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How Did They Do It?

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Real and Speightacular on Mar 18 at 13:44
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"Essentially, the fact that Lou realized the situation and realized the Sixers had a chance for a two-for-one was the difference between Kobe's shot being a buzzer-beater for the win and the Sixers having 6.6 seconds left for Iguodala to drain the game winner. Thanks Lou."

Wooaah! After a season (hell, a career to date) crammed to the gills with boneheaded plays, it seems you're giving him an awful lot of credit for this. Lou is Lou and every once in a while one of his plays will work out for the greater good. He's no bball mastermind.

"This was truly a miraculous win, and anyone who wants to tell you the Lakers had an off night, you can dispute that with facts."

Yes, it was miraculous but no, not the whole Lakers, just Kobe. And even then it took some hotness and bigtime hustle play from Donyell and -- let's face it -- a bit of a lucky shot at the last second to get that one-point win. Believe me, for all their defense, hustle and strategy, the Sixers wouldn't want these guys in a series, no matter how short. Don't. Want. None.

Great game and a win is a win, take it and run, but let's not go overboard. The Lakers' supporting cast to a man played well but the main guy flopped. The Lakers aren't really set up to take advantage of a "make the other guys beat you" strategy against them. It seems psychologically they really need mamba to have at least a solid game or they're in trouble. Hm.

Also, there was a pretty big (and unusual) discrepancy in turnovers (harrassin defense?) and that's bigtime to the Sixers advantage -- it was the only way they had a prayer of beating this team. Last second heave for the win: prayers answered.

p.s. Gasol: some guys need to have greatness thrust upon them. He's not going to ask for the ball even when he's nearly unstoppable.

p.p.s. you want o-boards? Speights, on a per min basis, is 2nd best on the team behind Evans in that dept. and not by much.

Well if Reggie gets overly praised for one good game - why can't lou get a little praise for one good play :)

We need to get off Lou's back. The guy is a spark plug. We get way too caught up in stats here. I think Dileo has done a great job this year recognizing when Lou is helping/hurting the team, and it doesn't always show up in teh stat book.

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john reply to Mike W. on Mar 18 at 14:28
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Yes, we get way too caught up in stats, especially when those stats disprove things like 'spark plug' and 'scrappy' and other such generalizations.

There are opinions that are supported by facts and evidence and there are opinions that aren't. Lou Williams has had a lot of horrid shooting games this year that haven't sparked anything but losses.

Dear god, it's willie green all over again - same comments made early in willies career 'he scores points, he's a spark plug', he's always good to be on the floor - it's just not true.

Lou is a unique athlete, and he's in a very specific role on this team. His low field goal percentage is troubling, but he makes up for it (somewhat) by getting to the line.

I think I've probably said this 100 times this season, but for me, I can live w/ Lou's poor shooting on most nights, as long as he isn't compounding the problem with stupid decisions with the ball. For me, his assist/turnover ratio is probably the most important stat on a nightly basis for Lou.

Amazing game in many respects. A few of my thoughts:

- Reggie and Lou really had good games out there. I've been very critical of the latter so it's good to see him play well. As for Reggie, I've never expected too much from him, but yes in certain situations he can be productive for this team.
- I think when he sets his mind to it, Kobe is a better defender than Ariza.
- I don't know how often we can expect Marshall to do this, but it was another superlative game. He's not going to be this great all the time, but he should always be given some PT, especially in games when the offense is stagnant/non-existent.
- Once again, Thad goes off in the first half and the team looks to anyone but him in the second.
- The fact that the Lakers turned the ball over twice as many times was key.

- The fact that the Lakers turned the ball over twice as many times was key.

Good defense, bad offense or a combination of the two?

- The fact that the Lakers turned the ball over twice as many times was key.

Someone who had the chance to see the game - were the majority of these forced or just a sloppy lakers game?

It's tough to quantify. I will say this, there was no free dribbling going on at all. Every Laker with the ball had a man in his face, no matter where they were on the floor.

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sixers phan on Mar 18 at 15:28
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Brian,

I just had my first positive thought about the future of the Sixers in months, maybe we just need a real two??

Maybe we don't need to worry about Iggy, Thad, Lou, Brand, Speights, Sam and Andre Miller.

