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The Evil of Two Lessers

One more topic for discussion on this Monday morning:

Did Collins quotes prior to the Nets game sounds like:

(a) Managing fans expectations (we have a lot of work to do, don't expect too much from us, we're young)?

(b) Exasperation on his part?

(c) Not-so-subtle prodding of Rod Thorn to upgrade the roster he's working with?

(d) All of the above?

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Mike P reply to Brian on Oct 11 at 8:25
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All of his hair is going to fall out by mid season.

We have 3 guys in the backcourt and then nothing else.

Just get Jrue and Turner as much time together as possible.

I can't wait till the team loses like 8 games in a row to start off and then doesn't tank, AGAIN.

Remember in 2007 when the team was garbage in the beginning and then won like 16 games in a row or whatever? That was silly.

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Joe reply to Mike P on Oct 11 at 9:53
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Remember in 2007 when the team was garbage in the beginning and then won like 16 games in a row or whatever? That was silly.

I liked that actually. What a fun team to watch. What a quality team. They were playing great basketball down the stretch... a lot more than I can say about the team since Miller left. Those 200+ games with Miller quality.

Letting him walk and trading Dalembert for nothing... that is silly to me.

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Mike P reply to Joe on Oct 11 at 11:06
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It was only silly because it was one of the deepest drafts in recent memory and each win got us that farther from Durant.

Miller quality got us Thad Young and made the brass thing we had a chance at a title.

Now we are stuck with Brand. Hoorah!

Not saying I don't want to watch the team play and win. But not when it's just going to flame out in the first round with no future or plan. I mean they traded Sam for nothing and just let Miller walk.

The team hasn't had a three point shooter since Korver left and we basically gave him away as well.

It's just confusing.

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Joe reply to Mike P on Oct 11 at 12:12
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I mean they traded Sam for nothing and just let Miller walk.

Yeah, it doesn't make a ton of sense to win those games and then just let 2 of your 3 best players walk in the next couple years. Management has been a little cooky over the past few years.

Bringing in Andre Miller and Joes Smith fpr a late season run made little sense.

Before the trade they had the worst record in basketball (5-23?) and were in desperate need for a full overhaul. Instead they got a facelift to hide the wrinkles few a couple of years.

Keeping Andre Miller without ever trading him when his value was high made even less sense.

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Mike P reply to GoSixers on Oct 11 at 12:22
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It was an avalanche of things not making sense.

We were in the front seat of the Oden/Durant sweepstakes, played out of that, and then let the guys who were part of that team go away for nothing.

How did we get more value out of Smith and Green than we did out of Miller and Dalembert?

Just give us a plan. That's all I want to hear. I'd love it if Thorn said we are dedicated to tearing this down and starting over. Even if it meant dealing Iguodala.

What about putting Speights into the starting lineup? Might not be a rebounding or defensive menace, but he can run the floor and score in a variety of ways in the half court. With Brand and Speights, we at least have some ability to score in the post.

That works. Basically any combination with Jrue, Turner and Iguodala at PG, SG, SF works. The bigs don't really even matter. Every combo is piss poor in multiple ways.

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Joe reply to ojr107 on Oct 11 at 8:26
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What about putting Speights into the starting lineup? Might not be a rebounding or defensive menace, but he can run the floor and score in a variety of ways in the half court. With Brand and Speights, we at least have some ability to score in the post.

Speights is our best rebounder I think. He is a horrible defensive player. He does take charges though... that means something right? As for "scoring in the post"... I'm more worried about our bigs ability to gobble up some offensive rebounds and earn the Sixers some additional possessions. At the end of the day, I don't care who starts...

I do care how many minutes Speights gets since I have not given up on him completely, like I have with Thad.

If the Sixers are even a mediocre average team (15-20 range) with Jrue-Turner-Iguodala, those guys should be graded on a curve. I'm at the point where I frankly don't care who is playing the 4 or 5, as long as Brand starts and we get a chance to see Speights defend in this system. Besides that, I want to see the JTI combo play a ton together. That's the main thing.

