• September 27, 2023

Finally A Real Pro Basketball Team In Philly

There’s a big difference watching this 76ers team as opposed to the one we saw in 2010-11. Last year’s squad could not find ways to beat decent teams and would flounder down the stretch with the game on the line. I remember March 9th, in particular, when the Sixers blew a five point last minute lead against Oklahoma City and ended up losing the game in overtime.

The main problem was they didn’t know who to give the ball to during crunch time, and they let the other team’s star take over. This year, things are different. They are finally figuring out how to win games in the fourth quarter, and last night’s 95-90 win over the Lakers was a great example of just how far this team has come. Lou Williams took over the last five minutes, while the much maligned Andre Iguodala shut down Kobe Bryant in the second half. Williams and Iguodala have come such a long way.

Neither one will ever be the superstar that many expected them to be, but both have gone all in on Doug Collins philosophy and it’s nice to see them get a chance to finally flourish. As recently as two years ago, these guys were the poster boys for failure during that forgettable 27 win Eddie Jordan debacle. Today they are both legit All-Star candidates and it’s a testimony to not only the head coach, but two guys that are doing what needs to be done for the good of the team.

Sixer Tidbits

-This team is really starting to remind me of the 2007 Phillies. That was another team that was young, hungry, and received very little fan support early on. They showed resiliency during the season, and by October had won over the town. These Sixers are very much like that. They especially showed their hunger Saturday night when they went down to Atlanta and beat up a very good Hawks team after a tough loss the night before.

I don’t think there’s any way this team goes on the road and wins that game last year. But these young guys have a sense of purpose and professionalism that’s been missing for a long time. Again, credit Collins and his staff for taking a culture of losing and flipping it around. These guys expect to win and, with the exception of Miami, matchup well with anyone in the East. Maybe they’ll get lucky and the Heat will pull a Mets style choke job that enables the Sixers to miss them altogether in the postseason. Stranger things have happened.

-Elton Brand is one of the most professional guys in all of basketball. He’s playing for a team whose style of play goes against his strengths, but he continues to go out there and battle every game. With that being said, I think it’s a safe bet that we are seeing him in his last year as a 76er. His cap number is too high for next season, and if the Sixers hope to bring in a quality free agent they will have to amnesty him. Meanwhile, the team really hasn’t missed a beat as he’s sat out the last two games with a hand injury. EB should have a few more decent years in this league, but I’m betting by next year it won’t be in Philadelphia.

-Remember a couple weeks ago when many still weren’t sold on the Sixers because they only beat subpar teams? Guess we can finally stop that talk. With wins this past week over Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta and LA, the Sixers are finally starting to get the respect they deserve. I guarantee there isn’t a coach in the Eastern Conference that wants to play this team in a best of 7 series. They are relentless defensively, and can run with anyone. They are young and hungry and it’s nice to see the bandwagon finally filling up. Enjoy the ride, Philadelphia. This team has a chance to be very special.

John Bucci

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February 7, 2012 7:26 pm

You said it Brother.

February 7, 2012 11:46 pm

Nice write up. I couldn’t agree more. From what I’d seen from this team prior to their stretch against Orlando, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and LA, I was anticipating they could go toe to toe with the big boys. The fact that they actually took it to each of those teams save the 4th qtr against the Heat validated my earlier belief in their ability to play great team basketball, and outwork their opponents night in and night out. I couldn’t be happier for the team and the fans who’ve been able to overcome whatever jaded feelings they may have had about a rudderless franchise and choose to judge the team only by what they deliver on the court. Bravo & well done. I am very much enjoying this ride and hopeful that it continues for the rest of the season.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
February 7, 2012 11:49 pm

Great article John. There werent many believers in the beginning and yet after all these huge wins many still dont want to believe it. I said before the season started on this site that the sixers would be 6-0 to start the season.. they have not disappointed. That was a monster win on monday night. I expect another win against the spurs who will be without Manu Ginobili on wed and a tough one on friday against the clippers who will be missing chauncey billups for the rest of the season.. if we go 2-0 will the naysayers finally become believers?..
Another thing i noticed is there are alot of injuries throughout the league right now including our team but this grueling season is wearing on everyone so maybe the sixers can strike while the irons hot and really go on a serious run here.. as i mentioned the only team that will give the sixers trouble is the heat and honestly with a few shots made consistently the sixers can contend with them and would have won there last contest. The sixers have steong depth and with them giving 2 rookies in allen and vuc so much playing time and experience, come playoff time this team will be a serious problem, noone is going to want this team in the first round or the playoffs for that matter..

February 8, 2012 5:58 am

Until we rid ourselves of the softness at the 4 & 5 positions, rid the contracts of Iggy & Brand, & get a consistent go to scorer, we win nothing. Get it? Nothing! Yes they are playing surprising basketball right now, but are they going to win anything? NO, is the answer.

February 9, 2012 11:46 am

I really like the 76ers right now, and Doug Collins…But I throw in a negative that needs to be improved.

At end of Lakers game, after Williams brought them back, maybe 1 minute left, Sixer’s ball, with a chance to step on Laker’s throat: Williams throws up a shot from maybe 35 feet when he could have run clock down for another 20 seconds, and worked ball in to get a good shot: Bonehead play and everybody I was watching game with go ‘Whhaaaa????’

Then, either play after or maybe play before, Iguodala blows two key free throws again.

It is what it is, I guess…Still, I like the way they play.

Oh yes, one more thing: The game against the Heat?…Somebody forgot to tell 76ers that the game is FOUR QUARTERS, NOT THREE, as 76ers completely disappear in 4th quarter of that game…Heat were ripe for the plucking.