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Building To Win, But When?

I think you have the pulse of what ES is trying to do. Win some now while building for a bright future. I guessI worry that picking in the teens makes it tough to stock-pile talent... but that is where they keep proving me wrong.

DiLeo is some kind of zen master of the fraft. Somehow he just wills stud prospects to fall to the Sixers. Iguodala, Yound, Speights and now Holiday- and only one really was a bit of a reach (Young), the rest we were lucky to get.

Iguodala yest joked how crazy it was to be in the war room- witching DiLeo tick off correctly the first 15 picks with absolute authority. We are lucy DiLeo is back where he belongs. Witjout his picks, he teams prolonged mediocrity would slowly sap away all of their talent- but somehow they land a promising young prospect every year.

O.K., that is the last time I try and type in the dark. Typo city.

I saw that video w/ Iguodala, hilarious. DiLeo just has a really good eye/brain for talent and the draft. Seriously, Thad, Speights and now Holiday, they're all like top 5 picks if they go a year earlier/later. It's uncanny.

When will the Sixers be ready to win (big time)? I hope and expect 2-3 years with this roster. Do I think their core is good enough (championship team quality starter)? Iggy already is, Thad is on the verge, Brand used to be - I'm reserving judgement until he plays the majority of a season for the Sixers and Speights could be if he got to be at least an average defender. Holiday, way to early to tell.

Why are some fans dead set against Holiday? A few reasons. Two right off the bat, directly relating to Holiday, are 1. he had a ton of hype out of HS and (disregarding any reasons for now) didn't perform up to expectations and 2. a lot of people don't like the one and done players. People compare them to mercenaries and unless they did something spectacular they just don't like them. Here is an example of this. Bruins Nation is (probably) the primary UCLA bball forum. But the moderator there hates Holiday (primarily for 1 and 2). Check this out. BTW, if you post something positive about him or disagree unless you are a long time poster he'll delete it or ban you. I was going to ask about Holiday (or find out more), read his a lot of his posts and said, "Nah!".
http://www.bruinsnation.com/2009/6/26/926002/ben-ball-roundup-ucla-pointguardu

Third, and this really doesn't have much to do with Holiday, is that fans of North Carolina and Duke (and they are legion) are passionate to say the least (not an insult). As an IU grad (known for some bball passion themselves) I can tell you most IU grads weren't hyping Keith Smart, Bryan Evans or Alan Henderson. I think those two schools basketball teams have the most passionate fanbase even more so than say IU Kansas, Kentucky or UCLA (same caliber of basketball history).

Lastly, I was one who wanted a shooter at guard (primarily so they can play with Iggy , Thad and Brand). Namely, I wanted McClinton, Calathes (future) or Meeks in that order. But if it would have taken more than money and a non-core player I agree they made the right move. I still want them to sign someone like Salim Stoudamire *but* only if they'll use them. I know we had Rush and he didn't do anything but I don't think he got much of a chance either. Maybe he was dogging it in practice, I don't know, but if they are going to sign a shooter I'd like to see that shooter used.

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Real and Speightacular on Jun 27 at 7:49
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I agree with the general premise that they're not building for right now, that the real window for 'chip contention is mebbe a couple years down the road (Lawson will be 23 by that time, btw). I also agree with the last three paragraphs.

However I can't feel confident re Holiday's upside. Sure, his ceiling is higher than Lawson's from a physicality perspective. Jrue's about 4 inches taller and has a way longer wingspan. And height and length aren't teachable so, all other things being equal, you could expect greater things from Holiday. I do get that.

But the thing of it is, basketball (any sport really) is also played between the ears and in the heart and those are usually really difficult to quantify. Some guys come fairly dripping with all kinds of talent and physical blessings but don't/can't take full advantage of them (D. Coleman the most infamous example). Some guys can play much bigger than their physical limitations due to bounless heart and smarts.

Sure Jrue was a high school phenom (as was Lawson) but we simply don't know how Jrue's going to work out at this level. We know he didn't seem to display scoring aggression/instincts at UCLA as a 2-guard and doesn't have a reliable jumper. As a point guard you'd expect him to make fewer turnovers in comparison to his assists.

He played out of position, you say. Fair enough. But that's not reason for celebration. It means his whole year is a question mark and 16 other GMs (admittedly not all of them looking for a point) weren't impressed enough with the film they watched and/or how he performed in workouts (Westbrook by comparison started relatively low in the mocks and rocketed upwards during the workouts because of his unbelieveable athleticism). Note that Holiday himself didn't feel confident that he could do better if he took one more year to polish his stuff with no competition for the point guard role. I really think that could be telling. At the 17th pick I guess you can afford to take a gamble but people need to recognize that's in fact what it is -- a gamble, as opposed to a reasonable bet, with odds stacked in your favour.

It should be said that what isn't in doubt is his defensive prowess. His heart and mind are definitely connected with his physical gifts on that score. It will be a welcome difference over Miller, there can be no debate.

Me, I wouldn't have gone with the gamble when a guy like Lawson's there for the picking. Yeah, you would definitely wish he was a couple inches or so taller and better wingspan, but he's a touch over 5'11" without shoes, so it's not like he's a midget. Plus, it's not like he's slow, can't jump and lacks strength. No sir, just the opposite. So he has some talents that'll help make up for other physical shortcomings but more importantly than that, the guy's shown he has the heart and mind too, to excel at his position. He really plays smart, aggressive ball on both ends.

17 GMs passed on him largely because he's just under six feet tall (or didn't need a point). Two more inches, with the same numbers, and he's a top-3 pick, hands down. To me, Minny got the bona fide 'steal' of the draft. That's my bet anyway, we'll see.

Have to agree DiLeo and company had a great track record to date. I doubt that at the 17th pick they've made a bad pick here in Holiday, it just may've wound up a missed opportunity to do better. *shrugs* We'll see.

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deepsixersuede reply to Real and Speightacular on Jun 27 at 8:02
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I really think Love leaving screwed up U.C.L.A. bigtime. They ran their offense through him more then Westbrook or Collison 2 years ago and that, to me, is why U.C.L.A. looked so ugly on that end last year.As far as Holliday falling, Lawson went #18 so there must be some issues there, and durability may be as big as size.That is one thing he has to prove to me,can he play 82 games.Watching the press conference they seem pretty sure of his p.g. skills,b.s. aside, so like you say we have to trust their judgement in that respect.

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Real and Speightacular reply to deepsixersuede on Jun 27 at 8:36
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Good points. I probably shouldn't have gotten into the falling stuff. These mock guys don't seem to realize that sometimes they're being played.

You don't seem to realize that it's IMPOSSIBLE to get every pick and every player right, especially once you get out of the top 5.

and of course there's misinformation. GM's give reporters misinformation. agents give reporters misinformation. agents give gm's misinformation. Believe me, everybody realizes it. GM's will give you just enough information so that you give them just enough information. They're trying to do the EXACT same thing draft prognosticators are doing. They're trying to put together their own (private) mock draft.

It's one big game.

I sat there next to Jonathan Givony as he was on the phone with a GM (who I will not name) and flat out said to the GM "yeah, I don't believe it. I think you're full of shit". They both had a good laugh and he hung up the phone and fielded another call.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Derek Bodner on Jun 27 at 18:52
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"You don't seem to realize that it's IMPOSSIBLE to get every pick and every player right, especially once you get out of the top 5."

I don't know if you're weary after a few days of running around, pillar to post, explaining how "things work" in "tha biz," but take it easy, I didn't say anything about expecting perfection predictions.

It is to say though that the better mocks do pretend to have access to reliable inside info the rest of us schlubs don't. It's key to their authority, otherwise it's a buncha dudes who watch a lot of film and rumour sites making their best guesses. And who's going to put a lot of stock in that?

I forget who it was that did a review of all the major mocks a year or so ago. Seems nobody is consistent in their guess record from year to year. One year it's nbadraft.net with the most correct, the next it's SI or whatever. It's a fun exercise and in live the warrooms plans can change suddenly with an unexpected pick above or a new, sharp gut instinct and there's cascading effects. But it's so difficult to suss out beforehand the true info from the foggy mirages and mirrors. This year was especially fun during the DX live blog as the GMs veered so wildly off the "plan." You're right though, beyond the top 5, which most informed fans could probably nail at least 3 out of 5 on their own anyway, it really is anybody's guess.

At draftexpress, we never call ourselves a mock draft site. the mock draft is a byproduct of the research we put in there, put on the site because users want it. If it were up to us, we'd probably leave it at positional and class player rankings and leave it at that.

the nytimes actually just did an article about this that included Jonathan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/sports/basketball/22nba.html?_r=1&ref=basketball

We're going to be in Orlando and Vegas in person. We go overseas to watch Euro ball in person. We have people on the east and west coast scouting high school basketball in person. We even attend d-league games in person. We do none of this to produce a mock draft. We don't get hired as consultants for overseas teams because of our mock draft.

We're a scouting service and a news site. As for reliable information, if you noticed, we had the news that Brandon Jennings was removing himself from the green room nearly 24 hours before Andy Katz and ESPN.

Not sure what you're problem with draft sites is.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Derek Bodner on Jun 28 at 13:06
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My bad if I lumped you guys in with other mock sites that clearly don't have your resources (we're assuming, since you didn't say so, that your other contributors around the world are also professional basketball scouts, paid well for their deep experience and expertise in successfully assessing basketball talent). It's great that you guys consider yourselves as more than a 'mere' mock site. It's no tales out of school to say yours is by now the premiere web space for publicly accessible detailed stats and opinion on promising ballers.

And even if you have other sources of revenue, you must admit that most of your consumers are coming for info as it relates to an assessment of the next draft to come. So fine if you want to say you're more than a mock site, I believe that's true btw, but there's no need to run away from your principal identity. There's nothing wrong with a niche if you're the best at it.

As for having a "problem" with mock sites generally, I wouldn't go that far. I enjoy them, they're good fun and often insightful. But it is to say I'm going to take them (yes, including yours) less seriously. The happy bottom line: it doesn't mean I'm visiting any less often.

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deepsixersuede on Jun 27 at 7:53
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Brian, I hope that is their plan, it makes sense. This season is about 3 things to me; getting,worst case,as far as we did last year and hopefully above 500;getting Elton healthy and producing so he is both valuable as a teammate and TRADE ASSET;and figuring what L.Will. is capable of becoming and how good a shooting team we have.L.Will. is the one guy locked up past 2 years that I am concerned with and if he doesn!t improve this year his predecessor has to be here by next year.Finding a young big will be an interesting search, if Gortat can be had, fine or search for a diamond in the rough.Heytvelt was undrafted, R.Hollins is a 7! athlete f.agent who can run the floor and D.Jordan may be worth a future pick if he continues to grow.C.J.Watson is the age of our current group, fits the Curry molde of a deadeye shooting combo guard and with our new,big, backup p.g., seems like a good candidate for a 2 mill. deal at least.

I believe Watson is a restricted FA, but not sure how motivated GSW would be to keep him. Probably depends on whether that Amare deal happens and if Curry is there when the season starts.

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John reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:21
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Well Nelson denies that Curry will be traded no matter what.

What do you think about Marquis Daniels? Hasn't he played some point in his career?

Can't shoot, right?

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John reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:31
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Not from the 3 no :) But what PG FA can shoot this year and is willing to take a short term deal until Holiday is ready? :)

Daniels isn't a point guard. But I'd like him as a backup wing.

Brian I love your insight man...really. Good job.
Now as far as the pick...I like Jrue...who knows how good he will be. He could be Royal Ivey...he could be Dwayne Wade. No one will know for a few years. I have to trust Dileo as this is what he does for a living --day and night...and he has a good track record. I dont think the Sixers will be good enough this year or next to beat boston, orlando or cleveland. After that ? who knows ? I think the Brand signing in retrospect was a mistake....Smith from Atlanta would have worked much better for us but we have Brand for now. I know people may say.."he got injured...give him a chance"..you know what...he is not the player he once was. Not even close...I would be shocked/floored if he comes back and can play at an all star level. Dont get me wrong...I think he will be good. Maybe even very good...but not dominant. I think ultimately Brand will get traded either at the all star break this year or over the summer. By the time the sixers can contend he will be too old and he wont be able to keep Speights off the court.