All season i have been banging my head against the wall thinking about how these parts should be fitting together. Recently, i have been exasperated by DiLeo's rotation and substitution strategy and it just dawned on me, maybe we just need to replace Willie Green with a two that can really shoot the three. And I'm not talking about a superstar. I am talking about a basic, run of the mill three point specialist that is not 40 years old. (no offense, Donyell) So my thought is that these guys are all still too young, aside from andre and brand. And we really don't know what we have or what we need. And another knee jerk reaction by Stefanski, (thad for X), would drive us all over the edge. Maybe we just see what we look like with a real shooter on the floor for 25 minutes a night. Let a real coach tinker with the line ups over the course of next season and then decide who stays and who goes. We have a stockpile of young talent but i wouldn't want to make a decision on any of them, yet. Roger Mason anyone?

Roger Mason is

a. under contract
b. a bench player

Thaddeus Young isn't a 4 - he's a 3 - and Iguodala is a fine 2 - I'm not sure why people don't think he can play the position - he sure as hell can play it better than anyone else on this roster.

They need a point guard for the future, they need a healthy brand, a coach who knows how to maximize the skills on the roster - and they need a stronger bench and to jettison ONE OF green or williams (preferably green) as they are redundant multi year players

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Sixers Phan on Mar 18 at 15:50
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Iggy is not a 2. Have you watched the last 2 games? Do you see the difference when you have a shooter out there? The spacing? It makes all the athleticism come toegther. Drive and kick and swing all night.

I want Iggy to be a two. We need him to be a two. But he is not a 2. A 2 guard in the NBA must shoot better than 28% from three. And iggy does not.

Roger Mason was my example of a player picked up for the MLE that is speading the floor for 25 minutes a night. I know he is under contract. Thanks.

Well while the sixers might have the MLE this off season, don't expect them to go over the cap to get it.

Why does your two have to be a shooter? Why can't your three be a shooter? It's sill comparatmentalization box thinking - if Thad continues to develop his shooters touch why does it matter if it comes from the 2 or the 3.

As for Mason - again - he's a bench player - he's a fine bench player - he ain't no starter.

Now - if you want to suggest mike miller in a trade that gets rid of two of reggie lou and willie - then we'll talk but reggie evans doesn't get this team any closer to contending.


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john reply to john on Mar 18 at 15:58
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Sorry - not reggie evans in the last sentence - roger mason

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Chris reply to john on Mar 18 at 16:26
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I agree with John here. The Sixers need a 3 pt. presence but it doesn't have to be at the 2. It doesn't matter what position the shooter occupies.

Iggy needs to move to the 2. There are other good teams with a 2 guard that can't shoot well (Utah with Ronnie Brewer comes to mind - yes, he has an OK % but he takes mostly layups). Hell, Miami with Dwayne Wade. He's a crummy 3 pt. shooter. Everything else Iggy does would be at a plus level for a 2-guard.

If Iggy doesn't move, it is going to, at best, thwart Thad's development and, at worst, cause Thad to get traded. I'm thinking Thad is ready to 'break out' already but cannot as this is already Iggy's team. He isn't going to be Iggy cranking 19, 5 and 5 every game but I do think he can get to 22-25, 6-7 and 2-3 any game with a good shooting % and some 3s and playing decent defense. If he works on it he could get to be a very good defender. Would that be worse than Iggy, I don't think so, just different.

I'm starting to think to 'be a superstar' you have to get lucky with your timing on being on a team (and being on the right team). Beasley is doing 'OK' with Miami that had a couple of established stars that are the main options. Durant is a 'star' as he went to a team that didn't complain if he shot 30x in a game (even at a low percentages). Switch the two and Beasley (who was better in college and AAU) would be the 'star' and Durant would have been 'OK'. Granger wouldn't have developed / emerged if O'Neal hadn't gotten hurt.

I guess what I'm getting at is if the situations were reversed Thad would be the 'star' of the team and Iggy would be sort of where he was in the Iverson years. I'm starting to think it is less Thad's consistency as the team actively goes away from him.

The past two games have elucidated that the sixers need a 3 point shooter on the floor

i don't think they said anything about it having to be the 2 guard

IN fact - since marshall ain'ta two guard - it pretty much said it doesn't HAVE to be a 2 guard - why not a starting '5' who has range out to 20 feet - with a starting '3' who has 3 point range


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sixers phan on Mar 18 at 16:07
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john,

i partiallly agree with you but, Thad is not going to stand in the corner and wait for the ball to swing to him and then hoist a three. He's in the post, he's driving, he's sliding, he's everywhere, already. And you want that. Asking him to spot up to provide that spacing is crazy. That is what a two guard is supposed to do and on a good team, the point can make the defense pay from deep as well. I too hope Thad continues to develop is outside shoot to become a really effective all around scorer, but you don't want him standing at a spot hoping the defensive rotation is slow. And speaking of defensive rotations, can we get Speights in the box, please. Don't you want to see if he can score in the post consistently?

