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Feelings On Elton Brand

Elton? Hate to say it but the best I see is a 32 minute 14 pts.- 8 reb.(I hope!) player. I'd be happy with that going forward. Like his defensive communication in general but his P & R defense is a big problem. Hopefully the new coach will work extra on defending the pick & role. Agree Brian. He won't be gong anywhere til the last year of his contract.

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Tom Moore on Apr 24 at 8:51
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Jordan played head games with Brand, but he's a guy who looks for his shot first. When he and Speights are out there together, the ball movement comes to a grinding halt. At 30, he's an average power forward without the quickness or jumping ability to get his shot off inside. The rebounding drop-off really hurts the Sixers, especially when Dalembert isn't on the floor.

I think Brand's problem is more about scheme then anything. In Jordan's foolish world the 4 played away from the hoop on offense and they were always out of position on defense. Over 50 % of the time he was not even near the rim for a board. Get a coach who knows what he's doing and elton will clean the glass as usual

It's like watching Chris Webber all over again.It's painful to watch. Like Webber, i expect that he'll get bought out in a year or two.

Very painful to watch him all year. I agree with Tom that Jordan played head games with him. I think we need to give him a Mulligan for last year and hope for a great 2010-11!

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Chuck Norris on Apr 24 at 12:43
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I think the days of Brand being the main focal part of the offense are over. His role should be more of a Mcdyess/Ben Wallace/etc type of role.

The oddest thing about Brand was that he looked to be a solid rebounder and defender (including P&R) his 1st season before he hurt his shoulder. Any ideas why he dropped off so badly this year- effort?

Looking back to his prime on the Clippers, Brand was a good but not great rebounder. His defensive rebounding rate was about 19-20, so about as good as Speights has been this year. In fact Brand's best number was last season.

But overall, the 10 reb/game years were a result of heavy minutes. 10 reb in 39 min/game is not the same as 10 in 25 minutes (what Sam does.) But at last seasons rate he would only give you 7 reb per 36 minutes- which down from career averages of 9... and is unacceptable.

I meant to say Brands career best rebounding rate was 2008/9 with the Sixers- and then he dropped to his career lowest rate in 2009/10.

This is the thing that I don't get. I mean, it was a shoulder injury in '08-09, how does he come back from that with no legs when he seemed to have them the year before? I really think it was an effort/system thing. Which doesn't exactly make it any better, but it may mean it's correctable. Time will tell, I guess.

Tom, I'm actually alright with Brand looking for his shot in the halfcourt and ball movement being stopped with him. He's usually the best option to score in the halfcourt and this team's halfcourt offense is not their strength. His moves are still good there. I really just think he didn't care at the end of the year. He won't be a double-double guy, but if he plays 30 minutes a game, a good coach should shoot for 7-8 boards a game out of him. That will be helped by having plus rebounders with Andre and Jrue. Still, I don't know how we can run as effectively if those guys are grabbing boards EB should be getting.

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JohnMagee on Apr 24 at 13:48
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Resolution, anguish, inevitability, frustration

How much has Brand been hurt by the lack of a great P&R PG? I've seen some good signs offensively working with Jrue.

if he can improve his rebounding and P&R play I have no problem with him sharing PF duties with Speights. In fact the main problem at PF these last few years has been the coach's preference for small ball. This might come from Stefanski- since its been the case with three different coaches.

I do think the teams 3pt and P&R issues can be cleaned up with a quality defensive minded coach. And ultimately finding Sam's replacement at C is much more important than upgrading Brand at PF. Brand's contract is more the issue than his play.

Of all people, Bill Simmons pointed out that this would be a potential problem with Brand coming to the Sixers. He stated that Miller and Brand did not work that well the 1st time around precisely for this reason. Brand is a midpost player and pick & Roll/Pop guy, that's how he's effective. Stefanski said he wanted a classic low-post PF & sold the signing like we were getting McHale or Barkley, which, again, makes you wonder how much he really knows about the game.

Check out this Clipper Blog had to say about the Sixers acquisition of Brand

http://www.clipsnation.com/2008/9/12/599752/is-elton-brand-right-are-t

As for the second, it will be interesting to follow the Sixers' progress over the five years of Brand's contract. Because in many ways, when I look at the Sixers' roster, I think they are in terrible shape - destined for mediocrity, with little hope of rising above it.

Given the success of the Celtics this season (and the Spurs before that), everyone wants to talk about a team's 'Big Three.' Let's look at the Sixers' 'Big Three.' The Sixers three highest paid players are Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert. And this will be true for many years barring a trade, as Dalembert is signed for three more seasons, and the wet ink on Brand and Iguodala's contracts says they run for five and six seasons respectively.

Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert is a 'Big Three?'

Lest anyone accuse me of sour grapes following EB's LA departure, please reference the Season Preview I wrote in Sept. 2006, mere months after LA's conference semi-finals appearance, at the very height of Clipper-mania:

[This team has a] weakness at playoff time: the absence of a first-tier mega-star on offense. Right, wrong or indifferent, the NBA remains a league that is built around superstars. Elton Brand is a great player, who shows up every night. But he is not a guy who can get a crucial bucket with 30 seconds to go in a close game.

By the way, I wrote that when he was 27 and before he missed a season with a ruptured achilles tendon.

If Brand were number 2 in the Philly Big Three, this wouldn't really be a problem. But unfortunately for Sixer fans, Andre Iguodala would seem to have a very similar problem - he's a phenomenal athlete, he works hard every game, he does many things very well on the basketball court - and he's not particularly good at getting his own shot.

As for Dalembert... puh-leeze. Sam Dalembert would be the third best big on the Clippers. Maybe.

All of which leaves the Sixers with over $40M in 2010-2011 salary committed to three guys, none of whom is really a 'go to' scorer and Elton Brand as their best player. No offense, but in nine NBA seasons, teams with Elton Brand as their best player have made the playoffs once.

Don't get me wrong - they're certainly good enough to make the playoffs in the East. It would not surprise me if the Brand Sixers made the playoffs five straight seasons. Nor would it surprise me if they lost in the first round every time. Citizens of ClipsNation feel like the Sixers are now the darlings of ESPN - but even so, they're only predicting fifth place in the East for the team. That's this year. Next season, they either lose their starting point guard, or lock up more long term salary on a player in his 30's.

So where's the headroom for the Sixers? The optimistic story line says that they won 40 games last season, gave the Pistons a scare in the first round, have added a major piece, and are young. Well, the 40 wins still makes for a losing record in the JV league, and even that looked like overachieving. We'll see how they're pressure affects teams the second time around, when they're a little more prepared for it. In fact, I would venture to way that that playoff series is a microcosm: sure Philly surprised the Pistons and won 2 of the first 3; and then they lost the final three games by 9, 17 and 23 points.

I won't argue that Brand doesn't help them - he's a great addition to that team in the position where they were weakest. It is worth noting however that much of the Sixers second half success last season came playing pressure defense and running, and it's far from clear that Brand fits that profile. In fact, the one time in recent memory when Brand played on such a team (for Team USA in the 2006 World Championships in Japan), he looked extremely uncomfortable.

But the real question about how you feel about Philly's future comes down to the young guys on the roster. The team won't have the cap space to add a piece through free agency until after Dalembert's deal expires in 2011 (at which point Thaddeus Young will need to be re-signed if he's as good as they think he is). And a mid-40's win total dictates draft picks in the late teens, early 20s - unlikely to produce a star. So, is Andre Iguodala getting a lot better? I wouldn't bet the farm on that one. And it would be ill-advised to continue waiting for Dalembert to develop an offensive game.

For Philly fans, it probably comes down to Lou Williams (who'll turn 22 before the start of the season) and Thaddeus Young (20). The Sixers just locked up Williams for the next five seasons, and if he continues to improve the way he has in his first few seasons, he could be a very good player at a bargain price. Certainly they are hoping that he renders the Andre Miller question obsolete by next summer. But at only 3.2 assists per game last season (fewer than 5 per 36 minutes), he's not really looking like an NBA point guard so far, while at his size (6'2") it's his only option. As for Young, the guy just turned 20. He could be great - he had a solid rookie season. But the league is littered with guys who showed potential as very young rookies, but never really figured out the NBA. And don't forget that most of his minutes last season came at power forward in a very fast lineup. With Elton Brand in town, Young has to slide over to the 3. It may be his more natural position, but it's not the position he played last year, when he enjoyed a quickness advantage on a nightly basis.

The Sixers do have one very important asset in their hands right now: Andre Miller's $10M expiring contract. If they're going to have significance in the playoffs, I think they need to get something out of Miller before the trade deadline. Letting that deal expire doesn't get them under the cap any time soon, and re-signing Miller next summer (at 33) just seals their fate as a first round playoff team. If Ed Stefanski is as good as Sixer fans think he is, Andre Miller will be gone by the trade deadline. And if that happens, then I may have to change my opinion.

But for now I'll go back to where I started: it's going to be interesting to see what happens with the Sixers in the next five seasons. If they can approach actual contender status during the period of Brand's contract, it will likely be because of major contributions from Lou Williams and/or Thaddeus Young. But if those two guys are just the fourth and fifth starters - i.e. if neither of them can join Brand and Iguodala to form an actual big three and become the team's go to guy - then I don't see them making it out of the first round, even in the East.

That may be further than the Clippers get in that time. But is it enough?

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Justin reply to Klein on Apr 24 at 15:38
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The Sixers do have one very important asset in their hands right now: Andre Miller's $10M expiring contract. If they're going to have significance in the playoffs, I think they need to get something out of Miller before the trade deadline. Letting that deal expire doesn't get them under the cap any time soon, and re-signing Miller next summer (at 33) just seals their fate as a first round playoff team. If Ed Stefanski is as good as Sixer fans think he is, Andre Miller will be gone by the trade deadline. And if that happens, then I may have to change my opinion.

Why Stefanski should be fired...

he certainly called that one right at the time of the trade. Makes sense, since a Clips fan would have a better understanding of Brand and be more likely to objectively evaluate the Sixers roster than us Sixer fans at the time.

....don't look now, but a team with Larry Hughes, Nazr M$#@$*ad (re: South Park) and Theo Ratliff is ahead of the Magic again at halftime...

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JohnMagee reply to das411 on Apr 24 at 16:38
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Don't look now but they're down one with 31.3 seconds left to go and about to face a 3-0 deficit.

I'm not really sure what the point of what you said was - none of the names you mentioned are important to a team that is going to contend for an nba title - being a lamb in the first round isn't something to continue to aspire to

Almost as good as a scrappy Sixers team last year :)

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tom moore on Apr 24 at 15:35
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Using Brian's holiday stuff in my Sunday column.

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tom moore reply to tom moore on Apr 24 at 15:48
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The Synergy info ..
Very interesting.

That's great. Make sure you post a link in here so we can check it out.

At his best this year, Brand had a few games where he was dominant in the mid-post. Those games came few and far-between, and he really didn't affect games positively if his shot wasn't falling. Only three Sixers had the ability to do the latter consistently last year: Sam (rebounding and defense), Iguodala (defense, rebounding, playmaking), and Holiday (defense, playmaking). It's sad that Brand fell out of that category, because you'd like to think that an elite PF could always provide defense, rebounding, and some degree of intimidation.

I wasn't that high on Brand before this year, and I would say his offense was a little better than I expected (remember how horrible he looked at the start of the year?) but his defense and rebounding was much worse than I expected.

One last note: Brand and Thad do not play well at all together in the halfcourt. Thad thrives on opportunity baskets, and those opportunities are few when the ball goes into Brand, as others have noted. At this point in their careers, actually, I'd say Thad is a better low-post player than Brand, and I wouldn't mind seeing Thad get some of Brand's low-post touches.

Agreed on all counts.

In fact, your Thad point is why I'd argue that Speights would be a better fit offensively in the starting lineup going forward if this is the Brand we're going to see. Speights' range helps space the floor better so that you can post Jrue, Dala or Thad easier.

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Jeff reply to rswknight on Apr 25 at 10:25
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The problem, however, remains that Speights doesn't pass the ball. Granted, Brand doesn't pass either, but in terms of future starting PFs, Speights can't be that guy unless he changes/develops his game.
Although, I think you have a good point. I think there's more of a problem with Thad and Brand together than Thad and Iguodala (referring to the SG/SF positions). There is a lack of defensive rebounding, little ball movement, and poor defense.

IMO, Brand not passing the ball is a bigger issue then Speights not passing. Speights is a better scorer, and is still young. Ironically, one of his strengths on his DX draft profile was being a solid passer.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Marreese-Speights-1183/

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JohnMagee reply to rswknight on Apr 25 at 19:04
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How could they tell?

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Jeff reply to rswknight on Apr 25 at 20:53
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Don't get me wrong. When Speights passes, he's not bad at it. It's just that he never does it. Call it immaturity, selfishness, low basketball IQ or a combination of all three. The guy needs good coaching.

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johnrosz on Apr 24 at 17:19
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Elton Brand has the single worst contract in Philly sports history. Would love to hear somebody find one that was worse or even comparable.

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zig reply to johnrosz on Apr 24 at 17:31
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matt geiger

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johnrosz reply to zig on Apr 24 at 19:14
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I just found his contract, 6 years 48 million. Not sure what the cap looked like back then.Horrible contract but the team didn't go backwards after he signed. It didn't really cripple the franchise like the EB contract, the team made some solid playoff runs and ended up in the finals.

