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Three Weeks Away

1. Jrue
2. Turner
3. Dre Dala
4. Brand
5. Speights

I think it's Mo's spot to lose to start. I don't see Hawes taking it from the incumbent unless Mo comes in overweight or something. Lou, Hawes, and Noc (if he's healthy) are the first guys off the bench.

That's mine too. I really think part of the rationale for trading Dalembert was to clear the way for Speights. Collins wants to turn him into a legit offensive center.

I'm assuming that Jrue-Turner-Iggy-Brand are all guaranteed to be starters. so it just leaves who gets it between Speights/Hawes. I think Speights earns it during training camp/pre-season just by being a better player than Hawes.


Bill simmons finally said something I agree with about Iguodala.

"Iguodala has been a revelation as a fourth banana/swing defender/energy guy/uber-athlete, which really should have been his NBA destiny -- mega-glue guy on a great team, like a much more devastating version of Trevor Ariza on the 2008-09 Lakers -- only we don't have nearly enough quality players to fill 30 NBA teams, so instead he's forced to carry a lottery team, take terrible shots, play with inferior teammates and do everything that the basketball gods never meant for him to do. "


Finally, has anyone seen E.Ts shoes? terrible looking things.

From what I could tell, the dude's got huge feet. Maybe any shoes would look ugly on them.

Doh! Thad obviously right off the bench as well. But I think he takes Brand's spot from the get go. I think he has to earn it with Collins.

Starting Speights would be a major error in judgement by the coaching staff. He must earn every minute he gets by playing defense, rebounding and lastly making proper decisions on offense(not just shooting every time he gets the ball). He will not convince them by the first exhibition game. Not even by the beginning of the regular season. Hawes was brought in to be the starter but he also must earn it. I see the leaders for that starting spot in this order: Hawes,Thad,Battie and then Speights.

the other option is spencer hawes, who also has some stuff to prove

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deepsixersuede on Sep 15 at 7:21
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I think Hawes and Brand get plenty of court time together to see how they compliment each other; if one or the other disappoints than Thad gets the nod in a small lineup. I agree that Spieghts has to earn his chance but have one question: why doesn!t he get a chance to audition for the p.f. spot? If Collins gets all these guys to play team defense a combo of Hawes and Spieghts would really open the lane for Iggy,Jrue and Evan to attack the rim.

Elton Brand's contract AND hopefully his professional attitude and effort on the court which up to this point have not been Speights best attributes.

1. Jrue
2. Turner
3. Iggy
4. Brand
5. Hawes

Off the bench: Lou, Thad, Speights, Nocioni

Definitely think Hawes starts over Speights. The real problem is: What happens when Brand sits? What other two "big men" do we have that won't get destroyed on the boards in Brand's absence?

I think everyone has hit the answer right on the head- Hawes vs. Speights. I personally think it will be Hawes to start the season and Speights to finish it.

As for our rebounding problem- how likely is it that after playing a style of basketball that fits his game perfectly (stopper, rebounder, transition scorer, smart-play-maker), Iggy makes a jump this year and is determined to beat EVERYONE to EVERY board. He is clearly a top tier athlete and he guarded everyone from Turkoglu to Rubio. Can he get 8-9 boards a game this year?

All these lineup sound more or less right... for the regular season. Preseason lineups though are almost impossible to predict. I expect to see a lot of experimentation with the lineups, especially in the first few games. The key players that will get the majority of the minutes during preseason IMO are:

Thad
Hawes
Speights
Meeks
Turner
possibly Lou

They are the ones searching fighting for their role in the team. That's what preseason is all about.
Brand and Igoudala won't play a lot, and i think Jrue won't either.

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eddies' heady's on Sep 15 at 9:49
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1) Jrue
2) Iguodala
3) Thad
4) Brand
5) Hawes

And that will more than likely be the starting lineup the 1st game of the regular season also.

Unlikely considering Doug Collins has said that Iguodala is a 3.

I'm actually looking forward to the Sixers-Nets games this year. It'll be fun to see whether our young backcourt will have more of an impact than their young frontcourt, or will it be the other way around? Also will be interesting to see how the two first year coaches go about it with the rotations and style of play. I'd give the edge for the season series to the Sixers mainly because they don't have a player quite as good as Iguodala. But I think T.Williams should be a player to watch for them, see if he develops.

I'm in the Jrue/Turner/Iguodala/Brand/Hawes camp for the first preseason game, but I think we're going small by opening night with Thad replacing Hawes.

My preference to start the year (not what I expect to happen):

Jrue (35)
Turner (28)
Iguodala (36)
Speights (28)
Hawes (28)

Bench rotation:
Lou (25)
Thad (25)
Brand (28)
Nocioni (7)

You do realize we're going to have to watch this, right? I couldn't handle a Speights/Hawes front court for an extended period of time.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 15 at 11:02
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See below for my reasoning. I did not chose for them to bring in Hawes as their new center. I don't expect him to do great...

But this year must be partly about seeing if guys like Hawes, Lou, Thad and Speights can surprise us and become key parts of the future. If you don't give the right combinations of players the chance to succeed or fail then this season is wasted IMO. And if they step up then you are closer to putting a good team on the floor.

For me, the success or failure of this season is 99% in the development of Turner and Jrue and maybe 1% Thad/Lou/Speights.

I actually want the team as a whole playing the best basketball they can with Jrue/Turner on the floor, so while playing Hawes/Speights together may be a good idea as far as the development/evaluation of those guys is concerned, I'd rather have Brand out there for the good of the guys who actually matter.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 15 at 12:25
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With regard to all of the players mentioned, I think our expectations are similar- but I prefer to let it all play out. While you seem to view it as a fait accompli.

Sure Jrue and Turner (and maybe Iguodala) are the foundation on which the future of the team will either succeed or fail. But there are six other players under 25 on the roster that need to be evaluated and maximized. Some, like Smith and Meeks probably lose out to the numbers game and barring injury won't get much of a chance to prove their worth (or lack there of.)

But Young, Lou, Hawes and Speights all have talent and some potential value. Any one could conceivably be a contributing piece to a winner in a few years. I agree that they are each flawed, and are not winning players right now, but that is only part of the story. If they have to rely on proving themselves in practice or in limited minutes then they quickly become worthless. Instead they should be used more like Blatche was last year.


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tk76 reply to tk76 on Sep 15 at 12:33
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I pick Blatche because he fits the profile of a young, talented but ultimately flawed player who right now does not play "winning basketball." Unfortunately Young, Lou, Speights and Hawes all fit this profile (but with differencing amount of talent and strengths.)

Blatche languished on the bench for a long time, while people waited for him to prove his maturity in practice and limited floor time. But that got him nowhere and his league-wide value was negligible (look at his 3m/yr contract.) This reminds me most of Speights.

But Washington finally bit the bullet :) and gave Blatche regular minutes. His talent alone led to gaudy numbers, even if it still is not in a winning way. And most likely he will fail to be a cornerstone... but worse case he now is a valuable trading chip, and the team knows exactly what he is and has a better view of what he can be.

This must be what the Sixers do with Speights (Lou, Thad and Hawes.) These type of players will play worse and with less energy if they are jerked around in terms of minutes. But give them 25+ minutes and a defined role and they will produce, even if it does not maximize wins this year.

Best case, with regular minutes and a taste of success, some of these guys have the light turn on, and they develop into winning starters or role players. But even worse case, there value is maximized and they can be traded. But without regular minutes there trade value will be worthless and we will never know if they could have turned the corner until they join another team (see Salmons, John.)

That's exactly what I don't want to see happen. Blatche was given an absurd number of shots on a pitiful team and basically allowed to pad his stats.

I'm not saying those guys you mentioned shouldn't play, and shouldn't be put into situations for development/evaluation. What I'm saying is that their evaluation/development is not a primary concern, and shouldn't take precedent over the development of the important players.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 15 at 12:39
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How exactly does starting Hawes/Speight over Hawes/Brand somehow ruin Jrue and Turner?

You are not talking great defense versus horrible. You are talking bad versus horrible :) And on the offensive side, I believe Hawes. Speghts would really help open up the lane for J/I/T.

I didn't say it ruined them, I think it's a worse team, on both ends of the floor. I'm also not exactly sure how Hawes, who shot 40% from 16-23 feet, opens up the lane more than Brand, who shot 41% from 16-23 feet last season.

Hawes is actually the worst of the three on jumpers, but I guess since he's pitiful in the paint he won't be "clogging" the lane. Of course, he's so bad offensively that opposing teams don't really need to account for him, which may be a slight problem.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 15 at 12:57
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Hawes is a willing passer. Speights would be in the post (but is mobile enough to pop out.

Both Brand and Speights and ball movement killers. I personally go with Speights starting and Brand off the bench (with equal minutes) more because it gives Speights more minutes at PF closer to the basket, and allows Brand to go against smaller, less talented 2nd team players.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Sep 15 at 13:04
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We are talking lousy frontcourt pieces here. All of the combinations are flawed.

Rank these PF/C combos in order of preference:

PF/C in order of preference:
Hawes/Speights (flawed, but complementary talents)
Hawes/Brand (at least one guy is a willing passer)
Speghts/Brand (2 ball movement killers)
Brand/Young (2 guys playing out of position.)
Speights/Young (see above, but less defense/toughness)
Hawes/Young (utterly defenseless)
Smith and whoever

It'd be great if Hawes was a willing defender, rebounder or really anything else but three-point shooter as well as a willing passer.

Personally, I think all this talk about the bigs clogging the lane is complete garbage. Brand didn't spend much time in the post last season, Dalembert didn't spend much time down there either, and teams weren't leaving Dalembert alone on the perimeter. The problem last season was a pitiful offensive system, the problem for the past several seasons was a lack of perimeter shooting, and teams still weren't exactly successful in clogging the lane to stop penetration, because the Sixers main penetrator (Iguodala), has always been very good at using penetration to set up his teammates for easy dunks (a role Dalembert filled nicely, better than Hawes will IMO).

If you're in the situation where you need to play shitty bigs to space the floor, your system is broken, your roster is garbage or some combination of both. If you're talking about playing your shittiest big because he's the best passer of the three, well, that's even worse.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 15 at 13:58
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You talk as if Hawes is horrible while the other options are good. The fact is they are all highly flawed. Chances are none of the current front court players will turn out to be part of the long term answer. But these are the guys on the roster, and you have to at least give them a chance to prove us wrong.

Like you, I look at J/I/T as the key to the teams future. for this year it is J/I/T + Lou who will play the vast majority of the minutes at 1/2/3. For J/I/T strengths are ability to drive, pass and hopefully defend. Weaknesses are shooting and inexperience.

So looking at those 3 and how they fit with the lousy bigs, I'd try and find the bigs that help maximize J/I/T. Sinxe the biggest weakness is shooting, give me the bigs that can pass and shoot the best so that Collins can implement a smart offense built around driving and kick, pick and roll and efficient decentralized ball movement.

On defense they are sort of hosed. There are no good defensive options in the front court. So I'd focus on solid execution and fundamentals from J/I/T and try and at least play guys in their proper, natural positions. Meaning Speights and Brand at PF if possible. That results in starting Hawes, which is fine IMO, because you have to give the guy you traded for a legit chance to sink or swim. And the sooner he does the sooner this team can decide what it needs to do to find a long term answer at C.

I talk about Hawes as if he's been terrible in his three years in the league, while the other guys have either been very productive players (Brand), or at least shown marketable NBA skills (Speights).

I'm not ready to say Hawes has been significantly worse than Brand or Speights in the last 2 years. Although that is faint praise.

Speights has by far the best per minute production, but that does not fully measure his issues on the floor.

Seems pretty clear to me.

Yeah, by the numbers Speights is the clear winner. But as I said, Speight's numbers are undfortunately not his true measure...

Hawes and Brand are equally bad.

Brand and Hawes have nearly identical TS% and eFG%. Hawes rebounds and blocks shots a bit better. Hawes gets more assists, Brand more steals. A dead heat numerically, which is sad.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Sep 15 at 10:59
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My rational:

1. Give they core young players regular minutes at the right position.

2. Hawes and Speights should be given at least a chance at becoming a long term answer in the front-court (not saying we should be optimistic, but if they are here you have to at least try it, or else why are they on the team?)

3. Hawes and Speights work better on offense with the other starters. It also forces either Hawes or Speights to actually work on their post game, instead of just drifting out and jacking up jumpers while Brand is camped out don low.

4. Brand gets "starters minutes" but more against 2nd team opposition. Should allow him to take less punishment and be more effective (especially when he is playing center.) Also gives the bench a defender and some vet leadership.

5. Start Turner, but with less minutes so he can be coached up during the games. Also frees some time up for guys like Thad, Meeks and Nocioni who need minutes. Hopefully Turner proves he deserves 30+ minutes as the season goes on.

6. Blend of offensive and defensive minded players for both the starters and bench.

We've all heard how Collins utilized his guards. What kind of big men did he have to choose from and who did he choose?

I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more Hawes than any of us want to see, and we aren't going to be happy about it. No reasoning behind that but I just don't see any way around it.

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tk76 reply to T McL on Sep 15 at 13:47
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Given the lack of other good options, I'd rather they use Hawes a bunch this year. That way they know for sure his value and whether he should be resigned or walk.

My fear is not with Hawes getting the minutes. It's Battie winning the coaches heart the has me worried...

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sfw reply to Xsago on Sep 15 at 14:03
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If Battie wins the 15 minute starting position(doubt if he'd get more time then that) due to playing defense and rebounding over Hawes & Speights, so be it. Let them both go if they don't learn.

