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Andy Natalie
Andy Natalie
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Sixers Blog

76ers Missing a Clear-Cut Building Block posted by Sixers Blog

Is there a surefire star in Philly? The Philadelphia 76ers certainly hope so.

All of the losses this team has suffered the past two seasons (63 in 2013-14, 23 and counting this time around) have essentially produced Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.

European forward Dario Saric could eventually be a part of this puzzle, but he may not come stateside before 2016 at the earliest. And promising rookie K.J. McDaniels' unique one-year deal means he will already hit restricted free agency next summer.

So, without knowing what future drafts will hold for the Sixers, Carter-Williams, Noel and Embiid make up the bulk of hope for this forward-thinking franchise. Each offers a certain amount of intrigue, but none remotely qualifies as a guaranteed star.

The lanky 6'6" Carter-Williams stuffs a stat sheet well, but his career .404/.264/.690 shooting slash may limit him to being a quantity-over-quality producer. Noel has already shown to be a disruptive defender (1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks), but his offense needs plenty of work. Embiid could have the highest ceiling of all three, though injuries might prevent him from realizing his potential.

the Sixers are not short on hope. They are, however, painfully thin on sure things. And a growing pile of future draft picks is not going to change that.

"You can't assure yourself of anything in the lottery," former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said, per David Gelles of The New York Times. "And you can't assure yourself when the next LeBron James or Tim Duncan is going to come along."

Continue reading "76ers Missing a Clear-Cut Building Block"


Sixers Blog

2014 Philadelphia 76ers Preseason Report posted by Sixers Blog

Even though the Philadelphia 76ers ended the 2013-14 season on a strong note, their overall 19-63 record was quite dismal. Out of the last eight games, the team managed to win three, which is not much, but considering they were1-26 during February and March, the last stretch does not seem bad. Earlier in the season, the 76ers displayed some hectic style, which brought some success, but it did not last. Brett Brown, the new coach seems to have introduced a strong pace where the players seemed to be fiercely jumping around the court, which gave them 3-0 start.

For 2014-15 season, the Philadelphia 76ers are as far away from winning the title, as they were in the previous season. Philadeliphia is known for gathering younger assets, and this year they seem to focus on the same strategy, rather than winning. Most probably, 76ers will trade their PF starter of last season for Anthony Bennett, who was overall first pick last year. Even though Bennett might have had the worst rookie season, he is still young and in good shape.

Nerlens Noel who did not play in his rookie year is quite raw, but he will be eager to show his athleticism and talent that made him the first overall pick in the draft last year. Joel Embid is another player having great potential, but unfortunately, he might be sitting it out this season due to his foot injury. If Noel and Embid are able to deliver their full potential, then Philadelphia will have a good foundation and might even reach the playoffs.

Elfrid Payton who plays PG was second selection by the 76ers in their first round picks. Payton has good length and is ready; however, he was traded for Dario Saric. This means Philadelphia is again trading wins in the new season for later.

Continue reading "2014 Philadelphia 76ers Preseason Report"


Andy Natalie

Holiday is Your Point Guard posted by Andy Natalie

I know that Lou Williams has been waiting and working for the point guard job since he was drafted out of high school. And he clearly has improved over the years. And I also know that Eddie Jordan insists he doesn't look at the positions like you traditionally do.

But make no mistake about it Jrue Holiday is a much better basketball player and point guard than Lou Williams. This guy is a nice acquisition. Almost a Thaddeus Young type draft pick. It looked liked a decent pick and now has a chance to be huge in the big picture.

If I was the 76ers I would start Holiday and let him grow while the team stinks. Lou Williams is a good back up, let's keep it that way until he proves otherwise.

On Monday night the 76ers actually played a solid game to beat the New Orleans Hornets. The thing that impressed me the most was that only one player, Iguodala played more than 40 minutes.

And Elton Brand continues to be a solid bench player. An expensive one, but solid nonetheless.

I wish Dalembert would rebound like this every-night. He'll have big nights on the glass like this an yet he still has a blah 8.7 rebounds per game average. Anything under 10 for me sucks, when you are a center. Now I should allow some leeway for his lack of overall minutes. That said I still think 10 a game would be attainable.

I have to credit the Sixers somewhat in this win. They jumped out and plastered the Hornets in the 1st quarter but New Orleans put up back to back 31 point quarters to make the game a 1 point deficit for them. It was 76ers 75 and Hornets 74 going into the 4th. And the Sixers battled for the 96 - 92 win.

