01/30/12 9:46 am EST
01/30/12 9:46 am EST
01/27/12 1:20 pm EST
For the first time in this obscure NBA season, I’m feeling a little troubled about the Sixers. Although I knew and was warned that this stretch of the schedule was coming like a ruthless hurricane, I boarded up my house and pretended it wouldn’t be that bad. After all of the good feeling Sixers “propaganda” that I have been accused of pouring out in my posts, I’ve lost a little bit of my confidence after last night’s loss.
Did we really just lose to the Nets… at home?
It’s not that I’m all of a sudden turning my back on Doug Collins and his team of young and inspired talent; I’m just worried about the storm ahead. A storm that looks really, really ugly for the Sixers young backcourt and a beat up front.
To cut to the point, the schedule for February is nothing else but exceptionally BRUTAL.
01/25/12 2:49 pm EST
The Sixers wil be without the services of Hawes and “Big Nik” again tonight vs. the Nets.
Which means that hopefully the Lavoy Allen lovefest will continue . We know it’s only 2 games, but does Lavoy’s emergence signal the end of the Craig Brackins era in Philly — before it even got started?
NBA.com has a preview of tonight’s Nets at Sixers game. The Sixers have won 8 straight against the NJN and had a +15 point margin of victory average in their 4 games from 2011-12, so we are loving the -11.5 point line that Vegas has established for the Sixers tonight.
Sixers.com has a host of video from today’s shootaround that previews tonight’s game, including this interview with Jrue.
According to John Finger at csnphilly.com, you can forget those ideas about ‘Sheed coming home, but Francisco Elson will be in for a workout on Thursday.
Back to Lavoy…he was a guest on csnphilly.com’s “Lunch Break” show today.
In his latest power rankings, ESPN.com’s John Hollinger has the Sixers sitting pretty at #2.
01/20/12 11:00 pm EST
|Elton Brand, PF 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 16 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +18
No Spencer Hawes? No problem. The veteran flung the team on his surgically repaired shoulders, posting a season high in rebounds and tying his season high in shots blocked. The minutes are a concern though, as the oft-injured 32-year-old played for 36 just two nights after going for 38 against Denver. This is a situation that bears monitoring.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 40 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +14
Iguodala will dominate the highlight reel in this one—the alley-oop he took from Holiday in the third to push the Sixer lead to 58-51 stirred the crowd to near 2000-01 level bedlam—and with good reason. After his misadventures at the line on Wednesday, it was a nice bounce-back performance for Iggy, who also notched his 1,000th career steal in the second half.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 29 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +11
We thought the soft-spoken Montenegrin looked a little out of his depth starting in Spence’s stead, but Doug Collins begged to differ, identifying his presence inside as a key to the Sixers strong second half.
|Jodie Meeks, G 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +10
Meeks hit a quartet of timely threes, but didn’t do a whole lot else. He didn’t need to. On account of the big three pointers. You get three points for those things after all.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 11 AST | 16 PTS | +15
Holiday continues to be a little too trigger happy for our taste — he’s taken 80 shots in the last five games — but on Friday, it was a defect more than made up for with his playmaking. He intercepted an inbounds pass early in the fourth and, without even turning his head, unleashed a canny no-look pass to an open Andre Iguodala as he strode down the court. He also did a better job of getting his teammates involved during the huge 3rd quarter run.
|Tony Battie, C 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -3
If Tony Battie were a horse, we’d have turned him into glue by now.
|Lou Williams, PG 19 MIN | 1-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +2
Williams delivered a game about as pretty as Madonna’s bicep vein and for the second time all season, he failed to hit double figures.
|Thaddeus Young, F 23 MIN | 8-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | +3
On an evening when the other “Night Shift”- ers struggled, Thad decidedly did not. Coming off a season high in scoring, Young netted two fewer points on Friday, but on 11 fewer shots and in 15 fewer minutes than the loss to the Nuggets. Gotta love the hook shot. He seems to.
|Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | 0
Evan Turner has become a winning proposition. When he’s good he’s very, very good, and when he’s bad…well, he’s not really that bad. ET struggled Friday—looking out of sync with the offense and not standing out defensively—but he got his rebounds, didn’t turn the ball over, and only missed three shots. He doesn’t hurt you.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Tonight…
01/19/12 9:54 am EST
Sometimes there are games during the course of an NBA season that you have to sit back and enjoy. This was the case for Wednesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets in Philadelphia. The Sixers were a team at 10-3 who were riding the momentum of a three game win streak, the Nuggets a team at 9-5 who had just dismantled Lebron James and the Heat just nights ago. To add to the storyline of this game was the Sixers home record. The Sixers entered the game with a perfect 6-0 record at home which was second in the NBA behind the Spurs who were 9-0. Each team was also nearly identical when it comes to scoring as well, the Nuggets entered the game second in the NBA in scoring with 104.1 points per game, while the Sixers were third at 102.5 points per game.