Jrue Turner Iguodala, say it again, Jrue Turner Iguodala. Now abbreviate it, JTI. As long as we see that trio playing a ton of minutes together, the other positions don't really hold the weight of the world to me.

Since the question is who I think DC will put on the floor, and not necessarily who I want, I'll say:

Jrue
Lou
Iguodala
Brand
Speights

I think Doug will be reluctant to just make ET the starter, even though that is the goal and he is the best option, and will make him "earn" the spot, unless he is more than brilliant in camp. I also think that Brand will start if he isn't broke, which I'm not expecting. Hhe at 75% is still better than any other option defensively we have right now. Speights will start also. I don't think the organization as whole is as high on Hawes as they seem to be, and that is one of the catalysts for Thorn's hire.

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Joe reply to Ryan F on Sep 15 at 15:53
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And the backup PG is...

Willie or Turner? Or Meeks?

That's a legit question no matter what the starting lineup is. I'd give the minute to Lou, probably, mainly because I want Turner spending this entire season learning to play off the ball. I don't like Lou as a PG, but there's really no other option on the roster right now outside of Turner. I'm hoping Jrue nears 3,000 minutes, and it's not that big of an issue.

Kate Fagan is back with a pretty good read, good quotes from Andre

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/Were_Back_.html

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Jason reply to Ryan F on Sep 15 at 17:15
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Good read. Is Kate fagan saying she thinks the starting 5 should be Jrue-ET-Iggy-Kapono-Brand in order to free up Iggy?

I hope not. I'm pretty sure Kapono is an afterthought at this point. There were rumors they were dangling him for nothing over the summer, though they were swirling prior to Thorn's hire.

I am excited to see a .500 team play basketball.

Hopefully Turner can show some of that Brandon Roy-ish/Paul Pierce skill of his game this year and make us all excited before Iggy is traded for peanuts and then makes us sad.

As far as backup PGs go, do you think the Sixers should take a look at Jon Scheyer? Certainly not the quickest guy, but he's got the size and the handle, decent shooter, and not a terrible perimeter defender. He really showed a lot for duke down the stretch last year, I know he had that eye injury in summer league, but I'm surprised no ones taken a shot on him yet.

I don't know a lot about him, but I'd say the odds of the Sixers picking up another player between now and the season are extremely low. They may make a trade, but they aren't going to sign a 15th guy unless there's some kind of injury that they need to address, and even then, it would surprise me.

Yeah, I agree with you there. I was just thinking from the stand point of it'd be nice to have someone who can run an offense behind Jrue other than Lou. I mean they really should just sign a backup PG and then just buy out Willie G. I don't think it makes sense to have both Meeks and Willie backing up Turner when Lou can do that for the most part.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50T9R1ACKbw

I'm not a duke fan at all, but his shot looks pretty good. Now he just needs to grow a mullet.

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johnrosz on Sep 15 at 21:53
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http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/24605774

That is where another team equipped with attractive assets could enter the picture, multiple sources said: the Philadelphia 76ers. New team president Rod Thorn and GM Ed Stefanski – who formerly worked together in New Jersey – could be central to constructing a deal that would compel the Nuggets to move Anthony rather than endure a season-long distraction that ends with Anthony leaving as a free agent after the season. The key pieces of the Philadelphia equation would be the expiring contracts of Jason Kapono ($6.64 million) and Willie Green ($3.98 million), a young talent such as Thaddeus Young, and Andre Iguodala, who is coming off a solid contribution to Team USA’s gold-medal performance at the FIBA World Championships. Some executives believe the Sixers would at least discuss including No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner if it meant getting Anthony, but that would defeat the purpose of going over the luxury tax to get Anthony in the first place.

A package sending Anthony to the Nets, Favors to Philadelphia and Iguodala to Denver is one way all of these moving parts could come together. But Thorn is said to have reservations about such a deal, which has yet to rise to the level of discussion among the teams.

Thoughts?

I'll respond in a post shortly.

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Jason reply to johnrosz on Sep 15 at 22:41
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I wouldn't give up Iguodala and Turner just for melo, sadly i think that the Sixers organization would as Melo would increase ticket numbers. Hopefully the first trade doesn't happen.

Now, on to the trade that i like, if we could give up Iguodala and ECs for Favors this better damn well happen, i don't care if we have to give up Thad and Speights. Having a Nucleus of Jrue/Turner/Favors to build around would be amazing (we may tank it up this year due to inexperience but my god we could end up getting a 4th talented young player to make this even more fun).


I wonder if this deal ends up on the table, would it not happen based on the age of our personnel. Would thorn/collins really want to give up on "winning" now and start a retooling/building process?

Check the post that just went up.


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