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Sixers Can Get Worse, Apparently

Alright I just got done watching the game and there are plenty of things I need to get off my chest. I know we are undermanned playing without two of of our young guns and were playing a young and talented team, but this is the blueprint for why Eddie Jordan is an absolute bullshit coach and a terrible decision by this team.

This was a terrific offensive game for this team in so many different regards. We shot 50 percent from the floor and an absolutely unreal 14-23 from downtown plus 18-19 from the line! How the hell are we not even in the freakin game at the end? Before we get to that though, I don't want any Eddie Jordan defenders (I know there won't be any but just in case) to point to that great offensive output and say at least the Princeton Offense is working. Nothing else. No great plays. We shot it really freak well, that's it. I'm not smart enough to go to Princeton, but none of those play were made because of the sets we were running. It was just us making good basketball plays in transition or making tough shots on isos. The degree of difficulty on the shots was high enough where we can't expect to make them every game. Whether it was Iggy running the break, Thad posting up, Willie making a nice move one-on-one or Jrue making something happen on the pick and roll, the players were doing it on their own. Any coach could have rolled out the ball the way we shot it tonight and found 100 plus on the scoreboard.

The guy just flat out doesn't give a shit about defense. Do we watch any tape on their sets, because the shots we give up our unbelievable. How do we lose Kevin Durant like 5 times in the 4th quarter. He's gonna be a star, but this is absolute bullshit. The players are somewhat accountable (especially for tonight because we blew), but I can't say the effort isn't there. They bust their butts to try and get to shooters, but our defensive philosophy gets us out of sorts when a guy comes off a curl screen and is open for a second, even though the guy guarding him will fight through the screen successfully. But no, we need to defend a curl with a triple team off the catch unbelievable. The players don't even know how to rotate anymore. Jeff Green had at least 3 open threes tonight where 2 people rotated to the same guy out of some crazy help scheme and left him wide open. If it's the players fault, then take them out or at least improve a little bit from game to game. That's not happening. I think "anally raped the defensive identity" is not too strong.

Oh yeah, Thad Young, who was a match-up nightmare for them, played 33 minutes tonight. Willie Green played 41. Willie was pretty good tonight offensively, but nowhere else in the world should he play 41 minutes. He gets abused defensively, and Rodney Carney gets 4 minutes of run. We were terrible on D tonight and Rodney (2nd or 3rd best defender) plays four minutes! Small lineups time and again have killed us this year on defense, and playing Willie more that 25 minutes is just no good. He was matched up against Durant a good amount tonight. This is not his fault, he shouldn't be asked to guard him. He has an NBA skill, and that is shooting the basketball. He doesn't do anything else even average. He had a pretty good floor game tonight so I'm not killing him personally, but he should play about half of those minutes, and a little less when we're at full strength. The reason being, he can't play any defense, which the rest of the team joined him in tonight.

Nothing to argue with there. Thoroughly depressing game. It's unbelievable what Eddie Jordan has turned this squad into.

"Even if Allen Iverson plays at the level of his NBA season."

I think you meant NBA Finals season. 700Level has an unusually insightful post, pointing out that Stefanski said on radio he really didn't want AI two weeks ago, ergo, Comcast or Snider must have been behind this. Which at least makes him look better, but then it's kind of scary if corporate guys are really calling the shots.

MVP season is what I meant. It's fixed.

You could tell from Stefanski's quote in the press release that he didn't want him back. I think that's what the non-guaranteed contract was about as well. He wasn't going to get stuck with Iverson on the books and no outs.

Here's his quote: "In light of the recent injury to Lou Williams, which will sideline him for close to eight weeks, we felt that Allen was the best available free agent guard to help us at this time."

It sounds almost like he's apologizing, or making an excuse for signing him. Which he really should be, IMO.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 3 at 2:29

What will Iverson do for us? We have scored over 100 in four out of the past 6 games yet have lost every one? That's shorthanded maybe our two best scorers as well. We are playing well offensively right now, but not because of the "Princeton" offense. It's just guys making plays in transition and making tough shots that this team will not make consistently. The fact that we need to shoot the shit out of the basketball to even stay in a game tells me how bad Jordan is.

B-Money, there isn't a single grade I'd change on your report card. I argued the same thing about Jrue's defense, but I didn't have the stats to back it up. After seeing the actual stats, he did even better than I thought.

And this sums it up for me:

"It's a ludicrous system that reacts to every pick and every dribble drive with an endless stream of rotations that cannot possibly be sustained through more than one or two passes."

Besides small ball and the playing the retarded cock-sucker (literally) 41 minutes, this is the main reason the defense sucks. The complicated system they use to rotate and switch is ridiculous. You have 4, count 'em, 4 above average defenders in Jrue, Andre, Brand and Sam. Why can't you play a basic man-to-man? Let Jrue handle the PG penetration. No one leaves their man... ever. And every time a shot goes up, you don't crash the boards, but box out your man instead. There aren't 5 teams in the NBA who would be better defensively or on the glass. Plus, it fuels the transition game - the team's biggest strength. It seems simple right? So how come a 21 year-old college student who's never played a lick of organized basketball in his life get it? But a dude who's been playing and coaching basketball his whole life, and getting paid millions of dollars to do so can't 'effin figure out why his team is getting slaughtered every night?

No Eddie, it has nothing to do with your douchey dog analogy, nor is it because you're not playing Willie Green enough. It's because you are an awful fucking coach and deserve to have a new adjective created just for you. Something along the lines of, "Biggest piece of shit on planet earth wrapped up in Rosie O'Donnell's vagina."

agreed. 100%. Eddie-Fence Face is a fucking joke. Is there anyway we might be able to get one of the bloggers to interview Jordan? Maybe get you all in on the Conference Calls? Something to let the fans voice be heard, to let the organization know just who we hold responsible?

I don't know, but just something!

Not going to happen, especially with everyone bashing EJ on Twitter. The Sixers PR guy follows all of us. He knows we'd own both Eds on a conference call, to the point where the internets would get ahold of the audio and they'd really be the laughing stock of the league.

Yeah, you are probably right. Still, maybe we could push it to getting access?

I wish they would just step up and take one on the chin. Hell, even Billy King was not afraid to pull the trigger on his coaching mistakes. He fired O'Brien after 1 year, Ayers after half the year. Stefanski needs to face the facts, man up and put one in the back of the head of EJ's Sixers tenure.

Things that killed me:

How do you play a lineup featuring no one over 6-8 and go zone for prolonged stretches against a team that was already draining 3's?

Some of Durant's streak from deep came over the zone, with people like Ivey or Green trying to "rotate" to him spotting up in the corner. Durant has not been that open on spot-ups probably ever!

His defense is so horrible that an offensive performance that would have resulted in a monster blowout 2 years back is now a loss. In 2007-08, this team had 4 victories by 30 points or more, none of which actually had an offensive performance close to this one.

Your rotation chart was killer: At no point were Sammy & Brand on the floor at the same time, even though Brand vs. Green was a easy mismatch that could take out one of their best. Similarly, Thad should've been paying rent in the mid-post area, with orders to drive, drive, drive on Durant. That's just simple offensive strategy, like Andy Reid neglecting the run game.

Bottom line, we need to start turning up the pressure on the press, By any means necessary. Call the Eddies out somehow, demand they actually answer for this farce. This is an embarrassment.

In all honesty, if not for the Nets, I would believe that if things go on the way it has the past 19 games we'd be the worst team in the league, no doubt. If AI plays every game we might eke out enough wins to be 7-8 worst.

Given their issues, I don't think AI can stop the slide. A good question might be how long of a losing streak gets EJ canned? How deep into double digits... Winless month?

You know what's interesting? Dec seems to be the Sixers Splash month.

Dec 06 - Trade AI

Dec 07 - Fire King

Dec 08 - Fire Mo

Dec 09 - Resign AI

If the pattern holds, Ed is gone by next X-mas. Hope that doesn't mean EJ sticks around 2 more years though.

Wasn't the Korver trade in December too?

You're right. That was in Dec, because he was there by the time of the Ice Capades trip. Good memory.

They might have a second big thing in them this year. Better not be a trade for any youngin!

Alvin reply to rswknight on Dec 3 at 4:35

Dec '09 - Fire EJ

If we can gather 1 million (well one hundred seems a more realistic target) Sixers fans to wish for EJ's firing this Christmas, it may well happen.

It's not like a really believe in miracles, but boy does this team need one.

Does it ever... This is so criminally wrong

I think they will get much better on offense. They still make a bunch of bonehead plays. However, you are absolutely correct, that will mean nothing unless this team can play defense.
I think what is most depressing is - it doesn't matter that AI is going to stunt the growth of this team. EJ is still going to be the coach and this team will just get worse and worse. The only hope this team has is to fire him. I can't wait for that day to happen. This guy doesn't belong coaching in the NBA.

bebopdeluxe on Dec 3 at 8:27

As I said in another thread here, I am hoping that AI comes in here...sees how much of a JOKE Jordan is...starts saying the things that other players probably think about the guy...AI tries to right the ship, but it is a lost cause...the season ends on an ugly note (for MANY more reasons than AI), and Comcast/Snider finally get "Dumb and Dumber Part 2" out of here.

What is sad is this roster has as much talent on it as it has had in YEARS, but we don't have a coach.


deepsixersuede on Dec 3 at 8:27

Watching Jrue close down the lane and Elton enforcing his no layups policy,spurring Sam and Jason to do the same, it is really depressing to me.We finally are getting glimpses of a healthy Elton, though Collison abused him tonight, but if he and Sam were both out there? Oue 3pt. shooting IS better and we have the right guys, L.Will. and Spieghts and Kapono to infuse a great defensive starting lineup with the necessary spurts of offense and I am starting to believe we could of been a contender next year with a] our defensive foundation in place b]Boston!s decline due to age c]Clevelands disarray ; but none of this can happen now, thanks E.S. !!!!!

Hopefully Jrue remains as the starting point. Appears that coach has given Willie the minutes that AI will play when he appears on Monday night. Willie will probably be used in place of Jrue and for AI when he needs a rest. I expect AI to play 34-38 minutes a game. Again, coach left Elton in too long into the 4th and brought Sammy in too late(3 plus minutes remaining). Coach just loves his ball movement on offense which he believes is better when 4 wings are on the floor together. I'm sure he emphasizes defense verbally but doesn't put the appropriate combinations on the floor to accomplish the task. Also, eventually, he may realize that a running game begins with good defense and rebounding of the ball. If not, we won't win and yes, I agree, the Ed & Eddie won't last past next december. Gotta chill and try to enjoy the AI show(on and off the court) for the time being. Should be entertaining.

Dutch reply to sfw on Dec 3 at 10:13

I'm really curious what people think regarding the best possible starting lineup for this team. I see two reasonable options...

Holiday, Iverson, Iguodala, Brand, Dalembert

Iguodala, Iverson, Young, Brand, Dalembert

There are other options, of course, but I don't think any of them make as much sense as one of these two.

Frankly, there's a pretty good chance freakhead will start his boy Billy Green... would anyone here be surprised if that happened? lol

sfw reply to Dutch on Dec 3 at 10:43

Dutch, my money's on Jrue, AI, Iggy, Thad & Sammy. At least until Speights is back. I think he has to start Jrue to show that he has some interest in player development which will satisfy his boss. I bet when Jrue has a bad game, willie will be taking those minutes.

JohnMagee reply to sfw on Dec 3 at 10:45

My money is on AI, WG, Iguodala, Thad, Dalembert.

