STAR OF THE WEEK:
This week’s star goes to Dario Saric! In a week of sporadic play to mediocre results Saric provided some necessary stability during the seven day period. Often the third, and in some cases the fourth, wheel Dario’s 16.8-points, 8.8-boards and high motor were virtually impossible to ignore during Philadelphia’s four game stretch.
Philly finished the four game run 2 – 2, and the Croatian was equally impressive in both wins and losses. Saric’s effort was on full display during a 108 – 97 loss to the Boston Celtics. The 6’10 forward dropped 18-points and grabbed 10-rebounds, including five offensive in that defeat. The results may have changed but the zest remained the same in a 118 – 113 home win against the John Wall-less Washington Wizards.
The Wizards victory was the Sixer forward’s best output of the week tallying 24-points and 8-boards. The upcoming week brings in the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, who have a combined record of 16 – 31. Neither team is considered a defensive juggernaut, therefore Saric should continue to thrive.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
At 13 – 9 the 76ers are still a work in progress, with several facets of the game in which they can improve upon. However, rebounding is not one of those facets. Currently the group is first in rebounds per game with 49.5 and second in the league in total rebounds with 1088. Keeping with that board dominance Philly outrebounded their opponent by an average of 13 boards during the week.
The Sixers have been downright ferocious on the glass throughout the season and after snatching 52.5 in four games in seven days things do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are at the forefront of the rebounding success, but Robert Covington and the aforementioned Saric have also held their own and rank among the league leaders at their position.
Philly will be tested this week with both the Lakers and Suns coming to town. How the squad rebounds will ultimately decide the outcome of those game.
BEN SIMMONS VS. EVERYBODY:
Michael Carter-Williams and Allen Iverson are the only Philadelphia 76ers to win Rookie of the Year honors. While there is no documented rhyme or reason as to how one acquires the prestigious award, a season’s worth of statistical dominance and team success are not a bad place to begin an argument. Keeping with the dominance theme, each week we will examine the top rookie performers in the previous seven day period.
This week’s top rookie performer was Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. The former University of Louisville guard has been the catalyst for a surprising Jazz team. The group is in the midst of a five game winning streak and Mitchell has been impressive in each win. The guard had a phenomenal week, shooting a blistering 55-percent from the field including 50-percent from three. The New Orleans Pelicans got a first row seat of the pup’s scoring prowess, as they were scorched by Mitchell’s hot hand in a 114 – 108 loss to the Jazz. The 13th overall pick had a 41-point outburst highlighted by 17-points in the fourth quarter helping to seal the Utah win. For the week Donovan averaged 28.7-points and led the Jazz to a 3 – 0 mark.
Here are some of the other top rookie performers (statistics are for the week):
ANSWERING THE CALL – A.I.’s rookie year
It has been exactly 20 seasons since Hall-of-Fame guard Allen Iverson first blessed the NBA hardwood and ignited the city of Philadelphia. From the moment the Virginia native donned a Philadelphia 76ers uniform fans everywhere had a feeling Iverson was special and their basketball prayers were finally answered.
The organization struggled mightily through five consecutive losing seasons before selecting the six foot powerhouse out of Georgetown, first overall. It appears the franchise has found another transcendent player, in first year “guard” Ben Simmons. Oddly enough this year’s prized rookie guard hits the court after yet another five consecutive losing seasons.
As spectators enjoy the greatness and infancy stages of Simmons’ career, it is hard to forget the last time Philly had something (or someone) this special to root for. So while we partake in the now, it is impossible to not reminisce the before.
The 76ers were stuck in the middle of a nasty losing streak. The team lost seven in a row and the games were not even close, losing by an average of 15 per. Iverson did not fare much better shooting 6-for-34 with 13 turnovers in back-to-back losses to the Seattle SuperSonics and Miami Heat. Things got so bad for the guard, head coach Johnny Davis would decide to give Iverson a few nights off hoping his body would rejuvenate.
In total the 1st overall pick missed six days and two games. The Sixers were no match without their rookie losing in Charlotte to the Hornets 84 – 75, and then the Atlanta Hawks 106 – 81. Even when A.I. returned the squad continued to lose and sadly this was only the beginning.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: