Posted by: Kevin Jones
01/31/11 10:33 am EST

The wounds suffered from Friday night’s collapse against Memphis are now starting to heal a tad after the Sixers 110-99 handling of the Denver Nuggets.  Surprisingly the Sixers (21-26) were able to protect a marginal lead for most of the evening on their way to completing the season sweep against Carmelo Anthony and his Nuggets.

Some may complain often about this team’s inconsistency, but with a first year coach and one of the youngest rosters in the League, the Sixers have no reason to be hanging their heads.  Sunday night’s victory ensured Philadelphia of its best monthly record so far this season at 8-6.  And since the woeful 3-13 beginning chapters, the Sixers are now 18-13 and boast an undeniably first-rate home record of 15-8.

The Sixers were able to combat Denver’s excellent night at the free throw (21-of-24) and three point (10-of-19) lines by forcing 17 turnovers and getting the ball out in transition for 22 fast break points. Anthony never was able to find his isolation game and committed six of those 17 turnovers himself.  Andre Iguodala called Carmelo ‘the hardest person to guard in the NBA’, and still the Sixers lockdown defender was able to frustrate a star-player again, holding Anthony to 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field.  AI9 also forced ‘Melo into committing six turnovers.

For all the flack that AI9 takes, he’s shown the door to several elite scorers in wins this season. Check out this table.

Date Opponent Scoring Total Outcome
November 3rd Pacers-Danny Granger 7 points W 101-75
November 30th Blazers- Brandon Roy 10 points W 88-79
December 9th Celtics-Paul Pierce 10 points L 102-101
December 17th Lakers-Kobe Bryant 9 points L 93-82
January 24th Suns-Vince Carter 2 points W 105-95


Granted Carmelo probably is looking more towards Monday’s doomsday matchup with the Nets.  And his Nuggs are now 1-9 if they trail heading into the fourth quarter, showing that this team gives up rather than rally around a guy who doesn’t even want to be there.

But Iguodala’s defense has won games and gives the Sixers an advantage against contenders that other bottom playoff teams don’t have.  Iguodala played one of his best overall games this season with 24 points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds.  Iguodala handled the ball more than usual because of Jrue Holiday’s struggles, yet only turned the ball over just once.  Overall he was absolutely outstanding.

If it weren’t for Chauncey Billups’ 16 first quarter points (22 overall in the 1st half), this contest may have been a blowout all the way through.  In addition to AI9 the Sixers had five other different players scoring in double-digits including Thaddeus Young’s 21 and Elton Brand’s 15 points off of just one missed shot.  The blue and red shot 55 percent from the field and had 31 assists compared to the Nuggets 16.

It was almost quite odd how easily the Sixers owned the paint compared to the Nuggets, out-muscling Denver 50-22 inside.  Nene is having a career season at the Center position and he was pretty much ineffective with 12 points and six boards.  Credit Thad Young and Elton Brand for boxing out and keeping Denver’s usually powerful big men under control.

The 12-0 run in the early parts of the third quarter gave the Sixers a suitable amount breathing room, but even with a 10-point lead headed into the fourth quarter, I was more than nervous about the possibility of another collapse.  The Nuggets kept hanging around until Evan Turner entered the ball game for Jodie Meeks with 5:50 remaining.  Turner provided a spark, pulling down two boards, sinking a jumper and slamming home a dunk all of course while playing his usual stellar defense (He held Billups scoreless for nearly four minutes in the fourth quarter.).

Turner is playing mistake free basketball and if Jodie Meeks’ reliability issues continue, the rookie may start making appearances in the starting lineup, depending on the matchup.  Sunday’s 11 points, a team-high eight rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers capped Turners best month of basketball in the NBA.  The 22-year-old is no longer yawning in frustration from lack of playing time.  Instead his confidence and decision making are soaring to heights unimaginable around early December.  Turners +/- rating of +11 was the highest of any player off of Philadelphia’s bench, who rank first in scoring (39.7 ppg.).

There were two losses in January in which the Sixers utterly disintegrated; at Detroit and Friday’s horror episode against Memphis.  But there were many more rewards this month than problems. Convincing wins over Chicago, Utah, Phoenix and now Denver are victories this team will remember as the chase for the playoffs continues.

Philadunkia Notes:

  • The Nuggs hit there first seven 3PAs of the night (10-19 overall from deep).  To their credit, the Sixers hung tough during the hot streak and never let the game get away from them.
  • The Nuggs had 17 TOs which led to 22 fast break points for the 7-6.  Thad especially thrived in the open court game last night.
  • Billups absolutely abused any Sixer who tried to guard him in the 1st half and if we’re honest it was a thing of beauty to watch a backcourt player with that versatile of a skill set.
  • After the game, Anthony said both knees were “sore”.  Too much ‘Dre we guess.
  • More ‘Melo drama — How about the dumb technical foul Anthony received a after the first half ended for throwing his head band into the crowd?  We have never seen that one before…  
  • Of course has the highlights of this Sixers win.


6 Responses to “GM 47 RECAP: NICE REBOUND”

  1. Tweets that mention Philadunkia » GM 47 RECAP: NICE REBOUND --
    31. January 2011 at 11:20

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Philadelphia 76ers, Mens Basketball. Mens Basketball said: GM 47 RECAP: NICE REBOUND: The wounds suffered from Friday night’s collapse against Memphis are now starting to … […]

  2. brennan dipippo
    31. January 2011 at 13:53

    After watching last nights Warrior vs. Jazz game, I realized that trading AI9 is not the best option. After witnessing what Ellis and curry can do I thought ” why can’t AI9 and ET be kept to lead this team to victory. Just a thought.

  3. Sloetry
    31. January 2011 at 14:11

    Yes, nice review of an enjoyable game and I’m glad you picked up on ET’s D on Billups, which seemed to go unnoticed by the TV commentary.
    AI9 is of course over paid, but those of us calling for him to be traded (me included) recently… well now I think he’s playing such important D and such an all round game, it’s hard to say he should go, although a good offer should always be looked at. There is a more positive demeanor about him too.
    The Sixers have the best productive bench in the NBA, but of course that’s because of a strategy to have two non-starters in the line up…Hawes and Meeks, but it works well as it is and allows impetus to come into the game from ET, Williams, and now Speights.
    I like Williams as a sixth man (and I don’t like his decision making) but he could start at the 2 instead of Meeks, as his outside shot when he’s not closing quarters, has been pretty consistent… but I wouldn’t want him ball handling. Meeks’ diminishing threat from outside will allow D’s to collapse, and also Williams can drive to the bucket stronger.
    Something evident when watching the Celtics earlier in the day, is how their plays are just handled by players with knowledge and experience, and the ball is passed and on the go before the recipient has reached his spot, and screens are set and expected instinctively. If you watch the Sixers, there is still a lot of directing and pointing and instruction from the pg and coach. And my point is, the inexperience, the new coach etc. are all rightly causes for this and yet we can still produce, still score and still win. Imagine how good the Sixers will be over the next couple of years as players don’t have to over think about their plays and screens and pick and rolls.
    Looks promising to me.

  4. G
    31. January 2011 at 17:39


  5. rebcalale
    1. February 2011 at 14:09

    Interesting that you focused on Iguodala’s excellent play. Unfortunately one game does not a season make. Igoudala should be traded!

    While he does offer a very good all around game (could be a great complimentary player for some team) I disagree with your characterization of him as a great defender. In spite of your stats (which by the way are more about circumstances of the games then Igoudala’s excellent defensive play) Igoudala is a good defender not a great one. Why do I say this? Simple, his defense is rarely good enough to change a game and far too often he makes defensive mistakes that lose games. Case in point the Orlando game.

    Philly has too many 6’6-7″ (Turner, Igoudala, Young, Niocioni) players who all play a similar game and have similiar (can’t shoot) limitations. Igoudala is a known tradable comodity (as is Niocioni because he has a soon to expire contract) and probably the best chance of the group to pick up real potential rather then other team’s bad contracts. Unfortunately the time to trade Iguodala was last summer when all the player movement was happening but there still are good trades out there. This team didn’t miss a beat when Iguodala was out and trading him is the team’s best option.

  6. Oliver Mitchell
    1. February 2011 at 18:03

    By the end of February Turner and Speights should be in the starting line up, they both earned it. I think in order for the Sixers to play well either Nocioni or Iguodala has to be injured, or at least that’s how it seems. How about trade Nocioni? He is tradable and even though we wouldn’t get much in return, it would be crucial to the team’s development. I love this team. I would love them more with a reliable center.

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