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Inching Toward Mediocrity?

This is very troubling for me. The guy who is saying this is very instrument in the lineup plans. I am not sure why but here is the quote :

''We're in the process of making adjustments,'' Green said. ''For three straigtht years, we ran the ball down peoples' throats, and now we find ourselves in-between. Should we run? Should we slow it down? We have a tendency to think about what we want to do instead of just doing it.''

Jordan is best known for teaching the Princeton system, a pass-and-cut, read-and-react system, but there haven't been many signs of it through the first 11 games. Mostly, they've either tried to run or played the more standard piuck-and-roll.

''Until we figure it out, we should be happy we got a win against Charlotte, but how are we going to do against the better teams?'' Green asked.

I mean come on they say they don't have any continuity on the court. That is not good.

I don't really care what Willie has to say about the team's offensive woes. The thing that does concern me is the focus. Last night, the Sixers didn't play that bad on the offensive side of the ball, relative to what everyone else has done against the Bobcats. 86 points on 84 possessions. The reason they almost lost the game is that the Bobcats played much better offensively than they usually do.

Tuning this offense, and running it more effectively should obviously be a goal, but figuring out why the defense is so pitiful should be a higher priority right no, IMO.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Nov 19 at 17:50

I absolutely agree. Jordan said after the Speights injury that they would be a better defensive team with Jason Smith and Carney getting more time which I agree with. Here is my problem. Why not get your better defenders in the game like at least Jrue in the 2nd quarter and some time in the second half. Why not more Ivey like some of those possessions late. All Green did was hurt the team. Then he gave Kapono no burn and dusts him off in the late 3rd quarter.

In my mind it is actually quite simple. Here is our team's ID. We are a running athletic team whose personality is defense first which gives us the ability to get run outs and fast breaks based on getting defensive stops. So that means if Jason Smith has to come in for Thad to handle a bigger forward so be it. Or it might mean having Sam and Elton out there in crunch time. It may be taking Lou out late for Ivey. The problem is I don't think it is a defense first mentality. Too much is made of this Princeton Offense. It seems Jordan's philosophy is Offense first. Let's face it when has Charlotte taken 24 3's in a game. That only happen because they were good looks. You don't know how many times I was screaming on the baselines to get up in the shooter's grill at the 3 point line.
All I know is that this philosophy has to change or that is all they will ever be is a mediocre team at best.

Mediocre is the ceiling w/ a philosophy like this, and the personnel we have.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Nov 19 at 18:47

Yes and the problem for me is that I have so much invested in this team for years and this team keeps hovering around mediocrity every year for about the last 6 or 7 years and can't seem to slip out of it.

JohnMagee on Nov 19 at 20:55

Yes and the problem for me is that I have so much invested in this team for years and this team keeps hovering around mediocrity every year for about the last 6 or 7 years and can't seem to slip out of it.

Not sure how that's the teams fault - mediocrity begats mediocrity in the NBA unless you get lucky in the draft or create cap space at the right time - sixers were 2 summers too early. And they couldn't have waited either I don't believe

Duracorr reply to JohnMagee on Nov 19 at 22:32

I'm still optimistic, but barely. Considering how poorly the team has played defense and how slowly the new offense appears to be taking hold, considering how strange the rotations seem to be, considering how strange the player combinations Jordan has had on the floor it is nothing short of amazing they are just one game below .500. Yes, I realize they have played a bunch of bad teams, but still, this suggests to me that they may have some talent. I still hope that Jordan will be able to get the team to defend the perimeter and defensive rebound. If that happens, they will win a higher percentage of games including some against good teams. (They haven't beaten a good team yet or even come close, but maybe...)

JohnMagee reply to Duracorr on Nov 19 at 23:09

They have talent, but like in babes in toylan - you got some real misfit toys - the best thing to happen to the sixers would brand to get hot for the next 20 games or so and look to move him

Crick reply to JohnMagee on Nov 20 at 8:57

Talk about bullshit metaphors... you piece of shit hypocrite!

Statman on Nov 20 at 9:04

Here's an interesting stat that may be neither here nor there: so far, the Sixers are shooting 51% on 2-point FGs (up from 49% a year ago). They're also giving up 50% on 2-point FGs (down from 49%). Anomaly or real improvement on offense (or just skewing by the Knicks game)?

Any stats at this point are skewed by the horrible competition. Especially the most important stat... wins.

This is really what has me scared. The Sixers rank 21st in the league in defensive efficiency when they've played almost 64% of their games against the bottom half of the league, offensively, and 45% of their games against the worst five offensive teams in the league. What's going to happen when the sample grows and they start playing the good offensive teams.

Toronto is going to score about 150 points on us if we defend them the way we've defended everyone else.

I get why you're scared. Here is my question though: Is the defensive issues more of a coaching problem or a player problem?

One is more scarier than the other in my opinion.

This is worth a long, long post, but to answer it quickly, both. Lou at the point is a huge problem that's exacerbated by a philosophy that compromises the entire defense right from the get go.

Good question. The Sixers could ultimately be a very good defensive team with the right coach and some time. But I'm no sure even a great defensive coach would make them above average right now. Of course, under Jordan they are horrid, and concede ope 3's and O-Boards like candy.

So short term a better defensive coach would only get them to average, but long term the right coach could unleash their running game with a great defense. Several players could improve their defense, but it might take some time:

-Young is a poor wing defender right now, but I think he has the tools and mentality to become a good wing defender (maybe just me being a fan / blind optomism?)

-Lou is Lou, but he almost has to become a better defender over the next few years as he gets stronger and more experienced. Upside on defense still well below average, but better than his current worst in class rating.

-Brand has the right instincts and mentality. Last game showed he could be better, and maybe on defense its just knocking off some rust. I've been concerned about his low rebounding rate, but against, maybe that improves as the year progresses.

-Speights has upgraded his defense, and has the physical tools to be above average. But aside from taking charges I think he lacks to make-up to ever be a great defensive anchor. So some defensive upside.

-Iguodala sometimes is amazing on D, other times not as good as advertised. maybe he needs to adapt a bit to chasing around SG? So maybe some upside.

-Jrue we all know is a wasted asset on D. He is already good, and looks like he could be great on defense with some seasoning.

Statman reply to tk76 on Nov 20 at 15:20

tk76: good analysis, I'd add a couple points. I've always thought Lou had the physical ability to be better on defense than he is. He certainly has the footspeed to be better at staying in front of his man. Where he'll probably always struggle is fighting through screens (unless he gets a lot stronger somewhere along the way). Thad has the footwork, anticipation, and willingness to be a good defender, but he has a few problems: (a) he seems to abhor contact [either on offense or defense], so he can be manhandled; (b) he can be faked out of position very easily; (c) he watches the ball too much. All those are correctable, but (a) is the one I would be concerned about in the longterm. Regarding Iguodala, he's been mostly better than I thought he would be in defending opponent shooting guards. (82games gives him the same opponent PER of 13 as he had last year -- which is best on the team and excellent for a 2 guard.) Other than the Phoenix game (JRichardson), I don't recall any games where he has been less than "good" on defense. (I may be wrong, but I think Gordon got the majority of his points against other defenders in the Detroit game.)

Re: Dannie's original question, I don't know whether the team can improve or not over the long run with this personnel, but I do think if Jordan were to work toward establishing a defensive identity for this team (along with some accountability for poor defensive play), it could only help. I just hope we don't have to watch too many more games like the Jazz game, which was unwatchable from a defensive standpoint ...

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