Continue reading "Holiday is Your Point Guard"


Andy Natalie

Bringing Up The Bottom (DEC 30) posted by Andy Natalie

Even with the win in Portland we are looking pretty solid at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. My hope is we keep this up. Honestly with a healthy Speights and Iverson the team is a little more watchable.

Elton Brand looked better the other night also. It appears that whether he likes coming off the bench or not, that playing around 30 minutes is better for him. He led the team with 25 points even in Monday's win. He also led with 9 boards.

Iverson's 19 points and 5 assists from the #2 was solid also. Lou Williams who is the heir apparent PG has been okay since returning but frankly I thought Jrue Holiday showed more promise.

At this point I would love to see a radical change for us to go young! Here is what the Sixers should do. Trade Sam Dalembert and Brand for Tracey McGrady. And if Houston doesn't want Brand send Iguodala and Sammy.

No kidding! McGrady doesn't even have to come to Philly. You just want his contract which expires this season. Then you get rid of Brand's noose also. If they don't want Brand?

Give them Iguodala's noose. I am a big Andre Iguodala fan but he does not fit into this team's system or any system they have tried before. He is not becoming the star I thought he would either. Which I believe is the problem he has fitting in. We all over rated him. Oh he has some great skills but he also lacks what it takes to be a superstar and probably always will. He would be a great fit on a team that already has superstars. Which that isn't Houston either but that can be their problem.

Ironically they would probably take him for the same reasons we want to keep him. He would be an upgrade for them. Funny thing is they are 19 and 13 and have a better

Continue reading "Bringing Up The Bottom (DEC 30)"


Andy Natalie

A Teaser In Philly (76ers Dec 16 loss) posted by Andy Natalie

I would like to say that the Sixers gave a cavalier effort but that is just part of the story.

 

You see I don't believe it is an effort problem with this basketball team. For one I think they get out-coached and have since Larry Brown left town. And Eddie Jordan and Mo Cheeks are not horrible coaches but they are one trick ponies. They do not appear to be able to build a plan around the talent and the personnel.

Now ironically Larry Brown is also like that but he has the clout and the whining /temper tantrum abilities to make his boss get the personnel to match his system. He also believes in defense.

That brings us to the Sixers vs Cavaliers contest on Wednesday. The Sixers put up a respectable 101 points. But the Cav's and LeBron James scored 108 points.

The POSITIVES:

  • Iguodala had a good night scoring 26 and he had a solid 7 rebounds
  • Thaddeus Young continued his march toward All - Stardom with 16 points and 10 rebounds
  • Iverson had a solid night with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists
  • Jrue Holiday played again at PG and had a nice 9 assists to go with 9 points
  • Elton Brand had settled in to his bench role. He had a respectable 11 points and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes
Continue reading "A Teaser In Philly (76ers Dec 16 loss)"


Andy Natalie

Misery Loves Company (Sixers Finally Win Dec 14) posted by Andy Natalie

The 76ers finally find a team that they can beat up on. The Sixers beat the Warriors 117 to 101 at home in the Wa-Cove!

The 76ers play a strong 1st and 2nd quarter and a solid 3rd and 4th to stop their long losing streak. The Warriors had a horrific 3rd quarter for a relatively easy win.

Thaddeus Young was the stud of the night with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He even had 4 assists. Jrue Holiday and Allen Iverson made a nice back court tandem also. Iverson had a very good 20 points and 4 assists. While Holiday had a solid 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Samuel Dalembert had another good night for him. He had 13 boards, 12 points, and 4 blocks. A nice added benefit was Elton Brand and Willie Green off the bench. Brand 11 points, 7 boards. Green had 14 points.

All totaled the Sixers had 7 players in double digits.


PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Thaddeus Young, F 40 12-21 1-2 1-1 5 9 14 4 3 1 3 2 +27 26
Jrue Holiday, PG 39 7-14 1-5 0-0 3 4 7 6 3 0 3 4 +20 15
Samuel Dalembert, C 29 6-9 0-0 0-0 5 8 13 1 0 4 2 2 +16 12
Allen Iverson, SG 32 7-10 0-0 6-8 1 1 2 4 0 0 1 2 +23 20
Andre Iguodala, SG 35 4-20 0-5 6-6 3 5 8 2 3 1 4 2 +6 14
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Elton Brand, PF 17 5-7 0-0 1-1 5 2 7 1 0 0 3 3 +2 11
Primoz Brezec, C 2 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 -2 1
Jason Kapono, SF 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 -9 0
Royal Ivey, PG 8 1-2 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 2 -2 4

Continue reading "Misery Loves Company (Sixers Finally Win Dec 14)"


Andy Natalie

Yet Another 4th Quarter Flushed Down the Crapper By the 76ers (DEC 10) posted by Andy Natalie

The other day Andre Iguodala insisted that the Sixers were not as bad as their record indicated. And then last night (WEDS) they preceded to drop a basketball game to the lowly Detroit Pistons, who are as bad as their record indicates.

