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I Remember This Team, Sort Of

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deepsixersuede on Feb 7 at 9:31
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The talk of Miller!s loss is overshadowing another; if Theo was here this 2nd unit would have a better shot at holding leads and if E.S. is playing to win this year, cut Brezec and bring in Voskuhl or someone similar to team with Marreese.

the next 2 games are indeed winnable. seems like we usually have problems with toronto though. i can't believe they are the 5 seed right now. i'd have never imagined that i'd view the all-star break as potentially halting our momentum.

Yeah, it's funny I looked at the schedule, saw Toronto and immediately thought of them as a joke, and had Miami as the stretch of the three games. It's really the opposite at this point. TO figured out how to defend somehow and Wade has pretty much checked out in Miami. He may wind up with the most top ten picks for any superstar's team when all is said and done

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mike reply to Brian on Feb 7 at 11:55
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i think miami is their 1st game after they get back from the break. but yea, they are playing terribly. i don't know where wade's career goes from here. he likes the nightlife apparently so i don't see him leaving south beach.

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Tray reply to Brian on Feb 7 at 16:29
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They did? They gave 130 up to Indiana very recently.

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k-house on Feb 7 at 10:11
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As fans...we always want them to win but I this year, my enthusiasm has been tempered, like most, with a desire for a coaching change! As many times this year, for the first time ever, I was actually rooting for them to lose! But, these wins have been gratifying & although I'm not hopeful...its encouraging only, as you stated, that if they continue it will make it tougher to trade Iggy away. Also, I wonder what impact this perhaps ill-timed "mini streak" will have on ES & the moves, maybe, he was hoping to make!

Good stuff from the gang... four in a row... who'd have thought it possible. It blows my mind (and sickens me) that this team would have a winning record had Stefanski chosen anyone but our Moron.

When Kyle Lowry went down, the game changed. It allowed the Sixers to really concentrate on guarding Brooks who went to having to be both a playmaker and a scorer. Even Iggy admits as much...

"Lowry was really tough for them," Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala said. "When he came out of the game, that felt like the turning point for them."

As for Iggy, he hit some big shots down the end, no doubt about it--it also didn't hurt that Ariza was hobbling on one leg in the second half--but he was still shut down for too much of the game. Iggy does have trouble scoring against premier defenders. Also, let’s not forgot to mention Iggy's four turnovers in his incredible stat line.

Still I do love how Iggy plays within the offence and creates opportunities for his teammates. I wish he would take better care of the ball though.

Here's an article about Iggy good performance from the Houston Chronicle...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/6855331.html

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eddies' heady's on Feb 7 at 12:26
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Speaking of Iguodala: Why did he not call a timeout late on that side inbounds play instead getting a five second call? As soon as I began to feel calm, the nervousness kicked right back in.

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eddies' heady's on Feb 7 at 13:02
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"You can say the players are starting to rely on each other, you can say the effort is finally there, you can say a lot of things that put the blame directly on the players for the 19-31 record, but the fact of the matter is they have essentially been playing with one arm tied behind their backs."

You didn't think I would not comment on this snippet now did you? :)

Seriously, if they had one arm tied behind their backs, most games it was because they willfully tied it back there themselves.

The MIL game on the road, the MLK-day Minnesota debacle, the lethargic New Year's Eve showing at the Clippers, the home game vs Jazz the second week of the season, the pitiful game at UTAH, the piss poor effort vs MEM at home, the Clippers home game in the snowstorm, the Wizards game on the road right after the Clips, the home game vs WASH on Jan. 5.

If they gave just half, half now, the effort they gave in these HOU and New Orleans games, both the DAL games, the LAL game (minus a couple players going thru the motions), the POR game on the road, the BOS win in Dec. on the road, they could have won almost all of those mentioned above.

