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A Dozen It Is!

You bring up alot of points and as usual your analysis is spot on. But I'd like to point out a few things:

-Over the past 5 games, Thad's averaged "7" boards a game
Link:http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3244

He averages 4.9 for the season, I've argued to fans before that most SF'S, sans Wallace average 5-7 boards a game. So to me, Young's pretty good from the rebounding area.


As for Iverson, he had a strong 4th quarter but otherwise I don't like his chucking shots and missing them. Between Green and Iverson, we're getting putrid offensive production between those two guys.

As for why Iggy's underappreciated, it may be this: The shooting guard position is important, it's fundamental. Iggy isn't a 2 guard. He takes bad shots, his handles are just about average.

We're basically talking, in reality a 3rd scorer on your team being paid like he's Danny Granger. Sadly, he's not. Even Granger can(and did I believe) play 2 for a time in Indiana.

So yeah, great game tonight. Just don't expect it happening again. Or at least not the next game.

Not to pay attention to one prospect alone, but Cole Aldrich might be a guy to pair next to M-16 in the future.

1st, Thad has not been a good rebounder this season except for these last 5 games. He is not in the top 20 in rebound rate, offensive rebound rate or defensive rebound rate.

He doesn't consistently block out often enough, or attack the ball.

2nd, your opinion on Iguodala is misguided. Granger can score more, but Iguodala is better in every other category, including shooting percentage.

If you were to compare Dre to Roy, you'd be surprised to know that Dre is shooting better than Roy right now from the arc, in addition to beating him in other metrics like assists, rebounds, steals & blocks.

People don't appreciate Iguodala because he is not likely to drop "pretty" numbers of points. Its like home-run hitters in baseball, casual fans don't appreciate the all-around talents as much as they do the guys who hit the ball a ton.

Actually, you have to go a bit further then these past 5 games. Thad's been hitting the boards the past 7-8 games.

It's not these "past 3 games" for Sam Dalembert either, try the last month. When a team like this sucks, you look for improvement, Sam's been playing his ass off.

Actually, it goes to show how disgraceful the 2 guard position has become in the NBA

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=nbascoring&league=nba&split=0&sort=pts&avg=pg&qual=true&season=2010&seasontype=2&pos=sg

Look at that sad 3PT FG percentage. Is it THAT hard to shoot?

If you want to stretch it to 7-8 games, then you are including the fact that Thad, against ATL & SAS, had a combined 5 boards in a combined 85 minutes on the floor. Not a good performance.

Regarding the 2-guard, shooting from that spot has not always been a prerequisite. There have been more than one type of mold for that spot.

One is the Ray Allen/Reggie Miller sort, who are dead-eye snipers and whose contributions start with their threat from deep and build from there. Other examples include Hersey Hawkins, Hornacek, Joe Johnson, Gilbert Arenas, Byron Scott, Rip Hamilton etc.

Another is the athletic slasher type, who tend to be streaky shooters(especially when they are younger) but the bulk of their offense is built on their ability to drive the ball and create for themselves and others. Drexler, Jordan, Iverson, Kobe, Wade, Roy, Ellis, Ginobili & IGUODALA fit in this mold.

Dre is an athletic slasher who creates for himself and others and can occasionally heat it up from the outside. If you complement him with two shooters(Thad is becoming one quickly and Jrue could be the other), his inability to supremely proficient from deep is not a major issue, compared with what else he gives you.

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Statman reply to LG on Dec 12 at 15:47
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The "Iguodala isn't a shooting guard" argument doesn't hold water for me, because there are other aspects to the game than shooting. His by-position rankings among all NBA shooting guards: 6th in scoring, 1st in rebounds, 2nd in assists, 3rd in steals, 5th in blocks. He's doing that while defending his position very well (other than the occasional poor game). If you take a look at this link at 82games.com, http://www.82games.com/0910/0910PHI5.HTM, you'll see that SG is the ONLY position where the Sixers are outperforming their counterparts in PER (by a lot, too, +4.4) -- all because of Iguodala.

Now, if you want to say Iguodala is better-suited to SF, I wouldn't disagree. Iguodala has been playing out of position to accomodate Thad. Unfortunately, because of Thad's poor defense and rebounding, SF has gone from the Sixers' strongest position (+4.9 PER last year) to one of their worst (-2.7 PER this year).

