Category Archives: Philadelphia 76ers
It just comes down to finishing games.
The Sixers were leading the Toronto Raptors late in the second half and were looking their third victory in the the face. But once again turnovers and bad defense doomed the squad as they fell 94-86.
Forward Elton Brand recorded 27 points and 8 rebounds in the loss. Jrue Holiday added 17 points and 7 assists for the Sixers.
But the Sixers just couldn’t contain Raptors big man Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani had 30 points and 7 rebounds in the win.
Sonny Weems chipped in 25 points for Toronto.
It has been the story of the Sixers’ season thus far. They’re in every game late but always seem to find a way to lose.
It still looks like they have a long way to go and this season could be a long one. The play of Evan Turner and the future of Andre Iguodala with the team will be something to keep an eye on.
Last night’s game was a big test for the Philadelphia 76ers. They faced one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Sixers fell 109-103 in a game where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 62 points.
The Sixers were outscored in the first three quarters and were playing from behind the whole game.
Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 17 points, 11 assists, and 2 rebounds. Elton Brand added 17 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
The Sixers couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch in the fourth quarter. This game can be a stepping stone as they played some solid basketball against one of the NBA’s premiere teams.
An encouraging sign is the play of rookie first round pick Evan Turner. Turner had 15 points and 8 rebounds against the Thunder.
Andre Iguodala did not play last night but is likely to play on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.
**Louis Williams left the game with a left shoulder contusion and did not return.
It seemed like it would never happen.
But the Philadelphia 76ers have won their first game of the season, defeating the Indiana Pacers 101-75 last night.
Elton Brand led the Sixers with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Brand also added two blocks and a steal.
The bench was another big reason the Sixers were victorious. They combined for 41 points and really gave the team a huge boost.
Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala each added 11 points.
Pacers superstar forward Danny Granger was shut down by the Sixers stifling defense. Granger was 2-for-14 with only seven points on the night.
Josh McRoberts also added 10 points and four rebounds for the Pacers in the loss.
The Sixers led throughout the whole game and never looked back.
The Sixers will face the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
** Sixers head coach Doug Collins missed the entire second half as he is still suffering from vertigo after a fall at a Phoenix coffee shop in May.
As expected, the Philadelphia 76ers got handled by the new power house, Miami Heat, 97-87, on Wednesday night.
The Sixers did have a strong finish and saw some good things from rookie Evan Turner, who logged 31 minutes and led the Sixers with 16 points and had seven rebounds and four assists.
Thaddeus Young also had a great game for the Sixers, scoring 15 points in 26 minutes.
The Sixers trailed Miami by eight points at the half and couldn’t overcome a strong game by DeWayne Wade, who led all scorers with 30 points. James Jones added 20 off the bench and LeBron James scored 16.
The Heat went on a 25-8 run to blow up the eight-point game late in the third to make it a 76-51 game.
The Sixers will stay at home and play Atlanta on Friday as they look for the season’s first win.
Last Season: The Sixers are coming off an awful season in which they went 27-55 and finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. It was a trying season for Sixers fans and it became clear that changes had to be made. Following the season, Eddie Jordan was immediately fired. The Jordan firing was written on the wall and had been speculated since the halfway point of the season. It was a dark and dismal season, but there was a very encouraging sign. Rookie Jrue Holiday came in as a raw point guard needing to expand his skill set. Holiday played very well down the stretch and showed that he is the future at point guard for the Sixers. He averaged 8.0 points-per-game and 3.8 assists-per-game. Holiday is an effective floor general and should continue to improve in the 2010-2011 season.
Coaching Change: The Princeton offense is finally in the past. The Jordan firing left the organization with the task yet again of searching for a new head coach. The Sixers brass wanted an experienced coach that could work with this young group and improve their game. They decided to go with former Bulls coach and NBA analyst Doug Collins. Collins is a former four-time NBA All Star, so it’s clear that he understands every aspect of the game. He has vowed from the beginning that he aims to work very hard with swingman Andre Iguodala and try to take the superstar’s game to the next level. Collins seems to be very keen on defense and that is something that the Sixers need work on. He is a welcome change and brings a great attitude to the city of Philadelphia.
Key Arrivals: In a summer that was dominated by “The Big Three” in Miami, the Sixers weren’t very active in free agency. However they were quite active in the trade market. In an unexpected move, they shipped offensively-inept center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and veteran small forward Andres Nocioni.
Dalembert was a player that just never seemed to fit in Philadelphia. He is a tremendous rebounder and shot blocker but could never contribute on the offensive end. A change of scenery would do him good. On the other hand, Hawes is a nice pickup for the Sixers. While he is not the defensive standout that Dalembert was, he provides some much-needed offense from the center position. He is a 46.8 percent career shooter which is very respectable for a big man. Hawes will step back and attempt the occasional three and will hit some of those shots. Nocioni is a solid veteran pickup who can be an asset to the Sixers. Nocioni will be the sixth man off the bench this season. He can spell Iguodala and Thaddeus Young. He is a fairly solid shooter and can bring veteran leadership to the team.
The Sixers also acquired forwards Craig Brackins and Darius Songalia from the New Orleans Hornets for guard Willie Green and forward Jason Smith. It was basically a salary dump for the Hornets and they wanted a backup point guard for Chris Paul. The Sixers were able to add some size in the frontcourt. Brackins is a solid addition to the team. He was the 21st overall pick in the draft this season and was a star at Iowa State for three years. He has huge potential to be a good power forward in the NBA. If nothing else, he can be an admirable backup to Hawes.
Perhaps the biggest arrival was the drafting of Evan Turner with the second pick in the draft. This kid does it all. He scores, rebounds, and dishes out assists. He is a complete player and will be a breath of fresh air for Sixers fans. Turner averaged 20.4 points-per-game, six assists-per-game, and 9.2 rebounds-per-game in his junior season at Ohio State. Turner has the potential to be an absolute stud in the NBA. He could be a dark horse for rookie of the year. Turner paired with Iguodala could give the Sixers a high flying offense this season.
Season Prediction: 36-46 (3rd in Atlantic Division)
The Sixers aren’t quite ready to compete in the Eastern Conference. Doug Collins will bring a new attitude to the Sixers and should have them playing hard. The Sixers could be a young and exciting team this year. Turner will bring more fans out to the arena and should give Sixers fans something to look forward too. They are a few years away from contending but Collins should have the Sixers moving in the right direction.
Could Iguodala be dealt?
As many of you know, I’m not the biggest Sixer fan, but I like to see them succeed and hope they win. Seeing the Sixers in this constant decline (or just stagnation), missing the playoffs or losing in the first round does not make Sixer Nation very happy. They have only won one playoff series since making it to the NBA Finals (in 2003 vs. New Orleans). You can blame whoever, management, coaching, players, but that doesn’t change the current state of the team. GM Ed Stefanski was brought in from New Jersey to turn around the franchise, but despite his efforts, the team is currently 16-31, 8 games behind the 8th place Heat.
So what should the Sixers do? I’m hardly the expert, but if the team has to experience a few rough years before becoming a contender, then so be it. With a bunch of rumors floating around about Tracy McGrady (and his expiring contract) and Amare Stoudamire, could one of those guys help the team? If the Sixers had to trade for one of the two, long term, McGrady would be the better option. By trading for McGrady, the team would have to move considerable salary under league rules, and when McGrady’s contract expires, it will clear up some room next season. If Stefanski is looking short term, Stoudamire, an all-star, would be the better option, helping the team right away. However, Stoudamire wouldn’t put the team deep into the playoffs, so making the playoffs, losing in the first round and drafting in the middle of the first round (again) wouldn’t help the team.
The only way teams improve in the NBA is by signing a huge profile free agent or drafting in the top 5. And for the record, I would not consider Elton Brand a huge profile free agent. Part of rebuilding is by using available money correctly, not overpaying. One of the other problems with the Sixers is that they have a bunch of similar type players; good or decent individuals, but as a team, not so much. Part of that is the result of continuous drafting between 10 and 20 every year.
The days leading up to February 19th could be interesting as they could possibly shape the track of their future. Could we see the last of Andre Iguodala and Sammy Dalembert as Sixers soon?
As the first official post of the LBS Blog, I feel it is a duty to do a quick recap of all the important topics of the week, and there have been many.
First, we start on the ice, where the Flyers have a nice little winning streak, beating Columbus and the Rangers. However the big controversy (if you’d like to call it one) was Flyer tough guy Dan Carcillo taking on Ranger star Marian Gaborik in a war of fists. Of course Ranger coach John Tortorella said there was “no honor” and called Carcillo a “brave guy”, sarcasm implied. The Flyers have little time to worry about Ranger revenge, as they host the Hurricanes and Penguins this weekend. Ray Emery has been named Saturday’s starter, fresh off his shutout of the Rangers. It is rumored that Michael Leighton will start against the Penguins, his first action since a January 14th loss at the hands of Toronto.
Switching to the defending NL Champs, there has been much to talk about in Phillieland for the last couple days. First reliable righthander Joe Blanton avoided arbitration with the team, agreeing to a 3 year, $24 million deal, which prompted some questions (mainly about not being able to afford Cliff Lee) by fans. Later in the night, it was rumored that Shane Victorino would follow suit and agree to a deal, which was announced today. Victorino earned himself a 3 year deal worth $21 million, much more per year than either side was asking for in arbitration. Many fans around the area are now asking about Jayson Werth’s Phillies future, which could end at the end of this year. But Phillies brass tried to squelch that, saying it’s not a forgone conclusion that Werth won’t be back after 2010, and that they would like to start preliminary negotiations. The team probably wants to see how much Werth believes he is worth (no pun intended). Lastly, out of the blue, the Phillies announced the signing of free agent pitcher Jose Contreras. The 38 year old Contreras will likely take over Chan Ho Park’s bullpen spot from last year.
And finally switching to the hardwood, it was announced yesterday that Allen Iverson would start for the Eastern Conference All Star team. Some people believe that the NBA All Star voting is a sham, stating the fact that AI has only played 19 games this season, and that injured guard Tracy McGrady was in the lead in the West, despite playing only six games this year. Either way, the Sixers have an All-Star for the first time since 2006 when (you guessed it) Allen Iverson suited up for the squad.
Don’t forget to check out Libertybellsports.com’s “Most Memorable Moments of the 2000’s” tournament in the Game Room section.