Questions Surrounding Noel’s Return

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
06/04/14 8:00 am EST

nerlensnoelisoredjerseycopyWhen you first see Nerlens Noel in person, you can’t help but marvel at the man’s stature.  At 6-foot-11, 228 pounds and a 7-foot-4 inch wingspan, he’s one of the tallest and longest players in the NBA.

I’ve had the chance to stand side-by-side with him on several occasions now and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by his measurements and what he can potentially bring to the Sixers’ frontcourt in the future.

On draft night last year, I had written off the idea that the Sixers were capable of landing the big man out of Kentucky and I was admittedly shocked when the Jrue Holiday trade had gone down.  Most draft boards had Noel off the board at No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers and, as much as I liked Jrue as a player and a leader, getting two lottery picks for him while shedding salary was a heady move by GM Sam Hinkie.  The Sixers also needed to make it clear to its fans that they were parting ways with Andrew Bynum, and despite losing Jrue, getting the top center prospect in the draft did that.


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Draft14: Sixers & 2nd Round Euros

Posted by: C. Smith
06/03/14 11:39 am EST

nba-draft2014editFor those of us in Philadunkia nation who are old enough to remember the NBA Drafts of the late ‘90’s and early 2000s, you will recall Draft nights during that era were filled with general managers rolling the dice on straight out of high school kids and International prospects with impossible to pronounce names.

In 2005 the NBA age limit knocked the high school kids out of the Draft and after enough Darko Millicic’s (No. 2 overall in 2003), Fran Vasquez’s (No. 11 overall in 2005), Mouhamed Sene’ (No. 10 overall in 2006) and Yi Jianlian’s (No. 6 overall in 2007) washed out of the League, GMs cooled on International prospects.

That was until June 28th, 2013 when a record 12 International players were selected in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft and 19 were taken overall – the highest total since 2005.

Well, if you believe all the mock drafts, that International prospect record from 2013 could fall later this month.


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Perfect 10′s Are Rare

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
06/02/14 11:53 am EST

No10lotteryAs a general manager, having a top ten pick in the NBA Draft is something that could either make or break the future of your franchise.  It goes without saying then that having two selections in the top ten of the 2014 NBA Draft is a historic occurrence that Sam Hinkie can not afford to botch.

If Hinkie and the 76ers are  fortunate enough to grab a projected “future star” with the third pick in the draft, it doesn’t mean that he can afford to make a mistake with the 10th selection.  If Hinkie can walk away from this draft with two very good prospects he will have greatly accelerated the rebuilding process here in Philadunkia nation and provided a launching point for bringing the Sixers back to relevance on the Philadelphia sports landscape.

However, grabbing a prospect at No. 10 who can help improve a team that won only 19 games this season will not be an easy task. Since 2000, the NBA Draft has seen players ranging from the likes of Joe Johnson to Luke Jackson selected at the 10th overall spot. The object for Hinkie will be to avoid the Luke Jackson’s of the world.

After the jump, I’ll review and analyze the players selected 10th at the NBA Draft during the last thirteen years.


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No. 3 Can Be Tricky

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
05/29/14 10:13 am EST

sam-hinkieMay 20th was a night to remember for Philadunkia nation.  Of course we aren’t 100% happy that we didn’t land the first overall pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft, but we did pretty well for ourselves by landing two Top 10 selections.

In what some believe as the strongest draft class since 2003, we came away with both the 3rd and 10th picks.  In theory, Sam Hinkie should be able to select two high quality prospects at those lottery slots that will help turn this franchise around.  However, if you take a minute to examine the NBA Draft since 2000, you will find that there have been multiple booms and busts at the number three spot in the NBA draft.

Today, I will review and analyze for you the recent history of the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft.  Then on Saturday I will look closely at the recent history of the No. 10 pick in the NBA Draft.


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Philadunkia 4on4: Draft Edition

Posted by: Philadunkia
05/22/14 12:54 pm EST

052014-sixers-three-600It’s time for the 2014 NBA Draft edition of Philadunkia’s 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5″.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?” 

Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

Philadunkia scribes Jeff McMenamin, Carey Smith, Michael Kaskey-Blomain and Steve Toll will examine four key questions surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft for our 76ers, after the jump…

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10 Years of Movin’ On Up

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
05/19/14 10:00 am EST

2010draftlotterycard#2As we all know, the NBA Draft Lottery is only a few days away.  For Philadunkia nation, May 20th will be one of the most stressful nights of this long season due to its huge ramifications.  The 76ers have the second best odds of attaining the #1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.  Unfortunately, having the second best odds doesn’t always seem to land a top pick.  Of course we have a 19.90% chance of grabbing the top selection, but our selection has a chance to slip all the way to the 5th spot.

