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Count Them Out, Please

O.K., nobody would mistake me for an optimist, but let me have a try at best case scenario...

-Lou and Speights step up in Thad's absence and become reliable offensive weapons.

-With everyone stepping up they sneak into the 5 seed. Then they get past Atlanta with Thad rounding back to form by game 6.

-They enter the 2nd round much more dangerous team with a healthy Thad and a more diverse attack with more Speights and a better Lou. A good series ensues.

-Next year they hit the ground running with good depth and skill at every position.

I think you nailed it, that's the best-case right now and it's also a fine stepping stone for next season.

and probably a new coach for next year too.

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Chris reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 21:56
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Better look at Thibodeau first. Sixer D has disappointed me this year (other than some sporadic flashes). With the athletes this team has it should be a top defensive team. He made some of their bench stiffs into players too so it looks like he can develop players.

wow that article about the pistons & iverson is depressing. dude was my favorite athlete of all-time.

Seriously. He should hang 'em up if he's going to handle coming off the bench like this. It's really a shame.

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Mike reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 22:16
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yea i had always hoped he would retire before it got to this, but it got to this point a little sooner than i anticipated. it will most likely get a whole lot worse too.

What can you do? Iverson thinks he was/is a great player. He thinks that scoring 30 points on 30 shots is helping his team. He thinks that because of his scoring prowess and ability to maintain a 1.5:1 ast:to he doesn't have to do anything else except "disrupt passing lanes."

I don't think Iverson is being completely selfish. I think he thinks the team would be better off with him playing, just like most people do, and so he is frustrated. He wants to help the team by scoring... but he just can't do it without minutes and "freedom."

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Mike reply to Joe on Apr 1 at 22:18
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he's just like george bush

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Joe reply to Mike on Apr 1 at 22:20
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Indeed. Misguided. And like Bush, the people created him by re-enforcing his views.

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John reply to Joe on Apr 1 at 22:46
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Iverson accomplished things at the pinnacle of his career though - Bush - well not so much

As for 'underestimating' - I always find that to be silly press stuff - pundits and idiots who have to come up with columns say stuff like this - a well coached team is not going to let his team look beyond anybody - plain and simple, guys like SVG, Doc (i don't know much about the hawks coach) aren't going to overlook the sixers or tolerate their players doing so.

BTW - anyone notice the sneaky thing the thunder did tonight?

Doc's team is looking like garbage right now, and I think Garnett needs surgery. They don't need to overlook us for us to take that one.

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Chris reply to John on Apr 1 at 23:01
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You mean signing Shawn Livingston?

We've had the Iverson pro/con debate ten thousand times before, but there's one thing I'm pretty sure we can all agree on. Even at his absolute best, he would never have fit in on any of these Detroit teams.

Dallas is beating Miami right now. 4 to go

I'm watching. 1-point lead w/ 2:35 to go. Need Dallas to come up big here. Maybe they'll put Reggie Evans on Dirk at the buzzer :)

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John reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 22:49
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I got it on as well - beasley to the line to give the heat the lead if he can

Ha ha! That's why you don't have a rookie handling the ball with 3 seconds left in the game, Miami.

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John reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 22:59
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That was an odd little play - not sure why they didn't have a time out called or a play in place on the miss -
beasley choking those 2 FTs didn't help

Another rook. Speights cans both of those :)

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:08
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rookie Thad would have drilled them too.

Yep, thank you rookie!

Alright, back in 5th by percentage points.

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John reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:08
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Now - just win the games you're supposed to win for now on...like tomorrow when they get the 'thursday night but you don't get to be on TNT' game against future sixers point guard Ramon Sessions

Does anyone else see Sessions as a younger version of Miller? I mean, I don't think he's as good offensively as Miller, he's probably better defensively, but neither one of them can shoot. Sessions is worse from three than Andre. How does bringing him in make the Sixers a better team?

To be more accurate, how does bringing Sessions in make them a different team, assuming they aren't "championship caliber" as currently constructed.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:20
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Well, I think age is the major issue here... Miller isn't going to be getting better... I think we can all agree on that.

Fair enough, but if shooting is the biggest problem then aren't we just going right back down the same road? And I seriously doubt Sessions would give the Sixers the same production Miller has given them the past two seasons, so bringing him in is making the team a weaker version of what we have right now.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:14
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Because Sessions' form isn't crippled to the point that 3 point shooting cannot be effectively done.

His form is good enough that he will have 3 point range if it is needed long term.

18% from three, 37% efg on jumpers. I'm not sure how good his form can possibly be w/ those numbers. Lou, Ivey, Iguoadala and Miller all have better numbers in both of those stats. I don't think they need to get another project shooter to join this team.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:29
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Still young... only has 40 career 3 point attempts.

