Rapid Reacts: It’s Always Sunny…

Posted by: C. Smith
01/27/16 9:39 am EST
4 Comments
Phoenix Suns 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, PF 30 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +9 +/-A quick start (6 points in 1st Q) propelled Noel to a very solid all-around night. Noel scored another 4 points in the 3rd Q and also helped close this one out be scoring 4 points in the 4th Q. I have to be honest here and say that while I love Jah’s low post scoring, the Sixers offense flows better with #4 in the game. He had several key blocks in this game as well.

Robert Covington, SF 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 5-12 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +10 +/-Cov is simply En Fuego.  Last night was the second game in a row that Covington drained five or more treys and he is shooting 40% from deep over his last 5 games (15.8 ppg.).  Cov is also averaging 8 rebounds per contest over his last 3 games.  The release on his jumper has never been quicker.

Jerami Grant, SF 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 3FG | 3-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +6 +/-IMO last night was a great example fo how Grant can be a key player for this team in the future. Grant played tough defense, doesn’t need plays run for him to contribute and will splash home the three once in a while.  Plus his knack for highlight reel dunks is an energy booster for the team.

Ish Smith, PG 32 MIN | 7-17 FG | 0-2 3FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +8 +/-A near double-double for the man who is steadily leading the Sixers out of contention for the No. 1 pick at Draft16.  10 of his points came in the 4th Q — 6 straight at one point late in the game and he scroed 8 of the last 10 Sixer points overall.  Smith simply closed this one out for the Sixers like an All-Star lead guard. Ish comitted only 1 turnover last night.

Nik Stauskas, SG 38 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 3FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +8 +/-What I like about last night’s performance for Sauce Castillo is that he drove the ball to the rim aggressively. Stauskas absorbed a lot of contact in the lane last night and kept coming back for more. He also drained a key 3-ball at the 6 min. mark of the 4th Q and told the Suns bench about as he jogged back down the floor.  I like that moxy.  After returning from a three-game absence, Stauskas was ineffective off the bench against Boston, so IMO he desperately needed a performance like this one.

 


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Fo’ with the Foes: Phoenix Suns

Posted by: C. Smith
01/26/16 2:06 pm EST
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sunsgirlsThis edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” – Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games – features tonight’s opponent, the Phoenix Suns who are 2-8 in their last 10 games and will not have Brandon Knight available for this contest because of a strained groin. To be honest, the 76ers should win this game.

After the jump, I’ll look a Fo’ key items for tonight’s game. Additionally, we’ll get a little more insight into this Phoenix team the Sixers face tonight from our colleague Troy Tauscher who covers the Suns for bballbreakdown.com, as Troy will answer Fo’ questions on his Suns squad from us here at Philadunkia.

 


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Something to Talk About…

Posted by: C. Smith
01/21/16 12:10 pm EST
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jahvsorlAfter their convincing win last night in Orlando over the Oladipo-less Magic, the 76ers (6-38) are now 2-1 in their last three games. In fact if not for a horrific free throw shooting performance (13-25 = 52%) in their MLK Day matinee game against the Knicks, Brett Brown’s squad would be riding a three game winning streak.

While a friendlier schedule has helped things, the 76ers also seem to have found some chemistry and a few answers on offense during this stretch.  I don’t know if this level of play will last very long, so after the jump let’s talk about several keys to the Sixers recent winning ways.

 


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Philadunkia 4on4: Mid-Season Thoughts

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/14/16 12:14 pm EST
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76erscrystalballTonight’s game against the Bulls will mark the 41st contest for the 76ers (4-36) of the 2015-16 season.  Thus, it’s time for our annual mid-season edition of Philadunkia’s 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5″.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?” 

Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

After the jump, Philadunkia scribes C. Smith, Michael Kaskey-Blomain, Jeff McMenamin and Tyler Cook will examine four questions surrounding our 76ers as we hit the mid-season pole.


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Can the Defensive Woes Be Fixed?

Posted by: C. Smith
01/12/16 12:03 pm EST
3 Comments

cov&granteditedWith the addition of Ish Smith (via trade for two 2nd round draft picks) and Elton Brand, it’s clear that Sam Hinkie’s “process” has been rudely interrupted by Adam Silver via Jerry Colangelo and Mike D’Antoni.  For a “process” faithful like myself Silver’s interference is an annoying development as one could argue that the 2015-16 season was Hinkie’s finest tanking draft positioning work to date.  The 76ers had never been a safer bet to finally secure the No. 1 overall draft pick than they were pre-Silver/Colangelo.

Colangelo and of course Mike D’Antoni have screwed up “the process” by adding the solid point guard (Smith) and veteran leadership (Brand) that the 2015-16 roster has desperately needed. The result has been 3 wins in their last 9 games and a sense of hope (albeit false hope) for everyone involved with the franchise.  However, if Colangelo and D’Antoni are dead-set on continuing to make the mistake of improving the Sixers in short-term, then their next move should be to help Brett Brown fix one of the worst defenses in the Association.

