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Los Sixers derrotan a los Suns

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deepsixersuede on Oct 19 at 7:38
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Brian, I taped it [Phillies] and plan on watching it today.Your comments on Brand I believe are dead on, he may be more of an Oakley than a scorer for this group, relying on his positioning and work ethic to be a defensive anchor and opportunistic scorer and quite possibly, have as many double figure rebounding games as scoring games.

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Rob_STC on Oct 19 at 9:28
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A thing of beauty would be correct. These self proclaimed experts drive me nuts. Mike Fratello and Steve Smith said the Sixers will not make the playoffs and Steve Smith said Indiana will sneak in. Are you kidding me ? Now I read Hoopshype and they pick the Sixers 9th due to the loss of Andre Miller. I choose to go the other way. Let's see who will be right. Although a good comment from John Schumann last night on Twitter who said the Sixers run better then Phoenix. If you watched the game you could see 1-12 the Sixers roster is far superior to that of Phoenix. So if these experts are picking Phoenix to be above .500 and in the playoof hunt you have to like the Sixers chances.

I must confess I watched the Phils while we had company. It is on today at noon, Monday, as a rerun and do plan on watching it then.

Great overview as normal Brian. Thank you again for all your hard work!

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deepsixersuede on Oct 19 at 10:04
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Brian, justed watched 1st half; Spieghts gets the ball the first 6 times down the court and Elton looks to be the 5th option when out there, and they played great with him out there but the offense, with the 2nd unit is definitely more inside/out. Question; would it surprise you guys if Spieghts scores more per game than Elton this year? [Elton- 12 ppg./30 mpg.: Marreese-13 ppg./18 mpg.]

It would shock me if Speights averaged more points than Brand. If EB is out there for 30+ a night, I don't see how he doesn't score 15 per. Hopefully, he's just not forcing the issue right now. He's defending, running the floor and rebounding, and doing them all very well. Hopefully it's rust.

Did anyone really follow Brand when he was in LA? I can't really remember much, but I'm wondering if he was an above-the-rim guy, or if he got his points on baby jumpers, and strength more than leaping and quickness.

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steve reply to Brian on Oct 19 at 11:24
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Brand has never been an explosive athlete, above the rim type player. But he is definitly less explosive than he was in LA. Hopefully its just rust and he'll get it back as the season goes on.

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Oct 19 at 11:34
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Brian, after watching 3 games [ 1 in person] I have seen one play run for Elton and it was the game winner against the Nets.With a read and react offense the open guy seems to get the ball and it seems Elton, on most nights,has less of an athletic advantage than any of our starters and seems to have trouble creating space for himself.Tonight most of his touches were on the perimeter, other than when he got an off. rebound.And this was against Frye and Stoudemire,neither giving an A effort on defense. I,too, would like to know how he got his 20 and 10 in L.A.;has he lost that much when he is said to be healthy.Statman, one thing I notice so far with this offense is less 3!s being shot by people that shouldn!t shoot them and less bad shots overall.

Hey guys, I watched the game and had a few comments: (1) Iguodala seems to have changed his form slightly on his jump shot. His elbow doesn't jut out as much and his release seems quicker. Brian, did you notice this? He was shooting his jumper confidently and hitting this game, but he was coming off an 0-for-6, so it remains to be seen whether the improvement is real. (2) I didn't notice the Princeton offense, aside from one Iguodala backdoor cut. Mostly, it looked just as disorganized as last year, except players were running around more. Maybe that's an improvement in itself [players in motion]. (3) This Sixers team will always look good in any game in which they can get out and run, like in this game. The biggest improvement in the halfcourt that I saw was the addition of Kapono. I was glad to see that the whole team looks for him when he's on the court. (4) Brand still looks like he has no explosion. He reminds me of Larry Johnson at the end of his career. Let's hope Brand can provide guile, some rebounding, and help defense, without being asked to do more. (5) Lou still looks about the same to me, struggled some with Nash defensively, had a couple nice plays offensively. It's still an open question how the Sixers will get along without a classic point guard [though Jordan is right that the Wizards succeeded without one for a few years].

Thanks for the comment. Last night, Iguodala looked like he squared up to the hoop better on his shot, and he was more up and down, the elbow is probably the key to this. But like you said, small sample size.

I saw a lot of things I liked in the offense, and a few little wrinkles that stuck out to me. One was Lou cycling through the lane quickly after sending an entry pass to Brand on the high elbow, brushing his man into Thad's man on the baseline and Thad flashing to the opposite elbow for an open look. Things like that, I mean, last year, they made a pass then stood around and waited for the ball to be passed back to them. Iguodala had a sick backdoor pass to Thad, Brand's play out of the post to a wide-open Kapono, I think (but not sure) Kapono was sprung by an off-the-ball screen there. Last year, 4 guys stood around and watched on offense, even if they aren't 100% familiar w/ the PO, or really running it well yet, this is much, much preferred to that.

