Monthly Archive  May 2012



Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/07/12 12:01 pm EST

For a team that is one win away from upsetting the number one seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2012 NBA playoffs, our 76ers have flown very far under the radar for the bulk of the season.  Aside from a hot start and a stint at the top of ESPN’s power rankings, which had some people buzzing about the budding team, conversation about the Sixers on a national scale has been stifled to say the least. 

The lack of national attention surrounding the squad isn’t completely surprising as the team’s current lineup, void of any superstars, lacks the sexy story lines found with star-studded teams such as Miami, Dallas or Los Angeles.  The Sixers as a team however seem to be fine without having the spotlight shining squarely on the Wells Fargo Center, and as we all know, Philadelphia loves the underdog approach.

The lack of overall attention paid to the team throughout the year is one thing, but the lack of respect paid to Andre Iguodala in this year’s Defensive Player of the Year voting is almost tragic. 

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Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/06/12 9:39 pm EST
Chicago Bulls 82 FinalRecap | Box Score 89 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 37 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -2

The veteran tore down five offensive rebounds, and though he might not have been able to swing that with Noah on the floor rather than on the bench in a boot, damn near every one of them was enormous.  I love this guy. I really do.

Andre Iguodala, SF 43 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +11

Iguodala was smack dab in the middle of everything good that happened to the Sixers on Sunday.  Yeah, the double-double was nice–or, I don’t know, awesome–but so was this: the way Iguodala jump started fast-break after fast-break.  He didn’t look for his own shot, but he dictated the pace. We’ll take it.

Spencer Hawes, C 36 MIN | 9-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | +9

Spence was just brilliant in the first half.  The corner 3 he buried as time expired gave him 17 points at the break, which — for those of you kids scoring at home — matches his regular season high.  SH has now scored 20+ in two straight games, after scoring 20+ exactly zero times in the last two regular seasons.  That, ladies and germs, is called stepping up.

Evan Turner, SG 28 MIN | 3-12 FG | 3-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +4

His shot wasn’t falling early and, unlike the gentlemen below, it wasn’t falling late either.

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 7-23 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +10

It was a tale of two halves for Jrue.  After shooting a brutal 1-for-13 in the first half, then missing his first shot of the third period, Holiday cam alive: hitting six of his final nine, including two dagger-style 3-pointers back to back in the fourth.  He, via Elias, is the first 76er since Sir Charles to score 20 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists and 3 or fewer turnovers in a playoff game.  Good company.

Lou Williams, PG 25 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +1

Not his strongest effort.

Thaddeus Young, F 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +4

Offensively, Thad has been strangely passive in this series.  Granted, the only position where the Bulls haven’t been dope-slapped by the injuries is the 4, but still.  We’d like to see more.

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


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


After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

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Posted by: Tim Parker
05/05/12 4:19 pm EST

Spencer Hawes giveth. Spencer Hawes taketh away.

And Spencer Hawes just gaveth the Sixers an ugly 79-74 victory to take 2-1 series lead.

Game 3 of the first round series between the Sixers and the Bulls was a perfect crystallization of a Philadelphia season that has had extreme highs and near-bottomless lows.

And right in the middle of that emotional rollercoaster was Hawes.

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Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/05/12 12:12 am EST
Chicago Bulls 74 Final

Recap | Box Score

79 Philadelphia 76ers
Andre Iguodala, SF 40 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | +7There was a lot not to like–the 3-pointer he missed from the top of the key with 2:51 left and the Sixers down 71-70 that felt absolutely crucial–but Iguodala kept Luol Deng, probably the Bulls last, best, offensive threat, from doing much of anything for a second straight game. In 37 minutes, LD scored five points on 2-of-7 shooting. I like points too guys, but that helps.
Elton Brand, PF 26 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +9Elton Brand was not very good tonight. At all. If we hadn’t won, he’d be in store for a good old fashioned Philadunkia haranguing right now. “If” being the operative word.
Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +11Spencer Hawes went from hero to goat to hero. He started with the redonk 3-pointer–off balance, shot clock expiring–and a deep two, proceed to miss eight straight shots–many from point blank–then closed like Mariano Rivera (RIP), fueling the Sixers’ nutty comeback with ten points in the games final 10:15. You sir, win MVP honors tonight.
Evan Turner, SG 41 MIN | 5-12 FG | 6-8 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +5For the second straight game, Turner was outstanding. When the Sixers could get nothing else going offensively, in the dregs of the that third period, ET kept them afloat. He said he wanted the Bulls (sort of), and by god is he backing that up. The foul shooting was, in a word, humongous.
Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 7-9 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +5Jrue, like everybody else on the team, was dreadful until he came on at the end. But boy did he come on. We touch on this in greater detail below, but, along with Turner, his foul shooting at the end was enormous. This was the kind of game the Sixers lost two months ago. Tonight they didn’t, as he’s as big a reason as any why.
Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 5-14 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +3He missed a lot of shots, but that 15-footer he hit with 4:11 remaining–the one that cut the score to 71-68–was as big as they come. That was the moment the team seemed to look around at one another and ask “why not?”
Lavoy Allen, PF 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6Not much to say here. Obviously.
Thaddeus Young, F 21 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -4Thad didn’t do much on the glamour end of the court, but his handiwork on the glass slammed the door shut on many (potential) second chance point opportunities for the (not so) incredi-Bulls
Jodie Meeks, G 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5I’m told he’s a great locker room guy.

