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Pressing Questions - August 6

1. You can hang your hat on the fact that they are going to have every team gunning for them night in and night out. More competitive play means more exhaustion from game to game and more of a tendency for injuries. There's also the fact that their competition seem to have played 1000 times more basketball this summer. Outside of photo shoots, I still haven't seen any of the big three even holding a basketball since last spring.

2. I think Jrue is more important. A good PG makes every player on the court better. Jrue is going to make Turner a better player. Not sure if the same is true the other way around.

I can't think of any good coming out of the Miami Hate situation.

It pretty much ensures the Sixers (most teams) will not be able to build a legit contender in the next 5 years. You no longer can build a team- you have to be in a city where the elite want to play.

I stopped following baseball closely because there is no competitive balance Or more accurately, when the team I rooted for was on the wrong end of the equation.) I love basketball, but the NBA might lose me as a fan.

MylesKong on Aug 6 at 9:22

1. It has become common knowledge that Lebron is the biggest douche in sports and will NEVER be considered the greatest ever.

2. It is so hard to tell since we really have no idea of what to expect from Turner based on what we've seen so far. I think in the 3 years Jrue will be the best player on the team. He seems to be one of those guys that play better the bigger the moment. The team will feed off his energy. Who's better, Deron Williams or Brandon Roy?

1. It has become common knowledge that Lebron is the biggest douche in sports and will NEVER be considered the greatest ever.

Brett Favre, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinqo clear their breath and say, hey now...we are in the mix too (I'd say Jeter too but I think i would offend someone)

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:40

Lebron takes the cake for me. The Decision is worse than steroids in my book. Atleast with steroids, they were trying to play better. It may have been to get numbers but it still was to improve performance on the field of play. But to stab an entire city in the heart is the worst. Isn't Cleveland's sport history marred by "The Fumble", "The Drive" and he leaves with "The Decision" Couldn't he have atleast chosen a diffent title?

I would think that IF the Heat win 5 titles then the victors will be the ones to re-write history.

Lebron wilts in the playoffs
Wade gets injured a lot
and I personally just think Bosh is a soft payer putting up good numbers on mediocre teams with no pressure

I wouldn't be surprised to see them wilt in the playoffs

Wade is the key for me. He's a stud, and he's the guy who's going to carry them in the playoffs. If he stays healthy, I think they have a chance to beat the Lakers.

If he gets hurt, though, and there's a very good chance of that happening, I don't think this team even makes the finals.

All of this Heat garbage is meaningless, though, if the Magic can find a way to get Chris Paul to team with Howard. Short of Paul, I think a legit PG who can get the ball to Howard more effectively, would make them a tough matchup for the Heat as well.

I don't think a healthy wade guarantees a heat win over the lakers if bynum stays healthy.

Odom, Bynum, Gasol all healthy? The Heat don't match up with that at all, and compe playoff time ron artest is allowed to play full contact defense.

I think the Lakers are still the favorite (all things being equal) and I"m not even ready to make the Heat the favorite based on previous history.

I still think there's a huge adjustment period coming and i'm wondering about the egos adjusting.

I'm wondering how Wade is going to handle all the douchey crap LeBron does. He's a pretty quiet guy on the floor, let's his play do the talking. Is he going to be posing for team pictures and taking baby-powder showers at the scorer's table?

Wade doesn't guarantee a title, but I do think they have a shot if he's completely healthy. Without him, they don't imo.

I wonder how Bosh is going to handle the spotlight, in Toronto no one cared much about him when he had an off night, or a bad game, no one paid attention to him all that much aside from 'box score' watching, cause, well, the raptors are irrelevant, and unfortunately Canadian teams in "US" sports get ignored quite a bit cause, well, it's freaking Canada.

I've always thought of Wade as douchey myself, and he's got some serious off court personal crap he's going through that could affect him as well (in addition he also has to make sure gabrielle union is satisfied and happy, cause, man, she's just smokin)

Unless Big teams are destroying them, if anything Bosh has it easy. Wade and Lebron will give him easy looks- and he won't have to work for anything.

But Miami will need to find a physical defender becasue Bosh is not one. But Bosh is an effective rebounder.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Aug 6 at 15:45

Your scenario sounds good for Bosh in a game against the Grizzlies in late January, but in May/June there is not place for people to hide on the court - you either sack up or disappear. I would agree with GoSixers that I would bet on the latter.

It all depends on Wade. If he is healthy in May, it will be Lakers/Heat. If not, fuggetboutit.

Also, Miami's not remotely a basketball town. It's hardly even a sports town, so Bosh will remain out of the spotlight, relatively.

Wade already knows about LeBron's crap, so he must be okay with it, no?. But I guess experiencing it as a teammate is totally different.

Bosh isn't going to be noticed much in Miami either with those 2 supernovas on the team. It amazes me that he is thought of so highly by people in the league. There are guys on his level - Iguodala, Artest, Boozer - who have reps as "2nd tier stars" or "can't shoot" or "doesn't make his teammates better", but Bosh can do no wrong. I don't get it. Maybe he's just better liked.

Bosh is considered to be better than those other players because of his ppg, the only important stat to 90% of NBA fans/writers.

I think you nailed it.

1. I wouldn't worry too much just yet about the Heat. It takes a team to win a championship and right now they have 10 players that have never played with each other. It will certainly take some time for their chemistry to develop, a few months at the very least. And even then, this is not like the 3 best players in the league teamed up to play together. Lebron and Wade are top 5 yes, but Bosh is nowhere near it, and we will probably see just how inflated his Toronto numbers were. They will be a top 5 team in the next 5-6 years yes, but championships are extremely hard to win and it will not be easy for them...

2. I think Turner will have sexier numbers, but Jrue will be the better and overall better player.

meant overall more important...

Lebron and Wade are top 5 NBA players. Bosh is top 15.

Sure the Lakers will be competitive with them and they may not win every year like the Bulls did in their prime. The problem is that Wade/Lebron/Bosh are all young. And the gap between them and the average NBA team is much wider than it used to be. Its not whther the Heat are invincible. Its whether a normal franchise has a chance of competing without trading or signing multiple superstars- which I never see the Sixers doing.

It is competitively similar to the Bulls dynasty years. Back then best case you could compete but had little chance of prevailing. Worse case you were fodder. And other "super-teams" like Houston the Suns made the gap between good and bad teams even worse.

It could have been 8 straight titles had MJ not left for baseball. If that is what we are headed for- or something close- then you might as well be a Pittsburgh Pirate fan.

Sure the Lakers will be competitive with them a

This is one of the things driving me most nuts.

The heat as currently constructed are not better than the Lakers. I don't see it. They are quite shallow BEYOND the top 3 while the lakers have a guy coming off the bench (when the whole team is healthy) that would start on most teams.

The Lakers also have an extreme coaching advantage, and Kobe isn't old yet.

People need to stop handing the heat the trophy already, their roster after 3 does not top the Lakers, and neither does the coach.

The Lakers are still the better team

My point is there will be 2 or 3 top teams that can comptete- while the rest of the league will be an afterthought. And as Sixer fans I know which camp we fall into.

It one thing when those top teams are like the Celtics and Lakers (mostly over 30 years old)- its another thing when FA has made a similar team where the core is 25-28 years old.

I believe the West is actually more of a given than the east. The lakers are far and away the best team in the west, I don't believe the heat are yet the best team far and awway in the east, partly because of meshing, partly becahse I think Bosh is over rated and will falter in the playoffs, partly because of coaching...will they coast in the regular season, sure, but that's what Lebron teams did the past couple seasons, a coasting regular season and a choke in the playoffs.

I guess if I was an NBA fan seeing these potential dynasties clash would be exciting. In an epic LA/Celtics kind of way.

But as a Sixer fan it make the league seem less interesting. sort of like the Pirates having to hear about how the Sox and Yankees have gotten better.

And yet the yankees don't win every year, they have the highest payroll every year and they don't win every year. In fact most years baseball has two different reps in the world series than the year before. The phillies were the first repeat appearance in a while if i recall correctly.

The meme that the yankees are killing baseball is tiresome for a couple reasons. A. It ignores the fact that the red sox spend almost as much, B. It ignores that most of the best yankee players were home grown, C. It ignores that most owners COULD spend more money but don't (Carl Pholad is a multi billionaire, why aren't the twins a higher payroll team, D. It ignores that major league baseball doesnt WANT new free spending owners which is why they block Cuban at every turn and why the Dodgers are such a mess right now, E. It ignores the fact that the Yankees DON"T win every year, nor do they even make the world series, the ALCS and sometimes the playoffs ever single year.

Basketball in my opinion is hella more broken than baseball and also becoming less and less significant in the fracturing sports landscape of america

I know this sounds like heresy, but I don't think of LeBron as a top 5 player anymore. That 5th game completely changed my view of him. As I was watching it, I was thinking to myself "would Magic Johnson ever have let this happen? Jordan? Bird? Russell?" James just STOPPED PLAYING and the team followed his lead. And in Game 6, they stopped playing again down 9 with 1:10 left! And they have the balls to blame the coach?

The bottom 5 players in the league wouldn't have acted that way.

5 guys I'd rather have than Lebron: Wade, Durant, Duncan, Kobe, Rose.

1) I Will enjoy rooting against them every game this season, every time they lose i will be happy, and in the playoffs i will enjoy trying to see them lose. Granted if they sweep all 4 rounds of the playoffs i will not be pleased.

2) Assuming they are both still together (which i'm not so sure they will be). I would say Evan Turner, I think E.T has more potential to be a scorer and while Jrue is a good defender, passer, at the end of the game you need a go to guy and I'd rather have E.T.

3) Off topic, but I feel the sixers must move on from Elton Brand, i know he has a contract and everything, but we are never moving him. Only chance we have of trading him is deadline before his contract expires. In the meantime by giving him minutes we are killing any chances of seeing a big step up.
Brand needs to come off the bench and aver in the high teens maybe 20 minutes, but him taking 30 minutes away every night, and mostly at the four, is going to be detrimental to this team. Thad+Speights imo both need to see time at the 4. Also if Elton Brand has a problem with this it doesn't matter, the guy is grossly overpaid and if he has a problem with coming off the bench he needs to show he can be a dominant (20/10) to be stealing minutes. The guy won't be here, he won't have any trade value. All he will do is screw our young players and leave us in 3years (4 if lockout) wondering why we still have absolutely no big men.

MylesKong reply to Jason on Aug 6 at 10:02

3. I don't think that's how Collins plans on bringing the joy back. I disagree with moving on. Elton is still our best post defender. He shown an ability to score. He KNOWS how to play the game. I believe Speights would benefit much more from being around, and practicing against Elton than he would if he were just getting Elton's minutes. I don't think Speights has reached that mental plateau, that level a maturity that he'll able to simply learn from his mistakes as he goes. Plus, I don't know how we could move on. It's not like he's Webber-useless.

Jason reply to MylesKong on Aug 6 at 10:15

By moving on i meant putting him on the bench. He'd still get 15-20 minutes, but he's 30 now, if there's a lockout next year he'll be 32 coming back and then 33 in his final year of contract. We're not winning a championship with him as our starter, and he isn't helping us long term, so why should we continue to give him 30 mins a night? I'd much rather see him get 20, and only 16 at the 4.

Simply put if we kept miller would we have known that Jrue was our pg of the future? We would of only seen him in limited time, who knows how impressive he would of been (if he got much time EJ woulda prob had lou as the #2 pg lol).

Point i'm trying to make is that we shouldn't be giving Brand 30 mins a night because he is getting ridiculously overpaid, we have to "move on" form the fact that he's getting paid starter money and give some of his minutes to the young players that need time. Also I whole heartedly disagree that speights wouldn't' improve with more playing time.

MylesKong reply to Jason on Aug 6 at 10:41

The Miller analogy doesn't hold because Elton has been out significant time with injuries since Speights has been on the roster. Speights has had plenty of time for us to see what he is.

To me, he simply the offensive version of Sammy. He can score. He has a gift for that. He plays poor defense and isn't a good rebounder. These things just won't imporve through playing time. Sammy was gifted athletically that allowed him to get blocks and rebounds. That was his gift. Consistent playing time didn't help Sammy fulfill his potential. Speights is the type of personality that can't be given anything. Otherwise, he'll just rest on his gifts and not work to improve. Speights has to beat Brand for the job in practice. This can't juist be done by making a higher percentage of jumpers. He has to show a willingness to do the things he's not so gifted at(getting position defensively and on the glass, and finding the open teammate), even moreso when his shots not falling. He, like Dalembert, has a tendency to get pouty when the game is not going his way. Don't forget what was said about his work-ethic coming into the draft. That has to be considered. Anything this kid gets has to be earned. And benching Brand because he's old is unreasonable. I read a stat today that said we give up 7 more points per 100 possessions with Spights on the floor opposed to when he's sitting. Just something to think about...

Wow. Brand is going to get 2 years older in one year?

Does Brand know how to play the game?

Sure he was an All-Star in LA. But he was given the ball every possession for a horrible Clippers team. I think he rarely was part of a team where good ball movement of sound defensive principles were practiced.

I am not questioning his abilities on either end when in his prime. I'm just not sure he has much experience playing winning basketball. So I'm not sure he is great at things like passing out of the post or team defensive principles?

But maybe someone more familiar with his Clipper days can shed some light?

I am not questioning his abilities on either end when in his prime. I'm just not sure he has much experience playing winning basketball

In that case he fits in perfectly on this roster

I hold out hope that Iguodala, Jrue and Turner can play winning basketball. Maybe Thad can be taught.

Speights, Lou, Sam do not fit the profile.

Well I hold out hope that Brand can play winning basketall as well, i was just referring to your inference of having experience playing winning basketball. If we're counting college (which I wouldn't) Elton Brand probably has the most experience playing winning basketball on this roster right now (500 basketball isn't 'winning' basketball to me - it's average)

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:04

Taking a glance at his one playoff year, I'd say yes Brand KNOWS how to play winning basketball.

25, 10 and 4 while shooting 55% in the playoffs is winning type of performance, no?

I suppose

but have you heard of small sample size?

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:13

He's a career 20-10 player. His numbers jumped up in the playoffs. Small? I don't quite understand.

Small, as in compared to the number of regular season games he's played he's played very few playoff games so judging his ability in the playoffs based on a few games isn't compelling or relevant. Hence small sample size..

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:26

No, I'm looking at all the numbers. His regular season numbers were great. His post-season was fantastic. More efficient in the 12 game post-season. The point is that he KNOWS how to play winning basketball. I think that demonstrates know-how. You can nitpick if you like but you have the information.

But he was given the ball every possession for a horrible Clippers team.

I'm not really sure that's a fair characterization. His highest usage rate was 27.7%, good assist %, good tov %.

Holy crap, take a look at his first season with the Clippers.

The team was 39-43. The team offensive rating was 105.5, defensive rating was 106.0. Brand's offensive rating was 120, defensive rating was 103. Think about how horrible the Clippers had to be in the 915 minutes he was on the bench.

Brand had one superstar year. In his ther seasons his per 36 minutes were typically 18.5/9.2. he played a ton of minutes on a bad team. On a good team where they played him 35 minutes and he got less touches would he have been a 17/9/1.5 player. Would that changed our perception of him?

It's beneath you to slip into the counting stats, you know better

Just trying to make conversation.

My point is people saw him as a great scorer and rebounder (the who 20/10 thing.) I think he was a very good player- so its probably unfair to nit pick. But he was not really a great rebounder or great score. he was more of a grinder in both regards- who ended up with stellar numbers through heavy minutes and hard work. That is not really a bad thing- but I don't think he was ever as gifted as some of the other elite PF's.

Here are the best seasons for Brand, Garnett, Barkley and Karl Malone (not really Barkley's best, but my favorite).

Brand wasn't on their level, of course, not many players in the history of the league were either.

Check out Barkley's TS% in that season, .660. That's unreal.

That one season for Brand he was a top 4 player in the NBA IMO. he really put it all together. His other seasons he was very good, but a tier below the Duncan, Barkley, Malone, KG, CWebb level elite PF's of the league- but close.

Webber was never as good as Brand was in that season. I think Brand actually had a handful of seasons better than Webber.

Really? Webber had some amazing seasons:

Here is the first 600 game comparison. After 600 games they both fell off a cliff...


Pretty even. Webber was a better passer, Brand was a more efficient scorer. Probably on the same level, but you had Brand a step below, right?

Yeah, I liked Brand more, but IMO Webber was better. Swap teams and I think the Kings would have not won 60 games, and the Clippers would have been better because of Webber's passing.

being the dominant player on a consistemt 55+ winner means a lot to me in terms of how good you are. Great players like Barkley were able to single handedly lift teams to decent success.

Webber: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/webbech01.html

For 4 consecutive seasons Webber led an elite Kings team putting up these average numbers:


He put up a 27/11/4.2/1.7blk in his best year. That is better than Brand's best IMO. And that was for a 60 win team.

He put up the basic numbers in that one season, but he really wasn't an efficient scorer at all. Actually, he gunned his way to all those points, 23.4 shots/game.

It's impressive he did it for a 60-win team, but Brand's season was statistically better, imo.

From '86 to '88 Barkley was one of the best players I've ever seen. I always wonder how good that team would have been with Moses instead of Cliff Robinson. Prolly a little better.

I typically don't devalue players who play heavy minutes and produce. I don't see the extra minutes as a negative.

And if he was on a team with more talent, he may have produced even more, in less time.

Aside from his two injury plagued seasons, last season was the worst of Brands career in both an offensive and defensive rating kind of way, or for the per obsessed that was his worst too. It was also (thanks Eddie) the lowest MPG of his entire career by over 15% (two seasons, one his rookie year, he averaged 37 minutes)

Maybe it's the beginning of the end of his career, or maybe he had a god awful coach who had no clue how to use him properly and now he has a smarter coach?

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:32

It's a mix of a older guy still recovering from injury and trying to prove himself on a team of young players and undefined roles.

That's one opinion.

Yeah, I think Jordan had a lot to do with it, but I also think Brand needs to shoulder a decent amount of blame as well. He was disheartened by Jordan, and you can see why, but I thought he was more of a professional than to let it affect his play like it did. He's not as bad of a rebounder as he was last season, and I think it was 2 parts effort, 1 part Jordan's schemes.

"I typically don't devalue players who play heavy minutes and produce. I don't see the extra minutes as a negative."

Can't the same then be said that players asked to carry a higher offensive load can't be expected to maintain the efficiency of players who carry a lesser load (going back to Webber v. Brand from above and tying it into here).

