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Knicks Take Sixers to O.T.

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Fabian on Nov 1 at 4:18
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That was a perfect post. Everything is exactly the same I thought and I was so upset about. I would just hope that a tom moore or someone else gets these points straight to Jordan. He has no credit left if you ask me. That was a ridiculous bad performance. I can't remember a Sixers team playing that bad on defense against two Team in the first 3 games. The let them score 127 Points is so bad you can't even find words for that. I'm nowhere near to be happy about that win.

Usually I would be equally worried but I'm sick of the same team going into the playoffs, winning a couple of games and being dumped by superior teams.

With the coaching change definitely things will be different from the past couple of years. Yes there will be parts that are really bad, like this game, but hey we got the W. It's not like last season when this team found new and creative ways to lose ball games.

Perhaps Coach Jordan will realize what a clown he was with his rotations and do better next time. It's a good luxury to have, to mess up so badly and still win the game. I will give him the benefit of doubt until the all-star break.

I am sick of this team's mediocrity and if it takes taking two steps back first in order to take one step forward then so be it.

The W is all that matters, I suppose, if he learns from his mistakes. Obviously we can't judge the guy as a coach from three games, all we can do is evaluate his performance on a game-by-game basis until we have enough of a body of work to make an informed evaluation of him.

Right now, the Sixers are scoring 115 per game, allowing 111. Personally, I don't think that's sustainable, and I don't think it's the way you build a successful team, a team built to win in the playoffs. Ironically, it may be a way to put more butts in the seats, though.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 1 at 13:12
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Totally agree on it not being sustainable and not having a successful team with this pace. But, it has to get better right? I know you have to take the ORL game into acccount b/c they obviously played it but, to me, it should be taken with a grain of salt b/c of how bad they stunk and looked to mail it in.

I guess vs. Boston this week will be a good measuring stick to see if that ORL game was an aberration or not.

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deepsixersuede on Nov 1 at 7:21
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Brian,watching Thad leave Gallinari continually to protect the driving lanes had me scratching my head.Kapono actually closed out on Gallinari a couple of times when Duhon and Robinson drove from the key.I look at this as us winning a close game, a good thing. Winning a blowout doesn!t accomplish as much, hopefully our coach learns from it.We may be becoming Pheonix east.By the way,through 3 games Sam and Marreese are both getting 23 minutes a game.

The Speights/Sam minutes are a direct result of Sammy's foul trouble. Speights has probably earned more minutes, to be honest. I've been impressed by his play in all three games. Right now, our best big man rotation would probably be 30-35 minutes for all three guys, Brand, Sam and Speights.

i would agree with u on the bad choice in defeensive lineup at the end, but i think that at that point we had no timeouts and he wanted to keep in kapono for the gw shot if he was open. idk its really the only possible explanation i can think of.

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eddies' heady's on Nov 1 at 12:02
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Looks to be too much of an overreaction and placing blame on the coach. That seems to be the refrain resulting from a decision made in June.

These type of games happen in the league all the time.

It was pointed out that Kapono was -15 in the fourth quarter. Well, Iguodala was -16, and Thad and Lou were -15 too. From what I saw, they eased up and were not giving the same amount of effort that got them the lead. What I'm saying is EJ didn't cause that comeback just as he sure as heck didn't cause the blowout that became overtime. It was all on the players.

You can look at stats, trends, and crappy players or systems, but these games happen throughout the league every single night because these are the best players in the world.

And on J Smith - they may be watching out for him on these back-to-backs (i know he didn't play many minutes the night before, but still) with it being so early in the season.

But just as the players are feeling out these new systems (on offense and defense), the coach is feeling out his new parts too.

I think they will be fine, but these players have to learn they are not an elite team and they have to come out with fire and intensity for a full four quarters every single night. The end of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarter last night resembled the end of the 1st quarter and the whole 2nd quarter the night before against the Bucks. Simply, a lack of effort.

It's too convenient to critique the coach when at some point accountability has to be placed upon the players.

it is very nice when you are shooting 37 % from three. It is very dissappointing when each opponent you face is shooting at 41 % clip.

http://www.nba.com/statistics/sortable_team_statistics/sortable1.html

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eddies' heady's reply to zig on Nov 1 at 12:55
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Well you have to take into account also that two of the three teams you have played take as many threes as any other teams in the league. Look at the attempts from just the ORL and NY games. Some of them have to fall if you are putting up that many attmepts.

Now, I know they need to tighten up their rotations and give more effort to extend out to an open man, but it is only three games in.

How many threes you take has absolutely nothing to do with percentage. Orlando is a very good three-point shooting team. The Knicks are terrible, they take a ton and miss a ton.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 1 at 13:18
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I realize it has no bearing on percentage. But it doesn't matter that NY is a terrible shooting team. Any team can get hot on any given night.

