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A Glimmer of Hope

This was what Doug Collins had mentioned when he was posed the question of losing Dalembert how they could be a better defensive team. He mentioned team defensive concepts and he brought up OKC because they had a good season defensively and particularly shot block with their best shot blocker being Ibaka. If you look at the clubs side by side the Sixers have the better defenders potentially. As you said this is where the coach would earn his money. I think by Collins changing the culture this will also change the defensive mindset.

I'm not sure I see an advantage in players over OKC.

Westbrook = Jrue (Jrue could be better, better size, but right now I'd say equal)

Thabo > Turner

Durant < Iguodala

Green > Thad. Brand could have an edge here, but I'm not really sure where Brand is going to play the majority of his minutes.

Collison/Krstic/Ibaka > Hawes/Speights/Smith. If Brand is the center, this becomes a little more even, but then we lose the PF position.

They also added Aldrich, which gives them two interior defenders better than anyone we have.

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whoondamic reply to Brian on Jun 26 at 14:23
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um, wut?

Westbrook > Jrue (Jrue still really hasn't played enough to know about him)

Thabo > Turner (we haven't seen Turner play at all)

Durant >> Iguodala (Durant was MVP in my opinion, he was the OKC team)

Their Big men on defense>> Our big men on defense

Their Big men on offense

I believe he's talking about only on the defensive end.

And, your post makes no sense. If you're saying Durant > Iguodala, then you're obviously talking about both ends of the court. That being the case, there's no way you can say Thabo > Turner. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE that argument htat "he hasn't played a game". In that case, we should trade Willie Green (who has played a game) for John Wall (who hasn't played a game). That might be too risky, though, since Willie Green is up on wall 422 games to 0.

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Turtle Bay reply to Derek Bodner on Jun 26 at 17:52
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We should reserve final judgement on Turner's defensive abilities until we see him guard NBA players

first, i disagree.

second, the guy above was talking overall game (unless he believes Durant is a better defensive player than Iguodala ... )

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Turtle Bay reply to Derek Bodner on Jun 26 at 18:49
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You can extrapolate some things from how he defended college guys, and you can examine his defensive technique, lateral quickness, etc., but it's still very different from guarding the kind of athlete he'll be facing in the NBA. Have you already made a final judgement on his defensive capabilities in the NBA? Would like to hear it.

You're still missing the point that he compared overall games ...

Have I made a final judgement? Obviously, no. You can only make projections. I project him to be an above average, albeit not great, defensive player who will probably force a fair amount of turnovers and get a fair amount of steals, but will be a notch below iguodala and take the oppositions second best wing scorer.

Just to clarify, I was comparing defensive ability in my original post. I assume the response to my post was comparing overall games.

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Ricky Rubio reply to Brian on Jun 26 at 20:39
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Westbrook = Jrue

Thabo > Turner

Durant

Green

Kristic/Ibaka/Collison > Hawes/Speights/Smith

So we're tied! : )

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Ricky Rubio reply to Ricky Rubio on Jun 26 at 20:40
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Durant

Green

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Ricky Rubio reply to Ricky Rubio on Jun 26 at 20:41
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Not sure why this isn't showing up.

Iguodala > Durant

Brand > Green

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Jason Mess on Jun 26 at 11:12
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I think you are right on point. They most likely will improve but not reach OKC level of defense.

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Jason Mess on Jun 26 at 11:16
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I also think some peoples "negative" comments are more related to the fact that they have no trust in our GM to shape a championship level team. Not that they are not excited to see the team play, just not sure that the team will be able to follow through with a couple of good drafts.

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Jason Mess on Jun 26 at 11:19
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It does seem like a lot will hinge on how and where Brand plays. I thinking if this is not enough to get the best out of a vet player, well lets just say after this year we should see how bad his contract will really be.

I brought up the OKC defensive model after Sam was trading. It does give reason for hope- but I'm not sure how they do it, or if it can stay effective against the top teams.

Ray Allen was never known as a defender on his previous teams before getting to the Celtics. It is all about how the coach instills defensive concepts to their teams. There is very few one on one defensive stoppers in the NBA. When you see a team with with Krstic and Nick Collison you wouldn't think they would be great defensively.