Well, it depends on the level of efficiency. In that Webber year, his TS was something like .515. When you drop to that level, you really aren't helping your team as a scorer unless there's just no other offensive talent on the team, which wasn't the case at all in Sacto. It was the case when Iverson was in his prime in Philly, so that's a different situation for me.

Jrue will be better, of course.

Predicting who is going to be the better player between a guy with half a season of real games and no real games in their career is a fools errand

Come on, what's your gut feeling?

I don't have one right now (and if I did, I promise, I'd go with it, my gut usually works out well for me). Honestly, you've got a very good second half of a season for Jrue (ala Thaddeus Young) versus a very disappointing Summer League performance from Evan Turner that too many people are blowing WAY out of proportion. There's too many unknowns, too many variables right now for me to feel confident either way.

One week was enough to make a large portion of 'active' fans turn on Evan Turner. I'm not ready to turn on him yet or stop believing in the things that made him the second pick in the draft that almost everyone wanted any more that I'm ready to anoint Jrue Holiday (especially after the whole Thaddeus Young career path)

Like I said to tk earlier, I'm not ready to give up on Speights either, if I was I'd say so. Sometimes my gut just won't make a decision cause even my gut needs some persuasive evidence :)

Thad, Jrue, Speights and Turner all have really high ceilings:

Jrue: Former top 2 in nation prospect with excellent size, quickness, instincts and demeanor.

Speights: Skilled and has the physical tools to be dominant offensively and above average defensively (as a PF). Aggressive and has a mean streak. Obviously attitude limits his chance of reaching his ceiling- but if he started to find success maybe it would all click?

Thad: Top 3 prospect out of HS. Athletically a freak. Good touch shooting on the move. Supposedly smart and good work ethic.

Turner: Good enough to be a consensus #2 overall draft pick supposedly 28 of 30 teams had him #2.) Productive on the major college level like few guards since the Big O.

Fortunately all 4 players are at different positions. Unfortunately, having a high ceiling does not mean all that much looking back at players lie Gerald Green.

I don't disagree and that's why I"m not ready to choose one over the other or give up on speights.

And while they all have high ceilings they all have a variety of experience in the NBA to judge. I'm closer to 'giving up' on Thaddeus Young than Speights because he has a year longer in the league and a larger resume to judge from. I have hopes for them all but less faith about Young than Speights and pretty much equal faith on Jrue and Turner at the moment

At his position Jrue has much tough competition. There are a ton of promising young PG's in the league.

There are far few high scoring SG's who have great all-around games. So if Turner reaches his ceiling (a tougher Roy with worse shooting?) he will make more of an impact. same with Speights. Not many players many PF's have his skill set.

I agree, Thad seems unlikely to become a top starter- but his ability to score efficiently from the wing is a rare skillset. He just needs to raise the more common wing skills that he lacks.

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 11:55

I guess I'm in the "gave up on Speights" camp, if there is one. I hope he improves, I just don't have any faith that he will. I wouldn't be willing to risk giving him an extension. I'd love to trade him right now.

Look at his production vs his Florida brethren- Lee, Horford, and Noah, and tell me Speights is a keeper.

Here you go, though I don't think that's really a meaningful way to judge Speights.

MylesKong reply to Brian on Aug 6 at 12:17

You're right. But there are a lot of signs of Speights not really getting to that elite PF level. The biggest is rebounding. I would like to see a comparison of just the 1st 2 seasons to be fair.

That is a comparison of just the first two seasons of all the guys.

MylesKong reply to Brian on Aug 6 at 12:25

It's 3 years for Horford. The rest are 2, I see now. Speights looks like he's easily the worst of the 4. And it's not like Florida's the new Georgetown(big man factory). It's just a little look at how he compares to his peers coming out of the same program.

Speight's per 36 min numbers are impressive. His rebounding is not at those other Florida guy's level, but improved to average (statistcally)last year.

And to be fair Noah and Lee are amongst the leagues best, and Horfor is close to elite. They all have career def reb% close to Sam. Speights does not have to approach that level to be reasonably effective on the boards. A small bump from his 20% last year would be fine at PF.

1) For an NBA fan, the Miami situation is a bit troubling but not much more than the Celtics of a few years ago. I think they will win their championship but I have my doubts that they will turn into a present day version of the nineties Bulls. As long as that doesn't happen I don't much care.

From the standpoint of a Sixer's fan, Whether they win the championship or not is irrelevant to the near future of the Sixers. Who slugs it out for the conference championship positions wouldn't be our concern. If the Sixers make steady improvement over the next three or four years and the Big Three are still together, I'll worry about Miami then.

For the present, the Miami situation may have helped the Sixers' competitive status in that both Cleveland and Toronto may now finish below them.