Over the past ten years there have been a number of teams who have unexpectedly jumped into the top 3 on the draft board via the NBA Draft Lottery.  After the jump, I’ll review the last ten years and take a look and the teams who have been lucky enough to move up the board and I will also examine how that pick panned out for the franchise.


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’13 Free Agents: What Did We Miss?

Posted by: C. Smith
05/12/14 10:19 am EST

2getherwebuildmantraWhen the 76ers began the 2013 off season, the immediate future looked somewhat positive.  With All-Star point man Jrue Holiday leading the way as well as solid veterans like Thad Young, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner on the roster, the franchise had a respectable core to build around.  Add the #11 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, factor in the removal of the burnt out Doug Collins and his prehistoric offensive scheme, then add a free agent or two and you had the makings of what could have been a decent, watchable 2013-14 NBA season here in Philadelphia.

Back then, the scribes here at Philadunkia assembled a list of players from the 2013 free agent class who we felt could help improve the Sixers for 2013-14. Of course after Sam Hinkie smartly pushed the tank button at the 2013 Draft, that exercise turned out to be a complete waste of time.

Still, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to look back at the 2013 free agents we wanted the 76ers to add and review what type of season those players turned in this year.
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Grading Brett Brown On This Season

Posted by: Alex Gorge
05/08/14 10:56 am EST

brown-brettI walked into Moe’s Southwest Grill this week to order a burrito called “The Home Wrecker” that I had not eaten before.  The only problem was I choked big time when ordering it.  While the burrito was almost done being made, at the last second, I said to add extra jalapenos.

The employee asked me if I wanted pickled or fresh jalapenos.  I don’t know about you but I had never heard of pickled jalapenos, so naturally, I opted for the fresh.  I mean “Fresh” always beats “Pickled” when it comes to food right?  Wrong.

Pickled actually means normal, where as fresh means organic.  I’m well aware that the organic jalapenos are better for you but I just don’t like the taste of them.  The burrito was ruined and I wasn’t going to be “that guy” that holds up the entire line and demands a new one.  I couldn’t even judge the burrito because it wasn’t a true sampling of the product.  Now granted, there were some good components to the burrito, but I now have to go back a second time to get a real sense.

The same can be said about 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown’s first season in charge of the team.


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ROY — Indicator of Future Success??

Posted by: C. Smith
05/07/14 10:20 am EST

Philadelphia 76ers Michael Carter Williams receives the 2014 KIA Rookie of the Year AwardYesterday, as we predicted, Michael Carter-Williams was named the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year. MCW captured 104 of the 124 first place votes and joined Allen Iverson as the only two rookies in 76ers’ franchise history to take home that award.

To be honest, Carter-Williams had more than a great year, he had a historic year.  MCW became just the third player dating back to 1950-51 to lead rookies in points per game (16.7), rebounds per game (6.2) and assists per game (6.3).  Oscar Robertson (1960-61) and Alvan Adams (1975-76) are the other names on that list.  MCW also joined Robertson and Magic Johnson (1979-80) as the only players to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in their rookie season.

While there’s no doubt that MCW still has work to do (His detractors will point out that he struggles on defense and his shooting stroke needs help.) and there’s still no guarantee that he is a “franchise” or “all-star level” player, after the jump I will show you that winning the Rookie of the Year Award has been a springboard for some of the finest NBA careers in the history of the game.
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Honoring Dr. Jack

Posted by: C. Smith
04/30/14 2:02 pm EST

RAMSEY-obit-master495I was in the Raleigh, NC airport on Monday morning when the sad news of Dr. Jack Ramsay’s passing reached my smartphone.  I don’t need to tell you that Dr. Jack was a Philadelphia basketball icon with a superior basketball mind that influenced people in the game as far away as Zimbabwe.

As a St. Joe’s alum (Yeah, I refuse to spell it the new way.), a dedicated 76er supporter and the founder of Philadunkia.com, Dr. Jack has always held a special place in my hoops heart.  But I also had the pleasure of working with Coach Ramsay on several occasions over my career in sports journalism and I own a tremendous respect for his talents, basketball IQ, work ethic and professionalism.

In honor of his passing I’d like to share a quick story with you that will give you some insight into this great man off the court.


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