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One Question and A Game Thread

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Typically, Friday's are reserved for pressing questions, but seeing as how the Sixers have a preseason game tonight, I figured we'd combine an abbreviated PQ and our first game thread of the year.

Let's start with the question, because these numbers blew my mind. It's widely believed that Thad Young is at best, a below-average defender. It's also widely believed that Elton Brand is over matched when he's asked to play the five. I'm not really arguing the validity of either of those assumptions, but I just can't get my mind around these stats from last season:

  • With Jrue, Turner, Iguodala, Brand and Hawes on the floor together, the Sixers had a defensive efficiency rating of 110.33 in 111 minutes.
  • With Jrue, Turner, Iguodala, Brand and Thad on the floor together, the Sixers had a defensive efficiency rating of 93.02 in 88 minutes.
  • With Jrue, Meeks, Iguodala, Brand and Hawes on the floor together, the Sixers had a defensive efficiency rating of 102.39 in 777 minutes.
  • With Jrue, Meeks, Iguodala, Brand and Thad on the floor together, the Sixers had a defensive efficiency rating of 94.32 in 186 minutes.

Either Thad is much better defensively than people give him credit for, Brand is secretly a top-notch defensive center, or the mere subtraction of Hawes helps this team so much that it doesn't matter how small they go without him. I'm not sure which is the case, but I'm leaning toward the last option. Anyone care to take a shot at explaining these dramatic splits?

Anyway, we've got a game. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to watch, so the game thread is going to be left to those of you can watch. It'll be televised in Philly, if you're watching, keep the rest of us updated.
by Brian on Dec 16 2011
Tags: Basketball | Game Thread | Pressing Questions | Sixers |