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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POWER FORWARDS: NBA OPTIONS

Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
06/14/12 9:11 am EST

While watching NBA TV’s “The Dream Team” last night, it dawned on me that the “Round Mound of Rebound” last played for the Sixers 20-years ago.  Since then, Philly has somewhat struggled filling those size 16 shoes Charles Barkley left behind, completing only eight seasons with a record of .500 or better. 

In the words of Chuck, “THAT’S TURRIBLE!”

What makes it worse is that during that time frame, names like Manute Bol, ShawnBradley, Derrick Coleman, Theo Ratliff, Tim Thomas, Tyrone Hill, Toni Kukoc’s corpse, Todd MacCulloch, Dikembe Mutombo, Derrick “Heavy D” McKey, Keith “High Socks are Cool too” Van Horn, Glenn Robinson’s corpse,  Samuel Dalembert, and Joe Smith have graced the various 76ers rosters at the forward/center positions.

Some provided a consistent security that was enough to get the Sixers to the playoffs and even an NBA Finals birth, but most were nothing but stop gaps simply added to provide depth and hopeful lightning in a bottle. 

The lack of signing/drafting/trading for a truly prosperous big man ultimately killed the Iverson Era and set the franchise back quite some time.  Now, with the taste of this year’s NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals loss fresh in the mouths of the Sixers “Brain Trust”, the need for a dominate forward/center that fits the style of basketball the Sixers want to play is essential.

We wrote last week about the shooting guard options on the free agent market.  Today we will look at some of the free agnet options that can come in immediately and make an impact at the four and five spots. 


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REPORT CARD: ELTON BRAND

Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
06/11/12 9:21 am EST

Elton Brand. 

That name can do a lot of thing for different people.  It can make you cringe because of the contract, make you weep at his age, make you smile because of his veteran leadership, or make you shrug your shoulders with indifference.  That in itself is a grade for the veteran forward; at this point in his career he’s simply, well, mediocre at best.  But because this is a “report card” post and is supposed to be a spot to dissect the imperfections of a team that was more hot and cold than a Katy Perry song, allow me to embellish.

As of this minute, Brand is sitting at the tender age of 33 and has been playing in the League since he was 20 years old.  In that time he’s played in 860 regular season games and 30 post season games. That’s good for 33,374 career minutes.  During that time, EB has ruptured an Achilles and had shoulder surgery among other bumps and bruises.  He is an undersized, Charles Barkley-esque power forward type who is quickly losing the athleticism that befriended his wide base in his younger years.

 
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VIDEO: LAVOY ALLEN

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/10/12 10:40 am EST

This morning we’re going to take a short break from analyzing the 76ers horrible level of play over the last ten games and the results it has produced.  We’ll get back to that later this afternoon.

For now, please enjoy this video feature produced by Philadunkia’s Tim Parker on Sixers rookie Lavoy Allen.  At one point this season Allen was a valuable starter / contributor off the bench for the Sixers — see the 15 points he had vs. Chicago back on February 1st. 

However, over the last eight games Coach Collins has reduced Allen to a mere spectator — Allen is clocking only 5 mpg. over his last eight runs. 

“Why has Collins stapled Allen to the pine?” you ask. 

Good question.  We have no idea. 

So until we find an answer to that question, enjoy this feature and reminisce about when Lavoy was allowed to contribute to this team.

Video after the jump…


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GM 54: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
04/04/12 10:09 pm EST
Toronto Raptors 99 FinalRecap | Box Score 78 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 35 MIN | 9-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | -8He shot lights out in the first half, then wandered around in the dark after that.  Like everybody on the Sixers.
Andre Iguodala, SF 36 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | -11It was gutsy of him to play after suffering a scary “eye contusion” at the hand of Mario Chalmers not 24 hours before.  It might have been better for the Sixers if he hadn’t.  After a scoreless but five assist first half, he tossed the rec specs he was sporting.  He went on to score a whopping four points in the second.
Spencer Hawes, C 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -9He was great in the first half, getting vertical for a pair of nice dunks and more than handling his own on the glass, then disappeared after the break.
Evan Turner, SG 26 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -13For a while, Turner looked pouty as he was the only Sixer not stroking it.  Fortunately for his mood, the rest of the team came down to his level.
Jrue Holiday, PG 33 MIN | 9-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 20 PTS | -12He was great before the break and dreadful after it.  If it seems like I’m repeating myself here, it’s because I am.  While the ENTIRE team shot the daylights out of the ball in the first 24 and slumped badly after, Jrue was the poster child of the trend.  He was a perfect 8-of-8 for 17 points in the initial half, and followed that up by going 1-of-6.
Lou Williams, PG 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -10Not much to report here.  On a night the Sixers could have used the punch Lou often provides off the bench, the guard was punchless.
Thaddeus Young, F 29 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -13See: Williams, Lou
Jodie Meeks, G 26 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -15Since his 31-point outburst, Meeks has been dreadful.  Do something man.  Anything.
Lavoy Allen, PF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -7Nothing to say here.
Nikola Vucevic, C 3 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -7Even less here.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw


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THE FINAL 14

Posted by: Philadunkia
04/01/12 9:00 pm EST

The win over Atlanta on Saturday night brought the 76ers record to 29-23, which currently has them sitting in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division — one game behind the Boston Celtics.  The 7-6 are 4-4 in their last eight games and they have not won two in a row since early March.  Collins & Co. are 9-14 since Valentine’s Day and 9-9 since the All-Star break. 