A lot of defense is about team defense, positioning. Etc.
The Celtics are certainly not great defensively individually, but as a whole they are very good. Its also about effort. A willingness to sacrifice your body and bang with guys. Guys are much less willing to do that if they know their coach is there on a 'tryout' basis. Collins is here and he has a lot of power in the organization I believe(probably more than stefanski at this point). Guys will respond to him. You will see.

The Celts have an excellent defensive PG, C and PF. Pierce was a very good wing defender. That's quite a starting point. The Sixers don't have near that. I don't think Thad can be coached up to be an average defender at the four, I don't care if he adds 50 pounds of muscle, I just don't see it. I think there was a chance he could've been coached up at the three, but it looks like that ship has sailed.

Hawes, Smith and Speights are pretty close to lost causes in my eyes as defensive bigs, we'll see, maybe Collins can salvage one of them and make him average.

Brand was a very good defender prior to last season, if his dropoff was more about effort than ability, he could bounce back, but I'm not sure how much that bounce would be.

But here we are again. For years people have basically laughed at me for wanting the Sixers to follow the Pistons model and build a strong defensive team and win with a group of very good players and no star, the exception rather than the rule. Now you guys are hanging your hat on the OKC model, which is a complete outlier.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Brian on Jun 26 at 19:26
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1st, I don't consider Rondo an excellent defensive pg. He is okay and makes big plays by gambling and relying on the scheme to cover for him.

I do believe Team Def concepts can mask individual weaknesses to a point. The big question becomes whether or not Hawes and Brand can rebound at their 08-09 levels and exceed 20% each. I feel somewhat confident that Iguodala, Holiday and Turner, even Lou, can contribute enough to make up the gap.

As another example, CHI's 1st 3-peat featured no starters with a def reb % over 20. It can be done

To follow up on your point:
The 95'96' Pistons, led by Collins, didn't have any big men above 20% DRR. They didn't win a championship, but they were the #7 defensive team that year and had a very good record overall. So, in terms of defensive efficiency, it can be done.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Jeff on Jun 27 at 21:52
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Agreed. He probably figures Iguodala can approach Hill's rebounding production if he no longer has the weight of being the #1. Plus Turner should be in the low teens.

I would say that the pistons model of winning without a star is the outlier. Find another champion in the past 30 years besides the 2004 pistons that did not have a legitimate top 10 NBA player on it.

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eddies' heady's reply to Gdog on Jun 26 at 13:18
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+1. As Doug mentioned, team defensive concepts along with effort can be the difference maker. Too much looking at players individually with numbers and metrics, and basing judgments solely on that. That is a disservice to the game of basketball and the team doctrines it harbors.

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Jason Mess on Jun 26 at 13:21
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But Brian this team is not finished being built is it, I hope not. I agree that a Detroit style of team is the best approach right now. They made it ot the final 2 or 3 time and were in the conf. finals a lot. That being said we need to acquire some more players even if we are looking at OKC or Detroit as models. I don't think they are done but it might not be until after next years draft until we have a good idea of what type of team this is going to be.

I love the idea of building it like detroit. But lets be honest...thats the ONLY team that won without a superstar and at least a couple of other REALLY good stars. This is like in the last 30 years. Furthermore teams cant play THAT kind of defense anymore, the rules dont allow it. Those pistons would never beat todays teams.

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Jason Mess reply to Gdog on Jun 26 at 14:08
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I think the common thing with all the teams is how they play. You could say Detroit did not have any superstars, but they had players who were capable of and made big plays. Even if they played with todays rules that Pistons team would still beat that lakers team. You have to have good to great players a couple of top 50 players that play well together.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to Jason Mess on Jun 27 at 11:53
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lol, billups, ben wallace, rip hamilton, prince, & rasheed? sure , no superstars i agree. but billups is borderline and the rest of the guys are pehnominal players. And we have had iguodala , and thats it. are you really going to try to say sammy is as good as of these guys? give me a break.

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Jason Mess reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Jun 27 at 15:37
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I was not comparing them to the Sixers. I was saying the one thing all the championship teams have in common is how they play together basically strengths covering weakness and playing great together.

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person reply to Gdog on Jun 27 at 11:27
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one interesting thing is that boston this year was more similar to that detroit team than 08 boston. lets be honest, i know they have three hall of famers. but they dont produce like that anymore. garnett is a shell of himself and allen is a spot up shooter at this point. they were great this year because they had 5 really solid starters that all bought into the defense and effort. and they should have won a title if they knew how to close. pierce is the closest to his prime and theres no reason to believe turner cant be as good as pierce was this year. if you can find a way to convince everyone on the team to defend like their lives depend on it, you can get damn close to winning a title. this years boston team is an excellent model for the sixers. they're only hall of famers in name now, not performance.

I just think this is where Collins will earn his money. This team got better offensively with the drafting of Turner and with Sammy leaving because Hawes is better offensively.

I have my doubts, but let's see what Collins can do from an Xs and Os standpoint. I have confidence that he'll do a good job on that end, but it's going to have to be a very good job for this team to compete for a playoff spot.

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Turtle Bay on Jun 26 at 20:00
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The best thing about having Jrue, Turner, and Iguodala on the perimeter is that it gives you three guys who have high basketball IQs and who are excellent passers. Turner's turnover numbers aside (he was asked to do everything on that team), if we could just get an athletic big who could finish lobs and who could dive to the hole on pick and rolls, our offense would be a thing of beauty to watch.

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AaronMcKie4MVP on Jun 27 at 10:02
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i have no problem with defense. but put things in perspective, it is no more important than offense - 50% of the game is D and 50% is O. and dont give me that good pitching stops good hitting BS.

the problem is pople are so blinded by an above average defender like sammy, that they think he is an important winning piece. or eric snow, whose 1 handed dribble and horrific fast break leading was hidden by allen iverson. With sammy, I watch the guy play and all in all, the total package, the guy is a stiff.

we have a really sexy 3-headed building block right now, which we have NEVER had. we are rebuilding and have a few years to address the big strong rebounder issue. Unfortunately, this usually ends with the quality of matt giger, eric dampier, olowakandi, sammy, ostertag. but id rather take my chances a few yrs down the road than keep a cancerous stiff like sammy around because he can tip missed shots to himself and pads rebounds(while john mcgee sit there with a spreadsheet and a bottle of lube and tell me how good the guys is). And then kills a good opportunity on the other end with a terroble shot that he thinks he has earned.

enjoy what we have now, because it will be nasty. sure, we dont have much interior defense. but for the last 10 years we havent had anything resembling a 1/2 court offfense. but for some reason that was ok.

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The Greek reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Jun 27 at 13:01
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How can you have a half court offense when you put the ball in the hands of Andre Iguodala?


It's amazing that people would defend having Sammy on this team. The guy was the biggest cancer this side of milton bradley. According to Stefanski he stole rebounds from his teamates and internally saw himself as deserving of playing a big part in the offense.

Sammy D, if your reading this go fuk yourself. Your a clown, and a thief and that team that you just got traded too that you were so excited because they wanted you just drafted 2 centers.

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Rich reply to The Greek on Jun 27 at 14:07
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"According to Stefanski, he stole rebounds and internally saw himself as a big part of the offense."

Why do you need Stefansski to tell you if he stole rebounds from teammates? That would be evident watching the game and I didn't see it at all. I think he was simply the only guy on the team who could grab rebounds.

Internally who cares what he thought? Yeah he wasn't a good offensive player but can you say anyone on this team was? You just killed Iguodala so you don't think he's good. Here's the thing: You put a bunch of guys who aren't primary scorers on the floor than someone has to do it. It just wasn't pretty.

I have no idea about the locker room but from all reports Sammy wasn't good there. So fine, trade him for a pile of crap, but this team is not as good without him.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 14:33
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Sam did steal rebounds from teammates. Saw that enough times. They would tend to lose the ball out of bounds every so often. So that part is definitely true. Add to that Sam's low BBIQ, which necessitated a very simplistic "turn drivers to Sam" approach to the defense.

Now, do I agree they've potentially taken a step back on D. Likely, but I like the idea of taking a flier on Hawes, seeing if a Change of Scenery under a quality coach might help him. He has already talked about bulking up and working on his defense, he will be in ORL working with the team, so there's progress there.

And there is a chance that if Collins can help Brand back to 75%-80% of his prime self, he could be a defensive anchor that somewhat negate the loss of Sam while a smart cohesive team defense with an emphasis on gang-rebounding takes care of the rest.

I didn't see it so we'll have to disagree there. Even if that happened a few times, that's a positive mistake. He's going hard after a ball when the other guy isn't. I think a lot of people are going to wish Sam was there to steal rebounds this year.

Why is taking a flier on a guy a good thing when Sam's contract could have turned into an already solid guy at the trade deadline or at the end of the season? We took a flier on a guy who we had to add a bad contract to. That's not ideal. I hope Hawes works out, but if he doesn't, the Sixers have only themselves to blame.

Sam, while limited offensively, shot 54 %. Hawes shot 46 % so the fact that he's skilled doesn't mean a lot right now. This is not say Sammy was a great player by any means, but he was an underrated yet overpaid peace who should have returned more. He had value as a player and a contract. I bet SAC does something with him at the deadline.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 17:48
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The stealing rebounds thing was a legit critique, something he did almost as much as goal-tending. After a while, guys do stop going for boards when he's in the area, knowing that he doesn't know when to back off. It becomes like playing the outfield with someone who is hard of hearing, collisions and mistakes can happen.

Hawes is a 22-year-old piece that could become a nice player. Bigs develop slower than guards, mainly because they could always bully opponents with their size & talent when they were younger. He has legitimate 3-point range(shot 35% from the arc in 08-09), which helps space the floor. He primarily needs more strength to take better advantage of his post game and help him hold position in both post D and rebounding.

Not to mention that Hawes is a guy who works better in a 5-man offense, not a Iso-Heavy system like what Westphal ran for Reke. I do think that Collins can use Hawes skills better, provided Hawes buys in defensively.

That said, Hawes post 20% def reb rates in both his rookie & sophomore seasons before slipping back last year under a new coach. As a case in point, Pau didn't reach 20% until he was 25. The guy has enough talent to drop 30 pts, 11 boards & 5 assts in a tight game vs the Lakers in LA, 24-9 on the Rockets in HOU, 17-12 boards, 3 asts & 3 blocks against CLE last season, while still "under-developed". So he does have legit talent that can be developed, hopefully by Collins and Co.

If he doesn't, then he's another expiring that can be combined with Green and Kapono to net that "solid player" you spoke of, if he's available.

Also, people bringing up value @ the deadline ignore the fact that Camby, for instance, only netted Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw. A better player with a friendlier contract only got a backup PG and a wing during the time when every team and their mom was begging for a sizable EC before the biggest FA period ever. So, what makes anybody think Sam would really net much in Feb, or any more than the Sixers just got?

Then you just wait for him to expire and have a go at it in free agency. The Camby trade was done by the Clippers to basically just get 1.5 million. Blake and Outlaw were expiring so it's not like they locked into those guys for the future. When talking about Donald Sterling, I don't know if he has any equal in the cheapskate department. They basically just did that trade for 1.5 million so that was the equivalent of just waiting for Camby to expire, while picking up some more cash. Their free agency will really tell the tale of what they got for Camby.

As for Hawes, I remember the Lakers game where he hit a big three before Kobe beat them at the buzzer. He has talent, but his propensity to shoot threes is concerning. I look at him right now and see a poor match with Elton Brand on the defensive end. I see more of a Channing Frye type player than Pau Gasol, who is inconsistent from year to year. Collins is more known for defense than offense as well. I'm rooting for the kid, but we probably could have waited a year and picked him up with money from Sammy's expiring anyway minus Nocioni if he is that good. Look at the Kings draft, he would have probably left anyway.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 22:42
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-10-11

2011 free agency won't matter. The only worthy big man targets are either Kendrick Perkins or Pryzbila. The chance that Perk leaves is remote. Pryz might move for a Gortat-like MLE contract, or you possibly could get him through a S&T if you wanted. That wouldn't be impacted by the trade.

