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How Will Jrue Evolve?

I'll kick it off. Handling pressure, careless mistakes against the double, getting stuck in the half court. Those things I see as just problems specific to young players. Veterans plagued by those same problems I see as low IQ guys, which Jrue is not. He's already made strides here, so these things don't worry me.

The ones related to finishing around the hoop, the hope would be that as he gets older (and stronger) he'll also become more adept at finishing on the inside. So far this season he's moved his shooting percentage at the rim up to 62.1% (from 54% last season), which is a significant improvement. This is a key to his game imo, and he's showing good signs early in his sophomore season.

The mid-range jumper doesn't mean all that much to me. Obviously it would be better if he could hit them, but more than his proficiency at hitting them, I'm encouraged that he rarely takes them. He's 4/16 on the year from 16-23 feet (he's taken twice as many shots at the rim). Two times in yesterday's game, he took a quick dribble to move from that area back behind the three-point line, and drilled the threes. I wish more guys would do this.

You can live w/ the streaky jumper if the overall percentage is good. He's now at 40% from three for his career, if he drops below 35%, this will become something to worry about.

The three defensive things you mention are the biggest factors for me. He hasn't faced a guy like Jameer yet, Bibby really didn't do anything in the Atlanta game, but he hasn't been tested imo. There are some excellent PGs in the league, I want to see how his defense holds up against them. To this point, he's been extremely effective on the defensive end (Statman has another post coming up on the game yesterday). As for the P&R, he needs to do better, the Sixers also need at least one big who knows what he's doing to help him out.

One play in particular last night was really bad. The pick wasn't even set and Jrue rubbed off as if it was. His man had an open layup.

Great idea for a post. One thing Derek Bodner has pointed out on libertyballers a couple of times has been Jrue's insistence on driving towards the left.

For many righties this is natural, as you are simply quicker with the ball going to your left. His reliance on going left is probably a result of not have elite speed. Can this be fixed? I don't know, I suffered the same ailment in high school and my coaches hated me for it.


He may never be able to drive right but he needs to keep D's honest somehow once they key in on this

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 12:40
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Interesting, Brian.

At practice. Playing 4-on-4 with Holiday, Turner, Speights and Hawes vs. Williams, Meeks, Brackins and Songaila.

Don't see Iguodala.

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 12:52
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I know Jrue's only 20, but he has to cut down on bad fourth-quarter passes and jumpers early in the clock. Doesn't do it a lot, but more than he should.

He had one of each last night, the foul line jumper and then the pass Amare picked off. I didn't have a problem with the entry pass to Brand, he just led him a bit too much. That pass is an easy finish for EB if it's converted. The other one was careless.

By the way, one thing I absolutely loved about the fourth quarter yesterday: Collins ran a play specifically to spring Jrue for a three when he was hot, and it worked perfectly.

Jrue dribbled up on the left side of the floor, EB came up and set him a pick, then dove down the lane, dragging his man with him. Jrue took the ball toward the middle of the floor, immediately, Battie came up and set a second pick for Jrue, in the opposite direction. Jrue's man got lost in the wash, he took a quick dribble into the open space and canned the three. Really nice play, great execution and a huge shot (pushed the lead from 3 to 6).

I did not realize that was off of a series of screens.

Yeah, I wound up watching every play in the second half a couple times, that one stood out to me.

By the way, if you just ate your lunch, do not click through the top link in the reading list any time soon. David Aldridge has completely lost his marbles.

If the Sixers trade Iguodala for Arenas they better send out officers to man the bridges. That would be one of those "I'm done as a fan for 3 years" type of moves.

Although is that a "Thorn" type of move? People were down of VC and even Kidd (off the court issues) when he traded for them. he also has drafted a lot of troubled players (Marcus and Sean Williams.)

I'd hate the move, but certain casual fans would get excited based on name recognition alone.

And a for DA saying Arenas would be a good fit... how can a guy who sported a 32% usage rate be a good fit next to Turner and Jrue, who both need the ball to be effective?

Arenas' skillset would be a good fit next to either. His mindset, however, would not be.

Yeah, if he turned into a spot up shooter. But he likes to pound the rock.

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 13:45
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Video of Evan Turner Monday talking about his first NBA start (the win over the Knicks):

http://www.phillyburbs.com/opinions/blogs/intell_blogs/tom_moore.html

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 13:52
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Iguodala said he isn't sure if he'll be able to play Wednesday.

Holiday has all the potential to be a top point guard, he just needs the experience of running the team and being a leader. He's already doing great things defensively like when he plays right up on guys and disrupts their passes. And now they're starting to look to him to make shots in the 4th quarter and control the flow of the game which will increase his confidence. When Holiday's playing well like recently he reminds me a lot of deron williams who also isn't the fastest guy but uses his size and strength to his advantage. It was also between his second and third year that he made the jump to a star player in the league. Can Jrue get to that level too? With the way he works and the way he sees the court I think he's got a good shot at it. Just continue to take the ball strong and finish around the basket. And once the sixers bring in a shooter not named kapono or a player underneath who Holiday can throw some lobs to, that will make him an even better assist man.