The Pistons come from behind in the 4th and win 90 to 86 over the inconsistent 76ers. Now mind you the Pistons are a bad 9 wins and 12 losses while the 76ers 5 and 17. So you be the judge of if you agree with Andre.

Personally, I love "Iggy Hop" but I do think the 76ers are a bad team. Yes they have their moments and they have some raw talent. And now they have the extra juice with the addition of Allen Iverson, the original A I. And there is some positive aspects of all of that.

But I think part of the problem is the ego. I think Andre and his team mates needs to look in the mirror and say "wow we stink". Are they capable of more? Perhaps. But that isn't who you are, that is who you might be! This is where I have a problem with Eddie Jordan and Andre's assessment.

Eddie, you need to stop with the it's coming along, we are getting better upbeat stuff. I don't get it? What was pre-season basketball for? You don't implement and entirely new concept that takes the whole franchise a season to learn. How about a little at a time?

You should have implimented base sets and the foundation and stuck with that and some standard sets until they can do that in their sleep. You then can compensate with a somewhat simplistic level of strategy with hard aggressive work. Out hustle your opponent on the basketball court. Which you should do anyhow. But that is very difficult when you are thinking too much about the system. Which is the entire point!

Continue reading "Yet Another 4th Quarter Flushed Down ..."


Andy Natalie

76ers Win and Lose At The Same Time (Dec 9) posted by Andy Natalie

  Hey welcome home Allen. And boy was it nice to see a packed house!

But in the end Denver schooled the Sixers to a 93 to 83 tune. Yeah they schooled them. You know coming into the season I thought this team could be better then a borderline playoff team. But they stink.

Yeah on paper some of the names scream "talent". But they fail the eye test. Andre Iguodala is a borderline All -Star with star talent. But he is not being used to his strengths and he has not improved in his weaknesses. Which neither is the end of the world. However something has to give. I would like to think that all Pros would like to improve but a Coaches job is to put players in position to succeed. Iguodala is a receiver and finisher.

Elton Brand is a brand name who has past his sale expiration date. We can only hope he just needs more time to come back from previous injuries. In the meantime? IF he could just help in the low post on both ends that would help.

Sammy D? He has skills and I thought with Brand, Dalembert would blossom as a solid center. He doesn't rebound enough and his defense is suspect at times. He is still somewhat young but he better grow up fast.

Thad Young is a legit star on the rise. I am not worried about him but he is the lone no brainer. I mean even Iguodala has been living on potential more than proven performance. Young has consistently improved and will continue.

Continue reading "76ers Win and Lose At The Same Time (Dec 9)"


Amari Harris

The Answer Returns! posted by Amari Harris

The Answer Returns!

 

It was crazy to see how emotional AI was over his recent signing with the Philadelphia 76ers.  It truly touched my heart.  But this isn’t just a sentimental acquisition. The Sixers could really benefit from bring back The Answer….

 

This is a young team with potential that could use a strong veteran presence such as Iverson.  He will bring instant credibility to a 5-14 Sixers team that is need of a spark.  Jrue Holliday (the Sixers 1st round pick this year) needs to absorb as much as he can from the iconic Iverson.  Iverson should move into a starting role, which is what he was looking for and what he deserved.  I want Iverson to win a championship just like a lot of other basketball fans but not at the cost of his dignity.  Do you really want this guy to come off the bench just to win a title?  This is not Daryl Armstrong.  This is not Tyron Lue.  This is not Derek Fisher.  This is Allen “Motherf&^*^)” Iverson, son!  The Answer!  This dude had one of the most popular shoes in NBA history.  He is the master of the “ Killer Crossover”!  And you want him to come off the bench?!  If he never wins a championship, Iverson will still be in the top 10 greatest players ever.  That fact alone requires that he be a starter as long as he’s on a team. 

