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Questions After 7 Games

I'll kick it off with my initial reaction, then chime in later with more detail.

1. C. Unless a drastic change is made, this will haunt us.
2. Really depends on the rotations, so I'll say B.
3. I'll go with A, for now.
4. A, again. For now.
5. B, hopefully trending toward A.
6. B, hopefully trending toward A.
7. A, definitely.
8. B, trending toward C.
9. I'll say C. The guy can score, he showed it last year and has somehow improved. I have very little doubt that he'll be an offensive stud.
10. B, was trending toward C before last night.
11. This is A no matter how you slice it. The kid is further along than a lot of people thought he would be (namely, Eddie Jordan), but he has a long way to go. I'm comfortable saying he'd be more of a net positive than Willie and/or Ivey already, though.

The All Star ballot is out. Iguodala listed as a forward, does that help or hurt him?

Should not matter since he would be added as a bench player.

The fact that no one cares about the Sixers will cost him votes.

Was thinking its a shame he's not from China or Russia...

Maybe he should say he's from Nigeria. I'm sure the Nigerian scammer community could stuff the ballots, or at least promise him he's been awarded inheritance in exchange for his CC and SS info.

Fans only decide the starters, right? Who decides the subs, coaches or players?

B for all of this(Rightfully concerned, but could work itself out with time)
1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense.
2. Defensive rebounding
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns
4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...)
5. Brand looks like a shell.
6. Brand not being used correctly.
7. Thad looks lost on offense.
8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding.

9. Speights as a scorer(B)
10. Lou as a starter(Offense B, Defence C)
11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused?(underused)

It is really disheartening to be 3-4, but when you look back at it, we lost to Orlando, Phoenix, Boston, and Detroit (that's the bad one, although it was on the road). If we didn't throw up a stinker in Detroit and defended even a little last night, we could be 5-2. That is what's so tough about it.

I agree with all of your grades except the Brand ones. I don't know if he has enough lift to be a low post scorer. It took him 4 steps to dunk on an uncontested fast break last night. The problem is he can't make open shots anymore, which is what is really frustrating. A 100 Percent Elton Brand is still shooting as poorly as last year, 45 percent. I agree he is stuck in no man's land helping to reverse the ball, but he is only taking open, good shots. This guy shot over 50 percent 5 out of his 6 years in LA! Now he's not even close. That is what is really scary. Second would probably be Thad's defense, which really is concerning.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. And this is exactly where I thought they'd be after 7 games, but I've just been doing this for too long. Look at last year, if they'd only won a couple of those buzzer beaters they lost, etc. You need to actually win these games, not almost win them. I'm sick of saying what if.

A. Jumping the gun in our (over)reaction and just need more time
B. Rightfully concerned, but could work itself out with time
C. Seen enough to ID a major issue

1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense. - B
2. Defensive rebounding - B
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns - B
4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...) - B
5. Brand looks like a shell. - C
6. Brand not being used correctly. B
7. Thad looks lost on offense. - A
8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding - B

9. Speights as a scorer - A
10. Lou as a starter - B
11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused? - B

Overall, I am most impressed with how the Princeton Offense seems to allow Speights to flourish. He will become a much better passer by the end of the year. It seems that all the statements Jordan made about Brand really apply to Speights.

Truthfully, since I feel that this year was going to be a transitional year about growth more then results anyway, the time spent learning the PO will make the true core of the team(Dre, Thad, M16, Jrue & Lou, with Smith & Carney as wild cards) into better, more dynamic offensive players.

Do I dislike Jordan's defensive philosophies thus far? Yes, it is maddening, but it could improve, especially with the talent on this team. IMO, Lou's defense could begin to improve once Jrue starts pushing him legitimately. Thad could be pushed by Carney for similar reasons.

However, I try to remember that I told myself not to deeply evaluate things until at least January, if not the ASB. So I am going to keep to that.

A. Jumping the gun in our (over)reaction and just need more time
B. Rightfully concerned, but could work itself out with time
C. Seen enough to ID a major issue

Here are the issues:

1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense. B
2. Defensive rebounding B
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns B
4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...) C
5. Brand looks like a shell. A
6. Brand not being used correctly. B
7. Thad looks lost on offense. C
8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding. C


Then on the flip side are we too high or low on:

9. Speights as a scorer B
10. Lou as a starter B
11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused? underused but probably a stud


I appreciate Lou in that on Twitter he is tweeting he is having bad games. Half the battle is realizing that (unlike Thad).

I think if it took Thad to get rid of Sam and/or Brand, I would do it IF it gives us flexibilty and/or a key piece. I am starting to think Thad is out of position w/ this team.

Brian/tk76 - should have given us an opinion choice on the coach. I AM VERY CONCERNED WITH HIM. Just seems to be out of touch w/ it all.

Lou on Twitter appears to be VERY concerned about his poor playing. Wish I saw the same attitude from the coach and Thad.

Thad's slow start has raised a few interesting things to consider:

1. Thad is a match-up nightmare offensively when he is playing the 4. His range extends easily to about 17 feet and has a great first step and quickness to go by other PFs. Also, he was a killer running the floor and getting ahead of his man on the break.

2. From what we've seen this year, Thad looks lost defensively at the 3 and he's not getting any better. He hurt us a few times last year with a sort of a lazy demeanor and just mental mistakes (Ray Allen and Hedo stick out). The one thing we would hope for us at the 3 is a great rebounding advantage. Well, he is only ahead of Kapono and Green per 48 mins. Look back to 2007-2008, when he was playing 4, and he averaged 9.6 rather than 5.4 per 48. That is a pretty sizable difference. Maybe he needs to get closer to the basket to start rebounding.

