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Archive for December, 2008

Sixers 18 – Opponents 108

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 30, 2008

83005963MM007_76ERS_JAZZThat -90 (!!) is  the updated stat of the points scored on three pointers in the last four games, after the traditional butt whipping in Utah, this time 112-95, (12-18, .400).

If you want more details, Sixers are 6/40 from behind the arc in those games (that counts for 15% !!), while allowed opponents to shoot 36/79, which means a whopping 45.5%.

Indiana shot 6/16 vs us, Boston 7/14, Denver 15/31, Utah 8/18, while we went respectively 0/8, 0/11, 5/12 and finally 1/9 last night, when the only three pointer was knocked down by Young in garbage time, just two minutes before the end.

One would say: “Nothing new here, sorry”. Partially true. While we all know that we are an awful three point shooting team (still dead last in NBA with our 29.5%), the trend on the defensive end is becoming worrying.

Actually we are in the mid of the pack as for three point % allowed (16th with 35.5%), but at this rate we will fastly climb the rankings: currently New Jersey leads this not-too-glorious list with 41.5%, followed by Sacramento (41.3%) and Golden State (40.1%). We have to stop the bleeding asap.

So, getting back to the Utah game, did we lose it because of three pointers? Well, not because of that, or not only because of that. We lost because Utah is a better team, even without forwards Millsap and Boozer (Okur was back, and hurt us a lot with his inside/outside offensive skills). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Kareem Rush, Kyle Korver, Lou Williams, Reggie Evans, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 1 Comment »

Few things about tonight’s Jazz

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 29, 2008

76ers Jazz BasketballSixers meet the Jazz tonight (btw check SLC dunk), and apparently Utah will be again without Okur, Boozer AND Millsap, meaning the three top scorers.

Nothing to be happy for, anyway, because yesterday I’ve watched their 120-115 double OT loss to the Houston Rockets and they are the same tough team that traditionally loves to destroy us, and that won 17 of the last 19 matchups at Salt Lake City.

Few observations after that exciting game, that I enjoyed from tip off to the final horn.

The Jazz are still a very deep team, that will use nine men to keep the intensity high and play hard nosed basketball for 48 minutes – and even more if necessary.

Just as you would expect from a team coached by Jerry Sloan, they never give up, reguardless of what the scoreboard tells. Rockets had a 16 point lead and were up basically the whole game, but had Brewer made both free throws with 8 seconds left in the first OT, they would have probably lost the game.

If you laughed this summer hearing the names Kosta Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko as part of their roster, you better stop it immediately, because these two guys can ball.

Apart from Fesenko’s terribly ukrainian looking-face, and his awful shooting form (a couple of memorable bricks from the line), he’s more than a big body to throw out there. He’s athletic, can run, jump, dunk, block shots, BOARD. He played some stretches of outstanding defense vs Yao Ming who, as you might know, is NOT Sam Dalembert. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Gordan Giricek, Kyle Korver, NBA, Random bullshit, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Tony Di Leo | Leave a Comment »

Too many idiots with a Sixers uniforms on

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 27, 2008

76ers Nuggets BasketballWho follows this blog perhaps knows I always try to be balanced and stay calm, even in the toughest moments – and God knows how many bad times we’ve been through in the last years.

I also love to make fun of negadelphians and their pessimistic, half-empty, losing attitude.

But the 105-101 loss at Denver left me so sad and angry that I finally decided to vent. Maybe it will help. If not the team (now at 12-17, .414), at least myself and my poor Sixers fan nerves.

If you think you saw a lot of ugly, crazy, unlikely, depressing Sixers losses over the years, you better make a recount, because this one should immediately jump into your Top 3.

When the game ended, I was completely speechless. Unbelievable.

I didn’t know what to do. Kinda like Iguodala on that final possession. Scream? Throw the lap top out of the window? Beat my wife? Instead, I just switched the computer off, and went out to take a walk and breathe some fresh air. The most coward decision, perhaps. Kinda like Iguodala on that final possession.

Let’s recap the last plays briefly. With Sixers down one, Lou Williams throws this bold alley oop that Marreese Speights turns into a crazy basket, while drawing a foul. Fantastic play, even if the score remains at 100-101 (17 seconds to go) because the rookie can’t make the ensuing free throw.

