Monthly Archive  May 2012

 
 

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/21/12 10:28 am EST

The careers of professional athletes end, as a general rule, about the way Hemingway described going bankrupt: slowly, then all at once.  An injury — say a knee sprain that happens in a February 2009 game in Utah — occurs, never fully heals, becomes a chronic, lingering source of discomfort, then, as the player fights through it, adjusts, maybe unconsciously to mitigate the pain, a host of other maladies spring from the adjustment: calf strains, tendonitis of various stripe, back pain.

Bio-mechanical breakdown ensues.

Eventually, they’re a shell of themselves.  A copy of a copy; like that Michael Keaton movie, but even harder to watch.  A season later they’re on a golf course.

Kevin Garnett, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, is not on a golf course right now.

 
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DRE DAY

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/20/12 9:39 am EST

Is it possible that 8 years of built up frustration, anger, and disappointment could all be erased in 191 seconds?

For every word that has been said, written, and recorded about Andre Iguodala – for every trade prayer that Sixers’ fans have sent up – for every boo that has rang down in Iguodala’s direction – Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was for all of them. 

More specifically, the final 4 minutes of the Sixers’ exhilarating 92-83 win on Friday night was for them.

It was Iguodala who sealed the victorious fate of the Sixers with a dagger 3 from the corner to put the Celtics in a 88-83 hole and gave the Wells Fargo Center a jubilant vibe  that it hasn’t felt in 11 years.

It’s a moment that can even overshadow a miraculous comeback in which the Sixers looked left for dead from the opening tip off.

 
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PLAYOFFS, GM10: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
05/19/12 8:19 am EST
Boston Celtics 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 92 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -3

Again, we know there is a shoulder issue and that Boston is presents serious match-up issues for the “Ol’ Skool Chevy”, but EB looks cooked (He has 17 pts. & 11 rebs total in his last 4 gms.).  Still his defense on KG was much better last night then has been during the first three game sof this series.  For the rest of this series, we basically just need him to go out there, beat the crap out of KG in the 1st Q and use up 5 fouls.

Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -2

The second half heroics were awesome and no doubt he was a big part of the comeback, but let’s not forget that Dre was a non-factor for a large portion of this game.  Dre didn’t attempt a FG until the 5:43 mark of the 1st Q and went 0-4 in the 1st half.  He also bricked several FTs and blew a dunk before halftime.  Luckily he shook off all that ugliness and had a huge second half (including clutch jumpers) that helped push the Sixers to the W.

Spencer Hawes, C 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4

Can we just start Lavoy Allen and stop this craziness?

Evan Turner, SG 36 MIN | 5-22 FG | 6-9 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | 0

Obviously 5-22 shooting as well as 3 missed FTs is not good.  And to say that @thekidet was forcing things last night is an understatement.  Still we liked a lot of things that we saw from Turner in Game 4.  First and foremost, he showed some moxy last night.  He got into two dust ups with Boston players and refused to back down — the Sixers need that edginess.  Turner also continually drove the ball to the cup, played tenacious defense and cleaned the glass.  If a few more shots could have gone in for ET, he would have had a monster night.

Jrue Holiday, PG 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -6

The Jruth was plagued by foul trouble all night and that limited his effectiveness after a fast start (10 pts. in 1st half).  He still had a decent game, but Collins (& Jrue) needs to figure out a way to turn these fast starts by Jrue into a huge game.  So far in this series he seems to be willing to take a back seat in the second half.

Lou Williams, PG 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 15 PTS | +28

Welcome to the party Louis!  This is the LW we need in this series.  He scored 13 of his 15 points in the 2nd half and honestly was the key to getting the Sixers back in the game.  He hit the C’s with a series of AND1′s that really turned the momentum in this game.  As a bonus he threw in some nice dimes and a few minutes of great defense.