To say that the Sixers have been hard to figure out of late is an understatement.  But here at Philadunkia.com we’re going to give it the old college try and attempt to predict what kind of results this roller coaster team will produce over the last fourteen games of the season.

If you have been watching the Sixers over the last two months, you realize that this is no easy task. 

After the jump, here we go…

 
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GM 50: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
03/28/12 8:35 am EST

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Cleveland Cavaliers 85 FinalRecap | Box Score 103 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 32 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +10Brand, who’s been perhaps the most consistent Sixer during the team’s recent rough stretch (also known as their f***ing disastrous near-season ruining stretch), didn’t do a whole lot on Tuesday, but what he did do was uniformly good.
Evan Turner, SG 31 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +10Evan the Kid continues to disappointing in comparison the run he tore off after being inserted into the starting PG / 2-spot, but he took a modest step in the right direction against Cleveland.  His offensive game still looked arrhythmic, but his help D was solid.
Spencer Hawes, C 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +9Spence is coming along more slowly than most of us (all of us) would like, but he tossed off some nice dishes and, perhaps most encouragingly, had a dunk in transition that a man with a balky Achilles wouldn’t have been able to pull off.
Jodie Meeks, G 36 MIN | 11-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 31 PTS | +15Whatever got into Capt. Streaky, here’s hoping it stays in there.  He scored a career, and Sixers season, high 31; shot lights out (the fact that the lights stayed on in the WFC during that torrid stretch is a credit to the arena’s staff); and, by virtue of his hot hand, opened things up inside sufficiently to allow the rest of the team to notch 54 points in the paint.
Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 9-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +20He outplayed Kyrie Irving.  Enough said.
Tony Battie, C 8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +1Tony Battie continues to post incredible stat lines.  He’s like the complete opposite of Lebron James.
Lou Williams, PG 24 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +3Lou didn’t bring his “A” game tonight–he brought his B- game, as you can see to the right — but scored seven straight for the 7-6 between the end of the first and beginning of the second that helped break the visiting Cavs.
Sam Young, SF 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +10The former-Grizzly didn’t look quite as explosive as he did against the Spurs.
Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +12A second straight “rare off night” for Thad.  Is their a chance that absolutely carrying the Sixers for the first 48 games of teh season has taken its toll on @yungsmoove21
Lavoy Allen, PF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0The former-Temple Owl and fan favorite got one of the night’s loudest applause with his fourth quarter, garbage time, bucket.
Craig Brackins, SF 1 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0The most interesting thing about him is his haircut.  For a second-year player, not a compliment.
Nikola Vucevic, C 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0You can probably see the rookie wall Vucevic has hit from outer space.  Of course it’s hard to tell for sure when he’s anchored to the bench for an entire game.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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GM 49: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/26/12 10:06 am EST
Philadelphia 76ers 76 FinalRecap | Box Score 93 San Antonio Spurs
Elton Brand, PF 24 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -16

The “Ol’ Chevy” played very well and came just short of what would have been his second double-double in the last three games.  However, zero trips to the FT line for a PF/C who saw 24 mins. of action and took 9 shots, is not a good sign for your team.  Over his last 3 runs EB has been good for 15.3 ppg. & 8.6 boards per nights.  Too bad the Sixers are wasting these performances by Brand.

Jodie Meeks, G 26 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -9

He got the start in Dre’s absence and played okay overall.  Four of his 11 points came during garbage time in the 4th Q.

Spencer Hawes, C 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | -22

Forget his Achilles issue, maybe Hawes should go back on the injured list until he finds his game.  In the last two losses, Hawes has been simply awful and especially glaring is that he has been weak with the ball.

Evan Turner, SG 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -21

Does anyone remember the last time Turner played well?  He saw minutes during garbage time in the 4th and still could not score a basket.  ET is averaging just 6 pts. per run over his last three games.

Jrue Holiday, PG 31 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -22

Jrue got off to a hot start (10 pts. in 1st Q) because he was willing to put the ball on the deck and go to the hole.  Unfortunately his shooting touch escaped him after the 4:43 mark of the 1st Q and he never scored another bucket last night.  In the 2nd half he was a disaster shooting the ball.  He began the 3rd Q going 0-3, including a couple of wild, ill-advised shots and he never recovered.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 4-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +3

Just a horrible night for Louis.

Sam Young, SF 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6

We really like the way Sam took the ball to the tin and finished with authority.  He clearly is not afraid to drive in among the trees and attack the basket.  Maybe Dre could take some lessons from his new teammate.

Thaddeus Young, F 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | 0

One of the few “off” nights in an otherwise stellar season, so we’ll give Thad a passing grade.  Still there is no excuse for missing those FTs.

