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The Difference

Great writeup Brian.

Thad is our strongest offensive option (as in putting the ball in the basket). I think he's had his 'Neo' moment where he realized he could be really good. He should be the Sixers primary scoring option from now on. I still think they should move Iggy to 2. Thad doesn't rebound enough this year to play the 4.

But he still needs to work on rebounding, assisting or defending or he'll turn into another Rudy Gay (with more skills) or Danny Granger (with more athleticism). He should be better than either of them.

What is up with Speights lately? He seems like he's been in a funk. Before the last couple weeks he'd always have at least one really strong game a week.

Spotty minutes for Speights, maybe. Or maybe just hitting the rookie wall. I'm not too worried about him. Big guys take longer to develop, and the ups and downs are usually more severe.

If i'm any of those teams, honestly, i want to avoid the heat - cause they gots the superstar who gets the calls and in the playoffs a guy like that gets hot it can cost you a series.


Fair enough. It wasn't really a leading question, I wanted to know what people thought.

The Magic NEED to avoid the Pistons (ironically, their win last night puts them in position to play the Pistons). Pistons are 3-0 vs Orlando this year and really have their number.

I think Chicago's going to pass Detroit.

Hey, with a Heat loss tonight, we own the 5 seed.

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john reply to Mike W. on Mar 26 at 14:43
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If you look at the next 5 for the sixers and the next 5 for the hawks the sixers have an outside chance of taking over the 4 seed - personally I don't think it's a good chance - but check it out

This site is totally awesome. Brian, I've been saying since last year that if this team is ever going to compete for a championship, they will do so on the shoulders of Young Thad. He has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA - with his combination of length, post moves, and outside shooting he reminds me of a young Tracy McGrady. And he's only 20! Bar none the 2nd best player in that draft (after Kevin Durant). Imagine if we actually ran plays for him!

dwade has a hip injury that is definitely something to keep an eye on. he has not played well the last 2 or 3 games.

For Brian

In today's chat hollinger said he thinks there's a 'decent chance' the sixers get the 5

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john reply to john on Mar 26 at 16:16
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The only drawback to Hawks-Sixers is that all seven games will be relegated to NBA TV or, at best, the early Monday games on TNT

That kind of sucks

Especially if the cable company turns NBA TV off again when the regular season is over, like they've done the past 5 seasons. I always enjoy the phone call where I yell at a poor girl in India about how I paid for League Pass and they can't just take NBA TV away when the season is over. Good times.

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john reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 16:40
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I get nba tv - but i yell at my cable company every year because the 'split billing' thing ALWAYS gets messed up

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Real and Speightacular on Mar 26 at 18:44
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Love this whole post. The title, the pic, the copy, it's a classic. If you can frame and hang it, I think you should cuz you can point to all yer buds a few years down the road when we were all witnessing the birth of a super nova.

And, yes, Speights will come and we'll witness that too when the time comes. When the second season hits, Philly's going to be load for anybody whose name isn't the Celtics or Cavs.

What about this?

The goal should be to obtain the best record and highest seed possible. Hypothetically, if we end up #4 or #5, most seem to think that is the Sixers best chance to advance past the 1st round. They would more than likely then have to face the Cavs in the 2nd round.

So does it favor the guys to end up the 6th seed and have to face either the Magic or Celts with a possible 1st round upset and then face either of the same two teams in the 2nd round with a chance to advance to the Eastern Finals?

Could that scenario be more advantageous or having to face LeBron and the Cavs and the refs too in that series?

Hmmmm....tough one....worth some thought. The Magic don't scare me as much as the Celts in the 1st round and the confidence the guys would gain from winning a 1st round series could be enough to propel them to a long and competitive 2nd round matchup, and another upset, and not have to face LeBron and company until the EC Finals.

It's kind of silly to look this far ahead, so of course I've done it several times already and I have some thoughts on the matter.

Yes, I'd rather face Boston or Orlando than Cleveland, but if the ultimate goal is to go as far as possible, you absolutely cannot expect the Sixers to go through Boston, Orlando and Cleveland. That's what they'd have to do if they finished with the #6 or #7 seed. If they finish #4, #5 or #8 they'd only have to play 2 of the three on the way to the finals.

Before everyone jumps down my throat, I'm not saying they'd beat all three, or even one of the big three. But theoretically, if you're holding out any kind of hope for a miracle playoff run, you can't hope for the opportunity to play all three of these teams.

Now, if you could finish w/ the #6 seed and Detroit finished #7, then Detroit beat Orlando and the Sixers beat Boston and faced Detroit in the second round, that would be ideal. But when you get right down to it, just win as many games as possible now, let the chips fall where they may and play your ass off when the second season starts.

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Mike reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 21:48
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do we know the deal with iverson? is he sitting out the rest of the season or what? i'd really like to see him in philly next weekend.

I'd be surprised to see him in uniform again this season.

