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Archive for the ‘Sixers’ Category

My thoughts on the Sixers/Celtics; plus first PP NBA Power Rankings of the season

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On November - 4 - 2009

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Alright, so the Sixers are 2-2 a week into this young NBA season, and they’ve won and lost the 2 games most people would have predicted. Losing to perhaps the top 2 teams in the Eastern Conference, the Magic and the Celtics. While beating the Bucks and Knicks, who both seem destined to finish in the Eastern Conference basement.

In both losses they showed that they can grow into a better team. The Sixers had early leads against both Boston and Orlando, only to watch them pull away in the second half. Basically, the Sixers don’t shoot nearly as consistently from the field as the Celtics and Magic do. Also, they both have tremendous benches, capable of putting up 40 + points, a luxury the Sixers don’t have.

Like I said after the Magic game, I don’t think the Sixers played a terrible game against the Celtics either. The Sixers are an average team, and they’ll have nights like this against the NBA elite. Although, the Sixers will eventually get comfortable with Eddie Jordan’s offensive system, and guys will find their roles. Until then we can’t really tell if this Sixers team is capable of surprising some people by contending in the East, or being simply just another mediocre team.

What the Sixers must do to improve:

1. Better transition defense.

2. Rebound better on the offensive side.

3. More playing time for Marreese Speights.

4. Iguodala has to calm down and find his game.

5. More contributions from the rest of the bench.

Phinally Philly NBA Power Ranking

1. Boston Celtics (5-0)

2. Denver Nuggets (4-0)

3. Orlando Magic (3-1)

4. Dallas Mavericks (3-1)

5. Los Angeles Lakers (3-1)

6. Houston Rockets (3-1)

7. Atlanta Hawks (3-1)

8. San Antonio Spurs (2-1)

9.  Phoenix Suns (4-0)

10. Miami Heat (3-1)

11. Philadelphia 76ers (2-2)

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2)

13. Detroit Pistons (2-2)

14. Portland Trailblazers (2-3)

15. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-2)

16. Charlotte Bobcats (2-2)

17. Washington Wizards (2-2)

18. Chicago Bulls (2-2)

19. Toronto Raptors (1-2)

20. Utah Jazz (1-3)

21. New Orleans Hornets (1-3)

22. Milwaukee Bucks (1-2)

23. Sacramento Kings (1-3)

24. New York Knicks (1-3)

25. Memphis Grizzlies (1-3)

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-3)

27. Los Angeles Clippers (1-3)

28. Golden State Warriors (0-2)

29. Indiana Pacers (0-3)

30. New Jersey Nets (0-4)

Top 5′s

Top 5 Player Rankings

1. Carmelo Anthony (DEN)

2. Kobe Bryant (LAL)

3. Chris Bosh (TOR)

4. Chris Paul (NOH)

5. Kevin Martin (SAC)

Top 5 Rookie Rankings

1. Tyreke Evans (SAC)

2. Brandon Jennings (MIL)

3. Jonny Flynn (MIN)

4. Stephen Curry (GSW)

5. Terrence Williams (NJN)

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

The first ever Phinally Philly Podcast!

Posted by David Foley On October - 30 - 2009

With all the exciting innovations we’ve had here at the site over the past few months we figured the one thing missing is the opportunity for you to listen to us BS about sports for 45 or so minutes. Hence the Phinally Philly Podcast was born!

Myself and Chris Shafer got together to discuss all four Philly teams (some more than others…sorry Sixers fans) in what we hope will become a weekly feature on the blog. If you think you’d make a terrific guest, have some feedback, or have a question you’d like us to talk about shoot us an email at “phillypodcast@gmx.com”.

The inaugural Phinally Philly Podcast

Beat New York weekend is here and a new Flickr account

Posted by Roman Zubarev On October - 30 - 2009

junkeesMajor league sports schedules are released months in advance. I don’t think MLB, the NFL, and the NBA thought a weekend like this was possible.

In a span of 48 hours, teams from Philadelphia and New York will meet four times, three of those taking place at the sports complex in South Philly.

Saturday
7:30pm – Sixers @ Knicks
7:57pm – Phillies vs Yankees – Game 3

Sunday
1:00pm – Eagles vs Giants
8:20pm – Phillies vs Yankees – Game 4

This could be the greatest weekend in Philly sports history and to celebrate, we’ve launched a new Flickr account and group. Feel free to jump on and share pictures you’ve taken at games, tailgates, parties, anything Philly sports! Try to include dates and locations and please keep it clean and respectful.

flickr

We especially want to see photos of you guys celebrating Beat New York weekend.

The rivalries between teams from Philadelphia and New York have only been intensifying the last few years and the only scary thing this Halloween is not going 4 for 4.

Positive thoughts about the Sixers opening loss

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 29 - 2009

While the Phillies were busy smoking the Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series, the Sixers were playing a game 1 of their own in Orlando.

The defending Eastern Conference Champions did their best Phillies impression last night. However, there are some positives to take out of the Sixers loss.

First off, anyone who watched the game last night saw that the Orlando Magic are just a machine. As Eddie Jordan said after the game “They are really, really good.” And he’s right, the Magic couldn’t have played a more perfect game. And saying it was perfect isn’t really stretching it. They shot over 55% from both the field and from beyond the arc. And their bench contributed with a totally of 48 points, not too shabby right?

Now, I’m not going to try and sell you on the fact that the Sixers played a great game. Though, they did not play nearly as bad as the score may have indicated. They weathered the storm fairly well early, trailing by only 2 at the end of the 1st quarter, while actually leading for a short time.

The Magic did a fantastic job on the defensive end making Andre Iguodala a non-factor. One promising thing to come from that was the contribution of Marreese Speights, who scored a career high 26 points , going 10-11 from the field. One not so promising thing was the play of Samuel Dalembert. Sammy, like the Sixers, actually played well in the first quarter,  but was simply terrible the rest of the way. He was dominated by anyone the Magic put out there, and the inspired play by Speights could put Dalembert’s future minutes in serious jeopardy.

You can tell the Sixers are still learning the Princeton Offense as they go. Though, I don’t think scoring will be the Sixers problem. What they must work out if they expect to be competitive in the East is their defense. And I believe they will, they do have the personal to play average defense at least.

It’s hard to pull out positives with numbers or describing a specific play from last night. When the Sixers were able to set up their offense it was semi-successful, the system was getting guys open they just weren’t hitting the shots. Not hitting the shots as well or as often as the Magic, which puts you in catch up mode right away. When you have a team the caliber of the Orlando Magic playing as well as they were early on last night, you have no choice but to shoot it out with them. They force you to change your game plan. Now learning a new system virtually on the fly already stacked the deck against the Sixers. And the Magic playing nearly perfect didn’t help either.

So, don’t put your heads down about this team yet. They are going to be a good team, certainly not great, but they won’t be bad either. They aren’t going to have to play the Magic every night, and only 3 or 4 teams are even in the same league as the Magic. And I feel confident saying the Sixers are in that second tier right below those elite teams. Stay tuned, it’s still going to be an exciting and entertaining season for the 76ers.

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

NBA and Officials work out deal; plus Sixers cuts

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 22 - 2009

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I guess NBA commissioner David Stern has been watching the MLB playoffs, paying special attention to the umpiring mistakes.  It’s believed that on Tuesday Stern met with Lamell McMorris of the referee’s union to discuss a much needed labor agreement.

All signs have pointed towards, although not formally announced, a resolution that will allow NBA referee’s to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Although, don’t shout for joy yet, the “replacement” refs that have been used all preseason long are from the NBA’s D league and the WNBA. And David Stern has announced that even with a labor agreement being made with the actual NBA officials the NBA will use D League and WNBA refs throughout the season. It’s nice that Stern wants to have a larger pool of “good” referee’s, but let’s hope it’s doesn’t end up costing an NBA team a big game.

In the end Stern has done a wonderful job with the NBA, especially when it comes to spreading the game overseas. So in the interest of fairness, and earned respect, I’ll trust him on the whole WNBA and D League refs. I believe he’s smart enough to make sure he does it the right way.

Christmas among those cut

The Sixers made 2 cuts on Wednesday, trimming the roster down to 13. Brandon Bowman and Temple Alum Dionte Christmas were cut. Christmas put on an average showing in the few minutes he received this preseason, it just wasn’t enough to make the final roster.

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

Sixers improve to a 5-1 preseason with win over Suns

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 19 - 2009

Thaddeus Young y Andre Iguodala ambos tenía juegos enormes en el Sixers 116-94 victoria sobre el Sol el domingo por la noche.

Why the bad(I think) Spanish? Well first I’ll translate it for you:

“Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala both had huge games in the Sixers 116-94 victory over the Suns Sunday night.”

Now, why the Spanish? Well the game was played in Mexico and broadcasted live on NBA TV, in Spanish to by the way. The Suns effort to spread their fan base across the Mexican border.

Now onto details from the game itself.

Both Iguodala and Young continued their great preseasons, contributing 23 and 17 points respectively.

After losing to the Suns in their previous game, the Sixers were out to play better defense and play more aggressively on the offensive side of the floor.

“We challenged our starters tonight and Andre realy took the bull by the horns and really took us to another level”

-Sixers Head Coach Eddie Jordan

The Sixers put up a fantastic defensive effort keeping the Suns uncharacteristically under 100 points for the game. The win puts the Sixers at 5-1 in preseason play. And yes, it doesn’t mean anything, but keep this start in the back of your mind as this team moves forward.

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

2009-10 Sixers Season Preview Part 1

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 17 - 2009

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With the Phils in the NLCS, the Birds soaring at 3-1 and the Flyers looking sharp early it’s hard to sell the Sixers to even the hardcore Philly fan.

Though, the Sixers will be fielding a competitive team this season. A team good enough to make the playoffs and perhaps advance past the 1st round. And I know we want championships here in Philly, but the Sixers could be building a strong future now. They have plenty of young athletic talent, a new coach and a new system tailor made for their strengths.

Remember this is a team that gave the Orlando Magic all they could handle in the playoffs last season. Most likely, the strongest test the Magic faced before losing to the Lakers in the Finals was to the 76ers. And this was a slumping Sixers team heading into the playoffs. Battle weary without their super star free agent acquisition Elton Brand and being led onto the court nightly by their second head coach of the year.

Alright, enough recapping, it’s a brand new year. Let’s take a look at some of the changes to this years team.

Eddie Jordan brings the “Princeton Offense” to Philadelphia, a system that was hugely successful in Washington. Now what is the “Princeton Offense?” I’m glad you asked, in Part 1 of our season preview I’m going to do my best to give you all the information you need/can stand.

  1. Explaining Eddie Jordan’s “Princeton Offense”

First off, forget everything you know about offensive basketball. Forget about numbering the players 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. In Jordan’s offense there are 2 guards, 2 forwards and 1 center.

The offense preaches patience as well as sharing the ball and is based in two sets, “high” and “low.”

The offense is a relentless flow of passing and moving without the ball. Spreading the ball around, getting everyone involved is the goal.

With this style of offense the point guard is asked to do less play making and becomes simply part of the offensive flow. He is not expected to be the main distributor nor is the brunt of the scoring load put on his shoulders.

Why don’t I just let Eddie Jordan explain it himself:

Now I aside from the Season Preview I’ll be posting a feature called “What They’re Saying About.” Which is some opinions from other Sixer writers.  Here’s a little preview:

What They’re Saying About…….Royal Ivey

“How about getting 40% above the field? That would be appreciated”

Ricky- Sixers4Guidos

“Ivey is an excellent defender, who can guard 1s and 2s, and can knock down the three.”

Kevin Hanson- Sixerscourt.com

“The Sixers brought him back for his defense and his leadership. They’ll need that for the young point guards in” Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday.

Martin Frank- Wilmington News Journal

Part 2 coming….. As well as a full versions of “What They’re Saying About…..”

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

Don’t look now, the Sixers are 4-0 (in preseason)

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 14 - 2009

Guess what?

The Sixers are 4-0 in the preseason.

