Elton Brand didn’t do much while the other team shot the hell out of the basketball.

Andre Iguodala, SF 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 10 PTS | -5

Though he fell just shy of a bare minimum double-double, Iguodala didn’t do much to stop George Hill and Danny Granger from going 15/23 for 37 points.

Spencer Hawes, C 20 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -5

It was, admittedly, just nice to see him back on the floor. He showed good touch around the basket, made a few nice passes–including a really pretty first quarter bouncer that led to a Holiday and-one–but didn’t do much inside.  So he basically picked up right where he left off.

Evan Turner, SG 38 MIN | 9-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | -11

The Kid rolls on. Turner was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing night for the 7-6.  A prediction: he’s an All-Star next season.

Jrue Holiday, PG 35 MIN | 7-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | -8

In the face of questions about his place on the team in light of Turner’s rise, the developmentally stalled PG looked good. Is it just me, or does he look okay off the ball?

Lou Williams, PG 24 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -18

Lou Williams was, charitably, not good tonight. The leading bench scorer in the NBA took bad shots, missed good ones, and hurt the Sixers in almost every way a player can hurt his team.

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -20

Along with fellow Night Shift-er Williams, Thad was off his game tonight. He didn’t look sluggish as much as unfocused.  A strange effort.

Jodie Meeks, G 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -9

Meeks is quickly sliding into Noicioni-level irrelevance.

Lavoy Allen, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Not much to say here. Obviously.

Nikola Vucevic, C 10 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4

Vucevic has an almost Tony Battie-caliber ability to disappear.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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