Posts Tagged ‘Arsalan Kazemi’

Stauskas: Analyzing His Team Canada Play

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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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Great Expectations

Friday, September 18th, 2015

jahlil-okaforeditedThis past summer Jahlil Okafor experienced a pretty shocking fall from his perch in the top spot in the 2015 NBA Draft class.  Now, it’s not as if he fell out of the Lottery or anything of that magnitude.  But somehow after entering college as the top player in his recruiting class, showing up at Duke in the best shape of his life, and winning a national championship, he actually lost ground in the eyes of many scouts and “experts”.  Okafor didn’t just fall behind No.1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, but he slipped below also to D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers selected with the second pick at Draft15.

For Philadunkia nation, who on Draft Night 2015 watched as Okafor—yet another big man who’s been labeled as having nearly unlimited potential — fell into Sam Hinkie’s lap, this is old news.   Still, I wanted to remind everyone of these events because I believe that Okafor’s mysterious decline in draft status this past June may turn out to be the best thing that happens to the Sixers during this rebuilding process.

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Reaching for the Stars

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

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

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

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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Embiid Was the Right Choice

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

embiiddraftespneditEven though Joel Embiid had a second “successful” surgery on his right foot today (still no official comment from the 76ers organization, just Embiid’s Instagram account) and his basketball future is extremely uncertain, I  maintain that Embiid was still the correct selection for the 76ers at the 2014 NBA Draft.

If the team had passed on some high-level perimeter production in the form of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, then that would not be the case.  However, as the highly-hyped 2014 Draft played out, only three players looked to have the making of a surefire superstar, and out those three, Embiid was touted by everyone he came across as a generational talent; a guy that could single-handedly transform a franchise.

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Time to Break the Silence

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

samI sat on this post for 24 hours to wait and see if my anger / extreme disappointment with the 76ers franchise and their continued silence on the Joel Embiid surgery front would subside. Needless to say it has not, so it’s time for a rant.

On Tuesday fellow Philadunkia scribe Michael Kaskey-Blomain authored a well crafted post on the questions created by the delays in Joel Embiid’s foot surgery and the 76ers’ silence on said delays.  MKB’s post did a solid job of summing up my frustration with this on going drama.

Yesterday,  John Gonzalez of CSNphilly.com posted an article that provided some clarity (but nothing concrete) on the reasons for the delays in Embiid’s pending surgery.  The article cited “sources” as providing Gonzalez with inside details on why Embiid’s surgery has not happened yet.

Of course the 76ers still have yet to issue an official comment on Gonzaleez’s post, or the delay in general which by the way has now reached to 30 days.

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Two Significant Issues

Friday, August 7th, 2015

76ersaltlogoWith NBA Summer League action is a distant memory and free agency movement all but over, we have now truly entered the Association’s off-season.  The 76ers had a disappointing run this summer on the court and General Manager Sam Hinkie was very quiet on the free agency front which means the with training camp just two months away, the 7-6 still have a host of issues staring the franchise in the face.

Today I will focus on two pressing issues that I believe will have the greatest impact on the 76ers at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Hint:  Both involve the 76ers’ backcourt.

 

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Embiid Surgery Delay Raises Questions

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Philadelphia 76ers V Boston CelticsThe Joel Embiid saga in Philadelphia continues to be an interesting one.

At this point in the process – a full 13 months since the 76ers selected Embiid with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft – no one seems quite sure what exactly is going on with the seven footer, and even less sure when we may actually see him out on the court.

Eighteen days ago, after several weeks of speculation and reports, the Sixers announced that Joel would be undergoing surgery on his troublesome right foot, likely within 7-10 days. He was by all accounts ruled out for the entirety of the 2015-16; his second straight full season on the shelf.  Obviously that timeline has passed, and there is still no news about a surgery.

In fact, the only pieces of recent Embiid news came from a report via The Daily News’ Bob Cooney; a video by TMZ Sports and Tweets from 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil.

 

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All-Time 76ers > All-Time Lakers & Bulls

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

alltmeSixersLast Sunday, Shaq touched off a highly entertaining Instagram battle with Scottie Pippen when he wrote that the all-time Lakers squad (Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) would beat the best five in Bulls history (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant and Derrick Rose)—by 50 points.

This post is not going to chose a side in that Lakers vs. Bulls debate that has lasted all week (FYI:  After 50,000 simulations by PredictionMachine.com, the Lakers were declared the better team as they won 64% of the simulated games.).  Instead, this article will strongly suggest that an All-Time 76ers team comprised of  — Allen Iverson; Julius Erving; Moses Malone; Charles Barkley and Wilt Chamberlain — would defeat both the All-Time Lakers and the All-Time Bulls teams.

But probably not by 50 points.

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No Embiid; No Problem

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

jahlil-okaforeditedJoel Embiid’s basketball future remains a question mark.

You hope that, at some point, the kid can contribute, but unfortunately at this point we don’t know when that may be. In the mean time, the Sixers further fortified their frontcourt by selecting Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick in the 2015 Draft. Okafor, whose selection was viewed by many as Embiid insurance, is ready to hit the ground running, and will be the beneficiary of increased opportunity due to Embiid’s extended absence.

Okafor said that his role is not impacted by Embiid’s status.

“It doesn’t,” he replied flatly when asked how Embiid’s being sidelined affected his role heading into the season.

“My role is to dominate,” Okafor continued. “I’m one of the centerpieces of the team, so my role is the same.”

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