It is very interesting that Turner had his best game when he played in between Jrue and Iguodala, and encouraging. He seems like he found a way to pick his spots as a part of the team gameplan. Very encouraging sign, even if it's one game. I hope Collins sticks with it. It seems like Jrue has been forcing things a little bit, he just has to slow down and let the game come to him like last year. This isn't summer league where he can do whatever he wants. I have a feeling he'll figure it out.

I'm very worried that Collins flip-flopped already with what he said he's going to do. He apparently was darn close to unstable in Chicago, even though Jordan definitely played a role with that.

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Rich reply to Rich on Oct 11 at 1:28
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I meant mediocre on the defensive end in the first sentence.

What specifically are you referring to in Chicago? I don't remember the details of his tenure there.

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Rich reply to tk76 on Oct 11 at 15:32
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He got fired because he cared too much and his emotional state kind of wore on his players. Of course he coached Michael Jordan, who was impossible to deal with early in his career.

Pains me to say it, but I think the small-ball route just might have to be the way to go this year. I was never thinking playoffs, but it just makes sense to let Turner go out there and battle it out rather than play backup PG if the bigs are going to be this bad either way. I would be more apt to start Turner on the bench if I thought the Sixers were going to make a push at .500.

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Joe reply to CB on Oct 11 at 8:30
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What do you think an example minutes distribution could be at the 4 and 5 then?

If they go "small" I still see Brand, Hawes, and Speights adding up to 70 minutes or more. And that only leaves about half the game for tinkering at the 4. Unless they are just going to outright give up on one of those 3...

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76ciology on Oct 11 at 8:59
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Brand and Thad's length are comparable to both Hawes and Paul Milsap, respectively. And It's not like Hawes and Speight aren't liabilities on defense. With that said, I'd be willing to have both guys as my starting frontcourt. Then I'd ask Iggy and our backcourt, all three are pretty good rebounders, to crash the board in order to not get outrebounded. I'd also like to explore zone defense, in order to force our opponent to test our perimeter defense and not exploit our interior defense.

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Rodney Buford on Oct 11 at 9:54
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Really good line from Turner - 6 steals? Nice.

Collins is great with a turn of phrase. I wonder if we can find one for ever playre:

Jrue "future top 5 PG" Holiday
Lou "the assassin" Williams
Mo "scores in his sleep" Speights
Andres "adds toughness" Nocioni
Spencer "ball friendly" Hawes

Ultimately, I think there will be enough minutes for all of the young players- and that is what matters most.

i don't mind if Collins tinkers with rotations. As he said, the team lacks shooters and post scorers, so he's sort of left trying to use smoke and mirrors to generate reliable half court offense. Teams can't live off of slashing alone in the NBA (unless you have MJ and Pippen :)

Collins better not be exasperated already, he hasn't even coached a regular season game yet! He had to know what he was getting into when the team traded Sam. I like him as a coach so far, but he's gotta have the same patience with the team that he's asking the fans to have. Things I'd like to see from Collins:
(1) Start Turner at SG and play him consistently.
(2) Bring Thad in off the bench, he's good as a sixth or seventh man coming in to score a few buckets, you can still get him plenty of minutes between the 3-4 spots.
(3) Play Speights more than Hawes, don't try to justify that trade anymore.
(4) Tell Thorn to try and trade Noc as soon as he has a game where he hits a couple 3 pointers and tricks another GM into thinking he's passable. And while you're at it, see if you can put Lou in the deal and get an expiring contract back.

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Rodney Buford reply to Chunky Soup on Oct 11 at 11:12
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I have a lot of faith in Thorn so I'm with you 100% and wouldn't be surprised in the least if these things happened.

