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Hey B-Roy, tell me how my ass tastes.

I can't sleep.

Real and Speightacular on Mar 24 at 7:15

I watched the game from about mid second quarter and I was transfixed. Your last post nailed it, Brian. They showed us heart and pride and grit.

And no real excuses for the opposing team this time. Roy was slowed by a sprain, but was well enough to play and still commanded attention. It's interesting that both the improbable wins (Lakers, Blazers) came with the opposing star player unable/unwilling to get to the line. At this point I have to really reconsider if the Laker win was mostly fluke. I have to.

In the second of a back-to-back, they rattled and shook the Blazers, scratched and clawed when Rudy and LaMarcus pushed back. This is a team that is beginning to believe.

I was really impressed with how they stuck to the game plan, too. Including overtime, only five 3PTers attempted by the entire Sixers squad?! Hell, Lou can put up five by himself most nights. Did he find religion? Sixers got outshot by a longshot, but weren't tempted to fire back from long distance. Philly just took it to 'em and took it to 'em.

All credit due to three guys who regularly take a lambasting here (obviously myself included in the pile on): DiLeo (does he have them in shock-the-world mode?), Lou (I'm actually amazed he took "only" 5 FTs, it seemed he was at the line all night) and Evans (he pushed the ball toward the basket area NINE times last night! wth?!).

It's amazing what can happen when you put together the right plan, make the right in-game adjustments and execute well with energy and unbendable determination.

I'm almost afraid to say it, but I think we might have something here.

They were relentless going to the hoop. Portland's perimeter guys had no prayer of keeping anyone out of the lane.

deepsixersuede on Mar 24 at 8:28

Having a third guy [Thad] that is capable of taking over for a stretch is key for this team. Their energy seemed to be there all game rather than only a half or three quarters of it, nice to see!!!

How nice was it to see Thad step up and carry them through that third quarter?

BIG win by the sixers. And surprising for me...I didnt think it was possible.
Dead on about Reggie...last year I think it was game 2 in the playoffs against the Pistons he came out and DOMINATED the game to the point where the crowd was screaming Reg-gie Reg-gie and gave him a standing O.
This guy will be very valuable come playoff time....

Beat the blazers and lakeers on the road yet get blown out by Golden State ?!?

I am officially calling for a rename of the sixers to the Philadelphia Mcnabbs.
You can never count on them but you can never count them out either.

The most entertaining Sixer game this year. better than the wins against the Lakers and the Spurs. Felt like last Spring. Games like this one is why its worth watching.

Real and Speightacular on Mar 24 at 10:45
"You can never count on them but you can never count them out either."

I likes.

Goes to show they really need all elements firing smartly to beat the better teams. Starting with DiLeo employing the right strategy for the team they're facing.

Also, Thad has arrived. Welcome to the upper echelon, stud.

I took last nights game off - needed a break. I checked in a few times - saw the half time numbers and wasn't so surprised when i would check back later and the blazers were catching up - the first half just didn't bode well for a win to me (weak on the defensive glass and shooting an ungodly percentage). I was happily surprised that they won.

And thad hasn't arrived in the 'upper echelon' just yet - he's had a good week or so but there's still some pretty large holes in his game - he's not even the best (or second best) player on his team yet

Agreed that the first half was never going to repeat itself, disagree on Thad. Agree that he's not in the upper echelon, but disagree that he has "pretty large holes in his game". He could very well be our most polished offensive player RIGHT NOW. His outside shot is about as good as we have right now, his ability to drive is as good as anyone on the team, and he has post moves nobody (big or small) has. That might be a little bit of being the tallest midget (who else on this team, healthy, besides maybe speights, has any sort of post game?), but his game is very advanced for a 20 year old, and fairly advanced for anyone irrespective of age.

What other 20 year old is the second best or third best on his team.

Yeah, on 610 this morning they were saying we have to eventually trade Thad for a star 2 or 3 who will put up 25-25 points every night.

Thad is 20!!! He's well on his way to being this player!! Just so stupid.

