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Breaking Down the Offense

Great job, Rich.

I think that play I was describing from Sunday's game was sort of a modified cluster set, where they moved the two screen up to the top of the key and let Jrue use them to create space for his own shot.

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deepsixersuede on Nov 9 at 13:21
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Good stuff Rich; I felt early on that the offense took the ball out of Jrue's hands too much, whether it was Jrue being unselfish and passing to a cutter off a screen or the fact our coach didn't want to many high pick-n-rolls with our p.g. attacking. But it is getting better in that regard.

I wonder if Thorn addresses the L.Will. issue, not running the offense, by bringing in a veteran backup p.g. next year when Turner starts. If Lou consistantly hits the jumper it would make some sense, but it may not play to Lou's strengths.

Overall I agree with general consensus of criticism and praise for Lou's game... but I actually like how he is developing as an NBA specialist. It was a mistake to ever use this guy as a PG or expect him to settle down an offense. But that does not diminish his strengths and the overall growth in his game.

People tend to think that if you are not correcting your weaknesses then you are not improving. To judge improvement by only looking at areas of weakness. But that is not always the case. In FB if a RB never becomes a pass receiver but improves as a runner each year he can still be seen as improving.

You can become a better and more effective player without becoming a more complete player.

Lou has dramatically improved his offensive efficiency to where he is a devastating scorer to bring off the bench- especially if the opponent is in the bonus. His 3pt shooting used to be a negative (less than 29% on 200+ attempts 2 years ago.) Last year he established it as a weapon (34% on 200 attempts) and now he is basically unguardable. He is not settling for jumpers. And his rate of being fouled on jumpers is truly amazing. And he's always been able to score in the lane and get to the line. He's not even shooting well (.436 down from .470 last year), and yet his TS% is .614.

Lou's career arc reminds me of the JET (Jason Terry), who also was miscast as a lousy PG early in his career. Like Terry, I think Lou will continue to become a smarter player as his career continues. I don't think he should ever be a starter, but he really could become the best scoring 6th man in the league.

That does not mean Lou can ignore defense or dominate the ball. But I think he's a smart enough player to improve in those areas to where he's not killing the team or sucking the air out of the ball.

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Rich reply to tk76 on Nov 9 at 13:56
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Yeah, it's not that I don't like what Lou does scoring. The guy is a world-class player simply in that regards. It's that the other guys can get freezed out when Lou is dribbling the ball. In some recent games (the 2nd Indiana game especially), I thought Lou was running in the framework of some sort of motion (not exactly the cluster), and the team builds on their leads.

If they aren't running anything, they are dead if Lou isn't out there, although I will say EB definitely deserves more post-ups.

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deepsixersuede reply to tk76 on Nov 9 at 13:59
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Who, in your mind, or what type of player, would you put in the backcourt off the bench next year with Lou?

I'd hope ET could run the PT with Lou as the SG on offense. Flip roles on D. I also think Jrue and Lou can be on the floor 15 min+/gm.

Lou can play with either of those guys, but they need to make an effort to run the offense before they go into "Give Lou the ball and watch him," zone. He needs to be part of the offensive set first, maybe looking to get him an open jumper. Then if nothing's happening from the offense, you let him iso late in the shot clock and create offense.

There's nothing I hate more than entire possessions becoming the Lou Williams show, and when he starts with the ball, that's what it is. Not his fault so much as a need for Collins to dictate when it's OK for him to freelance.

Well it's partly Lou's fault. He can't fall in love with the dribble and breaking down his man. there needs to be clear "Lou Rules" in place:

1. If there is 14+ sec on the clock Lou can either blow by his man to the hoop or pass. No jumpers.

2. If there is

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Nov 9 at 18:26
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2. If there is less than 10 sec on the shot clock it should be Lou v World time.

In small doses (basically in the role he is in now), Lou is a net positive for the Sixers. When he's coming off the bench, teams don't seem to gameplan for him, so he's free to do what he does best. In the past, he hasn't shown the ability to make teams pay for trapping or doubling him, and I wonder if other teams will start doing that now that he's off to such a good start.

Also, teams don't seem to "go at" Lou on defense when he's not starting. Actually, in the games that I've watched closely this year, his defense has been at least passable most of the time.

[By the way, great job Rich!]

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deepsixersuede reply to deepsixersuede on Nov 9 at 13:55
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By the way, more guard postups are probably coming too. I laughed to myself when we played Wash. that Brian and I debated Hinrich guarding Iggy and I said postups by our guards aren't part of the offense so what does our coach do but post up Iggy. Its nice to have a coach trying to play to our players strengths.

Sad thing about the Cleveland game was that Iguodala scored three or four times on post-ups in the 2nd quarter, probably the most I've ever seen him score in the post in a game (let alone a quarter). I wish we could have seen more of that, for a full game.