I'm not ready to write Brand off. Give him 40 games or so to knock off the rust, then we'll see what he is/what he has left. Like I said above, if these freak injuries can be overcome, Brand is suddenly a 30 year-old without a lot of miles on his odometer. That could play in our favor if he's 100%. The fact that the injuries were unrelated leaves me hopeful, at least.

Interesting read

two points

Since you were indication player options - Willie Greens second year is a player option according to Storytellers.

And according to Stefanski they did try to get a second round pick - for some reason he said they cost 'millions' which I don't believe personally but they had players they were targeting as well - so they were unable to purchase a pick high enough to get their players so that's why they 'closed up' early.

Oh yeah - one more thing - in the Iguodala part of the holiday PC - watching him dance on the miller question was interesting.

I don't think they were going to contend next year with Lawson or Holiday or any other draft pick. Too many variables that have to go the right way - I'm happy that they went with the guy who has the better upside since they're at least 2 seasons away from contending in my mind.

Good call on Willie's player option, I fixed it in the post.

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John reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:33
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No problem

I admire your continued dedication to the pointless Holiday Lawson debate, I haven't seen anyone say anything new about it in the past 24 hours or so :)

All these off season options to explore and people are still obsessed with the draft pick - which is done - and have no faith in the sixers regardless of history demonstrating they might know what they are doing

Well, this post was supposed to be a transition from that debate into a "what now" conversation. Namely, how do they make moves to help them in the short term without jeopardizing that window starting in 2011.

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John reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 16:03
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Well, Gortat would help, but I don't think SEssions would any more - not sure he'll sign a 2 year deal. That's why I threw Daniels name out there because he'd probably take two years to play.

I predict Holiday is the starter by no later than 2011 ASB

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 16:48
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Mebbe you don't mess with it. No grievous holes that're easy to fill (well we aren't privy to the GM backchannels) so mebbe just stick with the setup if you can't get Miller back.

Mind you, it would be good if Philly could get Brevin Knight in to mentor, he's nearing the very end of his career. Good defender, still can dish (even if he's short ;-)

Lou/Holiday
AI9/Kapono
Thad/Kapono
Brand/Speights
Sam/Jason

Sam Dalembert is more useless offensively in an eddie jordan run offense than he normally is.

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eddies' heady's on Jun 27 at 13:44
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Respectable write-up. Alot of 'maybe's' and 'if's' sprinkled throughout.

If the debate is about Holiday vs. Lawson and the dreaded upside, ceiling, and potential argument, can we all be spared? Potential only means you haven't done anything of note yet. Ceiling is just a barometer with way too many heights and levels, some not so high. And upside is the utmost abstract based on mainly youth and age.

To think that Lawson has maxed out because he is roughly two years older or because his measureables aren't as sexy would be short-sighted. Here you have a guy who has progressed every year at the highest level of college basketball, in arguably the best and most competitive conference. For some reason his 'ceiling' just kept going up for three straight years. So are we to say that he suddenly has topped out?

Basketball is the ultimate team game played within the ultimate team concepts. Everyone is accountable to everyone else they are on the court with, with no one going at it alone. One guy, with so many 'if' unknowns, panning out down the road is a shaky pedastal to place the franchise on at this point when the GM himself has admitted that the alternative (Lawson) is better suited now. To pass up someone that would, arguably, make you better 'now' for someone that you 'hope' or 'think' may make you better years down the road is a deflating course of action.

It has been said that Lawson, and his lack of height, would have trouble guarding opponents (while Holiday has somehow been anointed on this front), but the flip-side of that is just as important. Who is going to be able to stop this mighty-mite of a jitterbug from penetrating at will and breaking down defenses regularly with the new rules instituted years ago by the league? Very few. Chris Paul does this at will nightly, at roughly the same height, and there is no clamoring about Paul and his on the ball defensive efficiency. Not to mention, Lawson is about 25 pounds heavier.

I've never been a fan of the 'would have been a top five pick' this, and 'would have been a top five pick' that, and player X 'fell'. Draft position has never equated career success as there are many examples to prove this. And you can't 'fall' to a specific slot because of bandied about and hypothesized draft projections.

This debate is truly endless, but nonetheless interesting, and only time can be the ultimate judge. As said above; *shrugs* We'll see.


I agree its not worth arguing, since no one will know for a few years.

on the flip side, you cannot ignore upside. Otherwise Orlando should have chosen Okafor over Dwight 5 years ago... This is similar to the Thornton/Thad argument all over again. Turns out both are good players.

I think both Holiday and Lawson will give their teams great value for where they were picked.

IMO Lawson has little chance to be as good as Paul (who went top 3 despite his size.) Also, Holiday likely will not end up as good as Rose. Then again those guys were top 3 picks for a reason.

IMO, Lawson ends up like Nelson- which is quite good. Jrue is more a wildcard, but he could end up being anywhere from an allstar to a very solid role player. I'd say similar upside to Thad, but at a more crucial position- and taken 5 picks later in the draft.

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eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Jun 27 at 14:18
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FYI, the Paul reference above was not meant as a comparison of the two overall. I was just using Paul as an example of similar build, height, and spurty quickness. I've never been on the boat of saying Player X ends up like Player Y or Player X will be as good as Player Y. It's weightless and useless as they are all players within their own right.

Just didn't want the initial comment to venture into a Paul/Lawson comparison because that was not the context or intent.

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eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Jun 27 at 14:49
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BTW, on your flip side comment about ignoring upside on the Okafor/Howard choice, couldn't that be flipped again on the Milicic/Carmelo/DWade (although Carmelo only played one year in college, so moreso DWade than him) draft.

And your mentioning of being at a more crucial position is exactly why the Thad/Thornton argument is obsolete here. Point guard is way more vital with the new rules than a wing position.

IMO the Wade/Darko/Melo argument doesn't hold water here at all. That was the #2 pick in a stacked draft. This was #17 in a crap draft. We're talking about a very, very low likelihood that a player picked #17 will even be a starter down the line. Playing it safe with the #17 pick is pretty foolish if there's a guy who could be a star sitting there for you. If either of these guys has star potential, it's not the one who played for UNC.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:13
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Never understood how choosing someone with a proven history can equal playing it safe or being foolish especially when in the same sentence you use the key word of 'could' when speaking of star potential. Why not take the guy already labeled safe (and proven) instead of a possibility of a kid being a star?