I'm not a Sessions-lover but the kid can play and I don't see why a 3 point shot won't come in time.

Miller isn't getting younger.

If you can make this switch and cut salary... might make a lot of sense. I'm more worrying about the last 9 games right now personally.

Good point on the last 9 games :)

Brian,

you make a good point about rookies. It goes to point out how important it is for each player to know their strengths and weaknesses. With a team that has Wade, why in the world does anyone have the ball except Wade. I think their coach should have called time since Wade did not have the ball. Hopefully Speights is watching and heard the comment about rookie mistakes!

That's an unforgivable brain fart by the coach. You have to call the TO and draw up a play to get the ball in Wade's hands.

So what are you trying to say? You admit that without Thad we have no chance in the first round; doesn't that mean, then, that without Thad we ARE a team to be taken lightly? A team with no chance = a team to be taken lightly, in my opinion. I don't think anyone thinks we have a real chance of dropping out of the playoffs altogether, that's too far to fall.

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Joe reply to Tray on Apr 1 at 23:23
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Charlotte losing tonight makes falling out of the playoffs borderline impossible I think. If we check hollingers playoff odds once updated... they are probably at at like 99% I would think.

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Joe reply to Joe on Apr 1 at 23:24
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Hollinger had philly at 99.5% before Charlotte's loss. They have to be at 100% I would think.

Still 99.5%

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:31
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I don't think it is updated yet for tonight's games.

Power rankings haven't updated and neither have the playoff odds. Have to wait till whenever he updates them I guess.

The records are updated in playoff odds. I'm pretty sure it's just an automatic formula that runs on them. We'll see in the morning, I guess.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:37
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look at the heat in the power rankings.

record: 39-35

Last Game: ORL, L 95-101 | Next 2: @DAL (Wed), @CHA (Fri)

Streak: Lost 2

Everything isn't updated yet I'm pretty sure.

You're right. The records are updated in the playoff odds, but not the rest of the page. It still has Miami's best possible record at 47-35, but tonight was their 36th loss.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:42
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Yeah, the page should really say the last time it was updated.

The odds actually dropped to 99.4%. Anyone care to guess why they dropped when both Charlotte and Milwaukee lost?

I was talking about the next 9 games. Let these teams breath easy thinking we have no shot, and get into the playoffs w/ the 5 seed. Then pray Thad is back for the first round series.

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Tray reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:30
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I mean, I think that's just major hyperbole. The kid, while a stellar prospect, is just our third scorer - no NBA team is going to think "their third scorer is out, we don't even have to show up to beat them!" Especially not teams like the Bucks, Pistons, Nets, Bobcats, Bulls, Raptors... on the contrary, a lot of them are going to be thinking about going fishing and playing their bench half the game, not what a pushover we are.

Perception comes from both sides. The Sixers tend to play well when they go in thinking they're in for a battle. Tend to play poorly when they think they can coast to a win. I don't see them being over-confident and lazy w/out Thad. The motivation should be there. The better teams may breath a little easier, which is also what I was talking about. Much easier to gameplan against us w/out Thad in the lineup, you have to at least admit that.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:46
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I wonder how much time coaches dedicate to each Sixer...

Probably spend the most time on Willie and how to exploit him on both ends of the court.

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Tray reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 23:51
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They may breathe a little easier of course; I just think that you have a tendency to write a lot of these "just try and count us out!" posts, when no one really is and you yourself admit that if Thad's out in the playoffs you would count us out.

We'll cross the playoff bridge when we come to it. This post was more to say the Sixers have performed surprisingly well with their backs against the wall, so I don't expect a letdown in the final 9 games, while I think a lot of people will.

IVERSON'S DVD HAD HIM SAYIN, I START MA CAREER AS A SIXER AND I WANT TO FINISH AS A SIXER. SIGN MY BRO UP AND LET HIM PLAY WITH THE NEW SIXERS! FO SHO!

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Mike W. on Apr 2 at 8:46
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In at least 2 of those games you listed, we were not underdogs (vs. phoenix and vs. atlanta). I think possibly 1 or 2 of the others as well.

Do you know where to find the spreads for past games?

prediction on 2 games above:

Prediction: 101-99 Hawks

I am not sure where the prediction was in Feb 9 for Phoenix but I believe they were underdogs also. Definitely not a romp.

Alot of the spreads are on the Liberty Balls website.

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Mike W. on Apr 2 at 11:24
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I dont know where to find past spreads, but I am a gambler and do usually look at every sixers line. I think they were -1 or -2 vs phoenix. Very low spreads obviously, but not underdogs.


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