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Getting to know better Jason Kapono

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on June 11, 2009

n508989364_2317397_7568776_-_CopyFrom someone who watched him closely for the last two years.

What follows is the result of a Q & A session I did with Romy from Hoop Heads North, the Raptors site of Bloguin network. I think it’s worth a read. We owe Romy also the nice pic, taken at Bosh’s birthday party..

S4G: are you happy for the Kapono/Evans trade? Were you a Kapono fan or critic?
HHN: The biggest thing missing from the Raptors this past season was “toughness” The team knew it, Bryan Colangelo knew it, the fans knew it and it was an area that needed improvement for the offseason. 

We had a little bit of it with J.O. but lost it when he was traded to Miami. So when I heard about Reggie Evans, I know it was Colangelo’s attempt to cover that void. From what I’ve ever seen from him, he’s a great rebounder and can bang around down low. He has all the skills that Andrea Bargnani lacks. I can see Evans as one of those guys can grab 20 boards but won’t do much offensively.
I liked Kapono in Miami but not so much with the Raptors. He just didn’t fit into the system but will probably flourish in Philly. The Raptors were overloaded with mediocre swingmen, so dropping Kapono was a step in the right direction.
S4G: can Kapono play SG or is he more of a SF? can he create his own shot?
HHN: Create his own shot? I think he’s better as a catch and shoot guy. Creating his own shot can be disastrous. I’d say he’s more of a SF, and he’s a perfect fit for the Sixers as they’ve struggled with the three point shot.
S4G: it’s pretty safe to say that Kapono is not a great defender (and Sixers didn’t get him for defense, obviously), but can he play SOME defense or, to quote the immortal Donnie Brasco, we have to “fuggeddaboudit”?
HHN: Fuggeddaboudit. (S4G: LOL)
 S4G: do you see Kapono being a good fit in Philly, with Eddie Jordan’s Princeton offense system? will he thrive or struggle?
HHN: Well, I think the Sixers were missing that Kyle Korver type of player to knock down threes, so I don’t see him having a problem fitting in. 

The Sixers have a great crew of players that can create their own shots, Kapono can wait on the wings for the big shot. He’s a great team guy and off the court seems like a pretty easy going and funny guy. I honestly think this is a trade that works for both sides.
S4G: any skill or flaw he possess and that few analysts/fans noticed during his career?

HHN: Well he’s a shooter and that’s what he does best, outside of that don’t expect much more. The problem is that his one major strength wasn’t utilized in Toronto.

(Note: I will return the favour and reply to Romy’s questions about Evans later, I’ll edit the post to add the link – EDIT: here it is, my answers to his Reggie questions)

Posted in Jason Kapono, Reggie Evans, Sixers4guidos | 4 Comments »

Sixers trade Evans for Kapono !!

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on June 9, 2009

Wow, just reported !

Sixers are trading Reggie Evans for sharpshooter Jason Kapono.

If you have been following this blog you know I have always been a Reggie Evans fan but to me it’s a very good move, and here are the reasons:

1) obviously, it addresses a desperate need we had, three point shooting.

Not much to add here, really: we are getting a  former 3 pt shooting contest winner (see the video above) and a real threat from the perimeter. Exactly what we lacked.

2) no lost of depth in the frontcourt.

Elton Brand will be back, Jason Smith will hopefully be back, we still have Sam, Speights + another veteran big man that will be probably signed to replace Theo (Jordan made it clear in the blogger conference call).

Reggie Evans was clearly the odd man out in what is still a very solid four man-rotation, that will be extended to five. Also, Evans’ game was surely a difficult fit in Jordan’s system.

3) no cap troubles

Kapono’s deal expires in 2011, same as Evans’, with 6.2 and 6.6 mill owed for the next two seasons, slightly more than what was making Reggie (4.9 and 5).

Remember in the same summer of 2011 the dumb huge contracts of Dalembert & Green will come off the books, and this will mean a good 22.8 million relief for the Sixers.

Unlike many Sixers fans, I say I will miss Reggie Evans but this is a move that will help us (and actually also Toronto, but we don’t care much about that, right?).

More to come about this in the next days. In the meantime, well done Mr Stefanski.

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Jason Kapono, Reggie Evans | 2 Comments »

Sixers season ends in embarassment

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 1, 2009

fans-booingOk, first let’s take the hat off to the Orlando Magic.

They played a great t-e-a-m game despite all the absences, won 89-114, and deservedly advanced to the second round, 4-2. End of the story.

Now let’s talk about the Sixers’ game. Horrible. Awful. Atrocious. Embarassing. I don’t know what to say.

We simply weren’t ready to play, we didn’t come out to play. Not “play hard”, play. We didn’t show up.

I won’t waste time recapping the game, analyzing this and that, breaking down individual performances. Sixers were outplayed, outrebounded, outhustled, outfucked by the Orlando Magic’s reserves in a 48 minute-butt whipping.

Forget the stats, while Bulls and Celtics were making history (third overtime just started as I’m typing this), Sixers pulled out a memorable choking act, losing all of the four periods, giving up 62 points and 57% from the field (23/40, including 6/9 from three) in the first half and trailing constantly in double digit until the final buzzer, with margins from eleven to the final twentyfive. 

I could mention at least four embarassing plays for each Sixer that was put on the floor: turnovers, airballs, dunks on, shots blocked etc. I won’t go on details as it could be very painful.

Gortat = a polish David Robinson. JJ Redick = Ray Allen part II. Rafer Alston = the new Dennis Johnson. It was that kind of night.

The truth is Sixers are far from being a good playoffs team, and many things have to be re-evaluated this summer, taking this crappy game into consideration.

The sad end of course doesn’t take anything from the good things that were done before, including the two wins versus Orlando, a team that was supposed to blow us, but it’s a clear sign that something is still lacking, especially in the players’ minds.

2008/2009 Sixers improved of only one game from the previous regular season (from 40 to 41 wins) and repeated the exact sequence of last year’s playoffs series, winning the first game on the road and going up 2-1, only to see the season end with three straight losses.

The season perhaps didn’t, but the final game surely deserved all the boos that the crowd rained on the team. A shameful finish indeed.

Let’s leave the main stage to the grown folks, we still have a lot of homework to do.

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 4 Comments »

Birthday present needed: how about a Game 7?

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 30, 2009

Kirsten DunstToday is my 38th birthday. Wow. 

(Other celebrities that were born on the 30th of April: the mighty Isiah Thomas (…),  hottie actress Kirsten Dunst (in the pic) director Lars Von Trier, but mostly, porn actor T.T. Boy – LMAO)

I would like a nice present from my beloved Sixers, and extending the series to seven would be perfect.

There are the conditions, I guess. At home, no Howard, no Lee (+ no Nelson). I will be there, watching online and I’m expecting ALL of these:


1) attack the rim like crazy. Superman will be wearing a suit and I want Iguodala, Thad, Lou Williams etc to take it to the rack until exhaustion.

I’d expect some points in the paint even from Dalembert and Speights (he MUST play tonight !!): Gortat is big but not particularly athletic, the alley oops would be there.

Also, he and “El basto” Battie will basically be the only big men available, so putting what’s left of their frontcourt in foul trouble would give us an even bigger advantage.

2) dominate the boards, of course. Orlando outrebounded us in Game 5, that CANNOT HAPPEN again, particularly tonight. I expect a double digit edge in rebouding. Also we can’t allow to.. allow them more than 4-5 offensive boards. The paint should be Sixers territory.

3) strong defense on the perimeter. STICK TO YOUR MAN !!! Overall we are doing a great job in these games, tonight we will have one more reason NOT to double team in the low post. We can’t give Lewis, Turkoglu, Alston and mainly JJ Redick & Pietrus (that will share Lee’s minutes) open looks. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Random bullshit, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 6 Comments »

Things turn “normal”, Orlando wins

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 29, 2009

86012991FM014_SIXERS_MAGICGame 5 went exactly how everybody thought Game 1, 2, 3 and 4 would have gone.

Needless to say, the Magic won, 91-78, gaining the 3-2 lead in the series and some momentum.

Sixers fought well, showed their nice pride one more time, and should be praised for the effort, but fell short in the fourth, for the reasons that I’ll try to explain.

1) our leaders worn out.

DiLeo again played Iguodala & Miller WAY too much, 46 and 44 minutes respectively.

This is short-sighted, if not plain stupid, as I already pointed out after Game 4, when they both got 45 min. Imagine how fresh their legs & their minds were at the end of Game 5… bad decision definitely.

Consider that Dwight Howard,that is 23 y/o and is a beast, logged in “just” 37 minutes, with no particular foul troubles.

And Magic depend on him just as much as we do on the Andres, if not more (you might want to check his stat line…).

2) ZERO contribution from the bench.

Of course the initial assumption should be that ‘in order to contribute you first have to play’, which is correct, but anyway this time Lou & co. didn’t do a damn thing worth mentioning.

In fact Marcin effin’ Gortat alone scored as many points as our whole bench, which should tell you everything you need to know. The second unit combined for a miserable six points, eight rebounds and five assists – all by Williams.

It’s the first time that our bench is outscored – and outplayed – by Orlando’s, and this is pretty worrying. Also because Magic backups are nothing special, and I’m being kind. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 3 Comments »

Payback time for Turkoglu & the Magic

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 27, 2009

86012989JG028_MAGIC_SIXERSWell, perfect way to end a shitty bad day. A last second loss.

Hedo Turkoglu hit a tough three with one second left (in the Getty Images pic) to give Orlando a 81-84 W at the Wachovia center, and tie the series at 2-2.

We saw Turkoglu countless times on You Tube in these days, reviewing the game winner that Iguodala scored on him in Game 1 over and over. Now the Magic forward will be on the right side of some footage soon. Payback time.

Hedo hit a lot of game winners in his career, building himself a reputation of being a clutch player: maybe this is the most important shot, as it avoided an overtime that could have easily put his team into a 1-3 hole. Not to mention he was having a crappy series so far (11 PPG on 23% from the floor !!) so this play was huge, unfortunately.

Sixers came only close to another memorable comeback: trailing by ten with 4.32 to go in the fourth (69-79), and honestly looking in a slump, they went on a  stunning 12-2 run and tied the game at 81 on a dunk by Dalembert, off a nice feed by Iguodala when there were 14 seconds to play.

But Orlando had the last possession and Turkoglu made sure it was the decisive one, knocking down a contested three over Thaddeus Young. You can only tip your hat off to him, we couldn’t play better defense. Iguodala’s desperation shot at the buzzer hit only the side of the rim. Series even. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 9 Comments »

Sixers hold off Magic in emotional Game 3

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 25, 2009

86012987JZ014_ORLANDO_MAGICAnd I’m glad that my 4-1 Magic prediction can already be filed under the “BS” category.

Sixers lead the series 2-1 after the 96-94 W in Game 3 that I just finished watching.

It was a typical playoffs game, intense, overall well played, that gave me a lot of mixed feelings through the quarters, from joy & pleasure to angryness & fear. Real stars shined, role players stepped up, (supposed) stars choked. We saw everything this night.

Basically it was a 48 minutes rollercoaster run, with the happy end that is making everything sweet now, at 5 AM, while I’m typing this recap.

Let’s start from the finish: Thaddeus Young scored the decisive basket with 2 seconds to go on a lefhaded layup (in the pic), after Sixers inbounded the ball with 7 seconds left.

I honestly think he traveled before the spin move that preceded the release of his shot, but maybe he didn’t have complete possession because a defender tipped the ball out of his hands before, I have to review it more times before having a clearer idea.

Anyway I think Sixers’ victory is completely deserved as we led for the whole night and showed we are a feisty team, with a fighting attitute, that never gives up and can give anybody troubles. So yes, we are still the underdog, but Orlando realized (assuming that was necessary) they have to play their butt off if they want to advance to the second round.


1) total team effort. DiLeo used ten players, EVERYBODY gave a significant contribution: not coincidentially all Sixers scored. Evans & Ivey, the guys that got less minutes, had several good, hustle plays, especially on defense, being instrumental in building our early lead.

2) the two Andres taking it to another level. Miller’s and Iguodala’s stat lines speak for themselves. They carried us for 48 minutes.

Iguodala missed two big free throws that could have actually closed the game with 42 seconds to go and Sixers up three (94-91) , but that was the only thing I can blame him for.

It’s a pretty scaring sign, because this is a deja vu from Game 1 (minus the game winner…), I know, and the fact that he was 9/11 from the line before bricking those two won’t help his confidence much. But I won’t complain after such a happy night, I’ll take Iggy’s 29-7-4, the 9/15 from the field and live with it. Andre, take Thad to dinner, he saved your ass (LOL).

Miller came close to a triple double and there is NOTHING he did bad that I can remember.

3) bench edge. Again, our second unit outpalyed Magic’s reserves. We outscored them 21-10. Orlando used basically only eight players. Anthony Johnson went back being the old bum he is, Pietrus had a couple of threes in the third, but that’s pretty much everything THEY (not he) did.

4) signs of life from players previously MIA. Green finally had a decent game, with hot start (3/3 in the 1st) and a huge basket down the stretch (94-91 lead). Dalembert managed to keep his fouls in control and stayed on the court for a good 30 minutes, rebounded the ball well and patrolled the paint (3 blocks). Well done, we need both of them if we want to keep the dream alive. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 4 Comments »

Extra thoughts after Game 2

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 23, 2009

86012986FM028_SIXERS_MAGICAfter watching live Game 2 and recapping it, I slept three hours, went to work, had a meeting.

Now I am here in office at lunch break thinking again about a WINNABLE game that we let slip away, and that we eventually might regret not having won.

I already said in my recap what basically didn’t work (read the post below this), I’ll add some more points to conclude the analysis.

I agree with Iguodala that Magic were better in “the small things”:

“We feel like we had some opportunities,” Iguodala said. “They did all the little things. They hit a big 3. They got all the little loose balls. They made the shots. They got all the rebounds. They did a great job of sealing the game this time.”

True that.

Like failing to get the defensive rebound off a missed free throw by Orlando, giving them an extra possession, that resulted into a three pointer (70-61 Magic, end of the third).

Or miss four shots from the line in the crucial third quarter (5/9).

Or, mostly, let them score on four of the first five possessions after Howard fouled out (3.11 left to play, 84-76), making the crowd go wild.

All of the above contributed.

Few more points to mull over. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Elton Brand, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

Sixers blow a golden chance, Orlando evens the series

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 23, 2009

86012986FM009_SIXERS_MAGICI don’t know why but after the buzzer sounded, to announce the final 96-87 Loss at Orlando I had the feeling we missed a pretty unique opportunity for a 2-0 lead. Instead, now we are tied, 1-1.

We were in the conditions to steal also Game 2: Magic played another subpar game, Howard was limited, also by foul troubles, and picked up his sixth with 3.11 to play with the score at 84-76… Lewis & Turkoglu played like crap and shot poorly again… so how could we lose this game?

I’ll go with some bullets, and write a more complete post tomorrow.

1) we basically give away two starters to the Magic. Every game I mean.

Green and Dalembert were not ony useless but even detrimental. Green missed at least three wide open shots and got killed on D by Lee (in the pic, the MVP of the game), while all Dalembert did was piling up fouls: the first two after six minutes, as usual, later he added the third + a tech, then the fourth, before being eventually benched until the end.

2)  we turned the ball over like crazy (16), and picked the worst time for the turns. We had eleven in the first half, three in the decisive minutes of the fourth. They were often unforced.

3) we gave up too many offensive rebounds (14). And not to Howard, that would be acceptable, but to Gortat, Pietrus, even Anthony Johnson etc.

4) our offense was sloppy and predictable. Few circulation, no movement with and without the ball, too many isolation plays, ZERO low post scoring. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »

Few tips to win Game 2

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on April 21, 2009

suggerimenti_01Ok, Game 1 is over and after shocking half the League with our fantastic comeback we are heading into tomorrow with an unexpected 1-0 lead.

With this post I’ll try to prove how Game 2 is a golden opportunity for the Sixers to put the Magic into a (too ?) big hole and I’ll provide few, unrequested tips to win it.

And before you remind it, yes, I said Magic in five, but I’ll gladly miss also this prediction… I won’t be ashamed, one more time.

So here is the situation.

The pressure is now on both teams, I think.

Orlando, that still is the better team, of course can’t afford to lose both games at home. Sixers can’t afford a blowout in Game 2 as well, because it would mean that what happened Sunday was accidental (which I don’t believe).

The (shifted) home court advantage is not a factor in Sixers’ favor yet, that’s my point. It would be so with a 3-2 advantage, not now. Sixers should remember that the Magic already won TWICE in regular season in Philly, therefore thinking that we could advance to the secodn round by ‘simply’ winning the three games at home would be stupid.

Psychologically the conditions are completely different, though, and here we could have an edge.

Not only the loss per se, but the way it came (the 18 point lead squandered, the last second shot etc) clearly could a negative effect on Orlando players’ minds just as big as the positive effect it had on ours. But they had three days to regroup, analyze the mistakes, and move on. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Playoffs 2009, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 2 Comments »