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Sixers Amaze Me In Another Loss

I am beginning to really believe that this team is starting to tune EJ out. Feels like Porter in Phoenix again, somewhat. I think one of the major turning points was how Brand is being treated, specifically the "20-min" quote that was directly contradicted these past 2 games. Has to undermine the team's confidence in the Head Coach.

Playing hard used to not be an issue, unless it was one of those sleep-walk games every team has during the long season. I have a feeling this is going to get uglier before it gets better.

Wasn't McKie their defensive guy last year? Fucking fire Ayers and give him the reins, see if that changes anything. They weren't great last year, but they were at least average.

Sean reply to Brian on Nov 21 at 3:49

Yeah, I remember that. I've been wondering about if McKie might be ready to take over the head job soon... He could put in the LB style defense plus he played in the Triangle for a couple of years so he could bring some of that in as well.

If we can't get Turner or Thibs, I'll settle for that

eddies' heady's on Nov 21 at 3:33

Unbelieveable writeup and dialed in analysis.

As for the hot subject of the year so far, I am not at all pissed off at (a) b/c - I said it the other day after he said it the first time, motivation can only go so far from a coaching standpoint. The practices, halftime chew-outs, huddles, and they still don't get it. That's on them b/c the options are limited.

Or infuriated by (b) b/c - he did take responsibility by pussyfooting mostly each and every guy with positive connations in the press in training camp and the first few weeks. He provided umph and motivation here agian too. Yet, no response from his troop. He tried to pump them up but they just continue to sulk. He may be at fault to a degree but nowhere near the heights the players are.

As for (c) - better to be left not analyzed, b/c I have been tirelessly pleading.

Good poignant work, again.

eddies' heady's on Nov 21 at 3:46

As for the thought of the guys tuning EJ out. They are just a bunch of spoiled chaps if they have. As a player you can't tune out a new coach in just a handful of games especially after you spoke glowingly of him before the adversity set in. It may sound like I am defending him, but I truly am not. Just more of a devil's advocate so to speak from the coaches point-of-view.

And about the D - I put it out there the other week that you can't even resemble a decent 'team defense' if you have guys that are unwilling to be accountable individually on defense. It all has to interconnect.

It's not black and white. If you say 10 games isn't enough time for players to give up on their coach, I counter that 10 games isn't enough for a coach to start calling his players soft to the press. It's a chicken/egg thing, I guess. Doesn't really matter to me who's at fault, they either have to fix it or remove one of the parties.

Trade 12 guys or fire one coach.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 21 at 11:13

On EJ walking that very fine line on going to press - desperate times call for desperate measures. When they already appear to have left you, there isn't much more to lose by doing what he did. If I were one of the players I would take what he said to heart and do some deep soul-searching and find out where my damn heart and pride went.

I still go back to - he 'is' dealing with grown men here and not little boys as some of the guys appear to be acting and playing like. I'm typically not in favor of a coach going public with his emotions emptying out but in this case I just don't know what else the guy is to do. I mean, he sort of did the same thing after the Utah game when the effort was subpar, he just did it a little more mildly. Then last night, he wore the emotions with a long sleeve shirt on instead of a short sleeved one. Each time, he still isn't getting what he is looking for and it is glaring for all to see (incl. us fans).

You hit the nail on the head above. You have run out of adjectives too, they just suck. Kind of like the coach has nearly run out of options too.

We realistically can't trade 12 guys or fire the head man, so that is why I'm living by the philosophy that each and every one of our guys needs to kick themselves in the rear and just simply 'get with it'. Put the BS aside and be open and receptive to coaching, and at the least, have each of your teammates back, even if all of them are quietly dissing the coach.

I would generally agree with you about tuning out the coach this early. However, given EJ's performance thus far, I'd be surprised if they were not skeptical, to put it mildly.

