SHOULD’A, COULD’A

Posted by: C. Smith
05/14/12 12:14 pm EST

After nearly two days of reading comments and emails from readers and listening to sports talk radio, it has become clear that the Philadunkia scribes are not the only 76ers supporters who feel the team let one slip away from them on Saturday night.

For those of you who doubt the validity of the above anlaysis, go back and look at the tape again.  We bet when you are done reviewing the evidence, you’ll ragree that the 7-6 lost a golden opportunity to draw first blood in this series when they pissed away Game 1.  But this post is not about dwelling on the negatives that came from the 92-91 Game 1 loss in Boston. 

Nope.

This post is about what we took from Game 1 that gives us hope for a Sixers victory tonight in Game 2…

 
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TURNER TIME

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
05/03/12 9:29 am EST

Maybe Coach Collins finally gets it. 

A few days ago this site ran a piece urging coach to curtail Jodie Meeks’ minutes in favor of the more talented Evan Turner; a move that seemed mandatory if the team hoped to advance further into the month of May. 

Despite the wishes of this site’s writers, Jodie still started in Game 1 and saw double digit minutes — 11 to be exact.  Although that total was down substantially from his regular season average of 24.9 mpg. 

Not surprisingly, Chicago steamrolled the Sixers for a Game 1 win, and it became exceedingly clear to the Philly faithful that a shakeup was necessary.  So, our wish was granted, and in Game 2 on Tuesday night, Evan Turner started his first career playoff game, and what a start it was. 


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THE JRUTH

Posted by: Tim Parker
05/02/12 1:16 pm EST

What a difference a MVP makes!

Rather, the absence of a MVP.

The Sixers, who were outclassed, out-hustled, and outplayed in Game 1 of their first round match-up with the Bulls, looked like a team destined for postseason greatness in Game 2.

The Sixers stunned the United Center crowd last night as they thrashed Chicago, 109-92.

Yes, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose, their reigning MVP, who is out for the year.  Yes, the Sixers took full advantage of it. However, this victory was just as much about a stellar effort from the Sixers as it was a post-traumatic Bulls team, who seemed to be in a comma-like funk during the second half.


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LESS MEEKS

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
04/26/12 11:00 am EST

It has been quite the rollercoaster of a season for Philadelphia’s 76ers, one which included a stint at the top of ESPN’s power rankings, as well as a slump that had many speculating as to whether the team would even be able to push into the postseason.  Despite this inconsistency, the team was able to clinch their second consecutive playoff birth this week, and head into the NBA’s second season as assumed first round fodder for one of the East’s elite.

While any playoff appearance is an exciting accomplishment, seeing the Sixers have to struggle their way into a somewhat shallow East’s last seed is disappointing, especially after such a strong start to the season elevated expectations.  With the Sixers sitting on the East’s eighth seed and a match-up with the battle-tested Bulls looming, it leaves one to wonder whether the team might have been better off slipping into the lottery and allowing themselves at least an outside shot of acquiring franchise-changing center Anthony Davis. 

This team however was too talented for the NBA Lottery, as recent wins down the stretch may have worked to reignite some confidence in the young squad as they head into the always unpredictable postseason.  It is no secret that benches shrink once the playoffs come around and coaches become extremely picky as to who sees playing time.  Rotations often shrivel from 9 or 10 to 7 or 8 as players are expected to pick up their overall performance.  It will be interesting to see how Coach Collins handles this aspect with the Sixers as they have been an especially deep team all season, with eleven different players averaging at least ten minutes per game.  Minutes for backup bigs Lavoy Allen and Tony Battie will almost definitely dip, but outside from that it is difficult to determine how Coach Collins will readjust the rotation.

With that being said, the ample amount of minutes given to streaky-shooting Jodie Meeks seems to be an area of great concern, and if the Sixers hope to have any chance to advance in this year’s playoffs it must be addressed. 


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TOM BRADY THEORY OF EVOLUTION & THE 76ers

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/20/12 9:44 am EST

My brother and I, both not Patriots fans, were and are fascinated by the rise of Tom Brady.  A little known fact about the Michigan alum is this: he didn’t become great until well after he was publicly recognized as being so.  An even lesser known (though speculative) fact about Tom Brady is this: the fact of everyone thinking he was great didn’t just anticipate, but maybe precipitated, his actual greatness.

To wit: Tom Brady was a league average quarterback on a pretty good, but very well coached, Patriots team in 2001 that got inordinately lucky down the stretch and parlayed the luck into a Super Bowl win.  The quarterback, due to his looks and new jewelry, became not just ungodly famous — magazine covers and the whole shebang—but was suddenly credited with being one of the top quarterbacks, no players, in all of football.

