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First Half Review: The Bigs

I agree with most of what you say Brian. I hope Brand is fine. I don't know how to explain his time here so far. I am hoping his start, like Iguodala's, was just dumb bad luck. One should note though that Miller-Iguodala-Young-Brand-Sammy was a very good lineup overall for this team. Most of the early problems can be put moreso on Lou than Brand.

SI has their midseason grades up... link

"Philadelphia 76ers: So getting Elton Brand back from his bum shoulder layoff now is going to be a bad thing? That's so wrong, especially considering that Brand was supposed to lead this team deep into the playoffs. Andre Iguodala has been playing lately like he wants to go to Phoenix in mid-February, and with their fast break cranked to 10, the 76ers are fun to watch. They need to blend Brand into that, maybe via more minutes at center. Grade: C+"

Side note:

"Detroit Pistons: Allen Iverson hasn't been the answer, but this team was headed sideways before AI arrived. "

The Iverson excuses really are remarkable IMO. This team won 59 games last year.(efficiency diff said 62)

This year? One pace for 48.(eff diff says 42) Those lucky wins will catch up with them...

I'm not blaming this on Iverson completely, but I think he is the biggest reason.(because Billups truly is a great player) Then coaching. Flip was an underrated coach IMO and their new coach doesn't seem to have a clue.

Most people felt the Pistons had peaked and needed to start making moves - they were expected to make a major move all season - Iverson for Billups was as much about when Iversons contract expires as for on the court, and if you believe the hype stuckey is ready to step in already. The Pistons core had to be shaken up LONG TERM to win a deal - this isn't a 'this year' trade - this is a long term forward thinking deal.

Not the kind of deal the sixers make :)

The Iverson deal was long term. Expiring Joe Smith contract, two draft picks.

Alvin reply to Brian on Jan 23 at 1:34

And Andre freaking Miller. Seems like a good deal for us, when you look it at this way.

Come to think of it, the Korver deal was long term as well.

I'd like to see a comparison of the team stats w/Cheeks vs DiLeo. I'm not going to give the coach total credit or blame, but the difference in FG% and scoring is huge.

I wrote something on it 13 games into DiLeo's tenure.

Thx. It will be interesting to revisit this later this year. Maybe compare Mo's 2nd half '08 to how DiLeo does this Spring.

Random thought...

Does it seem like we have two very workable front courts on this team...

Iggy, Brand, and Marreese

Iggy, Thad, and Sammy

I say this, because I'm not convinced a lineup with Brand and Sammy is really going to work. It's probably going to be too slow for the up tempo game we've been winning with. It's not that Sammy isn't athletic, but how often do you see him finishing on a fast break? Marreese can do that, which would complement Brand's game nicely.


That's a tough call. Our best defensive lineup remains Miller, Iggy, Thad, Brand, Sammy. And they're the best by a large margin. We're going to have to wait and see how well they run with EB and Sammy on the floor. I think we can throw everything from the beginning of the season out the window at this point. Need to take a fresh look at player combos w/ DiLeo as coach.

Long term you might be on to something with those combos. Eventually the team will probably start Brand and Speights. I hope they can keep Thad as a starter at AF, but they also could give him some 2nd unit time at PF next to Sam.

"* Overall: Horribly underperformed.
* Projection: Big, huge second half. Provided he stays healthy."

Is this based on anything other than blind optimism? He's still coming off an injury. Now he's coming off a more recent injury. Maybe he'll get easier shots but the fact remains that this is a guy who just looked flat-out gimpy deep in the post.

It's based on what I wrote above about easier opportunities and his career numbers mostly. I have a hard time believing a guy goes from being one of the most productive PFs in the game to a horribly inefficient scorer.

I think a big part of his problems in the post were due to immediate double and triple teams and no floor spacing (no outlet most of the time).

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