Monday, December 22, 2014

Power rankings: Sixers can't find winning formula

Things were starting to look up for the Sixers. They won three out of four games and seemed to be playing solid team basketball. But that all came to a crashing end when the Sixers suffered one of their ugliest losses of the season Monday in Minnesota. The Sixers frittered away a 20-point lead against a young Timberwolves team and lost in overtime, 108-103. Losses like that are why media pundits have the Sixers buried at the bottom their power rankings once again this week. Here's Pattison Ave.'s weekly roundup:

Power rankings: Sixers can't find winning formula

Sam Dalembert and the Sixers remain near the bottom of media rankings. (Associated Press)
Sam Dalembert and the Sixers remain near the bottom of media rankings. (Associated Press)

Things were starting to look up for the Sixers. They won three out of four games and seemed to be playing solid team basketball.

But that all came to a crashing end when the Sixers suffered one of their ugliest losses of the season Monday in Minnesota. The Sixers frittered away a 20-point lead against a young Timberwolves team and lost in overtime, 108-103.

Losses like that are why media pundits have the Sixers buried at the bottom their power rankings once again this week.

Here's Pattison Ave.'s weekly roundup:

*ESPN.com demonstrated a positive outlook for Sixers' center Samuel Dalembert, despite the personal issues he's been going through in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck his native Haiti. They bumped the Sixers from No. 23 in last week's rankings to 21 this week, largely because of Dalembert's recent improvement on the court.

All those trade rumors. Tragic pictures from his earthquake-ravaged homeland every time he turns on his TV. And here's how Haiti's Sam Dalembert has held up over the past six games: 13.5 ppg and 14.3 rpg.

*NBA.com touched on the same notion. Dalembert has been huge for the Sixers the last couple of games, while also taking a leading role in the earthquake relief efforts. They moved the Sixers up two slots from 26th last week to 24th this week.

Not only is Samuel Dalembert leading the charge to aid earthquake victims in Haiti, but he's also playing his best basketball. Over the last six games, he's averaging 13.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, while shooting 73 percent.

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*FOXSports.com believes the Sixers' frontcourt players aren't living up to their pay grade - something few Sixers fans would argue. They kept the Sixers at No. 24, the same ranking they held a week ago.

Elton Brand and Sam Dalembert would be considered useful role players if only they weren't paid like superstars.

*Hoopsworld.com seems to think that if the Sixers played more road games their win total would look more respectable. They dropped them two spots in their rankings from 24th last week to 26th this week.

The Sixers actually have more wins on the road (seven) than all but seven other teams in the East (tied with the Knicks). What's killing them is their 6-13 home record.
 
It doesn't get any easier for the Sixers, as they host a pair of tough Western Conference foes - the Trail Blazers and Mavericks - this week.

 

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