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Philadelphia 76ers

Instant Trade Analysis: NBA trade deadline deals

The 76ers trade everyone, control the second round of the draft
 
Indiana Pacers get: G/F Evan Turner, PF Lavoy Allen
Philadelphia 76ers get: SF Danny Granger, second round pick
 
Cleveland Cavaliers get: F/C Spencer Hawes
Philadelphia 76ers get: F Earl Clark, C Henry Sims, two second round picks
 
Washington Wizards get: PG Andre Miller
Denver Nuggets get: PF Jan Vesely
Philadelphia 76ers get: Eric Maynor, two second round picks
 
In what turned out to be the biggest deal of the day, Larry Bird resuscitated an otherwise tame trade deadline like a last second three-pointer from the corner.
 
The Pacers finally cut bait with their longest tenured player, sending the ineffective and still recovering Granger (and his expiring $14 million dollar deal) to the tank-happy Sixers, who traded two of their best four players today in separate deals. To “get” Granger, Philly dealt back-up big Lavoy Allen and former second overall pick Evan Turner, the Ohio State star who was selected in the 2010 Draft over the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe and Paul George, amongst others.
 
The goal for Indiana was quite simple–to get the versatile Turner who can play both guard and forward positions, handle the ball and get to the rim with some ease. While Turner isn’t a great shooter (just .288 from beyond the arc), nor is he the type of offensive spark plug off the bench, in the mold of Jamal Crawford or Manu Ginobili, he’s a solid passer and a professional hand to have on the floor. He’s an upgrade over the immobile Granger, who’s been pretty awful this year after sitting out nearly all of last season with knee troubles. Again, Turner isn’t exactly going to light the world on fire, but at this point, he’s like a very poor man’s Lance Stephenson….who was picked 38 spots later in the same draft. Four years ago, I could have never envisioned typing that last sentence while clear and sober. I like this move for Indiana, as Turner is an expiring contract that they could very well re-up in the case that “Born Ready” leaves. … Read more...

The NBA’s biggest surprises, halfway through the season–Part 2

Yesterday, we took a look at some of the biggest surprises for this half-NBA season, including the surprising mediocrity of the Charlotte Bobcats and Minnesota Timberwolves (but perhaps not in the same context) and just how terrible the Brooklyn Nets are. Peep the second half right here!
 
Portland’s excellence despite their defensive shortcomings
 
Under almost any metric you can interpret, the Portland Trail Blazers are the best offense in the NBA. Led by Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, they can beat you in almost any fashion. They are willing and accurate three-point shooters, deadly from mid-range and potent in almost every rotation with guys like Mo Williams, Dorell Wright and now C.J. McCollum. The numbers are all there—they have the most offensively versatile starting five in the NBA and a very good bench behind them. In that sense, it’s no surprise they have the fifth best record in the NBA.
 
But defensively they’re not very good. They allow the 4th most points per game, coming in 22nd in defensive efficiency. They are the worst squad in the NBA at forcing turnovers and 22nd in opponent’s offensive rebounding numbers. Luckily, this team scores so well that they’re not often penalized for their defensive lapses. In many ways, they’re the lucky versions of the Minnesota Timberwolves—high scoring, efficient but with two closers at the end of games instead of Minny’s one. Portland could very well continue to thrive during the regular season, but I’m not sure how well they’ll fare during the playoffs with such mediocre to poor defensive scheme.
 
The completeness of Lance Stephenson
 
“Born Ready” Lance Stephenson was a Brooklyn, NY playground prospect, whose legend and skillset earned him a spot as one of the most highly recruited teenagers in the country. After spending one very mediocre season at the University of Cincinnati that was marred with rumors of him being difficult to coach, Stephenson made the jump to the NBA. Unsurprisingly, he was drafted 40th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers. His per game numbers in his first two NBA seasons were extremely uninspiring (just 54 total games played with averages of 2.6/1.3/1.2), especially for two decent, but unspectacular NBA squads. There was no doubt that he could be a very good pro defender, but it seemed that a player like Tony Allen was his comparative ceiling.… Read more...

The Kind of Historic Season You Don’t Want: Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Evan Turner, PF Thaddeus Young, C Spencer Hawes, and whoever/someone else
 
Key Bench Players: Royce White (who?), James Anderson (WHO?), Tony Wroten (WHO??!?!!?), Jason Richardson (syke!)
 