Not to mention, you just said that it is a very low likelihood someone at #17 would even be a starter down the line, yet you grasp at the thought of a 'star' being drafted in the same spot?

No one thought Holiday would be there at #17. Not the Sixers, not Holiday and not the NBA, who had him in the green room.

Aren't there a lot of "if's" and "maybe's" regarding Lawson as well? I mean, is it crazy to say Raymond Felton is Lawson's ceiling? I don't think so. That's not horrible, not exactly someone to cry over missing out on either.

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John reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 14:55
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Of course not - lawson is going to be awesome right away - isn't he?

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:03
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Well on that front, there are if's and maybe's on every player drafted. As stated above, won't get into the player vs. player comparison. But as my initial comment said, the supposed 'if's' and 'maybe's' with Lawson are minimized due to three years of improvement at the highest level of college basketball. And the numbers lovers can't dispute the kid's aggregate. It is surely proof in the pudding.

There's also a little proof in the pudding of players under 6 feet typically not being great pros. Or point guards with average lateral quickness being poor defenders. Lawson falls into both of those categories. There's questions about whether he can change speeds on his dribble, again, a big red flag when you're talking about a guy who's going to penetrate. DraftExpress listed basketball IQ as a weakness, another red flag. I just love how everyone thinks Lawson is such a sure thing. More prepared to play right now does not mean he's even better right now, just more experienced.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:30
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Don't buy into the hype. The kid is 5'11" without shoes, so don't group the guy into the category of 'players under 6 feet'. As far as 'not being great pros', there aren't many 'great' pros throughout the history of the game, 6 feet or not.

I find it odd that just b/c Holiday could adequately guard guards on the college level that he will have more than 'average lateral quickness' to guard the best guards in the world. And since you mentioned it as a question of Lawson, is that to say that Holiday is a bonafide speed changer on his dribble?

And if you are more prepared to 'play right now', on another level at that, and 'more experienced', doesn't that make you 'better right now'? How could it not.

If Lawson would have been the pick, you would have positive and well thought out articles written about him, would you not? But because he wasn't the pick you moreso want to point out his 'red flags'?

My point isn't that Lawson is a bad guy, or a bad player, my point is that Holiday was the better pick for this team. Had they chosen Lawson over Holiday, I would've been pissed and I would've written about it. Check out the live blog during the draft. I probably would've had a problem with them choosing Holiday over Brandon Jennings as well, but less of a problem because I think Jennings had some character red flags, whereas, Holiday has none.

This is what it boils down to. For you, Lawson's college numbers outweigh the other factors (height, defense, alligator arms, etc). For me, the other factors outweigh the college stats for Holiday.

And to your point, Holiday has been praised for his basketball IQ, his court vision and his change-of-pace dribble.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:40
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Well, there's no hard and fast rule on these things, it's not always the same call in every single case, but it's clear there's a camp for taking the unproven athlete with the higher physical ceiling over the repeatedly proven champ with the lower physical ceiling (we shouldn't even call them ceilings, we're really just talking here of physical attributes). It's the take the no-brainer solid commodity camp vs the grab the unproven swing-for-the-fences potential hotness pick. We could go on and on but it's just a difference in value systems and there isn't one inherently better than the other alla the time.

But I do wonder for the guys who've been saying the "big 3" is gonna be Brand, Thad and AI9, why would we need another "star" anyway? I mean, don't you just need a productive, two-way solid guy to feed and support the big 3? Won't a "star" just choke off touches/opportunities for the "big 3?" Can any winning basketball team support a "big 4?"

Depends on what kind of star you're getting. By all accounts, Holiday is a pass-first, stat sheet stuffer kind of star. Not a gunner. You can never have too many of those guys IMO. And I don't think Lawson is a two-way guy, that's part of the problem in my eye.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:54
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The guy picks off, like, 80 steals in the NCAA championship game and you have serious doubts he can play defence? Alright, I'll grant you he's probably not in the same league as Holiday defensively but geez louise, he's gonna tons better than matador Miller.

In terms of overall impact, if you want a guy who's def pass-first, who by all accounts, loves a fast-paced game, who can distribute without turning the ball over so much, hit that outside shot like nobody else on the team can and still be a major pest defensively, I suspect Lawson doesn't take a backseat to Holiday.

Dammit, I'm suckin myself in again :P

Bri, when are we movin on to the rest of the best-game, worst-game series?! I've got SP8's best game already picked out for you lol :)

The Phoenix game?

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 17:56
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Oh, that's a good one for sure but, no, that's not the one I had in mind...

I can attest to the fact that Brian was getting quite excited - he even may have soiled him self - around the 12th pick as it seemed Holiday would be available...

I was blabbering giddy Holiday cheer when they got to pick 11. I put up lots of "Holiday could not possibly slide any further, right" posts at RealGM.

I did not expect any real excitement this draft. I was planning on being happy if Lawson was picked and bummed with Maynor.

...But the Holiday pick was right there with when Iguodala fell to #9.

Pretty much my feelings exactly. I thought the only possible drama would've been a decision between Jennings and Lawson, but I didn't really have a horse in that race.

There was a run on PG's from 17-21. Someday we will know which team got the best PG of the 5. But of those 5 I would have only wanted Holiday or Lawson. Either one would have been a good pick.

I realize a lot of people had their heart set on Lawson. Maybe it would have been better if Lawson went at #13 to Indiana. I bet there would be a lot less debate if Maynor, Teague and Collison were the only other PG's on the board.

As it is, this creates more interest. Much like the Thornton/Young debate. But more heated and ultimately more critical.

Hopefully it's decided as quickly and decisively as the Young/Thornton debate, which has clearly been over since the end of their rookie years. And hopefully the Sixers wind up with the better player, again.

I enjoy the past day reading opinions for the Holiday pick and disappointed that Lawson was not picked.

To put my 2 cents in, I cannot understand how MOST fans are not happy w/ the Holiday pick. Lawson was not even invited to the "green room" as I pointed out before the draft. The experts expected Holiday to be picked in the Lottery. We should be excited that we got a lottery pick with 17. Whether it pans out, time will tell.

