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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Iguodala Drowns Lakers at the Buzzer

It doesn't get much better than watching a basketball game at the Staple Center. Atleast, it doesn't if you are a sixers fan. The 76ers shocked the NBA nation a little past midnight, wednesday morning, and it was all thanks to the the tear drop three pointer off of the finger tips of Andre Iguodala. Although his shot at the buzzer was the final blow en route to the win, this was without a doubt a team win. Andre Iguodala Played all but two minutes of the ball game. He managed to lead the 76ers in points, with 25, and for the first time this season, he attempted over 20 shots in a basketball game. Louis Williams Chipped in with 18 points off the bench, along with an impressive 6 assists in a 27 minute run. Although it is an overlooked statistic, Louis Williams managed to lead the Sixers with a plus 16 in the plus/minus column.

For two games in a row now, the Sixers have received an excelent burst off the bench from the veteran, Donyell Marshall. Donyell was 3 for 3 behind the arc, and only played 10 minutes off the bench. The Sixers found themselves down by 11 points with precious time left in the game, and bringing Donyell Marshall into the game happened to be the best decision Tony DeLio made all game. He may not be able to stay winded for a full 46 minutes like Andre Iguodala, but every minute he is out there, he has made his presence known, as of late. Also, the defense of Samuel Dalembert, on the Spaniard Pau Gasol, was marvelous. Pau had a great game, with 25 points, and everyone knew that he was going to get his, but Sammy D continues to hold his ground in the paint. All in all, this was a team win, their fourth straight, and it kicks off the west coast trip beautifuly. The Sixers get right back at it tomorrow against Shaquille O'Neal, and the Phoenix Suns, at 10:00 ET.

Brian Jacobs.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Donyell Marshall Deserves More Playing Time

For those of you who missed the Sixers' game against the Heat, an unfamiliar face walked onto the court in the fourth quarter. His name is Donyell Marshall, and he has only appeared in 14 games all year for the Sixers and spends most of his time on the bench in a suit.

He came in and ignited the Sixers' offense, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter alone and giving the Sixers a guy to spread the floor with and shoot threes.

This performance left me wondering, why is this guy not on the court more often? Sure; he is old, a liability on defense, and all he can do is shoot. But isn't that better than other guys the Sixers have out on the court? At least Marshall can hit threes, what can Willie Green do well? Answer - nothing.

So here is my plea to Tony DiLeo to put my man Donyell Marshall in the game more often. I remember back at the beginning of the year he found some time in the fourth quarter and hit some threes and I thought, "This guy is going to be perfect for the Sixers, a good guy off the bench to hit open shots." The problem is, he hasn't seen the court.

Another reason to give him more court time is because it is very important to have a player that looks like a rapper on the floor. Marshall's rapper look-alike? Ludacris.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sixers-Heat Preview
Miami Heat (36-29)

Philadelphia 76ers (32-31)
The Philadelphia 76ers, coming off of one of the most memorable games in recent history, get right back to work Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM in the Wachovia Center. Not the Spectrum. The 76ers will tip off tomorrow against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. Tomorrow's game will be the second game in two nights for the Miami Heat, and they will be coming off of a slugfest. Today, they defeated the Utah Jazz in three overtimes, powered by the unbelievable performance of the one and only D-Wade. He managed to drop 50 points, and 10 rebounds in 52 minutes of play. Only the bench could stop Wade from tearing through the defense of the Utah Jazz.

The last time the Sixers and the Bulls met was February 21, in which the Bulls outplayed Philly, due to Wade's 25 points and 9 assists,
en route to a 97-91 victory.
The last time the two Eastern Conference playoff contenders met, Andre Miller's 30 points and 9 rebounds were all for naught. He managed to go 8-8 from the free throw stripe, in the midst of a foul shot funk. Lou Williams chipped in with 22 points, Andre Iguodala cashed in 14, and Marreese tallied 12 in only 20 minutes off the bench. Last night, for the first time in his career, Thaddeus Young scored more than 20 points in his third straight game. It was the first time that he has ever managed to do that in his young career, and he also managed to break his career high for the second game in a row, with 31 points. If the sixers can manage to cool down the heat tomorrow afternoon, it will move them that much closer to making a move for both, the 6th spot and the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference.
Probable Starters for Miami
PG - Mario Chalmers
SG - Dwyane Wade
SF - Jamario Moon
PF - Udonis Haslem
C - Jermaine O'Neal
Probable Starters for Philadelphia
PG - Andre Miller
SG - Willie Green
SF - Andre Iguodala
PF - Thaddeus Young
C - Samuel Dalembert
Brian Jacobs.

