In his introductory round of interviews, the Sixers new coach Eddie Jordan held a conference call this morning for the Sixers blogging community. Highlights after the jump.
On the call we had Derek from RealGM and Philly Arena, Dannie from ReclinerGM, Ricky from Sixers 4 Guidos, Chris and Anthony from Heard in the Cheap Seats and Jeff from Philadunkia. Here are my notes from the call (I don't have a recording, so these quotes are to the best of my ability).
- Depressed Fan - When it comes right down to it, who gets the playing time: a weak defender who fits the offensive system or a strong defender who does not? What is the priority?
Eddie Jordan - There has to be a balance. If you have skill to score the basketball, you're going to play. I mean, you can't win 0-0. If you have a weaker defender, you play team defense to cover for him. At the same time, if you have 4 strong offensive players, then you can carry one defender, sometimes two. I think championship teams start with a solid, veteran front line.
- Ricky Sixers 4 Guidos - Do you see Lou Williams in the combo guard role he's played in the past, or could he slide in as a starting point?
Eddie Jordan - In this offense, you really play two combo guards at all times. In training camp, we'll see how Lou handles it. But yes, I see Lou as a combo guard.
- Derek RealGM - Can Iguodala play the two?
Eddie Jordan - Yes. I think he can flow from the two to the three. I like to think he's a three-man first. It depends on the roster, if Smith or Speighs can earn time, then he's at the two. I played Jared Jeffries at the two on a team that went to the second round of the playoffs. I will use him at the two if one of those bigs can earn the time.
- Dannie ReclinerGM - Will Sam Dalembert fit in the system?
Eddie Jordan - Sammy is a terrific shot blocker, one of the best rebounders in the league on a per minute basis. He has to buy into being an unselfish player who cares about his teammates. That's always been the knock on him. If he plays unselfish basketball, and stops all the up and down stuff, the offense can either run through him, or around him, but he has to buy in.
- Depressed Fan - During your time in Washington, the pace at which the team played (possessions per game) seemed to be dictated by the offensive talent level of the team. When you had the full compliment of Arenas, Jamison, Butler, you had one of the higest paces in the league. When you were plagued by injury, the pace droppped significantly. Do you forsee this Sixers team being among the top ten fastest paced teams in the league?
Eddie Jordan - Yes, this will be a high possession team. Number one, they're terrific athletes. Iguodala can run, Thad can run, Dalembert is very athletic, Jason Smith was very athletic when he played. This team has shown it can generate turnovers and run off them. In Washington, Arenas and Jamison were very quick shooters, when they were hurt, we had slower guys in there, so the offense slowed down.
- Chris Heard In the Cheap Seats - How will this team defend the perimeter?
Eddie Jordan - Emphasize containing the dribble. If you can contain the first dribble, you've won 80% of the battle. You need good athletes with lateral movement to move their feet to cut off that dribble drive and stop the kick. Now, if you do get beat, you have to keep coming in your rotations. If the ball is kicked out for a three, you rotate to the shooter, but everyone else has to keep rotating too. Then you have to defensive rebound. Offensive rebounds that turn into threes are daggers. You have to take care of the rebounding.
- Ricky Sixers 4 Guidos - With Andre Miller, Theo Ratliff and Donyell Marshall all as unrestricted free agents, would you like to get some kind of veteran leadership in the locker room?
Eddie Jordan - Yes, veterans keep the team focused, keep them working, keep them professional. I'd like to have veterans to monitor the locker room. At the same time, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young have excellent work ethics. That helps.
- Dannie ReclinerGM - How would you assess the roster?
Eddie Jordan - Haven't had much time to address the roster with the front office, I just got the job last Friday. Initial thoughts, need three point shooting, a point guard and another big to defend the paint.
- Depressed Fan - Will there be a full-time shooting coach on staff?
Eddie Jordan - We're looking into that, but yes, I'd like one.
- Depressed Fan - You have a unique perspective coming into this job, having coached against this Sixers' team in Washington (7-11 record vs. Philly). What was the book on the Sixers as an opposing coach? What will you do to turn any weaknesses into strengths?
Eddie Jordan - Limit turnovers, keep them off the glass and then the bench was full of risk-takers. Make sure the bench didn't cause turnovers and get out in the open floor. As coach, he's going to bring organization to the offensive end, while still playing to these strengths.
- Jeff Philadunkia - The Sixers are working out shooting guards on Friday, is that considered an area of need?
Eddie Jordan - Three-point shooting is a very big issue. Willie Green, Iguodala, Lou Williams could all improve as three point shooters. He talked a little bit about DeShawn Stevenson's improvement in Wash.
- Anthony Heard In the Cheap Seats - Will Elton Brand fit the system, or will the system change to fit him?
Eddie Jordan - EB will be moved around in the offense. He'll get the ball facing the basket at the elbow, he'll be used in the post, we'll use him in two-man games, pick and rolls with forwards and guards, I know he likes to pick and pop too. Good coaches tilt their systems to their best players. Arenas, Jamison and Butler were the highest scoring trio in the league. Before Butler got there, Arenas, Jamison and Hughes were the highest scoring trio in the league. That's because we tilt the system to favor the best players.
- Ricky Sixers 4 Guidos - Could Thad turn into an Antawn Jamison type player?
Eddie Jordan - That's a very good comparison. Jamison started out as an interior player, then he really worked on his mid-range game and he extended out to the three. I think Thad can do the same thing if he works hard.