But, I love the attitude of Holiday of passing first. I am sick of the air balls shot by our other guards when Thad or AI9 are under the hoop wide open for a dunk.

I now believe the reason people want to be critical of the pick is because they enjoy being critical. I am amazed how some bloggers here and other sites, tend to alway complain and mock other people's opinions when all they are are opinions.

Can we all agree that we want Holiday to be a superstar in the league and help bring the 76ers the championship sometime in the near future? And sooner the better?? Or, would some of you want to complain we just got lucky when we win it all?

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Real and Speightacular reply to DeanH on Jun 27 at 19:08
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"I now believe the reason people want to be critical of the pick is because they enjoy being critical."
That may be some people (that's quite the broad brush), but how about it's ok to be critical of the pick simply because you're not in favour of it? Is that allowed? I am amazed how some bloggers here and other sites, tend to alway complain and mock other people's opinions when all they are are opinions."

Couldn't agree with you more re the mocking of opinion. It's about the tone of the disagreement. Too often folk take it too personally, and it's easy to do given this kind of environment. It's not about a search for "truth," or being willing to concede points; it more often devolves into a "war" where it's all-or-nothing, only-one-opinion-can-survive atmosphere. Sometimes it really gets out of control. Sometimes I despise blogs.

Just to clarify, I was not referring to EVERYONE but when one disagrees w/ facts and opinions, fine. But often, that is not the case.

Opinions are important and that is what a blog is, to disagree and DISCUSS thoughts. I did not have a person in mind w/ my comments, just a general thought and if I seemed to attack or ridicule someone, Sorry, I did not mean to do that.

Dean,

I definitely believe there's a contingent of Sixers fans who will never be happy with anything the team does. I don't, however, think Real and Speightstacular really falls into that category. I don't get that feeling from his comments, and he's pretty obviously sold on Speights. Typically, those fans hate everyone on the team and everyone in the front office.

Personally, I don't think I would've done anything differently than Stefanski has since he took over. The only move I see as even somewhat questionable (at the time, because hind site is b.s.) is not trading Miller at the deadline this past season. Even that non-move can be defended, though. I never heard of a package that blew me away, and the one package that I did hear (Outlaw, Blake and Lafrentz) could still be done as a sign-and-trade right now.

I happen to agree with this draft pick and I find it hard to believe that people were so psyched about Lawson, but whatever. Until E.S. makes a move that I'm left scratching my head about, he's going to get the benefit of the doubt from me. After landing Thad and Speights with middling draft picks in the past two seasons, they'd get even more rope from me, even if I didn't agree with the pick. Just so happens, I do.

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DeanH reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 19:46
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As stated, I was not referring to R and S or anyone specific with my comments, just were meant to express a thought. Most of the problems I have are not on this blog or ones that most here I see on them. Sorry, if I was not practicing what I preached!

I agree with you about our guards ignoring Iggy and Thad and taking a bunch of shots. Lou Will does this the most often but there were a number of times Thad was pushing 20 in the 1st half and he'd only get a few shots the rest of the game. Miller had more 20 shot games than the top 3 other PGs combined as I recall (Paul, Billups, Kidd).

Speaking of Miller, not sure I'd want him back. I don't want him taking all the minutes and having Holiday stagnate on the bench. I'd rather get someone like Blake and have Holiday split the time with him (or even with Lou Williams if it enables us to get someone else of value). I'd like to see Speights get some minutes too and see Iggy play some substantial minutes at the 2.

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DeanH reply to Chris on Jun 27 at 18:05
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I agree 100%

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deepsixersuede on Jun 27 at 18:08
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I would like to address the "no 2nd round pick " argument.I hope it is for other reasons, one of which is we have almost 9 mill. tied up in Willie and L.Will.,2 guys that if they play well may either be used in a trade [Willie] or become what we all hope he is [L.Will.] and Iggy hopefully sees some 2 guard minutes.The other reason is maybe a sign-trade is in place for A.Miller and we are getting 2 for 1 in it,HOPEFULLY!!

Neither of those things would prevent a second round pick as they aren't guaranteed contracts, and a sign and trade in place would require negotiations which aren't allowed to start until July 1

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eddies' heady's on Jun 27 at 18:46
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As Sixers fans, don't we all wish we had Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Devin Harris etc. for their nearly unstoppable penetrating prowess? Well my friends, Lawson was that guy to offer that.

While we all know that Miller was a near-like sieve on defense the last couple of years, we still managed to turn teams over at a high enough rate to be at the top in fast break points. A younger, and faster laterally, just as strong Lawson has to be better than Miller was, does he not?

Too much weight is being put on defensive capabilities, or lack thereof. It has been said nationally and here on this very blog that, arguably, no one can stop or prevent dribble penetration with the currently constructed rules. So with that said, let's drop the importance of that aspect down the totem pole several rungs.

This team, as of now, is a sure-fire 1st round contender and with the watered down Eastern Conf., a borderline 2nd round contender, with who knows what can happen after that as proven by the flawed Magic this year. This current Sixers squad needs only a tweak here or there to elevate itself those few notches. Lawson would have readily, sufficiently and efficiently provided that in the short and long term. But as fans, we are to remain patient and strive for that contender status in 2-3 years? After a drafted project may or may not pan out? Please.

The league and the conference will be drastically different in that 2-3 year span with current contenders getting better, some current contenders getting worse, and some pretenders elevating their status. And we are suppose to believe that we will be of the championship ilk a whole 2-3 years from now after this 'budding star' finally begins to shine?

Oh, how patience really is a virtue.

If dribble penetration is the thing you covet most, you're banging the wrong drum. Brandon Jennings should've been your #1 guy and you should be complaining the Sixers didn't draft Teague. Or you can just start saying Lou Williams is our best PG option right now, because no one can keep him out of the lane.

And yes, I'd love to have any of the points you mention above on our team, but not because they can break a defense down off the dribble. We have two guys who can do that very well. That's not this team's problem.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 19:39
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It's not the thing that 'I' covet most, it's what this team was coveting most for the upcoming season - a point guard. And one that can get that dribble penetration and, most importantly, make use of that penetration in a variety of ways is really just gravy. It's the icing. All they needed was a somewhat ready point.

