Author Archive for Zach Field

13
Jun
10

SIXERS: Team Needs to Pick Turner

The Sixers are a team with many needs.  I believe we have filled one of the biggest by signing Doug Collins as head coach.  Collins should bring some stability to a team that has none at all.  At the very least he’ll get this team to play some defense, which was the biggest reason for the Sixers inability to win games last season. 

Just when it seemed no luck would ever come our way, the Sixers got lucky twice in a week.  They somehow conviced Collins that this is a good team to come and coach, and even luckier, our ball came out for the #2 spot in the NBA draft that takes place in 2 weeks.  This means that either John Wall or Evan Turner, whichever one is left standing out after Washington makes its top selection, will be available for the Sixers to steal.  Assuming the Wizards draft Wall,( and they’d be fools not to) the Sixers should pick Turner, a player I believe can get this team moving in the right direction.  Picking Turner would allow Iguodala to move back to the small forward position, where he plays best.  Iguodala has not been the same player since becoming the shooting guard.  Turner brings offense like no other player in the draft, and for a team that had trouble finding scoring from the perimeter all year long, this is a pick that has to be made.

Now some will say the Sixers should take one of the two top big men in the draft in Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins to replace Sammy Dalembert.  While I agree that Dalembert needs to go, neither Favors or Cousins is a sure thing to succeed.  Favors, despite possibly having the most potential of any player in the draft, is still very raw and might not fully develop into a dominant NBA power forward.  Cousins has all the talent in the world, but has the maturity of a ten year old girl.  Someone like that is too risky to take with the #2 pick in the draft,

So with all that said, Turner should be the newest Sixer when they make their selection in two weeks.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the team that has made dumb picks in the past, makes another stupid one this year.

03
May
10

SIXERS: Team Needs to Address Front Office Before Finding New Coach

Well I think we can all say that after a promising finish to the 2009 NBA season, we were all extrememly disappointed in our Philadelphia 76ers pathetic performance this past season.  They went 27-55 and won just 12 games at the usually half empty Wachovia Center this past season, and saw their two top players, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young, take steps back in their progression on becoming stars in the league.  While we were all expecting those two players to help lead the Sixers back to the playoffs for a third straight season, it was the inconsistent play of the two young players that were one of the main reasons for the Sixers struggles this season.  This team never established any type of identity under now fired coach Eddie Jordan, who was supposed to bring balance to the offense.  Instead the offense struggled all season, and the defense was even worse.  This team missed Andre Miller in so many ways; the fast break offense, the defensive presence but most of all his veteran leadership.  Iguodala showed none of that, something that you need to see when you give someone a contract like he got.  I think he is way overpaid and not worthy of being called an NBA franchise player.  This team needs a complete new direction and it starts at the top.  Right now the Sixers are in the process of finding their new head coach.  Let me tell you now that if GM Ed Stefanski is  not fired, it will not make a difference who the team brings in as head coach.  What this team needs is a guy who will come in and take complete control over all basketball operations, similar to whar Donnie Walsh does for the New York Knicks.  Unfortunately, the Sixers have spent so much money on guys who are not worthy of it (Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala) that they now have no money to spend on one of the big free agents on the market this summer, like Chris Bosh or Dwayne Wade.   We  need new leadership that is going to understand that this team will not be ready to compete for a while.  We need to find a way to unload players like Brand and Iguodala who are just eating up money and not producing for their value.  And then we need that GM to find a head coach that he knows can restore the glory that once was 76ers basketball.  We currently hold the sixth pick in the NBA draft this summer.  If we do not hit one of the top 3 lottery spots, I honestly think we should consider moving down in the draft and accumulate more picks.  With the exception of John Wall, Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors, I do not see one player worth taking that can be expected to change this whole mess around.  The Sixers are in need of a major overhaul and we can only hope that ownership will realize it.  But judging from their past tendencies, they probably won’t and things really won’t change much.

30
Dec
09

SIXERS: Iverson Returns to Lead Sixers in Upset over Portland

The Sixers got a huge win the other night against a very good Portland Trail Blazer team in the Rose Garden.  With Allen Iverson back in the lineup for the first time in four games, the Sixers followed their veteran leader to a huge upset, winning by double digits on the road.  Iverson had his best game of the season since he returned to Philadelphia, scoring 19 points on 7 for 11 shooting.  This is a big change from the Iverson of old, who used to score more points but would take (and miss) and ton of shots.  Rarely did we ever see A.I. have a night in which he shot over 50% from the field.  Iverson’s return helped spur the Sixers to a victory, hopefully one they will be able to build off of when they visit Chester native Tyreke Evans and the Sacramento Kings tonight at Arco Arena. 

