In Philadelphia 76ers on January 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Is it possible that we’re really talking about the Sixers, or as I prefer the 76ers, in mid-January? The team is off to an 11-4 start and already has a 5 game lead over the New York Knicks and 5 ½ over the hated Boston Celtics. Does anybody really care? Well fans care when teams win and the crowds with start packing in the Wells Fargo Center if the team continues to compete. With that said they visit the Miami Heat and LeBron James and Chris Bosh tonight. The Heat will be playing without Dwayne Wade but it didn’t matter Thursday night when they blew out Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. This will be a big early season test for the 76ers to use as a measuring stick of where they are. The schedule over the next 6 games is favorable for the team to pad they’re 1st place lead. After the Heat game the next 5 are at home against Washington, last in the Southeast, the Nets, next to last in the Atlantic, Charlotte, next to the last in the Southeast, Detroit, last in the Central before 1st Place in the Southeast Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard come to town. If they come out of the next 6 with a 4-2 record they’ll be in good shape. The important thing is they either need to beat Miami or Orlando to prove they can compete at the highest level. Unfortunately you don’t win all of the games you’re supposed to so they’ll likely drop at least one of the middle 4 games.

How are they doing it? Head Coach Doug Collins, an all-around really good guy, has the team playing as a TEAM without a superstar. That’s tough to imagine in professional sports and especially in the NBA where teams try to stockpile big name individuals. The big differences are D-E-F-E-N-S-E and playing fundamentally sound ball every night. They are giving up only 86.7 points per game, 2nd in the league and holding opponents to 41.3% shooting from the field, 4th in the league. They are also leading the league in steals differential. That will win games!!

On offense the team has 7 players averaging between 10.3 and 15.1 ppg while having only 2 players averaging over 30 minutes per game. This will pay big dividends as the long grueling season moves on. As a team, they are 3rd in the league in scoring at 100.7 ppg trailing only Miami and Denver. They are 1st in the league in Points Scored/Points Allowed with a 13.6 ppg differential and are 4th in the league in rebounding. Collins continuous preaching good fundamental basketball on both ends of the court has the 76ers believing in the concept and winning ball games.

Individually the scoring leaders are Lou Williams, 15.1, Jrue Holiday, 14.9, Andre Iguodala, 14.3, Thaddeus Young, 12.9, Evan Turner, 10.4, Spencer Hawes, 10.4 and Elton Brand 10.3ppg. Hawes is averaging 8.9 rebounds and Brand 7.4.

Let’s hope that this is the year, but only time will tell if the 76ers can compete with the elite teams in the league. It’s been since the 2002-03 since the team has gotten out of the 1st round of the playoffs and hasn’t reached the finals since Allen Iverson led them to the finals in 2000-01. Collins took Eddie Jordan’s 2009-10, 27-55 team and improved it to 41-41 last season. It seems 50 wins this year could happen and if so this T-E-A-M should win the Atlantic division.

It’s time for the 76ers and basketball to matter again in Philadelphia. Let see what happens in the next 6 games.

  1. Hi Bill,

    The last game I was at was when Iverson played the Lakers in the Championship. Please dont tell me Sixers will win a championship before the Flyers, Phillies and Eagles in that order!! What the hell , maybe all 4 will win it all this year. OOPS,the union soccer team may be first:)))))))))))

    • I’m don’t think the 76ers are winning a championship but it’s nice seeing them competing at least. I like the Flyers this year. Can’t blame it on not paying for a goalie!!

  2. leave the goalie alone, you are messing up his mojo!

    • Bryz ripped the press after todays nice win over the Devils. He told them to stop asking him how he felt and to leave him alone. The media slime will after him now!!

  3. The Sixers have played great basketball since about Game #17 of last season. They started last year 3-13 and then went 38-28 to finish the season. Included in that run were at least 7 brutal losses where they blew huge leads in the fourth quarter. I was at a game against Memphis last year where they were up 70-49 with 15 minutes to go and lost by five. They are finishing those games this year. I am looking forward to the first six games in February when they play Chicago, Miami @ Atlanta, Lakers, San Antonio and the Clipppers. Five of those games are at home. It will be interesting to see what we think after that stretch is completed.

    • Kevin, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. They got blown out of the building by the Heat but have bounced back. I’m afraid they’re going to struggle to be in the upper echalon this year but they are playing good ball and are fun to watch again. We’ll do in update in a couple weeks and see where we are.

  4. Very intreresting post. It was very relavant. I was searching exaxtly for this. Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such useful posts.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. My plan is to cover the 76ers at least once a week with this type of update. As we get closer, update more often, if warranted. Watched the game last night again and they’re fun to watch. Click on “foolow” and you’ll get automatic updates each time we publish. Thanks for the interest.

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