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Insulting Our Intelligence

"They won these games, against two depleted squads, because their field goal percentage was absurdly high, and completely unsustainable. Take a look at the advanced stats chart below if you don't believe me:"

I'm not really sure I can agree with that, especially the portland game which was about 7% below our season average in terms of o eFG%

Was it the primary reason? Maybe not. But the Portland game was a well defensed game IMO.

JohnEMagee reply to Derek Bodner on Dec 31 at 11:49

The sixers eFG% was 11% above the yearly average

The defense may have been 'above average' for the season in the portland game but the OFR was the highest of the season at the time (until surpassed in Sacramento)

All that proves is that it wasn't the only reason, not that it wasn't a good defensive game.

JohnEMagee reply to Derek Bodner on Dec 31 at 12:11

I wouldn't call it 'good' - I'd call it average.

And if I recall properly from summaries of the game part of that might have to do with the Blazers ignoring their obvious advantages on the offensive end?

eFG isn't the only part of the equation. They played better than their season average (109.86 DFR), but it still was not a good defensive game. They didn't create turnovers, they fouled too much and they were bad on the defensive glass.

Portland was above their season average in offensive efficiency (109.86 vs. 109.2).

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 11:54

Not sure if it's 'interesting' or not but the Blazers game also seems to have been one of the 'slowest' (pace) of the season, I think only the Detroit game on the 9th was slower based on a quick scan

Portland's the slowest team in the league, Detroit is second. It's just a matter of the other team imposing their style on the Sixers, again.

FT Rate was below the Sixers opponents average.

More specifically, I thought once Jordan abandoned his asinine small lineup I thought we played very well defensively. And that defense down the stretch I absolutely believed contributed to the win.

I think we're arguing semantics at this point. They played better defense than we're accustomed to them playing, which means they played to the level of the 25th-best defensive rating in the league. Typically, 109.86 is more than efficient enough for a team to win a game, only the Sixers offensive efficiency was extraordinary.

Did the defense down the stretch contribute to the win? Yes. Was this a defensive win? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn't about them shutting Portland down. You could call the Boston game a defensive win, but not either of these two.

You're right about the FT rate, though. 20.7% is actually good. It was mainly the defensive rebounding and lack of forcing turnovers that submarined their DFR.

Kind of scary this team is only 3.5 games out of the 8th seed right now, huh?

Scary on several different levels. I don't think I even want to see this team coached by Jordan in a 7-game series against a top-three seed in the first round.

JohnEMagee reply to rjb360 on Dec 31 at 11:59

And 6.5 from the worst record in the league with a 'getting healthy' nets team itegrating the missing pieces.

To me it's not the amount of games between them and the playoffs - it's the number of teams (6) between the sixers and the 8 seed and i'm not confident enough like others out there who believe the sixers are better than every team from 8-13 in the east

Do you mean you aren't confident in the talent level of the Sixers, or you aren't confident in the team under Jordan being capable of leapfrogging those teams?

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 12:03

I guess it all depends on if/when jordan gets fired, if a point guard actually starts for the sixers and willie green is then removed from the rotation

There's a chance it could happen either way. W/ Iverson playing heavy minutes and the team abandoning the PO and playing decent offensive basketball when he's on the floor, they could have enough to beat bad teams, which may be all it takes to get in.

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Dec 31 at 12:08

Willie Green is out of the rotation cause he's injured...let's see what happens when he's healthy and the sixers play teams that aren't decimated by injury :)

The Sixers would not have needed to scratch and claw backl into the game had they started a legitimate line-up. Had Iguodala been the starting SG they would not have been forced to cover for a 6' SG trying to guard a 6'9 player.

Eventually the Kings lack of talent allowed the Sixers to overpower them(missing their 2 best players.) But I won't give the team a pass for its continues imbecilic small ball ways just because they have manged to win two games in a row. Especially when they are hollow wins IMO.

Of course I enjoyed watching them win and root for them to win. It just still leaves a bad taste afterwards looking at the big picture. I'm not talking lottery position as much as how the young players are being utilized and taught.

JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Dec 31 at 13:03

. I'm not talking lottery position as much as how the young players are being utilized and taught.