 

I can’t wait to see the reaction when Iverson runs out of that tunnel for the first time.  It should be epic.   The Philly fans will definitely embrace Iverson in his return to the City of Brotherly Love.  And how great would the story be if AI and AI (Andre Iguodala) can sneak the Sixers in to that 7th or 8th seed? This is a dream scenario for both parties and I, for one, am going to be paying very close attention to this team. 

Continue reading "The Answer Returns!"


Andy Natalie

Iverson in Philly: The Sequel posted by Andy Natalie

Hey who didn't see this coming? Frankly it was the right move. For the right reasons too!

The harsh reality is Lou Williams is out for at least 8 weeks. The 76ers do not have a replacement on their roster. I mean Royal Ivey is not a legit back up who can take over the starting role. And Jrue Holiday is not a realistic option either. Jrue is a Rookie and he is a shooter. That is what he does and that is what he should be doing.

With Iverson on board you at least get a veteran who can play adequate point guard and he will get some assists even as a ball hog. He has average 6.2 assists over his career actually. Which compared to John Stockton or Magic that sucks. But Lou Williams was good for 5.1 thus far. Yes he is learning but he isn't going to be playing.

The following statement says it all:

"In light of the recent injury to Lou Williams, which will sideline him for close to eight weeks, we felt that Allen was the best available free agent guard to help us at this time," team president Ed Stefanski said.

Yeah he brings luggage galore. And yes this is about fannies in seats also. But at the end of the day you need to have some one play PG.

And come on folks we all know this is not a Championship team and theoretically you want them to lose to get a high pick. But you can't put just anyone at the point and stumble through the season.

Continue reading "Iverson in Philly: The Sequel"

Philadelphia 76ers News

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The tanking Philadelphia 76ers are inventing new ways to lose

What's one way to lose a game? Get rid of your awesome coach and let Joel Embiid take over. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Heat top the 76ers 105-101 and strengthen draft lottery pick (The Associated Press)

Miami ended the season with two wins in one game. With a stopgap starting five each playing 40-plus minutes, the Heat held on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-101 on Wednesday night in a season finale more meaningful for the NBA draft order. The Heat's win paired with Brooklyn's win meant Miami is all but assured of keeping its top-10 draft pick. If Miami owns the No. 10 pick or better after the draft lottery, the Heat keep that selection. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose help Bulls beat 76ers 114-107 (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Gasol, Rose play key roles in Bulls'victory over 76ers

CHICAGO (AP) As Derrick Rose stepped to the free-throw line late in the Chicago Bulls'114-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, several fans in the United Center began chanting, ''M-V-P! M-V-P!'' [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


The NBA has a tanking problem because the NBA used to employ a lot of problems (Ball Don't Lie%2

