Throughout the week, basketball writers from the major sites have a number of chats and run rumor columns. Every once in a while, they actually talk about the Sixers. In this column, GoSixers has aggregated the relevant stuff from the chats. You'll see stuff in here that will make you scratch your head, but keep in mind, these guys are experts.
CBSSports.com - Dave Del Grande
14th (previously 15th) Why the rise: Only loss since the break was excusable (vs. Dallas). The wins have been lackluster, however, so we'll learn more when the Thunder and Celtics visit this week.
Hoopsworld.com - Eric Pincus
13th (14th previously) Andre Iguodala with back-to-back triple-doubles.
NBA.com - John Schuhmann
11th (11th previously) Andre Iguodala hadn't recorded a triple-double since March 7, 2007, but he's had three in his last seven games. The Sixers have been the third best offensive team since the break and are within a half game of the Knicks for sixth in the East. They're 21-10 at home, where they host the Thunder and Celtics this week
ESPN.com - Marc Stein
14th (16th prevoiusly) LeBron, Rondo, Westbrook ... and the rejuvenated Iguodala. That's your full list of players who've racked up three triple-doubles this season, with two of Iguodala's coming in the flying Sixers' past two games.
SI.CNN.com - Britt Robson
11th (12th previously) The Sixers are an East-best-tying 12-4 over the last 16 games, they are arguably the deepest team in the conference and they have a versatile shutdown defender in Andre Iguodala, who also has performed with the command and efficiency of a point guard since coach Doug Collins flipped him the keys to the offense last month. The center tandem of Spencer Hawes and Marreese Speights is the weak link in the rotation, but the length and quickness of their wing and perimeter players (including Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, as well as Iguodala) often compensates. Everyone gets out in transition -- their controlled, three-quarter-speed fast break is superb -- and their interior passing is a real advantage against weak defenses, as Golden State discovered Sunday. If the trends continue -- the Heat, Hawks and Magic fragile, the Sixers steadily improving -- Philadelphia could become a first-round dark horse.
Tomislav in Zagreb, Croatia:
If Grant Hill and Andre Iguodala dont get true consideration for their efforts on defense this season that would be travesty? they flat out stop people from playing good,ol fashioned locking up!
No doubt . . .it's why neither was on the trading block, despite multiple bogus rumors to the contrary. True lock-down defenders are a rare breed, and unless you're Houston you simply don't give those guys up.
Will there be any bigs on the block or testing FA this offseason for the Rockets to pick up? Marc Gasol maybe? How about Al in Utah? After trading D.Will would they trade Big Al?
The problem is the Rockets are not very good at sealing the deal with free agents . . .they have ticked off enough agents through the restricted free agency process that many of them don't want their guys going to Houston, and that's a big part of the problem
Joe in Philly:
ET looks to jump way higher when he is going after a rebound than when he is going to the rack, it seems he lacks confidence going against a defender but has nice ups going after the ball Could a summer training teach him how to "climb the ladder" ?
Yes, this is definitely train-able. But he has to keep it up constantly to really maintain that level of confidence and ferocity going to the rim. Like any skill, if it isn't practiced, we lose the ability to recall and execute on the spot with regularlity.
RYAN in CA:
Coach, who would u rather have on your team, kevin love or blake griffin? chris bosh or carlos boozer? andre iggy or danny granger? & lastly, josh smith or rudy gay? why? thanks
These questions are a little tough without knowing the group of guys I am adding the player to, but let me try to do it as if I am building a team from scratch in each case, and I get to pick one of the two guys you mention I go with Blake Griffin in the first case, because I'm not sure how much better Kevin Love can be, but I can see how much better Griffin can be. I go with Bosh, because I don't think his sorta mediocre year this year really should away from all his seasons as one of the best two or three at his position in the league. I like Iggy - something about his efficiency of movement really impresses me, and to be honest, I have seen him a lot more than Granger. And finally I am going Rudy Gay - just oozes talent out of every pore, and while I am a huge Josh Smith fan, I'm not sure how much he loves the game from time to time.
Jeff in So topbuzz:
Whats a better offseason move for the clippers. Trade kaman for iggy or keep kaman and sign gallanari.