Offseason Additions: C Nerlens Noel, PG Michael Carter-Williams, Head Coach Brett Brown
 
Offseason Subtractions: C Andrew Bynum, PF Andrew Bynum’s hair, PG Jrue Holiday
 
FACT OR FICTION: This new 76ers regime that Sam Hinkie has put together will be the team of the future.
 
FACT. Fiction as hell.
 
The Sixers are going to be bad this year. Very bad, in fact. Where three years ago they were playing the Heat in the playoffs, they now will be aiming to set a new franchise record by losing more games than the 1972-73 Sixers (who hold the NBA record with 73 losses). This is a franchise that has skipped the weak ass sh*t, went straight for the heavy stuff and nuked this team’s mediocre present, to hopefully solidify an excellent future. Starting when they let Andrew Bynum and his afro walk and/or stumble away into free agency and then continuing with the whirlwind of the 2013-2014 NBA draft where they traded pre-prime/quasi-star Jrue “I-Jraw-Good” Holiday to the newly anointed New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel (effectively ruining the funniest/most clever draft choice the Nerlens’ Pelicans will ever make) and a 2014 first-rounder, the Sixers have poised themselves for a historically terrible season.
 
But that’s a very good thing.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Jrue Holiday to New Orleans, Nerlens Noel to Philly

Philadelphia 76ers get: C Nerlens Noel, 2014 protected first-round draft pick
 
New Orleans Pelicans get: PG Jrue Holiday, PG Pierre Jackson (2013 42nd overall pick)
 
There were around a dozen trades last night, and similar to the Nets-Celtics deal, this pact between the Sixers and newly christened Pelicans declared a direction for both franchises.
 
The Sixers, a team one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons ago, were blowing it up.
 
The Pelicans meanwhile, are looking for their rebuilding movement to bear fruit just two years after it started.
 
Whether or not this deal is labeled a win or a bust for Philly completely depends on what you think of Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans’ first ever starting point guard just finished his breakthrough season, leading the Sixers in scoring (17.7 ppg) and assists (8.0 apg) and making his first All-Star game appearance. He was one of the lone bright spots for an awful year in Philadelphia in which Evan Turner’s development once again stagnated, coach Doug Collins resigned and all Andrew Bynum headlines revolved around his hair. Holiday was a very good, though perhaps not elite, two-way player whose excellent defensive chops resembled how well he orchestrated a limited Philly offense. … Read more...

Bad NBA Contract of the Week: Kwame Brown

(In the vein of the highly esteemed David Shoemaker, AKA The Masked Man’s Deadspin column entitled “Dead Wrestler of the Week”, we here at MAMBINO are going to parse our way through the worst contracts the NBA has to offer. Part dedication to the great men who have swindled their way to big checks, part commemoration to GMs that should have been fired and part commentary on the ills of a capitalist society gone wrong, we’ll be here every week with a look at the L’s worst deals)
 
Contract: 2 years, $6 million
Signed by:
Philadelphia 76ers
Salary this season: $3 million
2013 Slash Line: 1.9/3.4/0.4 in 22 games
Expires: 2014
 
If you’ve ever seen Kwame Brown in person, you’ll know this same, overwhelming feeling I’m about to describe. As your eyes wander through the pregame lay-up lines trying to find the former number one overall pick, you’ll easily spot this gargantuan human being. All of 7 feet, 270 pounds, Kwame is built like a Greek statue. Though he’s become less of a specimen into his early thirties, Brown is still chiseled from head to toe. Most 7 footers are these gangly human train wrecks that look more like a random consortium of misappropriated body parts than anything a x and y chromosome could make. However, Brown resembles more of an over-sized professional wrestler than a willow tree—a fully filled out 7 feet tall. His arms are like the longest, most intricately detailed black marble you’ve seen in your life, which seem to be at odds with the design of his lower body. His legs are like two distinguished tree trunks, perfect for boxing out and destroying any opposing rebounder or defender that dare come at him in the paint. The only knock on Kwame’s anatomy are his curiously small hands that would look more suitable on a man one or two feet his subordinate. Overall, I always leave an in-person Kwame Brown experience thinking “if I had seen this guy when he was 18 years old, there’d be no doubt in my mind he’d be a star.” In this case, The 20/20 Experience is more than just an album full of jams.
 
There’s no doubt that Kwame Brown deserves a spot in this illustrious post series. In fact, he might be the charter member of the Bad NBA Contract of the Week Hall of Fame. But what I’m trying to say is that as much as I’m about to eviscerate Brown and any foolish manager that would sign him…I probably would have made the same mistake. But maybe not four times over.… Read more...