Regarding Hawes, I believe it is far too early to define him, especially because he has the frame to add weight & strength(unlike Frye). As I said before, bigs take longer to develop than perimeter players. His three-point shooting is an asset, not a liability. He can help space the floor by dragging a big out there with him, giving Dala, Turner & Brand more room to operate. All 3 Det titles featured bigs who could shoot threes(Laimbeer & Sheed) & the 2nd Bulls three-peat had centers who did most of their damage from mid-range, so this is not a unique idea.

Not to mention that if he gets stronger, he can use that post game more.

Those team didn't win because of the offense provided by those guys. Rasheed Wallace in '04 was a guy who shot threes poorly but was a great post defender. Spencer Hawes' opponents' PER is plus-19, which is not good at all. In addition to that, Sheed had a shot-blocker/rebounder extraordinaire next to him in Ben Wallace, while Hawes currently has Elton Brand. Rasheed shot 33 percent during that season and 24 percent during the playoffs. They didn't win because of his shooting, they won despite it.

Laimbeer had the Bad Boy Pistons, the best defensive team in the league when they won in 1990. As for the Bulls, I don't see Michael or Scottie walking through here, although I would love to see Evan and Andre try to become a poor man's version of them.

We have Doug Collins who will try to get him to mask his deficiencies and hide his weaknesses. I'd rather have a guy who he could use as a weapon on the defensive end.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Rich on Jun 28 at 2:51
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We're talking offensive contributions. No one is comparing the Bad Boys defense to the Sixers presently. My point was that using bigs to space the floor is not a novel idea(see previous examples). With drivers like JTI combined with a post player like Brand, Hawes' shooting and passing skill is an asset.

If Collins can design an effective team defensive scheme(a la OKC) they can be a good enough defense that their improved offense can make a difference

I'm not saying this is impossible, but doesn't it kind of go against what Collins said when he got a job? I mean, his first priority was making us a defense first team, and this philosophy of "well, we'll be able to defend enough" seems very Eddie Jordanesque.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 13:32
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I think the difference is that he's planning on heavily emphasizing defense from now thru training camp, believing that a simple offensive approach(likely featuring multiple PnRs from various angles, post plays & off-ball motion) will be enough with the talent on the team. In that respect, it is the mirror reverse of Jordan's thinking. Collins wants to take a bunch of offensive players and make them defensive-minded, tying PT to defensive effort and effectiveness.

I would not be surprised if Collins spends the majority of training camp working on the D. He seems to want to run a smart, disciplined scheme, which Sam's low BBIQ and lack of discipline would impact.

I'm really just mad about the trade. I'm not attached to Sammy but I feel that he was a solid player with value. Hopefully Turner and a revitalization of Brand combined with Collins' schemes offset the loss of Sam. Hopefully Hawes becomes a good player as well.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 16:21
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and thats the problem . philly fans are satisfied with crappy players. we paid the guy 12mm . i think we deserved more. you cant win with losers. once you realize you have a loser, move him on.

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The Greek reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Jun 27 at 16:50
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Agreed, how people cannot realize that Sammy D was a loser and will always be a loser is beyond me. In your best Singletary voice say it loud and proud....SAMMY D, YOU CAN'T WIN WITH HIM, CAN'T DO IT"

And as far as seeing Sammy steal boards from his teammates I saw it all the time, even laughed about it many times when they would yell at him for it. Just thought that it was funny tht stefanski called him out for it.

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Rich reply to The Greek on Jun 27 at 17:28
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I wouldn't laugh when the rest of the front-court players couldn't rebound for their lives. Sam didn't call them out on that. He probably should have though. God, stealing boards, what a loser that Dalembert guy is.

Thank God we don't have a guy stealing boards from rebounding machines like EB and Thad anymore. Spencer Hawes doesn't steal boards- A change we can believe in!

He's not crappy, he was overpaid. That was a poor contract. He could definitely help a better team win a bunch of playoff games. So by that logic (can't win with losers), does everybody have to go? Iguodala or Thad hasn't won anything, so I'm sure they are losers too. Nocioni hasn't won anything so we got back a loser too.