2) Since good point guards (especially ones who take pride in defense) are usually harder to find than combo and two guards, my guess is Jrue. Other than that I have no opinion on the question and hope they are both great (and, even more importantly, still around) in three years.

Evan Turner = Jalen Rose
Jrue Holidauy = Sam Cassell

Cassell lacked Jrues defense, but it remains to be seen if Jrue can approach Cassell's level as a scorer. So more like opposites...

Jalen Rose had all the tools to be great. he lacked the right drive and attitude. That's not a question for Turner. if anything Rose was a better athlete and more naturally gifted than Turner.

So not the greatest comparisons IMO.

I don't think Rose was an underachiever. He wasn't a great ballhandler (had that weird high dribble that only Magic could get away with), his shooting form was bad (though you can work on that), and he wasn't especially quick or strong. I think the fact that he played for 13 years is evidence of his drive. You can't just coast on talent for that long. He was a lot better his last few years in Indiana than he was early in his career.

The Miami "superteam" in my opinion will lead to an even more segregated situation in the East. Teams will realize they can't compete with the Heat with 1 star or a group of decent players, and it will lead to trades that result in a few teams having all the stars and the rest committed to rebuilding with young guys.

Is this good for the NBA? In my opinion, no. But it will lead to some great, intense playoff series.

Chicago and Orlando will compete with the Heat, it's not a fait accompli like everyone seems to think it is in my opinion

1) Wade gets hurt a lot. Joel Anthony, Z, Juwan Howard, and likely Magliore as well are pretty bad and they may see some extended playing time.(or may not) They aren't that great at PF/C. That could be a problem in the playoffs... maybe.

2) Don't want to say anything here really. I'd say the better player will be Turner and that he will be more important as well. Turner was the #2 pick for good reason. Extremely productive in college.(Jrue wasn't) Jrue's first season was good for a rookie PG, though, so it is close. In the end, there really isn't enough info.

Miami is going to be really good, make no mistake. I can't believe that their supporting cast isn't that bad with the money they had. Mike Miller is perfect for them. Chris Bosh, while overrated, is a heck of a player to have as a 3rd option. I thought he was a pretty clutch player for Team USA doing dirty work.

It comes down to this for me- They have the best two guys in the league right now, maybe 2 of the 3 if you want to say Durant. Wade really is that good too. That's enough for 50 wins, because their offensive numbers will be mind-blowing. Throw in a capable third banana like Bosh and capable shooters/role guys, and they are going to be tough.

The Lakers are the favorites right now, but Boston would have won that series with Perkins in Game 7. I think some people overrate their front line sometimes and if they would have lost, maybe a few "They're soft!" whispers would have come about. It's good, but the likes of Big Baby were shredding it in the finals. Their bigs are not invincible.

It comes down to this for me- They have the best two guys in the league right now, maybe 2 of the 3 if you want to say Durant. Wade really is that good too. That's enough for 50 wins, because their offensive numbers will be mind-blowing. Throw in a capable third banana like Bosh and capable shooters/role guys, and they are going to be tough.

Is it hate or you just forgot Kobe Bryant is still in the league?

Rich reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 14:52

I can tolerate Kobe more than most because I love his passion and his mindset. LeBron and Wade are better players at this stage though (and for the next five years).

I disagree that Lebron is better because of his playoff wilting.

ANd Durant isn't close to Kobe just yet

Rich reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 15:26

That's the whole championship argument, which isn't complete. Kobe's team was better, plain and simple. He shot 40 percent from the field in the finals, 6-24 in Game 7 and still won. Does that automatically make him better? Maybe in NBA History but we're talking about production here.

LeBron's so-called playoff wilting is something that I enjoy carrying on about, but last year was the first year he really quit. He's had some really great games in the playoffs. If you think that Kobe would have won in LeBron's spot at any point in his career, you're wrong. This is not a shot on Kobe who is a great player.

So the knicks hired isiah today

and he gets to keep his college coaching job

Sexual Harassment, running a basketbal league into the ground, the whole GM of Knicks fiasco

How does a guy who fails so utterly and completely so often keep getting second chances, he's like the marian berry of basketball

I find that whole situation so unbelievably hilarious. "Hey, we finally sort of dug our way out of the hole Isiah dug for us, let's bring him back and give him another shovel!"

MylesKong reply to GoSixers on Aug 6 at 16:23

A winner's a winner even after he's a loser. Basketball royalty can do no wrong. Zeke, Bird, Magic, Jordan gots the life time passes.

Bill Russell, too. He's never succeeded in anything except having tributes and interview tours since he retired from playing, yet he's some kind of genius/saint.

I think LeBron's a better player than Kobe, but I don't think Wade is. LeBron's overwhelmingly better statistically and in most every facet of the game outside of canning tough long-range jumpers, and to discount the pretty huge difference in their production is like saying that Jeter was a better baseball player than Bonds or A-Rod because of all of his rings. Wade, on the other hand, is probably a somewhat more efficient scorer but at that point I have to favor the guy who's been to 7 Finals and won 5. Now you can argue that Kobe's a better playoff player than LeBron and that's all that really matters. Perhaps; he certainly comes up bigger in big moments, Kobe's own awful Game 7 aside. But even in the playoffs, LeBron does so much boxscore stuff that if you trade Playoff LeBron for Playoff Kobe, Kobe, though he might make more big shots, wouldn't make Cleveland any better and very well might make them worse. It's not like Kobe went anywhere in the post-Shaq, pre-Gasol/huge, unstoppable frontcourt years. LeBron actually got his team to the Finals at a point when his second best player was an old, 11 and 8 Ilgauskas.

MylesKong reply to Tray on Aug 6 at 16:17

Odd as it may seem, Kobe has a better post game.

That's actually why I don't like, respect Lebron. He's huge and quick with no post game. There is no excuse for that. None. Especially from a so-called student of the game.

Rich reply to MylesKong on Aug 6 at 16:29

I think in light of Kobe's work ethic and LeBron's douchiness/focus on other endeavors, he's shed that label.

eddies' heady's reply to MylesKong on Aug 8 at 9:47

If those are the feelings on LeBron, can't you say the same thing about Iguodala?

I can understand hating Lebron. I realize he has not won anything yet. But I'm not going to label him as someone who wilts in the playoffs. Nobody always has great games. But players on great teams have teammates that can step up when you have an off night.

Playoffs: 29/8.4/7.3 46%
Reg Season: 28/7/7 475%

Lebron is 25.

MJ was born 2/17/63
He won his first Finals June 1991- when he was 28. Kobe won his first Finals w/o Shaq at age 30.

If Lebron falls short the next 3 years you can start talking about him "wilting."

I hate Lebron too. But its not blind hate.

Rich reply to tk76 on Aug 6 at 16:35

Exactly what I was trying to say. I don't like him at all, but from the eye test (and the stat test), this Boston series (Games 4-6) were his first disappointing efforts. He was incredible in getting that team to the Finals in 07, put together an unreal effort against Boston in Game 7 in 08, and had his team fall apart in 09 when he tried to do absolutely everything he could. He hasn't wilted yet.

MylesKong reply to Rich on Aug 6 at 16:46

Lebron tries to do everyone else's job on the team and expects them to step up on the biggest stage? Puh-leeeez! I've never seen so selfish an individual that has managed to convinced the world that he is not.

Rich reply to MylesKong on Aug 6 at 17:43

Jordan did a good job of hiding it for most of his career. He's an interesting case because he's a selfish douche off the court, but anunselfish player on the floor. Gotta distinguish the two of them. Up to the Boston series last year, he did as good of a job with his teammates as any person could. Watch, they're gonna blow this year.

He hasn't wilted yet? What was Game 5? He was staring off into space for Christ's sake. When have you seen that before?

He quit in that Boston series last year. No doubt in my mind. That doesn't mean he won't come back from it, doesn't mean other players haven't done the same thing in the past, but it's a black mark as far as I'm concerned.

Rich reply to Brian on Aug 6 at 17:53

Yeah I agree. People do seem to forget that Kobe didn't shoot in the 2nd Half of a Game 7 when he had bad teammates though. I just don't want to hear that he's been a bad or selfish player in the playoffs, because he hasn't. I know people are turned off by the way he left and I am too. Still you have to look at his career objectively, that's all. I thought especially Game 5 of the Boston series is his lowest point. It's a low one too.

gdog2004 on Aug 6 at 17:04

1) The Miami thing is disheartening. The Sixers cannot hang with that type of talent. I know in a recent post people said they would be happy with the team contending or making it to the 5th seed and win a round. I'm not. F that, I want the team to win the championship. Whats the point of rebuilding and getting young talent if it isnt to win a championship ? Unfortunately...in todays NBA, I dont think the Sixers have the city or the situation to attract top talent. Kind of a bummer. The NBA at this point is run by players, players want to win and they have the right to play with whoever they want.

2)Jrue is more important because hes the PG. With a very good point guard the team will excel. You can have a very good SG and still suck. Unless Turner turns into Dwayne Wade(who can also play the point)...the choice is Jrue.

I didn't read the comments because I am watching classic simpsons, but there is nothing aside from injuries/kobe bryant being his usual insane self for like 2 more years/Kevin Durant that will stop the Miami High Temperatures.

Nix that, skimmed the comments. Bron is going to thrive in the Magic Johnson in Malones body he was born to play role. As long as he and wade stay Healthy the team will be very very dangerous. Bron is going to average a triple double.