Nikola Vucevic, C 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +8

This is what it takes for the promising rookie to get back out on the floor?  A blow out loss in San Antonio.  That’s sad Doug.  Well, at least he got to the FT line, now if he could just hit the freebies.

Andre Iguodala, SF DNP LEFT PATELLA TENDINITIS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

So is Iguodala’s recent swoon a result of the knee tendinitis or is he simply tired and they dug up this old injury as a reason to give him the night off?  We hope it’s the second thought.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night


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GM 47: RAPID PUKES

Posted by: C. Smith
03/22/12 10:01 am EST
New York Knicks 82 FinalRecap | Box Score 79 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -2It’s a shame that the Sixers wasted a solid night from the “Ol’ Chevy” as Malik Rose has dubbed him.  Still the fact that he has no lift at all was further proven when his dunk attempt on a pretty cut and pass from Dre was rejected from behind by Amare.  The five blocks were impressive.
Andre Iguodala, SF 39 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-6 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -9As the “leader” of the Sixers, you have to make something happen during your team’s 0-14 stretch in the 1st Q.  Dre did NOT do that and went scoreless in the 1st Q.  At times he simply looks lost. Hey Dre, you have like a 40-inch vertical leap…TAKE THE BALL TO THE HOOP WITH AUTHORITY!  Ohh yeah and hit your FTs.
Spencer Hawes, C 19 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -7A simply ugly night for Hawes (See Vucevic).
Evan Turner, SG 26 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2Any confidence that was built over that tremendous 3-game stretch is now gone.
Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 16 PTS | -5Jrue was the only Sixer who showed enough gonads to put the ball on the deck and go to the hoop.  His defense on Lin was also tremendous during the quarters 1-3, too bad Collins didn’t have enough sense to keep him locked on Lin during the 4th.  He hoisted one or two ill advised 3PAs, but other then that a good night.
Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -4LW also hoisted up a number of ill advised jumpers, but I expect that from #23.  The two 3PAs he drilled were huge in the Sixers comeback.  It’s a shame he can’t play a lick of defense, because if he could he would be a very solid player.
Sam Young, SF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +2Sam took a horrible shot, but also had a filthy block.  Those were the only two plays he was involved in all night.  Either play the guy for significant minutes or leave him on the bench.  It’s simply unfair to give him this type of tick.
Thaddeus Young, F 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +3A decent night from Thad, that good have become his usual great night if he had seen the floor over the last 8 minutes of the game.
Jodie Meeks, G 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +9That’s more like it Capt. Streaky.  Hell, Meeks even took it to the rack on one play for a bucket.
Lavoy Allen, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS | Your bigs are getting crushed and a young, athletic and physical PF sits on the bench???  Lavoy is officially in the dog house.
Nikola Vucevic, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS | “Big Nik” did a hell of a job cheering for his teammates while on the bench.  Too bad Collins did have the sense to put that energy out on the floor, especially with Hawes having a nightmare game and the NYK bigs steam rolling us in the paint.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw Last Night…


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FO’ with the FOES: NY KNICKS

Posted by: C. Smith
03/21/12 2:50 pm EST

This ‘the Eagles finally have a real middle linebacker’ edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews key upcoming 76ers games — features tonight’s opponent, the surging New York Knickerbockers.

To be honest, we once again debated whether or not to write this preview.  Yes we know the Knicks have won 4 straight under Mike Woodson – vs. POR; vs. IND; @ IND and vs. TOR.  And yes we know that NYK’s superstars ‘Melo and Amare have recently been playing with more urgency after they got D’Antoni fired.  And yes we know New York’s defense has improved.  And yes we know that New York beat Indiana twice in a back-to-back set of games — the same Indiana team that recently manhandled the 76ers.  Finally, we also realize that Linsanity has returned to form in his last three games and is averaging 16.6 points, 7 dimes and 5 boards per night over that stretch. 

To be honest, we don’t care.  The Sixers should win this one easily because they are the better team and thus tonight is not a “big” game in our eyes.  This is the same group of Knicks that rode Linsanity to unbelievable heights only to crash and burn.  It’s also the same hapless group of Knicks the Sixers pounded into the ground at the WFC last Sunday and I expect similar outcome tonight.  Why??  I’ll tell you why.  The NYK don’t have the heart or character to do what it takes to win on a consistent basis in this League – play solid defense every night. 

So, tonight the Sixers should use this formula to bring home another W.  Let the Knicks play iso ball all night and allow ‘Melo to shoot 15+ times in order to score 17 points.  ‘Melo’s frequenting hoisting will render Amare a non-factor.  Then have Holiday and Turner handle Lin.  Use the “Night Shift” to build a cushion in the second quarter and come out of the locker room after the half and deliver the knockout blow with suffocating defense, thus sending the Knicks on another downward cycle in their rollercoaster season.  Ohh yeah, and be sure to score 100 points so everyone gets free Big Macs.

For a little more insight into the Knicks team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Mike Kurylo from KnickerBlogger.net to answer four questions on the improved Knicks from us here at Philadunkia.


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