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Mike reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:03
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that's what it sounds like. apparently the doctors said there was nothing wrong with his back at all, and that he's just sitting out because he doesn't want to play. he's a free agent, so i have no idea what he's thinking. it's going to be really interesting and probably pretty sad to see if any team even wants him next season.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:01
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I need convincing that we are a good matchup for Boston. And I know you have been feeling like this for a few weeks now about our chances against the Celtics. I just think they are a bad matchup for us at nearly every position on the court with the centers being a wash. They seem to have our number and shut us down with their defense, on top of, aside from getting healthy, you have to think they are sandbagging to a certain extent only to ramp it up come playoff time.

a series with orlando would bring back memories of '99, when a similar young squad on the rise upset the magic as a 6 seed over a 3 in the 1st rd. there are a ton of similarities to that situation if you think about it.

I was at Iverson's 10 steal game vs. Orlando in that serious. Unbelievable.

Man, check that link. He had 33 points, 5 boards, 5 assists, 10 steals and 2 blocks in that game.

Also interesting, he was 3/8 from three and no one else on the team even attempted a three.

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Mike reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:06
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truly incredible. thanks for that link. i love checking out old boxscores like that.

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Mike reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:09
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that old team that started making the playoffs before they finally peaked in the finals in '01 is still my favorite sports team i have ever watched.

NBATV always gets turned off after the season ends. It's absolute horseshit, but they do it every year. You just gotta pony up the extra cash to get it back.

Pistons getting hammered right now, Heat down 4.

Time Warner blows. I don't even know what package I need to buy to get NBA TV turned on. Someone remind me when the season's over to make sure I get their "customer service" people on the horn.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:10
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TW must be different in different areas of the country. They don't even give you NBA TV with League Pass here. You have to buy a separate 'Digital Sports Tier' for an additional monthly fee to get it. A few years back on the website, it says that you get NBA TV with League Pass subscription, but there is an asterick with fine print that says only in select markets. I argued to no avail with the TW reps (they are local here) about this and realized the fine print several days later. The reps weren't even informed on this, I just lucked up and saw it later.

This is actually my first year w/ Time Warner. Used to have DirecTV and they'd shut off NBA TV every year. I'd have to order their BS sports package which pretty much only gave you college games from the sun belt.

Time Warner screwed up earlier this season when they accidentally turned off my league pass after the first free trial at the beginning of the season. Then accidentally turned it off for like 4 days after the second free trial in the middle of the season. I spent about 4 hours total on the phone yelling at them and calling them incompetent. I can only imagine what's going to happen on the last day of the season.

Do you realize that at the rate Tony D is winning, we would only have 4 more wins this year than we do as of now. Of course, that does not consider the opponents. Just was surprised, I expected it to be more.

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Mike reply to DeanH on Mar 26 at 22:23
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well 4 more wins would put our record at 41-29. doesn't seem like a lot but that's a significantly better record.

chicago is KILLING miami, btw.

Blowout city in Chicago. One-man show getting shut down. By the way, Wade has 10x as much talent around him as Iverson did in 2000-2001.

If DiLeo coached an entire season and won at the rate he has won since taking over the Sixers would finish 49-33. Lot of ifs there, but they've played .596 ball under him which is pretty damned good no matter how you slice it.

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Mike reply to Brian on Mar 26 at 22:40
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chicago has actually been playing pretty well lately. and i absolutely agree with your wade/ai statement. looking at those old boxscores and seeing names like honeycutt & jumaine jones is hilarious.

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Tray reply to Brian on Mar 27 at 0:59
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Um, the difference being they don't have great defenders. The fact is, all Iverson did for us is make our offense mediocre instead of dreadful, which was enough to make us a really good team because our defense was just that good.

I can't help out -i hve cox cable and just hve every channel except cinemax and starz

I have been thinking, do ya'll realize how different other teams look playing the sixers verses other teams. I think our defense is alot, alot better than most other teams (except 3 points often). Any thoughts?

It's a trade off the Sixers make, shutting down the lane for the three. It's advisable against some teams, it backfires against others, but they consistently shut down the lane.

I really like this picture.

http://media.philly.com/images/20090326_dn_G2SIXE26S.jpg

May be what other players will try to do now to stop this kid.

That's awesome. Did they call that one? He got shoved in the back w/ two hands on one shot and it wasn't called.

Did Thad score?

hope everyone enjoys looking at this one.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/matchups?season=2009

Assuming we take care of Charlotte, which will surely be a tough game, those Detroit and Atlanta games on Sun. and Tues. become even more magnified, with the #4 seed still in reach and becoming that much closer if we take care of Atlanta head to head.

Excitement. Playoff fever. Have to love that. Better than the alternative.

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Mike W. on Mar 27 at 0:21
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NOVA!

I rarely follow college hoops, but the one thing I always root for is an early exit for Duke from the NCAAs. Glad it was Nova that showed them the door.

Wait, we backed into the playoffs last year? We went 7-2 in our last 9, 24-13 in our last 37.

Other than that, I agree with the general premise of your post.

They definitely backed into the playoffs last year. 3-7 in their last 10 games, lost their last 4.


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