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The Quiet Man

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Philadelphian_in_Texas on Jul 30 at 3:26
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Good story, Brian. You're right. Much now depends on Brand.

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The Greek on Jul 30 at 5:20
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Amen Brian, been saying the same thing. I am super excited to see him on the court this year, especially 2 years removed from that achilles injury.

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deepsixersuede on Jul 30 at 7:55
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He is the type of defensive anchor Jordan has never had, and he and Sam together can be special defensively which should allow some gambling, steals and fastbreak oppurtunities, something this team will need while it learns its new system.

You know I did think the two of them were a pretty good inside tandem at times earlier in the year and that was an untold story. For example, this game:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=ApqR5MwPDjeboSlW8fgkd42ePKB4?gid=2008112320

Yeah, the starting lineup of Miller, Iguodala, Thad, Brand and Sam was easily the Sixers best lineup last season. Dominated defensively.

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jonhmagee on Jul 30 at 8:15
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that true about the lack of noise about brand...i actually forgot he was on the roster.

Do you think that his 2 shortened seasons (healed with rehab) will actually be good for this long term career (as in prolonging it) because he didn't go through the rigors of the regular 82 season games?

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johnemagee on Jul 30 at 9:39
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Should I be flattered or worried that there seems to be a poster who likes imitating my screen name when they post?

Probably neither.

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johnemagee on Jul 30 at 9:42
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I wonder how many of these sports 'journalists' factor in the fact that the sixers have a new coach and new system that might work to Brands benefit?

Seriously, since knowledge or intelligence isn't a qualification for most sports writers, I gotta get me one of those jobs. (Yes I know)

I think this is another legit point. We have alot of unknowns this coming year. I am actually amazed how much I read online (specifically RealGM sixer blog) about how bad they are going to be this year. I cannot figure out what they all are reading. I honestly don't see how ANYONE, expert or not, can predict the sixers this year. There are so many unknowns. If it all comes together, I think they could be a dominating team. If nothing comes together, they will be a high lottery pick team. I consider it very exciting and should make it a very interesting first few months either way!

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johnmagee reply to DeanH on Jul 30 at 16:57
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New coach
new system
4 new players (if you factor in smith and brand as 'new') who are supposed to make a serious impact
your starting 'point guard' has never really been a point guard at any level until just now
your center still is seen (rightly or wrongly) as a negative to the team
brands basically been out for 2 years and no one things he can come back to be what he was in LA

I can see how a lot of people predict the sixers to take a step by - i think they'll lose probably 5 more games than they did this year.

Then again, there were people last year touting 50+ wins and I never saw how they could do that either.

I think a lot of things have to go wrong for them to finish w/ 36 wins. Of course, a lot of things could go wrong, but I just don't see it happening.

50+ wins wasn't a crazy prediction this time last year. they were a 40-win team with a developing core who just added a star at a position of need. A 10-win jump was reasonable, and honestly, they were probably on pace for 45 or 46 before Thad got hurt, even without Brand and with that horrible start.

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johnmagee reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 17:10
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What's Elton Brands career WS average by the way? one player adding 10 wins? a 25% increase? in his first year, in a new system? It just doesn't seem lucky - even 100% healthy, let alone a guy coming from a seasn long injury, not to mention that I had no faith in the coach either :)

They had a horrible start the year before brand arrived too - mo cheeks just sucks early?:)

Seriously - A lot has to go right next year for me to be confident they'll stay at 500 - Miller to williams is a huge step back - and brand STILL has to learn the roster and vice versa with the new system...just a lot has to go right and my inclination is to expect things to go wrong because, in my exeperience:

A. They usually do
B. If they don't, then i'm pleasantoy surprised.

I see no reason to see them any better than last year personally - not with Lou at the point and all the variables of the off season

I don't know that they'll miss the playoffs but that's more a factor of I don't know that that many teams OUT of the playoffs got that much better...

Charlotte just made a questionaable trade (in my mind) - maybe the Toronto UN makes a run - but who that missed it last year looks like they'll get in this year?

Well, over his last three full seasons Brand averaged 12.2 win shares, so you could say if he was 82% of the player he used to be following the injury, you could expect a 10 game jump out of him. Plus, you were supposed to have Thad taking Willie Green's minutes (Willie's career best was 2.0 win shares coming into last season, in 1,970 minutes. Whereas Thad accumulated 4.4 win shares in only 1,554 minutes as a rookie) so that should've been another bump. I think it was reasonable, my prediction (I think it was like 56 or 57) was probably over the top, but 50 wasn't crazy.

It cracks me up that we're debating this. I wish something even moderately interesting would happen w/ the Sixers. It's like pulling hairs finding things to write about.

As for the team that's going to leap into the playoffs in the East, let's take a look:

Toronto - Everyone else's pick. I think they're a joke with zero defense on their entire roster, but that's just me.

Knicks - No way. Not a chance.

Nets - Hmmn...it would require monster strides being made by Lopez but I still don't see it.

Bucks - Subtracting Villaneuva helps, but still not even close.

Bobcats - A healthy Chandler could make them a better defensive team, but defense was never really their problem. If they get Felton back, I think Brown could probably squeeze them into the playoffs.

Washington - I find it laughable that people think Mike Miller, Randy Foye and the artist formerly known as Gilbert Arenas for about 20 games takes them from 19 wins to the playoffs.

Indy - I'm not sure stockpiling below-average players is a great way to get to the playoffs, but they're giving it a shot.

Of the group, I'll be shocked if two make the playoffs this season.

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johnemagee reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 20:41
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That's kind of what i was thinking - though being in this 'middle ground' of low end of the playoffs is just distressing cause I don't see it improving yet.

What I look for next season (just like i looked for this season) is improvement - iguodala, speights, holiday, young, brand integrating and getting back to who he is - the W-L record to me is irrelevant - i'm not advocating tanking - just that next year should be more about player development with an eye towards the next season cause i don't see them contending next year - but with the 'big 2010 bonanaza' - there might be a lot of upheaval in the 10/11 season in terms of who is competetive and who isn't.

No one says you HAVE to write an article every day - but a player by player - what i expect next season - could take up 10-15 days if you sapce it out :)

Yep, I did the "what to expect" series last summer and I'll do it again this year, but it's too early to get started with it.

I'll just try to come up with something we can talk about during the day for the next couple of weeks. Something usually comes to me.

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johnemagee reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 22:45
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It might be a bit early but you could look at the off seasons of other teams - i was thinking about writing something like that for jordan later when the rosters seem more fixed :)

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johnemagee on Jul 30 at 20:59
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Or you could write a post about the europinization of the toronto raptors - as they obtained belinelli from the warriors - man didn't even hear about it

Didn't Belinelli wow everyone at summer league at some point recently?

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eddies' heady's reply to johnemagee on Jul 30 at 21:40
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The Raps have been pretty savvy this offseason. They just got a much cheaper replacement for Kapono that could possibly be more than just a one-dimensional shooter. Added Hedo, Jarrett Jack, Reggie Evans, Antoine Wright and pulled Quincy Douby out of that Hedo deal late and replaced him with Nathan Jawai, while only giving up Kris Humphries and a 2nd round pick. And turn Devean George over into Bellinelli.

They sure as heck have plenty of shooters to continue to light us us from deep, if nothing else. They have probably passed us in the division and the Nets are quietly creeping up too.

Damn, what a bummer of an offseason... Like the moderator says, just some moderate news would be refreshing.

And not to mention, that our guys will more than likely play better on the road for a 2nd straight year because the home court advantage will surely be non-existent and more cricket-chirping than last year.

They have no defense. Only player on that roster that come close to playing good D is Jack. They'll win some games when they get hot from deep, but not a bunch

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eddies' heady's reply to Sean on Jul 30 at 22:32
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But when you can sag and pack it in the majority of the game like they can against us, then the lack of on-the-ball defenders can be overstated.

And as for us on D, Lou has always struggled with the pick and roll, and Jrue being somehow anointed for his defense already will be quickly exposed on pick and rolls too. He isn't going to have the mental aspects down of defending it.

Can't you see Calderon and his bevvy of shooters continually going to the well on pick and rolls or pops against us? I cringe at the thought.

Toronto could run the "pack it in" approach, even though their individual matchups suck virtually across the board. Let's project a starting lineup:
Calderon
Wright or Bellinelli
Hedo
Bosh
Bargs

Is there a single good defensive matchup there, at all? You cannot hide 5 guys, especially when there is no supreme helper(like a Howard or Garnett) to intimidate or erase mistakes.

