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An Uneasy Feeling

I realize this streak has nothing to do with Brand..
However it sounds like Brand is on the block for the right deal.
I think Sean Marion and a number one pick from Miami be a good deal for the sixers assuming Marion would be happy coming here.
I dont really believe fits this offense...as much as the sixers press team would like you to believe otherwise.
I honestly dont see Brand as a dominant player...
Its not that Marion is better overall...its just a case of him being better for THIS team.
The Sixers could have used a dominant post player...like an Al Jefferson. But Brand is not that...
I would rather see Marion as the forward and develop Thad and Speights as your low post options.
Thoughts ?

Marion's true value is his expiring contract. I'm pretty sure Riley would make a deal for Brand, if that's a direction the Sixers want to go. He tried to sign him as a restricted FA, but EB is going to have to prove he's healthy before a deal like that is made.

As for Brand's effectiveness, I want to see him on the court and healthy before I definitively say he can or can't do something. I think we saw a healthy EB with his legs under him for maybe a 5-game stretch before the shoulder injury and he was pretty impressive.

I have little to say the past couple days cause my classes started and the night class i thought was only going to be 2 hours with optional lab time is 4 freaking hours :) Plus I can't figure out how to get the standings in my game (and you're not making your picks young man ;) ) but I might have that tweak fixed.

Anyway - making any conclusions after 2 games where he's not fully healthy is nuts - sometimes people like to make conclusions with limited to almost no data (hell people will change how they feel about a guy after one team) - I haven't seen anything in the past 10 or 12 games to make me think anything different about any player - or the team - they're a mediocre team - average - and they need to find a point guard for next year and a better starting center...they need to stop playing willie green and figure out more plays for thad...they are a team that's going to under go growing pains - young and speights are going to be key parts in a title run - brand still has to integrate into the team - and I don't think DiLeo is going to coach past this year (still) - people have to adjust their expectations for this team (in my belief) as opposed to any unrealistic expectations from the beginning of the season (anyone who thought 50+ wins ECF appearance was a viable possibility had unrealistic expectations in my opinion)

Well, I think they're better than a .500 team. The past 10-12 games has convinced me of that. I will admit that my expectations were way too high, though.

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john reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 12:46
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We'll see - now go make your picks :)

They're made. Did you just get a comment in to Thorpe on his ESPN chat about Dalembert?

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john reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 12:53
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Nope - focusing on work and the web site these days - just reading the archives - what was the question?:)

Is there any interest in Dalembert. He had some snarky answer about how teams don't send out memos with this information.

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john reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 13:02
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People ask the wrong questions of the wrong people

Hollinger and Thorpe aren't Ford and Stein - they don't have the sources - they can provide some real useful insight if people knew what questions to ask - Hollinger is kind of snarky when people ask questions like that cause he doesn't have that 'relationship' as stein and ford.

I certainly am not making a judgement based on 2 games...I am talking about this entire year. I've seen Brand get SHUT DOWN by taller players that he should be able to easily out-quick. I'm not talking when hes doubled either. He can rebound, he can block some shots and give you 15-17 a game. Sorry thats not a Max player to me. Hes not even the best player on this team...
and in a year or two he may be the 3rd or 4th best.
I think we need to cut our losses..
The only game I remember Brand being "impressive" was the first Knick game early in the year.
I would do the Marion deal if the heat were on board and have a chance to maybe sign a Bosh or Stoudemire or resign Marion next year.


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john reply to Gdog on Jan 28 at 12:28
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First off - i wish people would get this straight.

Neither Andre Iguodala or Elton Brand were given 'max' contracts - they would be 100+ million in value if they were.

As for Brand and your perceptions - you know he was injured most of last year right? Played less than 10 full speed NBA games (i think) - still was working his way back into game shape - and probably wasn't fully recovered from the original injury BEFORE the shoulder separation and most likely rushed back.

Again, I think you suffer from unrealistic expectations and thus are overly judging based on limited data.

If people would stop erroneously referring to brand and Iguodala as Max players though - i'd love it.

There was a stretch of six games in late November, before he missed time w/ a leg injury, that he played like vintage EB.

Over that stretch (against Golden State, Charlotte, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago twice) he averaged 20.5 points, 10.2 boards on 51% shooting from the floor, 78% from the line. I felt, at the time, that he was finally getting his legs under him. Then he hurt his hammy (I think), missed a couple games. Came back for a couple and then hurt his shoulder.

I disagree with your statement about Brand vs. single coverage. When he's been one-on-one, no matter how tall the defender is, he's done very well in the post. It just hasn't happened very often. Teams have doubled him at just about every opportunity all year long.

He isn't Shaq in the post. He doesn't have the height to just overpower players down there, his post game is actually a lot like Andre Miller's. He reads what the defender(s) are doing, then uses his body to get his shot up. If the double is sloppy, he splits it. If there's a cutter through the lane, he follows the void left by the cut through. Let him get his legs back under him, like they were for that 6-game stretch, and then evaluate.

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gdog reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 16:03
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As I recall that 6 game stretch the sixers were 2-4 and in at least 2 of those games were blown out. Does it really matter if he scores 20 against the celtics and the sixers lose by 30 ? Furthermore GS, Charlotte, and Chicago all flat out suck.

