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Clutch Loss

who is in the picture?

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Joe reply to Shawn on Apr 7 at 9:12
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Looks like EB is the center of the shot. Hard to tell.

Couldn't have said it any better, Brian. Perfect night pretty much.

Anyone checkout the free agent list at the fanhouse?

http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/04/06/top-50-2010-nba-free-agents/

Keleena Azubuike could be an interesting addition to the Sixers (assuming he opts out). Would be good to fill the two hole with a quick, athletic guy who can shoot the 3.

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Mike P. reply to Joe on Apr 7 at 9:41
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Agreed, as would Morrow.

We could potentially add some very nice complementary pieces...

OH WAIT. WE HAVE NO MONEY.

THANKS ELTON BRAND. CAPS LOCK ANGER.

Yes. They are over the tax. So unless they make a trade to free up a bunch of money they will not use the MLE (again.) Expect only Ivey/Primoz type additions. Not someone who would actually help.

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JohnEMagee reply to Mike P. on Apr 7 at 10:38
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Unless the warriors are stupid morrow is a restricted fre agent - so good luck with that

a) the Warriors are clearly stupid
b) they're up for sale, right?
c) doesn't matter, the Sixers won't be using the MLE unless something drastic happens (like they get JVG to coach or something like that)

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 10:52
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d. the sixers are clearly stupid :)

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Joe reply to Joe on Apr 7 at 10:54
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Sixers aren't in the free agent market, Joe.

Only thing standing between the Sixers and losing the rest are the Magic to close the season. Most likely the big guns on the Magic will be resting like last season's end game in Cleveland without Lebron.

I sense an OT finale.

My guess is an OT finale, Iguodala hits a three at the buzzer to win the game, and drop us from the 5th-worst record to the 7th-worst record. More ammunition for the anti-Iguodala faction.

Playing ESP draft lottery this morning and seeing Aldrich/Davis come up 10X in a row does not make my morning. Especially when they have Wes dropping to one or two slots in front of the Sixers.

3 clicks to get Wall for me, then I got him on the 4th click as well. The rest were Ed Davis (at 7), Aminu (at 7 one time), Aldrich (at 8) and then my last click had the Sixers at #3 and they took................Cousins.

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paul reply to tk76 on Apr 7 at 11:11
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Well, they could use another center and Aldrich isn't the only one who should be available at that point. However, Alrich's projected draft position has held pretty steady over the last year so scouts must like what they see. As far as Wes Johnson, can you predict with any confidence that he would be an improvement over Thad?

My own best case scenario is that they get a little Bulls luck, land the second pick in the lottery, pick Evan Turner (who I really do believe is "can't miss"), trade Thad to someone with too many draft picks (like Minnesota), and pick up another first rounder where they can take a center with potential.

I don't know if people in Sixers' land follow the Big Ten much, but I live in Big Ten land and, based on what I have seen, I would rather have Evan Turner than Wes Johnson.

Yeah, I think pretty much everyone in the country would rather have Evan Turner than Wes Johnson. Personally, I think Johnson fits the team better than Thad, or at least better than Thad playing most of his time at the four with an Ayers-modified jumper.

The only internal debate I'm having right now is whether I'd take Favors or Turner if we get the #2 pick. There's something very, very appealing to me about having Favors and Jrue at 19 and 20, running the P&R and locking down the defense for the next decade, growing together.

But Stefanski would pass on favors because he already has Brand and Speights. And then we would all go nuts.

As for Wes- he fits better than Thad next to Iguodala and Holiday. And if we get #2 I would think drafting Turner would lead to Iguodala being moved.

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Apr 7 at 12:36
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Well - that dpeneds on how stupid stefanski really is.

I go back to the comments to Rich (I think rich) that stefanski made 'on the sly' at that season ticket holders thing - I don't think Stefanski thinks he has much in Speights.

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paul reply to tk76 on Apr 7 at 13:47
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Why couldn't Ig and Turner play at the same time with Ig manning the nominal small forward spot?

Wes Johnson appears to be most noted for his shooting ability, but I'm not sure whether the Sixers bigger problem is lack of pure shooters or lack of good shot creators and Turner is certainly one of the latter.

I'm sure they could play together, and if Jrue turns out to be a 40% 3pt shooter for his career, it may work just fine.

The issue I have is that AI9, Jrue and Turner are all initiators on the offensive end, none of them are necessarily receivers, meaning, the initiator drives the lane, draws the double hits someone else for an open shot. A guy who's going to hit that open shot is a better fit than another guy who creates the open shots.

I agree, if Turner comes here, Iguodala is most likely on the way out.

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psul reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 16:24
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"The issue I have is that AI9, Jrue and Turner are all initiators on the offensive end, none of them are necessarily receivers, meaning, the initiator drives the lane, draws the double hits someone else for an open shot."

Good point, particularly if Louis Williams is also on the court, things could get messy. I guess I was referring more to creating a shot for oneself.

That's what we have Willie for :)

Heh,

Check out Brand and Dalembert responding to Eddie Jordan heaving them under the bus, again.

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paul reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 11:13
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I like the comment about them "lacking a sense of urgency." Why would anyone on this team have a sense of urgency?

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The Greek reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 11:22
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Dalembert: "Nothing makes sense to me. I was hustling out there. I start the game. It's not my fault if we couldn't score. I'm not going to go out there and play defense for everybody else. It's been the whole thing throughout the year. I wish he could have done that with everybody, if you know what I'm saying."

What a fukn dooschbag, whether what he said was true or not there is no reason to throw his teammates under the bus even though his coach threw him under the bus.

We should be so lucky to get a guy Like Aldrich.

Brand, Sammy, speigths, and Smith are all fuking worthless. I would rather watch have a no name d league player down low for us because at least he would give us effort.

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The Greek reply to The Greek on Apr 7 at 11:25
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sorry for the last part, I meant to say I would rather have a no name d league player down low for us because at least he would give us effort.

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JohnEMagee reply to The Greek on Apr 7 at 11:26
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We should be so lucky to get a guy Like Aldrich.

Sure, if you considering getting herpes 'lucky' cause it's not HIV

When the detroit pistons lay 120+ on you that's a TEAM defensive failure - top to bottom...calling out folk who didn't get a lot of minutes - well that's just a weak move by a weak coach - the pistons scored 60 in both halves - so i'm not sure how them sitting on the bench made the defense so much better in the second half.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 11:40
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save your breath for your porridge, John. we'll address this in november as discussed.

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JohnEMagee reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Apr 7 at 11:59
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Ah yes, the second member of the stooges chimes in.

You can discuss it in November, but as I pointed out to you (and like everything else that doesn't agree with your points - you ignored) - you dont' judge a rookie based on November - or did you just totally miss the whole ty lawson / jrue holiday debate (you probably did because it wasn't about you)

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 13:18
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fine, december. it doesnt take 5 seasons to find out if someone is a good player.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Apr 7 at 13:20
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oh and yeah, it certainly helps when the guy is actually playing.

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The Greek reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 14:15
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Who are your 3 stooges?

Beyond the quotes, did you happen to see what happened when Sam wasn't in the game last night? That's what's going to happen if Sammy walks and we don't have a legitimate shotblocker to replace him. Smiths and Speights are absolute stiffs.

Sam's an idiot, but in this case he's completely right. In the 77th game he decides to make an example of Dalembert for his defensive play? Where the hell was that in the first 76 games for essentially every other big on the roster?

I never thought it was possible, but Smith might actually be a worse defender than Speights, without bringing any of the offensive abilities. At least when Speights is accidentally in the right position he has the length and physical abilities to contest a shot and not get bullied in the post.

IMO Speights is a much better defender than Smith. All Smith is good for is weak side shot blocking (and he is not that great at that.)

These are my priorities for a big on defense:

1. Grab defensive rebounds (in traffic): Speights >>> Smith
2. Deny low post position: Both lousy
3. Prevent drives: Speights>Smith. Speights is the better shot blocker, takes charges and gives hard fouls. Again both are poor overall.
4. Contest low post moves: Speights>Smith because he is longer and bigger but they both stink.
5. Show then recover on Pick&Roll: Smith> Speights

Agree 100% on your ranking who's better, I think preventing drives is probably more important than denying low post position these days, though. Not a lot of back-to-the-basket bigs in the league.