And Al Harrington, for some reason, realized he had a pair between his legs last night which is the way I wish our guys would play for the whole game at home and on the road.

Just like the players are trying to learn new schemes on offense and defense, the coach is learning his roster. I'm not going to jump on him for these rotations this early. I'm just glad they are beating the teams the should (if just barely.)

I'll probably end up complaining loudly about to much Ivey/Green and too little Jrue... but I'll try and wait a few months to see how Jordan adapts to his new team. Right now trying to focus on individual performances.

Nothing I said in this post was an indictment of Jordan on a grand scale. This was a discussion about how he coached last night's game, in a vacuum. Jordan is going to get plenty of rope from me, and I'm not going to make a good decision/bad decision evaluation on Jordan for a long time, but that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the speed bumps along the way. I thought this was a very poorly coached game, it almost cost the Sixers a win, and it forced Iguodala to push his minute total up over 85 in the past two days.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 1 at 13:04
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If that is your point of view - then fair. But if the game was so poorly coached, then what would be the assessment of how it was played by the players? It was admitted last night that they played piss poor defense.

My point is, until these players realize they are not an elite team in this league and they have to come out and play with fire and intensity for four FULL quarters then they are going to have speed bumps themselves.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I have yet to see the extension of that rope to the coach. It's kind of like Mo couldn't cut it, DiLeo wasn't up to snuff, and now Jordan is under the microscope and rightfully so, but at some point these players have to man up and bring it. Against the heavyweights and the lesser-weights.

The players don't get a pass, and I think I've been pointing out their deficiencies as well. (Brand can't hang with quicker fours, Lou is doing a terrible job stopping - or at least slowing - penetration, everyone is overhelping, especially Thad)

And I've also gone out of my way to point out when I think Jordan has made brilliant adjustments, he completely changed his rotations for the second half of the Bucks game, with excellent results.

It's a learning process for the coaching staff, and it appears as if the players are having trouble picking up certain parts of the new system, on both ends of the floor.

Here's a reading guide for this blog, consider every game wrap as my evaluation of that game, unless I state otherwise. I think it's important to point out what was done well and what was done poorly. There will be other posts about team trends, or things that I think they've improved on (or regressed on) as the season progresses, but at this point, there's really no big picture. If I say something like "Jordan just doesn't care about defense," that's something different than saying I don't understand why he made this sub or that sub. Same goes for the players.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 1 at 13:32
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Oh, the wraps are pretty even-handed, with the good and bad. Was just offering up my two cents of the shoddy effort I thought I saw from the players end. I felt they had more to do with the comeback than anything EJ was doing.

I guess I was just going off your comment from last night's game that it was your biggest fear back in June. I made the assumption that you meant Jordan being named coach and being known as an offensive guy (meaning he wouldn't care about defense). So, most fans would love the scoreboard lighting up but the diehards know it will only be fool's gold. But you may have meant your fear was the fanbase.

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Duracorr reply to Brian on Nov 1 at 14:39
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Thad had that problem last year. He needs to learn to stick with his man, especially when his man has the hot hand. How can he not understand that?

I thought it was crazy to have Kapono in at the end of regulation. I don't understand why he didn't use Carney in that situation.

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JohnMagee on Nov 1 at 13:35
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Unless it's game 7 of the NBA Championship - the win isn't all that matters. There are 79 games left and this team already has demonstrated some glaring holes and some big problems (ignoring the ones that involve the coach and his odd substitution patterns, here's hoping he gets better at that)

The same flaws that made them mediocre the past few years with different coaches still exist. Poor rebounding percentages (come on Brian, you know better than to just lok at the gross rebounding numbers), Poor perimeter defense....and too many folks seeing minutes more than they should, and obviously not enough 'offensive flow' - 20 assists on over 50+ FG's? That's pathetic

I said it at half time - I wouldnt' be surprised to see the sixers lose - the 'offense' outburst blinds people to the defensive flaws.

And tell me again why Holliday who is better defensively than any guard not named Iguodala didn't get any minutes last night?

There's nothing so far this season to indicate this team is any better than the around 500 team they've been the last few years...oh boy - another first round playoff loss and a mediocre draft pick. COOL

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deepsixersuede reply to JohnMagee on Nov 1 at 13:52
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John, a new p.g., a new s.g., a new p.f., a new s.f., a new 6th man, a new coach, and lastly a new offense;if they can be at last years! teams level fairly quickly than I will be happy. The next game will probably be a rude awakening;[Sixers-115ppg/Celts allow-79 ppg.against better teams for the most part] but I like what I am seeing down one end and that is better than last year [both ends]

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JohnMagee reply to deepsixersuede on Nov 1 at 14:23
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All those things you mentioned are exactly why I expected them to take a step back this year....a coach who thinks there's a reason royal ivey should get minutes makes it less likely they'll improve cause obviously he's a bit off his rocker.

