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Just a quick post to give a limited glimpse into how the Sixers have gone 11-2 in the month of March, with wins over Detroit, San Antonio, Boston, Phoenix and Denver.

  • Andre Miller - 13 games, 477 minutes, +15
  • Willie Green - 11 games, 239 minutes, -9
  • Andre Iguodala - 13 games, 519 minutes, +67
  • Reggie Evans - 13 games, 306 minutes, 0
  • Sam Dalembert - 13 games, 439 minutes, +17
  • Thaddeus Young - 13 games, 338 minutes, +96
  • Lou Williams - 13 games, 304 minutes, +98
  • Rodney Carney - 13 games, 225 minutes, +91
  • Jason Smith - 12 games, 164 minutes, +60
  • Kevin Ollie - 9 games, 64 minutes, +37
  • Calvin Booth - 4 games, 25 minutes, +4
  • Louis Amundson - 3 games, 11 minutes, +5
  • Shavlik Randolph - 2 games, 5 minutes, +4
Now, plus/minus numbers never tell the whole story. For example, Iguodala plays over 40 minutes per game, meaning, he's usually on the floor for all of Willie Green's minutes. So Green's poor +/- has a detrimental effect on Iguodala's number. Also, sometimes you see lopsided numbers for end-of-the-bench guys because they only play in garbage time. There weren't a whole lot of garbage time minutes in March, though, so we don't really have to worry about it. That's pretty much it for disclaimers.

Take a look at those numbers again. They tell us pretty much exactly what we already knew from watching the games. Willie is killing this team, and the Sixers 6-9 players (Thad, Lou, Carney and Smith) are absolutely punishing the other team. The best thing about the numbers for the young subs is that their numbers don't come solely against the other team's bench. Those guys play crunch time, money time in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. It's a funny situation, because usually when you see bench numbers like that you could put the Sixers rotation 1-9 up against anyone in the league. The problem is that 2 of their starters aren't up to snuff.

I've made a point recently of calling for Willie to be removed from the start of the lineup. Looking at these numbers, I think it's semantic at this point. Lou and Thad are already playing heavier minutes than Willie, and more important minutes. Carney is closing fast. I think it's just a philosophy of Mo's at this point. You can't remove Green from the rotation altogether, there isn't enough depth at the position behind him. So Green is going to get his 20 minutes or so per game, it's just a matter of when he gets them. Mo chooses the beginning of the game and the beginning of the third quarter.

Willie is nothing if not a streaky player. When he's on, he can drop 10 points in 5 minutes easily. When he's off, it's pretty clear. By starting Willie, I assume Mo is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle to kick start the offense. The only problem with this theory is that the Sixers wind up playing from behind against better teams. Look at every loss the Sixers have over the past month and a half. In every one, they had a huge hole to dig out of. Of course, it's better to start slow and end strong than the opposite.

The real issue here isn't whether or not to start Green, the real issue is that Green needs to go. They desperately need to replace him, but that's something to be addressed this Summer. For the time being, Mo has to figure out where Green's minutes will do the least damage. Judging from the 11-2 record this month, I'd say he's doing a pretty good job.
by Brian on Mar 27 2008
Tags: Basketball | Sixers | Willie Green |