You are right, we deserved more. We deserved more to turn a 13 million dollar expiring contract into a tough guy with a mullet and an unproven gamble of a big guy. This is the NBA here, you have to wait out you mistakes instead of just saying a guy is a loser and getting rid of him for nothing.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 18:02
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i dont define losers by whether or not they have won or lost a championship. i judge them by whether i believe they are doing evrything they can in their role, regardless of their talent level.

sammy is a loser because its more important to him to 'prove' that he is a scorer when everyone already knows he isnt. he wants to be a 17 and 10 guy and he will hang his team out to dry attempting to do this. he makes stupid mistakes and doesnt play in the context of what his talents are. thats why he is a loser. its not eddie jordans fault, he has been like this for years.

i have not yet seen anything out of thad to call him a loser. i have wanted to call iguodala a loser at times but im cutting him slack because he was the best player on a crappy team, now im hoping it will change.


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The Greek reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Jun 27 at 18:35
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Rich your defending a guy who was the last to show up to the gym and the first to leave.

A fkn clown who had the lowest basketball IQ in the history of the league.

A guy who never picked up a basketball from the final day of the season all the way through to training camp.

You want this fucking guy around Jrue and Turner? Get the league pass and root on this piece piece of shit who robbed us of 63 million.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to The Greek on Jun 27 at 19:04
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I don't know that Sammy should be called a clown. He was a productive player in the defense and rebounding areas. However, the other points you made are enough to force him out.

"last to show up to the gym and the first to leave.
....
A guy who never picked up a basketball from the final day of the season all the way through to training camp."

This made it necessary to move him. He had so much potential, but did not develop his game. Unfortunately, Hawes is reported to have some of the same habits. I've hard him say the right things since being traded to the Sixers. I hope he is going to work to get stronger so he can develop his post play on both the offensive and defensive ends. If he does, we'll quickly forget Sammy.

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Sean(RSWKnight) reply to Old School Sixer Fan on Jun 27 at 19:07
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Hawes is going to Summer League to work out with the team, so that's a solid start. I hope they plan to keep him here for most of the summer and bulk him up

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Rich reply to The Greek on Jun 27 at 19:18
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Sam was not a good teammate, I get that. For him- We got a guy who has had DUI and is possibly one of the worst teammates in the league in Nocioni. He doesn't pass either and his IQ is garbage. Hawes had troubling work ethic issues in the past as well which I'm willing to give him a pass on because he's young. We didn't exactly get back two angels though.

Again I thought Sam is a valuable player, even more valuable with an expiring contract. Even if he was that bad in the locker room, I wish they waited one more year to get rid of him. I didn't think we got enough for him, but hopefully Hawes pans out.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to Rich on Jun 27 at 19:46
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My thoughts exactly. It would have been nice if they could have gotten more for him or if they had not had to take Nocioni. Maybe Hawes will "get it" and do what it takes to succeed. He is as good a prospect as some of the later first round players some of us wanted the Sixers to buy a pick to draft. The problem with a late 1st round pick is the guaranteed contract for a player that probably won't make the team. That's why so many of those picks get sold or traded. By not drafting a low 1st, the Sixers leave themselves in position to sign a FA they know can play for the same cap hit and not have to go three years.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to Stan on Jun 27 at 20:37
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The trade works, but tell me why we want -13 wins. That would put us back where we were last year. I hated last year. The only good thing about last year was we got to pick 2nd. I want to go to games this year and actually see a few wins.

you would think they would have updated the sixers logo by now.

actually, sports illustrated had a mock draft in their last issue and the sixers logo was still that ugly gold and black.

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Tom Moore on Jun 27 at 20:46
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Wow, look at Joe Girardi's mouth. He must go to Eddie Jordan's dentist.

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speekeasy on Jul 2 at 2:25
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backcourt-wise (1,2, and 3) I think we match up well with the Thunders guards defensively. Its a guard driven league. If you can keep quick point guards and shooting guards out of the lane (definately Jrue - did you see him all over DWade- and hopefully Turner - 6'7'' and competes -) and bother swingmen (Iggy) you can slow a lot of teams down because there's a dearth of dominant scoring bigs in the league. But defensively our frontcourt sucks. And we'll get killed on the boards as you said. Hope Speights sees plenty of time. Year 3 in the NBA. Drop him in the water. Sink or swim.


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