Denver has the ball, Billups gets doubled and finds Martin at the top of the key. Grand Kenyon has no one in front of him (!) and takes the right decision, goes straight to the basket, aggressively and dunks the ball with two hands: 102-101 Denver, nine seconds left.

You might think: “Where the fuck were out shotblockers?”. The biggest, dumbest one – do I need to say his name ? – just stayed under the rim, ATTEMPTING to foul Martin (more severe refs would have called it).

But the Sixers still have the ball to win the game. They, idiotically, decide to give it to Iguodala, at the top of the key. One dribble, two dribbles, a sissy, hesitant spin move… —> an embarassing traveling violation

(That actually saved Andre from an even worse outcome, because after he moved his pivotal foot, he jumped up in the air and threw the ball against Nuggets defenders…)

Then Atkins is fouled with three seconds to play, but, before he can shoot, Andre Miller gets a tech (!!), so that Billups knocks down one free throw. Then Atkins makes his pair: instead of a one possession-game, it’s over, 105-101, right.

Let’s rewind the tape, on that last offensive possession. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 7 Comments »

0/19 and counting

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 25, 2008

82991967I initially thought about putting a “FUCK THE CELTICS” title, but I’d rather not give further satisfaction to that bunch of classless idiots and their jackass fans. Anyway, fuck them.

They (players + fans) are rightfully happy with their great team, the title, the winning streak etc. so they are allowed do all the trash talking they want, until someone beats them. Or punches some of them in the face, which I would like more.

Also Phil Jasner has a good article about the game and the “exchange of thoughts” between the players in those 48 minutes.

The piece of trash called Eddie House (on his way to get past Rick Fox at the top my “Most hated” ranking, and this even before last night) scoring a meaningless three at the buzzer sums up pretty well what kind of garbage persons form that Celtics team.

I couldn’t watch the 110-91 loss at Boston because the game was blackouted (?) in my guido region. That doesn’t mean much, anyway. The important thing is we fell to 12-16 (.429) while Celtics got their 19th consecutive win, a franchise record, and improved to 27-2, that is apparently another record, this time for the NBA.

Some considerations to be made before we start our trip West are:

1) Kareem Rush got his first start. I like the move, despite Rush’s mediocre game. Let’s keep him in the starting line up until Green comes back. Uhm, ok, maybe even after then.

2) after going 0/8 vs Pacers, we shot 0/11 from behind the three point line vs Celtics. Speaking of streaks, the resulting, combined 0/19 in the last two games is one of the most embarassing stats I can remember. The scaring thing, is that we actually have good chances to make it longer.

3) this means Sixers have been outscored 39-0 on three pointers by their opponents in the last two games. How about that…

4) my boy Marreese Speights had another excellent game, and Reggie Evans played well too. The rookie is close to deserving to be a starter – and make Dalembert expendable, but this is another story. Evans stepping up vs Celtics is nothing new, remmeber last year in Boston he even scored a three (LOL).

5) Lou Williams dished out eight assists, to tie a career high. That is perhaps the more encouraging figure in the boxscore. Remember I criticized him a lot for not looking at his team mates enough. Makes almost forget the five turnovers….

Enough for a game I didn’t catch, I think. Try other blogs if you want insiders 🙂

We play the Nuggets on Friday to start our Western conference trip, check Jeremy’s PickAxe and Roll for the best coverage about Denver: now THAT is a good site !

In the meantime, merry Christmas everyone in Sixersworld. I hope I will have a Santa Klaus post up tomorrow.

And fuck the Celtics, again.

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Reggie Evans, Sam Dalembert, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

Nine Pacers were enough…

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 22, 2008

82992059JG023_PACERS_SIXERS… to win a crazy basketball game, that Sixers SHOULD have not only won, but also blown out.

Instead, it was a 94-95 loss vs Indiana (12-15, .444), the first for Sixers’ interim coach guido Tony Di Leo.

So let’s see. Pacers were missing three of their four best scorers (Granger, Murphy, Daniels + Dunleavy jr.), had only nine players in uniform (!) and, like us, were playing in the second night of  a back-to-back. Add that the first of those nights was a double OT loss to the Clippers (!!!).