The inability to set a rotation, the small ball, the weird situational lineups(Kapono in the game for defense?), the poor defensive strategies(leading to the exact same set of flaws as Wash had, can't be coincidence), the unnecessary head games, the bizarre public answers, all of it. I was not down on this hiring from the beginning, and EJ's pretty much made me do a 180. If I were on this team, I'd be second-guessing virtually every tactic and move he makes.

sfw reply to Sean on Nov 21 at 7:49

Wow Sean, You called out everything in question about this coach. I can't agree more. I think we have a 1/2 court offensive genius who needs to be reined in by a head coach. He probably was a great assistant but not a good head coach.

Sean reply to sfw on Nov 21 at 12:44

Precisely. Stefanski gave us Charlie Weis instead of The Hoodie, or, better yet, George Constanza instead of Jerry.

Shane reply to Sean on Nov 21 at 9:49

Brendan Haywood bad mouthed EJ again to the press. His complaints seem to hit home right about now:

"I was playing like I had to make something happen. If it didn't happen in the first five minutes I felt like I had to do something or I might not play in the second half. That's a tough way to play."


Sean reply to Shane on Nov 21 at 12:45

You could have attributed that quote to Jrue or Elton Brand and been just as accurate. That's the sad part

In this blog this is almost heretical to write, but to be honest, Jrue did not deserve playing time tonight. 1 for 5 and he looked much worse. I know a recurrent theme in the league is to play your young guys regardless of how good they are, but for a team like the sixers, the playoffs is still a legitimate option. As much as we want him to be deadly from three (me most of all), he's not a three point shooter and he'll never be. In fact, he's not a shooter period. He does appear to be able to slash and kick, but lets not delude ourselves into thinking he's the next franchise player. Marresse and Thad (yes as much as everyone hates him now) are far better and will always be better. Jrue will be a good backup point at best. can we stop salivating over mediocrity yet? good.

I'm going to respectfully disagree. I'm not saying he's a surefire stud, I'm saying he needs an opportunity to develop and a chance to show us what he is. 4 minutes every couple of games is not enough, especially not when the bar is set so low with Willie and ivey in front of him.

It's kind of absurd to make definitive statements about what he will or will not be based on the first 50 minutes of his career spread over 12 games

After playing a great 15 minutes of ball against Phoenix november 9th, Jrue has gotten only 16 minutes in the last 7 games.

Court_visioN reply to Jesse on Nov 21 at 4:57

You can tell Jrue Holiday's errors tonight were the result of pressing and trying too hard to impress the coaching staff. He came in, started off with a nice drive and kick to Jason Smith for a 3, then stripped Marcus Williams and took it to the hoop, and one.

At this point if you're Jrue Holiday you have to smell blood and think "hey this could be the day I earn lots of playing time" So he took it to the rack and forced a couple of shots that weren't there. A couple shots he got the ball at the end of the shot clock and he's just trying to make a play.

There is absolutely no reason to put Jrue Holiday on such a short leash while "veterans" like Willie Green get their minutes no matter what.

Oh, and nobody outside of the Sixers organization really knows how good Jrue Holiday is as a shooter because he doesn't get to shoot. The only three pointer Holiday took tonight was at the end of the shot clock.

Charlie on Nov 21 at 7:56

You say that Thad has all the requisite skills to be a good 3, but he has no right hand and a handle that is mediocre at best. And he doesn't rebound. He's basically a tweener.

deepsixersuede on Nov 21 at 8:19

He needs to back his words with actions.Sit L.Will. and Thad tonight to show this group there is some urgency.Brian, I have defended L.Will. but Conley, who can!t shoot, continually got into the lane and Thad got abused. Thad needs a game off, to sit and watch Carney get in a guys shirt defensively.And if Lou gets benched after this dominating offensive performance maybe the light finally goes on.A.Miller!s chippiness is missing from this group but Elton being back should more than make up for this.

deepsixersuede on Nov 21 at 9:23

Brian, we lost 2 guys,A.Miller and Reggie, who were willing to put a body on somebody and we have a s.f. who unlike Iggy , is unwilling to get physical. A player like Mbe-Moute is needed with this bunch of softies because with Elton starting to score the ball, a defensive role player may work in this starting lineup.

JohnMagee on Nov 21 at 11:21

I didn't include team rebounds, mainly because most of them look bogus in the play-by-play

I tend to ignore team rebounds as well when running the numbers.

Brian, we lost 2 guys,A.Miller and Reggie, who were willing to put a body on somebody and we have a s.f. who unlike Iggy
Losing reggie evans was a good thing, and I'll say it again, reggie evans does not make your team a better defensive rebounding team, it makes you worse and worse offensively but helps with offensive rebounding (mostly I contend cause he misses so many damn shots from 2 feet away or less)

deepsixersuede reply to JohnMagee on Nov 21 at 15:04

John, my comment was geared more toward the softness and energy department that allows a team to defensive rebound. There doesn!t seem to be any urgency on the defensive end and Reggie, in spite of his stupid overplaying, seemed to help in that department.

JohnMagee reply to deepsixersuede on Nov 21 at 15:13

But see that's specious logic to me...yes reggie had energy - but a energetic guy running around like a chicken with his head cut off is still a guy running around like a chicken with his head cut off - Reggie Evans on the court made the sixers a worse defensive reboudning team, so why are people thinking he could help now - he didn't help before...he just made people feel better cause it looks like he 'trys' so hard when really he accomplishes very little (and isn't that what Philadelphia fans really care about, not accomplishment but the way they 'perceive' a guy as trying or not)

JohnMagee on Nov 21 at 11:33

Maybe thad isn't as basketball smart as we would like to think - and that's what's going on.

"It's been hard, I'm not going to lie,"[Thaddeus] Young told The Commercial-Appeal. "We'll have certain plays where we're supposed to make a cut and set a screen here, or set a screen there, maybe receive a flare screen after you pass the ball. It's a lot to try to remember on one play. It's going to take time."

He seems a little confused

Doesn't Thad have like a genius IQ? If he can't get this I'm not too comfortable w/ Dalembert and Speights picking it up.

JohnMagee reply to Brian on Nov 21 at 12:35

Well there's IQ and there's basketball IQ - Sam is a pretty smart fella - hell if i recall correctly he enjoys 'fixing computers' in his spare time - that's the kind of crap I don't even want to consider...doesn't mean you have a high basketball IQ. I think there are 3 main things to becoming a star in the NBA

1. Pure natural atheletic ability
2. Work Ethic
3. Baketball IQ

I don't think one can become a true star with out all 3...sam dalembert for instance, has 1 of them, rodney carney probably has 2, maybe 1 1/2 (not sure about his work ethic for sure) and he's a solid bench player. If thad lacks the IQ the whole 'we don't call plays for thad' thing might be looked at differently, maybe it wasn't bad coaching, maybe it was EXCELLENT coaching, they realized Thad is good if he doesn't have to think about it so they didn't call plays for him so as not to confuse him, they let him get his in the flow of the game...and if that's who thad is, that isn't a star, that's a really solid 20 MPG bench player.

I also don't know if basketball IQ is something that can be learned, I would THINK it could be refined but you still have to have some to start with and combine it with the work ethic?

Brian, you are right taht the normal line-up rebounded as bad as the small ball one...

But how can a coach call out his team after he essentially went with Band/Kapono at C/PF for the final 15 minutes of a close game. That to me is a joke.

It would be like getting burned by bad defense from your PG and so you decide to put in Lou Williams to run the point. Sounds like his reasoning was "if I'm going to get beat anyway might as well score some..." which is a loser mentality for a head coach.

This team was known for effort and energy befoer Mr. Jordan arrived. Last night the Grizz played like the Sixers had before this year. Not exactly great play but at least they did not look like the Wizards out their.

Sorry typo and grammatical nightmare of a post. To pissed off to proof read.

eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Nov 21 at 13:21

I'll give this a try without stepping on already bruised feelings (trust me, i have them too) and without being accused of defending the head man:

He didn't necessarily play with Brand/Kapono at C/PF. Being a position-less offense, he just had 2 guards, 2 wings, and a big.