That's a really, really simple question given that Gallinari is under contract for next year. The Clippers can't sign him - so given the choice between the two - with one being impossible - I'll go with Iguodala. With as well as the Sixers have played over the past few months, Iguodala included, I'm not sure the Sixers trade him this offseason so neither choice may be in the cards. We'll see . . .
kelphus in Pasadena:
Forget the Lakers, let's talk Clipper basketball... which SF really wants to come to LA and can we land him?
I don't think the Clippers approach the offseason expecting to land a free agent - rather the position could be filled via trade. Some names to look at would be Andre Iguodala, Danny Granger andNicolas Batum. Of course there's no guarantee any of the three get traded.
I wonder if the Blazers would be open to moving Batum now that they have Gerald Wallace and could use a big man? Perhaps something like Marcus Camby/Batum for Kaman/Aminu.
That's my idea by the way, not a rumor. Otherwise, the Clippers may hold and wait for an opportunity. Perhaps they could sign a veteran stopgap like Tayshaun Prince or Shane Battier but I don't think that's the direction the team will go
dave in n southern cali:
Hey eric the clipps should make to trade send kaman to the sixers for iggy than send gordon to the pacers for grainger what are your thoughts of this?
The Clippers plan on building around both Griffin and Gordon
Jesse in Toronto:
Hi Steve! Why are the 76ers under everyones radar?I have been overly impressed by them as a team! Collins 3rd on COY ballot? Will COY come down to final record between POP and TT?
Not sure why everyone is over looking them, but they are a legit playoff team... not sure how far they go, but I like how they are progressing.
I am OK with Collins as third in Coach of The Year... Monty Williams is my coach of the year... so Collins third is OK with me.
Paul in Easton, PA:
Sup Lang?, Is it just me is the entire league sleeping on the 76ers? They make rookie mistakes but I don't think any team in the East should look past a squad that deep.
Paul - Doug Collins is a strong Coach of the Year candidate. Write my man HOOPSWORLD's Stephen Brotherston. He does a great COY award watch every week. He has DC as fourth as of this week. What DC has been able to get out of Elton Brand worthy in itself. Plus Iguodala is playing at an All-Defensive level ... and have you seen the development of Jrue Holiday? The Sixers have improved tremendously, but I still don't see them pulling off a first round upset.
Hey David, what's the one matchup you would love to see in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and why?
Philly against anyone.
C'mon Thorpedo! You gotta tell me why you want to see "Philly against anyone"! Is that sarcasm?
I love how Philly is playing. Iggy has found his best role and they are athletic outside. I see excitement and drama in any series they are in.
Dave (Fort Worth)
Who gets the last 4 spots (5-8) of the playoffs?
In the East I have the Hawks (5), Knicks (6), Sixers (7) and Pacers (8). The only team that isn't a lock is the Pacers at this point. I think the Sixers could end up as high as sixth. Charlotte and Milwaukee could catch the Pacers ... but neither team inspires much confidence.
How can Doug Collins not win Coach of the Year? Who has done more to improve his team?
Give Doug his due. Very few people thought the Sixers were a playoff team (me included). They started the season terribly. They've been great over the last two months. He's got to be one of the top 3 candidates for the award. I don't think you can ignore Tom Thibodeau in Chicago however. He's helped make the Bulls a serious title contender. Gregg Popovich in San Antonio deserves a lot of love. And so does Nate McMillan in Portland. Despite all the injuries in Portland, he's helped the Blazers stay relevant. No one has done more with less.
Easiest matchup for Bulls from the 2 spot. Obviously whoever the 8 seed is the easiest, but what about if they only get to #2?
Really not sure yet. On paper I would think Philly's style would be pretty easy for their D to shut down, but the Bulls haven't done that well against the Sixers. New York owned them earlier in the year, but the lineup change they're more of an iso team and might be easier for Thibs' D to handle. As for Atlanta, we'll see how the next two match-ups this month go; the one thing to be said for drawing Hawks is that they really aren't playing well.
NYTimes.com - NBA Players Nap
Philadlephia Magazine - (If you like basketball, don't be a ref)
Comcast Spectacors quiet steady ascent (they make craploads)
SeattlePI.com - Pulse of the NBA
Chicago Sun Times - USA Basketball helped players
USATODAY.com - Jrue Holiday points the way for Surprising Sixers
USATOday.com - Young 76ers Club Credits Collins For Turnaround
Hoopsworld.com - Top 2011 Free Agents
ESPN.com - Weekend Dime - Scouts Size up the Stretch (Sixers related question about Doug Collins)