And so he started working like one.

And so he became one.

We coined the phenomena, which crops up not infrequently in sports, the “Tom Brady Theory of Evolution.”  (If it sounds like we were reading too much Bill Simmons then, it’s because we were.)

(Very) long story (very) short, the TBTOE operated like this: confidence begat raised expectations which begat hard work which begat better performance which begat more confidence which begat higher expectations and harder work, and this vicious—for non-New England fans—cycle continued until Tom Brady, game manager, became Tom Brady, remorseless face eater.

The theory gives us a framework for understanding, among other things, Eli Manning, Jud Apatow, the 2008 New York Giants, Rick Santorum, and Rulon Gardner.

It also explains, through some admittedly Rube Goldberg logic, the 2012 Sixers.


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GM 61: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
04/18/12 9:33 am EST
Indiana Pacers 102 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 35 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -3

A very solid night for the Ol’ Chevy considering how many minutes he logged vs. ORL on Monday night.  His shot seemed a little off thanks to some tired legs we are sure.  It doesn’t matter, because that amnesty clause can’t get applied to EB fast enough.  A team simply can not pay that much cash for a PF who is only good for 11 & 8 a night.

Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 8-12 FG | 4-7 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 23 PTS | +3

For the 1st time in 45 games Dre scored 20+ points when he tied his season high last night.  The thing that impressed us the most from AI9 was that he drove the ball to the hoop vs. IND — a solid defensive team.  That puts pressure on the D and makes lif so much easier in the half court set for the Sixers.  So why cant’ Dre do this on a nightly basis.  He gets the A- because his defense was not good at all last night.

Nikola Vucevic, C 11 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8

He was over matched and picked up some early fouls, but it’s not your fault kid.  Collins can’t start you one night, not play you at all the next game and then throw you back into the starting lineup the following night.  It’s just not fair.

Jodie Meeks, G 20 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -3

How does Meeks get 20 minutes and Sam young can’t get a single tick?

Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | 0

Despite a lackluster 1st half by Jrue didn’t kill the Sixers, so we came out in the 3rd and was a big part of their 11-0 run that gave the 7-6 the lead, we though he was going to drive Collins & Co. to an upset W.  It didn’t happen as he only scored 2 points in the 4th.  His defense was solid though which is more then you can say for most of the Sixers last night.

Lou Williams, PG 30 MIN | 5-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -2

The stat line looks pretty at first glance, but 18 points on 14 FGAs is not an efficient night.  But he did get to the FT line 8 times, which is a nice change for the Sixers. LW did a decent job of keeping us in the game in the early 4th, which is why taking him out for ET was a bit of shock to us.

Thaddeus Young, F 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | -3

When this season is over, Thad will get a well earned vacation.  If he improves his defense for 2012-13, he could be a star in this League.  Thad also hit his first 3PA of the year last night. What a long way we have come from the Eddie Jordan era , huh?

Spencer Hawes, C 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +6

Ordinarily a near double-double out of your back-up center would be a thing of beauty, but Spence’s defense is so bad it’s mind-blowing. His inability to defend the pick and roll or provide any resistance on the blocks is brutal.  Everyone knows Hibbert goes to the hoop over his right shoulder, yet Hawes did not try to make him go left at all.

Evan Turner, SG 27 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | -15

Either Collins or Turner has to go.  You decide.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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GM 60: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/17/12 9:36 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 113 Orlando Magic
Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -10

He was active, but where was he while Quentin and Jason Richardson combined for 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting?  Or, I don’t know, while the entire Orlando team shot 53.3 percent from the floor and 63.1 percent from 3?

Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 7-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -5

In his first start of the season, Thad was efficient and productive on the offensive end.  Defensively, where his charge was Ryan Anderson, Young fell flat on his face.  The NBA’s top three point shooter put up 26 points and grabbed eight offensive rebounds.

Elton Brand, PF 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +2

Doug Collins went small tonight, starting Brand at center, and presumably expecting substantial production on the glass from the veteran.  He didn’t get it.  Though EB wasn’t otherwise awful, he did get turnstiled pretty badly by Earl Clark.

Jodie Meeks, G 31 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -12

There is no reason, none, that Jodie Meeks should start and play 31 minutes in a professional basketball game.  In a recession economy, fans shouldn’t have to pay to see that.

Jrue Holiday, PG 34 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 18 PTS | -9

Jrue’s finals numbers look nice, but here’s what they miss: he started out like gangbusters–he had something like 12 points, three assists, a pair of steals and a block in the first quarter — but disappeared for the most part after that.  He has a disconcerting habit of doing that.

Lou Williams, PG 31 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -12

Lou did his damnedest to shoot the Sixers back into this one down the stretch — even answering a Jameer Nelson 3 with one of his own to get the 7-6 to within 104-97 with just under three minutes left– but it was too much, too little, too late.

Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 10 PTS | -10

I liked what Spence did as a distributor tonight — his nine assists set a new career high — but was concerned by his lack of aggression around the basket and his inability to stop Earl Clark and Co. from steamrolling the Sixers on the glass.  You’re seven-feet-plus man, do something with it.

Evan Turner, SG 23 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -9

The final numbers look decent, but you can’t shake the sense that Turner is shrinking as this long, strange season winds down.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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GM 58: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
04/12/12 2:25 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 93 FinalRecap | Box Score 75 Toronto Raptors
Elton Brand, PF 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +20

Another very solid night for the Ol’ Chevy who has displayed more energy of late.

Andre Iguodala, SF 31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | +10

Started the game 0-3…Hey at least he put up a shot in the 1st quarter vs. TOR.  That’s not something you can say happens every night. 

Nikola Vucevic, C 20 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -4

A fast start — six 1st Q points led to a very nice game from “Big Nik”.  The kid keeps starting for the rest of the season in my opinion.  We may also be looking at the 7-6 starting center for 2012-13.

Jodie Meeks, G 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -2

Enough already.  I’d rather see Sam Young get these minutes.  How on earth did this clown get two rotations into the game during the 3rd Q?  Meeks must have some serious blackmail dirt on Collins that coach keeps trotting him out there.

Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | +22

He had 4 points in the 1st Q, so we though we would see bigger scoring numbers out of Jrue last night.  We didn’t, so that was disappointing. However, the rest of his game and his defense were right on point.

Lou Williams, PG 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +14

LW still looks tired to me, but a decent night anyhow.  The dime he had to Hawes in the post during the late 3rd was simply a great pass and one he would not have made two years ago.

Sam Young, SF 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3

Needs more minutes down the stretch so that the other wings are not exhausted come playoff time.

Thaddeus Young, F 26 MIN | 8-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +16

What is left to say about Thad’s stellar play in 90% of the Sixers games this season?  Not much, but we’ll give it a try.  The Toronto shot attempt he pinned on the glass @ the 7:45 mark of the 4th was a ridiculous play.

Spencer Hawes, C 22 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +4

When combined with Vuc’s numbers (12 & 5) you get one very solid center.  Hawes did a great job of taking the ball to the bucket last night and not settling for long J’s.

Evan Turner, SG 24 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | +13

Better, but still lacking something.  Of course more minutes and a vote of confidence from Coach would solve a lot of his issues.  The drive and dish he dropped to Thad in the 4th for an AND 1 was encouraging

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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LOST ?? SORT OF…

Posted by: C. Smith
04/10/12 2:36 pm EST

Rumors continue to float around the Internet and on the sports talk radio airwaves that Doug Collins has “lost” this team.  Thaddeus Young did his best to squash those rumors last Sunday when he told the local media, “We’ve got Coach’s back all the way.  [Has he] lost us?  Man, nobody is even thinking about that.  We’re thinking about winning games and getting back on track.  All that other stuff is just gossip.”

Still, the rumors may have a hint of truth in them.  Now I don’t think Collins has “lost” this team.  Nor do I believe that we are headed for a scenario like the Stan Van Gundy – Dwight Howard – def-con 5, level of drama that went down in Orlando.  And I certainly don’t believe that Collins  is fully responsible for the Sixers down swing of late. 

But what I do believe is that especially over the last ten games or so, Collins has ”lost” his touch with this team and has not been pushing the right buttons for this squad of late.  Thus he has had a role in the recent unacceptable level of play being witnessed from Philadunkia’s home team.

After the jump a look at several ways I believe Collins has NOT helped the Sixers recently…      


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INTERVIEW: TIM LEGLER

Posted by: Tim Parker
04/06/12 8:57 am EST

He scored over 1,600 points at LaSalle, is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame, earned an MBA from The Wharton School and is married to a former Eagles cheerleader.  Basically ESPN analyst Tim Legler is almost as Philadunkia as Dr. J, Allen Iverson and The Spectrum. 

As a bonus, he still lives in the Philadelphia area, attends numerous Sixers games each year and is actually somewhat of a 76ers fan, so he keeps a keen eye focused on our home team. 

Recently Legler gave Philadunkia scribe Tim Parker some 1-on-1 time to discuss the 2011-12 Sixers and the hometown guy was very candid about his views on why the Sixers have struggled so badly of late.


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