Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Monday, March 31, 2014

NBA suspends Sixers forward Arnett Moultrie fives games for violating drug policy


The 76ers’ Arnett Moultrie was suspended five games without pay by the NBA for violating terms of the league’s and the players association’s anti-drug program.

The league announced Moultrie’s ban Monday, when the second-year forward was said to have begun serving his salary-free suspension with the Sixers’ game at Atlanta. In addition, Moultrie is also ineligible for the Delaware 87ers’ games during his suspension. He was assigned to the Sixers’ D-League affiliate March 15.

The 6-10, 245-pound Moultrie would not be eligible to return for the Sixers until April 11, for the final four games of the regular season.

The suspension of Moultrie, a 2012 first-round draft pick, should be a cause of concern for the Sixers. They are on the hook for the 23-year-old’s $1.14 million contract for the 2014-15 season, picking up his team option during training camp. 

Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has shown no reluctance in his willingness to eat salaries, however. He waived center Kwame Brown, owed $3 million, in November. And he did the same in March with guard Eric Maynor, who is set to make $2.1 million next season.

Moultrie has appeared in only 12 games this season for the Sixers, for whom he’s averaging three points and nearly three rebounds. Between two tours in the D-League, he’s averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 28.3 minutes in eight appearances with the Sevens. 

Moultrie was withheld from practice until Dec. 31, while recovering from preseason left ankle surgery.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Everything broke the Sixers' way in Saturday's slump-busting win against Detroit

(Associated Press)

In the 76ers’ win Saturday, everything had to go right for them to break out of their two-month slump.

It wasn’t just a matter of making shots, which they did. Or the Detroit Pistons rolling over, which they did. Looking at the box score and speaking with players from both sides revealed just how imbalanced the game was, in the Sixers’ favor.

Granted, the Pistons were on tired legs after getting thrashed a night earlier by visiting Miami. But fatigue was not the sole reason behind the Sixers’ ability to snap a 26-game losing streak that matched the NBA record. Listless play from Detroit was another.

“There was no effort tonight, absolutely no effort,” Pistons big man Greg Monroe said.

“They wanted it more than we did,” added Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey.

When Sixers reserves Casper Ware and Elliot Williams are able to run a fastbreak alley-oop connection between one another, outrunning two Pistons in the process … yeah, that’s usually a solid indicator that the other team got outhustled and outworked. When Detroit’s second-leading scorer, Brandon Jennings, gets tossed in the first quarter with two technical for arguing a lack of foul calls … yep, another good indicator for the Sixers.

Here are a few numbers from the stat sheet, which went a long way toward assuring the Sixers of their first victory in two months:

  • The Sixers scored 123 points. Their season average is 99.
  • They held Detroit to 98 points. Their season average is a league-worst 110.
  • They shot 52.2 percent. Their season average is 43.0 percent, second-worst in the league.
  • They shot 57.1 percent from 3-point range. Their season average is a league-worst 31.0 percent.
  • Reserve big man Jarvis Varnado established career-highs with 9 points and 6 blocked shots.

The Sixers played their best game in 60 days, yes. They caught a break with Jennings’ meltdown, for sure. And the Pistons’ lack of effort took care of the rest, helping the Sixers stave off infamy.

“It’s not something I want to be a part of, so it’s great we got this win,” Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams said.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Source: Sixers will sign James Nunnally to a second 10-day contract


The 76ers will sign swingman James Nunnally to a second 10-day contract, a league source said.

Nunnally traveled with the Sixers Wednesday from San Antonio to Houston, where they’ll play the Rockets Thursday night. His initial 10-day deal is set to expire Wednesday night at midnight.

Nunnally's second 10-day contract likely will not be announced by the team until Thursday.

The 23-year-old Nunnally has made five appearances for an average of 12.2 minutes per game since signing with the Sixers earlier this month out of the D-League. He’s shooting 25 percent overall and averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds off the bench.

By the time his second 10-day deal expires, the Sixers will have to decide whether to re-up Nunnally through the remainder of the regular season (what equates to their final five games), or let him walk.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jalen Rose, Avery Johnson debate whether Sixers are tanking or rebuilding

The line between tanking and rebuilding continues to look blurry.

Jalen Rose and Avery Johnson, NBA analysts for ESPN, broached the topic Tuesday – ironically – on a conference call with reporters in advance of the the third of four regular-season meetings between Eastern Conference titans Miami and Indiana.

Rose, left, believes what the 76ers are doing is tanking. Johnson, right, said the Sixers are doing nothing more than rebuilding.

“You know how bad you have to be to lose 25 in a row?” Rose said.

Johnson defended the Sixers (15-56), who finish a three-game roadtrip Thursday at Houston, saying so many seasons of middle-of-the-road basketball had reached its apex.

“I just think there was really nowhere for this franchise to go,” Johnson said, “…and they made a decision to move assets and play with a lot of young players and get as far under the salary cap as they possibly can and just continue to develop and nurture Michael Carter-Williams, and I think that was a really terrific decision.”

That being said, Johnson admitted that there are no guarantees for success, given the path the Sixers have chosen.

“But they at least have set themselves up to have the best chance,” Johnson said. “It’s definitely about trying to get to the playoffs and being a perennial playoff team with a chance to win the championship. So I would like to call it rebuilding.”

Rose begs to differ. He sees the Sixers’ efforts this season, which include shuffling D-League players in and out, trading away their best players, and trimming their payroll, as a means of losing intentionally.

“They play a game this Thursday night and there are going to be people that actually are paying to watch that game – whether it’s on cable, whether in person. That’s bad for the league,” Rose said. “So many empty seats, (so many) games that are meaningless on the schedule. If you’re a 76ers fan, obviously you understand what they’re doing. They may be able to turn around their fortunes really fast.

“For the paying customer, yes, it should be deemed as tanking because you want to see good basketball game this Thursday. But if you’re looking for an outlook as a Sixers fan, I could say they are possibly trending up.”

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Sixers sign Ware, let Johnson-Odom walk

The 76ers have signed Casper Ware to a 10-day deal, a league source said Monday.

Ware, a 5-10 point guard, has been playing internationally in Italy’s first and second divisions since going undrafted in 2012 out of Long Beach State.

To make room for Ware, the Sixers and Darius Johnson-Odom went their separate ways. The shooting guard was not re-signed beyond an initial 10-day contract, which expired Sunday.

Ware will become the 22nd player to have appeared in a game this season for the Sixers (15-55), who continue their three-game roadtrip Monday at San Antonio. Ware will be in uniform and available against the Spurs, the source said.

Ware was averaging 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 22 games with Virtus Bologna of Serie A, Italy’s top-tier league. Last season, he was the MVP of Italy’s second-tier league while averaging 20.6 points, 4.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds for Novipiu Casale Monferrato.

As for Johnson-Odom, his time had come and gone.

The Marquette product made three appearances and played a mere 15 minutes in the six games that coincided with his 10-day deal, and he failed to score in any of them. The shooting guard, who’s got seven NBA games under his belt, is 0-for-11 from the floor for a career average of 0.0 points per game as a pro.

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