Playing againts former teammate Andre Miller for the first time since he left for free agency, the Sixers received an outstanding performance from Elton Brand off the bench.  Brand dropped 25 points to go along with his 9 rebounds.  I have been very critical of Brand’s play in the past, but I will give the man credit in that he has been playing very good basketball as of late, especially in the team’s last two wins against Boston and Portland.  The good thing for Brand is that he can come off the bench and play efficiently, while not having to carry the entire burden of playing close to 40 minutes and defending the paint all night.  With fellow big man Marresse Speights having an excellent season thus far as well, the two bigs can split time to give each other rest when they need it.  Thaddeus Young seems to be able to play power forward too, and he has been the starter at that position since Lou Williams returned.  With the lineup of Iverson, Williams, Iguodala, Young, and Dalembert (who continues to be a disappointment despite still showing signs of promise), the Sixers have a good mix of young talent and veteran leaders.  With guys like Brand, Speights, and Jrue Holiday coming off the bench, the Sixers have some depth at each position.  Hopefully they can put it all together and get a few wins.  The team hasn’t won two straight since early November.  Tonight against the Kings would be a good time to turn that around.  They will need a strong defensive effort to get it done, as the Kings average over 104 points per game and have found their new star player in Evans, who is a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year.

24
Dec
09

SIXERS: Team Heads West Looking for Some Wins

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to pile up the losses, except for a great victory last week  over the Boston Celtics at the Garden.  Why does it always seem that the Sixers only play well against the league’s best.  Those efforts usually result in close, competitive games that end in defeat but make you think if they play this well against Boston (11/25 loss 110-113, 12/18 win 98-97), Cleveland (12/16 loss 97-91), and Dallas (11/30 loss 102-104) they would surely be able to beat the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards.  Not so.  The Sixers fall short against those teams as well.  After a huge upset, they have started another losing streak.  They have a record of 7-21, meaning they will have to go 34-20 for the rest of the season just to finish at .500.  If they want that to happen, it will need to start with what is historically the most difficult part of their schedule: the late-December West coast trip.  These include trips to Utah (loss), Portland (loss), Sacramento (potential win), Los Angeles Clippers (potential win), and Denver (loss).  If the Sixers win both the Kings and Clippers matchups, it won’t be a terrible trip, but because of the hole they have dug themselves in, they need to upset one of the three teams that I have penciled in as losses.  On a positive note, Allen Iverson is expected to return to the team after missing the last three games on Saturday when the Sixers head to Salt Lake City.  At the end of this West Coast trip, we will know if this team is going to have a prayer to make the playoffs or if it’s time to start looking towards the NBA Draft in June.

07
Dec
09

SIXERS: The Return of the Answer

The prodigal son has returned to Philadelphia.

Ladies and gentleman, the Answer, Allen Iverson, one of the greatest players to ever don a 76ers uniform, has returned.  He led the Sixers to their greatest season in recent memory, taking the team to the Eastern Conference title, capturing league MVP honors along the way.  He has three scoring titles, a plethora of all star appearances, and was the heart and soul of this city for over ten years.  However, in 2006, it was clear that a parting of the ways was necessary for both sides.  Iverson went to Denver, and in return we got Andre Miller, who took us to consecutive playoff appearances in 2008-09.  While he was very good for us, he could never fill the shoes of Allen Iverson.  The Answer failed to live up to expectations in Denver, failing to get the Nuggets past the first round for the two seasons he played in the Mile High city.  This led to him being traded last fall to Detroit for Chauncey Billups, who went on to lead the Nuggets to their best season in recent memory.  Iverson left Detroit, signed with Memphis, then retired, then came back to where it all started: Philadelphia.

So what does this all mean?

It means that attendance is going to temporarily skyrocket, something that is drastically needed, as it is becoming pretty embarrassing playing in front of a half empty arena every home game.

It means that the Sixers have a point guard for the time being while starter Lou Williams is on the shelf nursing a broken jaw.

It should mean that the team’s overall play will improve (it can’t get any worse, right?)

