February 2, 2004 |
It was one of their best efforts but a familiar ending, and this was not the time for the 76ers to discuss moral victories, when the real thing was well within their grasp. Up by 18 points in the second quarter en route to scoring their most points in one half this season, the Sixers suffered a disheartening 106-101 loss yesterday to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. Never mind that this was one of the most exciting games of the season, one that included 17 lead changes in the fourth quarter alone.
January 29, 2004 |
The 76ers are fraying at the edges. Glenn Robinson complains about minutes. Eric Snow wonders whether the team is playing with a defensive or an offensive mentality. A mounting list of challenges faces first-year coach Randy Ayers. Billy King, the Sixers' president and general manager, takes it all in. He doesn't like the public complaining, but he said it shows him the players don't like the losing. "They're frustrated and everybody is searching for answers," King said last night before the Sixers' game against the Toronto Raptors.
January 28, 2004 |
Appropriately, while an ice storm was raging last night outside the Wachovia Center, the 76ers were inside the building, watching their season slip-slide away. For the first time this season, the Sixers were out of a game from late in the first quarter till the end. They shot poorly. They handled the ball poorly. They played defense poorly. They showed no energy or enthusiasm. And the effort? Forget it. The folks who showed up, maybe 50 to 60 percent of the 18,013 who held tickets for the game, booed, and most of them left early, anyway.
January 22, 2004 |
Things were a little different for the 76ers last night when they visited the New Orleans Arena to play the Hornets. Plagued by injuries since training camp, the Sixers finally ran into a team that was more banged up than they were. After a first-half struggle, they played a zone defense for their most sustained period of the season in the second half. And in the end, something else was different - a win. Although the Hornets put up a gallant fight with only eight healthy players, the Sixers managed to wear them down and earn a 92-86 victory, breaking a three-game losing streak.
January 21, 2004 |
The 76ers acquired Glenn Robinson in the off-season to give them a proven scorer at crunch time when the opposing team concentrates on Allen Iverson. Based on the rubble left over from the embarrassing fourth-quarter collapses that buried the Sixers in their last two games, both at home, it's evident that Robinson's teammates have forgotten that message. Robinson took only three shots in the fourth period, making one, in Saturday's 91-87 loss to Memphis. Two days later, he connected on two of four, accounting for exactly one-half of the Sixers' field goals in the final period, in a 90-81 defeat to Seattle.
December 31, 2003 |
The 76ers could very well lose all five games on their post-Christmas road trip. But they can't afford to lose another player. Coming off their third consecutive defeat on the trip, a 106-97 pasting at Utah, the Sixers will meet the Houston Rockets at 10 Philadelphia time tonight at the Toyota Center, meaning the game won't end until after the big ball drops in Times Square. The Sixers have lost five of their last six games and four in a row on the road. They want desperately to get wins on their final two stops - tonight and Saturday afternoon in San Antonio.
December 21, 2003 |
Glenn Robinson, who has one bad ankle, is trying to accomplish two tasks. First, the 76ers forward is looking to get the ankle back into shape. Second, he is trying to assume the role of go-to guy in the Sixers' offense with Allen Iverson sidelined by an injured right knee. Neither job will be easy, but the 6-foot-7 Robinson is not backing off from the responsibility. He looks forward to being the Sixers' main scorer until Iverson returns. Robinson, who was acquired from Atlanta in a four-team trade during the off-season, would like to get to 100 percent physically first.
December 18, 2003 |
Glenn Robinson wanted the basketball. He made aggressive moves to the basket. He confidently and successfully shot his familiar turnaround jumper. In other words, he played not like the hobbled, tentative player he had appeared to be in his first two games back from an injury, but like the well-known Big Dog the 76ers acquired to be their No. 2 scoring option after Allen Iverson. With Iverson on the sideline, resting his bruised right knee, Robinson rediscovered his scoring touch in the nick of time last night, delivering 19 points to help the Sixers to an 87-76 victory over the Miami Heat in front of 17,430 at the Wachovia Center.
December 3, 2003 |
Last night was a strange one at the Wachovia Center, where 17,899 fans sat on their hands for most of the time, trying to figure out when the 76ers were going to make a shot against the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers, already shorthanded with Glenn Robinson and Derrick Coleman sidelined by injuries, lost another big man when Marc Jackson suffered a fractured ring finger on his left hand in the second quarter. Allen Iverson made just 8 of 32 shots from the field but scored 35 points because he sank a career-high 18 free throws.
November 30, 2003 |
Not many people saw Allen Iverson make an obscene gesture toward fans late in Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks. But through the magic of the television replay, the NBA saw plenty. The league announced yesterday that it had fined the 76ers star $10,000 for the gesture in the game at Milwaukee, which the Bucks won, 95-91. "I didn't see it; I saw a replay on TV," Sixers coach Randy Ayers said last night before the Sixers' game against the Atlanta Hawks. "As a matter of fact, the staff was talking about it. We didn't see it. " Ayers said that no matter how rough or abusive the crowds get, players should still "try to maintain your focus on what you're trying to do and what you're there for. " "It gets pretty rough, but I think we have to be professionals because we all take the heat," he said.