Now I realize the coach is an easy scapegoat, but even with past coaches, this team and most of the same players possessed these same traits - play a full-spirited, hard, full 48 minutes some nights, then go through the motions other nights. Sort of waltz through certain games. Play up to the Bostons, Portlands, Dallases and Lakers, then play down to the Clips, Nets, Timberwolves etc.

Now I agree the coach can sub player A vs. player B here and there, but those fourth quarter under-the-microscope subs or lack of subs aren't that magnigfied if every guy would bring it every single night for a full 48 minutes or however many they are on the court. It has maddeningly frustrated me for some time and part of the reason why I continue to lay 'blame' (for lack of a better term) at the player's feet.

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JohnEMagee on Feb 7 at 13:08
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Pretty well stated IMO. This is what we were talking about a few months ago, when it was clear that the team was broken beyond simply horrible coaching.

Allthough I agree with the "Stefanski is an obstacle to change" line more than the "Andre must be traded part."

I stick to my belief that they should seriously consider a deal that moves Iguodala and Brand together- but not trade Iguodala and keep Brand. That is not rebuilding, its just stupid.

Et tu, Kate? Every sports journalist that covers the Sixers believes that the club should trade Andre Iquodala for the long term good of the team...

So what does make basketball sense?

Trading Iguodala makes sense. You think Iguodala is worried about leaving the Sixers? He's probably praying to the basketball gods each night that Stefanski trades him to Phoenix or Houston.

Let him go, collect the cap space along with one good up-and-comer (for example, Houston's Chase Budinger), and start over. Stefanski has the basketball sense to design a new plan, but not if he's unwilling to admit the previous one's failure.

There's no sense of purpose on the Sixers right now. They drift from city to city, winning a few, losing a few, collecting a paycheck. Do these players sense they're the foundation for something greater?

Not a chance.

And neither does the fan base.

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Statman on Feb 7 at 14:19
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Brian, excellent writeup, reflected a lot of my own feelings as I was watching the game. Next to the win in Boston, it might have been the best win of the year (the win in Portland was close). I have mixed feelings as everyone else does (loss of draft position, extension of Jordan's regime), but good basketball covers a multitude of sins.

A few thoughts on this game and recent trends:
- Iguodala had an excellent 4th quarter in every respect (after struggling on offense the whole game until then), but I was most impressed by his defensive rebounds in traffic. If the Rockets get a couple of those rebounds and convert easy follow-ups, the game is very different down the stretch.
- Like you, I've noticed Thad's excellent hustle the last couple games. I wonder if he hustles more when he's scoring well (it seems like it). His handle, especially with his right hand, seems to have improved too (if he can avoid traveling with his first step). His basket at 3:59, off a drive started by a right-hand dribble, was a big one.
- I've been impressed by Carney the last few games. When he's shooting decently, he's an asset off the bench. The Sixers played Carney-Thad-Iguodala together a lot in 07-08 to great benefit (since they're all about the same size, they can switch P/R's without causing terrible mismatches), and it seemed to work in the 4th last night.
- How about that Royal Ivey? The guy might still be the worst finisher in the NBA (by either Derek's definition or mine), but if he hits 100% of his 3's, he deserves a few minutes a game. Next to Jrue, he's probably the Sixers' best guard defender.
- Re: Jason Smith, he plays soft in a lot of ways and is a terrible rebounder, but I thought he was an asset during his time in the game (+11 in 13 minutes was not a fluke). He shows on the P/R better than any of the Sixers' other bigs (Brand is just horrible at that), and that seemed to help. He also made a very nice play when he almost got the ball stolen, hustled to get the ball back, and avoided stepping in the backcourt. It'll be interesting to see how much Smith plays vs. Speights going forward.
- I thought Rick Adelman did he Sixers a favor by not putting Scola in the game at all in the 4th. Chuck Hayes might be one of the worst offensive big men in the NBA, and having him, Battier, and a hobbled Ariza in the lineup down the stretch made the Rockets easier to defend.
- Lou made two huge shots in the 4th but was 3-for-8 overall in the quarter. Not sure if he was a net plus or whether the Sixers won in spite of him. If he plays 19 minutes to Jrue's 30 every game, I won't complain.

