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The Dreaded Long Two

I agree with your philosophy- but when you have a team that lacks good low post scorers and good 3pt shooters you are going to get a lot of 2pt jump shots. Its not just the coach, its on the GM that built this roster. In the NBA there is no way you are going to generate a drive/layup consistently. You have to take a lot of either post shots, 3pt shots of long jumpers.

So you can try and maximize drives and hitting cutters (like the cluster tries to do), but there is only so much you can do if no one can knock down 3's or be a consistent low post threat.

AaronMcKie4MVP on Oct 5 at 5:05

i read this in an ESPN fantasy bball column. iguodala is listed as a SF bust, with the following logic

"Andre Iguodala, 76ers (from Tom Carpenter): Iggy once was a fantasy stud because he was the man in Philly. Now he's just one good player among many. He's going too early in drafts."

One good player among many ? lol Really? who? the guy is going to play 40+ i dont see any reason why iguodala would not be a fantasy stud

Mike P reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Oct 5 at 16:23

He never really scores many points.

He is like a worse version of Brandon Roy. Basically a Diet Lebron James. Defense doesn't count in fantasy so the reason he is valued so much doesn't matter.

Plus he can't shoot threes but loves to jack them up, murdering his FG %

He loves jacking them up

Or, as numerous reports have indicated, he was instructed to jack the up last year and has been instructed this year to not jack them up so much.


Mike P reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 17:00

Either way, jacked they were.

He needs to stop shooting. That's all.

deepsixersuede on Oct 5 at 7:39

I think taking a 16 to 18 footer isn!t a bad shot for our bigs but the area past that is a no if I am the coach. Watching the offense on the previous post it seems that shot will be available and all our bigs can hit it. We will see a lot of zone for short stretches this year and I wonder if this offense works against it or if our coach has zone options to it.

We have a great wing core that should flourish cutting off the ball if good screens are set but we have talked for years about the I.Q. of our players and decision making seems a big part of it also.

Yeah, there is a difference between a wide open 18 foot jumper within the framework of a play and a contested fall away 18 footer by Iguodala. Sure a drive or an open 3 is preferable, but an open shot by a good shooter is still not a bad thing.

Sort of like making a 5 yard pass in the NFL. It can't be the staple of your offense, but sometimes you should take it if its there.

Yeah, I disagree here. I think drawing up plays to get long twos is a failure. I realize you aren't going to get into the lane or get an open three on every possession, but that should be the goal. The long two should only be taken when the other options are taken away from you by the defense.

Which- when you look at this team and its lack of post players and shooters- will happen a lot. Just the reality of the line-up and something a coach can try to minimize, but won't overcome.

I don't think we disagree about the schemes. I' just doubt coaching alone will make a huge difference in the shot distribution. But we can hope the right guys are taking the midrange jumpers, and that they are taking open jumpers instead of guarded step backs off of isolation.

Sort of like how last years team shot better from 3pt. Because for all of EJ's many faults, he did generate open looks from 3pts that helped guys like Lou and Jrue shoot at reasonable percentages.

BTW, you know I throw out positives about EJ just to get a rise out of people...

Chuck Norris on Oct 5 at 8:27

OT: Thad will lead this team in scoring next season. Now you all can laugh but I will get the laugh when the season ends.

Seems like a weird projection.

Andre Iguodala averaged more points per minute than Thad last year. So did Brand, Lou, and Speights.

So Thad is going to have to get a lot more shots up when he is on the court or lead the team in min/game.

I don't see him getting the 35 minutes he would need to have a good chance.

Tom Moore on Oct 5 at 9:28

If I were a Sixers opponent, I'd pack in my 2-3 zone and let 'em fire away from outside.

Tom Moore on Oct 5 at 9:29
Tom Moore on Oct 5 at 9:36

I don't think this is viewed from the right perspective. My observations are quite different:

1. Very rarely does a coach put long 2 point jump shots as your primary offensive scheme (EFJ obviously is one of the exceptions). However long two pointers always have to be part of your backup plan, because very often good defenses can force opponents out of the paint and defend the three point line well at the same time. In these "emergency cases" the long two pointer is basically the only solution if you don't want to end up with a 24 second violation.

2. Long two point jump shots are low percentage (often lower than 3pointers) for a reason. Usually players are forced at taking them, because of the inefficiency of their primary offensive set. Forced shots always result in low percentage. It would actually be interesting to see how many of these long 2 pointers happen at the end of the shot clock (last 5 seconds) on a normal team (not the Sixers from last year).

All in all i absolutely support the idea about limiting the 2 point jumpers to a minimum, but at the same time i accept they are often inevitable and can actually be the highest percentage shot available. There is a reason why most of the all time greats from the wing positions were/are great at both the mid range and long range 2 pointers.

I think in theory the offense installed by Collins really works towards our players strengths and limits the two point jumpers from our low percentage shooters to a minimum. We still need to see though how opposing defenses react to it and how "defendable" it is...

P.S. All of the aforementioned views on the 2 point jump shot excludes an EFJ coached team. It requires a coach with at least basic common sense.

In 2006-7 Kobe shot 8.3 attempts per game from 16-23 feet. The Lakers won 42 games that year.

As the Lakers added better teammates Kobe's shot selection improved, despite running the same system under the same coach. Last year Kobe shot only 6.0 attempts from 16-23 feet.

It's a bit different for a wing, and the team's #1 option. You'd expect their percentages to be a little higher. When you're talking about bigs, though, I think it's a terrible, terrible trend. Brand isn't taking long twos as the shot clock expires.

That's a great example tk76. It just shows that unless you are forced to take them (meaning you have no other options), most good players and systems for that matter would not take the long 2 pointer.

BTW, Kobe complaisantly shoots 38-42% from 16-23 feet. Usually while closely defended.

Pau Gasol averaged 3.7 attempts from 16-23 feet his last year on a bad Memphis team. Last year he attempted 1.6 from that range (hitting at a much higher percentage- 48%.) IMO this has more to do with his upgraded team than coaching or the great "triangle."

Coaching aside, Teams with lots of talent get to take better shots because their weapons stress a defense. While bad teams with few weapons end up getting forced into bad shots.

Its sort of like the NFL. Weak offenses are forced to make short plays. While teams with lots of weapons can spread the field and open up both longer passes and better runs. Its not solely the coaches or the schemes.

Or bad QBs settle for 5-yard passes because they aren't patient enough to let their receivers get separation on the outside, as the case may be.

Or the quarterback lacks a strong enough arm to fit in deeper passes against a cover 2...

So when we are talking the Sixers... do they have the weapons to stress a defense? Do they have post scorers who force a defense to double and then scramble? Do they have main weapons who hit lots of 3's? No.

So no matter how well coached they are, the defense can dictate that the best shot will often be a wide open midrange jumper. They can be better than under EJ, but only by degrees.

More important is, when you take a midrange jumper:

1. Is the right player taking that shot (not Thad or Iguodala.)

2. Is the shot open and in the flow, or are you forcing it too early or taking a contested jumper?

Anytime in the first 17 seconds of the shot clock is too early, IMO. I'd almost prefer a drive into a packed lane than a quick play resulting in an open 18-footer for Hawes.

I don't know about Hawes... but a good NBA shooter will hit over 85% of his 18 footers if left wide open and in rhythm. Think someone like Haslem on the good Heat teams when he would be automatic from 16 ft, or David West left open.

That does not mean those guys hit for those gaudy percentages over the course of a season. But if you look at their "good shots" they are close to automatic. I believe Speights could be like that if he limits himself to the right shots.

And really great midrange shooters like Rip can be close to automatic even if lightly contested- but I'm not sure any of the Sixers qualify.

I'm not saying running an offense for midrange jumpers. But it should be part of the sets- where the right shooters when left wide open will make a defense pay. That's how you keep the defense from over-helping off of screens.

Just like the screen pass in the NFL. You'd never want that to be your staple- but judicious use is part of a balance offense and keeps the defense honest.

I'd say yes and no at the same time. The Sixers do have a few talented offensive players that CAN "stress" the defense, but it's impossible to put them all on the floor because of their terrible defense.

As for who should be allowed to take those jumpers i'd say only Kapono, Speights, Turner, Holiday and maybe Hawes should be allowed to even think about it... Everybody else ugh...

Lou puts a ton of stress on a defense ecause he is unguardable. The problem is he does not know how to use that to the team's advantage. Sort of like Jason Terry early in his career before he lost a step and developed an automatic jumper.

Kapono from 3point range and even Speights from mid range also fit the bill of putting stress on a defense IMO. However you can't put all three of them on the floor at the same time without being constantly punished for it on the defensive end.

Tom Moore on Oct 5 at 11:48

Collins hasn't even inserted the pick-and-roll play into the Sixers' offense because he doesn't want the players to have that to fall back on. He wants them to push the ball when possible, and, in the half-court, use more of a read-and-react approach for now.

Brackins is another guy who likes long jumpers. Don't think he'll play all that much this year -- too much of a defensive liability -- though he's got a nice shooting stroke.

Saying someone is too much of a defensive liability when the other (realistic) options are


really says something

Playing Brackens at PF is sort of like playing Thad at PF...

Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Oct 5 at 13:43

He has to get physically stronger and into better shape.

He's also terrible on pick and rolls and doesn't get off his feet quick enough to be a shotblocker.

His entire defensive profile is pretty dreary, honestly.

Isn't 'terrible on pick & rolls' something the sixers look for in their big men?

Does anyone know if this game will be televised or is it available on nba.com?

Audio only webcast at sixers.com.

They need to invest in a quality webcam :)

Hey tk76, are you sure there is even an audio webcast? The link you gave in the previous post was for a preseason game last year, in 2009 (also against the Nets).

Wow. I passed that along from a poster at realGM. Good catch.

The long two, like most parts in basketball, is a tool used to generate better assists. Guards need to have a good pull up game because it prevents defenders from sagging off and denying penetration. Bigs need to have a good midrange game to pull defenders out and open up the lane. It needs to be flashed enough keep defenses honest. It can't be overused.

Any player, backcourt of frontcourt, I value the ability to hit the long two. I also value wise shot selection. It's one of my huge problems with Craig Brackins, who's probably worse at this than anyone on our roster (or, at least he was when asked to carry an offense at Iowa State).

How do you fairly evaluate someone like Brackins?

There are areas you can objectively look at like his physical attributes and skill-set and know he is a good shooter but physically weak. But its almost impossible to know what his shot selection and game will look like if he is not forced to be the man like he was at ISU.

He actually did better as "the man". He actually carried a much higher burden in 2008-2009 (when he averaged 24.8 pp/40 on 47.5% shooting, 1.26 pps) than he did in 2009-2010 (18.8 pp/40 on 42% shooting, 1.16 pps). The team added juco transfer Marquis Gilstrap, who was much better than anyone Iowa State had on the team during Brackins' sophomore year. Brackins took a LOT of contested jumpers early in the shot clock. He actually seemed to rush things with another scoring threat around.

Do you mean "can be overused" at the end of your first paragraph?

bah, yes. "Can be overused", not can't.

Thanks. Missed that.

Brackins sounds like a real treat. Did we acquire this front court of unathletic mid-range shooting big men by design, or was it an accident? On top of Brand and Speights, we've added Battie, Songaila, Brackins, Hawes, and I guess you can include Nocioni too. And Thad. Like is this the Rod Thorn philosophy?

No, we are building the perfect team for Eddie Jordan with multiple iterations of poor man's Jamisons :)

In Thorn's defense, I'm not sure how much better of young big he could have gotten in exchange for Willie Green. Brackins is skilled and athletic. He just lacks strength. And Darius came along for the ride.

Agree. Good trade.

You forgot the second half of that excellent comment.

Great trade, who did we get?:)

Tray reply to Bob on Oct 5 at 15:04

It's an okay trade by itself, but it all adds up to millions of jump-shooting big men.

Can't argue against the premise here--the long 2 is clearly the worst shot you can take--but one criticism. For a guy like AI9, who really plays his offensive game everywhere from the key to the three, that long 2 keeps the defense honest. I know you were being slightly hyperbolic when you said he'd be better off jacking up 300 more 3s, but realistically, opposing defenses have to respect that long 2. They're happy to give it up, but they also have to defend it. That prevents teams from manning Iggy real tough around the 3 and holding the paint down with a zone against him. The Sixers would be especially susceptible to this sort of D, since Iggy was our main source of offense.

Long distance shots only keep a defense honest if the defense feels there's a good chance you are going to make it. If not, they leave you open 'daring' you to take the shot (and he probably wasn't being too hyperbolic on the 3's comment, hence the PPS numbers he gave).

Andre Iguodala is not an outside shooter of great skill, so he's not going to keep a defense honest by taking the shots, in fact he's going to make the defense happy if he takes that shot. He's not kyle korver

Oh - the dreaded long two? you mean the AKA for the Sixers the last decade?

You know the 17 foot jumper represented about 80% of my shots in HS. And now you have gone and made me feel like a chucker. And up to know I just thought I was a stiff, but I guess I was inefficient on top of that.

Thanks. Maybe I was a victim of watching too many Sixers games (of course they were actually good back then.)

I just included the rare Know/now typo.

Rich reply to tk76 on Oct 5 at 15:56

TK, my coach always gave a speech the first day about how a long two was the worst shot in basketball. Thus I only shot threes. Totally agree with this post BTW.

tk76 reply to Rich on Oct 5 at 17:49

I was A PF/C but to skinny to pull off legit post moves. I would have loved to shoot threes- but our plays would not bring me that far from the basket (no EJ as coach.) And yes, I'm sure my jumpers were bad shots by definition. Part of being a bad player I guess...

Brian- I was thinking of putting up another (short) post to stir up some discussion. Better to put it up now, tomorrow or on Saturday?

Put it in now, maybe we'll run it tonight/tomorrow.

Gotta write it... but It'll be a quickie.

Have a link for tonight's game if anyone is interested.

If Brian gives me the go, I'll post it. If not email me and I'll pass it a along. ryannwrk@aol.com

You officially have the go. I didn't think anyone was televising it, though.

Ryan F reply to Brian on Oct 5 at 15:39


Its on their listing and this site has never let me down.

I think they tend to list all of the games, and then put up a link when they have it. But I hope your right.

First the dreaded know/now debacle and now a you're/your mis-step.

Hope you aren't operating today doctor ;)

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 17:52

It's my lousy typing skills and laziness. My fingers type what is easiest, and I fail to proof read. But feel free to call out the errors in my ways- as maybe it'll push me to start proof reading.

I can only imagine how bad my spelling would be without the built in spell checker.

Nah, just giving you a little grief, your/you're is just one of those internet things i have to accept/except.

If you ever write should of or would of or could of - then you're in trouble though :)

Ryan F reply to tk76 on Oct 5 at 19:21

Nothing. Damn shame.

Speaking of long twos, did anyone see the Holinger scouting report on Speights? He mentioned that Speights' twos will become threes in a few years. Is that because of a shortening of the three point line or is he assuming Speights' range will increase?

Either way, that would be a disappointing evolution of his game to me at least. I want to see him get closer to the basket, not farther away.

Mike P reply to Rich on Oct 5 at 16:27

John Hollinger has like the biggest crush on M16 in the entire basketball universe.

I think he is just posturing to save face seeing how Mo Speights is an outlier to his playing rating system.

I wouldn't call him an outlier so much as an indicator of how slanted towards offense Hollinger system is. It's purely a mathematical formula that takes into account player stats and adjusts them for pace and a couple other things.

It's a limited tool if one cares only about offensive production of a player

Brian, I quickly cobbled together a pretty lengthy post. I'll email it to you to decide how, when and if to use it.

Is this new news? Collins saying Turner is our backup point guard for the moment?

"He had a chance to run that team," Collins said. "Which I think was good for him." When asked if he'd play Turner primarily as a backup point guard, Collins said, "Yes, that's where he's comfortable."

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20101005_Sixers__Holiday_to_play_key_role_this_season.html

Nope. Slow news day, I guess.

Tray reply to Brian on Oct 5 at 18:29

Oh, a number of big NBA blogs linked to it like this was the first time Collins definitively made that announcement.

Tom Moore has been reporting it since the first practice, right? Pretty sure I've read a bunch of other comments from Collins as well, plus he's definitely said Thad is starting at the three.

Comcast has two networks in philadelphia in which they air games right? Standard comcast sports net and CN8?

Even if the flyers do have a game tonight - I see no reason why a comcast owned team doesn't have it's preseason game aired at least on CN8, it's not like the phillies are playing.

Tray reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 19:19

It's 7:19 and according to NBA.com the game hasn't even started?

ESPN just updated the score 10-6 nets with 7:55 to play in the first, i don't expect a lot of current updating. They all usually probably work off the same kind of feed, and well, there's no feed today:)

Kate Fagan is giving updates on Twitter. They've basically been "The Sixers can't stop Lopez, Hawes already has 2 fouls" and "The Sixers are taking a lot of jumpers."

Tray reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 19:29

Gosh, Turner could score a hundred points and there will never be any video of it.

0/3 so far. He has as many misses as Hawes has fouls in the first half.

Tray reply to Brian on Oct 5 at 20:34

Well... Turner could score fifty points in the second half and there'll never be any video of it! Or he could do some crafty "facilitating." That's his specialty and all.

From Kate Fagan:

"Mid-quarter stat sheet: Lopez w/ 10 points, Nets shooting 53.8 percent; 76ers shooting 50.0 percent, Brand w/ 8 points. Nets ahead, 20-15."

Up by one at the end of one 27-26 (espn text alert)


Kate Fagan has a 'chat' going that just posts her twitter updates automatically

johnrosz on Oct 5 at 20:14

Sounds like Hawes is getting dominated

Wade leaves game with strained hamstring

Thad out of the second half corneal abrasion to left eye

johnrosz on Oct 5 at 20:46

I have a feeling Brian is going to end up hating Spencer Hawes more than any other Sixer in the last decade.

Hawes will make people miss sam

johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Oct 5 at 20:55

I've never met a person I liked named Spencer.

I worked for a guy named Spencer after I quit grad school...lasted 4 years...man what a loon

Lopez with 19 in the first half despite sitting with three fouls.

Tray reply to johnrosz on Oct 5 at 21:21

That's such a tall order.

tk76 reply to Tray on Oct 5 at 21:24

Hawes will sign a 5yr/35M contract and gets lots of minutes to become the Willie Green of Sixer big men.

Tray reply to tk76 on Oct 5 at 21:32

We really shouldn't do that.

tk76 reply to Tray on Oct 5 at 21:36

Definitely not.

johnrosz on Oct 5 at 20:53

Elton has 1 rebound in 15 minutes. I don't know if losing all the weight is going to help him. At least he was strong last year. Now he's unathletic AND will get bitched around in the paint.

smh1980 on Oct 5 at 21:04

I live down in DC. I'm watching the Wizards play Dallas on CSN. John Wall looks just as fast as he did in college. He lost Jason kidd on defense a few times though. Overall he looks like the # 1 pick. I'll let you all know if I see anything else. WSH 31 - DAL 24. I'd rather be watching the sixers!!!

Tom Moore on Oct 5 at 21:30

Hope I'm wrong, but I haven't seen Brand move much better or quicker at camp/practice than he did the previous two seasons.

down by 6 with 2 minutes to go. DC should have jrue hike the ball to Hawes and let him hit Iguodala on a deep slant.

Turner 12pts (on 10 FTM) and 7 reb. Speights 19 pts, but 4-13 from the fiekld. Brand 15 pts. Hawes got dunked on by everyone. Favors foulded out. 13min, 1 reb, 6 fouls... and I'd still trade Iguodala for him.

Good to see Turner getting to the line and grabbing boards, even though he didn't shoot well, if he keeps doing those things he'll get more minutes.

LOL at the Sixers 2-18 from 3pt. Avery probably had that huge grin going every time the Sixers put one up.

lol 14 assists, gonna be a long year. Also who is James Florence?


Speights +9 in his 30min (lived at the foul line.) Team remaining 18 minutes -16.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Oct 5 at 22:21

And not co-incidentally... Hawes was -17in his 16min, 5 fouls.

johnrosz on Oct 5 at 22:23

I'm really happy to hear Turner had 7 boards. Even more excited to hear that he got to the line 10 times. I'm assuming that meant he was able to get by his defender and take it to the rim. Hopefully he'll be able to finish once he adjusts to the physicality.

Cousins started at center tonight against Robin Lopez and has 8 and 5 (4-5 shooting) a little into the second quarter.

Mike P reply to Tray on Oct 5 at 22:57

I can't wait till Cousins plays out of his mind and we all get mad.

Dear Evan, please get to the line 12 times every game and make us love you.

Tray reply to Mike P on Oct 6 at 0:13

Now up to 14 (7-11 shooting) and 14. Brian may have to start a Demarcus Cousins Fan Club thread.

Tray reply to Tray on Oct 6 at 0:29

And he wraps up with 16 and 16 in 28 minutes. Yeah, that's auspicious.

Mike P reply to Tray on Oct 6 at 9:03

I can't wait to bring up how we could have traded took Cousins and traded Iggy and change to gets Minn's 3 pick to bother everyone all year long.

Mike P reply to Mike P on Oct 6 at 9:05

Ignore that first trade I typed.

I am almost copyrighting the term "Reverse Jordaned" to explain our draft strategy in 2010.

But Evan is still fine with me for hte time being.

Tonight is also Blake Griffin's preseason debut. So far, 6 and 6 on the wrong side of a blowout.

Is there a user option to set up how I see comments here? On some forums/blogs you can select newest first, or newest last, you can change also how they are "stacked" like you guys have done or sequential?

I have been lurking and last year I really didn't post much because the formatting was so different than I am used to. Call me Easily Confused.

Also after a reply you go back to another page where you have to click a link to get you back into the thread.

I am using Firefox. It happens in Chrome as well, so I don't think it is a browser specific problem.

After you reply you receive a page that says 'return to original entry' which will take you back to the thread.

All blog engines are different

and they are much different than a country club type atmosphere

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