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deepsixersuede on Oct 11 at 11:20
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My goal this year is to find out how effective our 3 amigos can be with different post players. After Jrue, Evan and Iggy get comfortable [20 games?] figure out if they can be effective with two bigs that play in the lane area [Brand, Battie], two perimeter bigs [Spieghts, Hawes] or one inside [Brand] and one outside [ Young, Spieghts, or Hawes] big. Once this is determined than make a list of names currently in the league and college and let Thorn do his thing.

My hope is they can be effective with at least one big playing inside and Thorn can target Nene, Okafor or Varejoi because all are about 28 years old and there seems to be only one defensive guy in this years draft [Melo] and who know's next year. Can Collins even put an effective defensive system in till he finds a defensive anchor if Hawes and Speights isn't it, which most people think they aren!t.

I think once these three guys get comfortable the timetable moves up quickly and 2 years from now they have the pieces in place.

I'm amazed that you're so willing to give up on Thad entirely in order for Turner to develop his game. The guys are 4 months apart in age! Does Thad not at least deserve some of the benefit of the doubt considering how he was handled by Brace Face? Look, I'm a realist and haven't been in love with what Thad did last year, but to say he's had a fair shake at this point is silly. Do you know for a fact that ET will be better than Thad will be? It sounds like you've already jumped to that conclusion.

Thad has been in the league 3 years and has shown very little that inspires 'long term development' into anything more than a bench scorer with weak defense and no rebounding.

His limitations are not eddie jordans fault, they existed with Cheeks and DiLeo as well, though Jordan's broken system served to further expose that Thad has a low basketball IQ and plays are beyond him.

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johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Oct 11 at 14:52
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I disagree, I don't think you can say Thad's deficiencies in scheme as a 19-20 year old have any merit. Last year was bad, but I'm convinced that was on Jordan. Thad is probably the smartest guy on the entire roster. Just because he's been in the league for 3 years doesn't mean development is beyond him. From a physical standpoint, he's still filling out and growing into a proper NBA body. From what I've followed, he's been the most consistent player thus far throughout the preseason.

Last year doesn't explain Thad succking defensively and at rebounding the previous two seasons

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:00
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Sixers still practicing after long one yesterday, too.

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:03
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Bet they start small again vs. Celts.

Brand on Shaq and Thad on Garnett. Should be fun :)

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tom moore reply to Brian on Oct 11 at 13:15
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They rebounded better vs. Nets Sat. than first two games. Says a lot about first two.

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deepsixersuede reply to tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:13
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Hey Tom, 2 questions, if I may; how has L.Will. looked defensively and how effective are the screens that are being set? Thanks !!!!

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tom moore reply to deepsixersuede on Oct 11 at 13:19
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Lou still has trouble fighting through picks.
Didn't notice much different with screens.

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tom moore reply to deepsixersuede on Oct 11 at 13:30
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Lou still has trouble fighting through picks.
Didn't notice much different with screens.

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:22
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Still practicing with curtain closed.

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:34
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Curtain open. Subs beating starters 91-84.

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Jess Sayan reply to tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:41
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Line ups, please?

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Jason reply to tom moore on Oct 11 at 14:39
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How often do the subs beat the starters?

LW pick trouble: not a surprise; will be a career problem. Aside from his being generally averse to steady labor on that end, Lou's got an upper body like Barney Fife.

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 13:57
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Five starters from Sat vs. Quinn, meeks, kapono, brackins, speights and plaisted. Williams subbed in for starters.

And the subs are winning? That's sad.

Hawes still out w/ the back sprain?

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tom moore reply to Brian on Oct 11 at 14:06
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Yes. No Hawes tomorrow.

Oh cool, I did not know about this. Finally a piece of good news for Sixers fans! Take your time and rest up, Spence.

And on an unrelated note, a big thank you to whoever put the box of doughnuts on the bottom shelf in the back.

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tom moore on Oct 11 at 14:03
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93-87 final.
Collins said he wants to keep looking at small lineup. Said Thad at 4 gives another Guy running break.