Thaddeus Young, F 31 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +6

Glad to have you back Thad.  A second straight great game from #21, but this one was more about heart and hustle then filling up the scoring column up.  His energy in the 2nd half clearly bothered Boston and pushed the Sixers in their comeback effort.  His dime to Lavoyin the 4th was incredible and he also had a big block on Rondo in the Q.

Jodie Meeks, G 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +15

That’s what we need from Capt. Streaky — limited minutes and positive contributions. (A huge 3-ball once in a while is nice as well.)

Lavoy Allen, PF 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +11

His defense on KG alone was enough to earn him the “A”.  The fact that he also grabbed 10 boards is enough for us to overlook the 4-10 shooting.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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TIME TO MAN UP

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/18/12 4:25 pm EST

For the Sixers the time to toughen up is now. 

It’s not just that they lost Game 3 that’s so disappointing, but it’s the way they lost it.  They didn’t just lose, Boston beat them down.  They were outplayed and out-hustled for the bulk of the game; somewhat surprising from a scrappy Sixer team that has maximized their talent all season.  No, the 7-6 aren’t the NBA’s toughest team, but they can’t allow themselves to be bullied, especially in front of the Philadelphia faithful.

Boston is going to talk, and Boston is going to bang.  That is what they do.  It is no secret that they are an emotional team, spearheaded by superstar hotheads Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who yap almost as much as they produce on court, and this attitude sets the tone for the rest of the squad.  The Sixers have to not only accept this, but to overcome it. 

 
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RED FLAGS

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/17/12 1:35 pm EST

If only the Sixers could have summoned Andrew Toney from the 1982-83 season for help last night, then maybe Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals would have been different.  Instead, they suffered a 107-91 home trouncing at the hands of the Boston Celtics.

Toney could shoot, and that’s an understatement.  On Wednesday night, the Sixers couldn’t; and that’s an understatement.

We know that the Sixers haven’t been a good shooting team all year long and that they’ve used their defense and their run and gun prowess to survive and win games.  But the Celtics were having none of that as last night, as they forced the Sixers to play in a half-court contest, where Philadunkia’s home team is uncomfortable.

True to the scouting report, the Sixers were miserable.  P erhaps, fools’ gold in the 1st quarter made the Sixers think that their offense was in rhythm and flowing.  After all, they had 33 points (on 12-20 shooting) and everything was clicking; including a buzzer beater heave from Lou Williams for a deep 3.

The problem was that the 76ers then went out and put up a COMBINED 33 POINTS in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

 
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PLAYOFFS, GAME 9: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/16/12 10:19 pm EST
Boston Celtics 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 91 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -23

As he has been too often this postseason, Brand was a non-factor.  Well, maybe non-factor is too charitable: he had an impact on the game, but it was one that favored Boston.

Andre Iguodala, SF 32 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -16

Iguodala, after starting the game promisingly with a dunk in transition, was similarly impotent in the face of the Celtics attack.  If I were a guy who was facing an aging player with an MCL that was string cheese, I would probably challenge him defensively so I could 1.) get easy points and 2.) tire him our so he was less of a threat on the other end. Iguodala looked at this situation and decided, “I think I’ll take just six shots.”  The wounded Pierce outscored him 24-10.

Spencer Hawes, C 25 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -13

Entering Game 3, the word on Spencer Hawes was that he had returned to his early season form.  Entering Game 4, the word on Spencer Hawes will be, can he recover from his lousy Game 3?

Evan Turner, SG 35 MIN | 1-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -6

When the team you’re playing shoots 52 percent, and you take ten shots and hit just one of them, you’re not helping.

Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 15 PTS | -15

Jrue’s pretty final numbers mask the (frustrating, unfortunate) fact that he didn’t do much down the stretch.  In the final three quarters, he managed just five points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | -12

Lou, when things were getting out of hand – -which is to say, the second and third quarters — tried valiantly to breath some life into the Sixers.  He hit Thad Young with a well placed lob to, temporarily, shift the momentum, and did it on his own on a later possession when he took a bump and hit a leaner, then the subsequent foul shot.  Not that this made any difference.