Suede, you've been saying "Iguodala should post up" longer than any other Sixer fan (many others don't think he's capable). What did you see in him that made you think he should be able to do it?

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deepsixersuede reply to Statman on Nov 9 at 14:27
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I think of M.J., before he became a good shooter. In fact Iggy may be as physically dominant as M.J. against most players he goes against and with Jrue and Evan out there he may eventually get worse defenders guarding him.

By the way, how would Sammy do in this offense? I have a feeling Collins could of made it work. What a shame he didn't get the chance.

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deepsixersuede reply to Statman on Nov 9 at 14:45
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It is funny that Elton seems more and more like an ideal p.f. style wise for this team, like E.S. envisioned when he signed him. He seems to run the court fine this year, and the fact he is more a mid-post kind of player it allows our slashers to slash. Maybe E.S. was on to something.

It only took 3 years and 4 coaches to figure it out :)

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Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 13:41
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Iguodala (strained right Achilles) sits out Tuesday practice and is likely to miss Wednesday game in Oklahoma City.

Kapono (personal matter) may also miss game.

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Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 14:02
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Link to Jrue Holiday post-practice interview Tuesday in which he talks about playing with Evan Turner and his more aggressive offensive approach with Andre Iguodala out:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/opinions/blogs/intell_blogs/intell_blogs_details/article/634/2010/november/09/video-holiday-on-playing-in-backcourt-with-turner.html

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jsmoove on Nov 9 at 16:36
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The thing that is glaring to me from almost every example given is, when you look at the screens being set and the use of the screens, both are nearly non-existent, which has been a bug-a-boo of this team for far too long. They either don't set themselves properly, or moreso fundamentally, and the player(s) being screened doesn't utilize them effectively.

Especially the last example given: look at Iguodala, he never even establishes himself as a screener, he just sort of gets in the way and Brand kind of rolls around him.

The first example given is a good indicator of the lack of fundamentally setting screens, and to a lesser extent the use of them. I have a hard time believing the look they preferred was a 10 foot jumper from Hawes from all the screening that was taking place.

Sammy never set too many effective screens in all the years he was here. Jason Smith was about the most fundamental screener they've had in quite some time. Theo and Reggie Evans weren't bad either.

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Rich reply to jsmoove on Nov 9 at 19:20
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I do agree to an extent: Yes the screening has been bad, but I don't think it's a very important thing for this team. There are no Ray Allen/Reggie Miller/Rip Hamilton types on the Sixers, who are sprung open by great screens.

On that first play, the second cluster screen was very effective. Iguodala's defender trailed him, and Brand's man stepped out to double. A wide open 10 foot jumper isn't a bad shot for anyone, even Hawes (who stinks). Add in that it was off ball movement, that's a great set. They packed the lane, and Iguodala took what the defense gave him.

I don't think Iguodala has to screen Brand's man there on that last play. The goal of the play is to get Brand's man isolated on him and they did a good job of that. Brand isn't a guy who is going to make a really quick post move anymore. He's more of an face-up guy from 10 feet.

As far as pick and roll screen goes, Jrue is showing to become a quick study of how to use them. He saw Collison over-hedging and got a piece of the paint on the drive there. He does that a lot with EB.

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Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 16:58
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Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 17:32
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I'm thinking about throwing up an "Off-night Post" for nights when the Sixers don't have a game. People can comment on whatever other games they're watching/following. Any interest?

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Joe reply to Brian on Nov 9 at 19:58
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On a somewhat related note, fantasy basketball is a somewhat close one thus far...

The 820 projected totals are...

Proj Tot Team
68 Ostertag
51 RyanFEJ
81 OMGtheykilledKenny!
69 Chunky Soup
63 Depressed Fan
47 Statman
74 Joe
59 Allphillysports
74 City Line Chili's
55 JinxedJason
41 RevengeOfTheBraces
48 Johnrosz
59 Xsago Phantoms
54 TK76- JIT wit it

Once Elton Brand stops his top 10 production, Kenny should rejoin the rest of us.

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tk76 reply to Joe on Nov 9 at 23:33
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Like some Europeans, I'm not quite sure why I stink.

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Court_visioN reply to Joe on Nov 10 at 1:04
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what are you talking about? Elton Brand is an all star! =\
halfway through the season i'm gonna be like "Brand... Oh my God, he killed Kenny!

You bastards!"

The Pacers just scored 54 in the third quarter.

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Joe reply to Tray on Nov 9 at 21:00
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What happened there? Team thing or someone put up 25 of them?

Ty Lawson's defense.

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Tray reply to Joe on Nov 9 at 21:09
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Dunleavy had 21 in the quarter... he was fouled shooting two threes and hit several. But the rest of the team scored 33, which by itself is pretty great. So kind of both.

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Tray reply to Joe on Nov 9 at 23:39
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Also, they apparently only missed one shot in the quarter. Definitely a team thing.