Bingo Bango Bongo and Irving right on the nose

John Smallwood is high. If there is a young player on this team that is expendable its Thad or Lou. They both do everything OK, at least Speights and Jrue are extremely talented on one side of the ball, and both are well rounded enough to deserve minutes.

johnrosz on Dec 31 at 13:35

The defense is still dreadful. Sac missed a ton of open shots, as did Portland. If teams are hitting their shots the Sixers have zero chance of winning, which is why I have a tough time watching. That stretch where AI was covering Donte Green was embarrassing. No other coach in the NBA would allow that match up to happen.

Does anyone see Lou giving better effort on defense? I'm a harsh critic of LouWill but I think i've seen a little bit of a better effort on the defensive end lately.

I wish i had a video clip of Iguodala snubbing an overzealous Jordan after he hit a big shot and Sac called a timeout. it was classic. for me it was representative of what the team thinks of EJ

ItAintEZ reply to johnrosz on Dec 31 at 15:16

I saw that too. EJ was geeking out and AI9 just blew him off. If it was anyone else I would have thought man Iggy is a dick, but this is a special case.

Agreed. I missed it, but I wished he would've chucked back onto Carril's lap, so he can go back to nursing like the infantile coach he is

If what you mean is Lou going from an absolute negative to being hidden on nobodies as an "improvement" then I guess so. He is still a worse defender than AI, and that should be embarrassing

Isn't Cooney the writer who keeps referring to Willie Green as a "defensive stopper"? For me, that's a non-starter as far as the rest of his writing is concerned.

I don't agree with any of the premises of the Smallwood article, but it does bring up a couple of interesting questions. First, regarding the trajectory of Thad: I think a stronger case could have been made for his being untouchable after his rookie season. He was a decent rebounder for a 3, got a good number of steals (being very active on defense), shot a high percentage. What he's become with more minutes is an average small forward: decent outside shooter; finishes well; doesn't rebound, pass, dribble, or defend well; gets an average number of steals (and his free throw shooting is getting worse over time). In other words, a poor man's Richard Jefferson. I don't see how that's "untouchable" in any sense. Iguodala is the one who is the rare breed, whether you look at basic stats (19-7-6) or advanced stats (PER for and against, TS%, 82games' Roland rating).

But let's say for a minute that you do want to trade Iguodala to clear cap space. If you could have your choice of "franchise" players in the NBA (leaving aside, for a minute, whether such players [a] are available or [b] would want to come play for the Sixers), what would that list look like? I think you'd be surprised how few players are on that list. Here's my list of who would be upgrades over Iguodala as far as franchise cornerstones:

Definitely an upgrade: LeBron, Chris Paul, Wade, Kobe, Anthony, Nowitzki, Durant, Dwight Howard

Maybe an upgrade: Bosh, Nash (age), P. Gasol, Roy, Deron Williams, Billups (age), Amare, Tyreke Evans, Tony Parker

Lateral move or worse: Joe Johnson, Rondo, Granger, Pierce (age), Gay, Kevin Martin, Monta Ellis, Josh Smith, Garnett (age)

I'm sure I'm missing a few players, but looking at the list above, it seems a lot of the players in the first two categories are already considered cornerstones by other franchises. Of those that might be available, most have questions as to either actual availability (e.g., Paul, LeBron) or actual identities as franchise cornerstones (e.g., Bosh, Amare). So I'll ask the question again that others have asked in other contexts: if you trade Iguodala strictly for cap space, who are you hoping will come to Philly instead?

I'd only trade Iguodala if we could trade Brand. And that would be about trying to have youth and financial freedom more than trying to immediately bring a star in. This team is at least 2-3 years away anyway. Jrue, Lou, Thad and Speights are 19-23. When they are 22-26 they will be more prepared to be key parts of a winner.

I'd prefer to just trade Brand, since so many other contracts are coming off the books next year. Maybe they can trade him for other players who also expire in the Summer of 2011? Again, not to sign some big name player that summer, but to give the team flexibility (say if someone like Paul hit the market.)

deepsixersuede reply to Statman on Dec 31 at 18:57

I would move him for a similar contract and draft picks, if a team like Minn., felt he was a missing piece.They have 3 #1 picks and 4 #2 picks this year.Say Blount,Pavlovic [9.5 expir.], Ellington and 2-#1 picks, but only if you LOVE somebody [Henry?] and wish to triple your chances of getting him.But this is probably unrealistic.

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