And the P&R part really should change with better coaching. When in shape there is no reason why Speights could not be solid in this area.

The laziness is mostly shown in terms of the denying low post position. That requires a high motor and is not directly rewarded- unless a (good) coach keeps track of it.

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Apr 7 at 12:59
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And the P&R part really should change with better coaching. When in shape there is no reason why Speights could not be solid in this area.

Like 3 point defense hasn't the sixers P&R defense been crap for a few years?

Is P&R defense one of those things you need a high bball iq for?

I don't think its a BB IQ issue. Its a consistent/good coaching issue.

You have now had 3 coaches that are poor at 3pt and P&R defense. It is not like they switched from LB to Van-Gundy to Thibbedeau. And the constant coaching changes means the players have heard a different message each year, so they have never gotten to the point where the defensive approach on the perimeter is internalized.

This does not let players off the hook, but it makes a bad situation worse.

The Sixers really haven't been bad at three-point defense until this season. They were a bit above league average last season, prior to that, they've been at or below league average for the past decade.

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Rich reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 13:23
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I think you do need a high IQ to be great at it, but a solid system helps the basics of it.

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Rich reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 14:10
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I think you do need a high IQ to be great at it, but a solid system helps the basics of it.

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The Greek reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 14:10
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Brian I agree with you man, without him our defense and rebounding are garbage. But when we do take the next step as a team, it won't be with Sam in the middle. Smith and Speights are a waste of space, agreed again.

Whether what Sam said was true, I just don't think that it's right to point fingers at your teammates. Ever. Jordan is a shithead we all know that, even dumb ass Sammy knows it. Sam knows that Jordan will be fired in 2 weeks, he didn't need to talk shit about his teammates, just my opinion.

Yeah, I can buy that. I don't think he was really lashing out against his teammates, I think his point was that it's a joke that he was singled out when the team hasn't defended all season long. Basically, he's saying he's the least to blame for the team's defensive problems, and maybe if Jordan has used PT as the carrot to motivate guys to defend things wouldn't have gotten this bad.

Or maybe I'm giving Sammy too much credit. That's just how I read it.

I think this is probably just along the lines of Sammy not liking any coach that doesn't give him consistent playing time (as he has with pretty much every coach he's had). the only difference is this time we actually agree with him.

I'm not sure this situation equates with Sammy's problems with coaches in the past. This wasn't him going to the press to say something, this was just his reaction to Jordan throwing him under the bus. It's a minor distinction, I realize, but it is different.

This season and the Jordan era just need to end as quickly as possible.

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The Greek reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 14:19
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Brian do you see Brand improving his rebounding numbers next season? Because if he is a mediocre rebounder then we might as well Thad start at the 4.

I'd love to be able to give you an answer for this, but I can't figure out why his rebounding numbers have been so pitiful this season. Did he just mail the season in once he realized what a moron Jordan is (completely unacceptable), is it deteriorated skills (I'm not sure why he'd be so much worse this season than last, if that was the case), is it the system which has him rotating away from the hoop (the only guy who has played the four and rebounded while he was playing the four for the Sixers the entire season is Iguodala), was it too many minutes as an under-sized five?

Some of those things are correctable, some aren't. We're going to have to wait and see. I'm not exactly optimistic.

Its a good question. Who knows?

Big picture, we always knew the back end of Brand's deal would be a problem. But does that mean 16-18M a year for a solid starter or just a bench guy?

Strange thing is I expected his defense to hold up better than his offense-and the reverse seems to be the case.

I figured he would always have a good reach, low center of gravity and high motor- allowing him to be a good rebounder and defender even if he loses quickness. Maybe he'll bounce back next year, because I have been impressed by his ability to score ion the post.

The offensive player he is right now w/ average defensive rebounding/below average p&r defense and an occasional block is a decent starting PF, IMO. Without the rebounding, though, he's a bench player, and not a particularly good one, either.

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 14:23
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Dalembert is flawed, but he's the only center on the roster who plays any defense. I agree that suddenly taking issue with Dalembert and Brand in Game 77 is wacky, especially after praising the team's effort and camaraderie pregame. Ironically, Jordan didn't want to say anything about Brand not having a rebound Saturday because he didn't want to be negative.