Do you actually get enjoyment logging in under different aliases and talking to yourself, John?

there's only 1 john, unless he can magically transport himself from CA to PA from one comment to the next.

Let's try to stick to making fun of each other's basketball views in the comments, john has given us plenty of ammo, no need to stoop to anything else :)

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john reply to Brian on Mar 18 at 17:01
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Well see Brian - that's the problem - when they can't argue the facts with facts they argue the person and somehow think it makes their argument stronger.


We're all better than that. Stick to hoops and you can't go wrong, that goes for everyone. (God, I feel old).

If they can somehow get a PG who can hit the 3 then they will be fine with Iguodala/Thad at 2/3. The PG won't even have to be that great, just defend and hit the open 3. They will have plenty of scoring and slashing from the rest of the roster.

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john reply to tk76 on Mar 18 at 16:55
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Make woodside taller and faster but make sure no one notices but the sixers - done and done

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Chris reply to tk76 on Mar 18 at 16:55
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Time for another shameless plug for Nick Calathes in the draft (Florida's 6'5" PG - a passing wizard who is a very good shooter). :-)

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john reply to Chris on Mar 18 at 17:02
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I haven't seen a single reliable publicatiion or even baseless rumor from 'unnamed sources' that indicates calathes will be in the 2009 NBA draft

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Chris reply to john on Mar 18 at 17:25
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John,

There are a number of sites that surmise he is coming out. None is what I call an authoritative source but they are sites about this sort of thing:

Here is Draft Express, for one (read the final sentence of the latest entry):
http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Nick-Calathes-1237/

ESPN's Chad Ford is another:


Here is one of the biggest Florida Gator's fan sites:
http://www.alligatorarmy.com/2009/3/11/789283/nick-calathes-last-stand

If he doesn't come out, then obviously we don't draft him. But if he does come out, I think he'd be an ideal fit for this team.

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Chris reply to Chris on Mar 18 at 17:33
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Here is another link from a local (Florida) paper on just that issue. They think he's leaning towards leaving:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/ufblog/entries/2009/03/17/nick_calathes_to_the_nba.html

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john reply to Chris on Mar 18 at 17:40
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Draft Express in their rankings rank him in the 2010 draft - if he comes out early maybe the sixers get ANOTHER 'come out too early' steal from UF like they did with Speights, guess we'll see.

Gotta wonder what's going on with 'Wonder Donovan' when these guys are coming out earlier rather than stay an extra year and probably work into top 5-10 pick range.

I've heard a lot of good things about Nicky but until he declares I'm kind of avoiding getting interested...

Do you really think that "staying in to move up" works? I mean, it's going to hurt Budinger. He probably would've been the highest slot after his freshman year, when he was a guy w/ sick potential. I think he's lost value in the draft every year. Seems to me like staying in doesn't really help guys at all these days.

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Chris reply to Brian on Mar 18 at 17:53
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Brian,

I think it depends on the player involved. Staying helped Blake Griffin (who showed he could carry a team) and Stephen Curry (who showed he was a good passer). It definitely hurt Budinger. His weaknesses were exposed and he hasn't improved what his deficiencies were (i.e. - ball handling, aggressiveness, lateral movement).

As it applies to Nick Calathes, I don't think staying will serve him at all as his prime deficiency is his athleticism. Not much he can do about that. Skill-wise, he is already near the very top of all college ball.

I'm wondering if the NIT is going to hurt Curry. No hype there. How did he not get his team to the big dance, anyway?

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john reply to Chris on Mar 18 at 17:56
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What is the deficiency in his athleticism - is it speed, lateral quickness, what exactly - cause there are ways to improve it - and i'm sure UF has a great training program he could take advantage of

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Chris reply to john on Mar 18 at 18:53
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John,

Calathes isn't laterally quick and he isn't a leaper either. His speed is OK but nothing special. People complain he can't guard the super quick PGs in the pros. I think it is overblown as he's as good an athlete as Andre Miller was and he does have size on his side.

I do think Florida's trainers can make him a (slightly) better athlete but not significantly enough that it wouldn't be seen at his weakness. I don't think it'd serve him any by staying in school. Believe it or not, he'd be better served to come out now and get drafted in the lower 1st round. Then a decent team can pick him up. Even if he stayed, I don't think he'd be a top pick as they'll say he doesn't have 'upside'.