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JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 16:02
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The "Iguodala isn't a shooting guard" argument doesn't hold water for me, because there are other aspects to the game than shooting

It's never really held water for me, but this argument goes deeper, it goes to why the rest of the league and nation of uninformed basketball folk think Iguodala isn't as good as he is because he doesn't have that high PPG average, he's just an all around very good player as opposed to guys who are great at one thing and average or worse at others, but that one thing makes them a 'star' (for instance, what the hell can ben wallace do besides rebound?)

I don't feel Iguodala is out of position at the 2, or the 3, or even the 1, I think he has the all around game and ability to play any of the 3 at an all around (not just points) above average ability - and I think he's woefully under appreciated by the larger fan base and the rest of the NBA fan community

Stats are empty, give me a guy that can shoot. Never mind score, shoot. Take a look at the Champion Pistons. Billups-Rip-Prince-Sheed-Wallace. Those 4 guys can shoot from the outside and take it inside.

By comparison: Lou-Iggy-Thad-Brand-Daly. An inside focus with little to no out-side game.

I want a shooter in the lineup. Is that too much to ask? **weeps and cries**

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JohnMagee reply to LG on Dec 12 at 16:34
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It's too much to ask Iguodala to be something he never has been never will be and doesn't have the ability to.

This is what bugs me, people can't accept all that Iguodala does cause he's not what they 'want' him to be...he's an all around very good player who has never led his team in scoring I think until last year, so why ask him to be something he isn't when he's very good at what he is?

So, Thad is shooting 40%+ from deep, you replace Lou with Jrue(who has a better deep stroke) and Brand is eventually replaced by Speights, who is a lights-out perimeter shooter with potential three-point range.

If those things happen and Jrue & Speights both develop a proficient deep shot, Dre's shot becomes a non-argument

Jrue has a LOT of work to go before he's a consistent shooter. A lot. I think he can get there, but I expect it to be a slower progression than Thad. People forget Thad had a 40% stroke in college his only year (which was his first playing on the perimeter).

You're probably right, I was mostly going off of what I've seen of his form thus far in the pros. His mechanics are solid, and with his anecdotally good work ethic, I see no obvious reasons to prevent his becoming a good shooter.

Lou, for instance, actually had to rebuild his shot from the foundation up.

You're talking about 9 made three's (in 28 attempts). All 9 of those makes happened in 4 games. Way too small of a sample size.

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Statman reply to LG on Dec 12 at 19:40
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Stats are empty, give me a guy that can shoot.

Well, to use your technique of looking at the last 5 games, Iguodala is shooting 50% from 2, 41% from 3, 84$ from the line, and averaging 24.6 ppg. Is that good enough for you?

Great thoughts as usual Brian. A couple of things that I saw last night:

Iverson took himself out earlier in the game in what I'm thinking is an effort to kind of get him some rest and be fresh for shorter spurts. Jrue would be a perfect guy to put in for him to match with Iguodala and keep the defensive intensity (18-5) but instead EJ goes with Willie and later lets Jrue get Thad, who was a monster on the glass last night. It comes full circle when AI comes back for Willie. To sum this all up, it's as if EJ is saying, "I need at least one crappy defender on the floor at all times on the perimeter." That must be his explanation to Rodney Carney too.

I thought AI was better down the stretch, but he hurt us tonight. I love AI, but our offense has been worse these last 3 games. I don't know whether it's a large enough sample size or whatever, but I feel that if Lou is our PG that we win that game. His line is not so terrible actually (a product of our hot start and closing stretch for his +7), but he really struggles to get his own shot and Brooks made him take a few uglies. Maybe he's just not fresh and will improve, but the first couple of games weren't great.

Thad- 15 and 11 on 7-11 shooting. No need to play you in crunch time. Willie's got us from here. Honestly, Thad had a couple impressive and menacing defensive snares in the first half, and he doesn't close the game? Come on.

This last one is on the players. The starters were terrible again coming out of the halftime break, what's up with that? Finally, I can't say the loss wasn't somewhat unlucky. A few of the key shots Aaron Brooks were hitting were just plain lucky. That last one was a lot like the Rondo shot in Boston.

