Monthly Archive  April 2012

 
 

RIP: THE INTERNET EULOGIZES DERRICK ROSE’S ACL

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/29/12 12:49 pm EST

As a basketball fan, and a human being who likes to see decent, hardworking, people succeed, I’m crestfallen by the Derrick Rose injury. The NBA Playoffs is, to a unique extent, a space where the very best in the world compete. And to see that competition reduced is a loss.

In the interest of honesty though, I should also acknowledge this: I’m a Sixers fan. And the fact that this injury significantly improves my team’s odds of continuing to play on in this tournament is a silver lining I can’t help but see and feel.

So, ambivalence deep set, I turned to the Internet to help clarify my feelings on the biggest playoff injury of my lifetime.


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PLAYOFFS, GM 1: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/28/12 4:17 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 91 Final

Recap | Box Score

103 Chicago Bulls
Elton Brand, PF 35 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | -13The vet was more or less the only thing the Sixers had going in the first half, entering the break 7-of-10 from the floor with 15 points, 4 rebounds and a pair of rejections. And though he cooled from that point onward, he was still the closest thing to an MVP the Sixers had this afternoon.
Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 3-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | -4Ughhh. It’s one thing to intellectually understand that Iguodala does a lot of helpful things on the basketball court besides score, and so it’s not fair or useful to judge him solely through that prism. It’s another to watch him shoot 3-of-11 from the floor and look tentative/incompetent on the offensive end in a playoff loss.
Lavoy Allen, PF 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6Getting the (somewhat) surprising start, LA grabbed a nice early offensive board, but disappeared into Joakim Noah’s shadow for the rest of the night. (With that bun, Noah leaves a pretty big shadow)
Jodie Meeks, G 11 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -6These were 11 wasted minutes. You might as well have given them to me. Or, I don’t know, another professional basketball player.
Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 7-18 FG | 1-3 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -25Jrue started off hot, hitting a 3-pointer in the first minute that gave the Sixers their only lead, but he forced things after that. I like that he seems to take it upon himself to create offense in big moments, that’s admirable, but I would also like it if he did so a bit more efficiently. 16 points on 18 shots, I hate to say, doesn’t help you win. In his defense, however, his defense on Rose was great.
Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 1-6 FG | 7-8 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +6Though his shot wasn’t falling, Lou did have some success getting to the stripe and, as always, making them count once there.
Thaddeus Young, F 25 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -2Thad had his midrange game going for a bit, but I’d like to see more from him in transition. A lot more.
Spencer Hawes, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -3The Sixers prospects would be much improved if Spence could help out inside. The Bulls biggest area of advantage, both today and in the rest of the series, is inside. Off the top of my head, I can think of one guy who could do something about that.
Evan Turner, SG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -5The author of the “better matchup” line that got hung around the Sixers neck these last couple days delivered an uneven performance. I did, however, enjoy and respect the kerfuffles he got into with Noah, then Boozer, then Hamilton. He doesn’t back down from the big guys.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS: BRING ON THE BULLS?

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/28/12 7:00 am EST

“Jesus, everything ends badly. Otherwise it wouldn’t end.”

-Cocktail

Only four times in NBA history has an 8-seed lived to see the second round of the playoffs—the most recent survivor being, of course, the 2011 Grizzlies—and if the Sixers want to make it five, they have their work cut out for them.

Starting this afternoon at 1 p.m., the 7-6 begin a seven-game set with a Chicago squad that’s now twice consecutively finished the regular season with the best record in the East, boasts the Association’s top defense and its reigning MVP, and has enough depth across the rest of the lineup that it withstood…no, thrived during Rose’s extended absences this season.

But while the Sixers more than held their own against the Bulls in 2012, outscoring them by two points in three head-to-head matchups, Philadunkia’s own fearless forecasters see an uphill climb for the home team.

And according to our fab five, it’s a really steep hill:


