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TC Day One Thoughts

Thought it was both funny and revealing that Brand said that they can't blame the coach this year if they don't win, and Iguodala said the players have to play well to keep Collins around. Sounds like they absolutely detested Eddie Jordan (which they never overtly said during last season but possibly hinted at) and are thrilled and pleasantly surprised to be working with a coach who has some idea about what he's doing.

Why do you assume that Turner running the point on the second unit is coddling Turner to ease his transition and not trying to make the most of his natural abilities at his BEST position ?

Perhaps Doug sees Turner's best long term role as a facilitator to the offense and is simply trying to get him as many minutes as possible there ?

Turner can facilitate things from the two position all he wants, but we kind of have a point guard of the future. If point's Turner's BEST position... I don't know. This is a propos of nothing, but I tend to worry about a guy who wasn't really an elite prospect until his junior year of college, and who became one by dominating a pretty thoroughly talentless, undersized league.

Turner was a lotto pick if he came out after his sophomore year.

And just because we don't WANT Turner to be best suited to be a primary facilitator on offense doesn't mean he's not best suited to be one.

If PG is his best position, we've either got a dilemma on our hands, we drafted a backup with the #2 pick, or one of our two best young players is going to spend his entire career playing out of position. If it was me, I'd be transitioning him off the ball as quickly as possible.

Being the point guard and being the primary facilitator aren't exactly the same. I don't think Jrue needs (or, at this point, has warranted) to dominate the ball or be the primary initiator to maximize his talents.

bebopdeluxe reply to Derek Bodner on Sep 29 at 9:19

Good point, Derek. Given Jrue's size and 3-point shooting potential, why can't the Sixers run sets where Turner is the facilitator and Jrue is either posting up or spreading the floor because of his 3-point shooting prowess?

When the lineup is, say, Jrue/Iggy/Thad/EB/Hawes, wouldn't we expect Iguodala to be doing a fair amount of passing and facilitating?

While Jrue is a natural PG, he can be so much more than a pound-the-dribble-at-the-top-and-signal-"3 down!" for the play PG. We complained all the time in the past that Iggy does not have the handle to be an effective SG (which is obviously no problem for Turner). Now that we have a guy at SG who can handle the rock and break guys down on the perimeter, this is a problem?

I think that Collins simply wants to put Turner in a position where his transition is successful...he'll be the starting SG soon enough...but in the meantime, Collins thinks that he has enough depth at the SF position (with Thad and Noc) that he can play Iggy at the 2 for now.

Makes sense to me.

Now that we have a guy at SG who can handle the rock and break guys down on the perimeter, this is a problem?

Nothing is a problem yet. In my book, it'll be a problem if Turner never makes the transition to an off-the-ball shooting guard, because guys like Brandon Roy castrate traditional point guards. They need guys who do little more than shoot open jumpers at the point next to them for the team to be effective. I don't want that.

bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 11:21

I don't want that either, Brian...but to simply make Jrue a pound-the-dribble-and-initiate PG (as oppposed to a guy who can also DO DAMAGE as a scorer) is a waste of NBA ability...on a team that does not have the luxury to waste ANY NBA ability.

I am confident that Turner will get where we all want him to be...he has the tools, intelligence and work ethic to get there. I just want to make sure that we utilize ALL of these guys strengths - which includes having Jrue score the ball and having Turner be a facilitator.

Well stated.

We are talking the #2 pick here. He will get ample opportunity this year. It is not like when we were worried that Jrue/Thad/Speights were going to be buried on the bench to start the season. Turner will get consistent minutes from day 1. And its not a bad thing if those minutes put him in the best position to succeed right away and make a seemliness transition to the NBA.

We have years to get J/I/T to where we want them to be. Eventually we want Turner to be a big time scorer, but his off the ball game needs to be developed. And I have a lot of confidence that part of his game will get there- just not right out of the gate.

If Turner is ready to start then its a win-win. But seeing him get 20 minutes a game off the bench for 1-2 months is not a bad thing.

And I also expect to see some growing pains with Jrue this season- but that is sort of what this year is about. Have Collins establish some order and continuity and then let the players grow to what they can be.

Disagree w/ what Jrue needs and has warranted. I see him as a pure PG and I want him initiating the offense. If anyone hasn't warranted being the initiator, it's Turner.

And I'm not making any of this stuff up about transitioning him off the ball. Collins talked at length about how they need him to learn to play off the ball. He talked about how he made the transition and how it was a priority to get Turner comfortable in that position, because that's what they need from him. He's completely changed his tune since the summer league.

1) Sure, Turner's going to have to transition to not having the ball as much as Ohio State. He's still going to have (and is going to warrant) the ball an awful lot. You don't draft Evan Turner to make him Richard Hamilton.
2) Collins also said he believed Andre Iguodala and Thad Young were playing out of position at the 2 and 3, respectively. I stood 5 feet away from him as he said this. Take everything Collins says with a grain of salt. He's been in this business a long time and has an agenda.
3) Did Brandon Roy neuter Andre Miller last year?

Was Evan Turner always the primary ball handler at OSU or just last year because of roster requirements?

Actually, yeah he did. Check out Miller's numbers before and after Roy's injury last season. It wasn't until Roy was out of the lineup that Miller started playing well.

Remember how good Miller was in the playoffs? It was when Roy wasn't there. Miller looked really comfortable because he had the ball the whole time. Jrue isn't going to be as ball-dominant as Miller, but those two didn't mesh very well IMO.

The Greek reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 5:08

His best position is SF, the problem with that is that Igoudala's best position is Sf. The only natural SG that we have is Meeks. And throw Thad into the mix and it's a quagmire.

Like it or not either Iggy or Turner(doubtful) will be dealt before the clock strikes on the trade deadline.

eddies' heady's reply to The Greek on Sep 29 at 8:28

As bad as I hate how much money Dre gets paid, for this franchises futures sake we all better hope like hell the one that gets traded is Evan Turner.

While it may change in the distant future, this guy never had starting NBA shooting guard written on him while in college. He's just not equipped to play 'off the ball' and some of these comments over the summer about everyone 'expects' him to 'adjust' his game are just short of a crock. It's not quite that easy to 'adjust' on the big boy level.

His best position is SF

100% disagree with this. I don't think he'll be able to succeed if he's guarded by NBA threes.

tk76 reply to The Greek on Sep 29 at 10:37

Where are you getting that Greek? The guy physically is a prototypical SG with his length, quickness and handle. He does need to develop his off the ball scoring- but the tools are there. The guy is a scorer (and not a horrible shooter like Iguodala was entering the league.)

In what way fdo you see him as a SF? In college he played SG, PF and PG in his 3 seasons. He is versatile, but if you had to throw a label on him, it would be SG or combo (PG-SG) scoring guard.

It's only one day I guess but it was a little disappointing with some of the stuff we heard. Does Collins actually think that Thad and Nocioni are two of his better players? I mean Thad's a decent option off the bench if you need another scorer, and Nocioni can come in the game if you need to deliver a cheap shot on LeBron. But if Turner isn't already a better player than both those guys, then he's got a longer way to go than I thought.

And Turner shouldn't start the season on the bench, right? He should get as many minutes playing with Jrue and Iguodala as possible. This guy doesn't need to be babied about, c'mon - baptizim by fire, let him go out there game one and see if he can take D-Wade a couple times. Unless it's an emergency he shouldn't even play point in a scrimmage.

Finally, what was all that about Hawes working on developing his post game over the summer? He gets to camp and everyone's still just talking about his face up game, passing and shooting, the latter which we know he can't do all that well, though Collins will do all he can to convince us otherwise.

But I'm gonna try to be more optimistic tomorrow, I still think the team's got a bright future. Just don't know if some of these things we've heard to start are the right way to go about it. I don't know much, just looking forward to the games and rooting for the Sixers.

I think Thad starting was more "he's the vet, he's been here, he gets the job on day 1, let the rook take it from him" than it is an indictment on Turner. I'd be very surprised if Turner isn't the starter come October 27th.

If this is the case, I don't have a problem w/ it at all. Collins made it sound like he wanted Thad in the lineup when the season begins, though. Maybe Turner will make the decision for him w/ a stellar camp and preseason.

The Greek reply to Derek Bodner on Sep 29 at 5:14

I think that Thad starting is a way for Collins to see if he can tap into Thad's potential flashed 2 years ago only to be stunded by EFJ.

Everyone really jumped off of the Thad Bandwagon really quick, I still maintain hope that his kid will be a hell of a player and I want it to be for us instead of like a team like the spurs.

eddies' heady's reply to Derek Bodner on Sep 29 at 8:32

Prepare to be surprised then. It will surprise me if ever assumes anything more than an off the bench role this year. He's not going to start at point. And he's just not anywhere near ready to start at off-guard in this league. And I would doubt they would start him at the three, just because he's definitely not better than Dre or Thad, imo.

For my fandom's sake, do I wish he would make me eat a whole plate of crow? My stomach's growling.

He walks into camp he's better than Thad. And I'm one of Thad's biggest supporters.

Does Brandon Roy play "off the ball" ? What about Wade? Kobe?

"off the ball" 2's are a rarity in the league. Turner can succeed at the NBA level right now.

eddies' heady's reply to Derek Bodner on Sep 29 at 22:30

Come on, seriously? Brandon Roy, Wade, and Kobe don't have a Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala on their team, two able facilitators.

His success at the NBA level (as you describe) is highly in question to me (and always has been if he isn't in a ball-dominant role). From his past in college and the few games in summer league, I see him as a turnover machine, especially in his first couple years.

Remeber that Roy and Andre Miller clashed for a good part of last season for that very reason. They worked it out- like good players do, but it is an adjustment when guys used to having the ball in there hands need to find ways to help a team off the ball.

You need to look no further than some of Team USA's struggles earlier this decade to see how this can effect even high level NBA stars.

Soup, if you are looking for a polished product right out the gate then you should change your expectation for this season. Collins seems to realize that many of the young pieces have strengths and clear weaknesses to their games. As a coach he is chosing to start out the season by putting each player in their comfort zone, with the long range goal of developing them into more complete players.

This is the right apporoach. But it means you won't see Hawes working his post moves or Turner morphing into Rip Hamilton right out of the gate. The players will do what they can do well, and hopefully incorporate needed improvements as the season progresses.

This is why Collins coached teams win so many more games in his first year.

Just to play devil's advocate, isn't there something to be said for making players face their weaknesses head on, rather than enforcing bad habits (like a soft big playing 18 feet from the hoop)?

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 10:55

I can see what you are saying with Hawes- but look at the Situation.

Hawes is 22 and just dumped by the team that drafted him for an expiring contract. You want him to get a taste of success with his new team, because the if he struggles Hawes career is likely shot. With his psyche in mind, you put him in a position to do what he does well initially. Let him get his confidence back, and show that the Sixers appreciate what he can do. Then you can push him to round out his game.

Really, with Young/Hawes/Speights/Turner we are talking about 22-3 year old kids with talent but flawed NBA games. It sounds like Collins is taking a similar tact with all of them. he puts them in their comfort zone on offense while saying long term he wants to develop them. While on defense he is calling everyone out (esp Speights) by saying they will not get mioutes without D.

I agree with how Collins is handling these players.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 12:52

Great post.

I agree completely. When learning a new skill, there's a level of "optimal challenge." When you get people in their comfort zone they learn faster. Throw too much at them all at once and they over think and regress like Thad last year.

This is in line with Collins saying that he'll only take away the mistakes. Start with getting them comfortable doing what they do well. Then, make as many adjustments as you can while keeping them in their comfort zone.

baptism of fire methods simply don't work as well. Do you think Jrue would be where he is today if EFJ had thrown him into that game against the Knicks?

Heh. That last line cracked me up.

smh1980 on Sep 29 at 2:01

I agree that Turner is being guarded by Collins. Maybe it is because he doesn't want to see the expectations put on him as the starting SG and it's clear he's not ready. I think this is Collins way of winning now, which is not a bad thing. How can Collins keep the entire team behind him if the team knows the best 5 (collectively) aren't starting? You can't just play a rookie because they have a lot invested in him? What about establishing a winning culture? Don't we have a lot invested in Thad too? This is a big year for him. He's been in the league for 3 years and we don't know what we have exactly (partly his fault though).

How will Turner respond to this? I feel that it is always good for a player to earn a starting spot but when Turner is practicing and playing the PG positon then when will he learn to be a SG? Are early minutes more important than Turner learning his eventual role as a SG? That's tough for me to judge.

It is kind of odd that Collins is starting Iggy at the 2 and Thad at the 3 after his initial press conference remarks. He said that he thought that they both were playing out of position at the 2 and 3 but that is what he is going with. Perhaps he saw something in the tape after he took over that made him change his mind. Willie Green was the starting SG when Thad broke out his sophomore year as a PF (08 - 09'). What is Collins dialing up I wonder.

I'm ok with the starting Jrue/Iggy/Thad/Brand/Hawes. When I heard Collins comments about the read/react I immediately thought of Eddie Jordan. But I think Collins version is much different by playing to each person's strengths and not forcing players into a system like the Princeton Offense and making them fit their style of play to what EJ wanted.

I enjoyed every minute of access on the sixers website. I got chills watching Collins working with this team. It will be interesting to see the first preseason game.

Honestly, i'm as thrilled as i've been in the last few years after day 1 of training camp. I really really like what Collins is doing and everything really makes perfect sense. If you ask me the best way to develop a player is to teach him how to be a significant piece of a winning team. That i why i am not opposed to starting a lineup the will get us a few more wins as long as everybody that needs to get playing time will.

Thad is only 22. He can still be a pretty good player and a very solid starter. He needs to be given a chance far more than Turner does at this point.

Turner will be fine playing 20 - 25mpg of the bench. IMO playing 20mpg on a winning team is more important in a player development than 35mpg and a ton of shots taken on a lottery team. That is why i am not worried at all about Turner's role.

I think you give heavy minutes to the youngsters only in the latter part of the season, if it turns out that you don't have a realistic shot at the playoffs anyway. the reasoning behind all of this is simple. Winners are very rarely build overnight. Usually you need to get gradually better and before you do well in the playoffs you basically need to suffer a few losses to see what it's all about. And on top of it free agency and the draft can only get you so far. Trades and player development in a winning environment is more important.

We've been clamoring for Thad to play the 3 spot since he came into the league. This contract year is the time to determine his true value. Turner will get his minutes. If Thad and Jrue break out and the team actually plays team defense, look out! We will far exceed anyone's expectations this year.

Agreed on seeing Thad at the three, just wondering why Collins said not too long ago that he likes Thad at the four and Iguodala at the three, and all of a sudden, they're back at the 2 and the 3.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 10:49

Because Collins had not really seen much of them (working at TNT.) But Collins is a bright guy, and he probably realizes Thad has a chance to be a starting caliber SF if he can harness his talent. While at PF he is nothing more than a change of pace bench guy.

I guess that's a possibility. I think this is a domino effect from the decision to push Turner to the second team, though.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 10:58

But didn't we talk about how acquiring Noci and guaranteeing him 15+ min would cause a huge minutes crunch? I think this approach is to be expected.

Back when we projected minutes a few months back I had Iguodala playing a lot of SG and Turner at PG to open up 20+ minutes for Thad. Maybe who is starting has (for the moment) changed, but the idea is the same.

And no one else is pissed that Nocioni's presence is cutting directly into Thad and probably Turner's minutes?

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 13:32

I'm angry about it, but if Noci gets his 15-20 I at least hope that there are enough minutes for the other guys (in their correct positions.)

If the only vets getting regular minutes are Noci (20) and Brand(30) then their should be enough minutes for all of the key young players. That's 50 out of 240 total minutes for guys over 26. Last year we had Brand, Sam and Green getting regular minutes- and Miller the year before that. So if anything this year should be better for player development.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 14:06

Iggy - 35
Jrue - 35
Turner - 30
Thad - 25
Hawes - 25
Lou - 20
Speights - 20

Brand - 30
Noc - 20

total - 240

You want more minutes? Earn them.

What has Nocioni done recently to 'earn' 20 MPG?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 14:13

Nothing. But he is one of 2 players on the roster who can definitely hit an open 3. And he is 'tougher' than the other guy.

I'm hoping the 20 minutes gradually decreases to

less than 15?

You forgot to mention that Nocioni was an enormous pain in the ass in Sacto if his minutes fell below a certain level.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 14:20

You don't think any less of the mullet than I do. I'm just trying to face reality.

The reality is that the sixers seem to be under a delusion that the best approach to this year is to focus more on getting bitch slapped in the first round than player development?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 14:30

Like I said before- even if Brand and Noci combine for 50 minutes, that leaves 190 minutes for guys 26 and under. And 150+ minuteness to guys currently under 24.

That's way more than recent history. You think that is not enough?

Its not like we are taking the Bobcats here.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 14:20

Agreed. I see Noc's minutes going down. I see Brand's minutes potentially going down (if he is as washed up as many around here think he is). I see Hawes fighting Speights for minutes (or I could see both of them giving up minutes if they don't sack up). I could see Lou's minutes going up. I could see Iggy and Jrue's minutes going up - by default. I don't see Turner at 30 minutes initially.

I'm not worrying about what that 240 minutes looks like in November. I'm gonna focus on what that 240 minutes looks like in March.

As long as none of these guys are being frozen out completely then I'm fine with however they begin the season. As I said befoer, its when young players get no minutes at all (in favor of the Willie Green's of the NBA) that I blow a gasket.

But honestly, its probably only Meeks and Brackens that get left out early on. And I'm fine with that. Eventually injuries will open up some minutes for those guys.

I wish Noci and Kapono were not on the roster at all, but overall i think there are enough minutes to spread around.

The good thing is that it should finally be a make or break type of year for Young/Speights/Hawes/Lou. Those guys are old enough and experienced enough that we should not have to wait more years to see if they can be productive NBA players. They are far from finished products, but also no longer too raw to for them to succeed or fail on their merits.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 14:48

This team paid lip service to accountability last season. No more. One of Collins' (supposed) strengths is teaching and getting young teams to realize more of their potential - and this team is tailor-made for that. And I agree with you COMPLETELY that, for guys like Lou, Thad and Speights, there are no more excuses. They have been in the league long enough. Collins will help refine their games, but itis up to THEM to apply themselves...otherwise they will be on the bench or out of town - with nobody to blame but themselves.

A breath of fresh air, if you ask me.

At the end of the day, I think that Collins would LOVE to have Thad take minutes from Noc...or Hawes or Speights take minutes from Brand. But both of those guys are experienced NBA professionals - and Collins will put them in positions to contribute to the team. In order to take those minutes, Thad and Speights will have to DEMAND them through their play...as it should be.

Agre. But to be fair Brand probably deserves regular minutes on most teams, while Noci is more of a marginal NBA player.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 15:18

Yup...if the youngins' develop the way we all hope they will, Brand will still be getting regular burn, while Noc will be doing a "slow burn" on the bench...

That's not too far from my previous accounting. But I'm guessing that Turner begins closer to 20 min and gets ramped up as he adapts to the NBA. I expect 30+ minutes for hime by the All-Star break.

I also expect Lou will get closer to 25 minutes.

deepsixersuede on Sep 29 at 8:20

Isn!t read and react used by a lot of teams, like the west coast offense in football, with various versions. As far as inside out offense, he is playing to his stars strengths which is a good sign. Clear the lane of bigs and Iggy, Jrue and Evan pick their defenders apart. We have 3 bigs, Hawes, Spieghts, and now Brackins who we have no idea what they are yet so let the best players attack the rim. I laughed at the one scene where Spieghts passed to a cutter with an odd look on his face, like this is different. Thad is the best deep shooter of him, Iggy and Turner so him starting doesn!t bother me. Xsago said it very well, less minutes but valuable minutes for Turner and earn his time.

If what we saw over the last 2 years can!t be changed in L.Will., Thad and Marreese than Collins will do what he has to do but hopefully it can.

I agree. The talent on the roster dictates that they play an inverted offense where the bigs clear out and guys like Jrue and Iguodala work in the post or cut into the lane. Makes sense given the bigs can't post and the wings can't shoot :) Not a long term recipe for success, but the roster is what it is right now.

It could not work when you started Dalembert/Brand. But this year their bigs may be lousy on defense, but they sure can work in this type of offense.

And is it really that different from when Andre Miller and KK were the most effective Sixers in the Post?

It will be a positive step for the team if Doug Collins turns out to be both an above average game coach and an above average developer of young talent. At this point, I'm not counting him out or just assuming those things will turn out to be true.

What I am *definitely* not assuming is that Collins is some kind of genius who has now looked at a few practices and already knows what both the game and development plans are basically going to be with the team for the rest of the year. At some point we will get interview comments that will be a glorified version of "I tried A and B, and B worked better," but we aren't even at that stage yet.

(not trying to rain on anyone's fun here with making early predictions and diagnosis, just want to bring what I see as some reality).

I don't think anyone's denying that. It happens with every coach. It will still be light years better than anything EFJ did, and probably better than any of our coaches in the past decade.

tk76 reply to izimbra on Sep 29 at 11:27

Collins does have one of the NBA's best records for 1st year turn-arounds. He just does not have a great track record in terms of shelf life.

I think one of EJ's biggest flawes was he tries to force a system and does not adapt to his players. This is why his 3 1st year teams averaged 25 wins.

Collin's 1st year teams:

Bulls: 30 -> 40W
Pistons: 28 -> 46W
Wiz: 19 -> 27W

I believe Collins gets 1st year teams to succeed by playing to their strengths.

People keep busting these numbers out in a vacuum that somehow it was all Collins and had nothing to do with Rosters. Who was on the rosters the year before, who was new? Who came into their own as a player and would have anyway?

It's not as bad as calling Don Nelson the 'winningest' coach in NBA history, but this whole giving collins credit thing needs to be examined more

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 13:34

There were other factors, but I think its safe to say my initial point is valid:

Collins is the type of coach who comes into a new team and tries to maximize their talent year 1. While EJ is a "system" type coach who hammers the square peg into the round hole the first season to expose who won't fit. Then he expects the front office to get him a roster for his system.

But how much 'talent' do the sixers have that Jordan is going to maximize.

Certain Players *cough* lou *cough* benefited from playing for Eddie Jordan, their talent WAS maximized cause defense was irrelevant.

The presumption that the sixers are going to be better because Collins had better first year records in other cities is flawed to me because the sixers talent overall isn't as good as it was last year and certain players will be in the doghouse that weren't in the dog house last year

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 14:19

That's why I'm guessing 35 wins. I think Collins could have coaxed at least that many wins out of last years roster. But I'm not sure if the improvement of Jrue/Thad/Speights can make up for the loss of their only legit interior defender.

I'm guessing that since most NBA teams are pretty flawed that Collins will get 5-10 more wins out of them with smoke and mirrors, since last year's team almost tried to lose (as if EJ was trying to prove the roster was wrong for him as a coach.)

Collins: "If 'Dre starts at (small forward) right now, that puts Thad and (Andres) Nocioni both on the bench to start to the game, and they are two of my better players. I can’t have two of my better players on the bench to start the game."

So by this logic, Nocioni is one of his better players but Turner is not.

At this point in their careers, Nocioni is a more accomplished NBA player than Evan Turner. I'm still hoping this is all just early 'coach speak' to give people hope.

Thad and Nocioni are both bench players though, so I don't see why having them on the bench to start the game is bad.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 13:38

No, that is not what he is implying.

He is saying that there are plenty of available minutes for Turner off the bench (since he can sun in at 3 positions.) While if both Thad and Noci are both coming in off the bench, it will be nearly impossible to find minutes for both of them.

I'll all for letting Noci rot on the pine, but it sounds like Turner and Thad will have to establish in games that they are head and shoulders better before he completely freezes Noci out in terms of minutes. And it sounds like Collins does not want to ruffle any feathers heading into the season.

"I can't have two of my better players on the bench to start the game."

That's the quote. He's not implying anything, he's flat out saying it.

He also left Turner off his list of potential double-digit scorers. It's probably all managing expectations, but again, not sure why Turner needs to be coddled like this after 2 more years in college than most of the other rookies in the league.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 13:49

"2 of my better players" is not exactly an exclusive comment. I'm pretty certain he would include Turner aas one of his better player too.

What exactly is your worry here? I remember you being the one to expect less minuites for Tuurner than I do. Are you that worried about him getting starting vs bench minutes?

Personally, I think it looks better for Turner if he forces his way into the starting line-up through success on the floor. That's what Jrue and Thad did their rookie years- and it gets the fanbase behind them and builds confidence.

I'd be worried if it looked like Turner was going to be glued to the pine like Jrue was to start the season,. But I'm confident he will get good minutes even if he is not initially the starter.

My concern is that the #2 pick in the draft, college player of the year, with three years of college experience under his belt appears to be poised to start the season as the backup PG for a 27-win team. And the only talk I'm hearing about him is how they need to baby him to make him more comfortable, instead of talking about how he's going to make this team better and maybe change things for the team's outlook. It worries me.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 14:06

I also am a bit taken back by all of the baby talk coming from Collins regarding bringing Turner along slowly.

But big picture I have zero worry about Turner getting minutes this year. He will be given every opportunity to shine and develop his game.

Collins/Thorn are on board with our mantra that this team is all about Jrue and Turner and how they develop.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 14:11

If, come February, Turner is still playing 22 minutes a game on the 2nd team, then I'll be worried.

It's about freaking time that we have a meritocracy around here, where you have to EARN your minutes...with a coach who has the cojones to sit players (that means YOU, Lou, Thad and Speights) that don't get with the program.

If these young guys have a sack, they'll bust their ass to take minutes from guys like Noc and Brand.

I agree to a point. I like giving the young players a baseline of consistent minutes (say 15-20) and letting them earn more. But it drives me nuts when rookies like Speights or Jrue get zero minutes and they are somehow supposed to be adapting to the NBA game solely through practices.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 14:54

I think that Collins is prepared to do that. As outlined in posts above, you can divvy up 240 minutes in a way that all of your key young guys (with the possible exception of Meeks, if you think he has upside) are getting enough minutes to develop some sense of themselves. It is how those minutes move around over the course of the season that is important.

Based in this description, I'm pretty unenthused about Collins. I didn't want him from the start, but i warmed up to him after his press conference because he seemed to know every little thing about the Sixers. But after reading this, ugh. Turner should be the shooting guard. The Princeton offense should be in the trash.

I just don't expect much from Collins. I'll never forget a game back when he was coaching before (I think the Wizards) when they had a mike on both him and Larry Brown. In the timeouts, Brown was telling each player exactly what to do and where to be on the floor. Collins was saying, "play hard guys, let's get full effort, come on guys, need to rebound." It was more cheerleading than coaching. Didn't seem too impressive to me. (Not that I like Brown at all, I don't, but it was a marked contrast).

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 12:37

Reggie Miller was at practice today at Collins' invite (he also did some stuff for NBA TV). Miller talked to the team about winning and his experiences.

Did he talk to Turner about becoming a shooting guard?

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 13:42

That's a great question. Tom, can you find out if Turner is getting any mentoring outside the team. I know he keeps in touch with Durant in terms of adapting to the NBA, but are there any guys like Miller that he has talked to or worked with?

I have a ton of confidence that Turner is the type of player who will get the most out of his talent. And if he can develop into an effective off the ball scorer he will (and I think he will.)

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 12:48

Don't believe so. He addressed the group, then chatted witrh Iguodala and Collins on and off camera.

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 12:54

He talked about the Sixers not having a knock-down perimeter shooter, but didn't mention Turner by name.

And you're quite welcome for the updates, BTW.

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:02

Reggie Miller on Iguodala: "Shooting 3-pointers is really not his game. He can knock them down occasionally, but I’ve always thought Andre’s strength was taking the ball to the basket and putting pressure on other teams’ defense. I think coach is going to put him in that type of environment where he can succeed – getting to the free throw line, cutting. If he can get back to that aggressive nature, I think that’ll help his team. He has the talent where he can do that."

johnrosz reply to Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:17

Tom, have you gotten any indications on which players Collins favors so far? I've felt for a while that he would fall in love with Thad right away because of the combo of length/versatility/willingness to learn.

Tom Moore reply to johnrosz on Sep 29 at 13:25

Good question. He raves about Speights, Holiday, Iguodala and others. Tough to tell how much is trying to boost guys and how much is legit, if you will.

tk76 reply to Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:45

I think the Jrue raviung is legit. he does not need to build Jrue's confidence like he does for someone like Speights, Hawes or Young (coming off of down years.) And there has been a pretty broad range of commentators who gush similarly when it comes to Jrue. He is definitely the trendy pick in the NBA in terms of a relative unknown who could break out and be a star.

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:16

Brand on Miller's talk: "He spoke to us about being a team, being together. ... He said we reminded him of when Larry Brown came to his team (the Pacers). They had a mix of vets and young guys and a no-nonsense coach. He talked about how guys are held accountable and just little nuances of the game for the younger guys."

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:22

Miller on Collins' hiring: "I love it. I love his enthusiasm, he’s very energetic, his willingness to teach the fundamentals. I’ve known coach for over 25 years now when he was trying to recruit me to come to Arizona State out of Riverside Poly and we’ve had a great relationship over the years. That’s the perfect coach to have here in a situation like this. ...

"I think you have a lot of young talent here that really has not been taught how to play the right way of NBA basketball. And that’s no slight on the other seven head coaches who have been here over the past seven years, I just think it took an old-school kind of guy with a new, fresh approach to the game. Will it be successful? Who knows? But I’ll guarantee you this, the 13 guys that remain on this roster will be better for it."

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:38

Collins: "I invited Reggie to come in. We go back – when I was an assistant at Arizona State, I tried to recruit Reggie and failed. Reggie, to me, represents all that’s great about the NBA, in terms of how much he loves the game, how hard he worked to become the best 3-point shooter in the history of the game. To be a winner, to do all the things he’s done in this game. I asked him to come in and watch our practice. We actually had a couple little sets we’re going to use that he thrived in. I asked him to talk to our guys about how he talked to our guys about how he played in that offense. I thought he was really great for ’Dre and Thad and Evan and Lou and guys who are going to be playing out of that set. I love him. He’s like a little brother to me."

tk76 reply to Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 13:51

Knowing Miller's game, I wonder what current Sixers would thrive in the same sets that Miller used? No one on the current roster seems to fit the mold aas a lanky/quyick pure shooter...

Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 15:10

Fair point. Guess maybe it'd be the pick-and-roll or coming off screens. It's likely closer to the basket than Miller was accustomed to.

Regarding the Princeton Offense look-alike, I don't think that's what it was, at least purely Princeton. The guards have to be like 30 feet from the hoop for that. I saw a lot of flex and swing (Bo Ryan has mastered that offense at Wisconsin- those diagonal back screens) elements. I think he's just trying to get some movement and install a base offense, just trying to get some movement. If you look at his past track record, he runs simple stuff. Summer league was basic wings star low, screen away, etc. I just think he's trying to get some continuity with these sets. They aren't Princeton though, they were all running this under 30 feet.

Just wondering Brian, what are traditional NBA sets to you? Pick and roll, isos, and post ups?

Yep. Basic stuff.

Rich reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 13:52

I think you have to use a continuity offense at some point that doesn't rely solely on player matchups. I don't think this team is even close enough to get by with just that simple stuff, heck the good teams still have base offense that go behind simple stuff. Plus it's the NBA, if someone reads that they have a favorable matchup, they have the freedom to break the set down and make a play.

Tom, what has the front office presence been like so far? Is Thorn there? Stefanski? DiLeo?

Any interest in a yahoo fantasy league? I was thinking something small, like maybe 10 teams of regular posters from here an libertyballers.

I'm game. Do you want to set it up?

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 14:32

You have people's emails. Maybe you can send out some invites to the regulars first. Then if we can't get 10-12 teams then we can open it up.

I was thinking roto, since everyone else seems to be doing H2H these days. But I would be open to either format.

Jason reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 15:00

I would definitely be interested. If you do one, Auction is the way to go imo.

tk76 reply to Jason on Sep 29 at 15:09

Never tried that format. I like drafts, but I can see how auctions are interesting.

For me auctions just take way too much time

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 15:31

Yeah, if its a league where I know everyone, I'd like it to be a format that I'm used to.

I like auctions, but they can get lame if people aren't familiar with the format. We'll do the traditional snake.

I sent invitations to you guys, will send a couple more out to other regular commenters as well.

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 15:42


Thanks for the invite, but Thursday night is the only night I can't make a draft due to class :)

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 15:45

People should include their names in their team name (well in most cases :)

Wednesday night draft? Does that work for everyone?

Also, anyone else who wants an invite, respond to this. If you're reading this deep into a comment thread, you qualify :)

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 15:50

Wed and Thursdays I work until 9:30 PM EST. I could do a 10PM draft on Wednesday, but that's probably too late for everyone.

M-T-F-S-S- are good.

Alright, let's shoot for Tuesday night.

Everyone, make sure you check the email you type in when you leave a comment, that's where I'll send the invite.

In my experience, and I know it's football season, when dealing with coastal issues (and possibly european time zones maybe?) - weekends are usually the best.

Heck, I got tons of baseball work to do anyway probably not to mention getting my pre season predictions contest going

Tuesday, Oct. 19th at 8:30 pm, Eastern. You west coasters need to get home by 5:30. Weekends are hit and miss for me, trips to the zoo and 8 billion birthday parties to contend with.

Hey you're the one who chose to have kids and friends don't go burdening us with YOUR issues :)

The birthday parties are for the kids' friends. I don't attend birthday parties with more than 12 candles on the cake. It's my personal philosophy.

Any spots Left for fantasy team?

Just sent your invite.

johnrosz reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 17:33

I'd be in if there's an open spot

Sent your invite to the email you entered to leave the comment.

Ryan F reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 18:04

Any openings left?

Sent your invite to the e-mail you entered to leave the comment.

Jesse reply to Brian on Sep 30 at 0:27

One more?

You're all set. Invite is on its way. We still have openings if anyone else is interested.

Rich reply to Brian on Sep 30 at 1:35

I'm good to do it.

Sure, I'll play if you guys have another spot in the league. Sounds like fun.

Soup and Rich, your invites are on their way. Still a couple spots open if anyone else wants in.

Fuck a Fantasy league! Let's get together for some real basketball. Leave your stats at home and bring your sneakers. PUT YOUR GAME WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!!

Um, what?

It figures you would never you would never want to play an actual game of basketball. Let alone come face to face with the guys you've probaly talked trash to.

Actually, that's not what I said, but it is unsurprising that you continue to display a juvenile high school jock like behavior with an inability to have intelligent discussion

And it's not surprising you display a highschool geek type personality that can only comment about people or things they wish they could be or do. The type that hides behind there laptop.

Even with my aching back and age I'd probably have a good shot at holding my own. It helps being 6'4 190 with a jumper. But if you are in the Chicago area I'd be up for a game.

Good to see you practice what you preach. You love for basketball should go beyond you're television or computer.

Rich reply to KellyDad on Sep 30 at 0:20

Can't people be geeks and still be able to hoop? Haha, in all seriousness, I got on the floor in high school as a stand-still shooter and I'm only three years removed from that. It's pretty hard getting people together to play though.

johnrosz on Sep 29 at 14:30

Would be great to see Reggie Miller teach a thing or 2 to Turner about playing off the ball

And how to get away with kicking people every time you shoot

Tom Moore reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 15:25

He was the best ever at doing that.

All I know is that I don't hear the Wizards talking about starting Arenas and Hinrich and making John Wall earn his minutes. And Hinrich's a lot more accomplished than Thad or Nocioni.

tk76 reply to Tray on Sep 29 at 15:03

Fair point. But Wall and Turner were both PG's last year. And the Sixers have a PG. So I think Turner has a bit more of an adjustment. If this was last year, and Turner was the rookie instead of Jrue, I'd fully expect Turner to be in the starting line-up.

Turner will start for this team. He just might not start 82 games for them.

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 15:27

Collins on Lou Williams: "Lou maybe scores more easily than anybody on our team. He also knows he can’t just play one end of the floor. He’s got to guard. He’s made a conscious effort of that. Lou is a guy -- I don’t know if he’s going to start, but if he comes off the bench, he could be our Jamal Crawford. He could be a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. If he can do that and be effective for our team, he can really, really help us."

Man,maybe she'll get to my questions, but Kate has passed over about 5 good ones I sent in. But maybe my opinion of a good question and her's are not the same :) Dei tends to give me a lot more attention :)

From Kate's chat:

[Comment From Rick Rick: ]
Who you think is going to be biggest surprise this year for Sixers fans? Whos gonna be a fan fave?

Nocioni. He's a Philly kind of player.

Qualifications for being a Philly kind of player:

1. White
2. Bad hair
3. Sucks at basketball
4. Epic toughness.

Reggie Evans was a philly kind of player :)

Fondling Chris Kaman's genitalia supersedes points 1 and 2.

I was only referring to one, I always thought reggie's hair was odd

tk76 reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 16:04

Sounds like Thunder Bob Thornton...


johnrosz reply to Brian on Sep 29 at 16:39

I kind of wish they'd just throw Turner into the fire. he's not 18, he can handle it. What's with all the coddling?

Protecting his psyche i think

Or, if you believe in reverse psychology, Collin isn't just handing the kid a starting job because he was the second pick but making him earn it and seeing what he's made of.

I think it is exactly what Collins says it is.

Long term J/I/T should be the starters. But right now Turners strengths and weaknesses don't mesh as well with the other starters. He needs to have the ball in his hands and he needs to adapt to off the ball play at the NBA level. But it sounds like a temporary issue, and he'll still get PT to adapt. So I don't buy the notion that he is a collosal failure just because he is not starting from day 1.

The guy is part of a team and npt p[laying in a vacuum. On other rosters he could step into the starting line-up and thrive with the ball in his hands. Its just that next to Jrue and Iguodala its not the perfect fit for game one. But in a couple of months I expect it to be a different story. And some early success off the bench won't hurt him or the team.

johnrosz reply to tk76 on Sep 29 at 17:41

Going to be a very interesting situation if you believe what Kate Fagan had to say about Thaddeus today...Seems like Doug believes in him at the 3, and Thad expects himself to be playing at an all star level very soon. If that somehow happens (obviously the odds aren't in his favor), but wouldn't it be a no brainer to move Iggy at that point?


Well in a vacuum, no, because it also depends on the continued development of Holiday and Turner.

If all 3 become all star level then yes trading Iguodala is a no brainer.

It's highly unlikely though

johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 18:21

If Doug really likes what he's getting from Young at the 3 though...it turns into a situation where Iguodala is blocking Turner at the 2. This all depends on Young becoming at least an average defender obviously. I also think the ability of Iguodala to facilitate becomes less valuable assuming that Holiday/Turner are both more capable in that regard. So basically you have him out there in his team USA role in a perfect world...but is a lockdown perimeter defender worth what Iguodala makes over the next 3 years? I don't know...

Like you suggested though, so many things have to happen for this to even become plausible.

There's no way in hell that any decisions should be made about trading Andre Iguodala from one season of play of Thaddeus Young, especially since it happens to coincide with the 'i want my contract extension' year. Don't fall for the Adrian Beltre trap.

johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Sep 29 at 18:33

Thad doesn't strike me as one of those type players but I wouldn't trade Iguodala unless I see significant development from Thad at the SF. I do think you have to ask yourself if Iggy's contract is still going to be at fair value over the next few years if his primary role is as defensive anchor (assuming Turner becomes the primary offensive option, Holiday the primary facilitator)

I wouldn't accept any improvement from Thaddeus Young as legitimate until it carried over into a second season, especially when playing for a contract extension.

I worry that if Thad has a breakout year the team will have to pay for it. But then again that will be with the next CBA.

Yes, I understand that, but so many 'break out years' in contract years have led to disappointment I wouldn't consider trading Iguodala until it carried over to the next year (and Turner and Jrue progressed as well)

TOO MANY very good players is a good problem to have, not a bad one

I think a lot of players that look great at 22 continue to be great unless they have some other red flags of major injury. Its more the guys who all of the sudden have a great year at age 26 or 27 that make me wonder if it was a mirage.

I guess we could look back over the last few years at guys

Of course there are injury issues like Biedrins or Deng and lazy issues like Curry.

the "less than" symbol cut off my post. oh well, not good enough to type again :)

That's because the less than symbol is also used in HTML and it thought you'd be typing some HTML.

I get your point about youth and greatness but one year of greatness compared to three years of varying 'greatness' is different than a continued growth curve :)

If Thad pulls a TMac: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/mcgratr01.html
I'm willing to show him the money...

I'm not expecting it, but a breakout year could happen. partly because I think he is getting to the point to where he might be physically/athletically dominant at the NBA level for the first time in his career. He tested of the cahrts at the combine, but if you look at recent team vids, the guy looks like he put on 35 ponds since he was drafted. He looks as big as Lebron.

Not that he can get by on physical gifts- but if he is ready to play SF (finally) he could have a physical advantage out there against a lot of players.

Charlie V comes to mind. I'm interested to see what Rudy Gay does now as well.

Iguodala, Josh Smith, Deng, Ellis and Arenas all fit the profile.

The owner of the wizards (who has experience with this kind of thing owning the NHL) was telling folks at a luncheon today that he fully expected a hard cap in the NBA by the time the negotiations are over and kept talking about how it 'works' in the NHL. He back tracked after the fact but I think that Stern really likes the NHL model and is going to attempt to roger the players royally because the union has been toothless and useless for decades


a little off topic but how many rebounds do you feel Sammy Dalembert/Demarcus Cousins pull per game in SACTOWN? They might get 22 a night from just those 2. Over under for Brand/Hawes is probably 14-15/night.

