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A Fitting End

Cheers to this post.

"I don't call the shots, I just go out there and play the best I can," Brand said of the lineup switch. "I don't feel it was my fault, but I'm easy to get pulled, it seems."

Jordan acknowledged his move hadn't worked as planned.

"I went with a small lineup and it backfired," Jordan said. "It happens."

Toronto pulled away with an 11-1 run to start the third quarter as the 76ers missed five straight field-goal attempts. The loss snapped Philadelphia's five-game winning streak, which didn't help Brand's sour mood.

"We weren't down enough to switch what we've been doing in a five-game win streak," he said. "That's what we did and we paid for it. We were down too much to fight back, even though we almost won it."

While the lineup switch didn't work out, 76ers guard Louis Williams didn't consider it a failure.

"I wouldn't say it backfired because guys took the message," Williams said. "The message was, 'If you guys don't want to play, especially before the [All-Star] break, we'll play other guys.' Once other guys came in the game, the message was very clear. We played that second half like we should have played the first half."


Lou Williams is a nincompoop.

johnrosz on Feb 11 at 4:01

I get the feeling that if/when Iggy and Elton get shipped out of philly, they're going to have some damning comments in regards to the coach. I just get the feeling that the only guy on this team that respects the coach is Willie "The Teachers Pet" Green...

Kenneth on Feb 11 at 4:15

I've kept my mouth shut lately because the Sixers were winning. But I can't sit quietly anymore...


Oh my GOSH...how the hell do you replace Elton Brand w/ Ivey? Ivey didn't even play in the first half! How the hell do you START IVEY OVER BRAND?????

And the result -- was DISASTRIOUS!

3-7, 8 points at half is hardly a "horrible" stat line. Why the hell, out of all the people you could have sat, would you sit Elton Brand? He's been on FIRE lately and you sit, arguably the 2nd best player on your team, because you wanted to "go small" ???

Eddie Jordan, I hope you're reading this because you need to know that nobody wants you as coach. EVERYONE, except maybe Lou Williams, wants you GONE, FIRED, C-YA!

I hope you get fired right after the all star break. I really do.

Brian: I'll blame this game on the players. Iguodala stunk it up. To me, he just looked tired. Brand too. Joran's coaching has become a constant, like standard temperature and pressure in experimental conditions. today's display was not unexpected (though that Ivy, Green, Iguodala lineup was truly moronic). The players know they have to overcome that. tough luck. I think the turnovers really killed any chance we had. Give Lou some credit, at least he tried...in his own way of course.

"I wouldn't say it backfired because guys took the message," Williams said. "The message was, 'If you guys don't want to play, especially before the [All-Star] break, we'll play other guys.' Once other guys came in the game, the message was very clear. We played that second half like we should have played the first half."

Lou played such bad on the ball 'D' that the coach took him off the point guard and put him on a wing. This was when Lou got hot! Then he returned to playing the point(Jack), actually gave good effort and he screwed up on the offensive side at the end of the game. I guess he can only play one end of the floor at a time. He chooses the offensive side 99% of the time.

I was going into this game thinking about buying into EJ. Thinking that maybe he's finally righted things and coaching the right way AND then this game happened!!!!
Even though it wasn't all on Brand, he was the player he chose to send a message through. If you wamt to sit him, why not use Speights or Smith or even Thad? Ivey?? Great matchup against Toronto's 2 bigs AND EJ showed his instincts failed him again. Atrocious.
On the plus side, Lou's highlights may attract a suitor or 2, Elton shows again his value to this team, JSmith is gaining momentom in this role AND EJ's again shows his incompetence(Out the door, please!).

after listening to him for some time, I think I have EJ's coaching philosophy down;

1) score points
2) score more points than the other team
3) find players that can score and keep them in there as long as you can
4) find a way to keep Jrue Holiday on the bench
5) when in doubt, turn to Willie Green.
6) if 5 fails, insert random lineups and yell at players
7) try to look confident while doing 6
8) play Iguodala with both the bench and starters; he fits in anywhere anyways and needs the exercise
9) call timeouts only when your team is down by 15pts or more.
10) keep Sammy out of foul trouble via pre-emptive subbing as soon as he gets 2 PF.
11) find new ways to explain your interesting philosophies
12) look frustrated in post game conference and deflect blame to players.
13) lick braces occasionally.

Jeff reply to jkay on Feb 11 at 9:12

I don't think I could've worded that any better. Congrats.

I hate this coach...

Great list! Here's a few additional bullet points for the benefit of posterity:

Three guards are good; four guards are better.

Mismatches don't matter; it's a team sport.