And another point is that it would have allowed them to concentrate their free agency moves more towards perimeter players that could halfway shoot for all those kickouts. But now they have to spend money on a, for lack of a better term, heady veteran to man the point. Which may or may not hinder their possible pursuit of a better big (as some have suggested Gortat). It's all domino.

Lawson could have provided enough, likely handsomely, to man the backcourt in the interchangeable offense with Lou and others.

It isn't about a player being your best option just because he can get into the lane. It is what you do with it after you get there. And Lou doesn't get into the lane at will as you suggested, because if he did then he wouldn't dribble himself towards the baseline into those constant double teams.

As for the last sentence about '..not this team's problem.', it was never posed as problematic. It was posed as an asset this offense could readily use and every offense thirsts for.

Actually, everyone associated with the team, notably the coach and GM, made direct quotes that they did not expect any point they drafted to come in and start this season. The fact that we, yes we, think Lawson probably could have doesn't change what the organization's expectations were. No matter who they drafted, their approach in free agency and trades probably would've included a PG, if that's the plan right now.

And both Lou and Iguodala can and do drive at will. Getting trapped in the corner is ridiculous, but that's his play off pick and roll situations, not when he's one on one with his man. No one can stop Lou's penetration one on one.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 19:55
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With the key word publicly being 'expect'.

You've got to be kidding on Lou, look at the tape.

I'm probably more down on lou than you are, but the guy can do one thing well. Dribble penetration is probably the only reason he even deserves to be on the floor. That's why he gets to the line so often.

confused on the statement, "You've got to be kidding on Lou, look at the tape."

Lou drove at will the last half the year. I was at the games and he was the only one driving many nights.

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eddies' heady's reply to DeanH on Jun 27 at 23:44
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The statement made before that rebuttal was 'no one can stop Lou's penetration one on one'.

But somehow the convo was diverted from Lawson's dribble penetration ability and after-effects to Lou being unstoppable.

don't need 2 Lou like guards was my thought.

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deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on Jun 27 at 19:13
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Holliday was rated higher and drafted before Lawson, there are no guarentees either has an impact this year.John, I just think next year they go the extra mile since there is no playing time available there now, or so it seems.It was interesting that E.S. said on Missanelli!s show it only cost cash to move up slightly in the 1st round, I thought future picks would have to be involved.

You can buy a pick for 3 million dollars like the knicks did - you can buy second round picks but someone has to be willing to sell one...the sixers have said it repeatedly - if you're going to believe everything ed says - paraphrasing, his repeated point has been this - the sixers HAD second round targets, but couldn't buy a pick in time, once their targets were gone they stopped trying to buy picks....there's no point in buying a pick if there's no one left on your board....

I don't presume to know better than TOny DiLeo and the sixers scouting department, billy king, ed stefanski, the draft department has been strong through both...and thankfully dileo went back there.

"Lawson would have readily, sufficiently and efficiently provided that in the short and long term."

Nobody knows that or I guarantee you Lawson would have gone a lot higher. Plenty of guys who are 'ready', posted great college stats and have played for championship caliber teams have failed. Recently, Marcus Williams, PG from Connecticut has been a bust. Everybody thought he'd be really good. He slipped in the draft because he got caught stealing laptops, not as scouts were concerned about his talent. A lot of sites listed Jersey as getting one of the steals of the draft that year.

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eddies' heady's reply to Chris on Jun 27 at 19:48
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Not in the business of guaranteeing.

Marcus Williams does not equal Tywon Lawson. You know, your name's Chris and his name is Brian, and so on. Two different people.

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DeanH reply to Chris on Jun 27 at 19:49
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excellent presentation! I agree, of course!

I think Lawson is going to be a good player. But the way people are fixated on him you will have 17 other teams that made a mistake passing on him... not just the Sixers.

We are talking the #17 pick. There will be players taken later that will end up being better- maybe even the #18 pick...

But try and judge them on whether they acquired a good player at #17. Holiday was a good pick. Right position. Right attributes. Star potential.

I get that lots of people love Lawson. But start thinking about what we do have instead of saying how great other players will be.

Its one thing when you are picking top five to worry that you just passed on the next MJ. But at 17 its a crapshoot and I can't see how Holiday is a bad pick- even if you liked another player better.

Good perspective.

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Chris reply to tk76 on Jun 27 at 23:51
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I think you are right on in this post. In a few years, we'll find out what the story is, until then it is just speculation.

I think the Sixers need to focus this year on developing its youngsters. They are going to have to learn the Princeton offense this year anyway. If we want them to fulfill their potential as a team and as players we should:

1. Get a permanent shooting coach. Maybe see if Buzz Braman is available.

2. Slide Iggy to the 2 guard. Give him a real chance (1/2 season or more) to see whether he can adjust there. If he can't, then we can say we need to move Thad or Iggy. But not until we find this out.

3. Play Thad at the 3. It is his natural position after all and he doesn't rebound well enough to be a 4. Thad should not be coming off the bench.

3. Make sure Speights plays 20 minutes a game between PF and C. Maybe hire Caldwell Jones as a big man coach. The guy knew how to play defense in the league.

4. Make sure Holiday gets some time in the game (non-garbage time). Get someone like Blake and let him split time at the point.

If they do this, I think next year the youngsters will be in very good position to make big contributions and / or take a step up (for Iggy and Thad). I don't think it is worth an extra few wins if it'll stunt the youngster's development.

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eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Jun 27 at 23:58
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Fixation on an assumed favorite in no way relates to a proven fit for a particular team, offense, and identity.

And no one is saying Holiday was a bad pick, he just may not have been the right one, particularly at the right time. Because one is in disagreement with management and the masses, it's not the equivalent of throwing stones.

Can I ask you this: is there anyone in the draft you would have rather the sixers taken than Lawson?

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 1:01
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Umm, yes. Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Wayne Ellington and maybe, just maybe, Maynor and Teague.

Thanks, that clears it up for me.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 1:19
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Don't know why it was so cloudy.

I see. Most here are in disagreement with me - so I'm wrong. I, therefore, am in disagreement too with most here - so I just question and discuss.

Big difference.