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GM 66: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/26/12 11:22 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 86 FinalRecap | Box Score 108 Detroit Pistons
Lavoy Allen, PF 31 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6For the second straight game, the rook did yeoman’s work on the glass, pulling down nine boards against a decent Detroit frontcourt. After starting the season ranked last in the Association in ESPN.com’s NBA player ratings, Allen had a freshman campaign he can build on.
Craig Brackins, SF 33 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -21Brackins showed flashes, but for the most part reminded us why he was demoted to the D-League. Efficiency is the new buzz word in the league. It’s, unfortunately, not a word invoked a lot when describing Brackins.
Spencer Hawes, C 26 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -15A really nice playoff warm up for Spence, who looks all the way back from his Achilles troubles. It was also an impressive capstone to what was, missed games notwithstanding, the best overall season of his young career. Dude made himself some money in 2012.
Jodie Meeks, G 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -4How do you solve a problem like Jodie Meeks? Though he showed more of an all-around game tonight than he does on most evenings, the former-Wildcat continues to live and die by the 3-pointer. It’s an arrangement that leaves him, more often than not, dead.
Evan Turner, SG 32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | -22Evan Turner made headlines in the last 24 hours when he suggested the Bulls were a better matchup for the 7-6 than the Heat. On Thursday, he played like he was angling for the 8-seed, which is to say, apathetically.
Tony Battie, C 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -8Battie attempted a 3-pointer at one point, his first of the season. I just stared at the screen for four minutes, and that’s the only thing I could think to write about him.
Sam Young, SF 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -15His eye evidently healed, Young had a productive evening.
(Fitting, isn’t it, that  a Sixers team that’s made me want to gouge my eyes out at times these last two months has had a spate of eye injuries.)
Xavier Silas, G 20 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -4Dr. J’s godson struggled in 20 minutes of floor time, but it is nice to see that nepotism is alive and well in the NBA.
Nikola Vucevic, C 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -15Big Nic grabbed seven offensive rebounds, and though many were of the “Oh, a loose ball just ricocheted directly into my hands, I think i’ll catch it” variety, it was a good end to a (mostly) good rookie season.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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LESS MEEKS

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
04/26/12 11:00 am EST

It has been quite the rollercoaster of a season for Philadelphia’s 76ers, one which included a stint at the top of ESPN’s power rankings, as well as a slump that had many speculating as to whether the team would even be able to push into the postseason.  Despite this inconsistency, the team was able to clinch their second consecutive playoff birth this week, and head into the NBA’s second season as assumed first round fodder for one of the East’s elite.

While any playoff appearance is an exciting accomplishment, seeing the Sixers have to struggle their way into a somewhat shallow East’s last seed is disappointing, especially after such a strong start to the season elevated expectations.  With the Sixers sitting on the East’s eighth seed and a match-up with the battle-tested Bulls looming, it leaves one to wonder whether the team might have been better off slipping into the lottery and allowing themselves at least an outside shot of acquiring franchise-changing center Anthony Davis. 

This team however was too talented for the NBA Lottery, as recent wins down the stretch may have worked to reignite some confidence in the young squad as they head into the always unpredictable postseason.  It is no secret that benches shrink once the playoffs come around and coaches become extremely picky as to who sees playing time.  Rotations often shrivel from 9 or 10 to 7 or 8 as players are expected to pick up their overall performance.  It will be interesting to see how Coach Collins handles this aspect with the Sixers as they have been an especially deep team all season, with eleven different players averaging at least ten minutes per game.  Minutes for backup bigs Lavoy Allen and Tony Battie will almost definitely dip, but outside from that it is difficult to determine how Coach Collins will readjust the rotation.

With that being said, the ample amount of minutes given to streaky-shooting Jodie Meeks seems to be an area of great concern, and if the Sixers hope to have any chance to advance in this year’s playoffs it must be addressed. 


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GM 64: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
04/24/12 10:09 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 105 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 New Jersey Nets
Elton Brand, PF 29 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +11

A very solid night for EB on the offensive end and he provided some significant resistance on the interior for the Sixers.  Still he had two plays where he should have flushed the ball through the hoop with authority, only he doesn’t have the ups to get the job done and instead he ended up with a missed reverse lay-in and a layup.

Andre Iguodala, SF 41 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 14 PTS | +19

He was hot from the start — scored 7 points in 1st Q and that caused him to fall in love with his 3-point shot, but other then that a very good game out of Dre.  For the third straight game he was assertive offensively and took the ball to the cup.

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

Does anyone understand what Collins is doing with this kid?  Who handles a rookie like this???  Nobody except Doug (see Evan Turner last year and Lavoy Allen this).

Jodie Meeks, G 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +11

In the 1st Q, Meeks hit his first 3-pointer in his last 7 games.  It was his only FG of the night.  ‘Nuff said.

Jrue Holiday, PG 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +4

Yes his shooting touch was off tonight, but Jrue drove the ball to the hoop regularly and the result was 6 FTAs. Which is a recipe for success in the post season.  When the NJN had cut the lead to 9 with 3+ minutes remaining in the 4th, Jrue did a nice job of closing out this game with back-to-back buckets around the 2 minute mark and then a beauty of a dime to EB.  He also gets a tip of the cap for playing through a brutal shot to the honker which the trainer plugged with a bail of cotton.