Show me some big time 4th quarter performances THAT WIN THE GAME against decent teams...Im not even saying Boston Cleveland or the Lakers.
If Brand really dominates in the clutch and the sixers win the game against some good playoff bound teams than I will eat my words but I just dont see him doing that...ever...not consistently.
Does Chris Bosh do that ? Yep. Garnett and Duncan ? check. At no point do I watch a sixer game and think..."wow...the other team just cant stop Brand."
When the sixers play these other team I fear those other players in crunch time.
You think Brand scares anyone ?
I know hes injured so we'll see but I would be surprised if he ever is anything more than "good" in a Sixer uniform. Never great, never very, very good....just good.

More speculation...
http://blog.mlive.com/fullcourtpress/2009/01/could_the_detroit_pistons_trad_1.html

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/117/2009/january/28/brand-rumored-to-be-trade-bait.html

The random speculation of Brand/Green for Rip/Kwame/Amir is interesting. It would certainly give the Sixers a shooter/scorer in Rip who would seem like a good fit. Also all 3 of those players (18M) come off the books in summer 2010, for whatever that is worth...

Hamilton is signed through 2013, just signed a big extension. I like Amir, but I don't think I'd do that deal. Rip really looks lost without Chauncey. I'd love to get rid of Willie, though.

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john reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 16:40
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God - this is what's wrong with the internet.

I can almost GUARANTEE that all these blog posts and news articles go back to Chad Fords original chat...the internet is a virus - things spread like a virus - good and bad - but in the end - it all traces back to one source and a not very reliable source at that.

Combine that with hack writers working for various papers and news outlets - mention a trade idea on an LA radio show and 24 hours later it's in the inquirer as a possibility (I've seen it happen)

The Phillyburbs piece quotes the Ford chat as its source.

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john reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 17:27
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Yes but see that's my point it's not "more" speculation - it's all regurgitation of the original speculation most likely - whether attributed or not the readers don't seem to notice the difference - reiterating something written somewhere else isn't 'more' - it's just reprinting - it still all goes back to one source who spends most of his time at one of those 2 states not connected with the 48 contiguous states.


that guy has the life.

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john reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 17:36
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Most of the folks who work for ESPN have the life - i mean seriously - you don't have to be accurate or reliable - or even intelligent or good at your job (in fact it can get you fired, see Aldridge, David) - ESPN - evil

Still, a lot of those guys have to live in Bristol, Conn. to work at ESPN, Ford gets the perfect location for the perfect job.

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Joe reply to gdog on Jan 28 at 16:56
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So Bosh is clutch? Really? I don't think any Raptor fan would agree with that.

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john reply to Joe on Jan 28 at 17:12
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Fan's aren't always the most rational or reliable source for any kind of analysis not mostly based on emotion and 'i watch the game' mentality

Regarding vthe original post about 3 pt defense, I agree they should be better at it. They have quick, motivated defenders on the wings (and lousy defenders at the point) and decent support from shot blockers in the frontcourt. In the rights system they should be better than average perimeter defenders.

These are the issues I see:

1. Too much help. Either cheating for steals or helping against penetration, the backcourt players are way to willing to leave shooters.

2. Horrible/stupid play on pick and roll. This is usually the problem of the big (Sam or Speighst) not effectively showing enough when their man is setting a pick. Watch how Brand (and Evans) aggressively stop the guard from going over top. This is what the others have to go. If you can turn back the driver it will give the defense enough time to recover.

3. Failing to ID hot shooters. When Kidd, Peja or Nate gets hot they need to be able to change their scheme to completely shut out that shooter. Make someone else beat you.

4. Terrible PG defenders. Lou/Miller cannot prevent penetration. Penetration almost always leads to fouls or open shots.

Disagree on Miller's defense. He's under-rated.

I'll qualify my assessment.

Miller is somewhat like KK. He is fundamentally sound on defense, but cannot stay in front of much quicker players.

Against some bigger PG's and some SG's Miller is a good defender. Against waterbug PG's he struggles (but sometimes gets them back on the other end.)

Yeah, he's going to struggle against guys like Paul and Tony Parker, but very, very few PGs can stay in front of those guys.

I think he may draw McGrady tonight.

There are a few PG's like Kidd in his prime and Harris who can defend all types of pg's. But those guys are hard to find. You usually start with a good defender and hope that their shooting improves (Snow, Rondo.)

What has changed from last year to make this team so average on defense all of a sudden?

No idea. On the season, they aren't really much worse at three-point defense than they were last season (36.0% last year, 36.6% this season). I think it's been amplified for us because it's cost so many games.

In 82 games last season, they allowed 10 or more threes 12 times. This year, in 43 games, they've already allowed 10 or more threes 8 times. They're 3 and 5 in those games.

I'd love to have an answer. I'd also love it if people would give EB a week or so before they call the signing a failure. Ugh.

Did I just hear on 950 that Elton Brand is available?

Chad Ford mentioned it in a chat earlier this week. Don't know if there's any credibility to it. I mean, anyone is available in the right deal, so I suppose it's true, but I doubt anything is imminent. He needs to prove he's healthy first, and if he does that and then the team isn't playing well, all bets are off.

Right now, the discussion is premature, in my opinion. Good headlines, nothing more.

Brian,

This is the BEST thoughts I have seen on the net or heard on the radio for 2 days. Thank you, Thank you for bringing some sanity in this insane city. Why after 1 game people are flipping out, I don't understand. I am also tired of listening to the incompentent "experts" speak in this city.

I agree 100% with you. Thank you again.

Thanks for the kind words. I just want a little patience. Freaking out after a couple of games in which EB played limited minutes just doesn't make sense.


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