Andrew Bynum: Best Case and Worst Case Scenarios

“Bottom line is Andrew is out indefinitely,” DiLeo said before the Sixers played the Oklahoma City Thunder. “There are no timelines; we just have to wait and see how he reacts.”

“His knees now and the MRIs are not the same; it’s a different type (of) situation,” DiLeo said. “At the time of the trade, we had four doctors look at his MRI; we knew it was a calculated risk. We also knew we were getting the second-best center in the league, a franchise-type player. We took that risk.”

Just two days ago, this was the quote from the Philadelphia 76ers, and represented every single fear that they had upon dealing for him in a four-team trade last August. In fact, this exact situation is was the “worst case scenario” that MAMBINO listed in our Philly season preview.

Drew has again fallen prey to a knee injury, though this time the cause is as nebulous as the man himself. For weeks, the Sixers have been maintaining that a “bone bruise” has been the source of Bynum’s absence, with mysterious, non-surgical treatments being used to try and get the new Philly center on the court. However, unlike previous catastrophic injuries from on-court mishaps, the fear of the unknown is seems to be more frightening than watching him writhe in pain on the floor.Matching up the words “Andrew Bynum” and “indefinitely” creates a sentence more terrifying to fans of his teams than the words “Andrew Bynum” and “your babysitter” together.

There’s no return date for Bynum, but according to DiLeo, a December debut is absolutely out of the question. Whether or not Drew comes back at all this season, which at this point is a possibility, could totally change the complexion of the massive deal that sent 12 players and four 1st round draft choices around the league. Let’s take a look at how the best case, worst case and everything in between could change how the “Dwight Howard” trade will be viewed going forward. … Read more...

Will Andrew Bynum Work? – Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Jrue Holiday, SG Jason Richardson, SF Evan Turner, PF Spencer Hawes, C Andrew Bynum

Key Bench Players: PG Royal Ivey, SG Nick Young, SF Dorrell Wright, SF Thaddeus Young, PF/C Lavoy Allen, C Kwame Brown
Notable offseason additions: C Andrew Bynum, SF Dorrell Wright, PG Royal Ivey, SG Nick Young
Offseason subtractions: F Maurice Harkless (15th overall pick), C Nikola Vucevic, G Willie Greene, F Andre Iguodala, SG Sam Young, G Lou Williams
It’s no secret that THE GREAT MAMBINO holds Andrew Bynum in great esteem. To say the least, he’s an extremely complicated young man whose insistence on constant improvement to his game is remarkable considering his injury history. Bynum has moved along relatively anonymously the past years under bigger stars in Los Angeles, whose personalities have outweighed even Andrew’s idiosyncrasies. However, Lakers wouldn’t have won the 2010 title without the 2012 2nd Team All-NBAer, nor would they have been in contention from 2008 until 2012. When he wants to be, he’s one of the truly dominant two-way players in the league, scoring at will and exerting his full dominance on defense. Other than his health problems (which have already manifested themselves in training camp), there’s no reason why Andrew can’t be one of the top twenty players in the NBA.

But Bynum is moving onto Philadelphia. The city that’s done this:

Or this:

Needless to say, Philadelphia’s not the type of city to put up with Andrew Bynum’s bullcrap. Episodes like postponing surgery in order to attend the World Cup. Or double parking in a handicap spot. Or shooting a three-pointer in transition. Or sitting on the bench during huddles. Or proclaiming that “close-out games are actually kind of easy”, and going on to lose the next two contests.

Andrew has largely been able to live life as a care-free twenty-something, because frankly, the town was always too busy roasting Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Phil Jackson, Pete Carrol, Frank McCourt, Donald Sterling and so forth and so forth. Even if Bynum was the biggest attraction in town, which is an impossibility because of Staples Center’s proximity to Hollywood, the truth is that the intensity from the west coast fanbase could never reach the every day heights from our east coast brethren. This is a completely different discussion altogether, but I don’t need to convince anyone that Chargers, Niners and Seahawks fans are decidedly less venomous than Jets, Steelers and Patriots fans on the whole.

After the four-way trade in August brought Drew to the Atlantic Northeast, any question surrounding t… Read more...

The Life and Times of Andrew Bynum

Immature. Strange. Dominant. Lazy. Enigmatic. Brash. Uncompetitive. Headstrong. Captivating. Passive. Disrespectful. Talented.

All those are words to describe the new Philadelphia 76ers center and yet, a muddled jumble of seemingly unconnected adjectives couldn’t come close to painting the portrait of the irrepressible Andrew Bynum.

