OPSL PLAYER RANKINGS

Posted by: Kevin Jones
07/13/10 10:23 am EST

Eight years ago, the Orlando Pro Summer League was created as a chance for rookie draft picks to get acclimated to their new NBA setting.  Over time the summer league evolved into redemption ground for once successful college players who had become overseas journeymen.  Today I would argue that summer league is suited best for second year NBA players looking to improve their game.  These participants were normally reserves in their rookie season in the League and spent most of last year trying to adjust to the pro level.  Therefore, at an event like the Orlando Pro Summer League, second year NBA players are ready to dominate as their year of seasoning gives them an advantage over most international players and certainly over the NBA rookies who are just tipping off their adjustment period.  

After a week of watching the action in Orlando, I have composed a power rankings list of the best five players from the OPSL and as you will see, my list is heavy on second year NBA guys.


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O-TOWN REVIEW

Posted by: Kevin Jones
07/12/10 7:54 am EST

After a week of summer league basketball in Orlando, the Philadelphia 76ers have a better understanding of where they stand – sort of.  

The 76ers saw some progression in it’s current roster players and got some live action practicing head coach Doug Collins philosophies.  But the Sixers top pick Evan Turner was average — that’s being extremely nice — and no one on Philadelphia’s bench really proved worthy of a training camp invite.  As a result, the Sixers finished 2-3 during the week. 

If Sixers fans didn’t realize the potential of Jrue Holiday, they do now.  Philadelphia’s 20-year-old point guard proved to Coach Doug Collins that he can be “the quarterback of the offense.”  Holiday played in just three games during the week but averaged 19.3 ppg, 6 assists per game and only 2 turnovers per contest.  Holiday started to turn the corner in the second half last season and it’s always encouraging when a second year player is able to have his way against summer league competition.  Holiday won’t be asked to score as much in the regular season but it was good to see him shoot 47.4% on 38 shots. Jrue routinely was able to get to the basket and will be starting for the Sixers from day one in 2010-11.


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OPSL GM 5: DISAPPOINTING FINISH

Posted by: Kevin Jones
07/10/10 11:23 am EST

It’s hard to judge a basketball team playing a 10 AM game with just 8 active guys on the roster, but the 76ers looked rather sloppy in their 29 point defeat (88-59) Friday morning which was the Sixers final game of the 2010 OPSL.  It was the squad’s third straight loss. 

For the first time all week though, Evan Turner was the Sixers leading scorer with 13 points and 6 rebounds.  Turner was 4-of-10 from the field and was often handling the ball as a point guard in the second half.  Turner admittedly had a frustrating week, and he wore those emotions on his sleeve.

“This was the best eight days of Evan’s life because he understands the level now that you have to be at competitively and in shape to play this game.  He’ll go from here until the end of September to do what’s necessary.” said Collins.

Collins all week analyzed why some lottery picks—like Derrick Rose a few years back—struggle in the summer league.  Collins said that agents go out of their way to make sure players don’t get hurt, mainly by limiting their client from playing five-on-five.  “He’s 90 days behind in his conditioning, he’ll catch up and he’ll be fine.”


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OPSL GM 3: THUNDER STRUCK

Posted by: Philadunkia
07/08/10 9:33 am EST

The Thunder built a big lead in the first half, then held on late and in the end handed the 76ers their first loss of the week (89-80).  The Thunder took advantage of their opportunities from the charity stripe, especially in the first half when they knocked down 20 free throws to the 76ers seven.

The game got off to a slow start as five minutes into the game each team had only scored six points.  Giving the Thunder a huge lift in the 1stquarter was Latavious Williams.  Williams finished with seven points and a blocked shot in the first quarter, en route to a ten point, five rebound, three blocked shot performance for the Thunder.  Williams, who was the first NBA Development League player to be drafted out of high school, impressed many in Orlando with the energy he brings off the bench.  The Texas native has a real chance to make a NBA roster, with his athleticism (as you can see by the dunk he threw down last night), ability to fill the stat sheet and affect games in so many areas.

Evan Turner continued to struggle for the 76ers.  The second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft was held scoreless in the first half and only finished with four points.  The former Ohio State Buckeye did have an impact on the game in other areas, hauling in eight rebounds and handing out two assists.  Through three games in the OPSL, Turner is averaging a mere 9.7 points a game while shooting 35 percent from the field (8 of 23).  Before Phillaunkia nation starts freaking out over Turner’s slow start, head coach Doug Collins tells fans to be patient with the rookie.


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OPSL GM 2: BENCH TO THE RESCUE

Posted by: Kevin Jones
07/07/10 10:07 am EST

Philadelphia shooting guard Jodie Meeks was consistently scoring all night; ending with 18 points and helping his Sixers coast past Boston by 17 points (86-69).

“I’ve been getting in a rhythm and playing my game.  I’m not focusing all on scoring this week, but just getting better as a whole.” Meeks said.  Meeks added 2 steals and after two games is the 76ers leading scorer with an 18 ppg.