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JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 16:38
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The starters were terrible again coming out of the halftime break, what's up with that?,

Not sure why this is on the players as it happens almost every game.

Halftime is about looking at the first half and adjusting, one coach seems to do it in every game whereas one coach doesn't...

The fact taht the sixers WORST quarter margin wise this year is the third quarter is on the coach in my opinion, he's not adjusting, he's not seeing that the other team will adjust and then pre empting their adjustments.

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Rich reply to JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 18:00
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No doubt it's still on Jordan, but the players have to take pride at some point and not have a let-down in the third quarter. I hate EJ as much as anyone, but last night was a let-down in effort on the offensive end. 28-13 in the 3rd quarter is not all on Jordan. He didn't help with the rotations, but the players have to be held accountable for going so cold.

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Rich reply to Rich on Dec 12 at 18:05
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A let-down in effort in general and stagnation offensively is what I mean. Why aren't we getting the good shots we were getting early. There's not enough ball movement which Jordan doesn't want. Jordan's defense and rotations are stupid, but the effort shouldn't be coached.

That would point to half-time adjustments being made by the defense that might take away from the easy stuff, and Jordan not providing a counter.

An easy example would be to look at the Denver game, where Denver made an adjustment to remove Iguodala from the game and Jordan provided no counter to allow his best player with a hot hand better opportunities.

I'm in the middle of a monster post that will address this.

Looking forward to it

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Duracorr on Dec 12 at 17:29
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I missed the discussion last night about whether or not it is the fault of the coach or the players. On that subject I feel compelled to share my opinion and add some data. In the last 20 years, NBA titles have been won by only 7 coaches. Jackson 10, Popovich 4 Daly 2 Tomjanovich 2 and Brown and Rivers 1 each. I suggest that this argues that having a "Hall of Fame" quality coach is as important as having a "superstar". From that, I suggest that recycling experienced, mediocre coaches is an exercise in futility. If a coach does not produce after a year or two with a decent, team, give a new guy a chance. The Sixers question should be "Who is the next Jackson, Riley or Popovich. (The coach statistics hold if you go back further and include all of Riley's titles and look at Auerbach.) In all 47 titles have been won by the 12 coaches with multiple titles and only 16 by coaches who have won just one time. Forget about the hundreds of other s who have coaced and not even one one title. Fire Eddie Jordan and give a new candidate a chance - someone who has never been a head coach.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NBA_championship_head_coaches#Coaches_who_won_a_NBA_Championship_.2828.29

Very good research and very true. More importantly, the only guy on that list of recent championship winners who could possibly qualify as a "retread" would be Rivers, who was a former Coach of the Year before getting the Boston job.

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JohnMagee reply to Duracorr on Dec 12 at 17:43
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Or on the other side, maybe these 'hall of fame' coaches just happened to have the best rosters.

Which one of those teams wasn't the team that you'd expect to win the title with the roster, regardless of who was the coach?

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Duracorr reply to JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 18:00
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Good point, but I raise the issue only because many people are hung up on the idea that we must have a superstar. That may be true, but several teams have or have had superstars and not won a championship. An example close to home. In 2001, the Sixers went to the finals and before that season, who would have thought that roster would get that far. Similarly, Remember Dallas a few years back when they had a great roster and ended up losing in the first round to an 8th seed team with a probable hall of fame coach? Everyone says this is a players league, but I think coaching is underated. This current Sixer team is at least a 500 team with the right coach. I can't believe it is the roster changes that took this team from being a top 10 defensive team to a bottom ten defensive team.

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JohnMagee reply to Duracorr on Dec 12 at 18:16
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yes - the 2001 sixers went to the fiinals with a superstar - guess what - the lakers had 2, and were a better team than the sixers (plus they had a better coach in my opinion)

Phil Jackson has lots of titles but when he wins them he tends to have the best team (and player) in the league...doc rivers took it to jackson - was it because doc was better or cause the celtics just had the better roster...it's simplistic to just say 'oh look at how few coaches' - all those teams had stars, maybe more than one...the pistons were probably the least 'star filled' team to win a title and lots of people point to them as proof you don't need s star, but they were a very unique team, and to me an exception to the rule more than anything else.