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eddies' heady's reply to Sean on Jul 30 at 23:08
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But one thing - we will still be playing 4 on 5 essentially with Sam in there and, sort of, still no shooters.

I think Wright can man up Dala respectably because of the non-threat of the consistent outside shot. I see Bosh having no probs with Brand. And Bargs doesn't have to guard Sam. Hedo has shown that he can guard Thad, although I question our non-use of pick and rolls with Thad and Dala in the playoff matchup to make Rashard switch off of Thad. And who knows how difficult it will be for Calderon or Jack to guard Lou because the driving lanes will be clogged and we all know Lou has a propensity to jack up jumpers at will.

But I'm not really onto the individual matchups as much as just the team defense they can employ as well as the rest of the league. We have to have outside shooters because the looks will be there from the perimeter within the confines of this offense.

Several flaws in your argument:

Bosh struggles against Brand, historically. He cannot handle the power and needs help.

People have been backing off Dala for years now, so that strategy won't work, especially if he gets the ball in the high post.

Hedo rarely played against Thad, plus the matchup looks a lot different without the threat of D12 lurking.

Lou will blow by Calderon.

If Sam stays around the boards, Bargs cannot deal with him.
And their inevitably bad team defense is why I bring up how bad they are individually. Team defense can help you hide a weak link or two, but if the whole chain is flawed, you're screwed.

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eddies' heady's reply to Sean on Jul 31 at 10:02
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Flaws? Different outlooks? Different viewpoints?

As of mid-summer, my expectations are that the Raps will take the season series and finish ahead of us in the division.

November is a comin...

No way. That team is in serious trouble. Even if your "sag" approach works for them against us, it will not work against most of the league. That team will get lit up

Hakim Warrick deciding between The sixers, Bucks, and Cavs. I wonder how much ES will be willing to pay for him.

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johnemagee reply to steve on Jul 30 at 21:26
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I'll bet you it ain't longer than one season :)

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eddies' heady's reply to johnemagee on Jul 30 at 21:48
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And I second that bet. If Ed gets this kid to come here for only one year instead of him jumping aboard the Cavs train - shocked would be the emotion to best describe.

Guess I'll go out on that limb and say it never happens, because Hakim would be better served career wise to go to the Cavs (only being behind Varejao) or the Bucks (only being behind Amir Johnson or Ilyasova - if he is even ready).

I doubt they offer him much more than the bi-annual ($1.9M). Not sure how he'd fit into the rotation either, although I think getting him would limit Thad's minutes at the four, which I'm in favor of.

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johnemagee on Jul 30 at 22:08
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I gotta think that with all those new parts adjusting to each other that the raps are probably going to have trouble fitting all those new parts together, and I also don't think any of these moves make Bosh any more likely to stay...it's like they collecting soft euros.

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johnemagee reply to johnemagee on Jul 30 at 22:15
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and reggie evans

They had two defenders on that team last season, Parker and Marion. They got Jack, but I'm not sure where his minutes are going to come from. I'll be shocked if they don't challenge the Knicks for worst defense in the East this season. And yes, they have cornered the market on soft euros, officially.

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johnemagee reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 22:18
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Oh come on - reggie evans is a blue collar lunch pail guy - he's a defensive genius.

BTW - the absence of 'lunch pail' in sixers broadcast this year would be AWESOME

They'll replace it...or was that Salmi? I wonder if the Sixers go with Zumoff alone doing games to save money :)

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Sean reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 22:24
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Actually, I think the Wiz might have both the Knicks and Raptors beat when it comes to bad D

That's going to be the real drama this season. A three-team race for playing no D. Funny thing is, the Pistons are absolutely in that mix at this point. Ben Gordon and Charlie V playing 30 min/night. Just awesome.

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Sean reply to Brian on Jul 30 at 22:51
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I completely forgot about the "new" Pistons. I really do not get all the hype people keep tossing out for some of these teams. Did the NBA change the rules to Make it-Take it without telling anybody?

You should listen to the 8-hour BS report Simmons did with Stein and Bucher the other day. I think it was Bucher who was saying, basically, that scoring is all that matters and how Charlie V is just so valuable because he can score that you don't care if he couldn't defend a corpse. It's lunacy.

