Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Your Morning Moment of Den -- CONSPIRACY EDITION!!

Say what?!? A conspiracy on a Sunday morning?

Well, it started Saturday night. That's when there was a curious throwaway line in a couple of stories coming out of Charlotte, where the CIAA -- a Division II league made up of historically black colleges -- was holding its tournament.

Guess who was there to announce his partnership in the start of a scholarship for league athletes? Allen Iverson.

Iverson, you might recall, missed last week's West Coast trip, ostensibly to continue a month-long vigil concerning the health of his 4-year-old daughter and the stability of his family in Atlanta. However, the Sixers quietly confided last week that, while they empathized with his personal issue, they couldn't continue to run a basketball organization with one of their starting players coming and going and chronically attempting to shake off rust.

But there is an interesting deadline coming up Monday. It is the last day that a player can be released to be signed by another team and be eligible for the playoff roster.

So, let's go over the details of Iverson's public appearance last night:

- He was in Charlotte, home of the Bobcats, who are ninth in the Eastern Conference, battling for a playoff spot.

- Charlotte is 240 miles from Atlanta, a mere four-hour drive away -- OK, for an NBA player it's a 2 1/2-hour drive.

- The Bobcats are coached by Larry Brown, who might be the only man left on the planet who would dare consider adding Iverson to his team.

You smellin' the conspiracy now?

Well ... unless Ed Stefanski is a brilliant liar -- and I don't think he is -- this is just a little uncomfortable coincidence. I gave Ed a call this morning about this, and he said that there has been no discussion about releasing Iverson before the March 1 deadline. He said that the Sixers expect to have a sit-down with Iverson "in the middle of the week" to make formal what has become clear: Iverson isn't going to play another game with the Sixers -- and that most likely means the end of his career.

No, he won't be going to Charlotte to play ball. Sorry, conspiracy theorists. I tried to tickle your fancy. Guess the tinfoil hats didn't work.

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.