Bosh will be an exceptional third option. And will be happy to not be the main option on the team.

I will consider this season a success if Turner takes his summer league failures and uses them to hone his body and skills to have a great rookie season (something like 17 points, 5 assists, and 5 boards) and Jrue begins his assent toward the leagues top 5 point guards.

I am curious to see 'Dre in his natural role of off the ball defensive stalwart/dunk master.

1. Miami's success depends on Wades health. In the playoffs he is probably going to get major minutes at point guard and have to guard fast, high energy guys like Rondo, Rose, Nelson(or Paul when they land him) and others. Plus he's still going to have to dominate the ball on offense. Not as much as last year, but when the ball isn't in Lebron's hands, it'll be in Wade's. Playing 40+ minutes every playoff game....that's going to be tough on his already fragile body.

2. I think Jrue is more important. The league has so many good young point guards right now. The fact that in 3 years Jrue may be the best defensive point guard in the league is a huge advantage for the Sixers. He could be this generations GP. Right now my gut says Jrue will be better then Turner in 3 years, but that's if we keep Andre and don't hit rock bottom as a team. If that does happen, I think Turner turns into a good stats-bad team type, dominates the ball, and puts up something like 24-6-5.

I will be curiuos to see what happens if Miami doesn!t win this year and needs to add pieces; with the new C.B.A. and no draft picks it could be hard to do. M.Miller also seems to get hurt a lot and he may be vital to their success. Who has better 3 pt. shooters, us or them?

As far as Jrue and Evan, individually it is hard to say who will be better but what I hope they become together is better than our Dawkins/Hawkins backcourt and can be talked about in the same breath as Mo and Andrew down the road.

1. I could see the Super Team coasting through the regular season, maybe 60 wins, a lot of articles about if they can turn it on or not, a couple minor injuries thrown in there and then they'll turn it on for the playoffs. Like someone else mentioned, these guys aren't picking up a basketball in the offseason. Bosh and Wade are fragile and Bosh/Miller haven't won squat when it comes to playoffs in their careers. Should make for an interesting season though.

Louis Amundson
Team(s) in 2009-10: Phoenix
The buzz: The hustling reserve was a fan favorite in Phoenix, but the Suns don't appear interested in bringing the 6-foot-9 power forward back. While Lou remains limited offensively, he was the Suns' most efficient rebounder per minute last season and well-liked in the locker room. Amundson, 27, has drawn interest from a number of teams, but no one has pulled the trigger yet.

sigh him now

I haven't been much bothered by the developments with the Heat, for all the following reasons:

1) Sixers are no where near contending for many years ahead anyway, no matter which teams are on top;

2) Don't believe that the Heat are odds on favorites to win multiple *consecutive* championships - they still need to play and win the actual games, play well together, avoid injuries, etc.;

3) Development of the new team will be an interesting side show to the season;

4) Don't share any special animosity towards Lebron.

Old School Sixer Fan on Aug 7 at 10:41

Both are interesting questions.

Injuries are probably the key. Miami will undoubtedly win enough games to be a top 4 seed no matter what, but they will need to have the big three healthy and playing well together for the playoffs. If so,they will be a final four team and then the ball has to bounce right. There are no guarantees. They have to play and win the games.

Concerning Jrue and Evan, I have to give the nod to Jrue, mainly because he has a half of a season where he demonstrated the capability to play well at the NBA level. Evan is still a "prospect". Jrue is an NBA player.

Of course, I'm an incurable optimist. I believe Andre, Jrue and Evan will make it easier for the questionable PF's & C's to exceed expectations. If Collins can get through to Young, Speights and Hawes, the Sixers could be a mid-level playoff team.

So first game of the season who would you start against the Heat? What would your match-ups be?

Bosh: ? (Thad, Brand or Speights?)
?Z: ? (Hawes, Brand, Speights?)

Old School Sixer Fan reply to tk76 on Aug 7 at 10:59

Agree with first three. I'd start Brand on Bosh and Speights on Z. Of course, much could change based on camp and preseason. Who knows, maybe two of the other question marks look way better than expected.

1) Defense.
2) Turner. As important as a pure pg who can play both ends of the floor is, a true isolation threat who can force a double team and open things up for his teammate is moreso. We'll find out whether Turner can translate that.

The first response is a good one - teams gunning for them. But if the team is any good, they'll be able to handle that. If they're not, then the other stuff doesn't matter. I think the "douche factor" is the thing that holds them back. Sooner or later, you have to get serious to succeed. Magic Johnson was all smiles and laughing but he was also a deadly serious player when it mattered - or when it didn't matter. He was just a serious player with a great personality.

Jrue. I think he'll be our best shooter this year.

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