Looking forward, it's almost a shame Iverson has to return at some point, because the Sixers are playing their best ball of the season. I think the tanking crowd should be happy when he does return, because his presence on the court sabotages whatever defensive mindset they may be trying to carry out.

Good observations.

Iguodala bailed out EJ in the 4th. Iguodala controlled the boards when the C/PF combo of Smith/Thad could not get a defensive rebound (in 3 straight possessions.)

I also agree that Carney and Ivey are decent deep reserves. My main concern is that each lack basketball sense- and don't always play within their limited games. When the act like role players they can help the team. When start try to create or drive it gets a bit ugly. But if either is hitting 3's and defending they can really be an asset.

Smith, I feel bad for. He has some talent, but flat out can't rebound. I think it has to do with short arms and a high center of gravity- a terrible combo for rebounding. Smith is 4" taller than Brand (7' vs 6'8) but his standing reach is 4" less(8'10 vs 9'2.)

The funny thing, was when Ivey shot his 3's he really looked "pure." His release was textbook. Did he clean up his form, or is it just confidence? Whereas Carney looks like he is shot-putting the ball, which is why he is so streaky.

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Tom Moore on Feb 7 at 14:31
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Sixers within 4 1/2 games of final EC playoff spot with 32 to play.

Bench has scored 50 and 46 in the last game -- and that's with Green starting for Iverson.

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Tom Moore on Feb 7 at 14:31
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*last two games

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Tom Moore on Feb 7 at 14:42
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Link to Sunday column about Stefanski's future having an impact on what Sixers do by Feb. 18 trade deadline:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news_details/article/126/2010/february/07/stefanskis-status-could-impact-trades.html

i want the team to win but i really hope we don't get the 8th seed. it would be embarrassing to watch us vs the cavs or any top seed for that matter. i would much rather see the team get a better draft pick than go on a run at the end of the season like the last 2 years and lose in the first round.

So you would rather they win and get the 12th pick then lose and get a top 5 pick?

I can understand how it is hard to root against your team. But its also hard to see the next 4 years being more mediocrity.

yeah i don't really know what i want to see when i watch these games to be honest. like you said i don't want to get a mid round pick again and again and i want to see this coach get fired immediately. i guess i look at every win like hey, my team won good job and every loss as oh well, we'll get a better pick.

I agree its hard to watch. I want to just go back to rooting for everyone to succeed. Its no fun being a fan right now when you know things have to get worse in order to get better.

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Statman on Feb 7 at 15:40
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Smith, I feel bad for. He has some talent, but flat out can't rebound. I think it has to do with short arms and a high center of gravity- a terrible combo for rebounding. Smith is 4" taller than Brand (7' vs 6'8) but his standing reach is 4" less(8'10 vs 9'2.)

This struck me as funny for some reason (but not at all surprising). Where does one even get information like that? The other thing about Smith is that he's not as strong as one would think given his build. I mean, who do you think would win an arm-wrestling contest between him and Iguodala?

I think your description of Smith is spot on: he does have some talent, but he needs to learn to play in such a way that his strengths are maximized (and weaknesses minimized). That statement could apply to several players on the Sixers, actually ...

Hey, your the stats guy :)

http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/


Lots of interesting useless facts there.

Like Jrue has the same wingspan and reach as Buddinger. Meaning Buddinger's 3" hight difference is all head and neck.

Also Jrue was faster in the agility drills than Flynn, Ty, Teague, Curry and Maynor.

Jrue has amazing quickness, good length but poor ups... which has been confirmed on the floor.

Rod Beaubois has all five letters in his last name... and crazy length, ups and quickness. Sort of like Rondo with more ups.

Evans is also an athletic freak.


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