Even Eddie Jordan can't watch the mess he's made of this team. The Philadelphia 76ers are legitimately one of the worst teams in the NBA right now and with each game played under this buffoon they're moving further and further away from legitimacy. Last night's drubbing in Utah was a perfect example.
Let's kick things off with the graphs and a few notes on each:
Note not one second at SG for Andre Iguodala, not one second at SF for Thad Young (who only played 32 minutes total). Need to get Willie and Lou their burn, right?
Jordan's "offensive" lineup put up a stellar 81.98 offensive efficiency rating last night. The good news is it wasn't their worst offensive performance of the season.
I don't have a lot of specific notes from last night's game. It was pitiful to watch. The team was clearly out-manned and out-coached in the first half, if one was the cause of the other is irrelevant. Whatever special spark this team has had in the past three seasons which made them rise to the occasion and perhaps play above their heads has been systematically beaten out of them and right now we're watching a group of pissed off individuals on the floor. How each player handles the situation may be telling in and of itself, but that's not really the kind of evaluation I care to be making right now.
In the second half, we saw an entire roster say, "Fuck it, I'm getting mine." It was nothing but one-on-one basketball, long jumpers and pretty much zero defense, especially from the starting back court. At one point, Jordan even benched Green and Lou, bringing Ivey and Holiday into the game. The Sixers picked up 6 points, but it was short-lived. Jordan just had to get his guys back in there, and then the onslaught continued.
After the game, the press fanned the flames of Elton Brand's comments, seeking out Speights for a response. This was the closing line in reference to Brand saying he never passes:
"They know I'm a good shooter and a good scorer," Speights said about his teammates. "They make fun of me, but they know I can score the ball, so it's cool."
This farce has gone on long enough. Right now, you've got Andre Iguodala being basically the only regular who you can honestly say still cares. Unfortunately, his desire to win is manifesting itself in too many shots. At some point, each one of these players is going to reach his breaking point. Personally, I think Brand and Dalembert are already there. Thad is closing in. Lou and Speights are too immature to look beyond their own points per game. Willie is just happy he's still got a job and won't say a word to jeopardize is undeserved starting spot. Jrue has to be confused. Absolutely has to be. The only way he's allowed to stay on the floor is when he's scoring the ball, so he takes too many shots, too many bad shots. When he hits them, he gets more minutes. His playing time is in no way tied to the defense he plays nor the way he sets his teammates up for high-percentage looks. Essentially, the strongest parts of his game are shit on by his coach. What kind of long-term damage is that going to do to a 19-year-old kid?
I'd love to know where Ed Stefanski is in this whole mess. We haven't heard anything from him in a couple weeks, since he refused to lay the blame on his coach, saying "top to bottom" they needed to improve. Well, I'm assuming he's watching the same games we are. He sees how his coach has alienated essentially every meaningful player on the roster. And now, as of last night, he's seen how I'd say 10 of the 13 players on the roster have quit. Have cashed in their chips. Have devolved into the worst stereotypes of overpaid, under-motivated NBA players. Yet he still remains silent.
Player of The Game: Deron Williams. The first time I've handed this out to a non-Sixer.
Team Record: 7-22
Up Next: Another loss, in Portland. The debut of the Iverson/Lou back court. Can't wait!