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Jeff reply to johnrosz on Apr 25 at 21:04
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I dont think it's fair to judge a team's performance on one player.
The sixers were a lot different when Geiger played. ie better coach who got a lot out of the roster, good system, all-star player, etc. Likewise, there were many other reasons why the sixers were bad this year. Even if Brand was still a 20/10 guy, that probably would have equated to more Eddie Jordan and further regression of the younger players.

The Kenny Thomas contract was pretty bad, not sure it was as bad as Brand's contract, but it's up there.

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paul reply to johnrosz on Apr 25 at 13:11
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Oh, c'mon, no way.

The Geiger contract is noted below.

And how about the biggest blunder of Billy King's career: Chris Webber?

Webber made something like 20 million a season (a few years ago no less) and didn't give the Sixers anything close to the value of his contract. Finally, they had to pay him to quit and play for another team.

Brand may not be the player he once was and is a bit overpaid to be sure, but he demonstrated this year that he can still be a regular and significant contributor and he hasn't demonstrated yet that he intends to quit playing for the Sixers. Brand looks like he's capable of giving the Sixers 9 or 10 million of veteran value for 16 million of veteran salary. That's much better than what the team got for the 20 million of Webber's salary.

They traded 3 bad contracts for 1 bad contract. They didn't add any additional committed salary in the Webber trade. I didn't (and still don't) have a huge problem with it.

And the Sixers were a team that wanted to try one last time to find the right complement to AI. In that regard Webber's skills and contract (which expired the same year as AI's) made sense.

Brand's contract was taken on at a time when the team had a collection of young overachievers. His signing was meant to accelerate the timetable of their success at the risk of bogging down the team when all of those young players actually hit their prime. It was a continuation of the "quick fix" appraoch when they rotated older big names next to AI- but made no sense since the superstar (AI) was gone.

O.T., some Jrue Videos to add to the one Brian linked the other day:


Pre-draft work-out for Kings (detailed)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R703evE0MW0


HS→NBA mixtape:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGAR1_b-3ec

HS Mixtape… arguably the best HS player in the nation- watch for the behind the back, through the legs, cross-over at full speed. he has not shown it yet in an NBA game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTZQyIRbSHY

OT Jrue Video to add to the one Brian linked to the other day:

Pre-draft work-out for Kings (detailed)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R703evE0MW0

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 24 at 22:17
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tk76 reply to tk76 on Apr 24 at 22:18
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HS Mixtape… arguably the best HS player in the nation- watch for the behind the back, through the legs, cross-over at full speed. he has not shown it yet in an NBA game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTZQyIRbSHY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulLc6nbcwSM

The most painful press conference in Sixer history. It still makes me boil...

I just watched Wade beat the Celtics. Interesting comment was made by the announcers about Wade shooting 3's and that he could not do that before he came into the league. That reminds me of my favorite 76er. Just maybe we have hope for this team??

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Gman reply to DeanH on Apr 25 at 16:11
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Who may that be????

Jrue

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Rich reply to DeanH on Apr 25 at 17:44
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I don't know who you are referencing, but Wade is out of this world good. His team is absolute garbage and he won that game by himself. He's only a 30 percent three point shooter, so that's not really his game, but he was hitting today.

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JohnMagee reply to Rich on Apr 25 at 18:28
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And his team probably won't win another playoff game this year.

PS - smarter folk - what's wades usage rate?

League-high, 34.9%, in the regular season.

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JohnMagee reply to Brian on Apr 25 at 19:13
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Yeah, that's kind of what i expected, lebron wade would just be an awesome combination though :)

LOL, you mean how nobody else would touch the ball ever. Hell the ref would get more touches then the rest of the team.

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JohnMagee reply to rswknight on Apr 25 at 19:24
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It'd be more interesting to see them steal the ball from each other :)

I read something today about how Bosh wouldn't consider OKC (idiot) because he wants to be the man wherever he ends up...if so that eliminates any destination that has a wade or lebron coming to it as well.

That would be fabulous. Their games don't mesh at all. They are both streaky shooters from deep and need the ball a ton.

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Jeff reply to JohnMagee on Apr 25 at 21:09
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I guess he doesn't want to win a championship either...

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Rich reply to JohnMagee on Apr 25 at 21:51
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Have you seen that team play though? I think the four other guys he played with at Marquette would be just as effective. His usage rate has to be high on that team, no other guy inspires an ounce of confidence. The Celtics got back in the game today by doubling him from 35 feet out and making him give it up. Essentially he would pass it out to where his team had a 4 on 3, and they didn't get many good shots. Not on him if they won't win another playoff game, not even close.


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