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March 30, 2020

First-round results from our all-time Sixers one-on-one bracket

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TJ McConnell Ben Simmons Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

We almost got a Ben Simmons vs. T.J. McConnell matchup in Round 2. Unfortunately, McConnell couldn't hold off Aaron McKie.

After four regions of voting for our all-time Sixers one-on-one bracket, we have our first wave of results to begin the new week. What we lack in shocking upsets, we make up for in my general faith in your basketball evaluation skills as a collective.

As a reminder, here's what the full bracket looks like.

Sixers-1v1-bracket-first-round_032420Matt Mullin/for PhillyVoice

(If you want a direct link to the photo with a better/closer view, you can check out the bracket here.)

These aren't the "best" 64 players, necessarily, but 64 players from an assortment of eras and categories that I initially was going to divide by playstyles (playmakers, scorers, finishers, and potpourri), before realizing you could put four or five of the greatest players in franchise history into the "scorer" category. I tried to account for some combination of impact, longevity, peak value, etc., with the first goal to split up the players I would consider to be the Sixers' version of Mt. Rushmore — Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Allen Iverson, and Charles Barkley. Critically, the players were not strictly seeded based on how good they would be in a one-on-one setting.

Here is a refresher on the rules, because I think we need one before opening polls back up Tuesday:

  1. Players are being judged strictly for who they were/what their game was when they were a member of the 76ers. So in the case of someone like Chris Webber, you get the guy with bad knees, not the athletic force. In the case of Markelle Fultz, you get the player whose jump shot went missing, rather than the resurgent version with the Orlando Magic. 
  2. Games are to 11, scored by ones and twos, and you must win by two. 
  3. Make-it, take-it is in effect.
  4. There are no rebounds on missed shots, which count as a turnover. All changes of possession require players to check the ball at the top of the arc.
  5. Players can take a maximum of four dribbles per possession, to avoid gratuitous post-ups or smaller guards dribbling circles around bigs.
  6. Calling fouls is the responsibility of the defense. You are encouraged to factor in player personality and willingness to bend the rules when considering the impact of this rule.

I must stress Rules No. 3, 4, and 5 above all others. This is not a game where big dudes can just pound people through the rim and live on the offensive glass, or a tournament where little guys can dribble circles around immobile bigs. Skill in isolation matters. You can vote however you want, but good basketball players tend to play a different style of one-on-one than the average person.

Other than that, use your best judgment. Good basketball players beat bad basketball players.

So here's what we have so far, alongside some #Analysis on what went down. Polling will resume on Tuesday morning, starting once again with the Wilt region.

Wilt Region

Wilt Chamberlain WINNER (98%) vs. Kevin Ollie

#Analysis: I don't think Wilt is the dominant force he is in a normal setting using the rules for this tournament, but no-brainer here.

Ben Simmons WINNER (91%) vs. Henry Bibby

#Analysis: Simmons' lack of a jumper may get him eventually but he's going to be up against a lot of players either smaller or slower than he is, which will be enough to carry him early.

Hal Greer WINNER (96%) vs. Jerryd Bayless

#Analysis: Even in a one-on-one setting, Sixers fans are basically booing Jerryd Bayless. Very on-brand.

Elton Brand WINNER (81%) vs. Alec Burks

#Analysis: This is the first result that makes me think people ignored the rules. A format that limits dribbles and eliminates rebounds favors someone like Burks over Brand. Even if you think Brand would pull it out anyway, the discrepancy here is outrageous.

Billy Cunningham WINNER (94%) vs. Fred Carter

#Analysis: All-time great Sixers player vs. the best Sixers player on their worst team. No-brainer.

Al Horford vs. Dario Saric WINNER (69%)

#Analysis: I tend to think Horford would win this matchup, but since we are dealing with Sixers Horford and not Everywhere Else Horford, I see the argument for The Homie.

Aaron McKie WINNER (77%) vs. T.J. McConnell

#Analysis: I go McKie here but after watching him in the 2001 Finals recently I have reservations about it. McConnell would dog him any time he put the ball on the floor, and since defense is responsible for calling fouls, fortune favors the physical.

Eric Snow vs. World B. Free WINNER (73%)

#Analysis: World B. Free got buckets. Easy choice.

Barkley Region

Charles Barkley WINNER (99%) vs. Vernon Maxwell

#Analysis: A Mad Max sidebar — his beef with the entire state of Utah is honestly worth having a Twitter to follow. 

Doug Collins WINNER (78%) vs. Michael Carter-Williams

#Analysis: Doug Collins the coach made me want to stop following basketball. Doug Collins the player was very good and would have probably had a decorated career if not for injuries. 

Dolph Schayes WINNER (87%) vs. Sergio Rodriguez

#Analysis: Hot take, but give me Rodriguez in an absolute ass kicking. Schayes was a 6'8" center who shot 38 percent from the field for his career. He would get washed by most modern players. 

Andre Miller WINNER (53%) vs. Derrick Coleman

#Analysis: Are you getting fat and out of shape Derrick Coleman or motivated, contract-year Derrick Coleman? That is the dilemma here, so I think Andre Miller is the safe choice, though a motivated Coleman could do some serious damage.

Joel Embiid WINNER (97%) vs. Keith Van Horn

#Analysis: This one would be ugly.

Ish Smith vs. Jerry Stackhouse WINNER (88%)

#Analysis: The committee has received some feedback and admits Smith was overseeded in the initial tournament planning. No further comment will be offered at this time.

Andre Iguodala WINNER (95%) vs. Jahlil Okafor

#Analysis: I think Iguodala would win this one but I am a little surprised the margin of victory is this large. Okafor had a lot of issues, but he could certainly get buckets playing one-on-one.

Bobby Jones WINNER (92%) vs. Markelle Fultz

#Analysis: Bobby Jones would put the Sixers version of Fultz in basketball prison.

Iverson Region

Allen Iverson WINNER (99%) vs. Dorrell Wright

#Analysis: I have a feeling this man will probably win the whole thing, though I am skeptical that his brand of contested mid-range shots will serve him well. 

George Lynch vs. Hersey Hawkins WINNER (78%)

#Analysis: Hawkins feels like a guy who would have benefitted from playing in the modern era as much as almost anybody in this bracket. He was a career 39.4 percent three-point shooter on decent volume during a time where that wasn't valued as much, and his mechanics were pure as they come.

Jimmy Butler WINNER (94%) vs. Nerlens Noel

#Analysis: Any vote for Noel here just feels like misplaced anger over Butler fleeing in free agency.

Darryl Dawkins WINNER (84%) vs. Furkan Korkmaz

#Analysis: I think Dawkins would dunk on Korkmaz so hard he would create a hole in the space-time continuum. 

Moses Malone WINNER (99%) vs. Jerami Grant

#Analysis: Malone deserves the respect he has been afforded here but the rules are working against him. Without the ability to punish guys on the glass and score on second and third chances, he'd have a much tougher time than in a normal game. Still taking it to Jerami Grant this time, though. 

Theo Ratliff vs. Kyle Korver WINNER (58%)

#Analysis: This one surprised me a bit. Ratliff could play up on Korver and force him to beat him off of the dribble because of the athleticism advantage, though having to create for himself might be a challenge. 

Mo Cheeks WINNER (94%) vs. Evan Turner

#Analysis: As long as Cheeks prevents Turner from getting up baseline jumpers, he has a chance to shut him out.

George McGinnis WINNER (80%) vs. Ersan Ilyasova

#Analysis: On the one hand, Ilyasova would probably attempt to take a charge on every other possession, and since defense is responsible for calling fouls, that could get ugly. I still think he has no chance.

Erving Region

Julius Erving (99.5%) vs. Kenny Thomas

#Analysis: Erving had the highest final percentage of any player in the bracket, 

Thad Young vs. Dikembe Mutombo WINNER (61%)

#Analysis: I think Sixers-era Mutombo would get beaten like a drum by Thad Young. Asking Mutombo to initiate from beyond the arc with a four-dribble maximum is like asking a giraffe to figure skate. 

Jrue Holiday WINNER (80%) vs. Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson

#Analysis: Prime Glenn Robinson vs. Prime Jrue Holiday would be a terrific battle. Unfortunately, the Sixers got...a bit less than Robinson's peak. 

Lou Williams WINNER (81%) vs. Chris Webber

#Analysis: Williams will probably not end up beating some of the starrier names but he would be my dark horse pick to win the whole thing. He would be an absolute nightmare in a one-on-one tournament.

Andrew Toney WINNER (90%) vs. Boban Marjanovic

#Analysis: Could Andrew Toney guard Boban? Unlikely. Would it matter? Also unlikely.

Tobias Harris WINNER (71%) vs. Robert Covington

#Analysis: Having seen Covington play some spirited one-on-one games with other guys at the practice facility, he would go down swinging, but Harris is ultimately the right choice here. 

Chet Walker WINNER (85%) vs. Hollis Thompson

#Analysis:  I mean really, you're going to vote against a guy nicknamed, "The Jet"? Please.

JJ Redick (69%) vs. Clarence Weatherspoon

#Analysis: Catch-and-shoot players are being overvalued in round one. Let's see if that holds. 


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