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Archive for the ‘Sixers’ Category

Sixers D Steps Up

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On April - 20 - 2009

After an impressive come from behind victory in game 1 against the Orlando Magic Sunday what will most people remember? Andre Iguodala dropping the game winning shot in Hedo Turkoglu’s face? 

Probably.

 

What will be lost in the shuffle is the tremendous fourth quarter defense of the Sixers which allowed the them to come back. For once a team facing the Sixers had the same problem that usually hinders they themselves. The inability to match up defensively at the three really hurt Orlando late. Especially when the Sixers started driving to the hole on a regular basis. 

What can the Sixers do to repeat their game one success? First, they need to forget about game one. Second, they need to not fall behind by 18 points. And  third, they need to shoot the ball as well as they did on Sunday. Depending on Donyell Marshall to come off the bench and give you a spark, well let’s just say he isn’t  sixth man of year material. 

Sixer Philler

According to the Orlando Sentinel Magic Center Dwight Howard was hit in both eyes during Sunday’s loss to the Sixers. Howard was scheduled to see an eye doctor Monday but it’s thought to not be serious. 

Coming Wednesday: Game 2 Preview and a detailed list of things the Sixers MUST do to win Game 2. 

 

Mike Santa Barbara

Worst Week Ever

Posted by David Foley On April - 19 - 2009

The Flyers failure in Pittsburgh was just one element of an incredibly crappy week. Photo courtesy of ESPN.com.

I know I tend to be just a tad bit negative in general with my posts here on PhinallyPhilly, and I never enjoy being one to “rub salt in the wound” so to speak (unless of course we’re talking about the suffering of fans of a hated division rival, i.e. the Mets.) But I can’t help but point out what a lousy week this was for Philadelphia sports.

I really don’t even know where to begin. April 12th through the 19th had more than it’s fair share of blown leads, heartbreak, tragedy, and even incompetence. So brace yourselves…keep a box of kleenex and a tub of ice cream at the ready and re-live the lowlights of the week that was.

Sunday, April 12th 2009

3:10 pm (ET) – Ironically enough things were actually looking up on Easter afternoon. The Phillies pulled off a dramatic 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Rockies that featured a bit more Matt Stairs magic.

5:00 pm – The first sign of trouble: the Flyers drop a very winnable game against the Rangers and miss out on home ice in the first round of the playoffs against Pittsburgh. Big freakin’ deal…that just means they’re going to finish off the sweep at home, right?

6:00 pm – To the surprise of no one, the Sixers lose to the Raptors 111-104 for their fifth straight defeat.

Monday, April 13th 2009

A brutal 24 hours that will forever be remembered as the day Harry the K passed away.

Tuesday, April 14th 2009

8:00 pm – The Sixers make it six straight losses, this time falling in their home finale to the KG and Ray Allen-less Celtics.

Wednesday, April 15th 2009

7:00 pm – The Penguins take game one in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup 4-1. The Flyers whereabouts on this night are still unknown.

7:05 pm – Adding insult to injury the Phillies game against the Nats is postponed due to rain.

8:00 pm – Whoa whoa whoa…the Sixers beat the Cavs by one,  in overtime, in Cleveland?!? No way! What’s that? Mo Williams and Lebron didn’t play? Lorenzen Wright logged 35 minutes? Oh, nevermind.

Thursday, April 16th 2009

7:05 pm – The Phillies are destroyed by the Nats 8-2, handing Washington their first win of the season (they were 0-7 at the start of the day.)

Friday, April 17th 2009

7:00 pm – The Flyers blow a late 2-1 lead and lose to the Penguins in overtime, 3-2. They now trail two games to none in their best of seven series.

7:05 pm – Ryan Madson blows a late lead and the Phils lose to the Padres, 8-7.

10:00 pm – Danny Briere books a golf reservation for next Thursday. “I have a feeling I’ll probably be free that day.”

Saturday, April 18th 2009

7:05 pm – Brad Lidge’s 54-save streak comes to an end as the Phillies lose again to San Diego, 8-5. Lidge’s ERA is now 9.45.

So there it is, in all of it’s horrendous ridiculousness. Was the week ALL bad? Not for the Eagles, who learned who’d they be playing this season and made a big move for a Pro-Bowl caliber left tackle. Still that did little to offset the failures of the other big three, who went a combined 2-8.

If there ever could be a brightside to all of this it’s that there is still one day to go, and all three teams will have a shot at redemption. The Phils play a matinee against the Pads, the Flyers come home for Game 3 against Pittsburgh, and the Sixers head to Orlando for Game 1 of their first round playoff matchup. If all three win it will restore our phaith, if all three lose it would be a fitting end to a disastrous seven days for Philadelphia sports.

No matter what happens just don’t forget: there’s always next week.

And of course

“You’re not drunk if you can lay on the floor without hanging on” –Dean Martin.

Remembering Harry…

Posted by David Foley On April - 13 - 2009

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about Harry that hasn’t already been covered, but I wanted to give all of you out there an opportunity to share any stories or memories you might have of him in the comments section of this post. Whether it is a call of his from a certain broadcast, or a more personal story if you ever had the opportunity to meet him.

As sad as today is just keep one thing in mind: Harry went out on top. Not only as one of the all-time great baseball broadcasters, but a World Champion as well.

What Sixers Need to Succeed

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On April - 9 - 2009

If you looked up “Philadelphia 76ers” in the Dictionary, what would come up? Well, nothing would, but if something did it would currently read; mediocre and practically non-existent. 

It’s a shame, because the Sixers are a young and exciting team.  Even a huge free agent signing, Elton Brand, couldn’t bring people to the Wachovia Center. Do people care about the Sixers? Of course, Philly is through and through a Basketball town, just look at the popularity of Villanova during the NCAA tournament.  However, what will it take to get some interest in the Sixers?

Well, they have clinched a playoff spot and have had their share of success. However, what they really need is some sustained success, something fans can hang their hat on. And lastly some kind of team direction. 

I know the season is not over and the Sixers have a playoff series coming up but I can’t help but look toward the off season. Does anyone really believe the Sixers can get out of the first round? Maybe, and I mean MAYBE if they can draw the Hawks . And the Hawks are in no way a pushover. 

It’s my belief that the questions that need to be addressed this off season are more exciting then the upcoming playoff appearance for the Sixers. 

Will they bring back Tony DiLeo? Will they address the Center Position? The Two Guard? What to do with Andre Miller? How will they incorporate Elton Brand back into the team? 

Those questions sound a lot more exciting than, can they win a couple of games in the first round? If they get out of the first round, can they avoid getting swept in the second?

I may be jumping to conclusions about an early playoff exit for the Sixers but it’s a conclusion all Sixer fans know to be true.

In the end what the Sixers need most to succeed is an early off season. More time to answer all those questions. More time build the future, because the present isn’t good enough.

-Mike Santa Barbara

Sixers Pass First Test Without Thad

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On April - 3 - 2009

After learning that second-year forward Thaddeus Young would be out for the rest of the regular season one would figure that the  Sixers could be due for a let down. And for a little while during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks it looked like a let down was a strong possibility.

After a lackluster first half which saw them fall behind by 13 points, the Sixers rebounded in the second half for a 105-95 victory.

Taking the injured Thaddeus Young’s place in the starting line up was grinding power forward Reggie Evans. Who came up with a uncharacteristic 13 points, a season high.

Contributions off the bench were crucial, and rookie Marreese Speights pitched in with 14 points.

This is the first step to getting through a rough stretch without the their third-leading scorer. If the Sixers have any chance of securing the 5th seed in the NBA Playoffs they will need contributions like that from Speights and Evans. They currently hold a half game lead over the Miami Heat for that much coveted spot.

Losing Young could be a blessing in disguise for the 76ers. Some players show their true worth to a team when the odds are stacked against them. Reggie Evans was evidence of that scoring 9 of the Sixers first 13 points. And in situations like this young players can step up and show that they can be counted on to make a contribution. Much like Marreese Speights did Thursday night.

Expecting contributions like that from Evans and Speights for the remainder of the season may be asking too much. However, it may be necessary if the Sixers are to head into the playoffs with any sort of momentum. And avoid falling low enough in the standings to have to face one of the dreaded big 3 in the East.

-Mike Santa Barbara

Sixers Should Not Bring Back DiLeo

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On March - 31 - 2009

As the Sixers do their best impression of the Hindenburg, the question arises do the Sixers bring back Tony DiLeo? Does he even want to come back?

This topic seems to be getting more and more attention. DiLeo was an unlikely replacement of Maurice Cheeks, and I find it even more unlikely that he’ll be back next season. The guy has been with the organization since 1990 holding a variety of titles. Never once did you hear his name ever mentioned when the Sixers or any other team needed a new head man.

Now I am not saying DiLeo has done a bad job but he is basically coaching the same team that Maurice Cheeks led to the playoffs.  So if Tony does the same is the season a success? Does it warrant a contract for him?

Simply, no.

While Cheeks was head coach it was hard to figure out exactly what his strategy was. You never knew under Cheeks which Sixer team would show up from night to night. And I see the same thing from DiLeo, curious substitutions and stubbornness that would rival a Philadelphia Eagles game plan.