3. Thad's stroke from deep has been terrible and that hurts when their 3 is not even a threat from beyond. Playing him at the 4 would get him closer to the basket and get his FG percentage up.

The major problem is this team is not set-up for Thad at the 4. Speights needs to play and if he would play at 5, the rebounding would be terrible. Also, Sammy and Elton would both be out at the same time. But maybe for a couple of minutes a game, he could play Thad at the 4. It would probably help out 3 pt/ pick and roll D if we went smaller. I just want a way to jump-start Thad, he really worries me.

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JohnMagee on Nov 10 at 18:38
+/-

1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense. - C (Just flat-out sucks, but it's been ages)
2. Defensive rebounding - B (starting 5 should be better, while bench is filled with weak rebounders)
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns - B (i'll give it more time)
4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...) - B
5. Brand looks like a shell. - B (i hope he can grow in stature as the season moves on)
6. Brand not being used correctly. - C (I think EJ has no idea how to use Brand in the offense because he's not a center and he can't shoot the 3)
7. Thad looks lost on offense. - C (Last 2 seasons he was our most efficient scorer, suddenly he's a lousier gunner than GTG)
8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding. - B (I'm more confident about the defense, as for rebounding we can only hope)
9. Speights as a scorer - C (no doubt he can score and will continue to score given the minutes)
10. Lou as a starter - B (was great the first 6 games, the previous game was more of what I had anticipated)
11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused? - The kid obviously can play, at least compared to Green and Ivey. How he does not get the minutes is a mystery. I think EJ just don't like him.

I don't have any A's.

C's:
1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense.
I usually wouldn't sound any major alarms only 7 games in but 3 point defense has been an issue as long as I can remember and the sixers are still getting hammered. This is a major issue spanning seasons.

4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...)
Also, the coach has me very concerned. I did not know much about him before he got here but some of the things he says and does as a coach have me baffled. I'm sick of hearing about the Princeton Offense. I want stifling defense and solid rebounding and fast break off of it. This team is built to use this blueprint. Why go away from it?

6. Brand not being used correctly.
We are paying this guy franchise money and I have seen him abuse teams in spurts. I know he is not the same as pre-achilles injury but why the hell aren't they feeding him? Why isn't he playing more? Huge issue. I can't blame people for not going to the games with some of his substitution patterns.

8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding.
At times, you can substitute any sixer on the floor except sammy. A reflection of the coach.

B's:
2. Defensive rebounding
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns
5. Brand looks like a shell.
7. Thad looks lost on offense.

-------------------------------------------------------
9. Speights as a scorer(B)
10. Lou as a starter(B for Offense, C for Defense)
11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused?(definitely underused)

Its interesting to see a 3-4 team under a new coach raising such a high level of concern. I think it reflects just how little confidence Jordan inspires as a coach. he just seems sort of lost.

A good coach inspires confidence, and sometimes you wait to see his players adapt to the new sheriff. But Jordan looks like he is grasping at straws to see how these players can be plugged into his inflexible system- with Brand, Thad, Sam and even Iguodala looking like square pegs in his board that only takes round ones.

Anyhow, predicted an ugly start and strong finish (again) this year, so its hard for me to get too bent out of shape over what I've seen. I guess overall my biggest concern is a lack of leadership shown by the coach that bodes poorly as things might get ugly.

Here's my answers:

A. Jumping the gun in our (over)reaction and just need more time:

2. Defensive rebounding
---they have the personnel and at least less Mo cheeks small ball (Thad at 4)
3. Strange line-ups/substitution patterns
---game 7, new coach, very balance line-up 12 players deep
7. Thad looks lost on offense.
---I think Thad can eventually fit in any style offense. leave him at SF. He has played that position full time only 1 year (freshman at GT) but has the talent and make-up to be an excellent SF given time.
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B. Rightfully concerned, but could work itself out with time

5. Brand looks like a shell.
---At very worst he will learn to play within himslf. And hopefully some of the slowness is rust and comfort level
6. Brand not being used correctly.
---Jordan is an idiot if he can't learn that Brand does not need touches where Jamison thrived (3 pt line)
8. Thad looks lost on defense and rebounding.
---Always an issue, but less so on the wing as he learns the position. Whereas he'd always be bad at PF due to his (lack of) size
----

C. Seen enough to ID a major issue

1. 3 pt and Pick & Roll defense.
----Been an issue for years, and Jordan comes in with a bad rep and already dodging the issue.
4. Strange post game coaching statements (if a 3pt shooter gets that hot there is nothing you can do...)
----Not a good sign in your leader. I'm fine if he tries to deflect blame from his players to himself. But the whole denial/ostrich thing has to stop if he is to be taken seriously as a leader.

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Then on the flip side are we too high or low on:

9. Speights as a scorer---- we are a bit to high. Good potential, but currently our golden boy (sorry Thad)

10. Lou as a starter--- Been impressed. Mostly playing within himself. Should only become more dangerous on offense as the season goes on. Suns game got emotion (got burned by nash) and regressed. Hopefully learns from it.

11. Jrue as a bust/stud/underused?--- Don't know and won't for a while. But the Suns game was an eye opener. Not only do I love his D. I love the way he shows true PG instincts by attacking the defense, drawing 2 defenders and setting up the right player in the right spot. You can't teach that.

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DeanH reply to tk76 on Nov 11 at 11:00
+/-

You are 100% correct BUT watching them these days is becoming painful. Seeing Willie Green play every game as first sub is just plain stupid.

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JohnMagee reply to DeanH on Nov 11 at 11:07
+/-

Hey sometimes it's speights when sam does his 2 fouls 90 seconds gig :)


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