The sixers only have 4 or 5 (depending on how you see brand) who even have the potential at this point to see seroius minutes on a championship caliber team in my opinion. You could get john wooden and adolph rupp to co-coach this roster and they'd still be at best a low seed first round loss.

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Rich reply to JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 21:43
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I think that it's more of a give-and-take relationship. You need a superstar to win in this league and the only real exception was the 2004 Pistons. Still, the coach plays an important part while fundamentally just establishing a good relationship with his superstars. If this aspect of trust is not there, the team will lose. From an X's and O's standpoint, you don't have to be an offensive genius, the superstar(s) should hold up that end of the bargain. Still, the team has to like you and your team has to defend. Brown and Iverson fit this mold perfectly in 2001 but they didn't win the title.

"Which one of those teams wasn't the team that you'd expect to win the title with the roster, regardless of who was the coach?"

By that logic, what changed with the Spurs from the middle years of their dynasties? Wouldn't you expect them to win every year after their titles with the same team? For example, they lost to the Lakers in '04 and the Mavs in '06 when I thought they would win both series, but the other teams had stars and good relationships with their coaches and they beat them. I don't think those teams were any of the clear-cut favorites, but a part of a small top-tier that could win a championship. Nobody thought the Heat would win in '06 going into the playoffs, but the Pistons hated the way Flip Saunders was coaching the team and they didn't defend as well as Miami. Riley didn't run the showtime offense, but he got his guys to defend and gave D Wade the ball.

Doc is another great example. He's no genius, but his guys like him and play hard for him. All that Ubuntu crap worked for them and Thibodeau (who should be the Head Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers) got them to defend. The two teams in that Finals were fairly equal in talent and starpower but Doc simply got them to defend better. So it's a two-way street when it comes to winning a championship.

5-18....At what point do you think Eddie Jordan will be fired Brian ? I mean the next 10 games I see the sixers going 2-8. That would put them at 7-26. Has there ever been a coach in the history of the league that didnt have a rebuilding team that kept his job with such a ridiculously poor start ? Unless the strategy is to lose as many as possible so they can get a good draft pick. If thats the case than Eddie Jordan MUST stay because he certainly gives them the best chance of losing every night. In this regard, hes a top notch coach.

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JohnMagee reply to Gdog on Dec 12 at 18:39
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There's a lot of reasons to justify not firing Jordan.

As long as Iverson is on the roster, I don't see him being fired

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Duracorr reply to JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 18:50
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Help me understand. Why does having Allen Iverson on the roster prevent Jordan from being fired?

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JohnMagee reply to Duracorr on Dec 12 at 18:53
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In my opinion? It's only my opinion of course, and most people tend to disagree with me (like all those people who told me the sixers were going to be good this year).

Allen Iverson breaks offenses, you can't run an offense with Allen Iverson except the 'give him the ball and get out of his way' offense that only works on a team like the 2001 sixers (which is why I think adding him to this roster was a basketball mistake). Thus the sixers can't run the Princeton offense (Jordan's offense if you will) with Iverson on the roster, which provides him some 'cover' for wins or losses...he can point to Iverson and say I couldn't run my team my way because Iverson breaks it. Also throw in some major injuries and 'new' players like Brand and Smith (mostly gone last year) to integreate into the offense as well.

I think there are a few reasons why Jordan lasts until next year, and I think Iverson just gives him more ropoe before he gets fired.

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Gdog reply to JohnMagee on Dec 12 at 20:05
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Interesting John. I dont agree with your logic but it is an interesting take. Before Iverson got here, before the injuries...the team sucked. This was a 500 team that took two games from the Magic in the playoffs last year with an arguably worse roster.(no brand, no jason smith and a lesser experienced Speights and Thad). If Eddie stays for the whole year this will be the worst team the Sixers have out on the court in 30 years. I honestly cant see them winning 20 games.

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JohnMagee reply to Gdog on Dec 13 at 11:44
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But before teh injuries, before the Iverson, you have the still learning the systemand the new players excuse...how bad were the wiz in jordans first season compared to his second.

Turner and Thibodeax may be that guy but will crowds come out to watch a team win with defense and perhaps ugly play?

