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Shredded Expectations

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EruThePhenom on Dec 19 at 1:16
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I know people want brand to start but when he was starting he wasn't playing like these. I think coming from the bench is helping him and making our bench a lot better which without him would be one of the worst. Also by him and speights coming out of the bench it means less or no minutes to smith and brezec. Brian you should do a post about brand's numbers starting compare to coming of the bench.

Fucking great win man I was screaming, with Speights and L. will coming for me these is a very good team and could be the 4th or 5th best team in the East.

Disagree. He has had several games starting where he was producing. His shot may be off at times, but he almost always contributed on the glass and defensively.

Part of his offensive frustration has to do with the fact that he's getting the rock at the top of the key most of the time, like he's Paul Pierce.

What do we think about Jrue's tough start offensively to the first half? I think he will become a good shooter because his form is pretty good and his arc is good. He sometimes takes quick threes but I gotta say they are sagging off him like crazy so he's trying to keep the defense honest. He seems to need to hit a shot to get him going, but does it need to be a three? Maybe he can sneak free for a 15 footer on the baseline that he showed he could calmly sink in the 4th. I tracked his stats in the first and left the computer because I thought he was being jinxed because of it.

The big thing is that I was encouraged that the kid kept playing his tail off and finished with 7 dimes after a rough first half. That is very encouraging. One more thing: Kudos to Eddie Jordan for letting the kid to play through mistakes (Had to be said).

Finally, a good night to go to bed a 76ers fan.

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Kenneth on Dec 19 at 1:38
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It makes no sense to have Brand come off the bench. He struggled early in the season as a starter, because he was out of shape and coming back from a long-term injury.

Now that he is CLEARLY IN SHAPE, and performing well, there's no reason at all he shouldn't be starting. He's been a career 20 PT / 10 REB man and there's no reason he wouldn't be doing this in Philly.

Just look at the +/- numbers for Elton Brand the past 2 games. He's led the team in +/- numbers in BOTH games and clearly shows everyone, except the coach, that the team benefits when he's on the floor! No questions asked, he was the MVP of tonights game and at every point where the Sixer's were down, needed a stop, or a critical hoop, he was there to provide it.

He a critical block, critical tip-in, critical rebound down the stretch. The team needs his experience and I can only hope that coach sees what the rest of the world is seeing very clearly.

START ELTON BRAND!!!

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Kenneth on Dec 19 at 1:40
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And don't forget, Elton Brand did what he did today against the Celtics, one of the better defensive teams in the league.

He matched up against Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett, both excellent defenders and he held his own and more.

Elton Brand should be a starter -- he's clearly EARNED IT.

TRying to figure out just exactly how the team won this one... but I guess if you have good defenders and rebounders on the floor you don't have to be flawless to win. The Celtics missed a lot of shots, but the Sixers get credit for keeping them out of their flow.

I think Iguodala, Jrue and Green brough great defensive intensity. They did not lock down their men (I guess maybe Iguodala did) but they applied pressure, making passes and cuts difficult. Add to that the incredible activity in the paint of Brand and Speights and you actually have a big margin of error- even against a great team.

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sfw reply to tk76 on Dec 19 at 8:50
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agree. I thought it actually was a very ugly win. Which was GREAT! Thought it was very poorly officiated. Nice to see the Elton/Speights combo. The coach did a decent job coaching but how can you leave guys in for an entire half? They will rest on the court. The coach doesn't seem to get that. We got some bounces and came out on top. That's a good thing especially at Boston. I was at that ugly affair at home against the Celts. When the game ended 70% of the fans were celtic fans rooting for that stiff Scalaspagetti. Sucked! Nice for their fans to leave the arena with an unexpected loss.

Also back to believing Speights/Brand should be the starting frontcourt. They complement each other perfectly, and both are relentless on the offensive boards.

You're right. I actually am leaning toward thinking that Jrue/Dre/Thad/Speights/Brand should be the lineup going forward.

Brand can be the vocal defensive anchor we need.

Watching the game on replay, that really was a good call by Jordan with the match-up in the fourth. Rondo was fresh off a three point play and the next two possessions were a healthy three for Scalabrine (take that all day) and a contested three by House. After the TO he went back to man.

Off topic: trade of Thad and Elton for Randolph, Maggette, plus makes alot of sense from an Eddie Jordan system kind of way. Also, makes sense if you take out the financial considerations for the Warriors. They need a pf and sf in a bad way.

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2009/12/18/warrios-in-a-bind-do-they-know-what-to-do-with-anthony-randolph/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+kawakami-merc+(Talking+Points+with+Tim+Kawakami)

"Off topic: trade of Thad and Elton for Randolph, Maggette, plus makes alot of sense from an Eddie Jordan system kind of way. "


1000x no.

Derek, Why?

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Mike reply to sfw on Dec 19 at 11:08
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maggette is beyond awful. thad has a bright future, and brand is playing really well right now. randolph would be a nice piece but i wouldn't want to give up thad for him.

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JohnEMagee reply to sfw on Dec 19 at 11:43
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I think I might get to see tonights game, not all Clippers away games are shown on FSW but it was last night so i'm hoping tonights will be too...

is everyone still going to the game tonight? gonna be a real pain in the ass getting there. wish i still lived in philly.

I'm on the train on my way to Philly right now, so I'll be there. Sixers just said game is not cancelled. Is not postponed. Can't wait.

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Mike reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 11:04
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cool, hope i am able to make it as well

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Duracorr reply to Mike on Dec 19 at 12:26
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I live 40 miles away west on I76 and it's snowing like crazy. I'm probably not going to try it, but I'll wait until about 4:30 to make my decision.

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Dean Harner reply to Duracorr on Dec 19 at 12:49
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I live in NJ. Going to take the high speed line in w/ the subway. I am only about 10 miles from the speedline. Honestly, if it was not for all the work Brian put into this, I would stay home in my nice, warm house!

I live within walking distance of wacho (albeit a decent walk), so I'll be there.

Here's my in-person report from the game.

I was at the game with a fellow Sixer fan. We were in Row 17 of the lower bowl, near center court (great seats), on the opposite side of where the TV cameras were.

- First, a non-game note. You may have seen highlights of the guy who hit the halfcourt shot for $50K. This was with 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and evoked
the loudest cheer of the night (it was an ugly, ugly game until then). The funny thing about this guy was that he acted pretty confidently before the shot, and when he swished it, he acted as if he had expected to make it. I'd wager he's a pretty good shooter in pick-up ball at the local gym.

What you probably didn't see was that there was another guy who was given a 3-point shot in the 1st quarter (for something like $1000). This guy, an older (but not elderly) man, took the ugliest "contest" shot I've ever seen: he was trying to shoot a two-hand set shot but
wound up throwing a chest "pass" that never exceeded 6 feet in height and wound up 10 feet short of the basket. The crowd was stunned at first by how bad it was, and then they started booing him!

- Onto the game. Iguodala showed up a with wrap that went from his waist to the top of his ribs. This didn't exactly inspire confidence. During all the breaks, he seemed to be walking gingerly back and forth, and he had to get the wrap adjusted at least three times by the trainer.

- The Celtics came out and attacked Willie Green immediately with Ray Allen. Allen got off a ton off shots (6 or 7) right away, but to Green's credit, only one or two were open 3's (and I think only one was his fault). Allen missed 3 lay-ups early.

- The first quarter was ugly, but the Celtics are a good defensive team. Holiday threw up a bunch of bad shots early (and only took one good shot the whole game that I saw, an open baseline jumper in the 4th). He also struggled to keep Rondo in front of him, getting beaten into the lane a half-dozen times by my count. Rondo is one of the best penetrators in the league (much better than Mo Williams, for example), so I'll give Holiday a pass for that. Speaking of passing, that Was Holiday's strong point in this game. His best one was the bounce pass to Brand (against a fronting Garnett), leading to a 3-point play.

- The second quarter was even uglier than the first. The Sixers only stayed in it because they got to the line (13 FTs and no FGs over a 7-minute stretch). My friend hasn't seen too many Sixer games this year, so I was explaining how Eddie Jordan has trouble with substitutions. He immediately understood this as we watched Jordan trot out a lineup of Dalembert, Brand, Kapono, Green, and Ivey for a full 3 minutes of the 2nd. Thad didn't have a great game, but it's unbelievable that Kapono had a full 7-minute run in the 2nd at Thad's expense (Kapono's line: no shots, 1 rebound off a missed FT, 1 turnover, and another turnover that was at least half his fault). Kapono had his best game of the season against the Celts the first time around, but this was more typical. My friend's comment: statistics don't do justice to how bad Kapono is.

- Rasheed helped the Sixers out by getting tossed, obviously. It was a terrible time in the game (the Celts were up by 11 and the Sixers were listless), and Iguodala's two technical FTs were part of the 13 FTs that kept the Sixers in it. Watching the game on replay, I thought the two calls he was complaining about were marginal and certainly not worth going ballistic over. Boston's general take: Rasheed being Rasheed.

- The 3rd quarter run came suddenly, from 59-44 to 59-54, fueled by Green and Iguodala. Green showed some serious hops on his fastbreak dunk, and he put in some really nice baskets in the post in this game (over people like House). I've always thought that Green is more effective when playing closer to the basket. He's got pretty good body control and is strong enough to get his shot off under pressure. He also made some very nice passes in this game.

- The Celtics opened the 4th with a lineup of Tony Allen, Shelden Williams, Scalabrine, Rondo, and House. So Eddie Jordan was not the only one with substitution issues in this game. Not surprisingly, that lineup scored 8 points in the first 6 minutes of the 4th as the Sixers turned a 4-pt deficit into a 2-pt lead. I was joking with my friend that Eddie Jordan avoided his substitution struggles by not subbing in the 2nd half (Holiday, Green, and Iguodala played the whole half).

- Back to Iguodala. He started out horribly (the missed dunk, a ton of bricked jumpers), then hit two 3's out of nowhere in the 3rd. (Another Sixer fan sitting near us shouted "Noooooo!" before both of those attempts.) On the 2nd 3 (off a nice find by Jrue), Iguodala was definitely fouled by Garnett, no call. Then in the 4th, Iguodala scored three clutch baskets in a row after the 5-point play. But Iguodala's main contribution to this game was his defense of Pierce. Pierce went 4-12 for this game for 9 points, but Iguodala was even better than those numbers, because Pierce scored two of his baskets over other players (vs. Ivey at the end of the 1st, vs. Green at the end of the 2nd). So Pierce was 2-10 against Iguodala (AI9 lost him on one 3 and one penetration). Iguodala also forced Pierce into 3 turnovers after stopped penetrations, and Pierce passed up at least a half-dozen other shots because of heavy pressure from Iguodala. But Iguodala's best plays came at the end, first on the challenge of Pierce's dunk (after the bad pass by Jrue with 4:01 left) -- though he did whack Pierce in the face on the follow-through -- and second on the challenge of the last play, where Iguodala didn't go for the fake handoff and forced Pierce into a fall-away. Amazing defense, at least
as good as Holiday's on Mo Williams the other day.

- It was really interesting that Speights became the go-to guy in the halfcourt at the end. He has mixed success, but I can see what Jordan's thinking is. I wonder if that will continue. I thought Speights got the benefit of the doubt on the loose ball foul vs. Perkins with 0:29, but then the officials gave Garnett a serious makeup call on the other end with 0:23 (Garnett got another call like that earlier in the 4th). The Garnett call at 0:23 was so bad that even Tommy Heinsohn said it wasn't a foul (but of course he complained more loudly about the Speights call).

- Elton Brand, amazing game. He had great chemistry with both Holiday and Green and got off a bunch of jumpers in rhythm. Can't complain about 9-10 FT shooting either. And the final tip-in came after a textbook (offensive) box-out. If he plays like that every game (not a given of course), no one will complain.

- Finally, the last play. On replay, I noticed that the Sixers came out with Thad vs. Pierce and Iguodala vs. Ray Allen. Then they switched when Allen set a pick for Pierce. I've already talked about Iguodala's defense, but I only noticed on replay that Thad was faceguarding Allen the whole time (think he remembered last year?) and then was right in Allen's face off the rebound. So a big assist to Thad for defense on the last play.

- As noted previously, my friend and I characterize ourselves as bitter Sixers fans, so it's hard to tell if we were more happy that the Sixers won or that most of the 18,000 were going to go home disappointed that the Celtics lost (and had their 11-game winning streak snapped). But it was a happy feeling in any case, for one night at least.

Must have been a great game to be at. Shocking win.

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JohnEMagee on Dec 19 at 12:04
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Onto the game. Iguodala showed up a with wrap that went from his waist to the top of his ribs. This didn't exactly inspire confidence. During all the breaks, he seemed to be walking gingerly back and forth, and he had to get the wrap adjusted at least three times by the trainer.

I really don't like this - I know he's being tough and all that, but don't frack with your ribs...rest em and let em heal

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Mike reply to JohnEMagee on Dec 19 at 12:10
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i agree, we'll see how his body responds to a back-to-back tonight

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Dean Harner on Dec 19 at 12:47
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So, what do ya'll think about Jordan allowing Holiday, Green and IA9 play the complete 2nd half and the affect, if any, on tonight?

I personally do not think it will have any affect and would prefer that to subbing Ivey or whoever.

When Jordan SUBBED OUT Brand with like 15 seconds left I threw up in my mouth a little bit.......not having Bert or Brand in the lineup to defend for crucial stretches of the fourth quarter is absolutely ludicrous.

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bebopdeluxe on Dec 19 at 14:23
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This team's best lineup is Jrue/Iggy/Thad/Speights/EB, with Lou and Sammy as the first small and big off the bench. On the perimeter, if you need more defense, the next guy is Carney...if you need more shooting, it's Kapono. Smith is the 4th big.

In a perfect world, AI would have been healthy enough to reestablish himself around the league as a valuable guy to have....giving us the ability to gracefully step aside before the guaranteed contract deadline. If Lou is healthy, you have to be straight with AI - either you play 20-25 minutes off the bench or you are gone...with the additional proviso that we will actively look for opportunities to move him to a better situation before the trade deadline.

As they always say, it is often easier to find a job when you already have a job.

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Inviolable Fandom on Dec 19 at 20:27
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Brand is playing well off the bench. We broke our losing streak and beat a great team with him coming off the bench. Maybe Jordan knows more about motivating his players than we do.


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