Does anyone think it's out of the question that Thad will be putting up 20-25 ppg in the next few years? I don't.

john reply to Mike W. on Mar 24 at 12:07

Well WIP isn't exactly a reliable source of knowledge in any sport.

As for '20 year old who is second or third best on his team' yes that's quite a nice accomplishment.

Again though - let's go back to the original statement that I was referring to.

"Upper Echelon"

Is any player in the upper echelon in your mind the 3rd best player on a mediocre team that is probably one and done in the playoffs?

When I think Upper Echelon I think Lebron, Wade, Kobe, Duncan, Paul, etc...

Thad may get there - but he ain't there yet

And there's more to the game than scoring points

Quick question,what person on this team would you compare to any of the players that you named,so why single Thaddeus out?

john reply to crissy on Mar 24 at 12:22

I didn't single Thaddeus Young out - someone else did and I was replying to his comments.

No one on the sixers is upper echelon - I never said any of them were - I said he was third best on the team (behind the Andre's in my opinion) in completeness of game - at this time.

I didn't say he couldn't get better, I didn't say he wouldn't get better, I said he wasn't upper echelon at this time.

I'm not sure why understanding that seems complicated

That's a pretty narrow view of upper echelon, but pretty much however you define it, he isn't there yet.

That being said, I think he will get there. The guy is just a natural scorer and I really don't know why no one saw this coming out of college. To be more accurate, how was he so mediocre in college two years ago? I would put his natural scoring ability right up there with Durant, and I think he'll wind up being a more complete player than Durant as well.

john reply to Brian on Mar 24 at 12:33

And that's all I'm saying - that he's not there yet - and all putting him there now is set him up for the inevitable philadelphia fan fall sooner than he deserves (and it will come - it always comes)...and he's going to have bad games, he's going to have poor games, and he'll have em between now and the end of the year and he'll probably have some in the playoffs, becase he's still only 20 and still only in his second year and playing out of position and still learning the NBA game. He's had a nice run for a couple weeks, i'm glad he's helping my fantasy team, but he's also had some bad weeks as well.

Not to mention that next year - he'll really have to start learning his 'true' nba position (hopefully) and that could take some adjustment time.

PS - personally I think upper echelon should be 'rarified' air - reserved for the top 10-20 in the league.

there's only 450 players (max) in the NBA - 20 is basically the top 5% (ok 22.5, but very few half players are that good)

I think 5% is a good cut off for 'upper echelon' - even at 10% you're at less than 50 players across the league.

20 is a fair number. 30 would be an average of 1 per team. How close do you think Iguodala is to that level, top 20?

john reply to Brian on Mar 24 at 12:48

I don't know - I'm very pro Iguodala and always have been. THe way the 'general populous' seems to define it - i'm not sure he'd even make the top 30 (a few teams lakers/spurs for instance would get two, maybe even 3 in the top 30) - and we've had the debate Roy vs Iguodala - and most of the 'general populous' seems to think Roy would come before Iguodala - though I'm not one of them (and I know you aren't either.

I'd say without looking too deeply into it that for me, Iguodala would come somewhere in the third 10, anywhere from 21-30 - but i don't think he cracks the top 20 yet.

Real and Speightacular on Mar 24 at 13:13

Hee! All this commotion. Yes, I guess we all have different ideas of what "upper echelon" means. Each is as valid as the next, but since I used it here, I guess I should define better what I was thinking.

It wasn't anything scientifical. No square-root-divide-by-to-the-third-decimal anything. Just a seat-of-the-pants feel of where he's at compared against the majority of players.

If you had to pin me down, I suppose I'd say "upper echelon" includes anyone in, say, the top-third of nba players. The simplest minority. That said, there's obviously a range and cream of the crop, upper echelon of the upper echelon ;-) pantheon-potential guys are the 20 or so players who make the all-star game (yes, i know, there's always a deserving handful who get robbed).

But for certain I'm not chopping it off at the best player on the team. Hell, that would mean Scottie Pippen or Amare Stoudamire or [hell, there's loads, you get the drift] wouldn't make that cut either. And that's fine I guess if that's how you want to use the term. I'm more liberal. *shrugs* your mileage may vary.