Sacramento is going to be very strong off the defensive glass this year.

I wonder if Cousins plays much SF next to either Sam or Whiteside?

Don't think Cousins is starting out there. Dalembert/Landry up front from something I read earlier today, with Cousins, Thompson and Whiteside as their rotation off the bench. If they can harness Whiteside and Cousins, get Whiteside to strictly focus on the defensive end, I love that combo a couple years down the road (assuming Cousins doesn't weight 400 pounds by then).

Continuing from thread above because it was getting squeezed...

Iguodala, Josh Smith, Deng, Ellis and Arenas all fit the profile.

They fit the profile of guys who have gotten their money and gotten worse?

Deng and Arenas were injury cases (mostly) and Ellis probably never should have gotten his deal in the first place. Is he any 'worse' or just more recognized as worse?

He does what he does (which is be a high volume scorer who does not play well with others.) He is no more or les worthy than when he originally signed his deal.

I'm not looking for all of the failures or successes- just a list of guys who had break out years at about age 22, right before their rookie deal expired.

He was awesome the year prior to his extension. He really had solid numbers, wasn't a gunner, super efficient scorer, didn't turn the ball over. 53.1% from the floor. Then he got the extension, crashed a mo-ped and the rest is history.

Ellis was also a second round pick right? So there wasn't as much development time on him?

Ellis was in the same boat as Lou. 2nd round pick straight out of HS and only 3 years instead of the normal 4 before his 1st deal.

The big change is he now shoots 22 shots per game and more 3pt shots, where he was only taking 15 shots per game befoer his extension. But his 3pt% has improved dramatically, and I could see him following an AI type career arc to where he starts getting a bit more efficient again later in his career. Although AI never was efficient early :)


I submitted a reply, but it was blocked by filters because it included 2 links...

Got it.

I really appreciate what you're saying TK, and I don't expect a polished product, far from it. I'm more interested in the organizational philoshopy right now than if they look like a playoff team or not. Like if you draft a guy in the top 3 with the idea that he's gonna be your starting 2 guard next to Jrue for the forseeable future, then that guy should play off the ball next to Jrue as much as possible so he can start to get acclimated to it. All rookies are gonna make a bunch of mistakes, better those mistakes be made in the framework of the right mindset, in this case spending his time working off screens and developing his game to be a finisher. The more time he spends at the point, the less time he's spending making the necessary adjustments.

I really like Collins as coach. But this idea that Thorn was talking like we're gonna retool, not rebuild and meanwhile we have a bad frontcourt and are right in the middle of a rebuilding year. It almost seemed like Collins was saying whoa, I thought Turner was ready and he's not so I better put him with Lou on the second team and have Iguodala at two so we can win a few more games early in the season. If the Sixers philosophy is do whatever we need to win this year to challenge for the 8th seed, then it's a faulty plan. I personally don't mind if Turner plays point or 3 or whatever, I'm gonna root for him and the team no matter what the rotations are. But the front office drafted him to play between Jrue and Iguodala, and they believed he could make the adjustment on the fly, just like I do. So the coach not wanting to put him there makes me feel uneasy about what the organization is thinking and their plan going forward. I don't know, I'm probably just jumping to conclusions like usual. :)

Maybe Collins is over-reacting... but he saw Turner sort of shut down when he struggled outside of his comfort zone this summer. But I guess its sort of surprising that Turner is more comfortable next to Lou than Jrue and Iguodala at this point (since I think those two are the better teammates.) But if that is what will get Turner in a comfort zone to start the season then I'm all for it- as long as he gets his minutes.

I just don't see what the big deal is about starting from day one. He should get regular minutes and get plenty of time playing alongside Jrue and Iguodala. But I'm not going to be disappointed if this year is a process.

I want Turner to be in a position to succeed. But I want the other young players like Jrue and Young to be in the best position as well. Jrue and Turner could be a less than ideal fit today and yet become a tremendous pairing over the next few years.

IIRC MJ and Pippen did not exactly fit next to each other their first couple of years- and I wonder if Collins is drawing from that experience... but either way the best thing for booth Jrue and Turners long term success as individuals and teammates is for them to each be in a position to succeed in their comfort zone and then grow from there.

Thanks for the positive respnse, you made me feel a little better with that one. But do you think the Sixers are taking more of a win now approach or more of a rebuilding approach? It's really difficult to try and do both at the same time and be successful. I hope it's the latter, would hate to see them add a multiple year contract right before a new CBA and end up shooting themselves in the foot over the possible race for a playoff spot this year.

I see win now teams as those that start low upside vets in place of young players. Teams like the Bobcats.

I think Starting Miller, Brand and Sam while giving heavy minutes to Willie Green was a win now type of atmosphere. While this current team will give regular minutes to Jrue, Turner, Thad, Speights, Lou and Hawes- all under 24.

I don't disagree that Turner needs to end up the starter within the year. But I don't see this current team as trying to win now. Burt they do want to put their players in a position where they can taste some success- both individually and as a team.

Tom Moore on Sep 29 at 20:05

The most produtive player in the final 15 minutes of the night scrimmage was ... Kapono. He knocked down two open 3s after we were allowed in and hit Brand with a pretty pass for an easy layup. Holiday also made a pretty spinning layup in traffio that he banked in and was fouled.

Iguodala and Nocionisat out the night session again.

Hawes was griping at the officials after he was called for a walk and then didn't get a foul call on consecutive trips downcourt.

Ellis was in the same boat as Lou. 2nd round pick straight out of HS and only 3 years instead of the normal 4 before his 1st deal.

The big change is he now shoots 22 shots per game and more 3pt shots, where he was only taking 15 shots per game befoer his extension. But his 3pt% has improved dramatically, and I could see him following an AI type career arc to where he starts getting a bit more efficient again later in his career. Although AI never was efficient early :)

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