That seems like the most ridiculous poor defending volume shooting starting line up - it starts two bench players and two guys out of position. Sounds about right for Mr Jordan

Dutch reply to JohnMagee on Dec 3 at 10:58

SFW and John:

The common thread in both your responses is the absence of Elton Brand. And, from what we've seen, I have to think there's a very good chance that Eddie Jordan's plans will leave him on the outside looking in.

Personally, I like Holiday, Iverson, Iguodala, Brand, and Dalembert with Thad as the sixth man. That's a great defensive starting lineup and Thad comes in to provide a nice scoring punch. I'm sure EJ doesn't see it that way, however.

JohnMagee reply to Dutch on Dec 3 at 11:08

Let's be clear, I prefer Brand starting, I prefer Holiday starting, that's my preference

Holiday, Iverson, Iguodala, Brand, Dalembert, that's the starting 5 I prefer.

The starting 5 i listed is what i expect eddie jordan would go with :)

Dutch reply to JohnMagee on Dec 3 at 13:23

Cool... I'm with you... and I'm sure EJ's completely against us, which is depressing to say the least.

Should we call it the "Princeton Defense?" Probably unfair to the school, but it is a complex set of switches and reads utilizing an undersized and over-matched squad... Sort of like the Princeton Offence, the Princeton defense yields excellent offensive efficiency and helps mask weaknesses of the offense.

I though the defense was bad simply because they were going small and packing it in (instead of being aggressive like they did under Mo.) But I guess thanks for explaining how bad this defense is on many levels.

Statman on Dec 3 at 11:20

Brian, this point doesn't detract from your overall analysis of poor Sixers defense, but I think you're being way too harsh on Iguodala for his defense in this game. Durant went 10-21 but 5-7 from 3, so he was 5-14 from inside the line. One of the 2-point shots was a dunk off a steal, another (his first basket of the game) was a lay-up that came when Iguodala was picked and no one came to help. So Durant beat Iguodala into the lane 3 other times, maybe 4-5 times if you count free throw trips. On the 3's, there might have been one where Durant was Iguodala's responsibility. In-between the baskets, there were several plays where Iguodala stopped penetration and forced tough shots. And if you go to the boxscore, Iguodala got 3 stops in a row in the 1st quarter on Durant (2 steals and a block).

My point is: considering that Durant's an excellent player, Iguodala did a credible job on him. (One could argue that Iguodala was more efficient offensively than Durant and "won" the individual battle.) I'd give Iguodala a B/B- for his defense in this game. The F would have been for the Phoenix game (where J.Richarson went off), and the Washington game (where he ignored N.Young) might have been a D.

Put another way: Jrue was good, but it helps that his man missed all his open jumpers. Holiday had about the same spacing in challenging Westbrook's jumpers as he had against Bibby in Atlanta, but one guy was hot and the other wasn't. I didn't think Holiday's defense was as bad as the boxscore looked against Bibby, nor was it as good as the boxscore looked against Westbrook. In the NBA, the difference between great defense (40%) and poor defense (50%) is 1 out of 10 shots, so a large part of the analysis has to do with how the opponent is playing.

Good points on Iguodala, I didn't track it that closely and the image of Durant burning him on that crossover was stuck in my mind.

I stand by my assessment of Jrue, because it's not just about points scored against, that's almost secondary when I'm looking at on-the-ball defense at the point. The thing I'm concerned with is keeping the ball out of the paint and Jrue did an exemplary job of that. Whether or not Westbrook hit those jumpers or not is beside the point. It's a good possession when he was forced to take them. Westbrook is a less than 30% shooter from outside 10 feet, and makes his living going to the hole.

Stat tiuches on a good point about Jrue. There are some areas he needs to adapt his game. One is underestimating the defenses athleticism or anticipation. But another is learning to really close out on top shooters. He needs to realize when he is guarding a guy who wants to shoot as opposed to drive. he is great at denying penetration- but needs to use his length to make jump shooters uncomfortable.

