Archive: December, 2010
Tonight at Lower Merion High School, the gymnasium was dedicated to Kobe Bryant. Bryant, in town with the Los Angeles Lakers for Friday night's game against the 76ers, was present along with teammate Derek Fisher. Both Bryant and Fisher spoke to the crowd of approximately 4,000 (that's my own approximation) along with a half dozen other speakers including Bryant's high school coach, Bryant's high school teammate, and Bryant's English teacher.
You can check out the video of Fisher announcing Bryant, which should be embedded below. We'll have more tomorrow after the Sixers/Lakers game, which is the get-away game for the Sixers before hitting the road until Jan. 3. If you want to follow on Twitter, click here: Deep Sixer.
Video: The Inquirer's Marc Narducci reports on the Sixers' 105-91 victory of the Clippers Wednesday night.
The 76ers readily admitted after tonight's 82-77 win over the New Jersey Nets that had they played this way against most NBA teams, they would have lost. But the important thing on Tuesday night was that the Sixers weren't playing most NBA teams, they were playing the Nets. And on Tuesday night, a mediocre effort was enough to get the win.
The Sixers are now 9-15 and will play the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
After the game, Doug Collins made it clear that his team is still making too many mistakes down the stretch. Tonight it was three turnovers in the final 3 minutes, 11 seconds, including a very bad pass by Andre Iguodala that led to a Travis Outlaw three pointer with 34.6 seconds remaining that made it a one-possession game.
Usually, we don't adamantly plug our videos here on Deep Sixer. OK, maybe we kind of do. But this one we're adamantly, adamantly plugging. Before tonight's 76ers vs. New Jersey Nets game at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., we asked Doug Collins about the signing of Cliff Lee. Somehow Jack Nicholson makes it into the story. Quintessential Collins.
Check it out. It should be embedded below.
More tonight after the game,
Video: The Sixers have won three of their last four games and have the opportunity to win their next two before entering a brutal stretch. The Inquirer's Kate Fagan looks at what's ahead with CineSport's Noah Coslov.
Today at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the 76ers practiced in advance of their upcoming back-to-back that includes Tuesday night's game at the New Jersey Nets and Wednesday night's game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.
During the Sixers recent homestand, in which they won three of four games, Sixers coach Doug Collins repeatedly tightened his rotation to seven players, and then on Sunday against the New Orleans Hornets, he expanded it slightly, finding a few minutes for Evan Turner and Marreese Speights. Obviously, closing to a rotation of exclusively seven players this early in the season is out of the question, but it's not out of the question to nail down a set base rotation, and then expand it as necessary to include some bench players on nights when help is needed (like when you're staring at a back-to-back).
Here's what the Sixers have so far with that seven-man rotation: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Spencer Hawes. First two subs off the bench: Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young. Next guy off the bench: Evan Turner. Contributors when rotation is expanded on a given night: Marreese Speights and Andres Nocioni, possibly Tony Battie if the big men are in foul trouble.
After tonight's game, a difficult 102-101 loss to the Boston Celtics, it's safe to say the 76ers weren't just beating up on bad teams this last week. They're actually an improved team.
Check out the video embedded below -- it's the first minute of Doug Collins' post-game availability and he looks almost exactly like he said he felt: like they'd been kicked in the gut. There were two crucial defensive plays in this game. The first was overlooking Ray Allen with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in the game. It looked like swingman Jodie Meeks left Allen to slide over onto Rajon Rondo. Meeks turned his back on Allen, who slid down that right wing and found the open area. Allen's three gave his team a one-point lead and changed the complexion of the game, forcing the Sixers to play with more pressure and play from behind.
The second defensive play was the final play of the game, which was an unfortunate pick-and-roll switch that saw Jrue Holiday switched onto Kevin Garnett. Rondo waited for Holiday to lose position on Garnett and then tossed a lob pass over Holiday and towards the rim. Garnett caught and laid it off the board before landing. You can say what you want about the final seconds, about Holiday getting stuck on Garnett, about switching all picks, but there'd be the same frustration if Rondo busted off the screen and sliced to the hoop. Or if someone had rotated over onto Garnett and instead Rondo had swung the ball to the open weak-side shooter.
Video: The Sixers have finally found some stability in their starting lineup. Kate Fagan of the Inquirer discusses how the more defined rotation has sparked the team's recent hot streak.