Also, I say this recognizing that yes, he's still going to have some ups and downs -- hell, as we've seen recently, even Kobe has an off-night from time to time -- nobody but nobody dominates every night of the season. But I do think we've seen enough excellence out of Thad in a long enough string of games to say he's broken through that freshman-sophmoric level of inconsistency to a new plateau where he's performing at a high level far more often.

Now anything can happen. F'rinstance, ask Stuckey what happened after January. Wheels kinda fell off for a looong stretch (tho i really think it was more wall than anything else). Could happen to our man Thad. But I don't think so. Gut feel. Calculator be damned.

When Thad is finally able to settle into his natural position and we see him thrive in an outstanding way, some of you will be amazed and wonder where you miscalculated. The rest of us smelled it cookin a long time before.

Call me a jerk. Call me an asshole. Call me a negadelphian. Thad has been a dissapointment. He is finally playing good basketball over the last 10 games or so. It is nice that he has worked through some problems(or gotten hot), but he isn't looking like a special player by the numbers. He is still young though and players sometimes bloom in their 3rd+ season, so I am still very hopeful and Thad is still one of my favorite players.

Anyway, here are the numbers. He is taking about 1.8 more shots per 36 and scoring 1.4 more points. So his scoring hasn't improved. It has regressed. Only his minutes have improved.

Then look at rebounding... uggggh. He is down 2 rebounds per 36. Some of this can be blamed by playing more SF, but not all IMO. He has regressed. How much is up for debate.

His turnovers are up. His assists are down. His steals are down. This is all bad stuff.

Long story short... when Thad's shot isn't falling he is absolutely worthless. That is not the case with great players at all. That is the case with the gays of the world.

john reply to Joe on Mar 24 at 13:51

And the other corner speaks up

The one with unrealistic expectations, no patience for growing pains, etc...

Joe reply to john on Mar 24 at 14:00

I was saying that Thad hasn't "grown." That is pretty much it. He has regressed if anything and I think that you can tell by watching him this year or by simply looking at the box score.

I have patience for him. Speights too. Just pointing out that playing more minutes and shooting more isn't progression.

john reply to Joe on Mar 24 at 14:26

You were a little vociferous in your abuse though then there's this


I don't disagree, overall, that he's regressed, but I think there are a couple of things we have to take into account.

The most-alarming thing, to me, is the rebounding rate. I don't know what the cause is, I don't know how to correct it, but he needs to rebound better. Possibly going up against bigger opponents is a problem at the four, but he played mostly the four last season. That one is a head-scratcher.

Assists don't really worry me, he isn't a playmaker in this offense, nor does he really need to be. His turnover rate is exactly the same as last season.

The regression in shooting stats was kind of to be expected. He's taking more jumpers, more threes, and just more shots in general. No one expected him to shoot 53% from the floor throughout his career, not when his natural position is on the wing.

So, while there has been a statistical regression in some areas, I think as a whole there's been growth as a player. If you look at his numbers month over month, he's been an above-average three-point shooter in every month but December. The fact that he's stretching his range while still attacking the rim is a great sign of him expanding his game.

There will be ups and downs, right now, we're getting an extended look at the ups and I have to believe this is what we're in store for, sooner rather than later. 20-25ppg is not out of the question for Thad, and it's not out of the question a year or two down the road.

Joe reply to Brian on Mar 24 at 16:33

At this rate, he won't ever be anything better than a Corey Maggette-caliber(not similar type) player or Rashard Lewis or Rudy Gay or Danny Granger. All scorers who can't do much else. (And terrible at other things like rebounding, which is important)

And that type of player is fine and dandy, but you need great players areound them who aren't scoring-centric and the Sixers don't have that.(think Sixer finals team)

Thad has to be better. He isn't even average yet. Not even close IMO. His numbers this season are 100% average for a SF, but he isn't playing that position. He needs to be compared to PFs and he has been terrible.

And did you notice all those players I named are on BAD TEAMS(not even decent) or were on bad teams until they got traded onto a team with the best big man in the NBA. This is because they aren't helping their team win nearly as much as studs who score like Manu Ginobli.