+1

This has been my observation about Jrue for the past year too. He reminds me a lot to Deron Williams in the most positive way imaginable...

Wow, here are a couple of numbers to chew on from Basketball Value.

With Lou on the floor, the Sixers have an offensive efficiency rating of 110.48. With Lou on the bench, their offensive efficiency rating drops to 95.86.

With Lou on the floor, the Sixers have a defensive efficiency rating of 110.38. With Lou on the bench, they have a defensive efficiency rating of 96.23.

Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don't. Small sample size, obviously. But with Lou on the floor, you suddenly become the Golden State Warriors. With Lou on the bench, you're the Charlotte Bobcats.

Oh, I wish we weren't either of those teams! But if I had to pick I'd take the better defensive rating. Maybe thats why I was in the trade Lou boat. I realize he gives the Sixers good production at times when they're stuck in the mud, but don't you think a team gains something from swapping some offense for better defense, even if it's only the mindset of valuing each possession more?

Well, I mean they're worse with him on the bench. They're actually winning when he's on the floor. So while I like defense, he isn't hurting them by being out there to this point.

Thats true, I shouldnt be down on him now. Maybe his defense is improving, I couldn't stop laughing when he blocked that shot on the fast break yesterday. That was tremendous! :)

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Jess Sayan on Nov 8 at 14:46
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Jrue finishing at the rim: he makes unconventional moves that at times look mechanical but very effective. As his game grows I think these moves will become very natural and smoothe. He actually seems to slow down as he goes into his shot. This reminds me if young Kobe. I used to hate how mechanical his moves were, so diliberate. Now they are automatic and unstoppable. I think we find that jrue's drives will become incredibly difficult to stop as he approaches his prime.

Really looking forward to his matchup with Westbrook. Curious if he can keep the TOs low.

Quick OT Brand trade thought.

Brand expires the year that Howard becomes a FA. That might actually make him a more attractive target for Orlando in a trade. That way he could help them win these next 3 years, but then also create a ton of cap space the summer Hoard is a FA. That could allow them to try and do what the Heat did by resigning their superstar and having enough cap space to bring in another superstar.

So from Orlando's perspective, they would want to clear away any player that has a contract beyond 3 years. That way they have max space to build a super-team around howard with his next contract. That means Duhon, QRich and Gortat.

As it stands today, Orlando already has all of these expiring deals in the summer of 2013:

Dwight:19M
Rashard: 23M
Jameer: 8M
Reddick: 6M
Bass: 4M

So if they flipped their longer, small deals for brand you could add Brand's 18M to that group of 2013 expirings. Meaning Orlando could be in line to repeat what Miami did, if they play their cards right. And with Brand, Jameer, Rasard, Reddick and Bass they have a contending group prior to that next contract.

I still hate this logic that taking back longer, smaller deals is a positive move. It's easy to say, "We'll move those bad contracts later," but what happens is you start making all kinds of idiotic deals to even get rid of those contracts. I'd rather have the one contract for less years than several small ones, each probably requiring us to give up something to move it. Like the Knicks wound up having to do.

Brian, did you read my response to this in the previous thread, when I brought up the Bobcats as a trading partner?

I agree, even longer deals could be a mistake. But smaller deals of a similar duration are a net positive, especially if you are filling 4 needed roles with 18M instead of giving all that money to one player.

Diaw, Diop and who else was it?

I basically have the same problem. I don't see any of those guys as valuable contributors and I don't see their contracts as assets in any way. If you take them on, you're probably going to wind up either paying them out or having to sweeten a number of deals to unload them. I'd rather take my chances on sweetening one deal if I need to move Brand prior to his expiring season.

Here's the link to what I said:

http://www.depressedfan.com/basketball/sixers/game-7-thread-phi-nyk.php#comment-125839

It was
Diaw (9M/9M)
Diop(7M/7M/7M)
Najara (3M,2.5M)
and probably have to flip Kapono for Carroll (3-4M per X 3 years)

So really very limited cap space is created over the next three years, right? And you're adding salary for next season by including Kapono's deal.

I just don't see how this helps. None of those players is (a) young or (b) good. The team is worse with those guys and that's a bunch of roster spots being eaten up by dead weight with bad contracts. I'd rather have one guy, using one roster spot, with a modicum of production for the next three years.

It's in some ways like the Sam deal in reverse. You take on 3M next year to save 6M the following year.

But the key is more that you are breaking up Brand's salary for multiple parts that expire over the next 2 years. As a GM you can do a lot more moves with those parts than with Brand.

