|In front of a pitifully small crowd (8,612) the first-place Sixers put another team to sleep. The Pacers were without Danny Granger and George Hill, but they put up a much better fight than the first two teams to enter the WFC. Ultimately, their fate was the same, though a double-digit win for the home team. (game capsule)|
|Before we enter the Sixers' back-to-back-to-back (should be fun!), here is a brief statistical interlude. In the NFL, organizations like footballoutsiders.com have revolutionized statistics by treating different game situations differently. For example, an 11-yard completion on 3rd-and-9 in the red zone with 2 minutes left in a one-score game is much more difficult (and valuable) than a 15-yard completion on 1st-and-20 in the 1st quarter. That has gotten me to thinking: what if we were to try that in the NBA? Not all points in an NBA game are equal. A basket when your team is down 2 with under a minute left is "worth" much more than a basket in garbage time. So to turn this idea into a workable system, we need to develop some weights based on game situations (the hard part) and then determine weighted statistics (it turns out that these follow naturally).|
|Every stat will tell you the Sixers have been one of the best teams in the league to this point, if not the single best. They've been murdering teams, dominating with their defense and pummeling with their offense. Their detractors will ask, "Who have they played?" Well, tonight they have a chance to take down a playoff team from last season in the Pacers. A team that's 6-2 and sports some impressive defensive stats of their own.|
|If this script was so enjoyable, it might become tiresome. The Sixers, again, built a meager lead through the first half, then absolutely ran another team out of the gym in the second half. Last night, the victim was the Toronto Raptors who were ready to jump on the bus and get out of Philly halfway through the third quarter. The final was 97-62 and if Collins hadn't called off the dogs early in the fourth, they might've won by 50. (game capsule)|
|If the game is in question, Doug Collins trusts eight players on his roster. Spencer Hawes, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young. That's his group. Those are his guys, and he's going to win or lose with them on the floor. Whether relying so heavily on eight players is sustainable over the course of this abbreviated season remains to be seen, but for now, that's his plan and he's sticking to it. Let's see how he's mixed and matched those players so far.|
Latest comment: from Air Jordan SaleI’ll see you again soon with more vacation news and photographs. Have a great beginning of the week, friends! ...
|The Sixers let the Pistons hang with them through three quarters in their home opener last before taking off the kid gloves and blowing Detroit out of the water with a 32-point fourth quarter, en route to a 96-73 win. (game capsule)|
|If you can manage to avoid distraction by the new mascot, the Broadway-inspired lighting, the Sixers of yore in attendance, the dollar dogs, the discounted tickets, the new national anthem singer and free rally towels, Adam Aron and Co. will have something else to wow you later tonight, an actual basketball game. Yes, the Sixers are finally home. (Tune in after the game for a special episode of SixersBeat)|
Latest comment: from Dollar BillThanks. Was thinkin' Richard, Roy, George... everyone but Al of Salt Lake, a career 50% shooter & defender....
|The Sixers weathered a terrible first half, an up-and-down third quarter, then absolutely blew the Hornets' doors off in the fourth to pick up their third win of the season, 101-93 (game capsule). This game showed us a lot about this young team, how far they've come in the past 14 months, and what still needs to be done for them to take the next step.|
|According to Marc Stein, the Sixers are on the verge of trading Marreese Speights in a three-team deal that would land Speights in Memphis, Xavier Henry in New Orleans and two future draft picks in Philadelphia.|
|When the Hornets traded away Chris Paul, they seemed destined for a high lottery pick in this summer's draft. Then they went out and won their first two games, handily, over the Suns and the Celtics. Well, the fairy tell in New Orleans has come crashing down in their three games since. Three losses to bad teams and all seems to be according to plan once again.|
Latest comment: from david watermanBelieve it nor not, some fish can actually breath oxygen at the water's surface. These fihs are known as anabantoids...
|This will be the last time until the All-Star break when there is more than one day between Sixer games, so here is something to think about until then. It's been interesting to observe the comments on the blog so far in this young season, because the Sixers have been led by stellar performances from two of their more unpopular players (Hawes and Lou) and their most polarizing player (Iguodala), while three of their more popular players (Jrue, Thad, Turner) have struggled at times. So we've seen, from opposite ends of the spectrum, both reluctant praise (e.g., for Hawes) and reluctant criticism (e.g., for Jrue). This got me to thinking about the nature of rooting for athletes and teams.|