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Thad the Small Forward

smh1980 on Oct 4 at 4:52

I like Collin's comments to his bigs, saying that if they defend and do the things they need to do then he won't be forced to go small.

I think that Stefanski had told Collins that Thad was a PF because I can remember him saying the exact same thing when Collins was introduced as the new coach.

We need to make a trade it seems in order to have enough minutes for our PG/SG/SF. There is just no way we can keep everyone on the roster and get them minutes.

Who does everyone think is most likely to get traded before the season? I'd still like to see a package involving Lou for Gorat from Orlando.

If there's a trade it likely involved Dre or Lou. They're the two players that have any value in a trade.

Jason reply to smh1980 on Oct 4 at 13:33

I really think there is no chance orlando does a lou for Gortat trade at this point. I know it's a trade that has been going around deppressed fan for months now, but i don't see why Orlando would ever do it. Gortat is way more valuable than lou for them. It'd be nice, just not happening, i think we're stuck with lou for this season.

deepsixersuede on Oct 4 at 7:36

I agree with all the optimism, we finally have a coach with a clue. I think Jrue will still have things to work out this year and he and Iggy may get less minutes than expected early [32?] so other guys get oppurtunity to sink or swim.

As far as trade targets, Jordan Hill still intrigues me and he has Scola and Patterson to get minutes from in Houston though he may get time at the 5. Minn. and the Lakers on N.B.A. T.V. this afternoon at 3 p.m. for those interested in it.

Totally agree with the minutes. I wouldn't mind seeing him at 32 minutes, but think it will be 34-36. He didn't play much more than about 22-24 minutes during FIBA. I think we'll have a few guys in the 26-30 minute range.

Hopefully they will expend so much energy on defense that they will need to be rotated in and out.

Noccioni will play spot minutes unless we are being pushed around and need to be more physical on the floor. Noc has been injured a few times the last few seasons, so he isn't someone you bank on having all the time.

I expect Songaila to play more regular minutes than Noc.

Oh man, Songaila is even worse than Nocioni. I guess if those guys are seeing the bulk of their minutes at the four they won't be hurting as much, because in effect they'll be taking minutes away from less productive players on the front line, but still. They really aren't productive NBA players.

I'd actually prefer more minutes for Nocioni over Songaila at the four. Nocioni's a better defensive rebounder and he can shoot the three. Songaila specializes in long twos, the worst shot in the game. (over half of his FGA last season were from 16-23 feet, though he does shoot it pretty well).

I've never liked Thad at the 4. He doesn't rebound good enough at either end of the floor and adds nothing to the interior defense. Even good offensive forwards hit the offensive boards for an easy put back but Thad has never added that to his game. This team lost a it's best interior layer in Dalembert who covered up Thad's flaws playing the 4 and they might have come yo light with Hawes playing the 5 n
I always envisioned Thad long term as a Cedric Ceballos clone. Ceballos was a beast on the O boards and in transition at the 3. He never had to many plays called for him and was a pretty good defensive wing player.
I'm just hoping the change in thinking about Thad isn't because of the lack of interior defense and rebounding by our bigs in camp. Either that or Brand and Speights have looked really good.

Nocioni has played more PF than SF in the last 4 years according to 82games.

Not sure what that means for the minutes distributions, which I haven't looked at in months.

Maybe he plays all PF though... he did 4 years ago pretty much and then has had a 50-50 split in the last 3 from what i am seeing.

bebopdeluxe on Oct 4 at 9:49

If Thad blows up, there will be no choice for Collins but to break his pledge to Noc. Release him if he bitches about it. To me, that trade was ALL about getting Sammy as far away from this team as quickly as possible (and with things falling into place the way they seem to be right now, I could not be happier that Sammy and his...his...well, his Sammy-ness is 3000 miles away).

I think that Hawes will have to earn his starting spot, or we will see a LOT of Speights (another guy who seems to have read the off-season memo about showing up ready to work or getting some splinter-proof shorts to wear on the bench). No problem there, either.

Amazing what happens when a coach with some cred and a sack takes over a team of talented but underachieving players - huh? I'm not saying that they are going to do what Hubie Brown did with the Grizz (28 wins to 50), but if the over/under for improvement over last year is +10, I am taking the over...easily.

Is anyone else a little bit sickened by ESPN's Heat Index? Poor Cleveland lost LBJ and their best beat writer.

Mike P reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 10:57

Jesus. They have found something to Favre the shit out of in Basketball.

There are 29 other teams, that is retarded.

I am interested in having Thad with a real coach and at his real position. He is also playing for a contract.

We need to get rid of Kapono, Lou, and Nocioni. I am fine with Turner being the backup PG as long as he gets like 30 minutes a game. But I want him to learn how to play with Jrue as fast as possible so we can see how it all fits.

Depth is a luxury few teams have. I think if you can juggle the minutes and get people to understand what is best for the team, you hold onto some of these guys.

The only thing I would make a trade for is a shot blocker if the layup lines continue like they have the last few years when Sammy was on the bench.

I pay very little attention to ESPN. Some of their bloggers and 'advanced metrics' writers are worth while, but their worst coverage of most major sports is definitely the NBA, on all levels (they haven't had an NBA chat in months, even though the pre-season has started, they have like 7 NFL chats a week, during the off season even).

It's no surprise they're obsessed with the Heat, I'm sure TNT is too

Ryan F reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 11:43

I am also sickened that our franchise decided to double the cost for opening night. I could understand a slight mark up, but $300 for 2 seats in a range I can actually see the game is something I just can't justify to myself doing.

Ah but some motivated fan will pay that to see lebron/wade/bosh together.

It's gouging to be sure, but the price will be paid by someone

Did they double the price? That's insane. Well, if you go, you'll see a bunch of d-bags who you won't see at any other Sixers games this year.

Ryan F reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 13:27

$134 for LL Corners.

No way I am going, GP, and I haven't missed an opening night since I've been old enough to buy my own tickets.

I refuse to contribute anything extra to the madness that is the Miami Heat. I wish them all the worst on the court.

johnrosz reply to Ryan F on Oct 4 at 20:56

That night is game 1 of the world series btw

What would be fitting in protest if people stayed home and watched the WS instead. Doubled the price but they are giving me about $300.00 of free tickets to see the Cavs.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 13:13

By the way I saw this offense close up in practice. It really works for these guys and you don't need an advanced degree to run it.

The issue, as always, for Thad at small forward will be how well he can defend man-to-man. There's a lot that can be blamed on Eddie Jordan's poor defensive schemes last year, but Thad (at SF) was also atrocious at keeping his man in front of him last year, even worse than in years past. Opposing SF's hit at a 53% eFG against him, which is higher than what opposing PF's did (52%). It got to the point where seemingly every time Thad was defending a SF, the other team would go to an isolation for their SF, even if it was someone mediocre.

On the other hand, Thad was much better at defending SF's in 08-09 (though usually backup SF's), so maybe there's hope that better motivation (from the coach) and a better defensive scheme will allow him to be at least adequate defending SF's (and that his struggles are not a result of an intrinsic lack of lateral quickness).

I'm wondering if Thad's going to wind up covering SGs a lot of the time. Let's take a look at the first 10 games:

MIA - AI9 on LBJ, Jrue on Wade, Thad on Mike Miller (if Miller is the third perimeter starter) or AI9 on Wade, Jrue on Chalmers and Thad on LBJ? Can you do that with a straight face?

ATL - AI9 on Johnson, Thad on Marvin Williams, Jrue on Bibby

IND - AI9 on Granger, Jrue on Collison (fun), Thad on Brandon Rush/Paul George/Mike Dunleavy?

WAS - Jrue on Wall (fun again), AI9 on Arenas, Thad on Nick Young/Josh Howard.

IND - Same as above

CLE - That team is such a mess. I guess Jrue on Sessions, AI9 on Mo Williams and Thad on Anthony Parker/Jamario Moon?

NYK - Jrue on Felton, Thad on Gallinari, AI9 on Azubuike. This is a tough one, because Gallinari is a much better offensive player, but Azubuike would be a tough quickness matchup for Thad.

OKC - AI9 on Durant, Jrue on Westbrook, Thad on either Thabo or Harden.

DAL - Jrue on Kidd, AI9 on Terry/Beaubois, Thad on Butler

SAS - Jrue on Parker, AI9 on Manu, Thad on Jefferson.

The issue here is that I believe Collins is going to use Iguodala like Coach K. did on the defensive end, and glue him to the best wing scorer. Meaning, when the best wing scorer is a SF, Thad's going to wind up with some matchups where he's going to be guarding some really quick players. I'm not sure how that's going to work out.


I could see 4-6, 5-5 maybe.

I have them losing the 'obvious' games and both pacers games. Who knows maybe they win one or both of those, but I doubt it

Ugh, the Pacers? Come on, that has to be a split, at worst, right?

Haven't you heard?


They'll split with the Pacers. With that, I don't see more than 4 wins. Knicks, Cavs, and 1 of OKC/SA/Dallas. If they beat the Wizards, which is very possible, that's 5 wins, one of them an upset.

If they start out 5 - 5, that would be pretty good.

I have no feel for the Wizards. Arenas & Wall are going to blow up together, I guess, but is Blatche going to carry the front court, with Javale McGee? Everybody's saying Arenas is serious this year, and Wall is great, but I don't think they're going to reach 40 wins.

Joe reply to GoSixers on Oct 4 at 17:52


I thought I was being mildly optimistic at 2-8. Optimistic, with more than 5 being home games, maybe 3.

Cleveland is absolute garbage. I don't see them losing that one.

I figured they'd win cleveland and new york but thought they'd lose to the wizards

Rich reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 12:58

A lot of those teams will still go right at Thad with their worse players. The book is out on him not being able to guard 1 on 1 for some reason. I just hope Collins comes up with a scheme that Thad picks up well and he learns how to steer guys into help better. He is a smart kid after all. Defensive instincts need a little work though.

The bigger is issue is that there really isn't any help to steer him into, at least not in the form of a guy who's going to protect the rim.

Rich reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 13:36

Hate to think it, but it's probably going to have to be Brand and Speights. It can't be at the rim either, but those guys can use their quickness to meet guys 5-8 feet from the rim where a guy like Speights can take a charge. Brand is going to be the key because he can grasp any defensive system and while limited blocking shots, he can be a solid defender if used properly. To me, he is the key in Collins' trying to save the frontcourt defense.

I'll also go with 3-7. Until they get settled I see this team splitting with the bad teams and losing to the good ones.

Joe reply to Statman on Oct 4 at 17:45

The issue, as always, for Thad at small forward will be how well he can defend man-to-man

There are quite a few other problems there centered around still not rebounding enough, turning it over too much, not having any court vision whatsoever, and not getting to the line amongst other issues.

If he fixes his D and leaves the rest as is there are still gaping holes in his game that make him someone I wouldn't want on my team.

Old School Sixer Fan reply to Joe on Oct 4 at 18:37

You are talking about the same Thad Young who, a year ago we thought might be the next star in Philly until Jordan got hold of him. Remember, he is a tremendous athlete, smart and a hard worker. Through HS and into college, he played inside, but was projected as a SF in the pros. Maybe Collins and his assistants can get him to fulfill last year's promise.

The same Thad Young who has sucked at defense for all 3 years he was here, but it was ignored because of his offensive 'ability'.

He's been one dimensional all 3 years here

Joe reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 7:58

He got steals his rookie year...

Is the 20 minutes per game promise to Nocioni just a running joke, or is that something real? If so I can't see why coach Collins would need to say something like that. It's not like they signed Nocioni as a free agent and had to convince him to sign with the team, they made a trade for him. So if the Sixers want him to only play in garbage time, then that should be his role, he shouldn't have any say in it, right? I hope it's just a joke. :)

Colins said it, 'one of his best players' - first day of training camp.

He doesn't have any say in it, but he could be a giant pain in the ass for Collins, like he was for Westphal.

And I did hear Collins say 20 mpg for Nocioni very recently, he said it over the summer too.

Oh, that's disappointing. But I guess Collins will realize sooner rather than later that Nocioni can't help them win baskeball games, and he won't be afraid to just bench him if need be. Also, do you think the Sixers can realisticly get anything decent back if, and hopefully when, they decide to trade Lou Williams? Or do the Sixers like him better than the other teams in the league, cause you know, "he can really score the ball"?

The Pistons gave Charlie V a ton of money, so I'll never say never.

I assume he's got some value around the league, but I doubt you'd get much value in return, considering is contract. If he was on a rookie deal it'd easier.

I just read tthis on ESPN Insider:

Sixer player projections by Hoollinger:

Projection: 21.3 pts, 10.0 reb, 1.5 ast per 40 min; 18.45 PER

I almost choked... until I read the "per 40 min" part.

Also, like the description of Noci:
"Chippy player who gives hard fouls."

Chippy is not the same as "tough" on "good defender."

In fact maybe he should change his knickname from Chapu to Chippy :)

Heh. Does he do minute projections?

Rich reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 14:06

I thought Hollinger's scouting reports were pretty good. Some mistakes here and there (I think the iffy court vision shot at Jrue was wrong, in a regular system his minutes will go up and so will assists, the need to play Thad at 4), but not a bad job considering what we usually get from ESPN.

He projects a double double for mareese speights huh?

How many players averaged a double double last year?

This is where HOllinger falls down to me. He doesn't look at his numbers to see if they're reflecting possible reality.

Right now Speights isn't a starter, how often does a bench player average a double double?

He loses credibility to me with predictions like this as he ignores the reality in front of him and that his projection system is obviously broken

Rich reply to GoSixers on Oct 4 at 14:17

He said the numbers are per 40, which Speights won't play. I actually think those numbers are realistic per 40 for Speights- Last year he averaged 19 and 9 per 36. If you read his scouting report, he knows the deal with Speights.

Damn, I missed that part too no TK's quote, choked on it as well, but I don't expect Speights to do that well this year.

You gotta wonder if he's so good per 36 why he can't stay on the court

I have a hunch :)

Rich reply to GoSixers on Oct 4 at 15:06

Doesn't defend or pass?

I was only thinking the defense yes :)

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 14:57

Holiday was a little under the weather today, so Turner ran the point with the first-teamers in today's scrimmage.

Collins said he expects Turner to play mostly the point in the preseason.

Asked if he's more comfortable at the point than the two right now, Turner said, "It's all a whirlwind, to tell you the truth."

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 15:02

Turner said he doesn't have a preference between the two spots. "My whole thing about the NBA (coming in) was me throwing up and wanting to cry. It's been hard, but it's been pleasant."

"My whole thing about the NBA (coming in) was me throwing up and wanting to cry. "

What does this mean?

Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 15:26

Believe it means he was nervous about the whole NBA experience. Turner puts a lot of pressure on himself and Collins is trying to take some of that off of the kid.

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 15:14

Collins on Lou Williams at the two: "I want Lou to think about scoring. When he runs the point guard position, he loses who he is."

"Who he is"

A much cheaper Monta Ellis?

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 15:27

Collins said Holiday texted him to say Holiday apologized for not having a good scrimmage Saturday night and that he would play better next time. Holiday's not the first Sixer to do that in the past eight days, according to Collins.

When I read about this "cluster offense" involving both bigs setting simultaneous screen, one on the ball and one off- it reminds me of the offense that the Sixers ran with Andre Miller, with guys like KK and Green diving back-door utilizing off the ball screens.

It also suggests this will be more of a PG driven offense, maybe in the mold of Utah. Jrue will have both on the ball and all the options. He can use the P&R action or hit a cutter off of the other "cluster screen." This is very different from last year, when they ran 4 man sets at the FT line just to initiate the offense. So the guy bringing up the ball was not the focal point of the offense.

This year it sounds like Jrue will be the engine and Thad/Iguodala/Turner will be used more as cutters. While the bigs will be almost purely Pick and Pop.

And if the offense stalls, we can call it a cluster ****. But I'll remain optimistic.

Do you guys agree that this style of offense seems like it will succeed or fail depending on Jrue? Or dio you think it relies more on the bigs setting good picks or the wings knowing where to cut off of them?

My sense is that this is an offense where Jrue could become a superstar- or at least be given the opportunity.

And it makes sense that Turner would be the other PG in this scheme and not Lou. Because any play that starts with a Pick for Lou will end in a Lou drive or shot. I don't see Lou being programmed to wait for option 3, nor is his game suited to that role.

Rich reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 18:12

I found a pretty good look at what a basic cluster cut is. All it really is a basic movement set that gets two guys cutting off one at the same time. It's at the bottom of the page and it's called 'the center wheel.' I'm 99.9 % sure that's what it looked like Collins was installing in one of those plays-

That set is just an example of a cluster cut but there are two things that should be said: 1. The main object is just to get movement instead of running an elaborate play like in the Princeton offense. At the end the players are just replacing one another. 2. It's really open for pick and roll with a big stationed at the foul line. He can screen for any of the guards and wings fairly easily from that spot.

I thought it was more involved on the strong side, like TK was saying above. The play is triggered by a P&R w/ the point and one big (or at least that's an option), then the wings both run off the other big at the elbow, with the cuts the wings make being reads.

Agree 100% w/ TK on his take above, btw. If this is their base set, Jrue is going to have an opportunity to really be a superstar in this offense. Also agree that if the well being of this year's team is the top priority, putting Evan Turner in that position as the backup PG is a better option than the other guards on the roster.

Rich reply to Brian on Oct 4 at 19:05

That's just a cluster cut that the thing showed, not the specific set the Sixers are running. I can only go by what I've read so it's just speculation.

I actually think it's more of an equal opportunity offense than you guys think. Jrue will always initiate but he can take off a play and swing it to Andre and cut off Hawes. Obviously Fagan has written a lot about Jrue running P and R, but in the first day I saw a lot of cutting in the 5 on 0, which I assume is the base offense on the 1st day. TK said that it may be like Utah, but Deron Williams runs them through their offense by picking his spots and running their motion offense a lot during the game. Then he takes over in the 4th quarter and when the shot-clock is running down during the game. I think Williams thrives in that set because he's willing to make sure the other stuff is working. Here's a clip from the 1st day where I see a lot of Jrue cutting off the ball-



This is a different clip, with/out Fagan and Collins running people through the drills.

tk76 reply to Rich on Oct 4 at 19:23

Rich, like Brian said above, the set is more complex (based on Kate's description.) One big is running a pick and pop w/ Jrue to free him up. On the weak side the other big sets a screen called the "cluster" where both wings break off in different directions.

So if players help off either big they get an open jumper. While Jrue can drive, shoot or pass to one of the other wings who will be either spotted up or cutting to the hoop.

Sounds like Jrue will have a lot of options, and the offense will have to go to a "plan B" if Jrue passes to someone who is covered.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 19:28

Sorry Rich, missed your reply.

I wonder if the "cluster" is a simultaneous 3 man play vs 2 consecutive players using the same pick?

Rich reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 19:54

I really have no idea and I love to study the X's and O's. I have never heard of it though, only referenced as a cluster screen, but not an offense. I hope that the whole offense is more than Jrue on a screen though. I hope Kate is calling it that because that's only as far as the team has gotten, maybe like a certain part of the offense (such as play-action pass in football). My hope is that it has a lot of motion and the Jrue set is what they run in money time. I just hope the offense is a little more movement than just that set.

Actually, I'd be pretty happy if that's the initial set they run. All five guys involved, movement on the strong and weak sides, and several options going to the hoop. Collins also talked about how they reset the cluster after they ran through it and didn't get the look they wanted, which is really important with this crew. The last thing you want to see is busted plays continually turning into isos with bad floor spacing.

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 15:51

Collins said he doesn't plan on playing anybody more than 24 minutes in the first two preseason games and won't re-insert his starters at the end if it's close. He said Nocioni and Battie wouldn't play in either game, and that he hopes Nocioni would be cleared to scrimmage Friday.

Tom Moore on Oct 4 at 16:03

Turner on the whole process: "It’s going to take time. You’ve got to be patient. You want everything to go so well quickly, but you’ve got to pay your dues first.”

Asked if he's a a patient person, Turner smiled and said, "I’m not, but I have to be, I guess."

Collins put his arm around Turner and spoke to the rookie for a couple minutes after practice. "He was just telling me I’m doing fine. (Collins told him to) just keep learning the system and take it one step at a time. Take the exhibition game really serious to get as much experience as possible."

The more I read about Collins, the more I am thrilled he is our coach. Nice to see him encouraging Turner, not telling him to man up.

I think this is going to be a fun season. No, not a championship season.

johnrosz reply to DeanH on Oct 4 at 21:11

Right now Jordan would be saying that Turner doesn't bite as a puppy, so he won't bite as a dog

tk76 reply to johnrosz on Oct 4 at 21:16

You know your EJ.

Thad is definitely a 3, so that's good, but Iguodala is also a 3, in my opinion, so Thad should be coming off the bench. I think Turner is a 15ppg guy (as a rookie, and 20+ in a couple years) if he starts.

johnrosz on Oct 4 at 21:16

Anyone know if tomorrow's game will be available on the net somewhere? It's in Roanoke, I've got a feeling there won't even be any cameras present at the event.

tk76 reply to johnrosz on Oct 4 at 21:17

I don't think it will be available (anywhere.) But the Boston game the next night is on TV in Boston, so you might be able to find it.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 21:23

There is an "Audio webcast" Tues nt. Would it have been so hard to set up a webcam :) ?


johnrosz reply to tk76 on Oct 4 at 21:31

Thanks. I really do love basketball, but can't see myself listening to a radio webcast of a preseason basketball game in Roanoke, Virginia. I'll just have to catch some of the Boston game the next night

deepsixersuede on Oct 4 at 22:12

I DVR'd the Minn. game, man they have some shooters; they started a Milicic, Love, Beasley, W.Johnson and Ridnour lineup and were hitting all their shots. They run their offense through Milicic for the most part and Webster and Toliver looked good off the bench. Pekovic and Caracter would be a good battle in a wrestling ring, two animals !!!

btw, I think I should limit comment threads to 76 max. The site looks better when there are 76 comments on the top post.

Ugh, this was #77.

This is my first comment on a website so far, so I'm hoping it will be approved. It appears you really have a passion about how to lose weight fast and safe. I know I'm not the only one who thanks you for what you do!

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