The way they look for Kapono reminds you of Korver, right? Only he's a better shooter than Korver ever was.

I'm still holding out hope on Brand. He is a more heady player than the guys who come to mind (Webber, Larry Johnson, etc). I think that will help him, if he's really limited physically.

One thing the Knicks game and last night's game has made abundantly clear to me: Lou Williams is not this team's point guard. Not even close. When Iguodala is in the game, he is the point.

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Sean reply to Brian on Oct 19 at 13:04
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Good eye, you two. I knew something looked improved mechanically. I think that aspect of Andre's shot has also carried over to his free throws, well that and the fact that he is not shuffling his feet. He is hitting at a high percentage. Regarding his jumper, I watched both TOR games and saw him warming up for the Nets game. His shot is both smoother, better and more consistent. I was particularly paying attention due to the fact that this was when he got the nod as the 2nd best shooter on the team(with Sam). He was hitting shot after shot from a variety of places.

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Tray reply to Brian on Oct 19 at 20:57
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Webber was a heady player. He might be most famous for that timeout, but he wasn't just some freak athlete, he was a skill and finesse guy. Smart passer, great ball-handler for his size, could shoot, etc.

Webber was skilled, I wouldn't say heady though. He and Brand were actually very similar players through their first 8 seasons, although I think Brand was better.

I followed Brand's game for a long time because he is still one of the few traditional PF out there. He was never really an athletic freak but he is really strong. He has long arms and good timing which is the reason he gets blocks and uses his strength to get postion for rebounds.I still think he is a go to guy because he is too strong for a smaller guy and he can get his mid range jumper over a big guy. I mean if you watched the play on the game winner against the Nets he hit that shot over Brook Lopez. Against the Knicks he uses his his strength to get to the basket. I think he will be good in the PO.

He's smart and he can score in a variety of ways (or at least he used to be able to). That's a good combo for this offense, you'd think.

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Court_visioN on Oct 19 at 12:32
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Statman, I did notice Iguodala has a quicker release on his jumpshot. It looks smoother out there, good sign.

As for Brand, he got the bulk of his points off of pick and pop plays, where he gets the ball in a situation where he faces up, shoots, or drives. He can do still do both of these fairly well, I think his problem right now is he isn't getting the lift he needs. The quick start/stop movements (ala pullup jumpers, standing dunks) aren't fully there yet. Plus he's not getting the ball as much nowadays in isolation situations, I think if Brand can get more aggressive when he has the ball at the elbow he'll be more productive offensively.

Other things I noticed:
- Royal Ivey hustles and that's about it. Does Coach Jordan tell him to shoot the ball when he's on the floor? I know he's got a twitter page too but he ain't Lou Williams!

- Jason Smith has too many plays where he ALMOST gets the rebound. He's got to get to the ball faster.

- Dalembert played well. I don't know why he has the ball at the end of the shot clock though. He shoots too many 17-footers as it is. (He did make a nice fadeaway with Amare in his grill though)

- watching Jason Kapono shoot is a thing of beauty.

- so is Thad's footwork around the rim.

- Willie Green plays better backing up the PG position than the SG; I found it was hilarious when he got called for a mysterious foul and decided to take the next one coast to coast, spinning his way into the paint. Ended up scoring his own tip-in.

- That said, I still want Holiday to take the backup PG job by force. He's VERY solid defensively, stays in front of his man. Underestimates NBA players' quickness athleticism some (see: Pass right over J-Rich's head) but given more practice time with the most athletic team in the lead should help him adjust fairly quickly.

- 2nd unit misses Rodney Carney. Baaaaaaaaad.

- Primoz Brezec needs to learn he can rebound with two hands. I wonder what Bill Walton would have been saying with Brezec playing volleyball out there.

- Primoz Brezec needs to learn he can rebound with two hands. I wonder what Bill Walton would have been saying with Brezec playing volleyball out there.

This was like a joke at a certain point last night. He seriously looked like was on the front line of the 1985 Yugoslavian Women's volleyball team. Just batting balls left and right.

They need to work on finishing out offensive possessions. It seems like a hot potato, with the wrong guys getting the ball at the end of the clock regularly. Happened with Sam more than once, and down the stretch happened with Jrue a couple times as well. The movement (both player and ball) is good, but someone needs to have the shot clock in their mind and they need to settle into at least a higher-percentage one-on-one situation if no super-easy opportunities present themselves by say the 19-second mark of the shot clock.

Agree on Thad's footwork and Kapono's shot. Things of beauty.

Good insight everyone. I watched the game with half an eye on the Phils game, so I don't think I appreciated some of the nuances of the offense that were commented on.

I've watched every available pre-season game, so want to comment on some overall trends.

1. Iguodala had taken over for some stretches in previous games, but he flat out dominated tonight. He was Lebron James good out there with how he controlled the game.

His jumper is imptroved/tweaked, with a better angle on his release. But we'll have to see if he can keep his improved form as the year goes on. Lots of players regress during the year after working on shot form in the summer. Lou 1-2 years ago being a prime example.

2. I agree with people's take on Brand. He most reminds me of a 35+ year old Moses. he can still do a lot with his size/positioning/aggressiveness but his lack of lift makes it hard for him to finish contested shots in tight.

Unless Brand gets his legs back there is no way he will earn his huge salary, but he can still be a positive factor on the floor, just not as an offensive focal point.

3. Which brings us to Thad. After a slow start the last 2 games I watched he looked back to peak form. If Brand does get less touches the result could be more points for Thad, which would be great. Also, some good developing chemistry between Iguodala and Thad- which should be good news for years to come.

4. Speights does not like to stick with a play on defense. He plays decent D initially, but then gives up on plays when he loses position.

But on the flip side he is tenatious on offense. he is not just shooting jumpers. He is attcking and very hard to stop inside. He is not explosive inside compared to someone like Dwight or Amare, but he looks near unstopable at times.

He also looks like he has bulked up where bigs need it most- in his backside :)

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deepsixersuede on Oct 19 at 15:21
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TK76, I think the Amare comparisons are warranted for Marreese, fearless down one end, especially on the o glass, and fearful to watch down the other end.Amare just looked up at Iggy on his dunk in the lane and was a non-factor defensively all night.This offense is gonna put Iggy on E.S.P.N. every night, and mostly for Cousy type assists.Thad and Iggy seemed to click as you said and Jason, a couple times in a row, looked for Marreese on the low block.

Trade Brand to Memphis for Rudy Gay- apparently Wallace couldn't negotiate an extension for him! Those suckers would take the deal. No offense to Brand intended.

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Ryan F reply to Tom on Oct 19 at 16:57
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Rudy Gay...I'll pass. Horrible Ast/tov ratio, and is not particularly great at anything, he's Rodney Carney with more shots and more minutes.

Thanks for this Brian, just have one thing to tell you the title should be los sixers derrotaN a los suns since derrotaR is in the future and derrotaN is past. ;)

@Tom
Memphis WILL NEVER make that deal they are planning for the future it makes no sense at all for them to make that deal.

I blame Google Translator for their shoddy English to Spanish dictionary. It's fixed now.

I watched every last second of this game and had to listen to spanish while my girlfriend complained about it the entire time. I should get something.

Brand was more explosive out of college, not Amare by any stretch, but as his career progressed he bulked up and played tougher and smarter. I've always had him on fantasy teams and had league pass the last few years, so watched him quite a bit. He does look slower and less athletic, but he's playing around a ton of athletic players and we're all expecting less of him.

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EugeneBWhitaker reply to Ryan F on Oct 19 at 19:40
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What I might suggest is you get a new girlfriend.

Maybe one que habla espanol?

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Ryan F reply to Ryan F on Oct 19 at 22:05
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She's a keeper as long as the Sixers don't relocate south of the border

I don't understand the whole "he's never been athletic so losing a step won't hurt him" line of reasoning. Last year we hear that about Miller, and now Brand (in terms of explosiveness.)

In some ways a player who never was athletic is even more vulnerable when they lose a step. On both ends good body positioning and smarts can cover for a lack of innate gifts, but only so far.

On the flip side, great athletes can lose a step but still be as effective by adding skills to their game. Guys like MJ and Kobe developed deadly midrange jumpers to cover for the fact they could no longer get to the rim at will. I wonder in Dwade will similarly adapt his game once the years (and injuries) bring his athletasism back to a mere mortal level.

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Sean reply to tk76 on Oct 20 at 0:25
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I think that depends entirely on that player's position. Brand is fortunate, because his decreasing athleticism might be able to be hid by playing at center against practically every one not named Dwight Howard. He might even give Howard fits.

Miller is bad because guards rely on athleticism more, his struggles could not disguised due to him being at the point of attack.

I can't get too impressed with a win over the Suns, they are a lottery team, for crying out loud... The last point about EB's explosiveness - a cause for concern


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