Honestly, I don't know if Holiday or Lawson will turn out to have been the better pick. I also would not be shocked if Maynor or Teague end up being good. I'm just glad they swung for the fences given the current state of the team.

They have a nice, promising collection of talent- but need all of the high ceiling guys they can find. Its one of the problems about being a 500 team every year. Its hard to buld up your talent base.

In that regard the Sixers are lucky hey have DiLeo. I have total faith in his scouting instincts.

Interesting post by an Arizona sportwriter.

It seems the Phoenix Suns thought they had a deal with Golden State to get Stephon Curry (in a package for Amare Stoudamire) which is speculated why they drafted Earl Clark, PF from Louisville. He seems to think if that deal fell through earlier they might have drafted Holiday instead.

http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/PaulCoro/56410


Morons. They could've had Lawson.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 1:29
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Making a mockery of difference of opinion is shallow.

So just two and a half short days after the draft, just go with the status quo and praise the pick, with critiques and pertinent opinion cast aside?

Thought this was a forum for Sixers discussion. Guess not.

I think we've actually spent more than enough time discussing this subject. If you think my tone is too sarcastic, I apologize. It's not that you have a differing opinion, it's that I find your logic extremely questionable. Perhaps you can sway me by explaining how you are the only person in the country to have Ellington rated above both Lawson and Holiday.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 2:39
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This isn't about my preferences of choice of draftees or others dislikes.

Funny you say we've spent more than enough time discussing this subject, when actually, you are the one who broached it in this same article. Isn't the comment section available for us to leave our thoughts about your writings and other ramblings?

Go back and re-read my first and second lengthy comments (and shorter ones in between) on this here article and bring to light the 'extremely questionable logic'. In fact, every last sentence was written with sound logic. But pick away.

It has been stated here by multiples that they don't watch much college basketball. You can't get too caught up in the draft sites, mocks, analysts and the like. But you can use your own observation, on an abundance of college basketball, to make your own educated guess. Which is pretty much the same thing all of the listed above are doing and, whadauknow, the same thing you are doing here with this very blog.

This isn't about my preferences of choice of draftees or others dislikes.

It's not? All you've been talking about is that you think they should've taken Lawson. When you've provided reasons, I've found them extremely questionable.

1. Ready to start this season. Even if it's true, it's irrelevant. This logic says if they don't win it all this year, they're never going to do it.

2. Waterbug who can penetrate at will. Highly questionable, also partially irrelevant. Getting penetration has not been the problem for this team at all. Lou, Iguodala and really Thad had no trouble getting to the rim last season. If anything, their problem was that they couldn't stop other teams from getting penetration, a problem Lawson would not help correct.

3. And now the crux of the argument:

This current Sixers squad needs only a tweak here or there to elevate itself those few notches. Lawson would have readily, sufficiently and efficiently provided that in the short and long term. But as fans, we are to remain patient and strive for that contender status in 2-3 years? After a drafted project may or may not pan out? Please.

First, no one said anything about the future of the team hinging on Holiday panning out in 2 or 3 years. The point of this post is that the team, as a whole, is set to mature, as a group, in 2 or 3 years. Outside of Brand, everyone else on the roster is young, yet to even come close to their prime.

Second, I'm not calling you a moron, but it is quite moronic to say the Sixers are a minor tweak away from a championship. They're a good, young team on the rise with a handful of glaring holes. You don't fix the problems they have with a minor tweak here and there.

Third, if you believe removing Andre Miller and adding a rookie Ty Lawson to this roster will result in a better team next season, you're sadly mistaken. Miller was a very, very good offensive player this year and Lawson will be lucky if he ever has as productive of a season as Miller did in '08-09. Just to give you a little perspective, Miller had a better season last year than Derrick Rose did. You're saying you expect Lawson to come in and produce at a higher level than Rose did last year, whether you realize it or not.

Finally, this is absolutely a place to come to share disparate thoughts on the Sixers, but it's not a place for the thin-skinned. If you have an opposing point of view, by all means, share it. But be willing to defend it with some kind of logic. If/when your logic falls short, expect to be mocked to some extent. It happens to all of us, if you can't hack it, don't stick your neck out there. If you do, don't start crying about people's sarcastic responses.

I'd also like to know why you haven't been arguing this whole time about how the Sixers should've taken Wayne Ellington, considering you had him ranked higher than Lawson. If the Sixers had picked Lawson would you be here making the same flawed pitch in favor of Ellington?

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 9:50
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Nitpicking. Nitpicking.

Your suggestion on #1 is such an exaggeration, if not misinterpretation.

So it's highly questionable in your opinion on your #2 - so that results in 'extremely questionable logic'. Once again, I see.

Now, don't switch around the words to suit your agenda. Your hole-poking on #3 displays this. Never said they are 'a minor tweak away from a championship'. It read they need a tweak here or there (multiple tweaks) to elevate those few (multiple, again) notches. So the franchise can be 'lucky' that Holiday may pan out, but Lawson can't be 'lucky' enough to 'ever' have a season as good as Miller's. Oh do I see.

Ah, so now we feel the need to bring out a link to some beloved stats. Notice how those links haven't been provided in favor of Lawson's numbers vs. Holiday's. Never, once again, was it stated that the team would be 'better' with Lawson added and Miller removed. My Lawson/Miller mentions were of the variety of what Lawson would bring/add that Miller currently doesn't.

Thin-skinned? Might ought to look in the mirror on that one. I have, by all means, defended my points of view with logic, sound and reasonable at that. Me crying? I have been participating in adult-like discussion while the resort to sarcastical responses is almost child-like.

As for the want-to-know on Ellington, I leave you with this - what would you ask those that had Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, and Gilbert Arenas etc. 'ranked' so low?

But really, it continues to come out in the wash. This IS your platform so you are the mad scientist while the rest of us sad lads are just pupils.


Eddy' Head'y

I went to respond to your first reply and got tied up and since you added another.

I am somewhat taken back by your attitude. We see many use their actual names on this blog but you choose by your "name" to make clear the way you think.

I do not see in any way Brian being unkind and actually agree with Brian overall. My comments higher on this blog were quickly attacked by Brian to make sure no one is attacked or belittled on this blog.