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john reply to Brian on Mar 18 at 17:54
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If you're a guy people EXPECT to come out and people are salivating over and then you 'step out - i think that hurts - because you've already been subject to all the scrutiny and people are wondering about your committment.

Tyler Hansborough probably has lost draft slotting every year he's gone back to college - the longer you're there the more your flaws are exposed.

But I think a guy like Calathes can still improve his draft stock because of the whole under the radar hasn't declared thing yet.

Once you declare, you really should stay in, i think anyone who backs out screws themselves almost certainly.

That's just my perception - i think the 'spotlight' factor comes into play for certain guys and since Florida had an off year (as I understand it) there's not a lot of focus on calathes - now if they make a NIT run (are they even in the NIT?) with Calathes leading the charge, that might change - but right now I think he's 'anonymous enough' that it won't hurt.

Anyone taking thursday/friday off who could check ou the ND State Kansas game for me - i'd appreciate it :)

Completely regardless of position, I want 1 guy who shoots better than 40% from three, and one guy who shoots at least better than average (36%). Thad can be that second guy, I don't really care what position the other guy plays. If he's a wing, they can still find 20-25 minutes/game for him. If he's a point, he can back Miller up. If he's a PF, they can find the minutes for him. This team just needs the ability to keep teams honest (hopefully with Thad), and the ability to punish teams for lazy rotations, etc. They don't have to live by the three, but they do need the option to open up the lane, if nothing else.

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sixers phan on Mar 18 at 16:55
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guys,

a shooting guard is a shooting guard because they can shoot. A power forward is a power forward because they need to rebound and set picks. Once you start operating ffrom the premise that your two guard does not need to be able to shoot, whatever follows equals a six seed in a bad conference and a first round exit in the playoffs.

Period.

Dwyane Wade. Michael Jordan for the first 9 years of his career. Kobe for the first 6 years of his career. All of those guys were shooting guards who really couldn't shoot on championship teams. Kobe shot 25% from three one year when the Lakers won the title.

It doesn't matter where the deep shots come from.

That's complete and utter balderdash and nonsense.


Hollinger on the Sixers' bench:

4. Philadelphia: The Sixers are another team whose bench has done it few favors, despite decent production from Louis Williams and Marreese Speights. The Sixers' bench, in fact, has an even worse plus/minus than the Hornets', because Philly essentially goes into just-don't-blow-it mode when limited subs like Royal Ivey and Reggie Evans check in.

The column basically says teams w/ a strong starting lineup, statistically, are going to perform better in the postseason because starter's minutes are extended and benches have less of a role in games.

It's a team game because it's a collective effort out there on the court. Each team needs someone to shoot, it doesn't always have to be the shooting guard.

One reason why we get along fine with Thad at the 4 is because the two Andres rebound very well for their position to make up for his rather weak rebounding.

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sixers phan on Mar 18 at 17:56
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My original point was that maybe we can take a step forward next year by just replacing Willie Green with someone that can spread the floor. What i am concerned with is moving some of the young talent prematurely. I dont want to trade Thad to make room for Brand. I don't want to play Speights at 5 long term. What I was thinking is that we really don't know what we have in our young guys. Will Thad turn into Danny Granger, maybe. He sure does look like it in most first quarters. So, maybe if you just replace Willie Green, with a serious deep threat, it creates enough space that we are better next year and we can afford to see what value Lou, Thad and Speights really have.

Clearly, we have no silver bullet. We thought Brand was a silver bullet and he's not. So if we are stuck developing our young talent, maybe this is all we do this offseason.

btw, John, balderdash, great word, you should see if McSorley's is hiring.

Yeah, I agree w/ seeing what we have, definitely. Right now, my doors would have to be blown off to move Thad or Speights. Lou, no so much, only because he's got a pretty big contract. Thad and Speights are both still really cheap, so there's really no downside to letting them develop on your roster.

Speights off the bench for either Brand or Sam could translate into 20-25 MPG for him and maximize his strengths while masking his weaknesses if his defense doesn't improve.

You don't have to trade Thaddeus Young to make room for Elton Brand because Thaddeus Young is not a power forward You move him to his natural position and you move Iguodala back to the position he played most of his career before Andre Miller arrive in Philadelphia.

And you don't pigeon hole the expectations of a guy based on position - if you can get 'SG production' from your starting SF - more power to you.

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sixers phan on Mar 18 at 17:58
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John, I meant McSweeneys. I feel like i just got out of McSorleys.

People all over the world get the home loans from various banks, just because it is comfortable.


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