So after we jumped to that early fifteen point lead at the beginning of the second (31-16, 35-20), playing some good and even fun basketball, I admit I thought that it was going to be a pretty easy game.

But we didn’t close it the way we could, and should have done. In fact, an extended draught immediately followed, and Indiana cut the deficit to four at halftime (48-44).

The game remained close until the end, thanks to our usual ineptitude from the perimeter (a less than pathetic 0/8 from three point land + another five/six long jumpers missed, some wide open) and to a discouraging amount of fumbles, bad passes, missed putbacks, shots getting blocked in the paint or, in many cases, just under the rim.

Josh Mc Roberts – horrible, by the way – set career highs in all categories I think, with his four rejections being a peak we should be ashamed of.

So the game came down to the last two possessions, and TJ Ford beated Iguodala off the dribble, creating enough space to knock down, guess what, a long jumper (in the pic), while Andre couldn’t convert a tough left handed drive as time expired. Good night Sixers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Jim O'Brien, Kareem Rush, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Thaddeus Young, Willie Green | 4 Comments »

Making shots is nice

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 20, 2008

82992148ND017_76ERS_WIZSimple as that.

A rare accuracy at the free throw line and from behind the arc allowed your usually brick throwing Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers escape from the Capital with a close 103-109 win over the slumping Wizards (12-14, .462).

Before the game, we were 27th in the League in free throw shooting, while our dramatic lack of three point threats has been well documented on S4G recently: take a look at the bottom of this post, just to make an example.

This time it was different, though. And it’s sweet to win games this way..

Sixers improved to 3-0 with guido Tony Di Leo on the bench, and while it’s absolutely compulsory to remind that “it was only the Wizards – twice – and the Bucks”, I hope that this lil’ winning streak can at least build some confidence and change something in (some) players’ minds before the next, tough games, and the trip West.

So how was this second Wizards game? I’d say “interesting” and “unlikely”. Di Leo followed my suggestion (LOL) and put Thad in the starting line up in place of the injured Brand (btw, I hope he will do the same tonight vs Indiana). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Reggie Evans, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 3 Comments »

Sixers win game, lose Brand

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 18, 2008

82991409JG021_BUCKS_SIXERSMaybe I’m slowly becoming one of those negadelphians I’ve always disliked, but the 93-88 W over the Bucks (11-14, .440) gave me more bad indications than good ones.

But I would also like to keep my optimistic-wannabe composure (LOL) so I’ll cover first what went wrong, and eventually leave with some sweet notes.

First of all Elton Brand went down in the third, with the Sixers down seven (54-61, 7.23 to play) and never got back. The diagnosis is “dislocated shoulder”: I am not a doctor but I have the feeling that his comeback won’t be so quick, the injury looked pretty serious immediately, as the way he fell to the ground after fouling Mbah a Moute was pretty bad.

Second, Iguodala was horrible. I’m not talking about the (awful, yes) 2/14 from the field, or not only that. It’s the fact that he missed every clutch shot and took bad decisions in crunch time.

He reached the lowest point when he went on a fastbreak and had only Luke effin’ Ridnour facing him. You think that the outcome would be a thunderous dunk, right? No. he went up like a sissy, Ridnour touched the rock, that bounced on Iggy and fell out of bounds. Bucks ball, with Andre (dumbly) complaining with the refs for the (excellent) call.

Yes, he had seven dimes and six boards, but you expect better from him. He missed many open and contested jumpers, turned down many outside/three point shots (one would say: wise decision, since he can’t shoot. I’d say: yes, in general, but SOMETIMES you have to take them) and never looked confident enough, as one would expect from a supposed-to-be star.

His stat line in the fourth looks like: 0/4, three rebounds, two turnovers. You rate him.

Third, Lou Williams simply is unable to make his team mates play. He dribbles way too much and DOES NOT look for the others. When he passes, that’s because giving the ball was the only option left. Two assists and three turnovers in 32 minutes is really low for a (combo, ok) guard, especially if you think that he keeps the ball for like 10-15 seconds on every single offensive possession. 5/9 from the line is also unacceptable, there is no reason for a player like him not to be over 80%.