After the jump, six things we saw

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Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/04/12 2:28 pm EST

My uncle spent an afternoon in the emergency room around a decade ago after his dog bit through his hand. “Denny” was a mild animal of what vets admitted was uncertain ancestry, loved and lovable, but he’d been hit by a car and so spent the last hours of his life in a terrified frenzy. He didn’t know where he was, or what he was doing. My uncle had seen him get hit—he was chasing a bird, I think, and ran right into the path of some kind of sedan—rushed to his side to comfort him, and the dog bit deep into his palm. Denny was, in those last moments, gripped by fear, capable of anything. That was how he died.

The lesson: be very weary of wounded animals, even, maybe especially, the ones you think you know.

Its corollary: be very weary of the Chicago Bulls.

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Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/03/12 9:29 am EST

Maybe Coach Collins finally gets it. 

A few days ago this site ran a piece urging coach to curtail Jodie Meeks’ minutes in favor of the more talented Evan Turner; a move that seemed mandatory if the team hoped to advance further into the month of May. 

Despite the wishes of this site’s writers, Jodie still started in Game 1 and saw double digit minutes — 11 to be exact.  Although that total was down substantially from his regular season average of 24.9 mpg. 

Not surprisingly, Chicago steamrolled the Sixers for a Game 1 win, and it became exceedingly clear to the Philly faithful that a shakeup was necessary.  So, our wish was granted, and in Game 2 on Tuesday night, Evan Turner started his first career playoff game, and what a start it was. 

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Posted by: Tim Parker
05/02/12 1:16 pm EST

What a difference a MVP makes!

Rather, the absence of a MVP.

The Sixers, who were outclassed, out-hustled, and outplayed in Game 1 of their first round match-up with the Bulls, looked like a team destined for postseason greatness in Game 2.

The Sixers stunned the United Center crowd last night as they thrashed Chicago, 109-92.

Yes, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose, their reigning MVP, who is out for the year.  Yes, the Sixers took full advantage of it. However, this victory was just as much about a stellar effort from the Sixers as it was a post-traumatic Bulls team, who seemed to be in a comma-like funk during the second half.

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Posted by: C. Smith
05/02/12 10:48 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 109 FinalRecap | Box Score 92 Chicago Bulls
Elton Brand, PF 29 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +10

The 12 points the “Ol’ Chevy” put up were nice and the 5 rebounds were solid as well, but what really impressed us about EB in GM 2 was two things: (1) He seemed determined to get himself and the Sixers off to a fast start and he did; and (2) at times Brand provided some solid interior defense for the Sixers.  EB didn’t get an “A” because he (& the rest of the team) was simply awful guarding the pick-n-roll last night.

Andre Iguodala, SF 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | +15

An interesting night for Dre.  While several of the Sixers got off to hot starts in the 1st Q, Iguodala struggled out of the gate and had some simply awful turnovers as well as a couple ill-advised shots.  But despite opening up the second half going 0-2 on FGAs, he led the impressive rally in the 3rd Q that got the Sixers the lead and that AND-1 dunk he threw down on Luol Deng was simply filthy.  Speaking of Deng, Dre did an awesome job defending the Bulls wing-man — 3-12 on FGAs and only 2 pts. in 2nd half.

Spencer Hawes, C 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +11

Yes we heard Collins’ explanation of why Hawes got the start last night, but we still have to ask, “So this stiff continues to get minutes and “Big Nik” can’t get a wiff of the court? WTF???”  His missed lay-in at the 5 min. mark of the 2nd Q was brutal.

Evan Turner, SG 42 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +13

The idea that Jodie Meeks should be in the Sixers first-five has officially been put to rest.  Turner got off to a great start in this game, cleaned the glass, played stellar defense throughout and during the Sixers big run in the 3rd Q he put up 11 points.  ET must have an unshakable self-confidence, because not many young players could have ridden the roller-coaster Collins put him through this year and then come out in a crucial playoff game and been a major contributor like Turner was last night.

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 11-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 26 PTS | +12

This is the scoring point guard attitude / game we want to see Jrue have every night.  Hell, he even threw in 6 dimes for all you critics out there who want to find a “true point guard” for this team.  Ohh yeah his defense was pretty solid as well.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 8-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +11

Even though he did the bulk of his scoring in the 4th Q (14 pts.) when the game was in-hand, it was good to see LW get going.  The Bulls defense — specifically using a big to blitz Louis on the pick-n-roll — has owned him in the last couple of match-ups.  The Sixers will need more of this out of LW if they plan to win this series.

Thaddeus Young, F 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +1

A quiet night for Thad, but still solid.  He did a much better job on the boards in the second half.

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

How many of you yelled, “Noooooooo” at your TV screen when Meeks chucked up that 3PA at the end of the 1st half?

Lavoy Allen, PF 26 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +12

A stellar job by Lavoy coming in off the bench and making big contributions — early and then often.  He showed no hesitation in putting up (& making) shots in a huge playoff game and his effort on the glass in the second half was tremendous.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

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Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/01/12 1:59 pm EST

He didn't read this article.

Scottie Pippen reportedly told the Bulls that, even without Derrick Rose—the hard luck star who’s now minus a functioning left ACL—they’re the league’s top team.

“You’re still the best team in the NBA … so go out there and play like it,” Pippen wrote the disheartened bunch, in an open letter that was published on the Bulls’ website.

Still the best? Without Rose? This is a partisan, Pollyannaish, and flat ridiculous notion for the former Bull to advance. And it also might be…true?

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