A SO-SO SUMMER

Posted by: C. Smith
07/19/12 9:56 am EST

On Tuesday my colleague Steve Toll wrote a post that pulled no punches in explaining how he believes the 76ers have truly dropped the ball this off-season and in fact may have ruined the franchise for the next several years.  Based on the reactions in the comments section, it’s obvious that most of you strongly disagree with Steve’s analysis of the Sixers’ recent moves.  Yes, a few of you did agree with Steve, but 90% of you were calling for his head.  To be honest, my analysis of the Sixers off-season falls somewhere in between Steve’s “the sky is falling” post and the glowing comments most of the readers typed up over the last two days. 

Yes, I can read between the lines on the recent deals / moves the Sixers have made and I understand the long range plan the 76ers front office has put together and to me it makes sense — build around a young core; remove parts that cut into those player’s minutes and impede their growth; maintain cap flexibility and avoid the escalating luxury tax.  It’s a smart plan and I like it.  However, I think that long range plan could have been adhered to while at the same time using this off-season to put us in a better position for 2012-13.

After the jump I’ll look at Steve’s points and provide my own analysis…  

 
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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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OPSL RECAP

Posted by: Philadunkia
07/14/12 10:18 am EST

It’s been a tough week for our 76ers down here at the Orlando Pro Summer League.  The Sixers finished the week 1-4 and were plagued by injuries.

The story of the week was supposed to be rookies Arnett Moultrie and Maurice Harkless.  But it was announced prior to the start of OPSL action that Moultrie wouldn’t see the floor because of a sprained ankle he suffered in pre-draft workouts and early in day two Harkless suffered a strained hip-flexor, sidelining him for the remainder of the week.

The Sixers were also without big man Nikola Vucevic for the week.  As we all know, “Big Nik” performed well early in the season last year, but saw a decline in his minutes and his confidence as the season went on.  So we were hoping that Nik would have a solid week and build some positive momentum for the 2012-13 season.  Instead Vuc suffered a strained left Achilles in the first practice of the week and never saw the floor in O-town.

After the jump I wrap up the rest of the Sixers week in Orlando…


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OPSL GM 5: CAN’T SPELL ORLANDO W/OUT THE L

Posted by: Stephen McNulty
07/13/12 4:24 pm EST

It was a tough end to the Orland Pro Summer League for the 76ers, who lost their fourth game of the week to the Detroit Pistons 71-67 this afternoon.

The Sixers were once again led by big man Devin Searcy who recorded his second straight double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

It was a total team effort early on for the 7-6, with seven different players scoring in a first quarter that had the Sixers leading 24-18.  The full effort was epitomized by coach Aaron McKie’s five-man rotation.

“We just wanted to even the minutes out,” McKie said.  “I wasn’t going to sit over there and wreck my brain.  Towards the end of the week guys start to get tired, and they try to tell you they’re good but I can see out on the floor they’re not.”

Lavoy Allen got off to a nice start for the Sixers and finished with six points and four rebounds.  Justin Holiday only had two points in the first half and finished with five for the game on a tough 1-8 shooting performance.  It was clear that some players were losing their legs a bit.

After a wonderful performance yesterday Searcy once again made his best pitch for the 76ers roster.  The former Dayton Flyer not only recorded a double-double but added three blocks while playing good defense against Andre Drummond, the ninth overall pick in this year’s Draft.

 
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OPSL GM 4: 2OT THRILLER

Posted by: Stephen McNulty
07/12/12 8:25 pm EST

We had a summer league thriller, if that’s possible, down in Orlando today.  The Sixers went into two overtimes before finally falling to the Magic 77-75.

Forward Devin Searcy led the way for the 7-6 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Clay Tucker also got things going after a tough first half of the week, leading the way with 15 points.

Early in the game it was once again Justin Holiday for the Sixers, with a little help from Lavoy Allen.  Holiday would only play limited minutes however, getting a little rest, and finishing with 10 points.

“He’s been playing heavy minutes and I don’t want to wear those guys out,” coach Aaron McKie said.  “I want them to have their legs and be able to give us their best run.  This is an opportunity for those guys to showcase their talents and we don’t want them out their running on fumes.”

 
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OPSL GM 3: SOLID W

Posted by: Stephen McNulty
07/11/12 6:45 pm EST

Despite being plagued by injuries the 76ers got their first win of the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League Wednesday over the Brooklyn Nets, 79-71.  Justin Holiday once again led the way, scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds.

The Sixers were without arguably their best player throughout the summer league thus far, Jacob Pullen.  Pullen sprained his right ankle, but thankfully x-rays were negative.  “Big Nik” Vucevic continued to rest his aggravated Achilles and rookie Maurice Harkless remained sidelined after injuring his hip yesterday against the Utah Jazz.

On the other side of things Lavoy Allen, who made his two-year $6 million deal official today, was in the starting lineup.  Rounding out the first-five for the Sixers was Holiday, Xavier Silas, Clay Tucker and Solomon Jones.

 
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OPSL GM 2: ANOTHER L

Posted by: Stephen McNulty
07/10/12 2:17 pm EST

The 76ers once again found themselves coming up just short in the Orlando Pro Summer League, falling to the Utah Jazz 84-80 in day two’s opening game.

The good news is that the Sixers got off to a much better start today, attacking the basket early and shooting over 44 percent for the game.  Still, it wasn’t enough to secure a first W for the 7-6 down in Orlando.  Jacob Pullen and Justin Holiday led the way for the Sixers with 23 and 16 points respectfully.  Pullen got the start at point guard today following an impressive performance yesterday against the Pacers.  He continued to aggressively attack the basket and use his quickness to his advantage.  Despite his skinny frame, Holiday continued to find the ball, leading all Sixers with seven boards. 

Rookie Maurice Harkless had a nice basket from the lower block early, but once again seemed to disappear.  The rookie out of St. John’s certainly wasn’t playing bad, but struggled to create plays for himself off the ball.

 
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OPSL PREVIEW

Posted by: Philadunkia
07/09/12 10:47 am EST

As the League continues to swirl amidst free agent rumors, trade demands, offer-sheets and amnesty cases, the 2012 NBA Draft picks and other NBA hopefuls are gearing up for the summer league action.

As you probably know, the 76ers will join the Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtic, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons in Orlando for the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League from July 9 – 13.  The 7-6’s first game is tonight at 5pm vs. the Indiana Pacers. 

The Sixers roster is headlined by recent first-round pick Maurice Harkless and  “Big Nik” Vucevic who in 2011-12 went from valued reserve to starter to DNP-CD.  Unfortunately Arnett Moutlrie who was acquired from the Miami Heat through a draft-night trade, will be unable to play due to a severe left ankle sprain. 

After the jump we’ll look at the names and bios of the players that will make up the 76ers 2012 OPSL roster… 

 
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THE CASE FOR MAURICE HARKLESS

Posted by: Steve Toll
07/02/12 12:03 pm EST

Maurice Harkless has the look of an NBA player.  More importantly, he is an NBA Player.  Better yet, he should become an all star and multiple time member of the all defensive team.  He was great value with the 15th pick.  Harkless has the traits on a NBA player and history going for him.

Here are the positives.  Andre Iguodala and Doug Collins will be an immense help teaching the defensive aspects of basketball to Harkless, and he has all the tools to excel on that end on the floor.  Philadelphia is a very good passing team, which is a far cry from what Harkless experienced in his one year stint at St Johns.  Lastly, Philadelphia has good players. The better your 4 teammates on the court are, the better you will likely be.

That being said, he is coming into a situation that isn’t conducive to maximizing his talents.  It’s likely that Philadelphia is one of the 5 worst teams in the NBA for Maurice Harkless to be a rookie on.  Playing time, a lack of team 3pt shooting (attempts not %) and lack of inside scoring presence are issues for the Sixers that will hinder Maurice’s development in his rookie season.

However, the positives of drafting Harkless far outweigh the negatives as the negatives are short term issues and the positives will present long term returns. 

Now let’s look at history and the overwhelming evidence that Harkless was a great pick.
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WITH THE 15th PICK…

Posted by: C. Smith
06/28/12 9:24 pm EST

…in the 2012 NBA Draft our Philadelphia 76ers selected Maurice Harkless from St. John’s. 

Wait.  What????  Say that again.

That’s right, 19-year old Maurice Harkless (6-8; 207) is the latest “tweener” forward to join the Sixers roster and to be honest the selection is a bit of surprise, especially considering that Terrence Jones of Kentucky and Arnett Moultire were / are still on the board.  Not one of the online “experts” we researched nor a single scout that I talked with prior to the draft predicted the Sixers would go in this direction, but according to Rod Thorn everyone in the Sixers front office was “on board” with the pick. 

Chad Ford of ESPN.com had Harkless (15.3 ppg. & 8.6 rpg.) going 16th to Houston, while draftexpress.com predicted Harkless would be selected at number 19 by the Magic.

After the jump some reviews on and video of Harkless…  


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