That game should not have gone to overtime last night, for a variety of reasons, not the foremost of which is that the sixers have a better roster, the knicks start 5 guys who are bench players, and they had gone to DOUBLE OT the night before.

Yes a win is a better than a loss, but flaws in the team, and lots of them exist, being exposed should not be ignored, not if you want the team to improve.

The rebounding has been solid all year, running the advanced numbers now and they've been over 75% DREB Rate in each game.

I seem to have a free trial of NBA League Pass with my DirectTV for a month and here are my observations of us and the rest of the league:

Not sure how EJ can singlehandedly turn a solid defensive team into a cupcake but he seems to be finding ways to do it. Playing Kapono half the game might be one reason for this alarming trend.

Andre Miller in Portland will not end well. He already looks like the unhappiest man in the NBA and it's just three games in. Every time I see him he's playing with this "screw it, they won't start me over Steve Blake, I'll just never pass to anyone and take drives into the paint being trailed by four defenders on every possession" attitude. Why they decided to start Blake over him and turn Miller into a taciturn team cancer ass mystifies me.

Gilbert Arenas looks dangerously focused. It's like he sat down over the offseason with a bunch of stat nuts and cut out all the entertaining but inefficient crap from his game, and now the league's got to contend with this unselfish, rim-attacking monster. On other Washington notes, Miller really helps that team even when he isn't scoring, Foye looks good, McGee has enormous upside, and Blatche looks ready to make the leap. I don't think they even need Jamison.

Brook Lopez is good.

So is Brandon Jennings - too bad Redd is playing like the fraud we always knew he was.

Tyreke Evans might be a pretty good player one day, same for Spencer Hawes, but god is the rest of that team awful. Kevin Martin is capable of tossing in 30 on 57% shooting and still looking like he's a net minus.

Houston's easily the most entertaining team to watch in the league. Budinger can actually play, much to my surprise, Ariza might be able to sustain his newfound #1 scorer load, and Carl Landry is just, as the kids say, made of win. Aaron Brooks too.

I feel really bad for Chris Kaman. Trade the poor guy to a contender. Top 4 centers in the league don't deserve such suffering.

The Spurs have become so deep that, on any given night, their whole star trio can take a game off and they'd still have a 50/50 shot at winning a game. Whether Duncan and Manu have enough left for a deep run in the playoffs is another question.

Orlando's really good. Picking up Brandon Bass was a nice little move. Redick has become a decent role player, and so far so good with Vince.

Toronto might want to start playing defense, Cleveland has issues, and Joe Dumars is a very confused man.

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Statman reply to Tray on Nov 1 at 15:39
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Tray: great stuff, agree with a lot of your comments. A year ago at this time, many Philly fans were clamoring for the Sixers to trade Iguodala for a "classic" shooting guard like Kevin Martin or Redd. But the average fan doesn't pay attention to defense, and Martin and Redd are two of the NBA's worst.

Mike Miller is one of the more underrated all-around players in the league. It's surprising how good a rebounder and passer he is.

Regarding Andre Miller, he's one of the best lob passers in the league and he can throw the snap backdoor pass well, but good passing involves (1) ability to throw the pass, (2) vision to see the right pass, and (3) willingness to throw the pass. It's #3 that he was seriously deficient in last year, esp. on the fastbreak. We'll see how well he co-exists with Brandon Roy in that area.

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JohnMagee on Nov 1 at 14:38
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Why they decided to start Blake over him and turn Miller into a taciturn team cancer ass mystifies me.

Maybe they did think that Miller was such a selfish ass who cared more about himself than the team? (I mean I did - but no one believed me)

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Tray reply to JohnMagee on Nov 1 at 14:52
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I mean, even a somewhat selfish Miller is still better than a totally committed Blake. I think everyone who's watched him knows that he shoots more than he should, but he's still such a good passer and, in his way, a talented scorer that he's still going to help you in spite of his selfishness. Right now, though, he's just all Miller all the time.

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Statman on Nov 1 at 14:50
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Agree with all the comments about the rotations. Thad is below average at defensive rebounding and blocking shots even when he's playing small forward, so it goes without saying that any lineup with him at center is going to struggle defensively. Still, with all the questionable rotations, the Sixers should have won a close game in regulation if they hadn't done two foolish things: (1) foul drivers without preventing the basket [Knicks had three and-ones in their 17-pt comeback in the last 6:52, the final one being the terrible foul by Kapono on Harrington], (2) allow Gallinari a clean look at 3 when they were up 4 with 11 seconds. In the latter case, a foul would definitely have been the better move, because a 3 was the only thing that could have hurt them.