Each team has been so successful this season because of the play they have gotten out of their benches. For the Sixers Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner have shown all season great production when their names have been called to help out the 7-6, for the Nuggets there is Al Harrington, Corey Brewer, Andre Miller, and Chris Anderson who have played their part in the Nuggets success.
On this night there was one bench player which out-shined them all, and one who is very familiar with the Sixers. Andre Miller who served as a nightly stat-machine in his playing days with the Sixers, showed why at the age of 35 that he’s still got it. The classy veteran had 28 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals in nearly 39 minutes of work to lead the Nuggets to a 108-104 overtime victory.
01/16/12 9:50 pm EST
|Elton Brand, PF 21 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +3
Brand only played 21 minutes but still needs to be more productive especially in the shooting department. He’s played well of late but Monday afternoon wasn’t his best day.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 42 MIN | 9-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | +6
What more can you ask for? He played great defense, he blocked shots. He’s even added a complimentary jump shot to his elite athleticism. When he plays like that, he looks like a star. What’s just as impressive is his smarts and that he’s now making better basketball decisions. A lot of the credit belongs to Coach Collins who seems to have helped AI9 become comfortable with his role on this team.
|Spencer Hawes, C 33 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +11
He got of to a sluggish start, but finished strong. He took advantage of Andrew Bogut’s inability to play defense outside of the paint, including dropping two from beyond the arc. Those 3-balls were a huge part of the Sixers play in the 3rd Q that put this game away. However, there’s no doubt that he had more then a little trouble with Bogut in this game.
|Jodie Meeks, G 30 MIN | 2-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +9
There is one reason Meeks is on the team. If he isn’t making 3 pointers, he’s useless. 1-6 from downtown just won’t cut it.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 43 MIN | 11-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 24 PTS | +10
This is the Holiday the Sixers like to see. He was a leader on the floor. He got his teammates involved and still helped himself. He played solid defense which led to open floor and transition opportunities. Still it does concern us that Holiday is walking the fine line between a PG who can score and facilitate and becoming a single minded scoring point man. However Jrue absolutely owns the ultra quick Brandon Jennings — he was 3-11 today and in 2010-11 shot an awful 29% vs. the Sixers.
|Tony Battie, C 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +2
He earned his 13 minutes because he gets down and dirty with the opposing big men. Something that lacks from the rest of big compadres.
|Andres Nocioni, F 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +6
We have a sighting!!!!
|Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 6-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +4
Lou, provided his usual consistent instant offense. Though, what was most impressive was his his 6 assists. His ability to get others involved offensively shows maturity in his game.
|Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +9
You might call Young “Mr. Hustle and Flow.” Though, against the Buck he was all hustle but had no offensive flow. As usual, he battled for loose balls and provided his grit, but he just couldn’t find the bottom of the net today.
|Nikola Vucevic, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
We had to assume that (A) The rookie is in the doghouse or (B) Collins was portecting “Big Nik” by not playing him against a dominant big of Bogat’s skill level (Collins admitted as much post game).
After the Jump…Six Things We Saw This Afternoon
01/15/12 10:32 am EST
|Elton Brand, PF 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -5
Five games in six days for the 32 year old Elton Brand has to be tough on his body. Brand looked slow, out of it and simply worn down. But what can you expect from a player his age in a condensed season? There’s going to be nights like the one against the Wizards, where Brand’s legs are going to be heavy and he’ll struggle to perform.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 9-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 23 PTS | -2
Iguodala was great. He was aggressive from the opening tip, looking to create shots for himself on the offensive end and setting up teammates in transition. AI9 was in a good rhythm against the Wizards and he continues to excel pushing the ball for fast-break opportunities. Collins also praised his defensive efforts following the game.
|Spencer Hawes, C 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +1
Remember when Spencer Hawes came out really hot to start the season? Remember when he had four double-doubles in the first six games and was equally impressive in the other two contests? Yeah, I miss that Spencer Hawes. I guess we’ll just blame it on the nagging back injury.
|Jodie Meeks, G 31 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | +2
Meeks went from scoring a career-high 26 points against Washington on Friday, to hardly being relevant the next night. His five points all came in the first quarter of the ball game.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 40 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +12
I still can’t tell if Holiday taking 17 shots is a good or bad thing. The positive: He’s being aggressive and attacked the lengthy JaVale McGee at the rim several times. The negative: The 7-6 have plenty of guys that can score, maybe 17 shots is too high. It’d be nice to see him create more as a passer (averaging 4.5 assists heading into Saturday’s game).
|Tony Battie, C 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +6
In only his fifth game appearance of the young season, Battie showed why he rarely gets on the floor. Battie is simply a solid veteran guy who’ll warm the bench when Hawes and Vucevic are healthy. Tonight he received minutes once Collins felt uncomfortable putting Hawes in due to his back injury.
|Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 7-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | +13
After a 19 point performance on Friday night, Lou-Will did not disappoint in DC. Williams was feeling it from downtown and connected on four long distance treys. He finished with a team-high 24 points and is the Sixers leading scorer on the season.
|Thaddeus Young, F 31 MIN | 6-13 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | +11
In the post game media questioning, Doug Collins mentioned only running a single play for Thaddeus Young the entire ball game. And yet, Young was still able to deliver with 18 points off the bench. When asked how he was able to score 18 while only being called upon once, “Just from having a natural feel for the game and knowing where the ball is at all times,” he explained.
|Evan Turner, SG 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | +15
Turner never got in rhythm on the offensive end and although he made a few good passes, he rarely looked to create for himself. Turner’s thigh looked to be the reason for his lack of production. ET said he caught a bruise from JaVale McGee’s thigh during a moving pick. Turner said “I’ll ice it and rest it and be good to go.” So Philly fans should not be concerned.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 10 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +12
Just like Battie and Hawes, the rookie struggled to keep up with JaVale in the paint. However, he did grab a pair of offensive boards over him during the 2nd quarter.
|Lavoy Allen, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
No, the rookie did not accumulate any floor time in the contest, but he did get an assist in the locker room after Lou Williams shouted “Hey Lavoy, this chicken ain’t going to cut itself.” Allen promptly found the veteran a knife to eat with.
After the Jump…Six Things We Saw Last Night
01/12/12 12:28 am EST
|Elton Brand, PF 38 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +10
Overall Brand had a solid night. The NYK bigs present some problems for Brand, but he did a decent job on the defensive end. He also had several very solid weak side help plays. He didn’t shoot the ball all that well, but he put in some big baskets when the 76ers needed them. Despite all the rest he got against the Pacers, EB still looked tired tonight.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-8 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -1
To be honest we were disappointed in AI9′s game tonight. He wasn’t horrible, just disappointing. We know he’s not going to shut down Melo, but at times he got simply abused by Anthony. On the offensive end, he waited to long to get going. Everyone in Philadunkia nation saw this as a big game as did all in the Sixers locker room. Your “star” player can not wait until 5 minutes left in the 2nd Q to get on the scoreboard in a “big” game.
|Tony Battie, C 13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -1
A surprising start led to a decent effort by Battie. Who knew he could still dunk?
|Jodie Meeks, G 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -14
Do we have enough evidence yet that Meeks is not the answer at the SG spot? You have one job — hit open jumpers! Meeks doesn’t do it enough.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 40 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | +9
Jrue Holiday, PG 32 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 17 PTS | +22
|Lou Williams, PG 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -16
See what had happened…
|Thaddeus Young, F 30 MIN | 6-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +3
A poor shooting night for Thad resulted from the fact that “yungsmoove” hoisted up too many 14-16 footers. However his energy and defense were great again tonight. His 10 fourth quarter points (including 8 straight) keyed the Sixers 12-2 run and made this game interesting for Philadunkia nation.
|Evan Turner, SG 34 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 8 AST | 16 PTS | +15
Another solid effort from Turner. We could have lived without one or two of his forced mid-range jumpers (especially the bad leaner in the late 3rd), but we’ll consider those as growing pains. We’re not in love with how much Collins is having ET handle the ball. There’s no doubt that Evan Turner can dribble for a player his size, but over the last two games we’ve noticed that he has significant trouble holding on to the rock when he encounters traffic on his way through the lane.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -19
Decent effort by the rook. He was simply out classed down low tonight.