That will be easier said than done.

 


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Rapid Reacts: Philadelphia-ISH

Posted by: C. Smith
01/05/16 9:11 am EST
4 Comments
Minnesota Timberwolves 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
109 Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens Noel, PF 31 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -3 +/-A near double-double for #4 who appears to have more energy and more passion since he returned to the first-five. On the defensive end he was a huge factor with 3 blocks and forcing a number of altered shots.

Jerami Grant, SF 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | 0 +/-Foul trouble limited Grant’s ability to contribute last night, but when Grant was on the floor he did a nice job of guarding Wiggins.

Jahlil Okafor, C 21 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -2 +/-Obviously I would like to see Jah grab more boards, but I have to give hime credit for putting the Sixers on his back in the early 3rd Q with 6 straight points that helped propel this team to a win.

Ish Smith, PG 30 MIN | 9-16 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | 0 +/-21 pts. and 11 dimes against only 4 TOs…Now that’s a floor general. Ish simply took over this game during clutch time and scored 6 straight points for the 76ers. The Sixers are now 3-3 since Smith joined the squad on 12/26/15 which means I have a love-hate relationship with the new PG. I love Ish’s game and the way the team plays with him in the lineup, but I hate the fact that his play will likely blow the Sixers’ chances of landing the No.1 pick at Draft16.

Nik Stauskas, SG 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +6 +/-You had to know there was no way “Sauce Castillo” could string together back-to-back solid games. Stauskas wasn’t awful last night, but the Sixers need more from the SG spot. Somewhere Kendall Marshall’s dad is saying, “I told you so…”

 


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Road Trip 6-Pack

Posted by: C. Smith
01/04/16 1:48 pm EST
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76ersaltlogoIn case you were overwhelmed with Christmas presents or too busy watching the Mummers strut their stuff, we wanted you to know that the 76ers just finished a six-game road trip in which they assembled a 2-4 record.  The “successful” road trip inspired Jahlil Okafor to declare, “We really made huge strides this road trip”. Now, please remember, Jah is a rookie so he may have gotten a little excited about the team’s play on the road trip.

While there is absolutely some truth to Jah’s statement, it should be noted that a number of the same old problems simply killed the Sixers on their recent six-game West Coast swing.

After the jump I’ll take a look at three areas of improvement during the road trip as well as three problems that continued to plague the 76ers over the last six games.


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Worse Than We Ever Imagined

Posted by: C. Smith
12/23/15 7:29 am EST
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062713_hinkie-sam_600Back in October I wrote a post detailing that in the first month or so of the 2015-16 NBA season Philadunkia nation would have to exercise a significant amount of patience with this 76ers team and “the process”. In that post, I theorized that because of injuries, learning to play together and an unfriendly opening month of the schedule that the Sixers would struggle mightily out of the gate and cause us to nearly lose our minds.

The opening month of the season went as I predicted as the Sixers played energetic and entertaining basketball (for the most part), but posted a 1-18 record.  The problems I listed back in October were a big part of the slow start to the season. However a slew of unexpected issues also came to the surface in November and December and now those issues have turned the Sixers (1-30) into a pathetic, unwatchable team on another 12 game losing streak (FYI…average margin of defeat in last ten defeats is 18 pts.).

After the jump I’ll look take a look at the unexpected issues that have pulled the 2015-16 Sixers down to a depressing depth.


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Fo’ with the Foes: Atlanta Hawks

Posted by: C. Smith
12/16/15 12:03 pm EST
One comment

atlantachiceditThis edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” – Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games – features tonight’s opponent, the Atlanta Hawks who are in an awful slump right now having lost 3 in a row and 6 of their last 10. To be honest, I like the 76ers chances of stealing a win tonight.

(I can’t believe I just typed that line.)

After the jump, I’ll look a Fo’ key items for tonight’s game. Additionally, we’ll get a little more insight into this Atlanta team the Sixers face tonight from our colleague Brad Rowland at Peach Tree Hoops, as Brad will answer Fo’ questions on his Hawks squad from us here at Philadunkia.


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Drama Is Not What the Sixers Need

Posted by: C. Smith
12/14/15 3:22 pm EST
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dantoniThe 76ers record stands at 1-24.  They have dropped 7 straight games.  The last four loses have been by an average of 23 points.  Brett Brown’s roster does not boast  an NBA starting caliber point guard or shooting guard and features two dynamic bigs that may not be able to play together. They lead the NBA in turnovers (17.4 per game). Lastly, the Sixers have been awful on defense, ranking at the bottom of the League in points allowed (102.8 ppg.– 23rd).  In short, the 76ers are an absolute mess on the court.

Still, despite all the losing, makeshift lineups and embarrassing statistics, I have been impressed that this roster and coaching staff have stuck together in the locker room and that even during the lowest point of “the process” there appears to be no internal drama on this team.  Which is why this past weekend’s rumors regarding former Lakers/Knicks/Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni possibly joining the 76ers staff are raising significant issues in my basketball mind.


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