PHILADUNKIA 4on4

Posted by: Philadunkia
09/20/13 2:04 pm EST

76erscrystalballIt’s time to take your mind off last night’s Eagles debacle for a minute and read the latest edition of Philadunkia 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.

After the jump four Philadunkia scribes will address four timely 76ers topics.

   
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THE EVAN TURNER BACKLASH, BACKLASH

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
12/12/12 9:02 am EST

There aren’t a whole lot of areas, in sport or otherwise, where the opinion of the casual observer and the studied wisdom of the experts dovetail, so it’s worth noting that entering this season the two occasionally warring factions were in almost perfect agreement on this point: Evan Turner’s awfulness.

The reasoning went like this: he hurt his team directly by being a poor shooter and missing shots, then indirectly because the opposing player tasked with covering him could, secure in the knowledge that if ET hazarded an FGA he’d likely miss it, drift off him and into the lane; shrinking the floor and undermining scoring opportunities for his teammates.

The things Turner did well — like being the best defensive rebounding guard of all-time last season, for starters — were either glossed over by these critics, or explained away as insufficient to offset the harm he did to the Sixers’ offense. There were numbers involved in some of these arguments.

Sometime in early November though, the sentiment swung; slowly at first, then more abruptly. 

Something like a pro-Turner consensus began to emerge.


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GM 21: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
12/10/12 10:35 pm EST
Detroit Pistons 97 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Philadelphia 76ers
Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +16

Allen, who’s sneakily been a force on the boards of late (he had 43 in his last five games coming in) continued his strong interior play on Monday; grabbing five rebounds with a pair of blocks in limited minutes.

Thaddeus Young, PF 37 MIN | 9-13 FG | 2-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +9

Though in the digital age there are surely better options available, in a pinch, you could set your watch to Thad Young.  Despite banging with bigger bodies night in and night out (insert your own joke about your college roommate), Young’s been the most consistent Sixer in the season’s first 21 games. He was awesome on Monday.  His eight third quarter points were, almost invariably, of the “Piston Rally Quashing” kind.

Evan Turner, SF 40 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | +7

The “Evan Turner is getting better” narrative continues to gain steam.  Turner isn’t really great at anything, which is unfortunate, because it obscures the fact that he’s pretty good at everything.  The jack of all trades posted an 18/11/7 line against a single turnover.  Ants are specialists.  ET is a basketball player.

Jrue Holiday, PG 37 MIN | 11-20 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 25 PTS | +8

Jrue rebounded from a slow start to play what might have been his best half of the season in the second frame, scoring 21 after the break — including 12 in the fourth — to keep the Sixers afloat when they sprang leaks.

Jason Richardson, SG 36 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +9

This is what Jason Richardson does.  Pair of threes?  Check.  YMCA/playground/general backyard style veteraness?  Check.  Weird that he’s, up to this point, arguably been the biggest difference maker of all the players that traded hands on August 10. (This is almost certainly not true.  Still.)

Dorell Wright, SF 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | 0

Doug Collins: Give Dorell Wright more minutes. Seriously.

Spencer Hawes, C 32 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -8

The last time Spencer Hawes was not terrible was on November 18, so his not being terrible tonight was a very pleasant surprise.  And the jump shot he hit in the waning seconds of the third quarter to reclaim the lead for the Sixers: very pleasant indeed.

Nick Young, SG 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -3

Swaggy, back in action, was unusually passive tonight.  It was kind of…nice?

After the Jump, (7)6 Things We Saw


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GAME 16: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/30/12 10:16 pm EST
Philadelphia 76ers 104 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Charlotte Bobcats
Lavoy Allen, PF 35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -3

Lavoy has had a sophomore season that, especially in light of his postseason heroics this spring, has been a disappointment. His performance Friday was anything but. Against a Bobcats frontcourt that can be most aptly described as “terrible,” LA was tremendous, posting his first career double-double. The first of many? Time will tell.

Thaddeus Young, SF 37 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +11

Thad got off to a gangbusters start, 6-of-6 from the floor, before he cooled.  His defense though was, as usual, disruptive.

Evan Turner, SF 37 MIN | 10-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | +8

Evan Turner, jack of all trades he is, was at it again against the ‘Cats. It’s pretty clear that he’s benefiting enormously from the absence of Andre Iguodala, and the resulting oxygen it’s given his game. He’s constantly improving. Read this paragraph again. He’s better now.

Jrue Holiday, PG 38 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 15 AST | 13 PTS | +11

Even without scoring the basketball, Jrue controlled the game like a maestro on Friday.

Jason Richardson, SG 30 MIN | 9-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | +17

With Evan Turner in foul trouble, Richardson took over in the fourth.

Dorell Wright, SF 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -3

Not clear what Wright has done to work his way (back) into Doug Collins doghouse.  An able, lengthy defender with a nose for the ball and an ability to stretch the defense, DW played just eight minutes on Friday.  You get the feeling his first season here might be his last.  Too bad.

Spencer Hawes, C 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0

After a difficult last few weeks, Spence hit a nadir against the ‘Cats. Possibly hampered by his twisted knee, he was passive, ineffective, and ineffectual.  Hawes now has 17 rebounds his last six games. The season-opener seems like it was more than a month ago, doesn’t it?

Kwame Brown, C 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +3

I’m told he’s very punctual, so that’s a mark in his favor.

Maalik Wayns, PG 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -8

The Villanova product was effective spelling Holiday.  He always used one “L.”

Nick Young, SG 21 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -6

Swaggy, contra his (deserved) rep, played a controlled, disciplined game.

After the Jump, (7)6 Things We Saw…


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INTERVIEW: THAD YOUNG

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
09/12/12 7:10 am EST

There was a time not too long ago (about 24 months if you’re a stickler for exactitude) that Thaddeus Young had the distinct look of a player who might struggle to find his place in the NBA.  The criticism directed at him: heavy and possibly deserved.

 

After an outstanding rookie season and a middling follow-up, he just withered in the context of Eddie Jordan’s ill conceived Princeton O.  In retrospect it’s not exactly an enormous surprise that a player who’s game is predicated on athleticism and the fast break would be less successful in a system that doesn’t have much use for those skills.  Still, all the same, the plain fact was that Thad struggled in 2009-10

 

But then something happened: Thad started playing much, much better.  He swore off the three-ball and began attacking the rim.  The result: a season after, by the reckoning of Wins Produced, that he tallied negative wins for the Sixershe played 56 percent better than the average forward.  When was just as good in 2011-12, his head-scratching roller coaster story felt complete.  Some chalk up his rise to the influence of Doug Collins, whose arrival coincided neatly with his resurgence.  Some point to maturity, natural progression.  Some just shrug: in the NBA, stuff happens.

 

Whatever the factors that underpin his unusual volatility, one thing is clear: the Sixers (big ticket off-season acquisitions not withstanding) will absolutely need Thad to be his best self if they’re to repeat last season’s run.

 

In a recent conversation with Philadunkia, the now-longest tenured Sixer looked ahead to the coming season, talked about which position he’s going to play, and told us why, when a friend told him the Sixers had landed Andrew Bynum, he didn’t believe him.

 

Q and A, as always, after the J.


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INTERVIEW: THAD YOUNG

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/11/11 11:19 am EST

Thaddeus Young, even among those in his deeply unsettled profession, holds a uniquely unsettled position.

Not only does he, like the rest of his League’s players, not know the particulars of the new CBA he’ll be playing under when/if this season starts, he also, as a free agent, doesn’t know what team he’ll be suiting up for.  And even if he — as is widely expected — returns to the 76ers, he’s completely in the dark about his new boss (now-Sixers majority owner Josh Harris) because the terms of the lockout bar them from so much as exchanging emails.

So you could say Thad has a lot on his mind.

But despite this uncertainty, Thursday afternoon from his hometown of Memphis, Thad made some time for us — opening up about the long offseason, his training regiment and getting recognized in airports.

Q and A, as always, after the J.


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