After the Jump….Six Things We Saw Tonight
01/09/12 11:57 pm EST
|Elton Brand, PF 18 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -7
Brand is slowly becoming a non factor with each passing game. He didn’t produce much offensively and wasn’t involved in the action at all. His defense wasn’t applause worthy. His 5 rebounds spared him from get a failing grade. “Just a guy” would be the proper term based on his performance. His five fouls didn’t help much either.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 7-16 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 20 PTS | +10
Iguodala carried the Sixers on a night where he needed to. He didn’t shoot the ball well, despite his improved jump shot, but provided almost everything else. His game is built on penetration, and that was a big lift for his teammates who were set up with scoring opportunities because of it.
|Spencer Hawes, C 29 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -6
Hawes has had a sparkling start to this season but on Monday night, he was outclassed by Roy Hibbert. Hibbert abused him inside and Hawes was not as efficient on the boards and in field goal production. Like Brand, he also ended up with 5 fouls. Getting rejected by Dahntay Jones on a bunny was embarassing as hell.
|Jodie Meeks, G 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +9Jodie
Meeks didn’t hurt the Sixers but also didn’t give them anything that lifted them in the victory. At some point, Coach Collins should consider giving Evan Turner a shot at the starting lineup.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +5
Holiday had a rough start (again). But, he ended up with a decent game, knocking down some big shots in the 2nd half. It’s obvious Jrue has become comfortable closing out games for the Sixers. Although, so far this season he has not been the floor general that many thought he could be. 2 assists and 7 turnovers is a complete disaster for a starting point guard.
|Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | +13
Lou couldn’t guard Darren Collison at all and his nonstop shooting was not so effective on Monday night. But he is always a spark plug and provided tons of energy off the bench. He also came up with some key loose balls and got to the FT line at some important moments in the game.
|Thaddeus Young, F 31 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +16
Young showcased his new found mid-range jumper and continued his solid start to the season. His defense has simply gone to another level — that rejection from behind he had in the 4th was a Lebron-like thing of beauty. Collins had nothing but praise for Thad in the post game presser. He didn’t light the world on fire on offense tonight, but he didn’t make mistakes on a night where his teammates made plenty of them.
|Evan Turner, SG 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -5
Turner didn’t get much playing time and that was probably because he didn’t deserve it. He made some bad decisions with the basketball and that earned him a spot on on the bench for the majority of the game. But man can he rebound.
|Nikola Vucevic, C 17 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +15
The Box Score tells the Story. In only 17 minutes Vucevic looked good in the paint, knocked down mid-range jumpers, and even drained a shot from downtown. On defense he looked no worse then Spencer Hawes. The kid is a lot more NBA-ready then many people believed.
After the Jump…Six Things We Saw Tonight
01/07/12 1:58 pm EST
The Sixers are home again. The mountains of the west coast are in the rear-view(for now) as the bright lights of City Hall and the skyscrapers of Liberty Place shine in the near-distance of the Wells Fargo Center. The red-seats inside the structure have been unoccupied by Sixers fans since Lou Williams nailed a game winning heave to beat the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the playoffs back on April 24th, 2011.
Since then Josh Harris and the new ownership have arrived and it’s hard not to notice how hard they are working to get Philadelphians to watch this team, to care about this team, and to embrace this team. They’re giving fans new commercials, new ticket prices, and trying to instill a new sense of pride. The best part about it, is that the team has been buying into it all and feeding off of it as much as they can. As Evan Turner put it, “It’s cool to see somebody pushing to grow with you. The new ownership is willing to dig in and grow with us and get more excitement in the arena by getting fans out to the games. They’ve gotten us a better practice facility and when everybody is on the same page and clicking it does wonders for an organization.”
Wonders it has because while most Philadelphians were home unwrapping presents and popping champagne bottles for the holidays, the Sixers were busy out-working opponents and showing the NBA why their team is going to pose problems for teams throughout the league. The “young” Sixers fought their way to a 3-2 record on a tough road trip out west to start this season. Some fans have already taken notice and one can only hope that, that number will grow ten-fold by seasons end.