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Sean reply to Brian on Jul 31 at 1:36
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Wow, these are the "experts"? I try to avoid Simmons podcast. At least with the articles I can scan them for moronic moments.

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eddies' heady's reply to Sean on Jul 30 at 23:44
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That Make it-Take it could ring true, in a sense, with these here Sixers. All these other teams with offensive minded players and shooters upholding the 'Make-it' and daring our shooting challenged Sixers to 'Take-it'.

Defense becomes an almost non-factor when the other teams just beg you to take the perimeter shot.

I believe Thad will be a better shooter this year. Lou should snap back as well. If those two are more consistent, then Dala will get all the lanes he needs.

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eddies' heady's on Jul 30 at 22:43
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The continued efforts here daily with new articles are much appreciated. My thirst for Sixers news or conversation feels as if I am on a camel's back in the Sahara.

Just some news, any news............come on Snider, unzip the dang wallet...

"The biggest difference will be #42, a legitimate star, fully healthy for the first time in a Sixers uniform, with an awful lot to prove. I have a feeling once that ball is tossed in the air on opening night, Brand won't seem so quiet anymore."

How do we know he's fully healthy? How do you know he's not still gimpy? How do we know he's not Chris Webber?

As for Simmons, years ago I was a big fan, but I feel he's gotten very annoying and arrogant (why, Bill, because you're a half-decent joke writer?) and constantly says pretty stupid stuff. His draft commentary is almost as embarrassing as Dick Vitale's, except Vitale probably just does that "nooooo, why are you picking Iguodala over J.J. Redickkkkkk, what did Iguodala ever do in collegeeeee" crap just to be funny, nobody's that dumb. Whereas Simmons is more like, "I don't like the look in so and so's eye. He reminds me of a character in Rounders I'm not too fond of. Therefore, I'm positive he'll be a bust in the pros."

We don't know he's fully healthy, all we know is that he's now 24 months out from an achilles injury and the shoulder is typically a full recovery with the surgery. We don't know that he isn't gimpy. We do know that he's not Chris Webber because he's never been a malcontent pothead, and he's always shown a very good work ethic.

If Brand comes back and can't knock the rust off, then fine, put the nail in the Sixers coffin and say they're in full rebuild mode and Brand was a bad signing, but right now, no one knows. That's why I said this season really hinges on Brand. Saying he's done based on 29 games, (6 of which he played with a debilitating shoulder injury and all of which he played coming off a serious achilles injury) seems grossly premature to me.

Yeah, Simmons is entertaining from time to time, but don't take a word he says about sports seriously.

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Sean reply to Brian on Jul 31 at 1:43
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I don't get the idea of linking Brand and Webber. Brand's injuries were completely unrelated and totally isolated incidents. Webber had a degenerative knee condition created by an injury that needed microfracture surgery. Two entirely different scenarios.

Brand should be perfectly fine this year. And more effective since Miller and Brand's games don't mesh. There is a chance that Lou, as a better screen/roll threat, helps bring more out of Brand

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Tri-State on Jul 31 at 19:13
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Reading quite a while, first post. ReclinerGM stalker, but Dannie has been AWOL

EB will be prove this year to be valuable.

1. No Miller to dominate the ball, and have his defender sag off his non-shooting a*% and triple team. Lou and Jrue aren't Kapono but look like it next to Miller.

2. A coach with an offensive system, not an imposter with a semi-legendary name (who i had faith in for a while). EJ wasn't my first choice or is he Jackson, but he has a plan that his teams EXECUTE.

3. The ethic and character to shut people up.

I truly believe that Lou has no shot of being the starting PG this year. He may start that way and have been told that because of how long he's been here. If Jrue doesn't look like a turnover machine come November the job is his. They wouldn't of drafted him if they didn't already know that Lou is not a PG. I hope.

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Tri-State on Jul 31 at 22:07
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And Allen Iverson will be a Sixer next year, unfortunately, i think. They need to fill seats as bad as anyone

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johnemagee reply to Tri-State on Aug 1 at 12:01
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All evidence to the contrary?

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Sean reply to Tri-State on Aug 1 at 14:01
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I don't think they bring back Allen. Too many issues, too much drama.


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