Tom, have you talked to any of the guys w/ player options about their plans this summer? Willie and Kapono can both opt out and look for employment elsewhere. It's doubtful that either would pass up he guaranteed year, but I guess a guy can dream.

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 14:46
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I have not. I'll be away from the team until Monday's home finale (they probably won't practice Thursday or Sunday after back-to-backs). Will try to ask then. Can't imagine that either would opt out, but it's worth the question.

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JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 14:49
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I didn't imagine channing frye was going to opt out - but he is

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The Greek reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 14:58
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Channing Frye has made 161 three pointers at a 43% clip, he is worth more then the 2 million that he got this year in my humble opinion.

I'm still waiting to hear who are your 3 stooges.

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 14:55
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But Phoenix wants him back and he'll get more than the veterans' minimum, so he's not a potential Sixer.

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JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 15:18
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Wasn't implying he would be a sixer (cause I don't see the sixers signing anyone because of hte luxury tax) but just mnetioning what to me was a surprise opt out - all that money being thrown around it would be nice if someone convinced willie he could get more

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The Greek reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 15:27
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Magee if your calling me one of the 3 stooges please have the balls to come out and say it.

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JohnEMagee reply to The Greek on Apr 7 at 15:32
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Yawn...name calling goes both ways manny (or would you like to be mo or curlly, or maybe shemp)...i'm pretty sure it's obvious who the stooges are - i mean you already figured it out it was one of you didn't ya?

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The Greek reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 7 at 15:43
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John lay off the bottle, and get out of the house a little. But then again if you leave the house you might get beat up because no one in this world has any respect for you. Brian sorry for this post but the guy is a punk and I am just defending myself.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to The Greek on Apr 7 at 15:48
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dont take it personally. it makes john feel like a man to speak to people in this manner while hiding behind a keyboard. he knows he cant pull this crap in person, so he gets it when and where he can

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 14:57
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FYI: Sixers are 15-16 this season when Brand scores 14-plus points and 3-15 when he scores 10 or less. They're also 0-6 when he hasn't played due to injury.

Thorpe on Jrue in his latest column: "If he gets mentored smartly, he can be a Chauncey Billups-type, a multi-time All-Star leading his team as one of its top two players."

Here's the link (insider) Thorpe is ranking the draft class, he has Jrue 5th right now, behind Curry, Griffin, Rubio and Evans (ahead of Jennings who was 6th. Ty Lawson didn't make the top ten).

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tk76 reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 15:24
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It will be interesting to see how Jrue's offensive game and shot progress these next few years.

Billups is a nice goal, but Billups kills you with his range.

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Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Apr 7 at 15:34
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I like Holiday, but I think a multiple all-star might be a bit overly optimistic.

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JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 15:38
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WEll that depends - if you mean all star starter - than yeah - probably overly optimstic because the fans as a whole are idiots.

I could see him making it as a coaches/players choice more than once if he maintains developing

Starting guard spots in the East are probably going to be tough to come for years. Wade, D Rose, Rondo (possibly Wall as well).

There are so many variables. I'm not sure I love the Chauncey comparison, I think he was always a scorer first. Don't think that would be the ideal development path for Jrue.

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The Greek reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 15:47
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How about a young Jason Kidd with a jumper?

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JohnEMagee reply to The Greek on Apr 7 at 15:50
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Let's hope he avoids the whole no respect for women part of kidds repertoire

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 15:50
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WEll - the comparison might not be great but it's better than, say, eric snow :)

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 15:53
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I wouldn't get very excited about the list. The guys who are playing are pretty much always at the top of those lists.

Lawson's roookie numbers are truly impressive.

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JohnEMagee reply to Joe on Apr 7 at 15:59
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Some folks are just never going to let it go are they?

I'm most impressed by Lawson's uncanny ability to play limited minutes but still find a way to pick up injuries. Not everyone can do that.

Seriously, though. Lawson had all his production before the All Star break and hasn't done anything since. Check out Jrue's pre/post All Star splits. He's been better than Lawson was early in the year since Jordan stopped jerking around his playing time.

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Joe reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 16:55
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I think Jrue has been great this 2nd half and I love watching him play. I don't think you can just throw away the first half, either. Lawson's numbers, taking into account the whole year, are much better.