Lou Williams, PG 29 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +14

When the Sixers desperately needed a hoop, Louis hit some big buckets during the 4th Q (8 pts. on two 3PM & a FG), but he was MIA for much of the game outside of the 4th.

Thaddeus Young, F 25 MIN | 7-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +9

Just another night at the office for Thad.  He scored all his points in the 2nd half as he made his first seven shots after the half.  His And 1 in the 4th Q was the back breaker for the NJN.  Now get some rest @yungsmoove21, we’re going to need more of these nights from you if we plan to make any noise in the Playoffs.

Spencer Hawes, C 17 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +9

We know Kris Humphries is a beast on the boards, but 1 rebound.  ONE.  C’mon, you’re 7-feet tall.

Lavoy Allen, PF 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +5

Lavoy entered the game just 2 mins. into the contest and his impact was immediate as he scored a bucket and grabbed a couple boards.  The pick-n-roll he ran with Jrue in the 2nd Q was arguably the Sixers best attempt at that play this season.  Collins rewarded him with a start in the 3rd quarter and Lavoy promptly went out and knocked down a FG.

Evan Turner, SG 20 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | +10

A nice night by ET.  He had a sweet assist on a Hawes bucket in the 1st Q and followed that up with a bucket on his next trip down the court. He used that momentum to start the game 3-3 on FGAs.  He also dropped another great dime to EB in the 2nd Q.  In the 4th, he was part of the lineup that seized control of this game for the 7-6 and built a double digit lead.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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MATT GEIGER SIGHTING

Posted by: C. Smith
04/23/12 9:55 am EST

It’s been a while since we have heard anything out of former 76ers big man Matt Geiger.

As we all know, Geiger stole a ton of cash from the 76ers and built a 28,000 square foot pad down in Florida.  After his “retirement” from the NBA, he raised some buffalo and cattle on his propertry and dabbled in the real estate speculation.

We can only assume that things in the herding and real estate business did not go so well for Geiger because back in 2007, MattyG had to put his dream home up for sale.  The price — $20 million.  Four years later, the palace finally sold at the deeply discounted price of $8 million.  Then #52 kind of fell of the grid.

Well, last night Geiger surfaced at the Tampa Bay Rays game and as usual, he embarrassed himself.

Video after the jump


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TOM BRADY THEORY OF EVOLUTION & THE 76ers

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/20/12 9:44 am EST

My brother and I, both not Patriots fans, were and are fascinated by the rise of Tom Brady.  A little known fact about the Michigan alum is this: he didn’t become great until well after he was publicly recognized as being so.  An even lesser known (though speculative) fact about Tom Brady is this: the fact of everyone thinking he was great didn’t just anticipate, but maybe precipitated, his actual greatness.

To wit: Tom Brady was a league average quarterback on a pretty good, but very well coached, Patriots team in 2001 that got inordinately lucky down the stretch and parlayed the luck into a Super Bowl win.  The quarterback, due to his looks and new jewelry, became not just ungodly famous — magazine covers and the whole shebang—but was suddenly credited with being one of the top quarterbacks, no players, in all of football.

And so he started working like one.

And so he became one.

We coined the phenomena, which crops up not infrequently in sports, the “Tom Brady Theory of Evolution.”  (If it sounds like we were reading too much Bill Simmons then, it’s because we were.)

(Very) long story (very) short, the TBTOE operated like this: confidence begat raised expectations which begat hard work which begat better performance which begat more confidence which begat higher expectations and harder work, and this vicious—for non-New England fans—cycle continued until Tom Brady, game manager, became Tom Brady, remorseless face eater.

The theory gives us a framework for understanding, among other things, Eli Manning, Jud Apatow, the 2008 New York Giants, Rick Santorum, and Rulon Gardner.

It also explains, through some admittedly Rube Goldberg logic, the 2012 Sixers.


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GM 62: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/19/12 10:14 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 Cleveland Cavaliers
Elton Brand, PF 21 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +12

Sir Elton did most of his damage early — scoring 8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first quarter — but slowed down after that.  In the 1st Q the Sixers ran numerous iso plays for Elton in the post and he still settled for jumpers (but made them) every time.

Andre Iguodala, SF 34 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 13 REB | 7 AST | 19 PTS | +25

Iguodala was great tonight.  He was aggressive offensively for the second straight game (he’s one of the only black guys old white people criticize for not being aggressive enough), and nabbed a season high in rebounds.

