Opening Month Will Require Patience

Posted by: C. Smith
10/19/15 1:48 pm EST

brown-brettIn year three of Sam Hinkie’s “process” I am fully expecting the 76ers to take a noticeable step forward on the court.  The additions of Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and Kendall Marshall as well as training camp surprise Christian Wood have provided Brett Brown with a much deeper roster than he has had in the last two seasons of this rebuilding process.  Additionally, with a year of seasoning under his belt and an improved jump shot, Nerlens Noel’s should be ready to contribute on offense from the opening game of the season.  Lastly, I am expecting Robert Covington to take his game to the next level.

The combination of added talent and improvement among the players who return from the 2014-15 season should provide for better results on the court — 25 wins is a distinct possibility.  However I am writing this post to warn Philadunkia nation that because of injuries, learning to play together and an unfriendly opening month of the NBA schedule, a high level of patience with this team may be required at the start of 2015-16.


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Time to Take a Step Forward

Posted by: Tyler Cook
10/13/15 11:53 am EST

okafor-noelFor the past two seasons the word that has consistently been associated with 76ers basketball is “rebuilding” (some may claim the word is “tanking”).  Now in year three of General Manager Sam Hinkie’s master rebuilding plan, the City of Brotherly Love is expecting to see some progress. After all, rebuilds can’t last forever and eventually an improving product needs to be seen night in and night out on the court at The Center.

To his credit, Hinkie sounds optimistic about year three of trusting the process.  And he should…I mean they can only get better right?  During a fourteen-minute media session last week Hinkie covered a range of questions and hinted that he believes the Sixers will improve on the court in 2015-16.   A coachable group of young, skilled players who are willing to put the work in seems to be main reason Hinkie acknowledged that we should expect a step forward from the Sixers this season.

 


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Is Stauskas Injury Cause for Concern?

Posted by: C. Smith
10/08/15 1:41 pm EST

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Media DayThe 76ers announced on Monday that shooting guard Nik Stauskas has been diagnosed with a right tibia stress reaction, but will only be sidelined for the next two weeks as a “precautionary” measure.  Brett Brown maintained that despite the injury, Stauskas should be ready for the season opener later this month.

After practice yesterday Stauskas himself commented to a group of media members (Including Philadunkia’s @therealmkbizzy), “Obviously this is a little bit of a setback, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Raise your hand if you have heard these lines come out of the 76ers’ practice facility in the last few years.

While each injury is unique and each player heals differently, the Sixers and Stauskas may want to pump the brakes on a quick return to action for #11.


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TC15: Point Guard Battle

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
10/02/15 12:52 pm EST

kendall-marshallDuring the last four days of training camp action over at Stockton University,  several pieces appear to have fallen into place for the Brett Brown’s 2015-16 lineup and rotations.  However the point guard position remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

“I think it’s the greatest mystery on our team right now,” Coach Brown said about the on the point guard rotation to the media gathered after practice on Wednesday.  In a gathering with beat reporters on Thursday Sam Hinkie stated the obvious — there’s a battle for the point guard spots this preseason, saying “People talk the most about the point guards.  We’ve got six and there’s going to be a heck of a battle to see which ones end up on the team.”

Training camp breaks on Saturday.  The seven game preseason stretch begins on Tuesday against the Wizards in Washington.  The 2015-16 regular season tips off in 26 days.  That means the Sixers’ lead guard prospects have a little over three weeks to show Brown and Hinkie what they can do and claim one of the point guard spots on this roster.  At least for the opening week of the season.

 


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TC15: Philadunkia 4on4

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/01/15 2:47 pm EST

76erscrystalballIt’s time for our annual training camp 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 training camp rolls on over at Stockton University.


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TC15: Six Questions for the Sixers

Posted by: C. Smith
09/29/15 1:35 pm EST

hinkie-brownThe 76ers training camp roster has been set, the new hype video went viral and media day is over, so it’s now time for Brett Brown and his staff to start molding this group of young prospects and journeymen into an actual NBA team.

Depending on your view of Sam Hinkie’s master plan, today’s first “official” practice marks either the beginning of Tank 3.0 or the first news worthy step forward in this long rebuilding process.  Regardless of your opinions of what lies ahead in 2015-16 for the 76ers, there are a number of questions for this Sixers team that need to be answered over the next two weeks of practices at Stockton College.

After the jump, I’ll examine six questions that I will be looking to have answered during Training Camp15 for our 76ers.


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Stauskas: Analyzing His Team Canada Play

Posted by: C. Smith
09/28/15 10:47 am EST

stauskascanadaIf you follow this site’s Twitter account (@philadunkia) then you know that during late August and into September we closely tracked the play of Nik Stauskas for Team Canada on the international basketball circuit. First, Stauskas and Team Canada laced ’em up at the Tuto Marchand Cup in Puerto Rico where Team Canada produced a 4-0 record despite sub-par play from Sam Hinkie’s prized off-season acquisition.

Next, Team Canada traveled to Mexico City for the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship event. Something in Mexico must have agreed with Stauskas as the shooting guard found his game South of the Border.  His sharp shooting helped push Team Canada to a 6-1 record in preliminary play and an appearance in the tournament’s semi-finals.  Thanks to a case of food posioning, Stauskas saw limited action in that semi-final game and Team Canada got upset by Venezuela.

After the jump, I’ll provide you with in depth analysis of Nik’s play for Team Canada that will include insights on Stauskas from a couple of my NBA contacts who watched Team Canada live during the FIBA Americas Championship as well as a Q&A with sports journalists Callum Ng and Ryan Wolstat who both covered Team Canada at the FIBA Americas event.


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Reaching for the Stars

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
09/15/15 12:58 pm EST

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ersAfter a solid rookie campaign in which he was the only player in the League to finish with over 100 blocks and over 100 steals, Nerlens Noel has some high aspirations for his second season.  Among them, is to become an All-Star.  The Sixers have been without an All-Star since Jrue Holiday made the team back in 2013, and Noel wants to end that streak.

“Year two, I want to be an All-Star, clear as that,” he recently told SLAM magazine; a sentiment he has often echoed in the past.  “I know a lot of players say that,” Noel told me back in April, “but for me I feel as though that it the next step.”


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Summer 2016 Will Be Huge for 76ers

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
09/08/15 10:46 am EST

76ersaltlogoThe summer of 2015 is now over and it certainly won’t go down as the most memorable off-season for Philadunkia nation. Outside of the solid, and exciting selection of Jahlil Okafor in June’s draft and a intriguing trade for shooting guard Nik Stauskas, the summer was without a whole lot of positive news.  The team did little in free agency, it was announced that prized 2014 Draft pick Joel Embiid would miss a second consecutive season, shrouding the rest of his career in incertainty; and maybe worst of all for fans, the team lost Malik Rose to Atlanta’s front office.

While the team is expected to improve this season, thanks largely to the addition of Okafor and the development of Nerlens Noel, the hopes of the fanbase still lies in the future.  While the summer of 2015 was slightly underwhelming, the summer of 2016 could be a very big time for the Sixers.


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Shedding Light on Stauskas

Posted by: C. Smith
08/26/15 1:18 pm EST

StauskaseditedSam Hinkie and the 76ers were non-factors on the free agency market this summer and instead chose to add to their roster in other ways.

With the No. 3 overall pick at the 2015 NBA Draft Hinkie added Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10, polished post player with an NCAA championship ring.  Okafor showed some flashes of greatness during summer league action in Las Vegas and it appears that the Sixers have another solid player to help rebuild this franchise.

The other news worthy addition was shooting guard Nik Stauskas who came to the Sixers via a trade with the Sacramento Kings. Stauskas had a disappointing rookie season in Sacto that featured limited minutes and a coaching change.  He also did not suit up for the 7-6 at the 2015 NBA Summer League.  Thus Stauskas and exactly what he can do for the Sixers remains somewhat of a mystery for Philadunkia nation.


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