Sixers Show Heart – and Promise

While most of the city argues about the Eagles offseason moves or prepares for pitchers and catchers to report to Phillies spring training, the Sixers next big event seems to be the NBA Draft. Just don’t tell that to the players.

In the midst of a 7-game losing streak, down 16 in the 3rd quarter to the Houston Rockets and in the second of back-to-back road games, the Sixers had every reason to mail it in, get on the plane and get ready for Boston on Friday. Instead, led by their young players, a fiery Samuel Dalembert, and an injured Andre Miller, they came all the way back to defeat the Rockets 111-107.

What was impressive about this win? It’s impressive because Andre Miller played after nearly having his eye gouged out the night before in San Antonio. Because the cruch-time line-up consisted of Miller, Igoudala, Dalembert, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams, the latter 2 being young players whose development is a big part of the team’s future. Because Young played those crunch-time minutes with a giant bulge on his forehead after a meeting with Rafer Alston’s elbow. Beacuse Dalembert has been playing like a man possessed (15.2 ppg, 13.6 rpg in his last 5) and at 26, is showing a great deal of fire and emotion on the court for the first time in his career.

Why does it matter? Not because this win will propel the Sixers to make a run at the playoffs – it won’t. Rather, in a city that is starved for athletes who care as much as they do about their teams, the young players on the Sixers are showing that not only do they have the talent to win some games for this franchise, but if they don’t, it will never be from lack of effort. Watching Iggy and Sammy dance around yelling like they had just won a playoff game after their game-sealing alley-oop was a great moment. Too bad most people were watching T.O. crying on YouTube to see it.

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8 Responses

  1. You can’t help but feel that the Sixers are one consistent 15 ppg player away from respectable. Problem is that Miller will find his way to a contender, he is just too good and too many teams need a veteran PG right now. So once he leaves, you need a solid replacement PG and another scorer as stated above. Next year doesn’t seem that promising unless they somehow manage to get those 2 players.

  2. nice blog, congratulations

    love the headline too !!!

  3. Mr Ed knows that we’d more than likely be a better team if we can upgrade the Regg-ulator and keep Miller as well. My head says he’s gone and that will probably work out fine.

    My heart says find a way Edski. Miller gets layup OPPORTUNITIES for Evans.

  4. Missed the game (and i wasn’t watching YouTube!) nice post.

  5. I can’t figure out Dalembert, most of the time he is at best a deep bench backup player, but then sometimes he dominates a game. Very frustrating player

  6. Although I am not the biggest Sammy fan I don’t believe he is a “deep” bench player. I think he is a starting center on most teams at a cheaper salary. Or at worst a back-up center on good teams with solid big men already. He fits well on a team that only really needs him to play defense and rebound. When you ask him to actively score by posting up or at times facing up that is when he starts looking even more clueless than he already is. His string of really good games could just be the maturation of Sammy D. I hope so. We are pretty much stuck with him like it or not. There is only one Isiah Thomas out there who would be dumb enough to take on his salary at his current production level – and he already had 3 talented big men.

  7. I think one of the most frustrating things about this current Sixers squads are the question marks. We really don’t know the talent we have on our hands yet.

    –Thaddeus Young has shown amazing work ethic, seems like a great guy that picks things up quickly…but is he the answer to our future starting SF or PF? No one knows. If he does make a nice transition to the NBA 3 forward spot, it slides AI2 to the 2…meaning we have no outside shooting from our swingmen.

    –Jason Smith: Actual talent, or another white big man stiff? I see him as a nice future big man off the bench to give some J’s and rebounding.

    –Lou Williams: Capable of being an NBA starter? I personally don’t think so, and think everyone that says we need to trade Andre to make room for Lou is pretty idiotic. I love Lou’s talent, but this is a guy suited to be a nice Barbosa/Bobby Jackson/Delonte West type combo guard 6th man off the bench, not the future starting point.

    –Dalembert: Looks like a poor man’s all star one night, then returns to 5.0 pts 5.0 rbs the next. If he keeps this up (6 weeks running now with consistency!!!) I have to say, I’m sold and think he “gets it”. I’m not complaining about 12, 10 and 2.5 in the middle for 10 million a year. Expensive? Yes…but better talent then what most have.

    What’s a shame is the best two players in this draft suited for our team…Donte Green (6’10 beast of a big man that can hit threes and rebound the hell out of the ball) and Eric Gordon (looks a bit like Ray Allen during UConn…except more athletic, better slashing ability, and a much better passer)…will probably not be available when we pick.

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