This week’s star goes to Dario Saric, yet again! The forward has taken the reigns as the team’s best and most consistent player. In a 105 - 99 win at home against the Charlotte Hornets the Croatian grabbed a team high 11 rebounds to go with a team high 18 points.
While the team did not fare as well in Boston against the Celtics, losing 116 – 108, Saric continued to play well. The forward would again lead the team in scoring (20 points) and rebounding (11 rebounds) despite coming off the bench. The rookie would cap the week off with a 17 point performance in the Rising Star Challenge.
When Saric arrived many thought, including yours truly, his struggles would come from adjusting to the speed of the NBA game and the athleticism of the players. This has been a problem at times, but the 76ers’ rookie has more than made up for it with his pure basketball instincts and aggression.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
As the value of Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and even Joel Embiid is continuously discussed/debated, the production of Dario Saric seems to have not gotten its earned recognition. In grabbing 10 or more rebounds in back-to-back games this season, the rookie accomplished something that neither of the three aforementioned players have managed.
Besides simply being available each and every contest, Saric has provided a necessary scoring punch. The Croatian has dropped 20, 18, 19, 26, and 20 in his last five contests. The All-Star break may be a bit of an energizer for Dario and the forward should come back ready to finish out what may amount to a Rookie of the Year winning campaign.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
Teamwork makes the dreamwork
The week began with the Sixers sending their head coach Billy Cunningham and four players to the 33rd NBA All-Star game. Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks and Dr. J would start the game with Andrew Toney coming off the bench. The Doctor (25 points) would steal the show and lead the Eastern Conference to a 132 – 123 victory. Julius was the game’s leading vote getter receiving 707,012 and would also take home the MVP honors.
The week would also feature two games, and subsequently two more wins for the 76ers. Philadelphia was its usual dominate self, winning both games by 20 plus points.
In a 116 – 95 win against the visiting Denver Nuggets starters Erving, Malone, Toney and Cheeks would shoot a combined 65 percent from the field (26/40). The game was never in doubt as the Sixers would lead 44 – 19 after the first quarter.
Playing against Malone’s former employer, the Houston Rockets, the win required slightly more effort. This time back-to-back 33 point quarters would springboard Philadelphia to another 20 point win 127 – 98. Moses would again lead all scorers with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: