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X's and O's: An Early Look

Welcome aboard, Rich. Guys, as you can tell, Rich is going to contribute a look at the X's and O's of the Sixers from time to time, this is the first installment.

Rich, do you think those cluster screens could be a good opportunity to get Turner into a comfort zone within the offense, much in the same way you said they'd be good for Lou. Get Turner the ball with multiple options for a pass to lead to an easy score?

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Louis Farrakhan III on Oct 22 at 7:23
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Miami 127, Philadelphia 84

No way, Miami lost Mike Miller. We've got them now :)

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deepsixersuede on Oct 22 at 8:04
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Good stuff Rich; I think the offense will look better with Hawes up top compared to Marreese because he will look for other guys instead of jacking it up, it is a shame Mo won't buy in amd play a total game offensively. After getting disgusted during preseason the last game made me feel better.

Getting serviceable center play by Battie changed the whole look of the team and since no trades have been made, even a tweak move, I feel Collins thinks he can get by mixing and matching our bigs. Last year I believe they were even rebounding the ball and this preseason they were -2 per game as a team so hopefully they will keep it close.

Isn't it nice to have a coach address both ends of the court, and the irony is we have talked more about offense than defense this preseason.

I just hope Collins settles on the teams starting five and bench rotations. This pre-season has played out eerily similar to EJ's so far. Question is, if Collins only gets similar win production out if this team does EJ get a pass on the teams performance from last year?

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deepsixersuede on Oct 22 at 8:04
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Good stuff Rich; I think the offense will look better with Hawes up top compared to Marreese because he will look for other guys instead of jacking it up, it is a shame Mo won't buy in amd play a total game offensively. After getting disgusted during preseason the last game made me feel better.

Getting serviceable center play by Battie changed the whole look of the team and since no trades have been made, even a tweak move, I feel Collins thinks he can get by mixing and matching our bigs. Last year I believe they were even rebounding the ball and this preseason they were -2 per game as a team so hopefully they will keep it close.

Isn't it nice to have a coach address both ends of the court, and the irony is we have talked more about offense than defense this preseason.

After watching Dre against the Knicks I think he's comfortable in the offense. It's just a matter of him staying aggressive. If he can find where and when to get an easy shot and run the floor this should be a good season for him offensively. Collins might have to rely on him heavy to carry the load early in the season until Turner finds his stride.

Sad to say but the wings are going to have to hold down the defensive end of the floor. They're gonna be asked to protect the 3, stop penetration and hit the defensive boards. That's asking a lot of anybody. If they can get 60 "solid" games out of Brand, Hawes or Speights the Sixers will win 40 plus.

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deepsixersuede reply to KellyDad on Oct 22 at 8:39
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I think the cutting of Quinn, beyond keeping a roster spot open, has settled the role of Turner to start the year. Yesterday it was said on here winning games must be the primary focus at the beginning and right now the starters are better with Kapono and the bench 5 are better and more balanced with Evan. I believe the rotation is set with a starting 5 of Hawes, Brand, Iggy, Kapono and Jrue with Evan, Lou and Thad the next 3 and according to matchups the bench bigs will be mixed in accordingly.

My question is can one big, other than Elton, work himself into more than a 20 minute role?

I think those minutes are Speights to lose. I hope he can earn them now.

. Yesterday it was said on here winning games must be the primary focus at the beginning

By whom? I don't agree with that premise

Nice job with the X's & O's

I personally think Jordan did draw up some good plays in his interviews. I'm just not sure how he did it.

I have an idea, and it concerns me. He explained his system and convinced them the guys on the roster could actually play the system even though inherent flaws in their various games (obvious to most) are one of the primary reasons it didn't work. The sixers didn't have the manpower to run a full princeton office, or a partial one...but the front office felt that they did, that's a misunderstanding of available resources, and that's a problem, bigger than the fact that jordan was a terrible hire, the reasonss he was a terrible hire concern me more. The reason they fell for his chalk talk, the complete misunderstanding of the roster before them.

I'm not sure their understanding has gotten any better, either.

Oh, I'm sure that anyone who was in the front office when Jordan was hired is still clueless. That's why Thorn and COllins bring hope...not because I think they're super experts or anything but they're fresh blood (hopefully) and maybe will look at this roster with am ore critical eye.

I really wish that collins and thorn were on the team when the sam trade went down. I'd like to hear what they thought of it (honestly) from a basketball side.

Collins was hired already, wasn't he? Thorn wasn't here, but Collins was.

Sam was traded June 17th, Collins was hired but the Conference finals weren't over until the end of May. If Collins felt he knew the roster well enough in about two weeks to decide that trading the only defensive presence on the team was a good idea, I gotta wonder. I mean he took a while to even meet with the main players of the team, how much tape could he have seen of the sixers really?

I don't feel that he was with the organization long enough (nor do I feel he knew the team at all coming in because they don't play on tnt all that often) to provided an informed decision.

I just think that the trade was god awful and purely motivated by the need to get under the luxury tax and all this spin after the fact is beyond emebarassing cause either hte sixers believe it or they believe their fan base is dumber than when that dude in tropic thunder went 'full retard'

or they believe their fan base is dumber than when that dude in tropic thunder went 'full retard'

Well, the Philly.com polls were unbelievably in favor of the trade, right? Maybe they know their audience.

This team is undoubtedly better when they are running, either off a turnover or a rebound.

Except that if you don't have good half court execution/sets you won't win many games. Cause the other team scores baskets and you have to be able to have confidence in your half court.

Or you have to force about 25+ turnovers a game and hold teams to really bad shooting percentages AND dominate the defensive glass- which seems highly unlikely with this roster

The good news here is that Iguodala, Jrue and Turner should force more turnovers and transition opportunities than Lou/Willie/Iverson/Jrue/Iguodala did last year, both in terms of steals/forced turnovers on the perimeter and defensive boards turned into transition by position the ball.

The bad news is that no one else on the roster is really capable of grabbing boards or blocking shots, so they're going to have to do like 90% of the initiating on the defensive end, and finishing on the other end.

Yeah, but I don't think they're going to force enough to compensate for the easy buckets the opposing teams big men will be getting on missed outside shots (or their own posting up) to say disregard the half court offensive sets. More often than not, you aren't going to be able to win on transitions all the time. Even '7 seconds or less' had half court sets (and the players to run em), they didn't last long but they existed. The sixers seemed lost in any kind of offensive set where the defense has time to prepare

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with that at all. They're going to be horrible defensively. From a watchability standpoint, though, we should see plenty of transition from those three on the perimeter. Assuming Turner isn't buried in favor of getting Kapono minutes.

Welcome Rich, good post.
Can't comment much as I couldn't see a single preseason game but this kind of post is a great addition to the site.
"Having Andre Iguodala take a man one-on-one late in the shot-clock is not the same as having 2006 Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler at your disposal".
And it showed countless times last year.
Do you really think we will see a lot of Iguodala in the low post ??

At this point he's probably the sixers second best player in the low post, isn't he?

Either AI9 or Jrue.

I don't know that Jrue is there yet. Iguodala is a pretty big / strong boy who can push players of his position around. I haven't really seen a lot of that out of Jrue yet.

We agree that in terms of offense, speights is currently the best low post player right?

Regardless of who's guarding him, yes. When Brand has a poor defender, he can still do work down there w/ his old man moves.

Yeah, I thought about Brand, but with his old man slowness and his seeming loss of any vertical explosiveness that he used to have I say he's behind Iguodala just in terms of low post offensive presence on the team

all excellent points GoSixers.
I don't think Iguodala has good low post moves, it's just that he is athletically gifted so he can push people around and go strong to the rim. So he can be used as a weapon there but it's not like he has particular skills.
Maybe Jrue can develop some, he showed some flashes, but I think at this point of his career he has to focus on playmaking & outside shot, I wouldn't send him there much...
Only guard with real low post moves I can think of was Andre Miller, he was money in those situations.
And yes, I think Speights is the only guy with a real effective low post game among our bigs, he can finish with both hands also, that to me is important.

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Court_visioN reply to Ricky - Sixers4guidos on Oct 22 at 15:20
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speights is horrible at finishing around the rim unless it's a dunk

Rich, I'll be interested to read a follow-up piece on what playbook the team is (trying to) run as the season progresses. Last year EJ basically gave up on the PO. In fact it was hard to know which was a worse fot, the players for the PO or EJ for the team in general. All in all it was a mess.

Collins, at least early on, seems much more flexible. But even Collins recently said he might have to give up on any type of set offense- which is further evidence of the limits of this overly young and overly redundant roster.

Overall, I don't think the team should value fit over talant ant this stage, but it reaches a point where they can't even play reasonably organized basketball on either end due to an utter lack of shooting, post play, interior defense and rebounding.

I certainly don't want them to trade a young player for an old, overpaid vet like Boris Diaw, but its damning when marginal NBA players like Battie and Kapono seem worthy of starting because the more important players are so redundant in their weaknesses.


Love the new feature. A couple months ago when you asked for suggestions I mentioned some more focus on X's and O's...

Well, the Invisible Man in the Sky has answered my prayers. Hope to see these posts a lot Rich.

Basketball Prospectus on Turner:

Evan Turner, Philadelphia (projection: 12.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.5 WARP) If Turner was to live up to his projection, he would immediately become one of the league's best-rounded contributors. Alas, Turner is unlikely to match that assist total (or his projection of 3.2 turnovers per game) because he will spend far more time off the ball after playing the point at Ohio State. Turner has averaged just 3.7 assists per game during the preseason. More problematic is the fact that Turner is shooting 31.1 percent from the field and has appeared uncomfortable with the longer three-point line, trying just one triple. Turner previously struggled in summer league. While neither effort is critical, the combination is a troubling sign for Turner's NBA future.
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deepsixersuede on Oct 22 at 12:57
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To Go Sixers, it was talked about by Statman and Tk about starting the year out trying to win but if the record is bad after so many games than development should take the forefront. And with confidence seemingly so important for Turner than letting him gain it by facillitating till he is comfortable makes sense. And Jrue and Iggy seem to click with a shooter out there also.

As the Eagles found out this year with Dallas, sometimes a proposed favorite disappoints and who knows, maybe a few teams falter and things click here. We talked 2 years ago how meaningfull games for the young guys are beneficial so Collins should try to win early along with getting the young guys minutes.

The Cowboys were the 'propose favorites' by idiots and fools who ignore historical information.

Making the playoffs to get bitchslapped by the magic/heat/celtics is not 'character' building in my estimation.

If Evan Turner is so fragile taht he can't take losing he's not cut out to be a star anyway. I'm sorry, your logic makes no rational sense to me. The most imoprtant thing to the future of this franchise is for Holiday, Turner and Iguodala to learn to play together, against starters, as soon as possible, not to get Jason Kapono meaningless minutes since he'll be gone after this season

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 13:47
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I think a coach has to put the best 5 out there or he can lose the team; Turner, soon enough, will be one of the best 5 but isn't right now.

Collins keeps saying he doesn't know if Spieghts is more than a 20 minute player yet, but what about Brand. Do you guys feel he may be more effective with less minutes? He seemed to have up and down numbers a lot last year.

He had his best numbers early on, when he was starting. Pretty much immediately after Jordan said he wasn't a starter.

I think a coach has to put the best 5 out there or he can lose the team

If you think Jason Kapono is the best five, or if Collins thinks it, he's lost me already

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Court_visioN reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 13:48
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You can't go into the season saying "we're just going to rebuild and get a high draft pick this year". That's detrimental both to the play on the court and for the development of players. Why would players play hard if the franchise goal is to lose games? Just as importantly to the owners, why would fans pay to watch crappy teams not even try to compete to win?

You play to win each game. If you're not talented enough to win, then fine. But you play to win regardless of how crappy on paper your team is.

And having unrealistic expectations works so well for the players as well huh?

I'm constantly amazed at the number of sports psychology experts on the interwebs who know exactly what a player thinks and how things affect him with little to no actual information.

Sitting Evan Turner so Jason Kapono can play and MAYBE eek out an extra win helps the development of Evan Turner HOW exactly?

If the players are so weak and ignorant they can't see the obvious flaws in their roster and skills, then the franchise is rather fucked anyway isn't it?

You very well can say it's a rebuilding year, it's done in the NFL (a better run league with better run franchises over all) constantly. I'm not sure why the NBA is all that different or why having WILDLY unrealistic expectations is better than being honest about the talent level and skill of your roster. I would think the 'right' players would be motivated by the franchises lack of belief in them (or some such bull shit)

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 14:00
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You keep mentioning Turner; the development and comfort level of all the players matters. Jrue and Iggy both seem to be getting better opportunities with Kapono out there. Once Turner can do the same for them than hopefully, our coach makes a lineup change.

I don't think having failure early on and possibly having 10 point quarters will help develop anybody any quicker, just an opinion.

I don't think any one lineup has worked better or worse to the point where we can make a definitive decision. Jrue had a triple double when JTI started on the perimeter. Iguodala has scored more over the past two games, but he's also played more regular minutes. I think this whole Kapono thing is jumping the gun at this point. I'd like to see them go with JTI until it obviously does not work before making a change. The optimist may even say getting those three on the floor asap will make it quicker/easier for them to overcome whatever stumbling blocks may exist.

Evan Turner has played zero NBA games that count. I'm not really sure how the decision can be made he doesn't work as well as Kapono. Kapono shoots from the 3, in his entire career what else has he done that's useful?

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Oct 22 at 14:07
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I am assuming our coach is seeing stuff in practice to warrant the move, mainly timidity on Turner's part. I wish he did start and just took the open looks when they arise but he seems unwilling.

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Rich reply to Brian on Oct 22 at 14:12
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I agree with this. Play JTI, but Kapono has earned some time because they seem to respond to playing with him. Take it away from the Mullet, that's all.

Hey guys, thanks a lot for the feedback, next time I'm actually going to try to get some video for next time (even if it's frowned upon by the NBA, they can be the ones to take it down). It is a little hard to understand what I'm talking about without visual aid.

I'll do my best to answer all of the stuff in the comments here.

Brian- I hope Turner starts running off those screens because they really are a good way to make a pass or score decision. If he's going to be passive, I want him being active running off the screens at least.

Suede- Speights is a little frustrating because I think he could get the shots he wants all day out of this offense, but sometimes he'd rather go one on one or just do a basic pick and pop. That's alright, but I think within the framework of this set, he could really be scary shooting the ball. The other interesting thing you pointed out was that Battie made the team seemed different. I have my biases, but Battie screening well out there is better than whatever Hawes has done up to this point. Hawes should be the kind of guy this system works for too, playing at the high post. We'll see on that.

Go Sixers- You are right, it is tough to focus on forcing TO's all game, so I do wish that they would stick to this offensive set.

Ricky- I think Speights is the best low-post guy, but he even isn't really a back to the basket player. Plus, he has a good amount respect from other teams in the league and I think he's going to start being played by tougher defenders. That's why I like Andre and Jrue to punish smaller defenders kind of in the mid-post, like 10-15 feet, which they both did last night. I especially loved when Jrue just outmanned Douglas going to the hoop.

TK- It's interesting reading those quotes about not running the offense. I like what I've seen with it, so I hope he sticks with it.

Go Sixers- You are right, it is tough to focus on forcing TO's all game, so I do wish that they would stick to this offensive set.

Is it the best offensive set for the skill set of the sixers? Is there a good offensive set for a team with no big men who scare teams in the low post and no outside shooters to force people to cover them deep?

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 14:08
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I do think it is a good offense for them to run, utilizing what the players can do. It's not easy, but they do have Kapono to stretch the floor, and Jrue/Iguodala/Speights/Lou/Brand are all tough covers put in the right spot.

The real guy I'm worried about is Thad. I don't know what skill-set he brings to this offense. I hate when he takes long jumpers as much as I hate when Iguodala takes them.

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deepsixersuede reply to Rich on Oct 22 at 14:11
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Maybe we should go after Hickson; according to his coach he doesn't know how to learn a system either.

My problem with Kapono is the problem I had when Kyle Korver was advocated as a starter, he does one thing very well and little else even average, and personally I thik Korver was better than Kapono in every aspect of the game

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mchezo reply to Rich on Oct 22 at 20:39
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Lou is unguardable. why the sixers don't exploit that fact more is beyond me.

Chad Ford predicts the Sixers to finish 10th in the East.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Andrea Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and rookie Evan Turner give the Sixers a great young core, but a super weak frontline, led by an aging Elton Brand, means that even Doug Collins could be in for a long, long season.
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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Oct 22 at 14:20
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Cleveland [defense?] and Washington may both pass us, something I wouldv'e said no to earlier. Does Hinrich's positive effect counteract Arenas being a knucklehead?

Wash will be much better once Arenas either (a) gets hurt, (b) gets suspended or (c) gets hurt doing something that gets him suspended.

Don't forget gets traded to orlando for vince which seems to be a common delusion of many people this off season :)

If one believes in such things as arm chair psychology and that gilbert arenas 'wants to win' and has any sort of 'pride' - he might be a good boy this season because he wants to increase his trade value. I believe in no such nonsense, but I expect others do.

I think whatever role gilbert plays, the wizards might be better than the sixers just due to their front court and their much more nba ready rookie

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 14:43
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Orlando may be real good, Van Gundy seems to be trying different lineups since he was called out for not being versatile enough in last years playoffs. Gortat next to Howard against the Oneal's this spring, look out.

I was making a joke.

Orlando IS real good. It's ridiculous that people have been ignoring them all of season, they didn't get worse, and Vince seems to want to try and get a new contract this year so has 'discovered' his legs again. They're also strong defensively and Jameer seems fully healthy and holding on to Redick all those years seems to be paying off.

I don't believe Otis Smith would trade Vince for Gilbert - but people perpetrated that fraud all summer just because Otis and Gilbert were friends and Otis would do such a thing as a favor to Gilbert :)

I think people are ignoring the magic and just handing everything to the heat and celtics like it's a fait accompli in the ECF, and I don't think it is

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Oct 22 at 14:51
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I am curious to see Thibedeax's affect on the Bulls; he seems to be getting rave reviews for the offense he is running and may be more than a one trick pony. They, and Houston, really spread the court. I hope Jrue gets the looks that Rose and Brooks seem to.

The bulls were a good team even without a coaching change, and a playoff team.

I think there are six playoff 'locks' in the east

Boston
Atlanta
Miami
Orlando
Bucks
Bulls

After that it's a crap shoot but I don't think the sixers come closer than 10th. I think 10th is generous.

I think fat out shape big men who get injured in pre-season are more likely to get injured again (and consistently) because when injured they probably hang out at chilis more than worrying about rehab

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Oct 22 at 14:37
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They started a 3 guard lineup a lot this preseason; I was interested to see it in real games.

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Court_visioN reply to Brian on Oct 22 at 15:25
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Andrea Iguodala huh? crappy editting on ESPN these days.

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The Real Matt M on Oct 22 at 19:18
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BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CAVALIERS??????
Seriously, great post Richie...reminds of the NBA Playbook blog...video with these would be awesome...you should see if you can swing a synergy sports subscription

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Tom Moore on Oct 24 at 0:33
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First-class share it is surely. My teacher has been waiting for this content.

Lese eueren Blog schon länger und wollte mal eine Lob aussprechen. Einfach Klasse macht weiter so! LG Eure Anna


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