A few other observations:
(1) Kapono may be better than Korver at shooting 3's, but he's not as automatic in free throws. I was surprised to find that his career pct. is "only" 84% [Korver's is 88.5].
(2) I do give credit to the Sixers for hanging in when they got down in OT. When they got down 3, it seemed a likely loss.
(3) Iguodala shot his jumper as well as I've ever seen in the first half. It's an encouraging sign that the improved form we noticed in the preseason was not a mirage.
(4) Lou Williams played his best overall game that I can remember. I think all our worries about him on offense [instead of Miller] were overblown. [Defense is another story, of course.] What's been most impressive is his passing: 15 assists and only 2 turnovers so far. My favorite play from last night was in the 2nd when Brand got the off. reb. and passed it out to Lou, who was open. The "old" Lou would have shot it, but instead he passed to a wide open Kapono in the corner for a shot that swished through, barely touching the rim.

Great points. One thing the Sixers didn't do was take advantage of Gallinari on the other end. Thad had a huge mismatch there, and I don't think they exploited it enough, although I'm kind of splitting hairs here, considering the Sixers offense was about as efficient as you can be (especially considering they barely took any threes). I'll touch a little on this in a post later this afternoon.

Agree with your thoughts overall. I give coach a lot of rope as he needs to try players in positions but when it is not working, needs to adjust faster!

I am very concerned about our defense on the forwards with open shots and poor defense.

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deepsixersuede on Nov 1 at 17:05
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Tray, the reason Blake starts over A.Miller is the same reason he would look good here, the ability to shoot the 3.Statman, L.Will. being on the court with better players[starters] seems to make him more dangerous than ever.This point was brought up about Spieghts by Brian ,I believe, recently.When Spieghts eventually becomes our center in a year or so Iggy may become the 2nd or even 3rd option [Thad/L.Will.?]that we seem to all wish for.The question is can this organization address the other end of the court with this group of players.

But Portland has enough shooters to start a non-shooter at the point - Roy of course, Webster, Rudy, Batum when healthy. They don't need a rich man's Chris Quinn in the starting rotation. I think what you have here is some deeper sort of dissatisfaction with Miller.

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JohnMagee reply to Tray on Nov 1 at 18:11
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Maybe they're not as fond of guys who 'play their way' into shape as other teams.

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deepsixersuede reply to Tray on Nov 1 at 19:50
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Tray, Roy is a guy that wants the ball in his hands and a spot up shooting p.g. [Blake] works with him.Blake has been on teams that win a lot of games, in fact, Denver took a step back when A.I. took his place.Blake, in the last 2 years has played closer to a Kirk Henrich level than C.Quinn. I am an A.Miller fan but sometimes a player is just not a good fit with a team.

Indeed, but don't sign him then, bench him and cause him to wreak havoc with your team chemistry. Yesterday was another weird game for Miller - in 20 minutes he took one shot, had no assists, committed four fouls, and had a -8 plus/minus in a game his team won by 9.

I saw that line, this is not going to end well in Portland unless (a) Blake gets hurt and they're forced to give Miller big minutes, or (b) they just bite the bullet, start him and let him play his game.

He isn't the type of guy to go to the press, but he'll definitely drag ass with the second unit all season.

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Tray reply to Brian on Nov 2 at 19:51
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I think they'll deal him. Granted this could've all been avoided by starting him, but he's definitely not endearing himself to his coach or management with his play - can't imagine they'd start him to reward his dogging it off the bench.

That contract won't be easy to move, no way. No other team was willing to offer him anywhere near that much, they're going to have to take back a worse contract to move him.

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Statman reply to deepsixersuede on Nov 1 at 20:52
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Suede, just to be clear, I'm not one of those that wishes Iguodala would become the 2nd or 3rd option on this team. I'd like to see if he can continue to hit the jumper consistently, because he could easily average 22-23 ppg (and a LeBron-like 22-7-7 overall) if he did. That's a perfect #1 option with this set of teammates. In the best case, I see Thad and Speights as excellent finishers who get set up by good passes from Iguodala and Lou (off dribble penetration). That was and is the one thing sorely lacking from (Andre) Miller's offensive game: dribble penetration to set up teammates for easy shots.

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Sean reply to Statman on Nov 1 at 21:22
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I agree 100%. I've always thought that Dala needed finishers around him, allowing him to be a scoring facilitator. This team is close to that right now, just needs the parts to mature.

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deepsixersuede reply to Statman on Nov 1 at 23:05
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I think Iggy is flat out the best player on the team but feel he is better at being a faccilitator than the guy that leads our team in scoring.I just wish one of our other young guys can get to his level or better of play and become a pure 22 to 25 ppg. guy, allowing Iggy to continue in his jack of all trades role.

I see what you are saying, but if his jumpshot keeps looking like it has thru the preseason thus far, he will be in that 20-22 point range with ease.

I agree 100% about AI9. I really don't think he cares about how many points he gets as long as the team wins. And I think he would prefer to have every starter on the team score 25 points a game along with him!


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