Dribble penetration isn't a problem or anyone's fault because there's four other guys to help out.

Benching players for no apparent reason is the primary motivational tool of the wise coach.

Anyone over 6'5" needs to be brought down a peg or two.

Keep the players guessing so they know who's boss.

If a player complains, increase his minutes.

lmfao at lou's comments. dude scores 20+ so he completely ignores everything else that happened and proclaims the game a success.

2 teams that need some change. Philly & Minny. How about this?

Jefferson(C), CBrewer(2g) & one of their first round picks FOR Sammy D, Speights & TYoung.

Logic: Jefferson & Klove are just not working out. They get an athletic big to match with Love, a young PF with potential & a young small forward which seems to be a position of need.

If we can't rid ourself of Elton, why not take on salary for another 20-10 player(I think they could work together) and a defensive minded long 2 guard who(although not looking at his stats) looks like a decent shooter. Plus a first rounder next year.

for anyone bored today, or just looking for something to fuel their hatred, i found this "fire eddie jordan" wizards thread from about 3 years ago. the casual sixer's fan may just notice a theme...


Statman reply to f4f on Feb 11 at 11:31

for anyone bored today, or just looking for something to fuel their hatred, i found this "fire eddie jordan" wizards thread from about 3 years ago. the casual sixer's fan may just notice a theme...

First time I've checked this out, and I noticed three familiar themes: (1) horrendous defense, including 3-point defense, (2) inexplicable substitutions, (3) winning with talent overcoming coaching. I wish I had seen this before the season so I could have been forewarned ...

f4f reply to Statman on Feb 12 at 9:28

you may also note a fourth theme - unprofessional favoritism. i guess what i find so upsetting is that it appears that his awful limitations as a coach were exposed in washington. i had assumed, because of the wizards modest success during his tenure compared with their general terrible history, that he was doing something right there.

"Michael Jordan has until the end of February to match the bid by a Houston businessman trying to purchase the Charlotte Bobcats, and sources say he has some important meetings with potential investors in Dallas during All-Star weekend. Several sources believe Bobcats coach Larry Brown views the potential ownership and front-office shakeup as a chance to free himself for a return to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he sees a vulnerable GM (Ed Stefanski) and coach (Eddie Jordan)."

scott reply to mike on Feb 11 at 9:44

Is that from somewhere?

mike reply to scott on Feb 11 at 10:02

Yahoo, ill post the link when I get home

I hope, pray, plead, scream and ..... that this comes true. I came to my computer this am hoping to see a news release the Jordan has been fired. While not yet, still hoping......

thanks derek. i don't see how the sixers job is better than the bobcats job, though i think larry brown's daughter goes to school outside philly.

Tom Moore on Feb 11 at 9:43

More post-game Brand: "We weren't down enough to switch what we have been doing in a five-game win streak. That's what we did and we paid for it."

Tom Moore on Feb 11 at 9:47

Brand is averaging 17.1 points and shooting 51.3 percent over the last eight games. He's reached double figures in scoring for 14 in a row.

I thought this was the most interesting Brand quote.

From Kate Fagan-

Finally, Brand said, "Maybe they’re getting prepared for something else, I don’t know, maybe I won’t be here."


jkay reply to scott on Feb 11 at 10:29

Fagan seems to be doing her best work in times like these. money quotes from both Joran and Brand.

JohnEMagee on Feb 11 at 10:38

Iverson starting in the All Star game. This league is so legitimate.

KG doesn't deserve to start either.

Fan Voting is asinine, stupid, and moronic....of course you're going to get guys who don't deserve to start.

You know what's dumber though -since it's a league decision (in MLB) every team - one player...that's just the silliest thing in the world.

Jordan isn't going to buy the bobcats, he's had ample opportunity for a couple years now, tried to get it together (he can't do it on his own, he needs an owneship group, all the endorsement money, i wonder how much he lost gambling)...but now he's pushed because there is finally a legitimate buyer for the bobcats and jordan has an agreement that he has a set amount of time to get it done...he won't.

People seem to forget that before Shinn fracked it all up in Charlotte, the Hornest were one of the hottest home tickets around...

Charlie Ace on Feb 11 at 11:29

Great post Brian. How can Stefanski watch this and be okay with it? That starting 2nd half line-up was demented.

As I've said before, Stefanski may be a bad GM but he knows some basketball and he isn't stupid. He knows Jordan is a disaster, and has probably known hiring him was a mistake for some time.

I've got good news and bad news. The good news is Jordan may get fired during the all-star break. The bad news is if he doesn't, I'm pretty sure we are stuck with him for the rest of the season. I'd guess it's about 30/70 with the big end on not firing him.

