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The People vs. Eddie Jordan

brian, nothing to add. Brilliant analysis. Tonight could be the night to break the streak. we'll see...

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deepsixersuede on Dec 14 at 8:10
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Brian, well done, it seems you got all your frustration out with this article; E.J. had me fooled over the summer with his hands on approach and saying the right things but E.S., due to past history, had to know what he was getting, the "anti-coach " for this roster. There seems to be a growing trend of the G.M. coaching the team if his candidate fails. Management should put E.S. on the sideline and let him find his future coach, if he is here, by seeing firsthand how , McKie for example,handles himself during games and practices.

Honestly, if they got rid of Jordan I wouldn't want Stefanski or DiLeo on the bench. They have more important things to do with their time. Give McKie a shot.

Great analysis Brian. Why was Jordan chosen anyway? Surely he wasn't the only candidate who'd take the job. Was it a question of money or control of the team?

In an interview, I heard Eddie Jordan list his strengths as being able to develop young players. What have Thad and Speights and Jrue learned from him?

Thad, Speights and Jrue have learned defense isn't a priority.

If I had to guess I'd say he was hired (a) because Wash. is paying most of his salary this year and next year, (b) because he's buddies with Ed Stefanski and (c) he did a good job essentially lying to Stefanski in the infamous (chalk talk) session they had over the summer. Your guess is as good as mine as to which of those factors made the biggest difference.

Jordan's response: "The Defense Rests"
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...so AI can conserve energy.
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...there's always his match-up zone.

It's a thing of beauty. Zones = less open threes and better defensive rebounding :) Bizarro coach.

My lord, Brian... how you continue to top yourself, I just don't know. This is simply outstanding.

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johnrosz on Dec 14 at 9:52
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Am i the only one who is sick of the mediocrity? if we keep EJ for the season and tough it out, we've got a realistic chance at John Wall. Whether he is the next coming or not, isn't it worth taking a chance? A year of suffering for a potential franchise player?I think so. Why bring Dileo back just to get the 8th seed and get smoked in the first round.

Does it bother you at all to apply the logic "we should keep this guy around because he gives us the best possible chance to lose the most games possible?" It bothers me.

But if that's the route the team wants to take, playing Iguodala 40+ minutes a night isn't really the best way to do it, all it's doing is taking miles off his odometer, not to the other horrible things Jordan could do to the development and psyche of the players who will be left on the roster.

If you really want to tank, I'd still prefer a different coach to come in with the mandate that he's going to play Iguodala at the 2, Thad at the 3, he's going to manage Iguodala's minutes (less than 35 per game), he's going to stop playing Willie Green and he's going to get Jrue as many meaningful minutes as he can handle.

I refuse to believe the only way this team can really get better is to stick with a horrible coach, especially one who's drilling into these young guys' heads that defending is optional.

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johnrosz reply to Brian on Dec 14 at 20:23
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believe me it bothers me to no end, I cannot stand Jordan. I am sort of on the fence about the whole situation. I would love to tank under a different coach as well, but as we've seen in the past, they'll at least TRY to play D under a Dileo type, and they have been able to sneak up on good teams in the past with their effort and up tempo style. So while EJ is dreadful, he may be our best choice. The only part that has me hung up is that EJ may be detrimental to the development of the young guys, I don't want him anywhere near Speights, he will cripple Mo's game and make him one dimensional. And as you've mentioned before, there doesn't seem to be any regard/reward for a young guy d'ing up

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6mauro4 on Dec 14 at 9:55
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In this article i see all your sixers love. Great article from a great fan .... depressed. So far i have saw 3 or 4 games and all my sansations are confirmed here. You are my lighthouse for understand wath's going on in the team. Tankyou.

Wait, "harmony and effort" doesn't motivate a player after he kills them in the paper? Ah, I wish there was a grade worse than F for some of these categories.

He gets an A for douchiest catch phrases.

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JohnMagee reply to Brian on Dec 14 at 12:13
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Not to mention his ability to judge what will and won't damage the psyche of a rookie

Brian, great work. The Sixers should hire you as a consultant, the way the Red Sox do with Bill James.

What is the defensive efficiency rating comparison between big and small lineups? I would think, based on the analysis, that it should be much worse with the small lineups. However, the staggering 3P % allowed with the big lineup might reduce the discrepancy somewhat.

One other aspect is that the team wants to run more, and the Jordan mindset (always thinking offense) is to put more players on the floor to run the break. But fastbreaking is (generally) only possible after defensive stops. The fact that the small lineup actually has a lower offensive efficiency rating than the big lineup indicates that they aren't getting out on the break enough to offset the lower halfcourt efficiency.

One final thought: the halfcourt offense may look better with the small lineups, because you'd have slightly better jump shooters taking jump shots (Thad and Brand, for example, rather than Brand and Dalembert) as well as more dribble penetration (the one big advantage for the small lineup is a greater pct. of free throws), but all of that is offset by the extra possessions from the higher offensive rebound rate of the big lineup. I'm surprised that the 2-pt jump shot pct. is higher with the big lineup, but that may be because the big lineup has to work more to get its jump shots (ball goes into the post and back out), so the jump shots that the big lineup gets turn out to be better ones (rather than the "first open jumper"). It'd be interesting to see a comparison of "seconds left in shot clock," big lineup vs. small -- I'm sure it would be higher for the small lineup. [To be fair, when the Sixers are playing catch-up in the 4th, the small lineup is almost always in, and they almost always try to shoot quickly.]


I don't have the spreadsheets I used for the research in front of me, but the defensive efficiency ratings are skewed the other way. Much worse with the big lineups, thanks to the three-point percentages.

The thing that I found interesting about the offensive splits was the better three-point shooting w/ the big lineup. I mean, typically Thad is the only shooter on the floor with that lineup, Kapono rarely plays in big lineups.

It'd be too much work to figure out time left in the shot clock using the data I have, but a couple more interesting questions did come up for me. I want to see Iguodala's percentages on jumpers in big vs. small lineups. I have a feeling they may be better in big lineups, when he has shooting guards on him. Cleaner looks (catch & shoot) + smaller defenders on him, so smaller threat of the shot being blocked.

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Statman reply to Brian on Dec 14 at 13:08
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I certainly wasn't expecting the shot clock analysis - that's above and beyond the call of duty. 8-) I just thought it would be interesting to know.

So the defensive efficiency ratings point to a big problem with the big lineup: how do they defend the 3-point shot (or on a more basic level, the pick-and-roll)? Dalembert is an excellent one-on-one defender in the post, but his big deficiency on defense is handling P/R situations. Problems with the P/R eventually start the rotation ball rolling. Meanwhile, if Thad is at the 4 in a small lineup, the guy he is leaving open is less likely to be a 3-point threat (Matt Bonner aside). I wonder if the Sixers could try doing what the Celtics have done, which is "blitz" the P/R (double-team the guy with the ball). It's not an easy solution, in any case.

Iguodala is an interesting case. I'd prefer him guarded by a SF, because he's more likely to drive (and thus is more dangerous). However, it's possible that his looks at SG are better. He's certainly performed much better at SG than SF this year (opposite to what happened last year).

Yeah, I think the issue may be that he's taking the same type of shots regardless of the position he's playing on the floor, they're just better shots when he's taking them against shooting guards, or the shots are a higher percentage when he's playing the two and teams are forced to pay extra attention to Brand/Speights at the four.

I can't get a strict SG vs. SF split for Iguodala using the data I have, unfortunately. Only if it was a big/small lineup. Basically I have all the play-by-play data, with the full five-man units on the floor, but they don't separate by position, so I assigned a numeric value to each player, 1 for a big, 0 for a small. Then I add up the value of the unit and 0 or 1 = small lineup. 2 = big lineup. Spent waaaaaaaaaay too much time on these spreadsheets this weekend.

very, very well done again........I still can't believe they installed this defense with so many good one on one defenders and two protectors around the rim who don't need doubleteam help on defense...ugh...now, I heard Randy Ayers installed the system....did he implement Jordan's or was any of his own device?

Great work again.....

Ayers was his guy in WASH too, I believe, and everything I've read about them is that they suffered the same problems.

Brian, brilliant anaylsis as usual. I'm hoping that as the losing streak gets into the teens, pieces such as this can filter up in the mainstream media as the truthful indictments they are. Perhaps we could send a link or two to certain responsive media folk, who might be willing to elaborate on their ideas.

BTW, have you or Derek ever considered getting one of the beat writers on your show? Maybe Fagan or Tom Moore or Martin Frank? They should be sympathetic to your opinion and you might be able to spark a full column on this issue. Especially if you can get Fagan, with her circulation in the Inky.

Just a thought, brilliant work.

Yeah, we'd definitely love to get any one of the beat writers on. We want to iron out the kinks before we reach out to any traditional media people, though.

Hi, Brian.

1. Very helpful info overall on the 76ers' current plight. Kudos to you. :-)

2. During the 6 W's that the Sixers have, thus far, what's the percentage breakdown between their use of what you're calling their "big" vs their "small" line-ups?

3. When "crunch time" has arrived in the 4th quarter of those 6 W's ... What sort of line-up has been on the floor for Philly most frequently? [i.e big or small, with "crunch time" defined as the last sequence od possessions during which the opponent made a serious run at taking/keeping the lead]

Thanks, in advance.

Btw ...

Additional info for you to consider.

Pardon me if I'm placing this in the incorrect place, but does anybody here know exactly where you can locate a phone interface for a spectrometer? I've been surfing, but have only found one company up to now. Thanks in advance!


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