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Smoke and Mirrors

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ItAintEZ on Jan 17 at 8:40
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Quoted in my favorite blog, what a way to wake up on Sun. morning. Deep down I wish BK wouldn't have been fired when he was. Not that I was really a big fan or anything. The way I see it is if BK stayed then Mo would have coached out his final year and got us a high draft pick. After they let Mo go, LB would have been waiting in the wings to take over the team. I would love to see what LB would do with this roster.

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mike reply to ItAintEZ on Jan 17 at 8:55
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just look at how well the bobcats are playing now. they're the best defensive team in the league.

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Alvin reply to mike on Jan 17 at 10:13
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Imagine what Larry Brown could do with Dalembert, Brand, Iggy and Jrue.

Damn I'm depressed.

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charles shackleford's top hat on Jan 17 at 10:03
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Man, that is a great point. Can you imagine larry brown with this roster. we would be the hottest team in the league.

Brian, i think you just captured our greatest fear. I am not even happy when we win. I know nothing positive can happen while jordan is the coach. Every win just delays what needs to happen for us to move forward.

We'd be a little better than Charlotte. If we had him our defense would be great and people would be complaining that he was tamping our offense down. And he wouldn't be playing Jrue much either. Currently he gives Henderson, a lottery pick, 8 minutes a game because, in his monomaniacal push to the playoffs, he's playing Jackson and Wallace 42 a game each.

I disagree. He'd love Jrue.

He'd say kind words about how "the kid looks great in practice" and then never play him. Then he'd bench Lou too in favor of Royal Ivey.

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JohnEMagee reply to Tray on Jan 17 at 16:11
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Because Larry Brown doesn't play rookies right?

This post was poetry. Bravo Brian.

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eddies' heady's on Jan 17 at 13:15
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Really good write-up.

It shows how much this season tears away at us fans, albeit in different ways i.e. those disliking the coach, those that want a higher draft pick, those that want changes with personnel, those that want changes with management.

I said it as soon as the coach bashing started, that this guy was going to be here for the long haul, so might as well not go down that long winding road of 'wishing' for a sudden firing. After the Portland win, I felt and said it again, that he was here for at least 50 or so more games. With the summer just passed of tight purse strings, it would shock the heck out of me if they were willing to pay yet another employee that didn't work here anymore. My feeling was that Snider and Luukko were going to be in 'ride or die' mode with both ES and EJ.

I mean, even last year when the team was on a tear in Jan/Feb with DiLeo, the attendance numbers were still subpar. Therefore, I'm not sure upper management is factoring the lack of gate receipts into their possible decision-making on ES and EJ. And I'm speaking money here because I doubt the product on the court carries more significance with Snider and Luukko.

A really tough time to be a diehard fan, indeed.

Depressing.

its not the first time i have heard this sentimentality. i have ALWAYS feared this but consider the alternative: that they continue to play poorly and lose games? Dannie on reclinergm always complained that tanking breeds a losing mentality. if they do continue to lose games intentionally or not, we are risking the development of the players we already have for the one we haven't even drafted yet.
there is a reason Memphis has not been to the playoffs in a decade even when they have had some talented players. teams like the Knicks dont go anywhere because the players are fundamentally challenged when it comes to doing things that help you win games. all players have talent but winning is an acquired skill.
tell me Iguodala didnt grow up a bit from his no-show versus the Pistons in the playoffs that year to holding his own against Orlando, or that Sammy did not pick up as a player from the time he had his 'coming out party' against Detroit to his shoving match with Howard. not even to take account of what it does to help the younger players like Thad and Lou.
winning helps your players to get better, even if their physical skills dont improve.
i dont think its that easy to turn it on and off. let them keep winning these 'meaningless' games, its a whole lot better than losing those meaningless games. i'd like to get John Wall or whatever schmuck but its not guaranteed anyway.

on the flip side, there's gotta be a way to do both.

i wake up every day scanning news articles and blogs to find the words "trade" or "fire" with respect to the Sixers. until any or both of those happens we will just have to settle for this.

Cleveland went 35-47 in LeBron's first season, did it ruin him? Did he develop a losers mentality?

Michael Jordan went 38-44.

When David Robinson went down with injury, and the Spurs went 20-62, did it turn Sean Elliot into a loser? Not really. He then came back and started every game on a championship team. WHEN THEY GOT TALENT.

Talent wins in the NBA. Players either have a winning attitude or they don't, and if they have it they don't lose it after a season in which the team struggles IMO.

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deepsixersueder reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 17 at 15:47
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Just got done watching Nova game, impressive performance by Monroe; Derek, would he be a good fit in our frontcourt ? He reminds me of J.Thompson a bit with his ability to play like a small forward at times and we seem to be a team lacking facillitators. It amazes me how Thompson finds time to run the P.O. and teach defense also, maybe our coach!s offense wouldn!t suffer if he ran a practice correctly.

