One of the teams that has flown under the radar all year but appear to be ready for a breakout are the youthful Philly 76ers. Coming off an impressive win over Detroit the other night and 6 of their last 7, they came from behind to beat the Bulls tonight on the road.

What's impressed me the most has been their ability to make plays down the stretch. Especially considering their youth. Can they do it in the playoffs?? That remains to be seen, but the 76ers showed poised by coming from behind in the 4th quarter and beating the Bulls on the road. I thought this corner 3-pointer was the key play for the 76ers,

What really makes this play work was the breakdown defensively of Kirk Heinrich. This isn't meant to be an indictment of Kirk, but he simply can't matchup defensively against Andre Miller, he doesn't have the footspeed. What ends up happening is that Luol Deng has to leave his man from the corner which allows Andre to find Rodney Carney in the corner. In fact, the 76ers ran this exact play 3 times and each time Carney knocked down the 3-pointer from the corner,

The 76ers currently are 7th in the East. With the way they play defense and make big plays down the stretch, I can see them making some noise in the playoffs. They're just a smart team that have great chemistry and they get out and really defend (must be a reflection of their coach Maurice Cheeks). They've gotten past the departure of Allen Iverson and they're ready to blaze a new trail with new stars in Andre Iguodola and Andre Miller.

For some info on your players can improve their 1-on-1 perimeter skills, check out Phil Martelli's DVD on becoming a better 1-on-1 player. It has a lot of great drills you can use to help develop those slashing skills that these offenses require. To discuss this and other basketball coaching topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum.