CLOSURE ?!?

Posted by: Tim Parker
10/31/12 9:31 am EST

At the start of every new NBA season, there is a renewed of belief, hope, and confidence.  For the Sixers, 2012-2013 is no different.  Even though, the true (unspoken) goal is to just be able stay in the same ballpark of class as the Miami Heat. 

Nonetheless, there is a unique, almost poetic feeling about Wednesday night’s season opener at the Wells Fargo Center.  As the Sixers begin a new chapter of their franchise’s history, they will be forced to look their past dead in the eyes; in the form Andre Iguodala.

As Iguodala brings his Denver Nuggets to Philadelphia, he carries a truckload of baggage with him, including memories (both good and bad), 8 years of frustrations, and a fractured relationship with the 76ers’ faithful. 

Whether he was loved or hated, he was a much maligned, polarizing figure, partly because of his salary, demeanor, skill-set, and lack of team success.

Ironically enough, his final season as a Sixer would be the one where he actually began to be appreciated.  He earned his only All-Star appearance; he led his team to their first playoff series victory in a decade, and nearly took a talent deficient team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But, by then it was already too late.

 
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3 GAME REVIEW

Posted by: Tim Parker
10/16/12 9:59 am EST

If winning mattered in the preseason, the 76ers would be off to a more than promising start; especially after demolishing the Boston Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night.

But of course, exhibition basketball is strictly about evaluation, with winning being a benign afterthought.  After all, the Celtics were without Kevin Garnett (allowing Spencer Hawes, who had 17 points in 17 minutes, to look like Moses Malone).  Meanwhile, the Sixers have yet to see their new centerpiece, Andrew Bynum in action, as his knee continues to be injected (legally, of course) and recover.

Though, even with Bynum’s absence, the 7-6’s preseason performance has shown why they are in need of the big man’s service.

In the most simplistic terms, it still has been difficult for the Sixers to score in their set offense.  It’s just ugly to watch at times.  The struggle for shot creation has carried over into a brand new season as they have no dynamic offense weapons to create space and scoring opportunities for teammates.  While, they’ve continued to thrive on fast break opportunities, they continue to look sluggish in half court situations.

That’s why Bynum’s presence is beyond anticipated, as he will just make it easier for everyone, including Jrue Holiday.


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LEARNING CURVE HAS BEGUN

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
10/12/12 10:41 am EST

It seems like just yesterday Andre Iguodala was sinking a free throw to send the Sixers to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.  A few months earlier, Lou Williams showed off his best Allen Iverson impression, scoring 14 points (including the last 10) in a 4th quarter comeback to stun the Lakers at home for a monumental victory. 

Or what about Elton Brand? From being lost in the shadows of the 2010-11 season, to shifting gears and having one of the best defensive seasons in his NBA career while vocally willing the Sixers to one of their most successful seasons of the past decade.

The memories are hard to forget.  And, without a doubt every last one of them deserves credit for putting on their uniform every day and fighting for this organization.

You see, regardless of how ‘Dre has acted towards the Sixer coaching staff and its fans the past week, let’s take a moment and reflect on what these three men have given you all.  A franchise that is relevant again.  Other talented players did help out along the way, but through all the doubters (myself included towards the end of last season) these three fought night after night and gave this city and its fans a reason to believe. 

The Sixers are more relevant than ever, but the current roster isn’t filled with the same familiar faces you’ve seen in the past.  It’s truly hard to believe that the Sixers team which is about to embark on the 2012-13 NBA season holds only 5 of the 12 players who made their stamp in the history books last season. Everything you used to know and were used to seeing as a Sixers fan is about to change for good.

 

In comes a brand new game plan on both offense and defense, but with only a short month to master everything. Not only that, but there’s a huge piece missing to the puzzle. Unless you’ve fallen into a deep depression watching the Washington Nationals beat out the Phillies for a playoff spot this fall, then you should have heard that Andrew Bynum will most likely sit out all of preseason to recover from the knee “procedure” he had in Germany back in September.

This kind of a roster shakeup creates a lot of adjustments which need to be facilitated and we got our first look at how the players are adapting to those adjustments last night.


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NO BYNUM…NO BIG DEAL

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
10/08/12 9:20 am EST

Like a gluten free bakery, the Sixers training camp is most defined by what’s absent from it.

As in: Andrew Bynum.

You don’t have to be a reactionary, glass-half-full, gloom-monger to feel less than terrific about this.

For starters, the basket the Sixers have placed all their eggs in feels shaky enough about the condition of his already twice operated on knees that, at 24, he traveled to Germany to have an experimental procedure performed on them.  This is the kind of Hail Mary usually reserved for injury-wracked washouts and aging, megalomaniacal,glory chasers.  Not guys who weren’t of drinking age the last time we elected a president.

It’s also a problem because the Sixers are planning something of an offensive overhaul this season and the centerpiece of the overhaul is indisposed.

 
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PERFECT COMPLEMENT

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
08/20/12 10:15 am EST

Although the addition of Andrew Bynum has deservedly dominated headlines of Philadelphia media in the wake of last week’s big blockbuster, Andrew wasn’t the only player the team acquired that could have a major impact this season.  If healthy, Jason Richardson has an opportunity to revitalize his career with the Sixers, as well as play a prominent part in the first season of the Bynum era here in Philadelphia.

While he may not be the athlete he once was when he was soaring to back-to-back slam dunk championships, Richardson still has significant basketball abilities.  His mainly skill as we know is shooting the ball and shooting it well.  That should prove to be a valuable asset to a young Sixer squad with suddenly high expectations.  Many have all but written off Richardson after an underwhelming, injury-plagued stint in Orlando, but there’s reason to believe that the 31 year old swing man, reportedly near full health, can still produce.


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MISTAKE FILLED SUMMER

Posted by: Steve Toll
07/17/12 8:28 am EST

Nobody in Philadelphia expects a championship in 2012-2013, that’s one thing the Sixers have going for them.  But did you expect the 7-6 to be Lottery bound in 2013?  Sports articles rarely talk about the reality of situations and often boast about the “best case scenario” when that scenario is based on fantasy, rather then the facts of the situation.  This is NOT one of those articles.

The 7-6 won 35 games this past season.  It will be a struggle to win 35 games next year in what will be an 82 game season.  The Sixers have essentially ruined the franchise for the next 5 years by their actions this off-season.  There are so many good sources of basketball stats on the Internet.  While many of my points are generalized a few minutes looking through basketball reference, court vision analytics, basketball value, 82games, wages of wins, the NBA geek and other stat based websites.  All the arguments made below are facts or historically relevant information and not influenced by cognitive bias and other things that betray humans when we make assumptions about players and coaches based on the “eye test”

After the jump, I will review the mistakes by timeline that the 76ers’ front office made this off-season:

 
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