I also think Jrue needs to be more aggressive on offense. he needs to make the opposing PG work and worry about him. That would make Jrue's defense even better because it would break the focus of the opposing PG.

The good news is that these are easy fixes. i was worried about his offensive game, but he is way ahead of where I though he would be as a scorer and shooter. I thought he would be like Ivey, with no touch and be out of control. But right bow there is no other Sixer I'd rather have the ball in their hands. Not only does he look to create for the best or hottest hand on the floor, but he can finish in traffic.

But I hear Jordan may start AI and Green and bring Lou off the bench as the 6th man. Sounds like DNP-CDAD (coach's dumb-ass decision) will be in Jrue's future when Lou returns.

Where did you hear that?

Jrue made adjustments in the Atlanta game on Bibby, I'm not worried about how he's going to play guys who look for the jumper. His biggest defensive weakness right now, to me, is chasing guys when they're off the ball. Ironically, I think he's still better than most of the guys on the team at that right now. He seems to be the only who grasps responsibility for his man when another guy has the ball, he just needs to make sure he doesn't get caught on down screens, etc.

Tom Moore said EJ is planning on starting AI/Green or AI/Iguodala as guards. I assume that means Jrue will be further dropped down the depth chart when Lou returns.

Jesus. Did he give a reason?


Court_visioN on Dec 3 at 11:20

stefanski says he reads hoopshype everyday. If we can get some of these blog names onto hoopshype maybe he'll finally get the picture.

JohnMagee reply to Court_visioN on Dec 3 at 11:26

Stefanski knows the blogs that are out there, he's talked to many of the owners via conference call, and any smart organization has intern(s) reading the blogs just to get a pulse of the fans, but they shouldn't make their moves based on the fans either, horrible way to run an organization. If they think it's the right course they should stick with it, it's just hard to see how they could think that

This year reminds me of the Mad Max, Dan Barros Spoon teams.

AI = Vernon Maxwell. Explosive scorer past his prime trying to rehab his image
Barros = Green. Well Barros is better, but neither are starters for good teams, or part of the future
Spoon/Hornecek = Iguodala. Put up good numbers on bad teams. Solid players trying to play the lead role.
Sean Bradley = Sam. Long time Sixer vet who blocks shots, has no BB IQ and looks goofy
Orlando Woolridge = Brand. Older, high scoring PF coming off injury on his last legs.

Fred Carter = Eddie Jordan. Coaches who have never won anything... except I'd gladly take Carter over EJ..

Good comparison

As a I said before, I'd take Coach Carter over EJ in a minute. Don't care if that's Fred Carter or Sam Jackson right now

The Sixers have accrued quite a pantheon of failed coaches... but E.J. shows signs of being at the top... err bottom, of the class.

Statman reply to tk76 on Dec 3 at 14:17

Nothing like some references to the 92-96 Sixers! How about some more: Jason Smith = Eric Leckner, Rodney Carney = Tim Perry or Derrick Alston, Kapono = Jeff Malone, Willie Green = Trevor Ruffin (a better match), Ivey = Jeff Grayer, Thad = Richard Dumas, Iguodala = Stackhouse (a better version, but same style). No real equivalents for Lou or Jrue. I just want to know which current Sixer is going to pull a Willie Burton and throw in a random 53-point game!

"Thad = Richard Dumas, Iguodala = Stackhouse "

That is classic.

I could see that!

As far as the infamous Willie Burton, hmmm... Scrap heap wing who might get hot and have the green light. Maybe Green?

A player who has the talent and lack on concience to drop 50 on a hot night?

Maybe AI or Lou?

They may have 6 players who can drop 20 on any given night, but 50? Don't think we'll see 40.

Not with the balance of offense on the team. AI could do it, if he gets hot from 3. Lou the same.

I think that going to online schools for an online phd degree quickly going to become the most popular way of getting an education.

Various people in all countries take the home loans from various banks, just because that's easy.

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