For whatever reason, Stefanski seems reluctant to go the interim route again. Maybe he figures the best way to keep his own job is to let Jordan crap up the rest of the year and then hope the resultant ping pong balls and a high-profile coach (LB, please--we're begging you to come home) will bring the fans and their money back next fall.

I agree with Brian, of course, that I would sacrifice ping pong balls just to halt the damage being done daily to the development of our young talent, but I guess Stefanski thinks any damage to Speights, Holiday and Thad can be undone and their progress jump-started once Jordan is gone.

For us--the real fans--this is torture. Thanks, Brian, for giving us a place to bitch.

mike reply to Vaughn on Feb 11 at 20:02

what makes you think stefanski isn't stupid regarding basketball decisions?

JohnEMagee reply to mike on Feb 11 at 20:59

Aside from hiring Eddie Jordan what stupid mistakes did Stefanski make that you said were stupid at the time - not two years later with hind sight?

In Jordan's twisted way of thinking, he probably thought that he could match up Iguodala with Bargnani (who, as Brian accurately described, is a 7-footer with a small forward's game) and bring in his best remaining defensive guard in Ivey. So ironically, I think he was thinking about defense. What Jordan didn't take into account, however, was (1) Willie Green at SF is a complete mismatch for the other team, both defensively and on the boards; (2) that Sixers lineup [Dalembert, Iguodala, Green, Holiday, Ivey] was the least potent offensive group that Jordan could have played [at least one not involving Brezec]. Predictably, the 9-0 run to start the 3rd Q included an offensive rebound and essentially three fastbreak baskets off Sixers misses. Sixer possessions during that time: 2 missed 3's, missed long jumper, turnover, missed lay-ups by Sam and Jrue.
The theoretically improved perimeter defense of that lineup was rendered irrelevant because they couldn't score to force a halfcourt possession.

Jordan of course compounded his terrible rotations by not calling a timeout the whole quarter. Unfortunately for Sixer fans, the small lineups enjoyed quite a bit of success vs. the Wolves, so Jordan was emboldened to use more of them vs. the Raptors.

There are several more arguments against taking Brand out at the start of the 3rd, some of them noted by a frustrated Brand himself afterward: (1) the game wasn't out of reach at 9 points, (2) the starting lineup they had used during the winning streak had performed well, (3) Brand has been their best halfcourt option for a while now, (4) Brand at PF was not the problem in the 1st half [team was +3 with Brand at PF].

On the other hand, the tanking advocates should be happy: Jordan's "coaching" turned a winnable game into an almost certain loss, and he once again alienated Brand needlessly. Of all the ways to tank, though, this is one of my least favorite: the coach is so incompetent that the players stop trying hard.

A few other comments on the game:

- Iguodala did play tired. The form on his jumper, which is inconsistent in the best of times, got worse and worse as the game went on. He also dribbled himself into a couple turnovers and uncharacteristically let his man score off an offensive rebound in the 4th. In the 9-0 run late in the 4th, though, he still contributed (2 rebounds, 3 assists, including the great pass to Thad to get the tie).
- Bargnani was surprisingly effective defending against Brand because of his height.
- Once the game devolved into disorganized mayhem (late 3rd, early 4th), Lou was able to flourish. He got hot, to be sure, but he seems to thrive in general in the midst of chaos. If you think back to some of the shocking Sixer comebacks last year (at CHI, at DET, at ORL in Game 1 of the playoffs), they were all the same kind of crazy game where the Sixers were able to score with stunning quickness and somehow get enough stops to keep the comeback going. The problem: this is not the type of style that one can rely on!
- I continue to be impressed by Jason Smith. He actually defended Bosh effectively for a time (Bosh had just 3 points and a turnover during the time Smith was on him in the 4th) and was active and effective overall (2 steals, 3 blocks, even 6 rebounds in his 13 minutes when he was +13).
- On the flip side, Speights has really regressed.
- For the 4th time this year, I hope never to see Kapono in the rotation again. Is he going to go 0-for-2010 in 3's? If so, does he have any other use on the court?

JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Feb 11 at 12:29

But how did lou do on the defensive end with his paper type defense?

the game was tied 20-20 with 2:39 left in the first. At that point, Eddie Jordan decided he needed to leave Willie Green in the game and remove Jrue for Lou Williams."

Don't most starters take a break around this time?

JohnEMagee reply to Arsenalist on Feb 12 at 17:59

Didn't willie green start the game AS WELL as Jrue Holiday?

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