Throughout the week, basketball writers from the major sites have a number of chats and run rumor columns. Every once in a while, they actually talk about the Sixers. In this column, GoSixers has aggregated the relevant stuff from the chats. You'll see stuff in here that will make you scratch your head, but keep in mind, these guys are experts.
Nick (Brooklyn, NY) So who are we playing the first round as of today?
Chris Forsberg C's would dance with Tuesday's opponent, the 76ers. Far from ideal given the number of close games they've played this season, but as I've stressed the last couple weeks, there's no cupcakes any more in the East and seeds No. 2-4 are going to have to work a bit. (You can certainly make the case that No. 8 Indiana isn't too daunting).
Don (Chicago) Who is your pick for COY? Doc, Thibs, Pops, Collins?
Chris Forsberg You know, I'm torn. The easy pick is Thibs, right? Sure, that team was loaded and was probably going to be a top seed in the East, but he still turned them into the best defensive team in the league and a TOP seed in the East. That's gotta be good for something. So I'm going with Thibs. And I'll say this: Doc Rivers deserves more credit than he'll get for all the injuries he put up with. I'm not saying top 3, but he should be in the top 6 for what he accomplished without a consistent center.
Jon (Philadelphia) Given the major turnaround in Philadelphia, shouldn't Doug Collins be one of the top candidates for coach of the year?
Chris Sheridan have him third on my tentative ballot behind Thibodeau and Popovich. If Spurs slide to No. 2, I may move Doug up a spot.
Dan (Philadelphia) Will Lou Williams absence help or hurt the Sixers? Do you think Evan Turner could step up and play big minutes?
Chris Sheridan I think the signing of Antonio Daniels tells you all you need to know about how much (little) the Sixers are going to turn to the rook in the postseason.
Jim in Subic Bay, Philippines: Bill, who wins Defensive Player of the Year--who deserves to? Or is it same-same?
Bill Ingram: Easiest question I'll be asked all day - Dwight Howard. Absolutely no question.
James in Chinatown: With 2 weeks to go do you believe that the Season Awards have been decided? Which ones are pretty much set in stone? Which ones are still written in sand?
Bill Ingram: Sixth man might still be up in the air . . .Lamar Odom could be getting into the discussion after Jet Terry has owned it for most of the season. Success is a factor, and the Mavs have been dismal of late. Rose is MVP, Most Improved is probably Kyle Lowry, but could be Beasley or maybe even LaMarcus Aldridge. Coach of the Year is between Popovich and Thibodeau. Defensive Player is Dwight, no question. So there is still a little sand in there, but not much.
Dan in Winnipeg: When drafting, do you think GM's put too much stock in individual work outs and individual skills (like vertical) as opposed to results (i.e. winning, competing, level of competition). Thanks!
Bill Ingram: There is definitely something to be said for mental approach. The only difference between Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, for example, is that Kobe refuses to be denied, whereas McGrady is happy to coast a lot of the time. The teams to psych evaluations, too, but you're right - more emphasis needs to be put on maturity and mental stamina.
mr76 in phila. pa: what can the 6ers do in the offseason to become contenders? joe johnson or hortford possible?
Bill Ingram: Johnson doesn't make much sense . . .not with Evan Turner coming along, and not with that contract, even if the Hawks wanted to trade him. Hoenstly, I wouldn't make a huge move. They've been playing great basketball. I would let them have another full training camp together, let them continue to grow after a playoff run, and wait to make any major roster moves until closer to the deadline.
Omar (MIami) Enjoyed the article on the Heat's first round matchup...feels good to finally be able to meaningfully discuss the playoffs. Would NY or philly pose a bigger threat to the Heat?
Tom Haberstroh Philly. That's a team that plays on both ends of the floor and doesn't have all its eggs in three baskets. Although Lou Williams' injury does set the Sixers back considerably. Last I checked he's done for the regular season and "hoping" to be healthy for the playoffs. Not a good sign for Philly fans.
Rob (Detroit) Who is your Coach of the Year?
Chad Ford Tough call between Doug Collins (done the most with the least) and Tom Thibodeau (great team) but I'm going with Thibobeau.
Chaim (New Jersey) Is it a good move or a bad move to let March Madness influence draft rankings disproportionately?
Chad Ford History says that it's usually a bad move. And because of that, NBA GMs deny that it has any effect. But I talked to roughly 20 NBA GMs/scouts as the college season ended and gave a pretty thorough update to our Top 100 ...and it's changed in some significant ways since the tournament. I'm not saying it should, but we try to make the Top 100 reflect what NBA scouts and GMs are saying, not what I think.
marik in yugioh: Recod aside who is better? The knicks, 76ers or pacers?
Stephen Litell Knicks. They have two of the best players in the league. Now, they need to figure out chemistry and how they are going to play together. When they do, they'll be just fine, but that's a difficult adjustment in-season.
Jim in Subic Bay, Philippines: It's about playoff time, who's the best on-ball perimeter defender in the league??? I couldn't say.
Stephen Brotherston: Jim, That's real tough. There are a lot of guys who shine at d - especially in the playoffs. I'd go with Rondo - because he covers PGs as a good choice. But all the elite teams have someone who can challenge on the perimeter The way the NBA game is played makes defense a challenge and its more about who can slow the other guys down than anything.
Kacper (Olsztyn, Poland) What do you think about Gortat's chances to get 6th MOY Award? :)
John Hollinger Gortat may get a few votes but it's Lamar Odom's award. I would put Thaddeus Young comfortably in second. Then we can start talking about the Gortats, Terrys and Crawfords of the world.
Eric (L.A., CA) Jim, glad to see the love you gave Thad Young. Shouldn't re-signing him be the top priority for the Sixers this offseason?That, and getting a big? Thanks!
John Hollinger Re-signing Young is definitely job 1. Then I think they have some decisions to make about what to do with Iggy, whether to qualify Hawes, etc. Obviously they should try to move Brand too but they'll probably fail in that pursuit.
Greg (Sac, CA) Do the Knicks and Philly have a preference between BOS and MIA in the first round?
John Hollinger I suspect Philly would rather play Boston and the Knicks would rather play Miami. I don't think either will get their wish.
ESPN.com - Marc Stein
15th (15th previously) Only the Thibodeau Bulls have improved more since last season than Doug Collins' Sixers. Yet the immediate focus in Philly, I'm afraid, has to be on the recent defensive slippage and iffy health (Iguodala and Lou Williams).
CBSSports.com - Dave Del Grand
15th (15th previously) Here's another reason 76ers will be dangerous in the playoffs: Tuesday's visit to Boston is final road game for a club that will be well-rested headed into postseason.
SportingNews.com - Sean Deveney
15th (15th previously) They're going to dust off 36-year-old G Antonio Daniels, who had been in the D-League, but has played for six teams and appeared in 80 playoff games.
Hoopsworld.com - Eric Pincus
14th (15th previously) Suddenly the Knicks are challenging from below but the Sixers are a lock for either the sixth or seventh seed which means Miami or Boston.
SportsIllustrated.cnn.com - Britt Robson (Nuggets FOURTH?)
12th (12th previously) All season, coach Doug Collins has adroitly alternated control of the offense between Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala (and to a lesser extent Lou Williams). In the final minutes of regulation and then overtime in Milwaukee on Saturday, Holiday was the primary decision-maker and the attack sputtered. The 20-year-old point guard has had a superb season, but come playoff time with the game on the line, the ball needs to be in the veteran Iguodala's hands. Both players average 6.4 assists, but Iguodala ranks eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio, he can get to the hoop more readily and, because of his stature, is more likely to get a call from the officials. However Collins decides to play it, the Sixers need to upgrade their crunch-time strategy. Philadelphia boasts a reliable mid-range shooter in Elton Brand, and Jodie Meeks is among the league leaders in fourth-quarter free-throw percentage. And yet, the Sixers are 2-8 in overtime.
Dimemag.com - Best defensive players who have never been all stars
Philadelphia Magazine - Yes I was right about Doug Collins
ESPN.com - Best/Worst Coaches in the NBA this year
NYTIMES.com - Sixers Face Trouble Without Williams
Hoopsworld.com - Fear the Sixers
Blogmaverick - Cuban doesn't want Derek, or Brian, or Chris Sheridan in his locker room
Hoopsworld.com - Calipari's Connections / Recruiting Tactics (not sixers, but interesting read)
SpotrsIllustrated.com - Sixer Fixer
Hoopsworld.com - (Thaddeus) Young had a revelation
BBR.com - Who's the Most Improved?
NBA.com - Who is Coach of the Year?
Probably the biggest remaining game on the NBA regular season schedule for the Sixers will take place at 3:30pm today. Miami vs. Boston will most likely decide the #2/#3 seeds, and ultimately who the Sixers will play (probably whoever winds up #2). I'm going to have to watch it on DVR, but if you're watching live, feel free to use this as an impromptu game thread. Otherwise, enjoy your Sunday. - Brian