I know the Eagles are 3-1 and looking good, and the Phils are headed back to the NLCS, but it couldn’t hurt to give some love to the redshirts could it?

The Sixers improved to 4-0 in the preseason with a 93-85 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.

Thaddeus Young continued to impress, finishing with 26 points. The Sixers also had 4 starters, including Young, finish in double figures.

Elton Brand put up his best preseason effort thus far, posting 20 points and 8 rebounds, finishing 8-12 shooting.

I know it’s preseason, but this team is improving every game. You can see them getting comfortable in their roles and learning Eddie Jordan’s offense.

Proof of this is in tonight’s stats, having four starters finish in double figures, every starter with at least 6 boards and 3 starters registering assists. Only Samuel Dalembert failed to break double digit points, finishing with 4 points, but he contributed under the boards finishing with 12 rebounds, 10 defensive.

So far it looks like Jordan has been able to successfully import a system without taking away what truly makes these players and this team dynamic, running the floor. From day one Jordan said he didn’t want to take out the running style he simply wants the Sixers to be able to play half court basketball when they can’t run. Making the team multidimensional, and perhaps more successful this upcoming season then any of us originally thought.

- Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ****

Part 1 of my Sixers preview coming Wednesday for REAL this time.

Sixers take preseason opener against undermanned Raptors

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On October - 7 - 2009

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Lost in the Philly sports shuffle, you’ll find the 76ers near the bottom. While the Flyers had their much anticipated home opener and the Phils were preparing for game one against the Rockies, the 76ers opened up the preseason.

The Sixers took the floor in London, Ontario to take on the Chris Boshless Toronto Raptors. Bosh is still recovering from a strained hamstring. To make matters worse the Raptors were also without newly acquired Hedo Turkoglu.

The Sixers took a lead early and never relinquished it. Leading by as many as 23 before fighting off a late Raptor rally which saw the lead shrink to five.

In Louis Williams’ debut as the Sixers starting point guard he didn’t disappoint, going 6-8 from the floor while draining 2-3 from downtown. Williams led the team with 17 points.

Both Mareesse Speights and new sharp shooter Jason Kapano impressed off the bench, scoring 12 points a piece.

Also Elton Brand and Jason Smith both made their returns to the court after suffering season ending injuries last year.

Former Sixer Reggie Evans started for the Raptors and finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds.

Coming Thursday: Part 1 of my 76ers Season Preview

Featuring:

  • Individual Player Breakdowns
  • Schedule Breakdown
  • A look at the rest of the Atlantic Division
  • Predictions
  • Guest Opinions

-Mike Santa Barbara

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ****

Sixers bring back Rodney Carney

Posted by Mike Santa Barbara On September - 9 - 2009

Needing to fill out their bench the Sixers brought back a familiar face, Rodney Carney. Carney spent last season in Minnesota playing for the Timberwolves. Last off season Carney was traded along with Calvin Booth by the Sixers in return for cash. Cash used to sign free agent Elton Brand. 

The Sixers have always liked Carney’s athleticism, and they had a need for a relatively cheap and versatile forward to come off the bench. Carney is as good a choice as any, strong move by the Sixers. 

Last season Carney averaged 7.2 PPG coming off the bench for Minnesota. 

In an off season filled with apathy the Sixers have made a strong move. True it’s only a bench player but Carney also makes the Sixers more athletic. With the right system in place (and we hope that system is Eddie Jordan’s) the Sixers could surprise.

Athleticism was never the problem  with the Sixers, taming it was. Sometimes they were guilty of being to aggressive, or being aggressive when the situation called for cold calculation. The hope is that Eddie Jordan can help focus that aggression where and when it’s most helpful, while also teaching these guys the importance of half-court Basketball. 

I know the moves this off season have been disheartening at best but this is a work in progress. It can’t be done overnight and I can’t say that tough times aren’t still ahead for this team. However, one thing is for sure this team will be exciting to watch, and maybe that excitement can turn 2009-10 into an unexpected magical season. 

For those of you who forget or aren’t familiar with Carney here’s a taste: 

 

*** Follow me on Twitter @Mike__SB ***

-Mike Santa Barbara

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