“Jodie could be a very explosive player off the bench for us.  The way we’re playing defensively really suits his style. He has very good instincts, he closes out very well and he disrupts passing lanes,” said a pleased Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins.  “I told Jodie that coming off the bench you have to be a high percentage shooter and you have to make minimal mistakes.  Those are things he does.”


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GM 1: DISTURBING DEJA VU

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/29/09 10:17 am EST

magicThe best news about last night’s season opener in Orlando is that thanks to the Phillies and Game 1 of the World Series, few people actually witnessed the debacle put on by the 76ers.

We easily could have reposted our recap from Game 6 vs. Orlando in the 2009 Playoffs under a new title and our thoughts from that disaster would also apply to last night’s effort by the Sixers.  That fact is amazing to us considering the 2009-10 Sixers obviously have a new head coach, a new offensive system, two new starters, a new sixth man and new uniforms.  Yet they looked almost identical to the team Orlando dismissed from the playoffs last April.  Put bluntly, last night’s opener was difficult to watch at times.

Now we realize that this was just the first game of the year and that Orlando is a very, very good team (possibly Top 5 in the League) so we’ll try not to slam the Sixers too hard.  In fact the best thing for everyone involved in Philadelphia could be to forget this game ever happened, move on and focus on Friday’s home opener.

With those thoughts in mind, we’ll just provide you with a few quick notes on the season opener and put this one behind us.


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ON THE HORN WITH ED

Posted by: Philadunkia
09/23/09 11:23 am EST

edandeltonYesterday Philadunkia participated in a conference call with Ed Stefanski for blogs dedicated to the 76ers. First let us say that we are impressed and grateful that Ed gave us the chance to speak with via the phone.  A large percentage of NBA teams still will not recognize and respect sports blogs for the great work they publish.  So we say, “Thank you” to Ed and Sixers head PR man Michael Preston for their time yesterday.

The call itself last a little over thirty minutes and when we went back and listened to the tape Stefanski told us a number of things that most Sixers fans already know like Andre Iguodala is “willing and able” to play some point, that he didn’t trade Andre Miller at the dead line last year because “we didn’t get anything we thought was even worth discussing”, that “Elton Brand is absolutely 100%” and that he “expects to make the playoffs” this coming season. 

Stefanski also dished out a fair amount of front office speak on the call which allowed him to circle some questions without really answering them.  However, when we read between the lines on some of his quotes, we found that Stefanski responded to a good number of the questions with responses that actually provided insight into the thoughts, ideas and direction of the Sixers brain trust.

Now we went into this call with one single purpose and that was to get the answer as to why the 76ers did not / have not added a veteran back-court player who can score the ball to the roster.  That has been a burning issue for us here at Philadunkia since Orlando threw us out of the 2009 NBA Playoffs.  So we directed most of our questions for Stefanski at that story angle.

 We pulled our story line quotes as well as some of the best questions from the other bloggers and posted them for you here today.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/21/09 9:39 am EST

thadyogaJameer Nelson and a number of other Orlando Magic players — including Vince, Rashard & JJ Redick — were in Philly this week for their annual “summer bonding camp” which is hosted by Nelson who as we all know is a Chester native. Some of the Sixers have been taking part in the conditioning workouts over at Summit Sports Training in Bryn Mawr with Nelson and his Orlando teammates. At left is a picture of Thaddeus Young gettin’ his yoga on with Nelson and the O-town crew.

In addition to the conditioning workouts this week, Louis Williams, Jason Smith and Thad have been teaming up with a host of other area NBA ballers (Hakim Warrick and Kyle Lowery to name two) and scrimmaging daily over at Haverford College vs. the Magic players in town for Nelson’s week long event. Another pic after the jump. 


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CHRISTMAS IN LAS VEGAS

Posted by: Philadunkia
07/15/09 12:28 pm EST

dionte_christmas(1)Since the 76ers only have 10 players under contract and they usually carry 14 players, Ed Stefanski admitted that he is in the market for “a guard, a swingman, and two bigs” .  Now we don’t know whether Stefanski classifies the 2-spot as a swingman or a guard, but we’ll assume that either way he realizes we need to find someone to compete with Jason Kapono and Willie Green for the starting shooting guard spot.

The pool of available veteran free agent shooting guards has dwindled to the point that names like Eddie House, Juan Dixon, Devean George and Quinton Richardson are the headliners.  Now we realize that both Von Wafer (HOU) and Ronald “Flip” Murray (ATL) are two more attractive names that are also out there, but our sources tell us they are unlikely to leave the teams the ran with last season, thus we removed them from the conversation. So it looks as though bringing in a veteran NBA 2-guard here to Philadelphia for next year is not going to happen.


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SIXERS & THE CODE OF SILENCE

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/04/09 9:31 am EST

dileo05-04As if the 76ers Game 6 debacle in which the home team looked like a bad CYO squad was not depressing enough, the manner in which players have been throwing each other and the coaching staff “under the bus” after “Black Thursday” is enough to make us seek professional help.

 

As we sort through all the slams, quotes, statements and spin control one question keeps coming up here at the Philadunkia offices, “How did the 76ers organization keep a lid on all this drama for an entire season?”
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