Sam Young, SF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +3

*crickets*

Thaddeus Young, F 26 MIN | 10-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | -1

After averaging only 6.5 ppg in the postseason entering tonight, Thad had his first breakout.  This is the one real silver lining from a cloudy game: if that can continue to exploit favorable matchups against the Cs, the Sixers still might have a chance here.

Xavier Silas, G 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +3

Xavier Silas (not pictured here), evidently, was on the floor at one point.  Good for him.

Jodie Meeks, G 17 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -1

Meeks managed to do some damage in garbage time, turning what was a blowout into what will look, to the casual box score peruser, like just your run-of-the-mill loss,

Lavoy Allen, PF 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2

After a very sound start against KG and Co, both in the game and the series, Lavoy came back down to earth a bit in the stretch run.  That’s okay.  He still looks like he belongs.

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

Good to see you out there Nic.  It had been a while.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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GM 3: MUST WIN…YOU HEARD US

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/16/12 2:26 pm EST

The Sixers want this series — bad. 

After the disappointment that was Game 1, where the Sixers outperformed the much more experienced Celtic squad for the bulk of the game in Boston, but ultimately still came up short, many expected the young team to come out shattered and shaken in Game 2, and all but give the series to the guys in green.  Instead they did the exact opposite.  They overcame a very slow start, battled Boston to the wire in a hotly contested game and answered Coach Collins’ plea for poise while knotting the series up at one and bringing home court advantage back to the City of Brotherly Love.

Game 3 will serve as a swing game, as whoever comes out on top will certainly snatch the momentum in this series.  The first two games demonstrated that the Sixers can not only hang with Boston and its barrage of big names, but that they can beat them as well. 

In order for the Sixers to be successful in Game 3, there are a couple keys they must focus on. 


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GROWING UP

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/16/12 10:02 am EST

Lesson learned!

Once again on Monday night, the Sixers held a 10 point lead in the 2nd half.  Once again, they saw it slip away in the middle of the fourth quarter.  This time though, they showed resolve, poise, and more importantly they made the right decisions when they had to.  Still, there were times where it looked like Game 2 was nothing more than a Game 1 replay.

Yet, in the end the Sixers were in the win column as they  earned a gigantic 82-81 victory to even the Eastern Conference Semifinals at one game a piece with the Boston Celtics.

The defining play of the game was a tough drive and lay in by Evan Turner with 40 seconds left in the 4th quarter that gave the Sixers a 76-75 lead.

Sure, it was a basket that took the lead, but what was more impressive was that it wasn’t 16 foot contested jump shot.  It wasn’t a rushed attempt in transition.  It was a concise and intelligent basketball play that showed maturity.


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CALL OR NO CALL ???

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/15/12 3:16 pm EST

To say that the moving screen call by referee Michael Smith on Kevin Garnett in the finals seconds of Game 2 has raised some controversy and discussion is an understatement. 

In case you some how missed the foul, here is the replay…

 

 

Obviously all of us here in Philadunkia nation were delighted when KG got slapped with the call.  In our opinion, were not sure what all the crying is about as even without our Philadunkia tinted glasses on, it appears to be a legitimate foul.  However, Garnett himself did not share our opinion.

 

 

You could argue that Garnett is right and that the official should have let the players decide the game.  Still, the officials had already warned KG about his moving screens and he chose not to heed those warnings, so didn’t Garnett (a player) actually decide the game by ignoring the rules and warnings?  You could argue that point as well.

It’s likely we will all never agree on the validity of Smith’s call on KG in Game 2, but one thing is for sure, it was a rare whistle.  But just how rare is an offensive foul call in the final seconds of a close playoff game?  Well thanks to the crack research staff at ESPN.com and our friends at Elias, you can find out after the jump.


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PLAYOFFS, GM 8: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
05/15/12 10:17 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 82 FinalRecap | Box Score 81 Boston Celtics
Elton Brand, PF 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -7

For all but an 8 minute stretch of the 3rd Q, the “Ol’ Skool Chevy” was simply terrible.  EB was clearly scared to challenge KG on the offensive end and on defense, #42 had no answers either.  There is some talk of a shoulder injury and the C’s present some match-up issues for Brand, but we’re not sure those items can fully explain his disappearing act in Games 1 & 2.  Still, for one glorious stretch in the 3rd Q Brand simply carried this team when they needed someone to step up in th worst way.  EB led the way with 7 points in the Q, including scoring 4 straight points for the Sixers.

Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-7 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +8

A solid all around night for Dre, including a reverse lay-in over KG for an And 1 that is all over SC’s Top 10 plays.  His defense on Pierce was absolutely suffocating (2-9 on FGAs).  However his FT shooting remains a major issue and his missess from the charity stripe last night almost cost us this game.

Spencer Hawes, C 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -12On the offensive end, I’ll take 8 & 10 out of Hawes every night, but his defense on KG is brutal.  He simply can not guard #5 on Boston, so why Collins keeps sending out there is beyond me.  Every time he comes out on KG, Boston quickly sets up a pick-n-pop for Garnett and it’s an automatic bucket as Hawes can not close out on the jump shot.  By my count the “Hawes Hand off” was only run twice last night which is good news for the Sixers.
Evan Turner, SG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -15

I had a very tough time picking a grade for ET as he was a roller coaster in this one.  For most of the game I thought Turner was terrible on offense.  He took several ill-advised shots including a 3PA on which his feet were not set, had 5 TOs and in general seemed to be out of sync for three Q’s.  However he was simply huge in the 4th Q.  Obviously he scored two big baskets down the stretch, including a carzy lay-in with 40 ticks remaining, but I thought the key play from ET came with 5 mins. remaining and the score 65-63 Sixers.  On a defensive switch, ET got caught on Garnett, so of course KG tried to back him down.  Turner did a nice job of holding his ground and when KG spun for the fade-away jumper, ET striped the ball from him.  Well done kid!

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -7

Another hot start by Holiday as he hit two 3PAs and scored 8 points in the 1st Q.  He followed that up with four more points in the 2nd Q.  Then he disappeared for a time during that hard-to-watch 3rd Q.  But he came out like a man possessed in the 4th.  “The Jruth” had two dribble-drives (1 for a bucket; 1 that led to a follow tip by Hawes) to open the 4th that were simply beautiful.  Then his 3-ball with just under 2 mins. remaining brought us out of our seats.  His defense was solid through out Game 2.

Lou Williams, PG 39 MIN | 3-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +17

LW’s struggles continue and last night it was enough to make you throw the remote.  He continues to force ill-advised long jumpers or fade-aways or off-balanced runners.  The shot he had blocked by Pierce in the 4th had me cursing up a storm.  When he was forced to guard Rondo in the 3rd Q, you could actually see Rondo smiling.  Louis — watch some game tape and get a clue.

Thaddeus Young, F 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +1

When he was inserted into the game in the 1st Q, Thad came out aggressive and went on the attack. Unfortunately his shot was not falling, but he did nail all of his FTA’s.  Collins limited his minutes because of “match-up” problems on the perimeter, but Collins must find a way to keep Thad in the game because the Sixers need to get this key member of the “Night Shift” going if they want to win this series.

Jodie Meeks, G 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -1

A not so bad effort from Capt. Streaky, but watching him chase (more like trail) Ray Allen all over the court was uncomfortable.

Lavoy Allen, PF 30 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +21

The rookie has been huge in games 1 & 2.  Last night, he held KG in check, rebounded the ball, blocked some shots, hit a few buckets and for good measure tossed in a miracle bank shot with 4 mins left in the 4th Q and the shot clock running out.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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