At least when teams like the Warriors or Suns go ridiculously small they have scorers, and shooters (especially shooters), on the floor. Basically what you're saying is that we're going to be a small transition team that can't rebound or shoot from outside and still won't reliably score in the halfcourt. I would think that either Holiday or Turner would have to have a much better year than we're expecting for that to not translate into about 32 wins (if that).

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Jess Sayan on Oct 11 at 14:35
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This is the lineup projected since the draft. Thad has been our best option at the 4 since he was drafted. It's not a surprise or even a bad choice given the options. If the front office has any sort of pulse in the slightest, there will be a December trade. Just nothing stupid.

Agree all around with this post Brian, except the playoff chances. Jrue Turner and Iguodala is the must 1-2-3 lineup. I'd be very happy with either Thad-Brand or Brand-Speights as the 4-5, just put Hawes on the end of the bench please.

Now I don't think much of Collins as a coach, so I don't trust him to actually go with the above lineups. But if he does, I think they are definitely a 7th or 8th seed in the east, it is a talented starting 5 with very good backcourt defense, very good frontcourt offense, and not much frontcourt defense. That's 7/8 seed in my opinion.

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Jason reply to stoned81 on Oct 11 at 15:36
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Can you really say with confidence that the sixers are better than a single team in the conference? I can't, hell Cleveland already won 2 pre-season games.


I think the fact that Cleveland has won 2 preseason games shows how meaningless preseason won/loss records are.

In one of our losses, against the defending Eastern champs, Iguodala and Brand did not play/coach's decision. In another loss, we had fourth-stringers on the floor with a 7-point lead with 15 seconds. There's no way either situation comes up in the regular season. The won/loss record means nothing, what matters is that the new/young players learn to play together. Turner is already learning that and improving.

In my opinion, the Sixers, on paper, are definitely better than the Cavs, Pistons, Nets, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, and Knicks. That's the 8th seed right there. I also think they're better than the Bobcats, which would give them the 7th seed. That doesn't mean Collins can't blow it; he certainly might, as his track record (couldn't even win with Jordan, and his teams always improved after he left) leaves a lot to be desired.

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Mike P reply to stoned81 on Oct 11 at 19:04
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Wow, you have really high expectations.

The Pacers, Knicks, and Nets will all have better records then us.

We'll probably be right there with the Raptors for last in the atlantic.

Dunno why people think the Knicks will be bad. They didn't get the players they dreamed of, but their roster improved by leaps and bounds from last years.

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Jason reply to stoned81 on Oct 11 at 19:22
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I disagree, Nets are without a doubt better than the Sixers. Devin Harris is better than Jrue, Terrence Williams is better than Turner (even though i know many disagree, right now i think T-will is slightly better, doesn't mean by end of season but as of right now i think he is.) Murphy and Lopez flat out destroys our bigs. So they that leaves Small forward as the only position overall where we are better. Also their bench depth is pretty nice.

The Wizards are also better, they have a solid starting line up (Blatche/Mcgee are a good 4/5) Wall/Arenas will be a strong group of guards with Heinrich coming off the bench. Once again like the nets i think that the wizards are better than us at every position except SF.

The Bobcats i think we are on par with, maybe slightly behind. They have a better coach and are much better defensively (#1 last year in points allowed, ave'd 93 pts allowed which is insane imo)

The Cavs I think we are slightly better than, but i don't know how you can make an argument that we are a lot better team than them, over all they are a more rounded team imo.


Pacers I think are going to be better than us, they are going to score lot of points and while they will give up plenty of points again so will the sixers (I expect us to both be very close in terms of points allowed, but they have a much better offense than us so they will be better.

Raptors i agree we are better than, but it's not that big of a gap imo. I see sixers ending up in the 10th to 12th range in the east, but I would be more surprised by the playoffs then us being one of the 2 bottom teams in the east.

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 15:19
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Collins said it'd really be tough if the Sixers aren't going to rebound and score well in the halfcourt with the big lineup because they don't run as well.

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 15:21
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Brand: "It's our first game in front of our home fans. We're trying to show that we're changing and we're getting better. It can't be like it was up there (at the first preseason game against the Celtics). We need to play better."

Totally unrelated, but does anybody know who will be the TV color analyst this year??

Hmmn, I don't remember if they ever made an announcement after Pinckney left. Anyone know?

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Tom Moore reply to Eric on Oct 11 at 15:29
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Don't believe it's been finalized -- it hadn't as of last week.

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johnrosz on Oct 11 at 15:25
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I hope the part of the community that felt that Elton may be able to regain some of his 20/10 form are coming to the realization that there's no way in hell it's going to happen.

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Rich reply to johnrosz on Oct 11 at 15:43
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I think it's more of people just looking him to play better than last year and give a more consistent effort rebounding the ball. People don't want a total bust, that's all. Something in the 15-17 points, 7-9 board range would be great, and that's only a little better than his nightmare year last year. His first two games have had some positives too, even if he didn't shoot well on Saturday. He looks like our best big by a good amount too.

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 15:29
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Collins: "It's our first chance to play in front of our fans tomorrow. I want our fans to see that this team is serious about competing. I'm not going to gauge us against the Boston Celtics -- I'm going to gauge us on competitiveness and how we come out and play. I thought we just had the best hour of practice (scrimmaging) since I've been here."

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Jess Sayan on Oct 11 at 15:51
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Lou's tweet:

So tired i cant even see straight....

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Tom Moore reply to Jess Sayan on Oct 11 at 16:00
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Funny because he didn't play at all in the final part of the scrimmage the media was allowed to watch. Collins said Williams should be fresh for tomorrow's game.

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 16:34
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Collins said Tuesday's final hour of practice was so good because "the guys were incredibly competitive. They started taking ownership of everything. I was very pleased the way we finished today and hope we carry it over (to Tuesday's game)."

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 16:41
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More Collins: "My goal is not to beat the Boston Celtics. Our goal is to be good as the season goes on. We have to practice harder than a team like Boston does – Boston is thinking about playing in June. They’re so much a finished product – we’re in our infancy. I keep looking at the calendar and we’re running out of days to get stuff done."

Eric Snow apparently just got hired as the TV analyst.

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Tom Moore on Oct 11 at 16:55
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Brand on being the starting center: "I'm OK with it. That's what we need to do right now. It's not ideal."

Brand, on if he expects to have games like Saturday's 2-for-11 shooting day against bigger centers: "Nah, nah, nah. We're not getting used to that at all -- just working on some things. I'll definitely drive the ball more and do other things. Coach wanted set plays run and a lot of shots were in and out."

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Jess Sayan on Oct 11 at 16:56
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I like E Snow on the mic. I doubt he'll be obsessed with catch phrases(salmi) and won't need to be prodded to comment on the game in non-coach speak(Pickney, even worst then Salmi). Surprised snow did get a gig in Cleveland. Maybe he seized a great op because was the best in the biz.

Btw, does anyone else hate the obnoxious C's announcers, too?

Hell yes. I have to listen to them all the time, living in Mass. Like Johnny Most, Tommy H is supposed to be great. I just don't see it. He knows the game and, unlike Johnny, he's reasonably easy to understand, but basically he just makes a few observations and grumbles about the calls. And cheers wildly when somebody on the Cs makes a good play. The play-by-play guy (Mike Gorman) is good.

I love Snow. He was good on NBA-TV. Nobody watches that, so you don't have to be good, but Snow acted like he was on a network broadcast most of the time, like he was rehearsing or doing an audition. That's how you get the good broadcasting gigs.

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Jack Straw on Oct 11 at 17:00
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E Snow is going to be the Sixers TV analyst next to Zoo?