/broken record

Its hard to compare top players. How do you compare a great center to a great PG.

This team needs a go to, high percentage scorer- someone who can't be stopped one on one. Thad could develop into that player. They already have a great glue guy in Iguodala. With a PG and Iguodala you don't need another guy with 5+ assists. You need a guy who stresses the defense and can flat out score.

I do not see Thad ever being the scorer Durant will be. Durant will be a 30+ pt scorer for 10 years. he is a generational scorer. he also will get a good amount of rebounds and assists because of his length and role in the offense. He likely will be in the HOF.

Thad does not look like he will be a 20 ppg scorer, but I expect he should get 20+ efficiently given the touches. Put that next to Iguodala and a PG who can shoot and you should have a great backcourt for the next 6+ years.

Sorry, meant to say Thad will not be a 30 ppg scorer, like Durant will be. But Thad should average 20+, maybe even 24ppg in a couple of years.

I hope Speights also can be a 20 ppg efficient scorer in a few years.

If Young/Speghts get you 40 ppg on 50% shooting it takes a lot of stress off of Brand and Iguodala. Add a shooter and you have a great offense.

Real and Speightacular reply to tk76 on Mar 24 at 14:44

I agree. Thad in due time'll score 30+ in a game from time to time, but will probably settle into the mid-20's range over the course of a season. That's still enough to put him among the league leaders in that dept.

When he gets to play SF on a regular basis, the other numbers will come around. There are no numbers to project this, it's just what I see. Last night I saw a kid who's becoming (if he isn't already) aware of the depths of his powers. He's beginning to flex and he's finding confidence. Amazing pick, it wasn't an obvious projection.

Young-Speights (who will be a 20-10 beast sooner than later)-Iggy. That's some core. Keep a focussed Sam and Evans to bail Sam out from time to time and then you've got to draft a solid point guard for the future (there'll be so many decent ones in this draft), plus throw in a more chaste Lou and you have the basis for ruckus-rousing team for playoffs to come.

Oh, and a good coach.

Seriously, it's all right there. A nip here, a tuck there...man, in a couple of years no one will want anything to do with this team in the second season.

Until I see some defense out of him, I think Durant is pretty much a 'Melo clone with a better jumper and worse driving skills. Here's a comp of the two players up to this point in their careers.

Durant may score 30 for a couple of years throughout his career, but I think the HOF is a stretch. Unless you think Melo is headed in. I don't.

Chris reply to Brian on Mar 24 at 17:46

I agree on Durant. He does score a ton but he takes an ungodly amount of shots. On a team that already had an established star there is no way he's taking 25 or more shots in a game. He's shooting a lot better this year but I don't know that isn't an anomaly as he's shooting a lot better this year than he did in college or his first year. He is pretty sorry on defense too.

The one thing that surprises me is he gets to the line a hell of a lot. He isn't that good a driver. He is shooting jumpers more than anything. It seems he gets fouled almost 40% of the time he shoots.

I think 30 PPG is a rarified air that (for a season) i wouldn't expect Durant to hit consistently - unless his teams continue to stink and he's the only scoring option.

In a couple of years the sixers will need a point guard

It will depend some on their pace of play, but I see Durant scoring as much or more than Kobe over his career.

Not saying he'll be that kind of player, but I don't see anyone stopping him as a scorer.

john reply to tk76 on Mar 24 at 14:58

Kobe has only averaged 30 or more 3 times in his career - i'm just saying I think 30 PPG is a pretty lofty (and slightly rare) number.

And the last 2 seasons as the lakers have been 'better' as a team the PPG average has been coming down

He's not there yet, but he will be.because he has the passion and desire to be great.he works so hard last summer when most guys his age are hanging out, he's not.he did almost everything imaginable to prepare for the season. Go BADD THADD (his nick name in high school)

Agree, 30 ppg in rare. I think Durant is a rare scorer- and will be a better scorer than Melo. I said I think he is a generational scorer, and I will stick to that.

I don't know if he will be a great overall player/leader/winner, but the combination of his length and scoring ability makes him unstoppable as a scorer.

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