But to rebut your statement of how could he call out his team after he went with that lineup - not saying you didn't watch the game but.... if you saw Sam play any last night you would understand and same thing for when J Smith was in the game. Again, EJ doesn't have anymore options. If you saw Thad play last night you would understand. Again, Kapono and Carney and Dala were in the game here so, no more options. Jrue and Willie both left a lot to be desired, so we know we aren't going to holler for Ivey. Again, no options.

And you are right about this team being known for effort and energy the last few years. I always liked to say they were a resilient bunch. But my sole reason for blaming it on the players and not a sudden departure since EJ came on board is, effort and energy doesn't come from coaching, doesn't come from IQ, doesn't come from skill-set, doesn't come from athletic ability. It simply comes down to want-to, pride, heart, and desire, just competitive nature of sport - and if the guys can't find that from within becuase they are pouting, and selfishly not being accepting of change, then that is all on them and only them.

Court_visioN reply to eddies' heady's on Nov 21 at 13:53

If coaches call out their teams to the media and absolve themselves of any blame, how likely are you as a player to play hard for that coach?

eddies' heady's reply to Court_visioN on Nov 21 at 14:09

I just don't see where he has absolved himself of any blame here. He just told the flat-out fucking truth. If some players doubt what the guy had to say - then pop in the tape, it won't lie. Can't blame EJ for the Utah game, can't blame him for the Phoenix game, and the list goes on.

And as a player, if your feelings are hurt because your superior vented in public right after he had just vented loudly in your ear, then pick your bottom lip up and go out there and have your teammates back. I'm not usually a fan of blasing your guys in the press but it's not like he singled anyone out individually, he did it collectively as a team. And god bless, the guy did more than enough coddling through the press in the run-up to the season and shortly after it got started. You can't keep pampering these lads, they have to have a fire lit under them somehow.

Is ripping them in public the right way? Maybe, maybe not. But if you were the coach and your were getting this display multiple times, you would have went the hell off too. Not to take away from my argument but I bet if Larry Brown said this last night, we would be in lock, step, and key with his quotes. Look at the play and the message, moreso than the messenger.

Well, throwing your hands up in the air and saying essentially, "I've done everything I can possibly do to put this team in a position to win," and then saying your team is a bunch of sissies. I don't see how you can read that as anything but Jordan taking no responsibility for the state of his team. There wasn't a whole lot of "we" in his quotes, was there? It was a "me" vs. "them." Which isn't something I ever want to see from a coach of one of my teams.

We need to work to get our defensive rotations down. We need to get more physical on the boards, and this is something we'll address in practice. That's how a coach answers those questions.

Calling your players out to the press, and failing to mention that you intentionally weaken both the defense and the rebounding for the sake of your offensive system not only rings hollow, it makes you a hypocrite in your team's eyes.

Whether or not their effort was lacking is beside the point, there are ways to handle things like a professional who knows what the hell he's doing, and there are ways to turn your players against you.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Nov 23 at 10:09

All very fair and valid. Esp the 'we' part, I had overlooked that amidst my own frustrations and suffering.

I'm not absolving Jordan for the small lineup down the stretch, I wouldn't have done it, but in the microcosm of this game, the starting lineup was just as bad as the small lineup on the glass.

That doesn't mean he couldn't have gone to a smarter small lineup. I had Carney at the four in that lineup you were talking about, not Kapono, but either way, it's quite possibly the worst defensive rebounding unit he could've possibly put on the floor.

If you're ever scratching your head trying to figure out why he's putting a lineup on the floor, the answer is most likely that he errs on the side of offense in every single situation. He's probably going to continue to do that for the remainder of his days in Philadelphia.

I hate to say it but if the Sixers dont get rid of jordan by the 1/2 season mark this team may only win 20 games. The team doesnt respond to him...bottom line.

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