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Rich reply to Jack Straw on Oct 11 at 17:02
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Yeah, I don't have a link, but that's what I'm hearing from someone who is plugged in. They should announce it pretty soon I expect.

Hmmn. I like Snow, not sure how he'll do with that much airtime, though. Can't be worse than the last two, I suppose.

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Tom Moore reply to Rich on Oct 11 at 17:35
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Was just told the same thing -- it's Snow.

You can't make much of a practice scrimmage, but :
2nd........ 1st
Quinn.....v Jrue
Meeks.....v Turner
Kapono....v Iguodala
Brackins..v Thad
Speights..v Brand
bench:
plaisted....Lou

And the 2nd team won 91-84? How does that happen, and what does that say against the starters against any NBA team? That is just frightening.

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Tom Moore reply to tk76 on Oct 11 at 19:10
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Only saw the last 20 minutes or so.

I think the playoffs are a pipe dream. I know some of you don't want to hear it, but...

Uh, yeah. It's hard to argue. My confidence in this team has plummeted in just the last week. Right now I can't believe I was thinking in terms of 40-something wins. Now I'm thinking 20-something. I mean, who are we better than? (Not even the NETS?)

The Dalembert trade was the result of overthinking. My feeling all summer was to just leave him there. If he's all we got, and his trade value isn't good, what do you have to lose? He doesn't miss games, he plays defense, he rebounds. How hard is this?

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johnrosz reply to Charlie H on Oct 11 at 19:27
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I'm pretty content with sitting back and watching the development of Jrue/Turner and to a lesser extent Thad/Speights as they win 20 something games. The top of the draft looks pretty strong. I'm ok with another year like last as long as I see some hope from the youngsters and a sense of building towards something from the FO. I'd prefer that to getting the 8 seed and getting murdered by the Heat.

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Mike P reply to johnrosz on Oct 11 at 19:35
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Getting Jrue and Turner as much time together as possible should be a top priority this season. We've got to see if they can play together. If they can, that is a big time positive going forward.

Just let Hawes walk and Thad too if he doesn't show big time improvement this year.

Speights and Brackens need to get lots of minutes too. Stop trying to squeeze juice from the rock that is Brand.

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johnrosz reply to Mike P on Oct 11 at 19:37
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more like a pebble

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Mike P reply to johnrosz on Oct 11 at 19:41
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For real, guy is washed up. Let him come off the bench and lets find out who on our team is worth a damn.

[quote]Andres Nocioni's epic toughness, grizzled veteran-ness and non-existent defense played a large part.[/quote]

Brian, telling it like it is. That trade in retrospect may hurt us. The problem with bringing Hawes here is that this team does not a big man coach who can help him develop. At least Jon Koncak could play defense. And when everyone was telling the fandom about Nocioni's grit was overvaluing a guy Chicago and now Sacramento were happy to move off their rosters.

Snow's talented but very detached and analytic. I think he's an odd fit as a homer broadcaster. Then again, it'd be nice to get some real insight and honesty from our broadcasting team for a change.

Did anybody else see this Simmons'd clip of Hakeen and Dwight Howard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mArHU1ewSog

...and wonder if Hakeem might be available??

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tk76 reply to das411 on Oct 11 at 23:33
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Hakeem is still so smooth. And his knowledge would be wasted on Hawes :)

That's a super clip. It's interesting to watch the contrast between the footwork of Howard, who is just your basic great athlete, and the footwork of Hakeem who has this godly ability to stay perfectly balanced and springy on the balls of his feet at all times. If Howard takes a step the ball of his foot first touches the floor, he then needs time for his weight to shift to his heel support while Hakeem can be getting ready to push in another direction, still balanced on the balls of this feet.

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Tray reply to izimbra on Oct 12 at 2:13
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I thought Howard looked fairly smooth himself in that clip.

Appreciated Snow's defense and team approach but was never transfixed by his remarks/quotes. Kinda dull in fact. Maybe retirement has added spice to his vision and voice. Let's hope.



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