STAR OF THE WEEK:
It is often said in the sports’ world, the best ability is availability. Keeping with that logic, along with significant growth from week one to week two is why “the homie” gets this week’s Gold Star.
The 76ers have made the conscience decision to play two players, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, despite feeling that neither player is completely healed enough to play unrestricted NBA basketball. Therefore, Okafor and Embiid have been placed on restricted minutes and subsequently restricted development.
Yet, nature always finds a way and in this case that “way” is Dario Saric.
The stifling of those big men have enabled baptism by fire for Saric. The Croatian has been put in difficult spot of learning how to shoot, while essentially being shot at. The forward to date has shown a toughness and desire that should make him a viable NBA player.
Saric finished the week +11 in three games, posting 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per. Dario’s toughness was on display in a close game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. The forward was struggling from the floor, but seemed determined to have an impact on the game. Despite not playing the final 5:40 of the fourth quarter, Saric still managed to grab three rebounds in the quarter and his hustle was key in keeping Philly within striking distance.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Four the love of three
It is difficult to say a player’s highest scoring performance may have been their worst offensive performance. However, Joel Embiid’s 22 point scoring output against the Cleveland Cavaliers was just that.
The center was lauded for his three ball game, as he shot 4 – 4, but lost in the applause was four free throw attempts. This lack of paint presence and specifically, the center’s penchant for straying away from the paint could prove to be a problem for “the Problem”.
Embiid is still learning how to incorporate his love for long distance shooting into the repertoire. The center will soon realize while shooting threes will get him numbers, it will be his post game that gets the necessary wins.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
October 31st – November 6th
This week was highlighted by an early clash of the titans as the Boston Celtics rolled into Philadelphia. The 76ers disposed of the San Diego Clippers (130 – 111) and Detroit Pistons (120 – 109) respectfully and were ready for Larry Bird and crew.
Philly held a two point halftime lead, and would win the contest in double overtime 119 – 115. Moses Malone gave the Celtics 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, but it was the good Doctor who would bring the 76ers back and eventually bring the win home.
Erving kept Philadelphia afloat after a 33 point third quarter by Boston. The forward would send the game into overtime with an eight-footer and appeared to secure the victory, only to have Larry Bird send the game into a second overtime. A jumper by Dr. J with 38 seconds remaining and a late steal by Andrew Toney would keep Philly undefeated.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: