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Some Integration Plan

2 reasons:

1. they rarely have a PG on the floor. Jrue and even AI have gotten Brand good looks. But Iguodala and Lou just don't create for others like a PG. the try and draw defenders and dish, which is different than a PG who tries to pass to a player in their comfort zones.

2. For better or worse it is E.J. against the team. he has his way and wants the players to adapt. he would rather break them down or show they should be traded then adapt the system top the current team. This type of approach works sometimes with young maleable players. But 12 year vets are a different story.

I'm guessing E.J. took the job because it was his only chance (other coaches refused even to be interviewed.) Because he had to know Brand and his system were incompatible.

Very interesting analysis Brian.

I agree that Eddie Jordan's "offense" doesn't include Brand. Whatever Brand is doing on the offensive end appears to be purely his own individual effort. That's tough work when your PF has to make dribble-drives from 18-20 feet out every time for a basket!

Another interesting observation, which I completely agree with, is that Jrue Holiday seems to work well with Brand. He seems to look for Brand down in the blocks and hit him with the ball in his sweet spot. AI3 does the same, but no one else on the Sixers look for Brand when he's down low.

You know, this goes to show again how terrible of a coach we have in Eddie Jordan. Most GOOD NBA coaches like to work the inside-out game when they have a lot of shooters on the floor. We know that there are plenty of outside shooters on the 76ers but not many low-post players. Elton Brand is probably the only legitimate low-post threat the Sixers have and they never establish him early in the game because he comes off the bench.

If they were to establish Brand down low and make people double him on the blocks, he's a good passer and will dish it out and create some open shots from the outside. That would definitely open up the outside game for the Sixers. I guess that never occurred to EJ since he's obviously got no respect for Elton Brand's game.

In any case, until Eddie Jordan is fired, there's little or no hope for the Sixers. Nevertheless, your analysis is once again, spot on.

I think the real crime here is that EJ doesn't even TRY something new on the offensive and defensive end. A good coach will adapt as needed so that his team can win. But EJ sticks to his old, broken formula and never changes his tune. It's all about "rhythm" which is just another word for "bad luck"? Well, luck has little to do with it...it's the lame offensive/defensive formula that needs to change.

I do believe that if the Sixers establish an inside game, it will really open up the outside game for them. Instead of shooting contested 23-foot jumpers from the outside, suddenly, you've got an open 18 footer. Instead of driving through the lane in traffic, suddenly, you've got an easy layup.

If the Sixers played some better defense, suddenly, you're looking at fast breaks off a rebounded miss or a steal.

Good defense generates easy buckets, low-post presence opens up your outside game. I guess Eddie Jordan never read basketball 101...

Look at Adelman. He runs a princton style offense from his days coaching the Kings. But he has adapted and morphed his system to fit with his different teams. he did not demand Yao become CWebb or Divac.

In the PO, there is no such thing as a post up, as the big man is usually designed to be at the foul line and the two forwards to be closer to the corners than the post. You see EB get the 10-15 footer from the corner a lot off the offense and he struggled with it early and now is starting to make it with regularity when he's open. That is really all the offense does for him as far as creating his shot.

A team like Utah would be a great fit for EB because they try to exploit mismatches with Boozer on pick and roll, pick and pop, and their other stuff. Even on flex sets, Boozer is always ducking into the post looking for a catch. When EB is playing the 5 he is playing at the foul line extended having to make a move by himself. This is going to hurt him because after the injuries, he's not going to be able to do everything by himself like Kobe (even though he did a surprisingly good job the past couple of days). His teammates need to at least him to the spots on the floor where he is comfortable.

The reason I think that Iverson makes Brand better is that he simply doesn't run the PO, he is on the attack and uses the P and R now that he doesn't have the jets to blow by people. EB ends up with the ball with a 911 shot of the P and R when the PO is run, so at least AI will get it to him early in the shot-clock.

Jesse reply to Rich on Dec 28 at 15:14

I've also noticed that Iverson and Jrue pass the ball to Brand off P&Rs way more than the other guys do. I've been thinking a little about this, and I think it could be due to one of two reasons (or maybe both). I remember when Andre Miller was here, he definitely had favorites that he'd pass to a large percentage of the time. He'd ignore a look to Thad or Dalembert in favor of searching out Iguodala. I wonder if the same thing is happening this year, with certain players "gelling" with Brand and others not. The other possibility is that the guys don't view a pass to Brand 20 feet from the hoop as a great option.

Overall, I think the whole offensive mentality is misguided, though. When Brand gets the ball, he hardly ever passes it on. He's looking for his shot probably because he thinks that one, he doesn't get much playing time to show his scoring ability, and two, because the only way he sees himself getting more time is if he's scoring in bunches. As many people have pointed out, Speights is also a black hole on offense. I think the other players notice this and are a little more hesitant to pass the ball to a guy who will put up a shot no matter what (talking about Brand, not sure if guys are shying away from passing to Speights yet).

The selfishness on offense is curious because the PO is supposed to be predicated on smart passing. The problem is when you waste 20 seconds with stupid dribble hand offs, you're going to need someone to say "fuck it, I'm taking it no matter what" in order to beat the shot clock. I think the system is so messed up it's hard to pinpoint all the reasons it's ruining this team. If Ed Stefanski hasn't gone into hiding in order to find a new coach, he doesn't give a shit about this team at all.

Rich reply to Jesse on Dec 28 at 15:55

Totally agree with the whole last paragraph. There is the main problem with the offense. I said this in frustration after watching the Utah game the other night, but I actually still believe it to be the biggest problem. The "chalk talk" that EJ gave to ES was complete BS and we all know that to be true, but here was my biggest misconception when evaluating the offense before the year: We were going to share the ball more than we had in the past. I don't have any stats except that we are down almost one assist from last year on the whole, but we don't share it at all in this offense.

There are two reasons that go together to why we don't share it: 1. It takes to long to get going so a player has to start his decision making process 7-10 seconds later than he'd like. 2. The player is in a bad spot for his specific skills (ex. EB at the three point line) so he has to try and get to a specific spot before feeling comfortable (ex. EB putting his head down and trying to get closer before figuring out to shoot or pass).

This goes back to the way Brian said is his previous post that we should play. Post-ups (Brand will get doubled), pick and rolls, and isolations, etc. Isos are not necessarily selfish plays either. We have the athletes to get by people and if we do it earlier in the shot-clock a team might have to help and we can swing it to the open man. The only guy on this team who would be considered selfish is Speights, but he's our best shooter so I can like with that. The 2nd and 3rd quarters of the Washington game had a lot more of this.

Nice post. The Brand signing was doomed from the start. Iggy and Thad are both slashers, meaning a traditional low post player just gets in their way by clogging up the paint. Brand's a better fit in an offense with spot up shooters.

Brand's really not a traditional post-up powerforward. He's a pick and pop powerforward who gets most of his touches in the paint off offensive rebounds and dives from picks.

Brand's been a perimeter player since his early clipper days. The difference is the 15 foot and elbow area has drifted back to 20 feet and the 3 pt line with Eddie Jordan.

I think the biggest drop in his play, offensively, is who he's playing with. It was the problem last year too, as we tried to force him into a "dump in the post" player. He had his best seasons with Sam Cassell, who while he may be a shoot first point guard, was a heck of a pick and roll player. The reason Jrue and Iverson look best with brand is because they're our two best pick and roll players. Lou's good off the pick and roll, but mainly creating space for his own shot. For all of Iggy's positives, I think he's a fairly below average pick and roll ballhandler.

That's definitely a valid complaint about Iguodala's game. I feel like ballhandlers coming off the pick in the P&R are almost like quarterbacks. they should have a series of options and should check down the progression. First is a clear lane to the bucket for a drive, second is an opportunity to hit the big diving to the hole for a dunk, third is if you're left wide open for a jumper, fourth is if the big has flared off setting the pick and has an easy look at a fifteen-footer. I don't feel like Iguodala or Lou ever get through that progression. If the first option isn't there, they don't have the patience to get back to the big. You can see it happen on the floor, sometimes Brand will be wide open clapping his hands and the ball gets handed off to the next wing before it's passed to him, if it's ever passed to him. By then his man has recovered or he's completely out of rhythm. Keep an eye on how Jrue runs these plays, if the big is open, he gets the ball, in his chest, in rhythm. That makes a huge difference.

Iguodala is a playmaker, but it's more of a survey-the-floor, make the defense commit to him to honor the drive and then find someone inside for an easy look type of thing with him. There's no reason they can't work together, you just need the right guys running the right kind of plays. They don't have that now, not at all.

TO ALL: You guys all have REALLY GOOD observations, analysis, and comments.

I wish that the Sixers coaching staff included Brian and everyone else on this thread. If only this breakdown and analysis of Brand, and every player, could be the brains behind the Sixers coaching staff. Unfortunately, we aren't that fortunate.

It hope that people who have an influence in the Sixers organization are reading some of these posts from Brian and these great analysis/comments as well. It's really good stuff!

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