Yeah, I'm not disputing Lawson's numbers, just pointing out that Jrue's have been better since he was given the opportunity Lawson was given from opening night. He's actually producing more than Lawson did playing heavier minutes than Lawson did early on, before he started missing big chunks of time with nagging injuries.

And your original point about guys who play a lot being on top of those lists doesn't really make much sense. 2 of the top 4 haven't played a minute in the NBA this season. Curry and Evans have both been excellent in their minutes.

Also, of all the rookie PGs, Lawson was (a) the oldest and (b) clearly playing with the most talent around him. I won't ignore the first half of the season if you won't ignore all the other contributing factors.

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 15:54
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Kidd with a jumper is a perennial all-star.

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The Greek reply to Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 16:00
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Yes sir, that is what I'm hoping will happen as soon as he cuts down his turnovers. 2 way players like Jrue who have an inside outside game don't come along very often.

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Tom Moore on Apr 7 at 16:08
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Recall folks raving about Thaddeus Young when he was averaging 20 points a game last March. But he's got some shortcomings that have become more evident this season. While Holiday is certainly ahead of what anybody could've expected as a rookie, drawing conclusions this early can be difficult.

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Statman on Apr 7 at 16:23
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Hey guys, this is off-topic but I had a chance to run some stats for Iguodala's recent performance, using the game logs from hoopdata.com (thanks to John and Brian for the pointers). This was motivated by my assertion that he's been playing the game most suited to his strengths recently.

In the last 7 games, he's gone 47-78 FG, 11-21 3P, 37-50 FT for 142 points in 254 minutes. His attempts breakdown goes like this: At Rim 44.9%, 5-9 ft 9.0%, 10-15 ft 2.6%, 16-23 ft 15.4%, 3P 26.9%. For the season, the attempts breakdown is: At Rim 28.5%, 5-9 ft 4.3%, 10-15 ft 8.4%, 16-23 ft 31.7%, 3P 27.0%. So he's taking the same percentage of 3-point attempts, just hitting a much higher percentage. But the big difference is that he's moved 16% of his attempts from long 2's (16-23 ft) to "At Rim," where he's shooting 77% in the last 7 games (27-35), slightly higher than his season's average of 68% (206-305).

Added to the above is that his FTA/36 is at 7.1 for the last 7 games (compared to 4.8 for the season), and his FTA/FGA is 0.64 (compared to 0.38 for the season). In every respect, he's playing the way I wish he would have played the whole season. Though his shooting has been better than normal during this stretch, even if we knock off 5 3-pointers made and 2 2-pointers made so that the percentages are back in line with season averages, his TS% during the 7 games would still be over 60%, because of the high number of "At Rim" attempts and FT attempts.

As I've said before, I hope Iguodala accepts his identity as primarily an attacking player in the future and never returns to the passive (and ineffective) jumpshooter that he was for large stretches of this season.


Great stuff, Statman. I completely agree this is the type of offensive game Iguodala needs to play, and I hope he realizes it as well. Part of the problem this season was an offensive system that clearly didn't fit him, and you'd hope whoever takes over as coach will recognize the strengths/weaknesses of the roster in general and the players specifically. Essentially, this offense was designed to shake players for open 20-foot jumpers, and if it was meant to be deeper than that, it certainly never seemed like it on the floor.

One thing I've noticed recently, that I really, really like, is that the team is deferring to Jrue to (a) bring the ball up and (b) run the offense. There has been much less of the stupid dribble handoff nonsense. It's a more traditional set, and I think it's been getting the ball to Iguodala in space with his dribble, rather than cramped on the sideline with two defenders right there (thanks to the handoff and dragging the extra defender to the ball).

Cool, this is something to actually pay attention to tonight, a reason to watch.

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 7 at 16:45
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The coach neees to recognize it as well and never call any play that ends with an Iguodala 3 point shot...ever

He's not in Josh Smith territory, he just absolutely shouldn't be attempting 3.7 threes/game. Somewhere between 1 and 2 would be fine at this percentage. Actually, I think his percentage would probably improve if he was taking fewer, and only taking solid catch-and-shoot threes with his feet underneath him.


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