I'm not a huge monroe fan, although his performance on the defensive glass this year has assuaged that a bit. I'm doing a write-up for phillyarena that I'll have up hopefully tomorrow on a breakdown of prospects.

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Duracorr reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 17 at 15:52
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You may be right, but the relevant information is what happened with the players who were in Cleveland and Chicago when they were losing big enough to get the top level pick. San Antonio might be a good example, but they were obtaining their second superwtar in Duncan. They already knew they were building something. Did they keep any players from before Robinson?
Brian's point is still a good one. With Eddie Jordan as our coach, doing some correct things only because he's been forced to do so, we are not developing or even fully evaluating the players we have and, we may not lose enough to get a top pick anyway. Then we have to consider whether any player available this year, including John Wall, is truly a Lebron or Tim Duncan or Kobe or Wade. Only a handfull of top draft picks become elite players. Why would we believe our current management would pick the right player?

I'm not disagreeing with Brian's point at all. I'm disagreeing with the development of a losing mentality.

As for why our management would pick the right player, that's the one area I'm actually confident in our management.

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Duracorr reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 17 at 16:14
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They have done well with draft picks, but aren't you afraid they will pick a player to fit Jordan's system?

Back to your point. The correct coach is as important as having the stud player. Gregg Popovich fired the losing coach (Hill) and took the position himself. Didn't Chicago also fire Doug Collins and replace him with Phil Jackson? So I would agree with your point to the extent, that with the right coaching, a team can recover nicely from a bad losing season. Cleveland hasn't won anything yet.

Cleveland had almost zero talent when LBJ came in so it took a while (and some roster moves to change that), Michael Jordan became Michael Jordan because he started winnning, otherwise he was just a promising ROY. Spurs were already a good team with David Robinson on, i guess they are the exception. its not like the Sixers are even very good to start off with. and it definitely aint Tim Duncan thats coming outta this draft.

but i get your point.

I'm not really debating any of that. I'm not BLAMING those teams losing on anything, I'm just saying losing didn't ruin talent.

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deepsixersueder on Jan 17 at 16:09
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I would hope our main vets hold the rooks accountable defensibly while Jordan is here and our new coach, whoever and whenever he gets here,won!t have the mess Saunders is dealing with in Wash.; comparing their core to ours [Brand/Jamison ; Iggy/Butler; Arenas/Jrue ] I have to hope the damage won!t be permanent.

I'm not sure where everyone gets this idea that Washington is better than they play. coming into this season, people are talking playoffs (4th or 5th seed). sure they have some good players, but if it quacks like a duck...?
i wont give Jordan all the credit for that.
Jamison is manageable defensively.

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jkay reply to jkay on Jan 17 at 16:57
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Arenas pleads guilty to felony gun charge. I officially feel sorry for him now. its was moronic but not malicious. does he become the next Plaxico Burress?

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JohnEMagee reply to jkay on Jan 17 at 17:10
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He won't go to prison, NBA contracts are guaranteed and the WIzards will have a VERY tough time voiding his contract (and probably won't succeed) - so since he's going to get 80 more million I doubt he ends up like Burress...though this gives Stern ammunition for the next CBA negotiations though. My guess is arenas is suspended the rest of the year, the wizards can't void his contact, and then he plays next season...

As for Washington - they are mediocre with or without arenas, i know people got excited arenas was coming back and they obtained two mediocre players from the wolves for like nothing, but that's a team with a lot of horrible contracts for mediocre players

It's sad, we can't even really enjoy wins now. And if you could somehow remove the coach and look at the roster progression, we might even be excited about where this team is headed. Hell maybe even about where they are.

We had a team that was tough on defense and could run, but met its match in the playoffs against the Pistons that controlled their turnovers and forced the Sixers into a halfcourt game in which they could not compete. Watching that series, I think we all thought that adding some reliable scorers would get us over the hump.

Flash forward to now: we've lost Miller but we've replaced him with a PG who has the size and quickness to defend, and is already a pretty good distributor. And we've added three players who can provide offense in the halfcourt (Brand, Iverson, Speights).

And we have fallen so far behind we can't even SEE the hump anymore? WTF?

We're thinking about how much it would cost us (Speights? Young?) to move Brand or Dalembert and rebuild, and I see enough out there even with Jordan crapping all over it to wonder, "Damn maybe we could actually WIN with this group..."

Larry Brown sure, hell gimme Jeff Van Gundy in here. I truly wonder what goes through Jimmy Lynam's head every night watching this moron.

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JohnEMagee reply to Vaughn on Jan 17 at 17:30
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I understand Lou Williams/Iverson are horrible at defense, but that doesn't make Miller a good defender. The sixers have a 19 year old point guard who defends better than Miller ever probably did in his career.