If they win titles,yes, just ask the spurs.

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johnrosz on Dec 12 at 20:51
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Great point about Thad not being on the floor in the guts of the game. EJ has been getting on Thad since the preseason about hitting the glass harder, so the reward for grabbing 11 (granted, against a team with a 6 6 center) is that you don't play in crunch time?

Everything EJ does seems to make us scratch our heads. I do enjoy his press conferences though, favorite quote so far "Hey, were losing games...but we're not losers!"

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Court_visioN on Dec 12 at 23:33
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random thought. the magic could use an elton brand type. The sixers could use a marcin gortat. how do we make those salaries work and would either team really look into this deal?

Highly, highly unlikely. In fact, I'll say zero % chance.

For the salaries to match up, Orlando would have to package Gortat with Lewis, Howard or Carter. Short of those guys, it would have to be a three for one with Pietrus and Jameer Nelson added to Gortat. No way.

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Dec 13 at 13:00
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If we get our usual 8 to 12 draft pick and nobody there fills a need maybe than a Gortat for the pick and matching salary works, though Orlando!s finish this year will affect that I!m sure.

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JohnMagee reply to deepsixersuede on Dec 13 at 13:29
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Sixers currently have the third worst record in the league

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deepsixersuede reply to JohnMagee on Dec 13 at 18:10
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John, I can!t help but think, in spite of Jordan, that we screw this up and start winning games.

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johnrosz on Dec 13 at 1:54
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Nobody is going to take Elton Brands contract. He is a serviceable power forward at this point, and would probably fit in nicely on a playoff team but the risk is way too high for any GM to even go near his contract.

You know, it amazes me, we love Iguodala and his putrid shooting percentages(I guess I can give him a pass, his fellow NBA players also can't shoot) But we absolutely piss on Elton Brand every chance we get!

"role-player"? He was single handedly one of the few who kept us in that Houston game.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=91

The numbers are getting consistent, he's hitting a groove. Assuming EFJ actually keeps him in(and assuming Sixers fans don't bite his head off first), we may see these averages round out to near his former levels.

Wanna go on a youth movement? Fine, but to do that, you need some veteran leadership. Elton Brand is the leader of this team. He's the guy we have to give 20+ shots to every night.

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Court_visioN reply to LG on Dec 13 at 4:33
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don't get me wrong man I love what Elton Brand brings to the table. but it is apparent that the Sixers will not be winning a championship - or even be a competitive team - during his tenure here. So I feel like the Sixers should move him for youth and/or expiring contracts. With Dalembert also probably on his way out Gortat can be a serviceable starting center with a relatively small contract and big potential. Pairing him with Speights could be a pretty good tandem down the road.

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deepsixersuede on Dec 13 at 8:35
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Good talk guys; We may actually be in a great position to improve this team because of the Ed!s, in their own backward way. Jordan!s system ,as stupid as it is, seems to improve a players offensive numbers,thereby possibly raising their trade value.Who on this team hasn!t become more attractive to other teams this year? Maybe Jason and Willie? And we should be getting a good draft pick so the main ingredient missing is the young coach to lead this group and a plan that puts the right puzzle pieces together, again this should happen soon because of the Ed!s.But as stated above, there are few quality coaches around and finding that guy is the tough part.Turner and Thibodeax may be that guy but will crowds come out to watch a team win with defense and perhaps ugly play? Most of us would but the casual fan? Maybe it is J. Van Gundy time, give him power and let him use these pieces and acquire the Mbe-Moute types needed to finish this defensive unit. A C.Alrich/Elton/ M.Moute/Iggy/Jrue starting five would be a Van Gundy wet dream, in my opinion.

If this team wins games...Im talking 50 games or more fans will come out whehter they do it with defense, offense or the mascots. If the team wins, fans will come out. Nobody gives a f*** about a team that scores 130 points every game and still loses. Just ask the Denver Nuggets from a few years back. People love offense...BUT..only if you WIN. People will come to see a WIN. How they get that win is secondary.

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deepsixersuede reply to Gdog on Dec 13 at 18:12
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I totally agree but if a none basketball guy fires the Ed!s [Louko ?] than can we have confidence in his decision?


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