When Philadelphia traded Jermi Grant for Ersan Ilyasova few thought the foreign born player would boost Philly’s rebounding. Oddly enough, that is just what the forward has done. Ilyasova managed to lead the 76ers in rebounding in each game this week.
Ersan has also been a pleasant boost to a Philly club in need of a shooter capable of creating space. The forward has provided both and surprised many, yours truly included, in the process. This week was no different as Ilyasova registered a double-double in two of three games played.
His presence on the floor has taken pressure off of Embiid and Okafor, and has enabled the young big men to operate in space and minimal double teams.
In the 101 – 94 win against the Miami Heat it was Ersan’s rebounding in the second quarter (grabbed five) that helped the Sixers to a halftime lead. A lead they would never relinquish, as he finished up with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Few NBA clubs attempt more three point shots then the 76ers, to date Philly rests at number six for three point attempts per game. So it should surprise no one when the attempts exceed 30 or so. Just as they did this week against the Memphis Grizzlies.
However, there should be concern when shots are not fired or fired in reckless abandon. In an overtime loss to the Grizzlies Philadelphia attempted 36 threes, which is exceedingly high for a squad that is absent a top 20 player in three point field goal percentage. In addition Philly does not have a player currently occupying a top 20 spot in three point shots made or attempted.
In a blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls the Sixers only attempted 22 threes, making nine. Somewhere in the middle of 36 and 22 lies a happy medium of efficiency and success. It is imperative the 76ers find and remain steadfast in that medium.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
After a three day break Philly returned to the court to face the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers arrived in the midst of their own three game winning streak, and gave the 76ers all they could handle.
Portland led throughout and despite a late three by the Sixers’ Andrew Toney to cut the Blazers lead to one point, Philadelphia never could get in front, losing 106 – 103. The combination of shooter Calvin Natt (22 points) and the paint presence of forward Kenny Carr (12 boards and two blocks) proved to be too much for the Sixers to overcome.
Philadelphia would play four games in five nights this week and once again the star was Moses Malone. The man affectionately known as the “Chairman of the Boards” earned his name sake this week. Malone averaged 17 rebounds and shot 82 percent from the stripe for those four contests.
Malone’s dominance in the Portland loss (22 points and 21 rebounds) held strong throughout the week. The future MVP would finish off the week with a 32 point and 23 rebound performance in a 126 – 113 win against the Utah Jazz.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: