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DiLeo back to the desk, good move

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 12, 2009

86012989JM009_ORLANDO_MAGIC(Back to blogging after a much needed break…)

No disrespect for DiLeo, rather the opposite.

Tony was ax excellent front office guy, he did a lot of good things in that key position (= leading to all Sixers’ smart drafting over the last years) and I am happy the franchise will have him back at that desk after he decided not to come back as a coach

Of course there is NO ONE in the world that believes in the official version of the “personal reasons” behind DiLeo’s call. Not coincidentially the initials of those two words are PR… anyway it doesn’t matter now, as long as he stays in the organization and continues to contribute in making the Sixers a better team.

The 32-27 record he compiled, after the 9-14 start with Cheeks, says he did a good job on the bench as well. Especially considering that the last year he coached Berlin was still split in two…

So I think we have to thank Tony DiLeo, a ‘rookie’ coach, for taking a team that was going nowhere to the playoffs, providing many exciting games and even some fun. The biggest problems came at the end, with that awful Game 6, the statements by Ratliff etc.

More, I think DiLeo wasn’t the right coach if we think in the medium-long term. He’s not the coach that can take you to the upper level. In my opinion these young Sixers need a hard-nosed, experienced coach: my ideal candidate would be Jerry Sloan, to give you a rough idea.

I don’t like the two names I read (Doug Collins IMO is done, while Eddie Jordan’s resume isn’t exactly appealing), that’s why I hope that Avery Johnson will come. He is the right mix between experience (as both player and coach), freshness (still young but not rookie) and charisma.

I know AJ has a reputation of being tough, very demanding, authoritative, maybe even annoying, and getting into players’ minds too much, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, given Sixers’ rosters and the personalities of our guys. Another players’ coach won’t work in Sixerland, I’m afraid. JVG would be a ok coach also.

The ball is in Stefanski’s field now, but the first move of the offseason is a good one.

Thank you for everything, Tony.

(S4G update: some changes will be made in the blog soon, stay tuned)

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Maurice Cheeks, Off season, Sixers4guidos, Tony Di Leo | 2 Comments »

Where are these young Sixers going?

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 19, 2009

82994455JG002_WIZARDS_SIXERSSixerdave is finally back to work.

I just received two articles by him, and here is the first one, a recap of the (regular) season just finished, with some thoughts about 2009/2010.

SIXERS END ROCKY SEASON AT .500

The Sixers have earned a first round playoff series with the Orlando Magic to end the season. 

It was a turbulent season that saw Maurice Cheeks get fired as head coach, Elton Brand struggle with injuries and young players step into different roles and positions. 

By beating an undermanned Cavaliers team, the Sixers moved to 41-41, a one game improvement over last season.

With Chicago losing to Toronto, the Sixers were able to leapfrog the Bulls into the 6th position in the Eastern Conference. 

With Garnett out, the Sixers may have benefitted from staying in the 7th position, however this week the Sixers couldn’t beat Boston with Garnett and Allen both out of the lineup.

Orlando also presents problems for Philadelphia. Dwight Howard is one of the best players in the league.  Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis will provide challenges for Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young.

Looking back at the 2008-2009 season, we immediately think of Brand’s injuries, Cheeks’ firing, and interim coach Tony Dileo. But the question is – what direction is this team going? 

Most of the core is young and growing. As difficult as it is to believe, Iguodala is just 25 years old.  Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams, and Jason Smith are 23 or younger. 

But Brand will be coming off an injury yet again. What impact will Brand have? And can he gel with our younger players? Will he be an 18 and 10 guy, or a 14 and 8 guy? Will the Sixers consider his signing to be a failure and trade him at the deadline next season?

Team leader Andre Miller - in the pic - becomes a free agent this offseason. Do the Sixers resign him? He’s getting older and his lack of speed showed in his recent effort against Boston. Should the Sixers hand the keys to Lou Williams? Golden State, Sacramento, and Portland could be interested in Miller’s services and it is well known that Miller prefers the West Coast.

By keeping Miller on board, the Sixers could be challenging for the last few playoff spots in the East. But is he the guy to lead us to elite status in the East? At his age, it’s unlikely. Maybe the Sixers need to take a step back to take a step forward by going back into the draft and finding a star to lead them back to the top.

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Maurice Cheeks, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 1 Comment »

Unusual, happy finish for the last game at The Spectrum

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 14, 2009

82993339JG060_BULLS_SIXERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY – S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

I think everyone, from DiLeo to Doctor J, from Iguodala to Mike Gminski Moses Malone, from the ghost of James Naismith to Harvey Pollack, sensed the fifth buzzer beater loss coming when Chicago inbounded the ball down one with 22 seconds to go.

A finish we got very familiar with through the season, unfortunately.

Instead, Sam Dalembert had perhaps the biggest play of his career and blocked a shot by Derrick Rose, securing Sixers’ 104-101 W over the Bulls, in the last game played at The Spectrum, to cap an emotional night for Sixers’ fans and a close, good, intense game. 

Sixers (32-31, .508) seriously risked a pretty unbelievable fourth quarter collapse, letting a 11-point lead (86-75, with the second of two consecutive fantastic dunks by Marreese Speights, 9.25 to play) turn into a 2-point deficit (94-96, 3.11 left).

That happened because Bulls went 5/5 from downtown to start the final quarter (!!), and tied the game with their sixth three, by Ben Gordon, with 36 seconds to play, 101-101.

That was pretty tough to swallow because Sixers played excellent defence on that play, forcing Salmons to shot a prayer that barely hit the rim at the 24th second. But Dalembert completely lost Brad Miller, who got the offensive rebound and dished the ball to a wide open Gordon at the top of the key. Tied at 101. Tough break indeed.

Then Iguodala demanded the ball in the low post (I liked to see that determination), guarded by Hinrich. Andre had easily driven past his smaller opponent few plays before, scoring on a nice lefthanded layup to put the Sixers up three (101-98, 1.06) and simply wanted to do it again. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Julius Erving, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers corporate, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 3 Comments »

Sixers finally pull out a 48-min effort

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 13, 2009

82992333JG005_RAPTORS_SIXERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS JERSEY – S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

And the outcome was the final 115-106 W over the Raptors, a game that wasn’t close as the score might suggest (31-31. 500).

I am happy to keep this recap short: Sixers started to run away in the second quarter, progressively increasing their lead, that reached 20 points with 1.10 to play: 56-36.

Give credit to the Sixers because they continued to stay focused after the break, making five of their first six shots.

Toronto tried some (crappy) zone defence but Sixers never panicked, attacking it with patience and hitting basically all outside shots (finally !!), including a rare set up three by Andre Miller. Guido Andrea Bargnani had a three just before the buzzer to end the quarter 92-74.

Raptors cut the lead to nine points early in the fourth (99-90, 7.04) but Williams nicely fed Evans for a layup on the following play, Iguodala had a steal and knocked down a couple of free throws and Sixers completed the job, without scaring their fans. Good win.

Thaddeus Young will receive honours because he scored a career high 29 points, and he actually played great, scoring from everywhere, but I’m happy to praise two guys that IMO had an even bigger impact on the game, and that I ripped on this blog many times this season. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Guidos, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers corporate, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Sam, is that you ????

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 7, 2009

83005084JG003_PACERS_SIXERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S #2 SIXERS’ JERSEY ! – S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

Few hours after Sixers learned that Elton Brand would have been out for the season with the shoulder injury, the often criticized (also here, of course) Sam Dalembert picked up the slack and pulled out a monster performance in Sixers’ 99-94 W over Indiana (24-24, .500).

Sixers desperately needed this game, coming off a memorable fourth quarter (offensive) collapse versus the Nets and the hearbreaking last second loss against the reigning champs, Boston f’n Celtics.

They needed a total team effort and a great night from another whipping boy, Willie Green, and the two Andres to avoid another late comeback by their opponent. It was a fun game, in which both teams saw pretty big leads evaporate.

Since this recap comes one day late, I won’t go with the quarter-by-quarter analysis, instead I will try to focus on some facts that I found interesting.

Indiana (the team) has a hole in the paint just as big as Indiana (the State). Dalembert dominated for the whole game on both ends of the floor: he had 7 rebounds in the first quarter alone and could have ended with 20+20 had he not missed a couple of layups and putbacks under or just around the basket.

Ok, not so difficult to do when you face Foster, Nesterovic and Hibbert, but still Sam was a presence like he should always be, and changed the game.

 His 6/6 from the line has to be underlined also, Sam is usually a pretty good free throw shooter (around 70% over the last years) but this season he has rarely been involved much offensively and his pctg from the line decreased a little bit, also because the number of attempts has been significantly reduced. Clearly, he found his rhythm last night.

Sam’s rebounds started a lot of fastbreaks, and we could score many easy points in transition. Speaking of first quarter nice stats, Andre Miller had seven dimes in the period, and Sixers knocked down nine of their first eleven shots (23-14). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

Willie Green is the real wizard

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 2, 2009

82994455JG006_WIZARDS_SIXERS(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S SIXERS’ #2 JERSEY ! S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

Even if one day late (sorry, a troubled and hectic weekend), I think it’s fair to give Willie Green his props.

He was Sixers’ MVP in the 104-94 W over Washington (23-22), a game that pushed the Sixers over .500 for the first time since November 23rd, when we were 7-6.

Green, often bashed here for…well, too many reasons to list them all, was extraordinary vs Wizards, especially in the first quarter, when he scored 16 points helping the Sixers build a 32-17 lead.

Not only Green was productive in putting points on the scoreboard (a season high 20 in less than 24 minutes of action), but he added also five assists, which is something I like to point out this time, after blaming him for years for being a gunner with no passing skills/instinct.

He deserves the honour (?) of being featured in S4G’s pic – btw sporting our lovely, classical uniforms.

Other notable things from the Wizards game were: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Rodney Carney, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Exclusive interview with Federico Buffa

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 27, 2009

(RETIRE MOSES MALONE’S SIXERS #2 JERSEY ! S4G PETITION – SIGN HERE)

I can hear you from an Ocean away.. “Who the hell is Federico Buffa?”. Long story short: the best italian journalist covering the NBA. Currently for Sky Television.

He has been doing that forever, basically, and here he’s a living legend for every bball fan in Italy, despite still being in his 40’s (http://www.federicobuffa.com/).

Since you cliché-lovers old american asses always love comparisons, I think the definition of “italian Peter Vecsey” might fit.

Seriously, Federico probably knows the NBA better than many journalists living in the US, and is a real basketball junkie just as much as we all are. That’s why he enjoys talking to whoever shares his same passion, including your resident guido blogger.

He’s really a nice guy to deal with, that likes to crack jokes and talk hoops. I met him Friday 23 in Milan, and HERE IS OUR DIALOGUE:

S4G: So how many times did you watch the Sixers this year?

FB: Ten times ! I checked it before coming here (laughs). The last two Sixers games I watched were vs Mavs and vs Spurs, that I commented for Sky.

In that occasion you told a nice DiLeo story…

Yes, when he played in Germany he beat the Milan Xerox team I was rooting for and scored 36 points, in a Korac Cup game. It was 1974/75 if I am not mistaken and the game was played in Palalido, in front of… uhm, around 600 fans. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Guidos, Lou Williams, Management, Maurice Cheeks, Sam Dalembert, Sixers corporate, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 5 Comments »

Retire Moses Malone’s #2 Sixers jersey !!! (S4G petition)

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 21, 2009

moses-maloneWhen my friend Pablo, fellow blogger that runs the spanish site Los Sixers de Philadelphia, told me that, I could not believe it.

Then he gave me the evidences, I checked it and I realized he was right.

So we decided to do something together, since we cooperated well during my “Bring the old Sixers uniforms back” petition, that he was kind enough to support, and that brought some concrete results.

Guys, Moses Malone’s Sixers #2 jersey HASN’T BEEN RETIRED YET !!!

Pretty unbelievable, but 100% true !! How come that is possible ?

Check the list of Sixers’ retired numbers: it includes #6 (Julius Erving), #10 (Maurice Cheeks – the player, not the coach, LOL), #13 (Wilt Chamberlain), #15 (Hal Greer), #24 (Bobby Jones), #32 (Billy Cunningham), #34 (Charles Barkley).

NO MOSES !!

Now check Malone’s career through the numbers and his Hall of Fame page.

If this man is not deserving to see his number retired from the Sixers organization, there is something wrong.

So now, what do we have to do? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Sixers, Sixers corporate, Sixers4guidos | 51 Comments »

Under DiLeo, no mo’ slow Mo

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 10, 2009

83005109JG020_WIZARDS_SIXERSAfter the Charlotte game – recapped below this post – I think you will enjoy Sixerdave’s deep analysis on how things turned under interim coach Tony Di Leo.

When Mo Cheeks was fired on December 13th, many including myself thought the team might have been jumping the gun

However after further review, the Sixers may have been trying to jumpstart the run and gun. 

The Sixers were 9-14 under Mo Cheeks but had much higher aspirations after signing the biggest offseason acquisition, Elton Brand. 

Since Tony Dileo has taken over as coach, the Sixers are 7-6 and had to play most of those games without their star power forward.
 
So how did Dileo turn it around?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Royal Ivey, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo | 4 Comments »

A look back at that Spurs game

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 5, 2009

83006026DCE_76ERS_SPURI know, the recap of the heartbreaking 108-106 loss at San Antonio comes one day late but I want to keep track of all games, so here we are.

Sixers are now at the bottom of the Atlantic Division with their 13-20 record (.394).

The 15-18 prediction I made less than a month ago, before our West coast trip, was wrong then.

But if you think how we lost the home game vs (half of the Indiana) Pacers and those at Denver and San Antonio, it may look a little bit better, or at least less dumb.

Anyway, since I couldn’t catch it through League Pass, here is Sixerdave’s recap of the Spurs game, for your pleasure.

Always nice reading his point of view and I like how Dave is finding some positive notes after a disappointing 1-5 trip.

After one quarter, it looked like the same old story.  The Spurs were draining three-pointer after three-pointer, the Sixers couldn’t keep up, and the deficit quickly reached 21.
 
But the Sixers never gave up.
 
Led by Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala, the Sixers battled back and took the lead.  Miller scored 28 points on 12 of 14 shooting while Iguodala had 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
 
With the score tied 106-106, the Sixers had a chance to take the lead, but made a costly turnover.  With a potential overtime looming, Manu Ginobili missed a jumper from the corner, but Tony Parker got the rebound and swished a high arcing shot from the baseline over Iguodala as time expired.
 
It had to be a crushing loss for the Sixers who battled so hard, but for a young team, there were many bright spots.  Iguodala may not be the go-to scorer that the Sixers are looking for, but his drives and dunks decimated the Spurs’ defense. Miller made shot after shot and Lou Williams had back-to-back key three pointers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Reggie Evans, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

 
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