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Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 21:28
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Holiday on playing well with Turner: "I think it was just a matter of time. This is something new to Evan. He kind of had to feel me out and I had to feel him out. Working with him is easy. People say we're the future, but he's an all-around player who's easy to play with on and off the ball."

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Tray reply to Tom Moore on Nov 9 at 22:00
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I don't get that last sentence. People say we're the future, but he's an all-around player, etc. What about him being an all-around player contradicts their being the future?

Two separate thoughts. 1) People say we're the future. 2) He's an all-around player who's easy to play with on and off the ball." That's what it seemed like to me from watching the tape. The but was like an ummm, no meaning.

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Tray reply to Brian on Nov 9 at 22:16
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Oh okay. Unless he was saying they're not the future, Jrue/Turner is now. I mean usually when an athlete says, "people say I am/we are the future," there is a but, as in, but I still have to work hard, or, but I don't see why we can't win a championship this year, or whatever. No one says "people say we're the future" just as an observation, there's almost always some kind of criticism afterwards.

Millsap with 46 and the tip to send it into overtime against MIA. Guess you can add "can't guard post players" back to the list of their worries (along with "the experiment's not working," "can't stop quick point guards," "Bosh is way too passive now that he's a third option," etc.

I understood it like:

people say we're the future (i.e., we'll need time to develop and learn to play with one another), but he's a good all around player and easy to work with on and off the ball *now*.

They said we were the second coming, they said we were a different breed. We were none of these things and they said we could sing so we sang about the birds and the bees

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deepsixersuede on Nov 9 at 21:36
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Houston is assigning P.Patterson to the D League. Between this move and not signing Dampier I guess Jordan Hill won't be available. Brackins might as well be sent down there also.

Nothing about Jordan Hill is really all that impressive. Not sure it's a big loss if he's off the market. Not sure why he'd be considered off the market either.

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Nov 9 at 23:00
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He seems to have moved ahead of B.Miller as their backup center and is their 3rd p.f. behind Scola and Hayes. He, along with Taylor, seems to be why they backed off on Dampier. Started when Yao had to sit recently and played well against Duncan. Just another possible trade option, thats all.

There are dozens of guys out there who rebound and defend at his level. Just wondering why you picked him out.

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Tray reply to Brian on Nov 10 at 0:53
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I imagine because he's younger than most of the dozens of guys who produce at his level. He was drafted higher, he's more athletic, more upside, etc. You know, just like you'd trade for DeAndre Jordan ahead of tons of players with just as good numbers as DeAndre Jordan.

I suppose you could say that. You could also say DeAndre Jordan is still younger than J. Hill, and he actually does the things the Sixers need from a big, like block shots and rebound, very well. Hill doesn't excel in either area. He was just a high pick.

Yo...anybody watching Clippers-Hornets? Dudes...Willie Green is having a heck of a fourth quarter. I'm glad to see that he can be successful for a team in this league. By all accounts, he's a good guy. It's nice to see him playing for someone else and doing well. But he did have a nice move on the baseline, and rose up...but not high enough and got snuffed by the rim. Oh Willie. J Smith is still doing his thing, running around the court and not making any kind of an impact.

I keep hearing how great Willie is playing in New Orleans, then I check the numbers and he's shooting 36% from the floor and 14% from three.

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Tray reply to joeykey on Nov 9 at 22:19
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Smith has had much better games for them this season. As they mentioned, he leads their bench in scoring, which isn't bad, given that that bench includes Marcus Thornton and a gunner like Willie Green. And he's played alright defense on Griffin, denied him the ball a fair amount which is all he can possibly do anyway.

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deepsixersuede reply to Tray on Nov 9 at 23:04
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I always thought Smith's best possible upside was as a 10 pt., 4 reb. off the bench guy and he is getting 9 pts., 5 rebs. in 20 mpg. this year so at least one of our young guys is reaching his potential; oh thats right he isn't here any more.

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Joe reply to joeykey on Nov 10 at 10:02
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What is funny is that Willie is doing what he normally does and is trying to kill the Hornets by taking minutes from Thornton, who is actually a good player.

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paul reply to Joe on Nov 10 at 16:18
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"What is funny is that Willie is doing what he normally does and is trying to kill the Hornets by taking minutes from Thornton, who is actually a good player."

Yes, Willie really killed them last night in scoring 17 points in the second half (19 in the game) and his having one turnover in about 25 minutes was inexcusable.
He and Bayless played pretty much the entire 4th quarter without Chris Paul on the floor.

Let me ask you a question. If Willie is so obviously worthless, why has he played for so many minutes for multiple NBA coaches including his newest one? Oh, wait, I already know the answer: because all of those NBA coaches are dumber than Brian and his Amen corner of syncophants.

Is a syncophant anything like a sycophant?

Nice post. This is becoming the best basketball blog in the business.


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