The Impact of Nerlens Noel

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
07/08/14 8:54 am EST

noelopsleditedFor Philadunkia nation, the Orlando Pro Summer League is worth watching for many reasons.  We get the chance to see our 2014 high 2nd round draft picks take the floor.  We get to see Travis Bader, the 3-point specialist, fight for a spot on the team.  Fans also get to see the emergence of high-flying, St. Joe’s product Ronald Roberts, Jr. making highlight reel plays.

All of these players are reasons why fans are tuning in to watch the 76ers in Orlando, but these rookies aren’t the main attraction.  What keeps fans glued to the television is the mystery that is Nerlens Noel.

The defensive center finally took the floor on Saturday afternoon for the 76ers after a year of rehabbing a torn ACL.  The debut of Noel was a sight for sore eyes, especially for Sixers fans, who struggled through the team’s 19 win season in 2013-14.

Not known for his offensive touch, Nerlens did a great job in his first action of the summer, finishing with 19 points and 4 steals.  .  Noel’s summer league debut was great, but what can we expect from him during the regular season?


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OPSL GM2: Sweet, Sweet Victory

Posted by: Tyler Cook
07/07/14 10:03 am EST

opslgm2Tough physical basketball was the name of the game being played Sunday as the Sixers defeated the Thunder 84-73.

Even better for Philadunkia nation was that the Sixers won big without even having to bring out their star center Nerlens Noel.  Don’t worry; Noel’s knee is fine after putting up 19 points Saturday in his debut game against the Orlando Magic.  The Sixers staff is just sitting him as a precautionary strategy and letting the big man get some rest to finish out this week, then preparing to take off to Las Vegas for another summer league appearance.

There’s no doubt that the 7-6 showed up to play today as they blew past the Thunder.  I looked up at one point to see that the Sixers had taken a 16-point lead, which ended up being their biggest lead of the night.  Ware, Bader, Roberts, and McDaniels all put on a clinic offensively and most importantly looked like each one of them was confident playing their own game.


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OPSL GM1: Close But No Cigar

Posted by: Tyler Cook
07/06/14 9:46 am EST

opslgm1A promising and competitive showing was seen from the 76ers yesterday as they played their first game against the home team, the Orlando Magic in the opening day of the Orlando Pro Summer League.  The Sixers were defeated by the Magic 83-77 but a lot can be taken away from the first game down here in sunny Florida.

First, Nerlens Noel had his NBA debut and it didn’t take long at all for him to make a strong impact. Noel had the first field goal of the game with a tremendous dunk that shook Amway Center only 30 seconds after tipoff.  Every Philly fan can breathe a sigh of relief because Noel looked confident and comfortable for not playing a competitive game of basketball in over a year.  Noel finished with 19 points against the Magic.  The big man also knocked down an outstanding 7-7 free throws proving that he has been working very hard on that part of his game.


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Filling Mr. Anderson’s Shoes

Posted by: C. Smith
07/03/14 11:54 am EST

Hollis ThompsonOn Monday the 76ers announced that Sam Hinkie had decided to waive shooting guard James Anderson bringing an end to his predictable time in a Sixers uniform.  The Sixers claimed Anderson off of waivers on July 16, 2013 and at the time he was hailed as an undervalued talent who owned a lethal jumper from deep.  Most of that turned out to be false.

Anderson appeared in 80 games last year for the Sixers, starting in 62 of those games,  and averaged 10 points, 4 rebounds and shot a paltry 32.8% from three.  Anderson did show an ability to drive the ball to the cup, but his lackluster performance from behind the arc, the fact that he was a liability on defense and salary cap factors led to his release by Hinkie.

The release of Anderson saves the 76ers about $1million dollars, but more importantly the move now opens up a wing spot in the 76ers’ first five.  So once again this year, the 76ers will head to training camp wondering who will be the starting shooting guard on opening night

After the jump we’ll examine the candidates to fill that spot.


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DRAFT14: Hinkie’s 2nd Round Gems

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
06/30/14 9:14 am EST

2014sixers-pickseditedPhiladunkia nation fan there is very good chance that we won’t see our first round talents from the 2014 NBA Draft suit up for the team this year.  With Embiid nursing his broken foot for the next six to eight months and Saric playing in Turkey for at least the next two years, the only prospects from Draft14 we’ll see on the court next season will be those Sam Hinkie selected in the second round.

When all the wheeling and dealing was done last Thursday night, Hinkie ended up bringing home four 2nd round selections, and with the double tank…I mean…another rebuilding year coming up 2014-15, it’s highly likely that this group of second round picks will make the Sixers’ roster and one or two of them may even play significant minutes for Brett Brown this coming season.


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Perfect 10′s Are Rare

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
06/02/14 11:53 am EST

No10lotteryAs a general manager, having a top ten pick in the NBA Draft is something that could either make or break the future of your franchise.  It goes without saying then that having two selections in the top ten of the 2014 NBA Draft is a historic occurrence that Sam Hinkie can not afford to botch.

If Hinkie and the 76ers are  fortunate enough to grab a projected “future star” with the third pick in the draft, it doesn’t mean that he can afford to make a mistake with the 10th selection.  If Hinkie can walk away from this draft with two very good prospects he will have greatly accelerated the rebuilding process here in Philadunkia nation and provided a launching point for bringing the Sixers back to relevance on the Philadelphia sports landscape.

However, grabbing a prospect at No. 10 who can help improve a team that won only 19 games this season will not be an easy task. Since 2000, the NBA Draft has seen players ranging from the likes of Joe Johnson to Luke Jackson selected at the 10th overall spot. The object for Hinkie will be to avoid the Luke Jackson’s of the world.

After the jump, I’ll review and analyze the players selected 10th at the NBA Draft during the last thirteen years.


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Honoring Dr. Jack

Posted by: C. Smith
04/30/14 2:02 pm EST

RAMSEY-obit-master495I was in the Raleigh, NC airport on Monday morning when the sad news of Dr. Jack Ramsay’s passing reached my smartphone.  I don’t need to tell you that Dr. Jack was a Philadelphia basketball icon with a superior basketball mind that influenced people in the game as far away as Zimbabwe.

As a St. Joe’s alum (Yeah, I refuse to spell it the new way.), a dedicated 76er supporter and the founder of Philadunkia.com, Dr. Jack has always held a special place in my hoops heart.  But I also had the pleasure of working with Coach Ramsay on several occasions over my career in sports journalism and I own a tremendous respect for his talents, basketball IQ, work ethic and professionalism.

In honor of his passing I’d like to share a quick story with you that will give you some insight into this great man off the court.


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How Do You Define “Success”?

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
04/22/14 8:38 am EST

josh-harris_600The 2013-14 season was quite the struggle for our Sixers as they finished out the year with a 19-63 record. This forgettable season included many players on 10-day contracts, a flury of deals at the NBA trade deadline and a 26 game losing streak.  Could this season really be considered a success?

Well, according to 76ers managing owner Josh Harris, this past season could be considered a “huge success”.

So, Josh Harris, you believe 19 wins in an 82 game schedule can be considered a success?  Sixers fans, the local main stream media and many on sports talk radio are quite upset at Josh Harris.  They have a right to be upset, but in all honesty, I agree with Josh Harris.  This season was a success for many reasons.


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ESPN Loves to Stir Things Up

Posted by: Alex Gorge
04/18/14 11:04 am EST

mcwsixersuniDo you ever watch ESPN or read ESPN.com and catch yourself thinking one or more of the following:

“This is not f@*%$*^ sports news.”   or “This has absolutely nothing to do with sports.”  

“This is a ridiculous argument.” or “No one would have reported this twenty years ago.”

Maybe it is just me but I constantly find myself yelling at segments I see on First Take and other speculative sports shows.  The thing about it is that once I yell, ESPN wins.  ESPN wins because even though the segment may have had no relevant sports importance or may be a completely ridiculous sports argument, it made me react.  Twenty years ago sports reporting was all real news and extremely professional.  Through social media arising and attention spans declining, the sports news world has completely changed.  Any average fan can now find the critical news they want in about two seconds on their phone.

So at a certain point what does ESPN have left to talk about that we haven’t already read or seen?  Controversy, that’s what.


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GM 82: Rapid (Win Streak) Reacts

Posted by: C. Smith
04/17/14 8:42 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 87 Miami Heat
Thaddeus Young, PF 30 MIN | 9-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | 0Thad came out and played with his usual energy against the Miami reserves and scored 10 points in the opening quarter.  #21 also scored 6 straight when the Sixers pulled away from the Heat in the 3rd Q. T he fade away Thad hit in the late 3rd Q was ridculous.  Thad was a true professional all season despite the tank job he was subject to this year.  He averaged a career- and team-high 17.9 ppg. overall and in the month of March he was good for 20/5/3 along with 2 steals a night.

Henry Sims, C 31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -3A near double-double for the San Hinkie’s diamond in the rough.  Sims had AND 1 plays in the 2nd and 3rd Q’s.  Additionally, Sims hit a big bucket in the 4th to keep the Heat at arm’s length.  He also did a nice job on the glass.  If anyone should be wearing “The Keeper” label, it’s this guy.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 34 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -2After shooting 55% from the field in the last 7 games and not attempting any threes in the previous six contests, MCW posted an odd box score — 30% shooting form the field, but 3 of 5 on 3PAs.  He only attempted 3 FGs in the 1st half yet managed to score 8 points.  His rejection of a Toney Douglas floater in the 4th Q was tremendous.  JUst 3 TOs last night!

James Anderson, SG 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +6Anderson was brought here to knock down open jumpers and last night he actually did his job.  Although watching him try to defend the Miami perimeter players was hilarious.  There was a funny sequence last night where JA got switched off onto Wade and the former All-Star put Anderson on skates.

Adonis Thomas, SG 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +1I was shocked that Thomas got the start over Hollis “The Keeper” Thompson and I’ll be even more shocked if we ever see Thomas in a Sixers uniform again.


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