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Righting the Sinking Ship

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deepsixersuede on Mar 31 at 7:16
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I don!t want to give our g.m. and coach credit for anything, but pushing Elton and seeing what he is capable of is a good thing for the rest of the year. Maybe the extra minutes allow him to get his legs back.

brian, was going to text you but i lost your number. did you see me choke on the shooting contest in the 1st Q and not even hit a FT?

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eddies' heady's on Mar 31 at 9:40
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"Believe it or not, I thoroughly enjoyed that game. The Sixers didn't mail this one in, the guys on the floor played hard."

Serious question: If the guys didn't mail this one in, are we THAT bad of a team then? To lose by 18 to the Thunder and what probably should have been 30 or more considering all the gimmie layups they missed?

EB and Andre were the only ones that showed up (and Jrue to a lesser extent), which isn't saying much considering how much they gave up to the men they were guarding.

I guess I'm asking if "the guys on the floor played hard" then what was the reason for them getting their asses handed to them?

Because if that was playing hard, I'd love to see when they really try. I mean, we shot 47% for the game and 81% from the line, the turnovers were certainly too high and the boards could have been better, we were +7 in fast break points - so why an 18 point loss that could easily have been 30+?

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JohnEMagee reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 31 at 9:53
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The thunder laid a bitch slap (at home) on the lakers just a few days ago - the thunder are a good team fighting for a playoff spot - the sixers are a bad team with a terrible coach playing out the string

so why an 18 point loss that could easily have been 30+?

Interesting question, because when you look at the boxscore, the bench only got outscored by 3 (36-33), Iguodala/Brand outscored Durant/Green by 1, and Jrue outscored Westbrook by 1. So the bulk of the difference came with the 4th and 5th starters: Krstic/Sefolosha outscored Dalembert/Kapono 23-6. Kapono is a one-trick pony who doesn't bring anything to the table if he isn't hitting his shot (he really should have been in the conversation for worst player of the game -- 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and terrible defense in 26 minutes). Interestingly, the team was only -7 in Kapono's 26 minutes, so there probably is something to the idea that having him out there opens lanes for Iguodala et al. So how about getting someone next year who is an outside threat and does other things on the court? Are those players so rare?

Do you consider Korver one of those players?

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 11:29
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I do - always have - but not sure if that's fact or perception - sure trading him allowed the sixers to have room to get brand - but it wasn't a good basketball move - and he is a free agent this off season...if only he wasn't worshipped in utah and the sixers had money to sign someone

Ah well

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Statman reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 11:56
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Korver is less one-dimensional than Kapono, but is he really a starter? I still have flashbacks to his getting dominated (and completely shut down) by Prince in the '05 playoffs. On the other hand, his otherworldly 64% TS% (and 56% 3-pt pct.) this year certainly fits the definition of "outside threat."

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JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 31 at 11:59
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No - he's not a starter

but neither is kapono

He's probably a 6th man. I like him (and what his outside shooting does for the rest of our team) as a 6th man over another penetrating, undersized two guard. I just think he'd be a better fit as a 6th man than our current options.

I just had a horrible thought. Could you imagine the lineups Jordan could put on the floor if he had both Korver and Kapono at his disposal?

Smith, Kapono, Korver, Willie, Jodie

Smith, Kapono, Korver, Jodie, Lou

Thad, Kapono, Korver, Willie, Lou

I felt a little better when I realized we were talking about next year, when Jordan's long gone.

Defense. Simple as that. We have absolutely no clue how to play team defense, there's no direction, there's no philosophy. Couple that with heavy minutes for some guys who just have absolutely no skill on the defensive end (Kapono, Willie, Meeks, Smith and Speights played a combined 92 minutes). Sam and EB were glued under the baskets and rarely, if ever, challenged the mid-range jumpers OKC's bigs were hitting consistently. Like I said in the post above, OKC got whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it on the offensive end.

When isolated one-on-one, I thought Iguodala did a good job on Durant (a couple of strips/blocks. Kept him out of the lane, etc.) and Jrue did a good job on Westbrook as well. Beyond that, nothing really worked on the defensive end, and when we were getting killed on the glass, Jordan went smaller.

I'm actually shocked we shot as well as we did, considering we played for long stretches with either Willie or Meeks at the point, which is a complete joke.

There was a stretch in the third when Jrue and Iguodala were just relentlessly driving to the hole, and getting to the line. I think we mixed in maybe 2 or 3 stops in there and the lead was cut to seven, but OKC just scored way too easily for this game to even be close.

In the last two years I don't think I've ever seen more than Iguodala, Thad, Lou and for short period Iverson working out before the game. Now this is based on when they let fans in (6pm for 7pm games) and it's very possible that guys were working out prior to that point. But in all the games I've been two over the past two season's I've never once seen anyone other than those four guys getting shots up before lay-up lines.