Most diehard fans here do not believe the sixers are close to winning it all this year, lucky or not. Does not mean we don't want them to win.

Let's going forward respond to ones thoughts and you can be assured Brian does not condone attacking someone on this blog, including himself.

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deepsixersuede on Jun 28 at 8:54
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Brian, I suggested this to Dannie and I will throw it out to you; over the summer during a slow time a post comparing the "young cores" of different teams around the league, it would be good to see how we rate.

Portland and OKC better young cores. The Sixers have a good group. They have good depth, but I don't know if the have any really high end, potential superstar talent.

But, in a year or two they could always parlay expiring contacts (Sam/Kapono/Green) and a young player in exchange for a vet superstar that puts them into elite status.

the Brand move was made 2-3 years too soon. They need to make that type of pick up in a couple of years, when the rest of the roster is ready.

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Chris reply to tk76 on Jun 28 at 11:45
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Part of this is determined by who plays where. For that, I'll call Speights a 4, Thad a 3 and Iggy a 2.

Sixers vs. Portland:

C - Oden, Portland
PF - Aldridge, Portland (I think Speights might have more talent but Aldridge has actualized his)
SF - Thad, Sixers
SG - Draw - Roy scores more but Iggy fills more stats and defends.
PG - Holiday - Former #1 or 2 HS player. Bayless hasn't proved anything either yet.

I have the Sixers vs. Blazers at 2 up, with 1 draw. If Oden plays to his talent / hype, then that becomes a huge advantage (pun intended).

Sixers vs. Thunder
C - Swift, Thunder (Sixers don't have a prospect here yet)
PF - Green, Thunder (I definitely think Speights is a better talent but Green already is actualized)
SF - Durant, Thunder. I think closer than people think as Thad plays defense and if he took the shots Durant does he could probably average about what Durant did. Durant rebounds better than Thad did last year.
SG - Iggy, Sixers
PG- Westbrook, Thunder - Though I think if Holiday lives up to his billing he'd have more potential as he is a pure point.

OKC wins 4-1. I'd say if Speights, Thad and Holiday improve this could turn.

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deepsixersuede on Jun 28 at 11:03
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tk76, if you go by the old center/pg logic, New Jersey could be ahead of the pact.

I think Brooke is a good center. I'm not sold that he will be a superstar.

I take Aldridge/Oden + Roy over the Nets core by a huge margin. In 2 years Lopez would not find much success going against that interior.

I also think Roy is a star, were Lee will be a solid if unspectacular SG. The Nets have a long way to go. They remind me of the Sixers 2 years ago.

Supposedly Memphis turned down Stoudemire for the #2 and Rudy Gay

k.

This is definitely off-topic but it seems Jennings and some rapper have some running dialogue going on a social network. This is unfiltered but if you want to know what the people are really thinking (not trying to be PC before the media) it doesn't get much better than that. Check this out:

javascript:newwind('http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Baseline/entry/view/26042/social_media_biting_back_at_brandon_jennings','118')

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John reply to Chris on Jun 28 at 12:06
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http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Baseline/entry/view/26042/social_media_biting_back_at_brandon_jennings

I was wondering what that nonsense was.

He seems to think Sessions is as good as gone but they're keeping Villanueva.

People gotta get adjusted to the new era - anything you put online will get found.

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Chris reply to John on Jun 28 at 12:09
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John,

I agree 100% you need to watch what you put online. I did find their conversations interesting (the language wasn't what I'd use) as now we know what they were really thinking. Jennings basically states the other PGs are scared of Rubio because of his rep and their opinion of Skiles is hilarious also.

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John reply to Chris on Jun 28 at 12:12
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I haven't read the whole thing just what's on Hoopshype, but I wonder how skiles will take this as he seems a rather hard nosed old school guy who have problems adjusting to the way things are evolving.

Then again, he also kept ridnour over sessions for a long time :)

Look, I love the Sixers just as much as anyone, but I think many of us, including myself sometimes over value these guys. I would love if the players that you mentioned could be the core of a championship team, and I guess they very well could be, but I don't see it. They have too many of what I call "tweeners". I "like" a lot of the Sixers players, but I can't make the jump to say they would be championship caliber. I don't see a window at this point. Iguodala is not the caliber of player that should be #1 on a champion in my opinion. No one knows about Holiday, Lou Williams may never improve on what he is right now, and on and on. I think we all tend to try to see as much positive as we can, but a lot of it is "ifs". Like, if Thaddeus Young becomes a star. Does he have talent? Of course, but we still don't know what he will be in 3 years. I try to see the glass as half full, so I don't wanna totally dismiss the chances that these guys can grow into a good team. That's why I felt the new head coach was extremely important, and I hope Jordan turns out to be a great fit. But, just to play devil's advocate, as much as there are a lot of positives in the games of these young players, there are also tons of negatives that were glaring last season. Guys like Iggy and Williams, while young, have been around the league now. All this being said, I completely agree that the Sixers need to maintain flexibility with their roster so that they can field a possib le contender. They need to stay away from what Billy King did with ridiculous contracts to players that had no pedigree. Sorry for the rambling!

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eddies' heady's reply to Anthony on Jun 30 at 23:08
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Good sensible post.

We all tend to over-value guys on our favorite teams. I totally agree on the glaring negatives of our young core. But over-valuing a 19 yr old 'kid' is the poison in the water. Drink it and... you know the rest. As good as Lawson already is, I just have a hard time even thinking that Holiday can even reach where Ty is now much less be better, b/c Lawson will be worlds better than he is now in another 3-4 yrs. Alot has been said about how Holiday was ranked 1 or 2 coming out of high school, well, Lawson was top 1 or 2 among point guards coming out of high school, too (in that Durant/Oden class, I think).

Which is it, does their young core suck or are they a few small tweaks away from a championship? Make up your mind.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jul 1 at 0:09
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So our young core having some 'glaring negatives' (Dala's inconsistent jumper, Thad's rebounding and perimeter shooting, Lou being sporadic constantly, Speight's immaturity on defense, etc.) somehow gets turned into them 'sucking'?

Still changing around lingo, huh?

The young core fine tuning their weaknesses has no relation to adding complementary pieces (small tweaks). As you like to say, it's irrelevant.


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