What it doesn’t mean is that the Sixers are going to completely turn the season around.  There are still a lot of issues, including the poor defensive play nearly every night.  There is also no way to tell how well Iverson will play.  He is not going to be the same Answer we once knew.  I still believe he can and will have something to offer.  What we can’t have is an Iverson who is going to bring a bad attitude.  He seems so happy to be here, back with the team and city that he built his legacy with, but then again his reputation preceeds him.  Who knows how he will take coming off the bench once Williams returns to the starting lineup?

For now, though let’s welcome back A.I. with open arms and pray he can deliver some of the magic of old.  He officially rejoins the Sixers tomorrow night against his former team, the Denver Nuggets.

26
Nov
09

SIXERS: Two Straight Heartbreakers Puts Team at 5-10

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!! Hope everyone gets to eat plenty of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pie tonight. 

The Philadelphia 76ers are in a state of turmoil.  For those of you who do not know, the team is currently 5-10 and is struggling to compete with the teams regarded to be the worst among the league.  Case in point, the recent losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.  The Wizards game was a heartbreaking 108-107 loss that the Sixers had a chance to win at the last second but fell when Lou Williams’ shot came up short.  Last night was even more disappointing.  The Sixers played what might have been their most impressive game of the year against the Boston Celtics without Williams, who was sidelined with a broken jaw.  Elton Brand also was out with a hamstring injury, which in all honesty was probably a big reason they played great.  The Sixers led for much of the game, taking a six point lead into the fourth quarter at the Garden, only to squander it late in the game thanks to a late Celtic rally led by Paul Pierce, who scored 27 points and drew a key charge down the stretch, and Rajon Rondo, who led the comeback in the final minutes with six points, including a key jumper from the baseline to seal the game.  The Sixers lost to Boston on the road 113-110.  They played their hearts out last night but it wasn’t enough.  Despite the close score it’s still a loss, something the Sixers have been doing a lot of these days.  They have now lost four in a row by a total of 15 points.  They have been in every game but cannot close them out.  Two of the losses are considered “good” losses, as there is no shame in falling to both Cleveland and Boston on the road by a total of 9 points combined.  However, you cannot lose to teams like Memphis and Washington.  There is no excuse for it. 

So while the team has shown some life in the past few days, they have nothing to show for it.  You can play well against Cleveland and Boston but all that really matters is at the end of the game do you have more points than your opponent.  And for the past four games, the Sixers have come up on the short end.  The team stands at 5-10, 3rd place in the division only because the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets are two of the biggest joke teams the NBA has ever seen.  Coach Jordan is on the hot seat.  He came in and said this team will be better than last year under Tony DiLeo.  As much as I hate to say it, this team was better under DiLeo than it is under Jordan.  He needs to get this team back on track soon.  The good news is that it is still very early in the season.  We’ve played only 15 games out of an 82 game schedule.  The bad news is that the road is only going to get tougher when we start facing the Western Conference teams soon, and with injuries starting to pile on (Marresse Speights, out 6-8 weeks with a torn ligament; Lou Williams, broken jaw), it’s only going to get tougher, and if a turnaround doesn’t happen soon, the Sixers may be in a hole too deep for them to climb out of.

 

06
Nov
09

SIXERS: Williams, Iguodala Guide Sixers to Win Over Nets

Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala both had good games for the Sixers tonight in a 97-94 win over the New Jersey Nets tonight at the Wachovia Center.  After a horrendous performance the other night against Boston, the team shot the ball well tonight, including going 8 for 16 from 3 point range.  In what was a pretty close game throughout the entire contest, the Sixers needed a late 3 pointer from Iguodala to secure the win in front of a crowd of just 10,054.  The team had some trouble keeping the Nets from scoring down low, especially Center Brook Lopez, who had a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who are still looking for their first win of the season.  It certainly did not help that Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert all failed to reach double digits.  Lou Williams had a great game, scoring 18 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 6 assists.  Williams has been one of the biggest surprises so far this season, averaging 17 ppg along with about 5 assists.  His play tonight may have very well saved the game for the Sixers since they got no production from their frontcourt.  Along with good play from Iguodala and Jason Kapono (4-6 from 3 point range), the team was able to scrape out a very forgettable win against New Jersey.  It is becoming clear that so far this season the Sixers are nothing more than an average team who are able to win close games against the inferior teams, and are being thoroughly dominated by the best of the East.  However, a win is a win, and hopefully they will find their stride soon.  Next game is Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.




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