About

Posts by :

Press review : Mbah a Moute Redefining Game In Seventh NBA Season

Press review : Mbah a Moute Redefining Game In Seventh NBA Season

Type Luc Mbah a Moute’s name into YouTube and you’ll find videos like “Mbah a Moute monster block on LeBron James,” “Mbah a Moute vs. Kevin Durant,” and “Mbah a Moute Iso Defense.” But this season, videos like “Mbah drops 18 points” or “Mbah a Moute goes for 19” are becoming the norm.

For the better part of his seven-season NBA career, defense has been Mbah a Moute’s calling card. The 6’8” forward from Cameroon entered the league as a tested collegiate athlete, the first player at UCLA since Bill Walton to start in three consecutive Final Fours.

When he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2008 NBA Draft, Mbah a Moute had solidified himself as a legitimate defensive stalwart who could suit up at either the three or the four positions on the floor. He was honorable mention All Pac-10 as well as honorable mention Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.

Fast forward to August 23, 2014, and Mbah a Moute found himself a piece in the blockbuster deal that centered around sending Kevin Love from Minnesota to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James and Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia to Minnesota in return for a 2015 first-round pick, Mbah a Moute, and Alexey Shved.

When the veteran forward arrived in Philadelphia, he was immediately an elder statesmen on the NBA’s youngest team. On the court, Mbah a Moute’s main job has been that of defensive Swiss Army knife, going one-on-one against point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and even centers at times and starting 42 of the 41 games in which he’s appeared this season.

« I think he is experiencing growth and giving us help pretty much all over the place,” head coach Brett Brown said earlier this season. “He helps us defensively, with his versatility. He is growing his own game from the perimeter and provides veteran stability in a locker room.”

While Mbah a Moute typically matches up with the opposing team’s most lethal offense threat on a nightly basis, he also has grown into a competent scorer whose 9.8 points per game are a career best.

His offense play of late has been exceptionally noteworthy, as he has scored at least 10 points in eight of his last nine games. This stretch included an 18-point outburst against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team-high and a major factor in the 103-94 victory.

Along with his career-high points, he is also averaging career highs in field goals made (3.9) and field goals attempted (9.2).

The biggest indicator of Mbah a Moute’s new role is his average shot distance, which has ballooned from 8.3 feet to 13.3. This trend emphasizes the fact that Mbah a Moute is taking more jump shots and is confident in hitting the outside shot, a statistic highlighted by his 42.4% field goal percentage from 16 to 24 feet, which also is a career high. Just take a look at his shot chart this season (below) and hover over it to see what it looked like in his first six seasons.

YfM3IHD

 

If you watch or go to Sixers game you’ll still see Mbah a Moute guarding the likes of LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, or even Al Jefferson, but you’ll also see him hitting jumpers, driving the lane, and providing scoring on an offense that needs as much of it as it can get. It seems that he is defying the odds and turning against the idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

by Doug Ammon

http://www.nba.com/sixers

Sixers have no answer for Pelicans

Sixers have no answer for Pelicans

The 76ers lost to a dominant New Orleans team who controled the game from the beginning with a mercyless Anthony Davis adding up : 32 points at 12/19 and 8/8 from the foul line, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals. With a sidelined Michael Carter Williams due to illness, the Sixers relied on K.J. McDaniels (16 points, 4 rebounds),Henry Sims (14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 ast) and Luc Mbah a Moute (14 points – 6/13, 3 rebounds, 1 ast).

Right from the start, New Orleans took the lead by 11 points (30-19). Then Sixers fought to come back, with a 14-3 run to catch up 34-33. The Pelicans, without paniking, are going to take another lead 52-39 before the Sixers once again answer the call by winning the second quarter (24-22) and catch up to be down 9 at 43-52.

Back from the locker room, New Orleans does it again. Anthony Davis is making points rain (13 points in these 12 minutes), helped by Ryan Anderson (19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals). 33-19 in this quarter to seal a 23 points lead entering the 4th quarter. New Orleans’s coach Monty Williams will then play the bench who will keep up the scoring (14-12) and finally win by 25 points 99-74.

Pelicans logically win 99-74 to extend winning streak to 4. On the other hand, the Sixers go opposite and get their 6th consecutive loss to reach the final and 15th spot in the eastern conference tied with the Knicks (8W/37L).

résumé Sixers @ Pelicans

101-83 loss to Memphis.

101-83 loss to Memphis.

The Memphis Grizzlies, 2nd in the western Conference (31V/12 D) did not come out to play around against Philadelphia and easily won the contest at home 101-83.

The Grizzlies were doing the job already in the first half being up by 19 points at halftime (27-21 and 33-20 in the first 2 quarters). The usual scorers have a tough time scoring for the Sixers, and Jerami Grant is a bit by himself with 16 points. However Michael Carter-Williams scores 10 points with 3 rebounds and 6 assists, while Robert Covington only registers 8 points.

In the 2nd half, Memphis rests his starters a lot. Philly will then limit the damage and win the fourth quarter 22-20. A present that won’t be enough for the 76ers to catch up the score and avoid a logical loss to a much better opposition (47% FG percentage 37/79 versus 38% – 31/81, 84% vs 55% free throw shooting percentage, 43% 3pt FG with 6/14 vs 38% at 9/24, 24 assists against 18, 18 turnovers against 24 for the Sixers. Luc Mbah a Moute (7 points, 7 rebonds) and his teammates only matched the Grizzlies’s numbers in rebounds (48-47).

Philadelphia stays 14th in the east with 8 wins for 36 losses, almost tied with the Knicks whose record is identical in wins but have one more loss.

Résumé  Grizzlies VS 76ers

Grizzlies VS 76ers

76ers fight hard but fall to Raptors down the stretch.

76ers fight hard but fall to Raptors down the stretch.

Philadelphie wasn’t unworthy against the Toronto Raptors, 3rd in the east, taking the lead several times during the game.

First of all the Sixers started the game perfectly and it allowed to win the first quarter 30-22. But the Raptors wake up in the following 12 minutes, threading the buckets and stopping 76ers offense. Therefore, Toronto comes back ahead at halftime 48-41 thanks to this second quarter won 26-11.

Sixers are coming back fresh and strong in the second half. However, despite a bit of looseness, Robert Covington makes some shots (18 points- 5/15, 4/11 from 3 point-line, 6 rebounds) while KJ McDaniels drops 14 points, 5 rebounds et 5 assists. Back at 1 point behind Toronto, Luc Mbah a Moute gives the 76ers a 2pt-lead with 8 minutes remaining in the game (70-68). After missing the previous two games, Luc’s successful come back (10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal) gave the Sixers some fresh air and keeps the hope alive in the 4th quarter. He goes on with a « and 1 » play to put the Sixers up by 8 (77-69 with 5’39 left). Buy Kyle Lowry (1 points 5/14, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) will take the Sixers to school. He will score 17 of his 21 points in the last quarter, with a 13-4 run on his own ! Unstoppable… The 76ers aren’t breaking despite Toronto’s effort (81-81). Michael Carter-Williams puts his team ahead again 86-85 with 42’1 seconds left before Greivis Vasquez scores a layup (87-86) for Toronto. During the last 20 seconds, between a few missed attempts and loosenesses Michael Carter-Williams fouls Jonas Valanciunas, who will convert his foul shots, to kill any hope left for the 76ers and lose a close game 91-86, ending a great battle.

Résumé Raptors VS 76ers

Raptors VS 76ers

Sixers fall to Knicks 98-91

Sixers fall to Knicks 98-91

Philadelphia was facing New York, last in the east, on their own court and lost to them 91-98. Without Luc Mbah a Moute (left knee contusion), Nerlens Noel (illness) et Tony Wroten (partial tear in right ACL, most likely out for rest of season), 76ers were behind trying to catch up the score all game.

After a balanced first quarter (18-18), the Knicks took a 7 point-lead in the 2nd quarter (31-24) to go back to the locker room at 49-42. No reason to panic, especially when Michael Carter-Williams drops buckets (27 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists), helped by a good Robert Convington (17 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists). On the other hand, Carmerlo Anthony leads the battle with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

With a bit more of precision and success in their plays, (41% FG vs 37%, 85% FT vs 78%, 26 assists vs 20 and 52 rebounds vs 43) the Knicks will slowly break away in the 3rd quarter (25-20) to enter the last quarter with a 12 points lead. They’ll reach up to 14 points lead before the 76ers close out the gap to 3 points down with 7′. A race against the clock starts and the Knicks resist the 76ers’s assaults. With 1’30 remaining, Robert Covington scores a 3 pointer to bring Philadelphia back 4 points behind (91-87) but New York holds on its lead tight until the end to take the victory home 98-91.

résumé 76ers vs Knicks

The 76ers had two losses: Detroit and Washington

The 76ers had two losses: Detroit and Washington

Philadelphia lost ground in its last two trips by losing to Detroit (89-107) and Washington (111-76).

In their first game against the Pistons, the Sixers led by 10 points in the first quarter (21-31) but the second quarter was led by the Pistons with 19 points that took them to 56-37 at the half. Kyle Singler (20 points), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) and Greg Monroe author of a double-double (12 points and 13 rebounds) did not leave much chance to a Sixers team that struggled to find the net—only Enry Sims (12 points, 10 rebounds), Michael Carter-Williams (15 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists) and Luc Mbah a Moute (11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist) scored more than 10 points in the game.

461692806_10

Early in the second period, Luc and his teammates managed to cut down the deficit to 10 points, thanks to more accurate shots. But this was not enough as the Pistons added 5 additional points to their lead to tie the 3rd quarter at 25-25. Although the 76ers finished the game strongly, they failed to catch up (27-26 in the last quarter) and logically lost 107-89 against the 10th of the Eastern Conference (16 victories/25 losses). The first half was fatal for the Sixers even though they had pretty similar stats to the Pistons with a field goal percentage of 46 against 43% for the Pistons, 86% to 84% in free throws, 24 assists against 27, and 47 rebounds against Detroit’s 42. Detroit outdid Philadelphia on the three points line with 43% (15/35) against 25% (7/28).

Sixers vs. Pistons

The away game in D.C against the Wizards, 2nd of the Eastern conference, resulted in a tough loss with a 35 points score difference (76-111).

Once again, it all happened in the first period. After a slow start by both teams (8-7 for the 76ers after 6 minutes), the Wizards, 2nd in the league in team assists per game, inflicted a 20 to 6 run to the Sixers to end the 1st quarter at 27-14. With 15 rebounds and an unmatched dexterity, the Washington Wizards continued their ride in the second quarter (28-18). After a thunderous start (17-4) and 25-point lead, the Wizards’ agility declined as they turned over the ball 10 times in the 2nd quarter. Those turnovers allowed Henry Sims (13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists), Nerlens Noel (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), and Robert Covington (10 points, 4 rebounds 1 assist) to cut down the lead to 23 points at half time.

Sixers vs. Wizards

The 2nd half was still majorly dominated by the Wizards who took early control of the half. 7 players ended up between 10 and 20 points, and the score quickly worsened (Marcin Gortat finished top scorer with 20 points on 9/11 for 8 rebounds, Kevin Seraphin him 14 points to 7/9 to 9 rebounds, John Wall delivers 10 passes for 4 rebounds and 11 points). With a 27-point lead in the last quarter (58-85), the game was already done.
Luc Mbah a Moute was rested during this game. This loss brings the Philadelphia Sixers to a record of 8 wins to 33 losses (14th East East).

Photo ©Getty Images

Sixers blow away Pelicans 96-81

Sixers blow away Pelicans 96-81

By beating the Pelicans in front of its crowd, Philadelphia got its 8th win of the season ( 3rd at home ) in a game they controled throughout the whole 48 minutes.

In the 1st quarter, the 76ers started out strong and grabbed a quick 11 point lead (33-22) helped by a very active Nerlens Noel who sets his rythme ( 17 points – 7/10 from the field, 11 rebounds an de 2 assists ). However in the second quarter the Pelicans will try to come back slowly. Eric Gordon takes the leadership ( 16 pts, 6 rbs, 3 ast ) and allows the Pelicans to jeep breathing by winning the quarter 25-17. This will leave the Sixers up by 3 at halftime 50-47.

Coming back from the locker room, the Sixers led by Luc Mbah a Moute ( 13 points at 6/10 from the field, 4 rbs 1 ast and 1 stl ), MCW (22 points, 6rbs and 7ast) and Robert Covington (18 pts, 6 rbs, 3 ast) will play extremely right and knock out the Pelicans with a 23-12 in the 3rd quarter. The two teams will play eye to eye in the final act but the victory goes out to the Sixers who held on to the 15 pt lead earned in the third quarter to win the game 96-81.

A full game by the 76ers where they did not turn the ball over a lot ( only 10 ) and got a very good field goal percentage (63%).

résumé 76ers vs Pelicans

Sixers vs.Pelicans

 

Photo ©Getty Images