Sixers "Inquire" About All Star Forward's Availability

Sixers "Inquire" About All Star Forward's Availability

Is an All Star big man on the Sixers' wish list? Could the target in question currently reside in their own division?

CSN's John Finger reports the 76ers have indeed contacted the rival New York Knicks about one Amare Stoudemire, who the team also was linked to in potential deals of years past. Finger stresses nothing is imminent, and a league source described the inquiry as "due diligence."

Still, you can't throw a six-time All Star's name into the mix and expect it not to provoke more serious discussion about the possibility. What would the Knicks want in exchange, and would Stoudemire be a good fit in Philadelphia -- perhaps even the piece that elevates the club to legitimate contender status?

Taking the second question first, whether the addition of Stoudemire actually would make them one of the most dangerous teams in the East might depend on how close you believe the Sixers are to that distinction already, but does he even make them better?

That might depend on whether or not he's suddenly in decline.

Averaging nearly 22 points per game over his 10-year career, Amare's PPG has dipped to 17.7 in 2011-12. Finger indicates the culprit could be Stoudemire is seeing fewer shots since the Knicks added Carmelo Anthony, but he's actually averaging about the same as he did with the Phoenix Suns in years past.

However, his field goal percentage is worse than ever, hitting just 41.3% percent through 19 games. Stoudemire is usually among the NBA's leaders in that category.

So what's the problem? Maybe things simply aren't working out in New York, and it's time for a change of scenery. Maybe it has something to do with the way he trained during the lockout, reportedly bulking up by 20 pounds. Maybe he got old -- Stoudemire is 29 now, but has missed time with serious injuries throughout his career.

Maybe it's a combination of all of the above. Whatever the case, it seems a trade could only happen if the Sixers were willing to change their identity to an extent.

Unless the Knicks were desperate and willing to settle for Elton Brand and picks (hey, at least his contract expires in 2013; they're on the hook with Stoudemire through 2015), the swap would likely require Andre Iguodala, which would send Philly's best defender to a rival in exchange for the hopes of putting a few more points on the scoreboard.

According to ESPN.com's trade machine, Iggy and Andres Noccioni's expiring contract (team option for 2012-13) would in fact work. As much as many fans may be weary of Iguodala though, that sounds like a risky move to land an interior scorer.

But again, the talks between the Sixers and Knicks are nothing more than preliminary at this point, and at the very least, you have to appreciate they are considering all their options. I'd be interested to hear AU's take on a trade, but this doesn't strike me as the one that would push them over the hump.

>> Source: Sixers inquire about Stoudemire [CSN]

Penn State blasted at home by red-hot George Mason

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Penn State blasted at home by red-hot George Mason

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The cheers reverberating from George Mason's locker room came from players experiencing their hottest streak in years. The quiet from Penn State's mirrored the whimper of the Nittany Lions in the second half as their run was snapped.

Marquise Moore scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Otis Livingston added 18 points and the Patriots beat Penn State 85-66 for their sixth straight win and best stretch since 2011-12 on Wednesday.

"It was a great win for our team, really proud of our guys," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen said. "We really, really competed with toughness in the second half, especially I think our second-half defense was really good."

Jalen Jenkins added 15 points for the Patriots (7-3) who snapped Penn State's four-game winning streak.

Penn State led 38-37 after a wild first half that featured 12 lead changes. But the Raiders took control starting with Livingston's 3-pointer that made it 42-40 early in the second. They dominated from there, leading for the remaining 18:58 and outrebounded the Nittany Lions 44-29, outscored them 44-16 in the paint and held a speedy Penn State team to just two fastbreak points.

"We looked young tonight for whatever reason," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We have to figure that out. We have to play much harder."

Payton Banks led Penn State (6-4) with 21 points. Shep Garner and Lamar Stevens chipped in 13 apiece for the Nittany Lions.

The big picture
George Mason: The Patriots are on a roll and keeping pace in a competitive Atlantic 10 conference that had five teams with six wins entering the night. They seem to have flipped a switch following a 93-65 loss to Houston on Nov. 21 and haven't lost since.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions had been winning despite deficiencies in a few areas while making up for them in others over the last four games. They weren't able to make up for their lack of production in the paint, however.

Guards on the glass
Paulsen was wary of the size advantage Penn State's forwards had heading in. The Patriots didn't start anyone over 6-foot-7 while Penn State boasted a trio of forwards at or taller than that. Paulsen was particularly concerned about 6-foot-9 Mike Watkins who was fresh off his best game where he blocked 12 shots against Wright State.

But the George Mason coach had faith in his guards' ability to attack the net and win those rebounds. Moore entered the game as the country's top rebounding guard with 10 per game and posted his sixth double-double of the season.

"We have some pretty good rebounding guards," Paulsen said. "So you can't do it unless you have really active, rebounding guards."

Veteran responsibility
Penn State's gotten big time contributions from a handful of freshmen and started three as usual. But it was one of the veterans who shouldered blame afterward.

Banks was dejected after the game and pointed the finger at himself. Despite leading the team in points, he wasn't able to help on the glass.

"A lot of it just starts with me right here," Banks said. "I had zero rebounds. We can't rely on Lamar (Miller) and Mike for the scoring load and Julian (Moore). Our guards have to rebound and that's what we lacked this game and it definitely showed on the scoreboard."

Up next
George Mason plays at Penn on Saturday and has three of their final five games in 2016 at home.

Penn State plays Pittsburgh in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday and has another on the road before closing out 2016 with a pair of games at home, including the Big Ten opener on Dec. 27.

Instant Replay: George Washington 66, Temple 63

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Instant Replay: George Washington 66, Temple 63

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With one second on the shot clock, George Washington forward Tyler Cavanaugh let a three-point shot fly from the corner right in front of his bench.

Cavanaugh’s shot hit the bottom of the net to give the Colonials a three-point lead with 8.2 seconds left. Moments later, Temple redshirt senior swingman Daniel Dingle’s open look at a game-tying shot hit off the back of the rim, and George Washington handed the Owls a 66-63 loss on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center.

Temple (6-3) came into the game on a five-game winning streak but looked sluggish from the start. The Owls scored just five points in the game’s first six minutes, 34 seconds.

Temple went into halftime down, 31-25, and trailed George Washington (6-4) by as many as 15 points in the second half. Senior guard Josh Brown hit two threes late in the second half to bring Temple within six. Dingle hit two more to tie the game at 61-61 with 2:44 left. 

Two Cavanaugh free throws followed by a jumper from Temple sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. then tied the game at 63-63 with 39.1 seconds left.

The Owls played the game’s final moments without junior forward Obi Enechionyia, who fouled out with 3:41 left.

Enechionyia cooling off
Enechionyia was held in check for the second game in a row. He scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds but made only one basket in the second half.

The junior went 5 of 17 for 12 points against Penn on Saturday. He scored 20-plus points in five of Temple’s first seven games.

Inside the box score
• Colonials guard Jordan Roland came into the game averaging 4.3 points per game. Roland scored 14 points on Wednesday.

• Brown, who played his first game of the season last Wednesday against St. Joe’s, played a season-high 24 minutes. He played a combined 25 minutes in his first two contests.

• George Washington outrebounded Temple, 37-23. The Colonials had 18 turnovers compared to nine for Temple.

Up next
Temple plays DePaul in the Miami Hoophall Invitational on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.