A Night To Remember at the Spectrum

On a night that will never leave the minds of the Sixers' faithful, the Sixers did not disappoint. Bolstered by the inspiring play of Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the thousands watching, got to be a part of one of the most magical nights in Sixers history. Opening in 1967, the Spectrum has been the setting to some of the most historical moments in the history of sports. It isn't the prettiest building, but it is what's inside that counts. Inside that building tonight, was one great basketball game. In the final minute of the contest, Thaddeus Young bursted down the court, uncontested, and slipped in his 31st point of the game, which was a career high, and reminiscent to the championship clinching basket made by Sixers legend, Mo Cheeks. A night after his career high, apparently he was not satisfied. He once again set a new peronal high in points scored, and has recorded three straight games with more than twenty points for the first time in his young career.

Along side Thad, Andre Iguodala dropped 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Andre knew it was "winning time." Once again, he made the baskets when they counted. Quietly Sammy Dalembert snagged 19 rebounds, and once again proved his value. There are many Sammy D haters out there, but without him, the team's defense would have no back bone. He also recorded 8 points and 4 blocks. He saved his best block last. Rookie phenom Derrick Rose cut the the basket, only to be rejected by the lanky arm of Sammy D. The humble Andre Miller also added 13 points along with 13 assists. The 76ers next game will be Sunday, against the playoff contending Miami Heat, and the red hot Dwyane Wade. Hopefully the Sixers can take a little bit of momentum out of this historic night.

Brian Jacobs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sixers-Bulls Preview

Chicago Bulls (29-36)

Philadelphia 76ers (31-31)

The Philadelphia 76ers, who have split two games this year with the Chicago Bulls, will look to go one game over .500 once again. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since December 2, in which the Bulls outplayed the Sixers en route to a 103-95 victory. Although Philly has proven to be able to take down teams such as San Antonio and Phoenix, they just cant seem to put the 500 winning percentage in their rear view mirror. Thadeus Young is coming off of a career high 29 point masterpiece against Toronto, and will most likely be matched up against the Bulls' Tyrus Thomas. These two athletic youngsters, and their high flying style of play, should put on quite a show as these teams meet up for the third time this year. The last time these two teams met, in December, Andre Miller scored a game high 28 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Rookie phenom Derrick Rose scored a team high 24 points, going 11-19 from the field.

These two playoff contending teams will display a very similar style of play, and will race up and down the court for the full duration of the contest. The Chicago Bulls currently sit tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final spot in the chase to the post season. Tomorrow night's game will be large for both teams, being that each of them will be looking to advance one seed for the playoffs. Currently, the 76ers are a half a game behind the Pistons. With a 76ers win tomorrow night, and a Detroit Pistons loss, to the Toronto Raptors, the 76ers will advance to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and will look to track down Miami next. Miami is currently 35-29. This game will break the head to head tie between the two teams, which is 1-1, and will be the third of four meetings this season. Their final meeting will come March 9, on a Thursday, which will be a much important fifth to final game of the season.
Brian Jacobs

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Elton Brand!

Elton Brand turned 30 today, so happy birthday to him.

I am pretty much tired of people turning around and calling Brand a bust. There is a lot of things you can say about (1. He has the worst contract in the NBA) but it is unfair to call him a bust. He was never really given much of a chance to play in a good style of offense, he was stuck in the Mo Cheeks offense in the beginning of the season before he got injured. I think he would be a great fit in our current system under DiLeo. Too bad he had to miss his second consecutive season.

The good news on Brand is that he recently got off his shoulder sling and started some range-of-motion exercises with the shoulder. He can start shooting and dribbling in two months, but he shouldn't return to full strength for three months. Best of luck to him on his recovery and can't wait to have him in the lineup for next season.

Thaddeus Young Leads Sixers to Victory Over Raptors

The Sixers needed a big win tonight coming off that unspeakable loss to the Thunder, and that is exactly what they got. The Sixers beat the Raptors 115-106 at the Wachovia Center, getting their record back up to .500 at 31-31. For the Raptors, it lowered their record to 23-42 on the season.

Thaddeus Young came through in a big way tonight for the Sixers. He scored a career high 29 points (so close to being the first Sixer this year to break 30!) and also added 5 rebounds. Also, his +/- was a team high +16.

A close second for Sixers Player of the Game? My man Samuel Dalembert. He scored 19 points and brought down 13 rebounds. He also swatted three shots. Hopefully he can play like this on a lot more frequent basis as he seems to only have one of these nights once a month.

The young guys off the bench also showed up to play, with Marreese Speights and Lou Williams scoring 13 apiece. Reggie Evans did not put up an incredible stat line, but he was in there doing the little things that he does that help the Sixers win games.

Another thing the Sixers did pretty well tonight: Get to the line and convert their chances. The Sixers have not been the cream of the crop this season in making free throws, but tonight they made 22 of 30 for 73%. This was actually Young's only weak point in the game, he made just 1 of 4 from the line.

For the Raptors, Andrea Bargnani led the way with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Shawn Marion scored 18 points and Chris Bosh scored 17 points. The Raptors shot very well from three point land, shooting 9 of 17 overall for 52%. Bargnani personally shot 4 of 6 from deep.

Next up for the Sixers: The Chicago Bulls at home on Friday at 7:00 PM.