In sixty years of Lakers basketball, whose history spans from the blue collar mid-western sprawl of Minneapolis/St. Paul to the glamorous lights of Los Angeles, the franchise hasn’t seen many players that closely fit the profile of Drew. We’ve covered him extensively on MAMBINO, including this article that made us the middling featherweight sports blog that you’ve come to at least know, if not love.

In his seven seasons with the Lakers, the term that would most accurately described Drew is “a walking contradiction”. Which man is he? The guy who involuntarily entered JJ Barea into a midget shotputting contest, put off knee surgery to attend the World Cup or the player who has recognized a weakness in his game each offseason, and has worked extremely hard to improve himself year after year? He’s a fragile player who has undergone no less than three major knee surgeries since being drafted in 2005, and yet, has diligently toiled to bring himself back from what has to be a demoralizing medical chart. He has often visibly tuned out teammates and coaches, and still, the most competitive athlete in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, raves about his work ethic and desire to win.
At the essence of Andrew, I truly believe that he is a competitive person who perhaps just doesn’t care about basketball as much as he cares that it’s something he’s extremely good at. I’m not sure that the concept of a “team” or the franchise is all that important to him, but I am certain that he enjoys being dominant and exerting what can be a mammoth hand print all over a contest.
All that being said, the road to where he is today–2nd Team All-NBA honors, a starting All-Star berth, averages of 19/12 on 56% shooting–is an accurate reflection of Bynum; a paradoxical series of events, ranging from the hilarious to the disappointing. Maybe, adding judgment to any descriptive word about Drew isn’t appropriate. Perhaps we should just value him for being what he is; fascinating. Presenting The Life and Times of Andrew Bynum.


June 28th, 2005: After averaging 19 points, 15 rebounds and almost 6 blocks his senior year at St. Joseph High School in New Jersey, Bynum decides that instead of playing collegiate basketball at UConn that he would instead enter the 2005 NBA Draft. He was selected 10th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, who had a lottery pick for the first time in over ten years, and for only the 3rd time in the past 25. The other two Lakers lottery picks? Magic Johnson (1st overall, 1979) and James Worthy (1st overall, 198). Immediately, Bynum had a large shoes to fill.
November 2nd, 2005: In a game against the Denver Nuggets, Bynum becomes the youngest player (at 18 years, 6 days) to ever step on the court as a professional, in his six minutes that night. I’m not going to say specifically that Drew was a fat teenager, but he wasn’t NOT a fat teenager.

January 15th, 2006:
For only the second time since Shaquille O’Neal had been traded, the then 3-time NBA champion faced off against his former team in Los Angeles. During the game, Shaquille dunked hard over his doughy successor, giving Bynum a cold glance down the court
Read more...

Eastern Conference 2nd Round Preview

The first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs was…underwhelming to say the least, completely depressing to say the most. Not just in the games themselves, which were just a pitiful affair: 2 series were done in 5 games, while the other two weren’t terribly competitive for 6 games.

The second round won’t feature All-Stars Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Joe Johnson, and Luol Deng. But as long as this side of the NBA features LeBron James’ quest for his first Larry O’Brien trophy, the East will have all the must-see TV you we will need.

2) Miami Heat vs. 3) Indiana Pacers – MIAMI IN SIX


El Miz: By now, it is clear that in addition to training with Hakeem Olajuwon last summer, LeBron James also spent time studying Ric Flair’s bag of tricks.  The egregious flopping that went on during the first round matchup between the Knicks and Heat was unfortunate, as a playoff rivalry that used to be known for the tough fouls and physical play devolved into a whole lot of whistles, many of them rewarding the flops and calling the Knicks for questionable fouls.

Clearly, Indiana Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel is a student of the game.  Vogel pulled a move out straight of the old Phil Jackson Playbook on Gamesmanship, airing his ref grievances out in the press before the series even tips off.  “[The Heat] are the biggest flopping team in the NBA,” Vogel told the typical gaggle of reporters circled around him after the Pacers’ practice on Thursday, before wondering aloud how the refs would treat such dubious behavior in the Conference Semi’s.  
Even in a physical series where the refs “let them play,” the Heat will dispose of the Pacers, probably in 6 games.  The Pacers were only 1-3 against the Heat this year, and in the game the Pacers won they had a 49-33 rebounding advantage.  In order to hang with the Heat, Indiana will have to play physical, crash the boards, and hope for someone to get a hot hand to carry them in the 4th quarter.  The physicality will be key, and that is probably why Vogel decided to call the Heat out for their flopping before the series even started.  I expect a lot of contact in the paint, and a tough defensive series, with the tone set by Indiana.  Regardless, the Pacers do not have the offensive firepower to hang with LeBron & Co.  Pacers will get a game or two at best, but the Heat are going to the
Conference Finals for the second year in a row.