BUT… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »

Fellow guido Di Leo starts with a W

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 15, 2008

Wizards 76ers BasketballIt was only the Wizards, exactly.

Sixers’ new coach – and fellow guido – Tony Di Leo couldn’t have asked for a weaker opponent to (re)start his coaching career (?).

The 104-89 win vs Washington was the logic end of an emotional night (10-14, . 417).

The Wizards are simply a bad team right now, so you can’t seriously take any indication from the game.

Even great players like Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were playing an uninspired basketball, just as if their season is already wasted (and it actually is).

Sixers simply did what they were supposed to do in such a situation, in the first night with a new coach: play hard, play as a team,  play spirited. More than enough to beat the current Wizards. Not sure it will be the same in the following games. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Ed Stefanski, Elton Brand, Guidos, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Management, Maurice Cheeks, Reggie Evans, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 4 Comments »

No more Mo ball. It’s Di Leo time

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 14, 2008

Raptors 76ers BasketballMy buddy Raffaele, cofounder of Sixers4guidos, sent me a text message less than an hour ago.

 “Fired !! – literally. He wrote that in english, LOL . If you had listened to me before, now we could have bragged that it’s also because of us. Too late…”

So I run home after dinner to write this.

Raffaele is not a great fan of Maurice Cheeks, as you could guess. He never was, to be honest. Similar for me. He thought that we must start asking for Cheeks’ head.

I was extremely disappointed by Sixers’ 9-14 start just as about any Sixers fan, but I had decided to wait a little more before hoping for a change on the bench, even if poor coaching has been pointed out countless times on this site.

Ed Stefanski had different opinions, and less patience, clearly. That’s why he gave Mo the axe, and put Tony Di Leo, assistant general manager, as interim coach.

My first reaction is this. 

I never liked Cheeks much, but I have a tremendous respect for what he did last year, that to me was nearly a miracle, some coach-of-the-year material (4th in the ballot). 

Reaching the playoffs with that roster, and playing that (fun) basketball, was a masterpiece. I mean, when your big men are Sam Dalembert, Reggie Evans and Jason Smith, when your starting SG is Willie Green, and you still reach a 40-42 record, take the Pistons to game 6, and all by playing an exciting basketball, with tough defense and tons of fastbreaks, you have to take your hat off to the coach. 

This year was another story, unfortunately. An excellent roster on paper, a deep bench, tons of solutions at any spot, a lot of money invested, and a pretty easy schedule to start. Being at 9-14 wasn’t what fans and management expected.

You can’t fire players (unfortunately. I would have gladly canned a couple of them by now…). So Mo will get the blame, despite being “a gentlemam throughout” and “a class act” (words by Stefanski). That’s how the business goes in the NBA.

Yes, he could/should have done better. Poor rotations. Lack of solutions in the half court and in crunch time. Bad execution. Many players underperforming. No patterns.

But I would have waited another 8-10 games, at least the end of our New Year’s eve West trip.

Good luck Tony Di Leo, see you Maurice Cheeks.

More coverage and a deeper analysis in the next days.

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Maurice Cheeks, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Tony Di Leo | 4 Comments »

Will this pain ever stop ???

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 13, 2008

82995999_DLK012_CAVS_V_76ERSometimes as a european you have to thank NBA Int’l League Pass regional blackouts.

That saved me from watching the 88-72 loss to the Cleveland Cavs, that left us at 9-14 (.391).

Some numbers to recap: it was our third consecutive loss, the eight in the last ten games, and the 11th straight win for the Cavs, that were playing without Gibson and Ilgauskas but managed to increase their best start in franchise history (20-3).

Sixers were playing with the nice throwback uniforms (Andre Miller sporting it) but without Lou Williams (who must have pulled an Allen Iverson and eaten too much tacos, since he was diagnosed with “food poisoning”… lay off the burgers, dude, go spaghetti).

So I relied on those sources that you have to check in these cases: boxscore, highlights, the play-by-play page, others’ reports. And those sources tell us that: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Elton Brand, Kareem Rush, Lou Williams, Maurice Cheeks, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Willie Green | Leave a Comment »