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.
petercom in france: If the playoffs started today who would have the better chance of 1st round upset in the east also who is the toughest matcup for Ny CHI or BOS??
Bill Ingram: I think the Knicks would have their hands full with either Chicago or Boston . . .their only hope of getting out of the first round is catching Miami or Atlanta, and even then they'd have to play a lot better than they're playing now. You know what, I'm not sure Orlando has what it takes to beat a team like Philly in the first round. The Sixers have been together and pushing hard, and the Magic aren't the team they once were. The chemistry has changed and that's a problem. Maybe Orlando is the team most likely to be upset in the first round . . .
Johnny in St. Paul: Hey Bill, how competitive do you see the first two rounds of the playoffs this year for both conferences compared to years prior?
Bill Ingram: The East will be a little more competitive . . .Philly can make some noise and New York should be decent by then. The only gimme series would be the Pacers, especially if they catch Chicago. Indy had lost their edge, but the Bucks and Bobcats aren't any better.
In the West, it's a race to see who gets to lose to LA or San Antonio. I don't think Dallas wants to see Denver, Memphis or Portland . . .the Hornets and Blazers could cause LA some problems, OKC is going to be tough with Perkins in the mix. I think the playoffs are going to be very exciting this year . . .even the first round.
Sully (Sutton, MA) Chris, if we land the sixers or knicks in the first round, should we brace ourselves for an early exit?? Please disagree with me.
Chris Forsberg No, the 76ers won't be an easy opponent and the Celtics will expend plenty of energy against their young legs, but I think Boston prevails in five or six games.
Ken (Philly ) Chris - Are the Sixers a team NO ONE wants to face in the 1st round ?
Chris Sheridan That was my opinion in last week's writers survey asking which team would be the NBA's Cinderella. They are under the radar, but Doug Collins has had them clicking for a while now. If not for Thibodeau, he might be in the running for COY.
Jack (NY) Most underrated players in the NBA are?
Chris Sheridan Off the top of my head, here are a few: L.Scola, L. Mbah a Moute, K.Humphries, J.Terry, Z.Randolph.
mike in bordomtown: who are the two best PF/C projects in this years draft that no one is talking about?
Anthony Macri: The two I like as "underrated" are Morehead State big Kenneth Faried and UNC's Tyler Zeller. I am going to be writing about Faried for my Notebook this week - be on the lookout for it. As for Zeller, I think he gets overshadowed by the upside of Barnes and Henson, but I think he has a smooth and polished game, takes good shots, and plays within himself. He moves well for a guy his size and he has not finished growing (I don't mean height, I mean he will get broader and develop "man strength," as Coach Thorpe likes to say, over the next few years).
Baywarrior in San Carlos: What you think of this trade Idea? Harden/N8/Aldrich 10,390760 for Iggy 13.6 mil, saves $ 4 okc future for 76ers.
Eric Pincus: From what I can tell the Sixers right now are very happy with Iguodala.
Doug Collins in : Can someone mention my name please...dude in Chi-Town is getting all kinds of props dude in San Antonio is getting notice but me - nothing. What's up I took this squad that wasn't expected to do jack and turned em into a playoff team.
Steve Kyler: Hard to give respect to the guy who's team is in the 6th seat in the East versus the guy in the top spot in the East... not saying Doug Collins doesn't deserve some love... We had Doug as the fourth best coach last week, fourth the week before that, fourth the week before that, and fourth the week before that. The way we see the race for Coach of The Year:
#1 Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs, 57-13, Pace-to-win 67, last year: 50-32 #2 Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics 50-19, Pace-to-win 59, last year: 50-32 #3 Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls, 50-19, Pace-to-win 59, last year: 41-41 #4 Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers, 36-34, Pace-to-win 42, last year: 27-55 #5 Lionel Hollins, Memphis Grizzlies, 39-32, Pace-to-win 45, last year: 40-42
Not sure I can give the Coach of The Year award to a coach one or two games above .500 when there are coaches like Popovich and Thibodeau doing amazing things with teams no one expected. Doug's in the discussion, but not a front runner.
Ragan (Philly) With a win tonight over the Hawks, the Sixers would only be 2.5 games out of the 5th seed. You see it happening? And could they challenge Orlando or Miami in a 7 game series?
Chad Ford Sixers are playing well and at this pace, I think they could catch the Hawks for 5th place. But no, I don't see them as a serious challenger for the second round.
Dan in Toronto: I know people have probably asked you before, but given DeMar DeRozen's rate of production lately, what do you see as his max potential? Can he be that go to scorer with killer instinct? Or is more suited for an Iguodala like role? Thanks.
Stephen Brotherston: Dan, Too soon. DD is learning how to be an effective offensive player - trend says he will be very good at that end of the floor. DD is still learning how to get others involved in the offense and he has a long ways to go on defense - Yes there are signs of improvement from last year but the progress has been slow so far. Iggy has an all around game - the kind that doesn't get a lot of recognition but makes him very effective. DD will probably be better at scoring - hopefully he can eventually match Iggy's playmaking and defense - but its not evident as yet. He is a scorer if you just look at where DD is now - have to go with a 18-22 ppg player with deficiencies in the other aspects of his game - But since he is just 21-year-old, we should be expecting him to keep improving for at least 3 or 4 more years. But I don't see him as becoming an Iggy-type guy - We'll see what he brings us after working out this summer.
Josh in PHILLY: HOW BOUT THOSE SIXERS!Is Doug Collins tabbed as coach of the year?
Stephen Brotherston: Josh, Collins is earning COY votes! Still has to overtake Coach Pop taking the Spurs to first overall and a 15-17 win improvent over last season. Yes - Coach Thibodeau is getting noticed too.
Larry (Chicago) Nick, if you're the Bulls which team is the easier first round opponent, Indiana, New York, or Philadelphia? Nick Friedell Indy. Philly has gotten a lot better. And no matter how bad the Knicks are playing, they still have two guys who can score whenever they want and carry a team at some point.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL) Personally I think NBA Executive overvalue great NCAA performances. How much do you think a great NCAA performance can propel a player's NBA Draft stock? Ric Bucher Among the good GMs, not much. Some of the best I know don't even watch the games live because they don't want to be influenced by the atmosphere -- watch tape instead with rest of player's body of work.
SportingNews - Sean Deveney
14th (previously 13th) The Sixers are in good position to hold off the Knicks for the No. 6 seed in the conference--they play eight of their final 12 games at home.
ESPN.com - Marc Stein
15th (previously 13th) Gonna be very, very interesting if the Sixers indeed wind up facing Miami in Round 1. They need to play small and run to win -- two truths that theoretically help Miami -- but they defend much better than the Knicks.
CBSSports.com - Dave Del Grande
(16th (previously 14th) Did what they needed to do (wins vs. Clippers and Kings) on Western trip. They could clinch a playoff berth by the end of the month.
Hoopsworld.com - Eric Pincus
12th (previously 13th) The Sixers have caught the Knicks but are a full four games behind the Hawks for the fifth seed.
Sportsillustrated.cnn.com - Britt Robson
12th (previously 12th) The youthful Sixers have matured to the point that their offense (ranked 18th in efficiency) can withstand the loss of team leader Andre Iguodala. With Iguodala sidelined by a knee tendinitis Saturday, Philadelphia had 101 points, shot 50 percent and finished with 25 assists and 10 turnovers against a Portland team that had yielded more than 100 only once in its previous seven games. But Iguodala was sorely missed as the linchpin of Philadelphia's ninth-rated defense. His absence enabled Wallace to go off for 28 points (including 6-for-6 on shots at the rim) and eight assists, by far his best game as a Blazer, while overpowering Evan Turner and being too quick for Andres Nocioni. Iguodala is expected back for Wednesday's game the Hawks, who are four games ahead of the Sixers in the battle for the fifth seed in the East.
WashingtonExaminer.com - Top 5 most improved since deadline (Iguodala #3)
foxsportsohio.com - List is Long for Most Improved (Holiday mentioned)
Allentown Morning Call - Article about Easton High School Grad who is sixers strength/conditioning coach
Hoopsworld.com - Awards Watch - COY
RidiculousUpside.com - The sixers ridiculously abuse the D-league System and Craig Brackins
I'll be walking around Chicago today, then at the game tonight, so you're on your own. Keep it civil. The game thread will land about 90 minutes before the tip, which is at 8PM.