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Another Missed Opportunity

Hi Brian,

I'm surprised the Sixers had a chance to win the game having given up that many 3s at that high a percentage. Still, I think it was a foolish game plan with Howard in foul trouble. Play everyone man on man and let the chips fall where they may.

Here is something you'll enjoy. Kate Fagan (Inquirer writer) is clamoring for the lineup everyone here has been waiting for (Miller, Iggy, Thad, Speights and Sammy).

Real and Speightacular on Mar 1 at 8:04
"[The lineup idea] aids the rebounding effort, provides a consistent 15-foot jump shooter, creates a big, athletic lineup, and spares the Sixers from answering the question, "Why didn't Speights play more?", a question that has been circulating like Netflix around Philly."

Haw! Tell it, sister. He's an uncommon rook and management's refusing to recognize they have a tiger by the tail there. He may have some flaws -- what player doesn't -- but the most important thing is the net effect: does he give you more than he takes away?

Yes, comfortably yes. But Brand's existence makes the whole thing uncomfortable, unfortunately.

deepsixersuede on Mar 1 at 8:14

I thought Howard has been held in check by playing him straight up leading up to this game.With 18 fouls between Sam,Theo and Reggie I don!t understand the need to "bring a knife to a gunfight".We shot well from 3 early but we can!t try to outshoot this team.Why give up 3 instead of banging Howard around and making him hit foul shots.

B-Dizzle on Mar 1 at 9:01

$ for Damon

I've come up with some money making schemes for those MLB players effected by the Stanford Financial Group fraud investigation.

Link: http://morehardball.blogspot.com/2009/03/money-making-schemes.html

Give it a plug if you like it, thanks.

No real need to go into too much analysis about this one. The Sixers are a mediocre team that was swept by a good Orlando team.

Orlando is better than Philly. Swept them just like the Sixers swept the Knicks and Wiz. One team is just better than the other.

The game was close because the Magic were at the end of a 4 game in 5 night run (o the road.) They played flat, and the Sixers (or anyone) could have put them away. Since they did not, the Magic played hard for a few minutes at the end and the Sixers were over-matched. The Sixers could not even generate shots that reached the rim.

Because of the farce that is the bottom of the East, the Sixers can try and sell a bill of goods that they are a good team that just needs to find itself. If they were in the west they would be 4 games out of the 8th seed and focusing on player development.

When I watch this team I try and focus on how the young players are developing. Focus on playoff seeding and wins and you will be disappointed. They are just not good. They are streaky, and that's good for a run, but we know who they are.

Actually, they would be 6 games out of the 8th seed in the West...

They did miss an opportunity because they were at home against a tired Orlando team playing their 4th game in 5 nights. But don't confuse that for a chance to assert themselves as a legit playoff team. Sorry, not trying to be as much a downer as a realist. They need to forget 'the 4 seed' and learn all they can about the team heading into next year.

They need to learn if Iguodala/Thad can play 2/3. And if they can do that next to a lousy shooting PG in Miller(who is otherwise great.) They need to learn if Seights can start next to Brand (and if they can afford to unload Sam.) They need to learn if Lou is a complete loss at PG (and if they should trade him for a shooter.)

We have some sense of those answers, but we need to be sure heading into the Summer. They can't afford to waste next year, becasue they have a lot of resources locked up in Iguodala and Brand, and next year they have to hit the ground running.

Cornelius Talmage reply to tk76 on Mar 2 at 11:01

Hey TK,

Agreed, though I think the answers to your questions are clearer than you suggest...

"They need to learn if Iguodala/Thad can play 2/3."

They can't. They're both 3s. Iggy's closer to a 2 than Thad, but that doesn't make him a natural 2... it makes him a 3 trying to fit into a 2's role. We need a natural 2 on this team, particularly when Brand's getting the ball down low and looking for a deadeye spotting up on the wing. The team needs a better shooter than Iggy getting that pass.

"And if they can do that next to a lousy shooting PG in Miller(who is otherwise great.)"

The answer above answers this question as well. With a real 2 on this team, Miller's just fine.

"They need to learn if Speights can start next to Brand (and if they can afford to unload Sam.)"

Offensively, Sam isn't close to Speights. Defensively, it's quite the opposite. I'm not saying Sam's a great center, but it sure as hell looks like this team needs him to do what he does on the defensive end. If they're forced to give him up in a trade, they better recognize what they're giving up.

"They need to learn if Lou is a complete loss at PG (and if they should trade him for a shooter.)"

Yeah, he's definitely a COMPLETE loss at PG. No doubt about it. The BEST thing Ed can do in the offseason is to package him for a real shooter.

Tom Moore on Mar 1 at 12:30

0-8 against the top three teams in the East pretty much says it all. Can't defend the 3 or shoot it, which is a huge problem with no signs of improving.

I am a little surprised by the way Speights goes from seven minutes one night to 22 the next for no apparent reason. He still has a ways to go, but he is fearless at the offensive end.

I couldn't stomach looking this up last night, but here you go.

the Sixers game plan appeared to be leaving Courtney Lee and Anthony Johnson open from three all night, correct?

Well, Lee is a 41.4% shooter from three. Johnson only shoots 40.6%.

Can anyone explain this coaching decision to me?

John reply to Brian on Mar 1 at 12:47

The other guys are better?

seriously, 3 point defense has been a problem with this team for years now - and it's sad it ain't getting better.

I don't know if it's systemic or if it's just the players unable to learn.

Hey Brian - quick question for you - do the sacramento kings fear you if they have 10 mil in cap room and target andre miller?

They won't have that much, but if they target Miller w/ their 5-7M (depending on where they pick) it could be a problem.

John reply to Brian on Mar 1 at 12:57

Did you read the Ford column?

He says 7-9 depending on what they do with their two draft picks.

I just did the math, they're at 49M if they let McCants and Diogu walk, for 10 players. Add a minumin contract to that and you're near $50M, add their first-round pick to that and they're up around $52M or $53M.

I'm not sure why the Kings throw the money at Miller. They are a young team that is years away. If anything, they should go after Sessions. Even if they can't get Sessions, I still would not go for a long term deal for Miller if I were them.

Tom Moore on Mar 1 at 15:41

FYI: DiLeo's technical was his second. He got one Dec. 23 at Boston.

Doesn't seem like Miller would be an ideal fit for Sacramento. With cap going down next year, probably couldn't resign him for $8 mill and get a shooter with the mid-level without going into luxury tax territory.

Thanks Tom, I didn't remember that T vs. Boston.

Tom Moore on Mar 1 at 20:58

I had to look it up, Brian, because I wasn't sure if it was his first.

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