Monthly Archive  May 2012

 
 

SHOULD’A, COULD’A

Posted by: C. Smith
05/14/12 12:14 pm EST

After nearly two days of reading comments and emails from readers and listening to sports talk radio, it has become clear that the Philadunkia scribes are not the only 76ers supporters who feel the team let one slip away from them on Saturday night.

For those of you who doubt the validity of the above anlaysis, go back and look at the tape again.  We bet when you are done reviewing the evidence, you’ll ragree that the 7-6 lost a golden opportunity to draw first blood in this series when they pissed away Game 1.  But this post is not about dwelling on the negatives that came from the 92-91 Game 1 loss in Boston. 

Nope.

This post is about what we took from Game 1 that gives us hope for a Sixers victory tonight in Game 2…

 
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THE DIFFERENCE IN GAME 1? EXPERIENCE

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/13/12 2:04 pm EST

Experience.

It’s a word that every young hungry, ambitious, and aggressive person loathes, but it the end, learns to accept. Around this time of the year, college graduates with grandiose dreams will have their goals and career hopes dashed by this very sentence:

“You’ve got to get some experience.”

Most of the Sixers are the same age of those same graduates currently receiving their degrees and they, too, received a rude awakening about experience in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in a heartbreaking 92-91 loss to the Boston Celtics.

It seemed that the Sixers did everything right. It seemed that that they had everything it took to win. It seemed that the Sixers had their game plan executed to perfection, and it seemed that they were about to take a big first step to their first Eastern Conference Finals in 11 years.

One thing stood in their way.

Experience.


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TIME FOR THE TRUTH

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/12/12 1:52 pm EST

With the Chicago Bulls now in the 76ers rear view mirror, it’s time to focus on the Eastern Conference semi-final series vs. our arch-rival Boston Celtics.  As we all know, the Sixers went an encouraging 2-1 vs. the “Big 3″ & Co. in 2011-12.  Included in those two W’s was a 45-point whooping by the Sixers.

However, if you read this site, you are hoops savy enough to realize that Boston has been playing significantly better baksteball since we last saw them back in April — a 103-79 win by the C’s.  So you can pretty much throw the regular season results out the window as we prepare for Game 1 tonight.

With the regular season contests nearly useless as a barometer for this series, we thought it would be a solid idea for a couple of the scribes here at Philadunkia to highlight some of the keys to this second round playoff mathc-up as well as provide you the the readers with some predictions for who will move on to the Conference Finals.

Our predictions after the jump.

 
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BACK TO REALITY

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
05/11/12 10:15 pm EST

Embrace the feeling.  Dig deep into your closets.  Find those old Sixers car flags which became so popular during the Iverson era and put them on display.  Play this old school tune and enjoy every last minute of it.  Take a week off from watching the Phillies (you’ll probably save yourself from a week of anger and disappointment anyway).  It’s officially time to rally around the Sixers.

They have been team irrelevant in the city of Philadelphia for too long, and it’s time for them to receive their proper due.  It doesn’t matter how it happened, or for that matter what could happen next.  What matters right now is displaying appreciation and gratitude for this eighth-seeded Sixers team, that just knocked off the top-seeded Chicago Bulls.  It was only the fifth time in NBA history, that an eight seed was able to knock off a one seed.

What can be said about this Sixers season and this Sixers team is that they are far from normal.  In terms of the playoff teams remaining in this fight for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the Sixers stand on an island all by their lonesome.  They went from second place in the Eastern Conference in February, to barely squeaking into the playoffs as an eight seed come April.  They lack a superstar.  They have a coach in Doug Collins who went from a coach of the year candidate to nearly getting fired.  Their starting lineup shuffled throughout the season more than a blackjack deck at a casino.  They have a defense ranked third in the NBA, but an offense that stands all the way down at 22nd.  They play in a city which by all rights wrote them off months ago.  Yet this unconventional, under-appreciated team has placed itself a couple steps closer to an NBA Championship.


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WHEN IT WAS ALL ON THE LINE

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/11/12 1:50 pm EST

When Andre Iguodala stepped to the foul line with 2.2 seconds left last night — the Sixers trailing 78-77 and their grip on a series that seemed won just days ago slackened, if not broke entirely — he was thinking about his son.

With the Wells Fargo Center roaring — reaching, and exceeding, the sort of decibel level that makes reporters with sensitive ears wonder if cochlear implants hurt — he imagined himself, he later told the press, explaining to his boy how to shoot free throws: It’s alright son, it’s easy work.  Bend your knees, he said he hummed at the eye of the storm.


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PLAYOFFS, GM 6: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
05/10/12 11:12 pm EST
Chicago Bulls 78 FinalRecap | Box Score 79 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 35 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +4

A terrible shooting night for the “Ol Skool Chevy”, who looked tired and his jumper looked flat. We thought a quick start by the Sixers would ignite EB, but it didn’t.  He also was of no help keeping the Bulls off the glass. FYI…EB had 17 points in the last 4 games of this series.

Andre Iguodala, SF 43 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 20 PTS | +1

A huge 3-pointer, 7 points in the 4th Q overall and of course the game winning FTs.  A nice moment for Dre who as we all know has taken a boat load of criticism on this site and in this City.  Was anyone else afraid of what would happen to the guy if he missed those freebies?  He would have needed a SWAT team escort out of town.  His defense on Deng was not up to par tonight.

Spencer Hawes, C 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -4

An okay night for Hawes, but he still got killed on the boards.  The “Hawes Hand Off” play needs to be thrown out.  In the 3rd Q the Sixers had 2 turnovers and a missed long jumper out of that set.

Evan Turner, SG 29 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -10

A weird game for Turner. He didn’t shoot the ball very well, but it always felt like he was on the verge putting up a big night.  Of course the long spell on the bench during the 3rd and into the 4th prevented that from happening.  His bank shot at the 7-0 mark of the 4th was huge and his defense (a lot of it on the Bulls point men) was stellar.

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +7

Jrue scored 8 of the Sixers first 10 points, so we thought he was simply going to carry the 7-6 on his back tonight.  However, he scored only 6 the rest of the way.  He can’t disappear like that in the next round if the Sixers have any desire to advance.

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 4-12 FG | 4-7 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +5

If LW could have gotten it going at all in the last two games, the Sixers would have dismantled this wounded Chicago team.  Hopefully his struggles will not continue vs. Boston.

Thaddeus Young, F 30 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +2

Still not up to his the regular season MVP’s standards, but a much better night from Thad then he put up in Games 4 & 5.  Thad made a concentrated effort to put the ball on the floor and go to the bucket which is exactly what Philadunkia ordered for this game.

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

Capt. Streaky is now Mr. Irrelevant.

Lavoy Allen, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

So your team gets slaughtered on the boards and your most athletic big stays anchored to the bench?  C’mon coach…

Nikola Vucevic, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

So your team gets slaughtered on the boards and a 7-footer stays anchored to the bench?  C’mon coach…

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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GAME 6

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/10/12 2:02 pm EST

We do not believe it’s an exaggeration or too much hype to state that tonight’s Game 6 match-up with the wounded Chicago Bulls is the most important contest this group of 76ers has ever faced.

A loss tonight by the 7-6, a team that when you combine the regular season and playoffs is 17-19 on the road and 1-3 in Chicago, would lead to certain elimination in Game 7 back at the “Madhouse on Madison”. 

So, seeing how this is a cliche “must-win” for the Sixers and especially the likes of Brand, Dre, Hawes, Meeks and Louis — current 76ers whose future with the franchise is uncertain — we thought it would be a solid post idea to have each of the Philadunkia scribes briefly point out a few keys for our 7-6 tonight and then lay out a prediction for this all or nothing Game 6.

After the jump, our Game 6 predictions…

 
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U-G-L-Y

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/09/12 1:30 pm EST

Let the ugliness continue.

The 76ers-Bulls first round playoff match-up has not only been a painful one physically for the Chicago Bulls, it has been a torturous one for any fan of offensive basketball.

When Derrick Rose went down in Game 1, it was not only a blow to the Bulls championship chances; it was a blow to any chance of witnessing true, legitimate scoring power.

Since Game 2, when the Sixers took advantage of a deflated Bulls team, the fireworks of this series have been completely extinguished.  No team has reached the 90 point mark, and quite frankly, both teams have given a dreadful exhibition of half-court offense.

Still, Game 5 reached a new dreadful low.  Simply put, it was brutality to the eyes.  The result was 77-69 victory for the Chicago Bulls, in the lowest scoring game of the series thus far.

 
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PLAYOFFS, GM 5: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
05/09/12 10:19 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 69 FinalRecap | Box Score 77 Chicago Bulls
Elton Brand, PF 32 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +1

The “Ol’ Skool Chevy” looked like a frightened Chevy last night as we thought EB passed on several open looks at the basket last night.  He did a okay job on the glass, but when he was on Boozer, he had no answers for his fellow Dukie’s moves.  He has to come out more aggressive offensively in Game 6.

Andre Iguodala, SF 43 MIN | 4-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -4

Let’s forget that he was absolutely brutal shooting the ball.  Dre was simply too passive last night at both ends.  He didn’t take his 1st FGA until the 6:52 mark of the 1st Q and he didn’t hit his 1st bucket until 2:30 remained in the stanza.  Dre routinely settled for jumpers and did not take the ball to the tin.  He also did not do a good job of keeping Deng under wraps ( 9pts. in 1st Q; 24 in gm)

Spencer Hawes, C 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-5 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -7

The double-double by Hawes was a — well it didn’t matter.  Hawes opened the game 1-5.  He was pushed around all night by the Bulls bigs and he didn’t adjust to the physical play that the refs allowed to go on.  Also his presence on the court (36 mins.) allowed Collins to call for the “Hawes hand-off play” frequently on offense which drives us crazy.

Evan Turner, SG 33 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -10

Eight boards from your starting 2-guard is a great luxury for a coach and something that only Turner can bring to the table. Unfortunately 4 points and 0 FTAs is too Meeks-like for Collins or our tastes.

Jrue Holiday, PG 43 MIN | 5-17 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -1

The Jruth tried to shoot us back into this game in the 4th Q, but it wasn’t enough.  Of course if hadn’t started 1-9 we probably win this game.  He also waited until it was late in the game to start driving the ball to the rim.  You get out of a shooting slump by going to the basket and getting to the FT line, so he needs to do that earlier.  His defense was fantastic last night and of special note were the two blocks he had in the 1st Q.

Lou Williams, PG 24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -9

Louis was the only Sixers who did a good job of getting to the FT line, which is where you win playoff games.

Thaddeus Young, F 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -7

Paging Mr. Young…Mr. Thad Young…Please report to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Thank you.

Lavoy Allen, PF 13 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -1

The only Sixer who came to play from the jump last night — on both ends of the floor.  So how does Collins reward Lavoy — 13 total minutes of play.  C’mon coach, don’t be afraid to ride the hot hand.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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LINK DUMP: GAME 5 PREVIEW EDITION

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/08/12 3:51 pm EST

A win tonight and the Sixers advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2003, where they’ll square off against one of a pair of teams they went 5-1 against in the regular season.

So that’s the good news. The bad is this: to get there, they still have to take a game from a prideful Bulls team that is, while profoundly depleted, formidable.

And to do that they’ll probably need the benefit of the continuation of some recent trends that don’t look entirely sustainable.

(Free throw shooting, Spencer Hawes eating people’s faces, terrible injuries to integral members of the Bulls; these things come to mind.)

But get excited Philadelphia. We certainly are.

Five and a half hours out from tip-off, here are some links to whet your appetites.


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