On Monday evening, the Los Angeles Lakers downed the Philadelphia 76ers on a last-second shot from rookie Jordan Clarkson. Hands were rung and eyes rolled, as a significant portion of NBA fandom could hardly recall what number Clarkson wore prior to this professional event, and yet they could recite the two teams’2015 NBA draft odds by rote: Los Angeles keeps its pick unless it either continues to win, or in case bad lottery luck pushes the team out of the top five. If it falls out of the top five, the lowly Sixers takes in its own high end lottery pick, and the Lakers’selection. [DraftKings: FREE entry to huge cash Fantasy Basketball Contest with first deposit ] Los Angeles has won three of five, quite the warming trend for a 20-53 club, putting its fans in an impossible position that we see yearly amongst the lower rungs of the NBA. The team’s fans understand that most of the current Lakers won’t have a spot in the rotation when the franchise finally turns it all around, there is no point in rooting for their growth and success, and every added win lowers the team’s odds at the draft pick of their choice –presuming they get to keep it anyway. Philadelphia? They’ve spent the better part of two seasons auditioning players for rotation spots nine through 15 on the 2017-18 Philadelphia 76ers. The guy they drafted in June of 2013 didn’t play until October of 2014, the guy they drafted in June of 2014 won’t play until October of 2015 ,and another really good guy they drafted in June of 2014 possibly won’t play until October of 2017 . Their best young prospect from last season, Michael Carter-Williams, was recently traded for a draft pick that may not make his debut until October of 2016 –if then. Minnesota coach Flip Saunders recently had to back down from earlier, heated comments he made about Utah Jazz broadcasters that he called “irresponsible”after they discussed the Timberwolves’decision to rest several key (and also injured) starters as the team worked its way toward its tenth straight lottery appearance. The Wolves have the second-best odds at entering 2015-16 with the last three top overall NBA draft picks on its roster , and yet the team will still be ages away from a playoff berth, and not likely to end a postseason drought that is about to enter its second decade. Phil Jackson’s New York Knicks have the best odds at a top overall pick, but even with cap space and the return of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are still several significant moves away from even playoff contention. They’re so far away that Jackson even asked season ticket holders to turn their frowns upside-down as the team readies itself to ask its fans to reward the worst season in Knick history with the highest ticket prices in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings haven’t sniffed relevance in nearly a decade, and yet the team is still content to possibly sit DeMarcus Cousins down for the rest of the season . Cousins, the team’s beleaguered franchise star working for a franchise in turmoil , is coming off his first All-Star appearance, and he’s been hustling since Team USA training camp in July. Sitting Cousins would also give the Kings better odds in keeping its first-round draft pick this year, as a dip out of the top ten this season would mean the selection would move on to the Chicago Bulls. Denver, essentially, gave up on its season midway through 2014-15. Boston, rightfully, has its fans worried that the team may perpetually overachieve its way out of earning the chance to acquire a star . Talk of tanking used to dominate NBA headlines in March and April, but the modern cycle has fans discussing it on draft night in June, and wondering if the reboot will take two or three years, as could be the case with the Lakers , as opposed to the single-year dive. This is where the hand-wringing comes in. The NBA could do away with the weighted lottery. It could fine teams for blatantly sitting winning prospects. Khrushchev's shoe, on the table, Mark Madsen shooting three-pointers, all that fun stuff. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] The NBA doesn’t need to revisit how it deals with such thing. The NBA, simply, needs to get rid of bad general managers. The NBA is also well on its way toward achieving that. By now the GM shaming has become a well-worn trope (and you’re welcome!). The deal that sent a Kings first-rounder to Cleveland (and eventually Chicago) for J.J. Hickson was laughed at as much then as it is now, as the Bulls watch the Western standings. Brooklyn GM Billy King was mocked almost from the outset of his time with the team. Even while pegging the 2012-13 Lakers for a championship run, we all wondered why the Lakers felt compelled to send a potential first-round pick Phoenix’s way in the Steve Nash sign-and-trade. Fans had no idea what Minnesota was chasing when it declined to give Kevin Love the contract he deserved or when it handed Kevin Martin four years and $27.7 million in 2013. We’re slowly getting away from this, however. Several teams, unfortunately, have had to play dumb this season in order to make up for past mistakes. Teams are getting smarter, though. Even the Knicks, just a few months from being roundly mocked for trading draft picks for Andrea Bargnani, declined to send a draft pick to Toronto for a player in Kyle Lowry that was soon to be a free agent. Phil Jackson’s longtime buddy and former assistant coach Charley Rosen may want the team to trade the top overall pick for Greg Monroe (something that isn’t NBA-legal) on draft night, but Charley Rosen (thankfully) does not work for the New York Knicks. Meanwhile, the Lakers might be playing possum currently, and might enter 2016 without Kobe Bryant, without Byron Scott, with three high-end draft picks, cap space, and the waves of Malibu to offer. The game has passed some general managers by, like Washington’s Ernie Grunfeld ( who once traded the aforementioned Jordan Clarkson for freaking cash considerations ), but they’re probably not long for the league in that role. King is out of Brooklyn as soon as new owners swoop in . Soon enough, general managers won’t have to take several rebuilding years to clean up the messes of their predecessors, as we’re currently seeing in Detroit, Orlando, Sacramento, Philly, New York, Minnesota, and …That’s a lot of teams, but the NBA has also rid itself of several very poor general managers over the last few years. This isn’t to say that parity will hit and the ranks of competition will level, as you still may have GMs being hired partially because they’re from the same state that the team plays in , but things are changing in ways that don’t have to lead to a change of the lottery rules. This is what happens when you let Dwight Howard run your franchise, or David Kahn, or Joe Dumars, or Doug Collins, or James Dolan, or when you basically give up on basketball while trying to sell your team . A goodly chunk of the NBA is in a bad place because the work of some lacking ex-GMs put their teams in bad places. Outfits in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York aren’t guaranteed future success with the NBA draft still three months away, but these front offices had to start somewhere. There are five to a side in basketball, stars matter, and there will always have to be 25-win teams. This is part of the reason why so many of us follow the NBA, and the biggest reason why comparisons to other sports or leagues are anachronistic at best and pointless at worst. The NBA’s job right now, as it recovers from the work of so many executives who were stuck in 1991 while working in 2011, is to get smarter. Not more unhinged. We’ve tried that already, and it didn’t work. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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