The Orlando trade you were talking about was the sam trade exactly, only Gortat's better than anyone we got back in that deal and Brand isn't as good as sam was.

You seriously want to take on 3 of the worst contracts in the NBA just so you can get rid of a player averaging 18 & 9? Truly amazing. Brand is better than these 3 bums put together, and the trade does nothing to produce cap room. I wouldn't trade Brand for 3 bums who expire in 2011, let alone 2013.

Only in Philadelphia would fans suggest trading an 18 & 9 player for bums.

He isn't 18 and 9 anymore. Rebounds are down to 8 and dropping fast.

Yes but points are going up. But you could even drop him to 15 & 6 and he's still way more desirable than the horrendous combo of Diaw, Diop, and Najera. It's not even close in my opinion.

I agree. Its not about getting equal talent. Its about trying to put the team in a position where it can make major moves to change.

I'm not even sure if they should trade him- because like you are saying, the types of return would likely be ugly. But that's the point of discussion. And if they don't move him I doubt the team can make many moves in the next 3 years to improve. They are up against the tax for as long as Brand is here.

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speeke reply to tk76 on Nov 9 at 2:13
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I hate the Charlotte deal but the Magic deal I would consider. Gortat's a good defensive center who I think could thrive with bigger minutus our playmakers setting him up around the rim. If I'm the magic I wouldn't do it though. They have enough PF's on that team

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CM reply to tk76 on Nov 8 at 15:52
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I wouldn't do that ORL trade, I don't think that they would either. They invested in Duhon and Gortat specifically to be back-ups - trading for Brand creates holes and he adds to a position that they have depth.

Duhon and Gortat are mediocre players at best, and signed for 4 more years. No thanks.

Right now, Brand is helping Jrue and Turner develop by giving them an effective veteran to lean on. He might not keep up his current level of play, but I'm not interested in dumping him for a pile of stiffs on longterm deals.

I'm not exactly saying I would do this trade or the other. More trying to look into what type of trades are realistic.

I really doubt any trade goes through without the Sixers talking back nearly equal salary. So that raises the question whether it is better just to keep Brand for 3 years- especially now that he looks to be an asset on the floor.

IMO if you can flip Brand for 3-4 smaller, usable parts you do it. For useful, but slightly overpaid role players being paid 18M combined is better than oner giant albatross, even if he's the best player of the group.

If you are winning now then its OK if some of your key players are hugely overpaid. But the Sixers are a losing team who needs to make dramatic changes. And a huge, growing contract like Brand's really handcuffs any potential moves for the next 3 years.

"for" should read "four"

Several smaller contracts for sub-par players doesn't move the needle. If you aren't cutting at least a year off the end of the overall salary obligation, it's not worth it to me.

Honestly, I don't think in trade of Brand would "move the needle.' He has negative trade value.

So you think what Washington gets in return for Arenas will "move the needle?"

I don't think Washington's going to be able to trade Arenas. He's like Brand except completely out of his mind bonkers. I have to believe there isn't anyone that stupid in an NBA front office (now that stefanski has been emasculated).

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Tray reply to Brian on Nov 8 at 16:52
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I don't know if Arenas is all that crazy. Standards for sanity are really rising in the NBA now that Marbury and Iverson are gone.

No, he's not tatoo on the side of his head crazy. That is Marbury/Tyson crazy. But he's not exactly normal. And you only tolerate the bad if he's really good- which is why AI is in Turkey.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Nov 8 at 16:19
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Well, I suppose such a trade would make us a lot worse, which is nice for lottery purposes, but it doesn't give us cap room in the near-term. Though each piece is a tradable asset and could ultimately bring us expirings.

I like your trade ideas. Do you think that the sixers might be able to do a deal with indiana? Their team is under pressure to improve and they have some expiring contracts that are not helping them, which they could easily do without. They can't bank on cap space, I think they know good free agents are not going to sign there. With the loss of troy murphy they have a hole at the 4 spot, so if Brand can keep his production up, you think maybe they would be interested?

I think we should be moving Iguodala, Brand, and Lou.

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 15:44
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We are going to need iguodala to play against okc if we even think we can win. Nobody on this team can guard durant but at lease iguodala might be able to slow him down a bit.

Agreed. I really don't want to see Nocioni on him.

I'd put Thad on Durant. Sink or swim time :)

And you can always save the tape for when you are negotiating with Thad over possibly re-signing...

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OldSchoolFan reply to Brian on Nov 8 at 17:13
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What about Turner guarding Durant? It would be an education and a challenge.

Yea Brian just thinking about Nocioni trying to guard Durant is giving me the creeps.

Jrue will not evolve, it will be an intelligent design that ordains his future

Heresy or hearsay.

Blashpeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemer

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Anonymous on Nov 8 at 19:40
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I have watched Jrue Holiday since he was in 8th grade. People do not understand his potential. first off he is 20 still one of the youngest players in the league. Go back approx 1 year and compare, go back from game 1 this year. Jrue is a rhythm player, a scorer and a player.. he controlled yesterdays game like a 10 year veteran IMO. he is not flashy like the Brandon Jennings, however in the end Jrue will be the stronger player, he is bigger faster and a winner. the more talent the 76ers are able to acquire the better Jrue will be and so will the team. Not having good help defense really hurts Jrue IMO, he helps a lot now and exposes himself at times. I look at Jrue and because he is smooth and quite at times people will take him for granted, however you will not find a harder working kid. He listens, Collins mentioned aboout 4 games ago that the team was not getting to the line including Jrue, look at the last 3 games and see the adjustment Jrue has made.

People do not understand his potential.

That's not true, quite a few people, both here and nationally understand his potential.

John HOllinger loves him

Hey TK

Right Achilles Tendon Tendonitis...worry, not worry, rest, play through it?

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Nov 8 at 20:17
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My impression is that tendinitis is not a big deal... except in the rare case where it precedes a tear. And the MRI was to see if there was any early signs of muscle damage as opposed to inflationary. So a very good chance this is a minor issue.

I had Achilles tendinitis when I was going out for my college team. Its annoying, because there is not a great way to tape or brace it, and it saps your explosiveness. But it is not a common recurring injury, nor is it degenerative. So assuming it fully heals in the next month or so then there should not be lingering concern. But for right now they are watching to make sure that the inflammation does not become a tear.

I'm talking ion rough terms, as its not an injury I deal with much. But those links from the other day are pretty definitive.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Nov 8 at 20:18
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Inflationary? That should read inflammation.

So assuming it fully heals in the next month or so then there should not be lingering concern.

Would playing on it increase the risk of further damage? Should it be rested until fully healed.

Interesting Bill Simmons podcast today in which he suggests an OKC-Sixers trade: Harden, Peterson (Expiring), and a draft pick, for Iguodala. Would we do this? I guess it depends on the pick.

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Shawn reply to MikeW on Nov 8 at 21:51
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The pick would be EH. not sure that's worth it. we need to add size, not get smaller. this doesn't help our team get better, short or long term

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Joe reply to MikeW on Nov 8 at 22:07
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It has some possible legs I would say...

I think the Sixers would have to pluck Ibaka or Aldrich in the deal.

Besides that, it doesn't seem too bad at first glance. I'd have to think about it a little more if the rumor materializes, though.

dear god, can we send OKC some cash in order to convince them to NOT give us aldrich? He is the definition of a bust.

Swap out the pick for Ibaka and I'm interested. Ibaka has to be in a deal for me to have interest, though.

What's your feeling on Harden? I read these days that maybe he's not worth where he was picked.

This will evolve into full on discussions between the two teams in 3 days.

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Jesse reply to MikeW on Nov 9 at 0:10
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I think Harden is underrated, and he can shoot, which could really help the Sixers. You'd have to slide Turner to the 3 (anyone have any data on how he's done there this season so far?), to get Harden in the starting backcourt, though. Depending on the pick(s) and/or bigs included by the Thunder, and this could be a solid deal for us.

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 21:48
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Iguodala has a strained right Achilles tendon, from what we've been told.

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Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 21:49
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Collins on the Sixers' difficult upcoming schedule: "I was kidding our guys today I’m going to call the league office and say (the NBA) didn’t put out our schedule – it was Suge Knight from Death Row Records. I look at our schedule and start shaking. The players liked it because I knew who Suge Knight was. They were very impressed."

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Shawn reply to Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 21:58
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Haha, that's awesome.

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Tray reply to Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 23:00
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The last time Suge Knight made the news, he was being shot at in a club a few years ago by a guy wearing a pink dress shirt.

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Jason reply to Tom Moore on Nov 8 at 23:42
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I cringed a bit.

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Tray reply to Jason on Nov 8 at 23:48
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I mean, it's sort of like if KC Jones were to try to get through to Larry Bird back in the day by talking about Elvis. Suge, that's a whole generation ago.

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bebopdeluxe on Nov 8 at 23:24
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Little tidbit about how guys spend their off-day...my wife's ex lives downtown, and he said that Elton Brand was in his yoga class today...she said that according to her ex, EB didn't seem like the most flexible guy in the world (try to visualize a 6'8" guy in the dolphin or crane position), but I think its pretty encouraging that the guy is working on his flexibility and body strength outside of PCOM.

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Rich reply to bebopdeluxe on Nov 8 at 23:30
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Could you imagine EB trying to yoga in a regular class? He'd take up half of the room.

Is it poor leadership if EB uses his own yogi instead of working out with the team?


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