Nikola Vucevic, C 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -11

After a mini-resurgence, Big Nic’s now been a negligible contributor for four games running. Something tells me his wildly fluctuating minutes/responsibilities are playing a role in this.  Whaddya think, Doug?

Jodie Meeks, G 25 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -6

If you don’t have anything nice to say, you really shouldn’t say anything at all…

Jrue Holiday, PG 29 MIN | 9-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 24 PTS | +14

Sweet sassy molassy did he have a third quarter.  He scored 19 points (NINETEEN!), went 5-of-5 from beyond the arc (FIVE-OF-FIVE!), and still found time in his busy schedule to dish out four dimes.  Did I mention he did all this in the third?  Like, in 12 minutes?

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | +29

The Cavs were keyed in on Lou defensively, and to his credit, he recognized this and didn’t force anything.  See: his assists.

Sam Young, SF 5 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -10

I didn’t realize he played, but I’m happy for him.

Thaddeus Young, F 22 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +14

Thad had that hook shot going tonight.  When he does, I don’t envy the guys defending him.

Spencer Hawes, C 16 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +14

Spence was economical tonight.  He turned five shots into eight points, and just turned the basketball over once.  That stuff helps.

Lavoy Allen, PF 29 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 4 PTS | +3

The Temple Owl and fan favorite tied his season high in minutes tonight, and did a few things that made me smile.  One sequence in particular — a first period run when he got a bucket, then blocked a shot into the stands back-to-back — is what I’ll choose to remember from this one.  Like I said, he’s a fan favorite and I’m a fan.

Evan Turner, SG 25 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -4

ET was solid if unspectacular and…you know, I just typed that because I had nothing else to say.  He didn’t really do anything that caught my attention, though he didn’t make me seethe with anger tonight either.  So…good game?

After the Jump, Six  Things We Saw


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GM 61: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
04/18/12 9:33 am EST
Indiana Pacers 102 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 35 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -3

A very solid night for the Ol’ Chevy considering how many minutes he logged vs. ORL on Monday night.  His shot seemed a little off thanks to some tired legs we are sure.  It doesn’t matter, because that amnesty clause can’t get applied to EB fast enough.  A team simply can not pay that much cash for a PF who is only good for 11 & 8 a night.

Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 8-12 FG | 4-7 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 23 PTS | +3

For the 1st time in 45 games Dre scored 20+ points when he tied his season high last night.  The thing that impressed us the most from AI9 was that he drove the ball to the hoop vs. IND — a solid defensive team.  That puts pressure on the D and makes lif so much easier in the half court set for the Sixers.  So why cant’ Dre do this on a nightly basis.  He gets the A- because his defense was not good at all last night.

Nikola Vucevic, C 11 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8

He was over matched and picked up some early fouls, but it’s not your fault kid.  Collins can’t start you one night, not play you at all the next game and then throw you back into the starting lineup the following night.  It’s just not fair.

Jodie Meeks, G 20 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -3

How does Meeks get 20 minutes and Sam young can’t get a single tick?

Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | 0

Despite a lackluster 1st half by Jrue didn’t kill the Sixers, so we came out in the 3rd and was a big part of their 11-0 run that gave the 7-6 the lead, we though he was going to drive Collins & Co. to an upset W.  It didn’t happen as he only scored 2 points in the 4th.  His defense was solid though which is more then you can say for most of the Sixers last night.

Lou Williams, PG 30 MIN | 5-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -2

The stat line looks pretty at first glance, but 18 points on 14 FGAs is not an efficient night.  But he did get to the FT line 8 times, which is a nice change for the Sixers. LW did a decent job of keeping us in the game in the early 4th, which is why taking him out for ET was a bit of shock to us.

Thaddeus Young, F 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | -3

When this season is over, Thad will get a well earned vacation.  If he improves his defense for 2012-13, he could be a star in this League.  Thad also hit his first 3PA of the year last night. What a long way we have come from the Eddie Jordan era , huh?

Spencer Hawes, C 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +6

Ordinarily a near double-double out of your back-up center would be a thing of beauty, but Spence’s defense is so bad it’s mind-blowing. His inability to defend the pick and roll or provide any resistance on the blocks is brutal.  Everyone knows Hibbert goes to the hoop over his right shoulder, yet Hawes did not try to make him go left at all.

Evan Turner, SG 27 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | -15

Either Collins or Turner has to go.  You decide.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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