You can throw all the records nonsense out the window. Way to many factors are left out when you only look at the numbers. Cheeks coming into the season had some heavy expectations on his shoulders.  Then right out of the gate Elton Brand was not fitting in. When DiLeo replaced Cheeks he had little if any expectations and Brand was injured and out for the year days later.

DiLeo can be an important part of this organization and if a new Head Coach is hired he would be foolish not to keep him aboard. DiLeo just doesn’t belong patrolling the side lines. He seems to be a better judge of talent not a leader of it.  In the end I think the Sixers would be better off bringing in someone with NBA Head Coaching experience. One that can sort out the mediocre mess that has become the Sixers.

-Mike Santa Barbara

Sixers Could Learn a lot from Villanova

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On March - 29 - 2009

The Sixers had an off day to travel to Detroit Saturday for a battle with the Pistons on Sunday. Let’s hope they got there in time to catch the Elite 8 match up between Villanova and Pitt last night.

I know the Pro and College game have some huge differences.  However , it’s still Basketball last time I checked. And you win Basketball games the same way no matter what league you play in.

Villanova won last night because they had all the ingredients for a win working for them. Strong defense, balanced scoring, a clutch player knowing his role and making a big shot, and maybe the most important ingredient of all they showed no fear on the big stage.

All ingredients the Sixers have show they have at times. So what’s the problem?

Where is the hic-up on this team?

Getting up for a big game and beating  teams like the Lakers and Blazers on their home courts is something to be excited about. However, when you show lack luster effort against teams like the Warriors and Bobcats, how does that look?

Falling behind by double digits too many times to too many lesser opponents shows what kind of character this Sixer team is lacking. A character that is preached by Nova’ Coach Jay Wright and it shows on the court.  The character to not take your opponent lightly, to approach every game the same, and to give full effort no matter what the circumstance.

Heading into the home stretch now as the playoffs approach, the Sixers will need all the character they can muster.

Gilbert Arenas of the Wizards was quoted during the week saying “I don’t pay attention to the JV until they get here.” I hope the Sixer players don’t feel the same way. They could be missing out on an important Basketball lesson.

-Mike Santa Barbara

76ers Poised to Keep 5th Seed

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On March - 27 - 2009

With the NBA playoffs on the horizon and a playoff spot hardly in doubt for the Sixers, the time is now to establish a favorable first round match up if possible. If the playoffs started today the Sixers would be the fifth seed and would play the Atlanta Hawks who would have home court advantage.

If you’re the Sixers, or any other team for that matter in the East, you want to stay away from sixth, seventh, or eighth seeds. Drawing one of those seeds will almost certainly get you scheduling tee times during the second round.  The Sixers as I mentioned earlier are the fifth seed currently but must hold off the Miami Heat to stay out of one of those dreaded bottom seeds.

Looking at the remaining schedule for the Sixers, it looks favorable, well sort of. That is all depending of course on which Sixer team shows up for the remainder of the season.

Will it be the team we saw during the brilliant west coast trip that beat the Lakers and Trailblazers? Or the dreadful team we saw on the west coast trip that somehow managed to lose to the Warriors?

Besides facing the Cavaliers twice and a Nets team that they can never seem to beat on the road, the Sixers have some winnable games ahead.  Plus the last two games of the season happen to be against the Cavs and Celtics two teams that will most likely be resting their regulars.

Miami’s schedule is not exactly tough, however, the Sixers do have two games in hand. As Miami only has ten games remaining.

If the Sixers can win their remaining home games, they have six, and steal a couple on the road they should be able to keep that fifth seed.

The Sixers seem to be playing some of their best basketball lately and it couldn’t come at a better time. If the balanced offense and surprising contributions from the bench continue the Sixers could head into the playoffs confident and dangerous.  With a perfect first round match up staring them in the face.

-Mike Santa Barbara

A GREAT DAY FOR PHILLY FANS…

Posted by David Foley On March - 20 - 2009

Let’s recap: the Flyers beat Buffalo (and Danny Briere is officially back), the Eagles finally found a fullback and locked-up Leonard Weaver to a one-year deal, and LJ Smith is gone (hopefully) for good. Thank God!

The only thing that could make this day any better would be a Sixers win over the Warriors! (Not holding my breath though…gotta love giving up 62 first half points…how’s that for some defense?!?)

IGGY. IS. CLUTCH.

Posted by David Foley On March - 18 - 2009

Huge win for the Sixers last night in LA! Iggy gets a little redemption after giving up Kobe’s jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Coming up later tonight, a new edition of Wednesday’s Worst!

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