Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Podcast Alert!

I'll be on John Finger's Podcast this afternoon at 4 pm to discuss Sixers news and rumors, and I'm certain there will be some Phillies chat and general verbal abuse taking place.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Your Morning Moment of Zen -- Hostage of Houston Edition

Good morning, Philly! Well, I love a snowstorm, but when it keeps me stranded in Houston, a.k.a. Baghdad of the West ... well, not so much.

But let's talk basketball, shall we? It will take my mind off the meth heads and tear streaks that have dug levees onto my cheeks.

The Sixers have won four in a row. This will make some people angry, because there are those of you who wanted them to go in the tank and pray for a lottery win in the John Wall Sweepstakes. If this is you, you're an ass. We don't tank in Philly -- period. That's for North Jersey sucks and other losers.

Now for the more pressing question: How does Allen Iverson make his way back into this lineup, considering the three best wins of the streak came while he was at home in Atlanta? (We're just going to not talk about that Nets game, OK?)

The Iverson situation has me confounded, because he has been 1) a model teammate; 2) one of the few guys in that clubhouse willing to frankly speak the truth about the team's issues. And I'll say this about the win over the Rockets: If Kyle Lowry doesn't get hurt in the third quarter, the Sixers aren't winning that game. No way, no how. Regardless, they got a break and capitalized on it. Kudos.

So, what should they do? First off, Eddie Jordan needs to accept that his second unit -- Lou Williams, Thad Young, Rodney Carney and Marreese Speights -- is very athletic, and that he needs to let that unit press opponents more often, just as he did in New Orleans.

Here's my thought on Iverson: start him with Willie Green. Then get Holiday in the game about midway through the first quarter for Iverson, and when the second unit comes in at the start of the second quarter, send Iverson back out with them. Let him be part of that pressing, athletic group. It plays to his skills and to the guys with whom he'll share the court. And that ought to make bringing him into this winning fold a more smooth transition.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Morning Moment of Den -- WOW.

Wow. Just wow.

I covered the Sixers during the god-awful last season under John Lucas. I covered them during the Johnny Davis debacle. But I honestly can't remember any game that was as awful to watch as Sunday night's pseudo-win over the Nets, who are going to be hard-pressed to get to 10 wins.

There was one game that I vaguely recall in 1996, a game against the Heat. OK, thanks to I found it -- a 66-57 loss by the Sixers. That was horrendous, too. Among the shameful stats from that one: The Sixers shot 1-for-19 from 3-point land, each team had 19 turnovers, and Sean Higgins played 29 minutes.

Sean Higgins ... holy moly. That name makes my head hurt.

So, maybe the fog of time just made it seem like Sunday night's game was the worst. But trust me -- this was a once-in-a-decade display. There were at least five shots that hit off the side or bottom of the backboard. (I'm still trying to figure out where the hell Willie Green was aiming that fourth-quarter shot.) The general sloppiness and disorder was brutal to watch, and the fact that both teams saved their worst play for the fourth quarter -- you know, when you're supposed to put your best foot forward -- made it a form of torture to watch. Send the video to Abu Ghraib.

The Sixers aren't practicing today. I guess they really earned the respite with that one (/sarcasm). But thanks to a timely reminder from a friend, I'll leave you with this movie clip as a form of therapy for what went down in North Jersey.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Theme Song For the Sixers...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Three is a magic number ... the Sixers can't seem to reach.

In honor of the Sixers' inability to win three -- three! -- straight games, let's remember what Schoolhouse Rock once told us. (FYI: Blind Melon does a great version of this song.)

Your Morning... Noon... Mid-Afternoon... Late Afternoon Moment of Den

That took long enough. Sorry, but a combination of ailing wife/chiropractor visit/no WiFi at the 76ers practice facility meant I didn't have a cup of joe in front of me until 2:45 -- 2:45! Who the hell is supposed to function this way.

After hearing Allen Iverson chide his teammates for being "lackadaisical" in the second half of games like Monday night's loss to the Pacers, you get the sense that after having a couple of months to be with the team that he has generated some opinions on which players (or coaches) should stay and which should go.

Iverson isn't g0ing to specifically name these people ... but it might behoove general manager Ed Stefanski to bring Iverson upstairs for a sit-down and try to get an assessment of things from the veteran. Because if Stefanski wants to be the one in charge of righting a ship that he has had a hand in damaging, then he needs to get some unbiased opinions from s0meone who knows a little something about the inner workings of players -- and Iverson certainly knows something about playing with heart. The man has made a career out of it.

There has been a rise in the chatter about Andre Iguodala being a prime trade suspect. Some people insist it has to happen. I'm not quite there yet. However, what Iguodala does need to understand is that he is a part of this team's dip from mediocrity to brutality. He entered the season shooting nearly 47 percent from the floor for his career; this season he is at 42.4 percent. He tried to sell this story about last-second heaves at the end of quarters perhaps skewing the number. Come on, man. You're dealing with a math guy here. You would have had to have throw up 60-plus prayers more this season than you typically would have through a half-season in the past for that to bring your field-goal percentage down that far. Sell that somewhere else.

This isn't to suggest that Iguodala suddenly has become a mediocre player. But the arrival of Eddie Jordan and departure of Andre Miller have coincided with his being a less efficient offensive player. Is it the offense? Is it not having a well-heeled point guard putting him in better scoring positions? It could be some of both. But the real problem with Iguodala is that he seems to be in mourning out there for the leadership role that he basically has lost to Iverson, Elton Brand -- even to Lou Williams for a while. The problem is that Iguodala isn't the best leader. It isn't about intensity or effort. Few players are as focused and try as hard as he does at ends of the court. But there is a poisonous pessimist in the guy. He is that player who shows more disgust in other players making poor decisions than he does in his own (and he makes some real clunkers at times). And once a team starts having the raised expectations that the Sixers had built over the previous two seasons, that trait starts to come into play more often. And it can wreck team confidence.

That is what Iverson is seeing. I know he tried to say that the confidence is there, and I know where he's coming from. But that confidence has been lost because many of the players on this team have detached their emotions as a survival instinct -- be it from Iguodala's eye-rolls, Eddie Jordan's randomness when it comes to playing time (how in the hell was Dalembert not on the court when Dahntay Jones was backing his way into the lane against Lou Williams?), or the air of disappointment this first half has caused to permeate the locker room.

Iverson sees guys trying to survive challenges, not take them on. He knows there is no way the Sixers should be this deep in the tank. Andre Miller is missed ... but for crying out loud, he isn't THAT missed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


.... if you want to follow me on Twitter, it's dd_onthenba.

A few things:

1) If you're looking for consistent, in-depth, breaking Tweets, don't follow me. It's Twitter. If I thought I could tell you something worthwhile in 140 characters or less, I'd work at the Metro. I'm a writer.

2) While I'm a writer, I'm a wannabe comedian. I'm not saying I'm funny, but I wish I was funny enough to make a living from being funny. My Tweets are often out to get a laugh out of what's happening, be it an NBA game or life in general. If this is not what you're after, then don't follow me.

3) If you are still interested in following my Tweets, then I encourage interaction. The best Tweets come from conversations.