Could Miami show the killer instinct they’re capable of and finish Indy off in 4-5 games?

BockerKnocker: No. Let’s move on.

4) Boston Celtics vs. 8) Philadelphia 76ers – CELTICS IN FIVE

BockerKnocker: You see that “8” right by Philadelphia? Those giddy yolos don’t last too long in the NBA Playoffs, because the best teams win the vast majority of the time. The 76ers just. barely. beat a DEPLETED Chicago Bulls squad to move to the 2nd round. They have more holes in their game than the golf course on which Josh Beckett played last week. While Philadelphia can run the fast break efficiently and is well-coached by Doug Collins, they will need a ton of help to win more than two games in this series. Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes never had to worry about defending a hurt Joakim Noah, a hurt Taj Gibson, and a worthless Carlos Boozer, but Kevin Garnett proved last night that he’s still got it. 28 points on 10-19 shooting weren’t nearly as impressive as the 14 rebounds, 3 steals, and 5 blocks. It was a vintage Big Ticket performance. While A… Read more...

NBA Eastern Conference Preview

The first round of the NBA playoffs does not attract the average fan. The NBA actually made it that way when it mandated that all series would be a best-of-seven deathmatch, instead of the exciting, upset-rich best-of-fives that occurred in the first round. So as KOBEsh mentioned in his Western Conference preview, the better team will win in the vast majority of occurrences. But true Mambinites are legitimate hoopheads, so this year’s first round of the NBA playoffs won’t be any less special. Call us hipsters, because we don’t need the general public to appreciate the drama on the hardwood.

Onto the picks…


1) Chicago Bulls vs. 8) Philadelphia 76ers – Chicago in four


I wanted to get an actual picture of the cereal, but when
Google Images serves me lemons, I make lemonade.

BockerKnocker: The Sixers are an interesting bunch. I liken them to a bowl of Lucky Charms. Now, I haven’t ever eaten Lucky Charms, so the fact that this analogy comes to mind makes me think that I’m quite possibly stealing someone else’s material. Anyways, the perfect spoonful of this particular cereal is when you get the right mix of bran (for lack of a better word) and marshmallow. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. In ‘Delphia, the basketball team can put together fantastic runs. Their perimeter defense, featuring all-world lockdown man Andre Iguodala, will force turnovers and produce plenty of easy baskets. A transition dunk is like the perfect spoonful of cereal. However, when your childlike eyes gaze upon a bowl of Lucky Charms, you pick out the spoonfuls that guarantee you the taste of sugar from those marshmallows. The only problem is that by the end of the bowl, you’re going full bran. The change from good to bad is so sudden that you don’t realize what happens. And that’s what this Sixers team is like in the 4th quarter. There’s no go-to guy in the clutch; their best scorer comes off the bench. They’re either too old (Elton Brand) or too young (Evan Turner) to really make some noise. On the other side of the court, the Chicago Bulls are not being talked about like a normal #1 seed due to all of their injuries. Well guess what? They’re after me Lucky Charms. Get Santa Claus out, because Philly fans will be booing all series long.

Why the 76ers can win 1 game (KOBEsh): I wrote this earlier this season, but the reason why the 76ers had so much early succcess is that every person on the roster fills their roles to the brim. Even in their second half slide, falling to the number 8 spot, the Sixers are still playing All-League defense, limiting opposing teams to 88 points on 42% shooting and 7th in rebounds. Philly has to continue their regular season trends, and then for just one game, one of their scorers has to go off for between 20 and 30 points at home. That’s pretty much all this relatively punchless team can do against a monstrous Chicago attack.

2) Miami Heat vs. 7) YOUR…New York Knickerbockers – Miami in seven

KOBEsh: Oh, you mean besides LeBron James? Well…that’s pretty much it. The Miami role players have been so rancid that the NBA title in June that once seemed a lock, no longer seems guaranteed. While the Knicks seemingly have a defensive stopper for both Wade and Bosh, LeBron’s brilliance is the most prevalent factor that will give the Heatles the series W. As we wrote the other day in our MVP post, LeBron isn’t just great right now; he’s historically great. Even with Carmelo’s inspired play as of … Read more...