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Umm, That Was Dominant

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johnrosz on Feb 10 at 0:38
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I'm really liking the improved effort from Thad. I really like that he's not settling for jumpers anymore and actually attacking the basket. We've all seen it, when Thad is going well his game works from the inside out.

well yeah it was, but can they do it again, is always the Sixers MO. i'm done rooting for this team to lose. i figure we can't do anything about it if they want to play hard and end up with a first round exit. i figure just enjoy the ride and maybe something interesting will happen.

My philosophy is if they're winning with defense, I'm going to enjoy it. And they've been playing some sick D.

Very good question here regarding getting the 8th spot or getting a lottery selection. Let me know your opinions. Thanks

http://talksportsphilly.com/?p=1617

Perhaps this is just me being obnoxious, but how is that a "very good" question? As far as I'm concerned, if your team has won 5 straight and is only 4.5 games out of the playoffs with 30 to go, and you root for your own team to LOSE, then you're a joke of a "fan" and you should be posting on the opponents' boards, not the Sixers.

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jkay reply to stoned81 on Feb 10 at 6:03
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its a legit point with this particular team and these particular fans. most cases no, but ours is a unique situation. debatable either way.

Funny. I was asking myself how it is a legit question as well, but in the completely opposite end.

I've seen the "late season mirage run to 35 wins and a first round playoff exit" script before and I know how it ends. It does nothing to help us reach our goal of winning a championship.

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Duracorr reply to Derek Bodner on Feb 10 at 9:15
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The question is a legitimate one for a true Sixer fan, but I'll give you another one. If the Sixers are not bad enough even with a dolt of a coach to be a bottom 5 team, are they more likely to get lucky and find a quality SG in the middle of the draft or if they get rid of all the current talent and become a bottom 5 team will they be able to get a stud at some position, then rebuild a supporting cast. I think it might be easier to find a quality SG in the draft in the middle of the 1st round - a good solid player- than to identify and draft a superstar, then build a supporting cast. Identifying and drafting a superstar could take 5 years alone.

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JohnEMagee reply to stoned81 on Feb 10 at 10:29
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So there's only one way to root for yout ream to win a championship huH?

Good to know

Except they are 2.5 games away from the 4th worst record in the NBA- which gives you a great shot at a top 3 pick and a possible superstar.

So would you rather have a good shot at adding a superstar this summer or get to be the 8th seed?

I'd take the playoffs over the 11th pick... but would much prefer a top 5 pick over an 8th seed in the playoffs.

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mr.flipflop reply to tk76 on Feb 10 at 11:18
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This.

We still have a good shot for a top 5 pick and I don't think we should trade anyone big (Iggy/Brand/Dalembert). I still think that we should fire at least the coach, and if we can get lucky and get that top5/3/John Wall, we'd be automatic contenders for next year. I know it's foolish to put the pressure and hope on a 19-21 year old rookie to be a superstar and revive a franchise, but it can happen.
Look at these possible starting lineups next year if we had a coach that knew what he was doing(although, EJ has gotten slightly better)

PG- John Wall, SG- Iggy, SF- Young, PF- Brand, C-Dalembert.

or PG- Holiday, SG- Turner/Johnson/Henry, SF- Iggy, PF- Brand, and C- Dalembert. or put Iggy at SF, Thad at SF, and the rookie coming off the bench or something.

Either way, the 6ers are better than the record shows, and we could have a legit contenders if we tank this season, get that top 5 or better pick, and get a new coach.

I agree, they should not give away Iguodala. I think for long term reasons they should consider any deal that moves Brand (+/- Iguodala) but would p[refer them to change Eds befoer making any moves.

I was at the game last night, and I always find it harder to follow the details of the game when I'm there, but it seemed like Eddie Jordan was only putting Jrue in when Jonny Flynn was in the game. I'm not sure if that's true, but to me it looked like it.

Jrue was in when Flynn was in, and LouWill/Ivey went in when Sessions was in.

I was getting angry the whole game yelling about how Jrue should be getting more minutes. Very frustrating.

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sfw reply to scott on Feb 10 at 17:30
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Scott, I saw the opposite. When it was Lou Will's time Rambis put in Sessions to take advantage of Lou's lack of defensive skills. In fact they ran the high pick & roll with sessions on several occasions and usually scored off it.

I believe that no matter which side of the tanking debate one rests on, it's unfair to ask the players to play less than their best or to ask the coach to coach not to win, especially if the team has started to play at a relatively high level (which it has). Firing the coach doesn't solve this problem (though it would solve others), because the interim coach would (and should) coach to win also. Of all the ways to tank, the least distasteful are: (1) shelve your best player[s] for the rest of the season with a "mysterious injury" [e.g., Celtics in 2007 with Pierce] or (2) trade your best player[s] away for expiring contracts [already discussed ad nauseum].

That debate aside, here are some comments about last night's game:
- It seems the chemistry between Iguodala and Brand has gotten a lot better recently. Iguodala mentioned that they both know where to be now when the other has the ball, and it really seems like it. Brand passing out of the post to Iguodala at the top of the key seems like a play that can work with regularity. Though more symbolic than anything else, it was a good sign that Iguodala passed up a breakaway dunk toward the end to set up a dunk for Brand.
- Again, no complaints about Thad's improved hustle on D. If he keeps it up, the minutes will be there, which is more important than the symbolism of starting or not.
- Brian mentioned Iguodala's 42 minutes, but it's worth pointing out that Sixer fans generally take for granted his endurance. Carney's absence was a factor in last night's minutes, but Iguodala routinely plays entire 2nd halves (he did in the Rockets game and would have done so in this game had it been close). All this while being expected to defend the opponent's best wing, hit the defensive glass, set up his teammates on offense, and get his own shots.
- Jason Smith and Ivey both played good games again. It really looks like if they are properly "spotted" (e.g., don't bring in Smith to guard somebody like Antawn Jamison), they can be assets.
- Credit where it's due: Willie's at 49% 2-Pt, 36% 3-Pt, 84% FT. Those are percentages you can live with for a shooting guard, and his assist-to-turnover ratio is a sterling 2.73 to boot.
- Overall, it was a better win than it looks on the surface. The Wolves' record is poor, but they came in having won 4 straight, including wins in Dallas and vs. Memphis. The Sixers put it to them early and never let them back in the game. We'll see if it continues.

Statman,

I really appreciate your thoughts and usually agree. The above is an excellent recap of the game and situation.

Personally, I would like to see AI9 get an "injury", trade AI, and start Lou and Jrue (and play starter minutes) for the rest of the year. If we get a "top pick" next year, possibly, inspite of our coach, we could have a really good 2010-2011 (just before the lockout).

Good point about AI9 passing to Brand. Saw that but did not click!

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Duracorr reply to Statman on Feb 10 at 12:43
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Good comments on the tanking dilemma and good observations on the game. You reminded me of the difference between getting rid of all your good players and having a couple of key players off because of injuries. If you dump Brand, Iguodala and Dalembert to have a bottom five season, you have to replace them before you can compete. That takes several years. Look at Cleveland with James. By comparison, Boston did it in one year, got the #5 pick and through deals and a free agent signing put together a championship team. They didn't draft with the pick; they traded it in a package. .

But they had Kevin McHale on their side.

But honestly, don't think the Sixers can get a top 5 pick this year. they are only 2.5 games out from the 4th worst record, but they have been playing .500 ball for a while now, and are unlikely to fall back. I guess and Iguodala trade would change this, but I'm not even sure because they have enough hidden talent on the team that could step up and win at least 1/3 of their games.

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Feb 10 at 13:33
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and are unlikely to fall back.

What's their record in games iverson starts?

They have been a near 500 team with AI.

Of course their upcoming schedule could knock them back down into the bottom 5:

February Opponent

Wed 10 @ Toronto

Tue 16 vs Miami

Fri 19 vs San Antonio

Sat 20 @ Chicago

Tue 23 @ Golden State

Wed 24 @ Phoenix

Fri 26 @ LA Lakers

Mon 01 vs Orlando

Wed 03 @ Atlanta

Fri 05 vs Boston

Sun 07 @ Toronto

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Feb 10 at 13:45
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If all teams are healthy and play to 'level' - i think there's 2 wins in there

What would a 6-5 or 7-4 record say to you over this stretch?

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Feb 10 at 13:51
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Depends on how healthy the other teams are, if Iverson played or not...these are short term gains that still don't have me believing in the future championship aspirations of this roster as fully composed.

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Duracorr reply to Brian on Feb 10 at 14:03
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A winning record over that stretch would tell me that this roster is one quality SG away from being truly competitive in the East. I'd still want to fire EJ because he's only doing better with his rotations because someone told him what to do. TK76 has me convinced that the best thing for the team is for AI9 and EB to be inactive with injuries for the next 2 months so we can get a top 5 pick.

Some Ideas:

-Just play Speights a bunch :)
-More Small Ball (more Kapono at PF.)
-Those AI/Lou backcourts would also help the cause.
-Let Sam take a 2 month leave of absence to do charitable work in Haiti.
-Reinstall the full "Princeton Offense"

Translation: Let Jordan coach the way he wants to :)

Exactly. Its like 95/96 (the year befoer AI.

-EJ is our Lucas.
-Iverson is our Vernon Maxwell.
-Lou is our Dana Barros.
-Thad is our Dumas.
-Brand is our DC (vet PF)
-Sam is our Brandley
-Willie is ou Jeff Malone
-Speights is our Sharone Wright (Talent with motivational issues)
-Kapono is our Rex Walters
-Ivey is our Trevor Ruffin
-And I guess Iguodala is our Stackhouse+Spoon (if you combined their best parts

Brian mentioned it in his post, but I think it's worth some further discussion that Speights only got in during garbage time. Is he really that bad at this point?

I always felt like we've been using him as a 5 too much when we should really be gearing him towards playing the 4 more often, and in the future.

Do you guys think he'd be more valuable on the court if he saw more time playing next to Sammy D? Sammy would help to reduce some of Speights's defensive problems and he can obviously handle himself being away from the basket on the offensive end.

I much rather prefer having Brand and Dalembert on the court together so giving him time with Dalembert probably isn't that realistic. If only we had a veteran big man on the bench who was a solid defender (Theo Ratliff like) to play him with.

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JohnEMagee reply to scott on Feb 10 at 13:37
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If it's as simple as 'play defense or don't play' - i'm fine with it - various sources who have worked with Speights in the past claim he has focus/motivation issues, that was the knock on him going into the draft...minutes are rewards ina way and if he won't play defense, he shouldn't get minutes

In addition to defense, he looks slow and a bit overweight since returning from his knee injury. I wonder if they rushed him back, because he lacks lift.

I think they definitely rushed him back, not sure if the injury is still a problem, though.

When I'm tracking rotations, I always consider Speights the four when he's out there with Brand. I only have him at the five when Thad is at the four, mainly because Brand guards the centers for the most part in those situations.

I'd like to see Speights on the floor with Sammy, but that's one lineup Jordan is loathe to try out, probably because it would mean more minutes for Sam, which he simply hates to do.

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Duracorr reply to tk76 on Feb 10 at 14:06
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Speights look better than this when he first came back from the injury. Is there an inkling that he has reinjured it? I thought he was just off his game because of the pressure to play defense and rebound.


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