Last years series against the Magic, stolen wins whatever, the loss without Howard, showed how far this roster was away from anything...and with this coach, they're not getting closer

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jkay reply to JohnEMagee on Jan 17 at 17:42
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after any dramatic Sixers win, i use the memory of that pathetic game to ground myself back to reality and not get caught up in extrapolating s***.
Sixers are not that horrible, just not much compared to top tier teams.
I call it "the folly of the Eastern Conference". It provides uber-weak competition that lulls you into a false sense of accomplishment. Look at how bad we sucked, we're still how many games out of a playoff spot?!

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Duracorr reply to JohnEMagee on Jan 17 at 18:15
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That's my problem. With this coach we are not getting any closer. I just hate to waste a season. However, if Derek is correct, a season under Jordan won't ruin Speights, Holliday, Williams and Young, then having a horrible season - missing the playoffs and getting a high draft pick would be a good thing.

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JohnEMagee reply to Duracorr on Jan 17 at 18:25
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I don't think it necessarily ruins them - but at the same time - does it improve them - does it 'waste' another year of development in the right direction towards building a winning team with them contributing as best as possible.

I don't believe that Jordan will ruin anyone, but this is the guy running practice and telling guys what to improve upon (and more importantly, tacitly, what not to work on) and I think they can delay development

Well, let me clarify. I think there are two different things being discussed here:
1) The ability of a coaching staff (and situation) to develop players.
2) The effect of losing creating a losing mentality.

I have a whole lot of concern that Eddie Jordan, both through his system and what he values and through his teaching methods, isn't going to develop our players to reach their full potential. I don't have much concern that having a 25 win season is going to permanently scare them and change their mentality to the point where they can't win once they get the talent around them.

And one thing I can't stand is playing vets not in your long term plans in place of deserving young players who are vital to your future success in an effort to win 40 games and lose in the 1st round. And that's what we're doing with playing Iverson and Green over Jrue, and even to a lesser extent Dalembert and Brand over Speights.

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deepsixersueder reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 17 at 20:19
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I.f the minutes are earned, as in Jrue , I agree but Marreese needs a short leash till his effort improves. Who works with our bigs now, Okoren ?

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Duracorr reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 17 at 20:30
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I hadn't thought about Brand and Dalembert taking minutes away from Speights, but I guess that is true. I think there are enough minutes so long as Jordan stays with two bigs on the floor and minimizes the number of minutes with Young as PF.

I'd like to see Jrue starting alongside AI9 with AI3 and LW as the other guards in the mix. I'd add Carney to the wing mix and that would be the 9 players who get regular minutes. Of those 9,only AI3 won't be here next year for certain.

There are plenty of buzzwords and canned phrases that I dislike when talking about the NBA and "playoff experience" is certainly up there. What good does it do this team to barely eek into the playoffs and then get wiped away in the 1st round on annual basis especially if it means taking away minutes from players who need them (Jrue) and giving them to player who won't even help you next season (Iverson)?

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Jeff reply to MG77 on Jan 17 at 20:48
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I wouldn't mind seeing Iverson take on a bench role next season, but that most likely won't happen.

I don't think they need a Final's caliber coach right now (those are typically guys who handle egos more than develop talent.) But they have to get rid of a gimmicky coach like EJ. If LB gets players to "play the right way" then EJ gets them to play wrong. Be it poor shot selection (20 foot jumpers) or poor defense (ignoring the 3pt line and bad P&R.) I don't need a HOF coach, just a solid one who preaches defense and smart play.

I have low expectations for this franchise. With no major shake up they will cont mediocrity for at least 5 more years, if not longer. So my goal is to get the ship headed in the right direction, as opposed tro a short term plan that results in a winner.

This is what I need to see by the need of next season:

1. EJ gone. Some sort of stability in place.

2. Brand gone without taking back horrible long term contracts. Likely will cost Speights or Thad and taking back some horrible players for 1-2 years.

3. Holiday as starting PG and Lou off the bench. I'd rather trade away Lou than see him as a starter long term.

That's it. Don't have a goal with wins, draft picks, new talent etc. Just want things turned in the right direction so there is some long term hope.

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DeanH reply to tk76 on Jan 18 at 10:49
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agree 100%. Now, getting management to do your plan maybe another story!

I went to the Nova/G'Town game today. Good to see the Wach finally packed for a change, disheartened that it was a college game that did it.

"Both Williams and Jordan said that playing time recently has been determined by defensive effectiveness.

"Coach has been very aggressive about his message the past couple of days, and it's been direct: You don't play defense, you're not going to play," Williams said.

Said Jordan: "If you keep saying it and keep saying it and keep saying it as a coach and it doesn't get across, the seat-to-the-butt-to-the-brain is the next message."

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EJ, Lou... defense.

Sure, whatever you say.


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