Don't know if I would call Brand's play on the blocks "excellent" he scored very efficiently for a change. But 6 boards in 40 minutes? I mean will this get better with him? He doesn't seem all that capable of being force on the boards at all.

Sixers got killed on the glass.

Yeah, by on the blocks I meant offensively. I'm beyond his pathetic rebounding at this point. I can't explain it at all.

The Sixers were at best trading baskets last night. I never really saw any cohesive defense out of then- which is not a surprise.

I was trying to figure out why the Thunder are effective defensively without good interior defenders. It seems to be the aggressive use of very long players on the perimeter. Westbrook, Thabo and Durant all have extremely long wingspans for their positions. Having them overplay the primary passing lanes works to this strength- even without great shot blocking behind them.

But you think well executing teams could take advantage of that type of defense.

Long, athletic players on the perimeter. Sound familiar? And the Sixers do have a shotblocker behind them.

Yes, that was what I was getting at.

Responses to Brian's observations:
- I do wonder what type of numbers Iguodala could have put up this year, if he had played all year with the attacking mentality he has shown in the last 4 games (all against playoff teams), instead of the passive, jump-shooting mentality he's shown for large portions of the year. It's something he can take forward into next year, wherever he winds up.
- Jason Smith is good for comic relief, isn't he? I was sure that lay-up he threw over the backboard was deflected. And getting blocked by the rim is embarrassing, but I remember he recently got blocked below the rim on a dunk attempt where he was at the apex of his jump. Are his arms really that short and his vertical leap that poor?
- Meeks isn't even Willie Green at this point. I wonder how long before the fans turn on him.

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JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 31 at 11:42
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I do wonder what type of numbers Iguodala could have put up this year, if he had played all year with the attacking mentality he has shown in the last 4 games (all against playoff teams), instead of the passive, jump-shooting mentality he's shown for large portions of the year. It's something he can take forward into next year, wherever he winds up.

If the sixers get a coach who knows how to coach strengths, yeah, but if you have another coach like Joran who is an idiot the player is supposed to listen to what the coach 'wants' - which is why everyone blaming iguodala should look at bit more at the coach who screwed up multiple players this year.

Jodie Meeks is irrelevant ,a useless cog and trading for him was pointless especially since the sixers second round pick was going to be pretty high this year and probably could have had better options than jodie meeks - but hey at least they made a trade

I agree with Statman, I think Kapono should be recognized for how bad he was. Not only did he not score, but he missed 2 or 3 wide open threes that get the team over the hump from 8 or 9 to a 5 point deficit. Although I do think Smith managed to do nothing even neutral for the time he was on the floor, everything was negative.

A couple of thoughts from the game:
- EB was very good scoring it, but does anyone else notice he likes to play more and more off the dribble? Sometimes he catches off the pick and roll wide open and starts dribbling into an old man move. He might make the shot, but he looks to be making it harder.

- I thought the stoppage in the 4th quarter fixing the shot-clock summed up the season. Let's start with the Thunder. Serge Ibaka and James Harden (2 rooks I believe) seemed to be getting a quick tutorial on help defense from Scotty Brooks, and they were very enthusiastic about it. Mo Cheeks was sitting on the bench schooling Eric Maynor about something, which is good for the Thunder. I think Mo was very good as an assistant here. Later in the stoppage, Durant and Brooks seemed to be talking offense and genuinely into it.

What were the Sixers doing? First they were sitting on the scorers table, looking disinterested, and then they moved into a circle out on the floor looking like high school girls talking about who knows what. It wasn't like Jordan was coaching them or anything.

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JohnEMagee reply to Rich on Mar 31 at 12:43
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I don't think anyone thinks kapono is 'good' - but he does do something no one else on the sixers does (until Jrue recently) and that's provide a legitimate outside threat which can stretch defenses...a big man drawing a double team with no one on the perimeter to pass it to is kind of a waste

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Rich reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 31 at 12:46
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Just talking about last night. His shots were getting worse and were all wide-open at fairly big junctures, he was absolutely useless last night.

The only attempt that wasn't wide open got completely rejected by Durant. I was actually shocked he even attempted that shot. Usually he won't pull the trigger if there's a defender within 15 feet of him.

andre was the only guy to do work pre-game when i went to the game in boston. he did some shooting routine (probably same one u saw last night), and drilled nearly every shot. thad and lou came out for a couple minutes, but didn't do much.

Durant had a couple of big blocks, very happy to have seen him play in person.

He is so skinny. He looks like a basketball player caricature.

I got to watch Iggy make 50 percent of his open threes when he was shooting warm ups. I was kinda cringing just watching him. More driving, less threeing.

When Jrue was actually on the court he was very fun to watch. Too bad everyone was dropping his passes.

Jason Smith was god awful. Missing everything, playing no D. Viva la 2007 draft!

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JohnEMagee reply to Mike P. on Mar 31 at 18:05
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Kevin Durants pretty skinny - some body types just work like that


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