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Sixers Find Their Spine

This is gonna sound optimistic and I hope I don't jinx it, but the Cavs got blown out by the T-Wolves, if the Sixers play this way against the Cavs we should have our second win in a row.

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Tray reply to Alvin on Dec 4 at 23:57
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Perhaps they were a little emotionally drained after the Miami game the other day.

So in rookie news, Favors has been tailing off somewhat, but Wesley Johnson scored 20 on 9 shots tonight with 6 boards, and Cousins has 15 and 9 on 8 shots through three quarters. Just 2 fouls, no turnovers, 7 trips to the line. He got the start tonight. Not a permanent change; they got blown out the other day and Westphal wanted to push some buttons.

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Tray reply to Tray on Dec 5 at 0:26
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Never mind, Cousins was awful in the fourth quarter.

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Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 0:48
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Phil Jasner press room tribute:

http://ow.ly/i/66v2

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Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 0:49
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Red-hot Meeks propels Sixers to victory:

http://ow.ly/3k5mf

My game thoughts (other than what Brian already posted, many of mine were the same):

* It's 20 games into the season, and I think the evidence is growing that the Sixers have a decent team. Interesting fact: all 6 of their wins this year have come by 9 or more, and this was their third 15+ point win. Guess how many 15+ point wins they had last year? Four, and it took them until March 24 to get their 3rd. If there is an NBA version of Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem, then the Sixers' aggregate point differential (currently -1.5 PPG for the season) supports their being better than their record.

* Last year at this time, the Sixers were 5-15 and in the midst of a 12-game losing streak. Though their record is just one game better this year, I feel better about this year's team, in large part because the basketball itself is better to watch.

* Since the Iguodala critics are quick to point out any perceived failings on his part, it's worth pointing out that this was the 3rd time this year he's held a 17+ PPG scorer to 10 points or under (Granger, Roy, Wallace). Wallace has given him trouble in the past by being physical, but Iguodala came prepared to match that physicality. Also, his assist-to-turnover ratio stands at 2.89, which would be a career high by far and is a good mark for a point guard, let alone a forward. (Holiday, for example, is at 2.48.)

* Nocioni was horrible this game on both ends of the court, as Brian said, but it's weird that he got a DNP-CD in the Atlanta game just after one of his best games of the year vs. Portland (including a clutch 3 in the 4th). If he plays like he did tonight, I wouldn't mind if gets dropped from the rotation.

* Thad was great on offense; he really seems to have taken to heart the advice to focus on attacking. He put up a line very similar to what he was doing at the tail end of 08-09 (8-11 4-4 20). The Brand-Thad-Iguodala frontcourt might work in the 4th quarter, depending on matchups.

* A lot has been said about Meeks, but he's not going to be hot like that every night, of course. What I like about his offensive game is that he can take it to the hole strong (like he did twice tonight, once impressively off Wallace). So I guess he's not a Willie Green clone (though the 1 rebound in 36 minutes was Willie-like). Meeks also played some decent, physical defense on the much taller Stephen Jackson (6-16).

* Finally, Spencer Hawes looked like a legitimate NBA center during the 3rd quarter. He played good defense, looked good stroking two open jumpers, never forced his offense, and -- most importantly -- fought for several defensive rebounds. If this continues, he may see the 4th quarter before long!

It will be good if the Sixers beat Cleveland on Tuesday, to head into their one TNT appearance of the year vs. Boston next Thursday with 4 wins in 5 ...


Great post Brian. Game thread was great too. This week is the Celtics so let's be ready.

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deepsixersuede on Dec 5 at 9:57
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Good stuff Brian and statman; Have you guys noticed the dropoff in B.Lopez and M.Gasol's reb. and overall games this year. They are considered 2 of the best young centers in the league. I have been impressed by our coaches effect on our young guys but have ignored Hawes because of how godawful he looked starting the year.

Is he the answer? Probably not but these are the numbers in the last 5 games of combined minutes of Hawes,Spieghts and Battie; Collins is indeed a miracle worker.

29min./8pts./11reb./1bl./1ass.
50min./20pts./15reb./2bl./5ass.
42min./22pts./12reb./1bl./4ass.
44min./16pts./15reb./2bl./4ass.
48min./15pts./12reb./1bl./1ass.

We are getting quality center play. It reminds me of how S.Anderson juggled his bullpen on the "Big Red Machine" teams.

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Turtle Bay on Dec 5 at 11:44
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Ugh. The cavs have absolutely nothing that interests me short of two unprotected first round picks over the next three years. I dint doubt they're shopping him, but the cavs seem highly unlikely unless brand is included in the deal.

RealGM gives the source of the article (it says, Via Mourning Journal, and links to it).

Or it's just easier to post the original source here, it's an interesting piece of fiction with a writer connecting some dots :)

What about the Raptors? Particularly, what about some combination of Peja's contract and players like Amir Johnson/Ed Davis and Weems? Davis isn't quite Favors, but he's been good in all three of his first NBA games and is a high-ceiling prospect.

The only player I personally like in that package you mentioned was davis, but would still need him to play more than two games before coming to a conclusion :)

There's still 10 more days before the majority of moves even become viable due to the December 15th deadline, but I'm wondering what the market for Iguodala just really is

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Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 16:14
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Thorn emailed that the Sixers aren't shopping Iguodala but rather "trying to ascertain the value of all of our players. Big difference."

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Tray reply to Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 18:59
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Ask him if we're in talks with teams to "ascertain the value" of Jrue Holiday. Somehow I doubt it.

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Tom Moore reply to Tray on Dec 5 at 19:55
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Fair point. But he can't come out and say they're committed to moving Iguodala (and I'm not saying they are).

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Tray reply to Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 20:07
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Of course he can't. What's interesting, though, is that he doesn't choose to deny talking to Cleveland at all. The fact that he even admits to "ascertaining" Iguodala's value is kind of telling.

Wouldn't you hope he's talking to every team, about all his players?

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Tray reply to Brian on Dec 5 at 20:26
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Including Jrue? I'm not as high on him as you (how in the world is he ever going to be a top 5 point guard in a league with Paul, Williams, Rondo, Rose, Wall, Westbrook, etc.), but I would hope he isn't cold-calling teams to ascertain his value. If he got a great offer he should listen, but I doubt he actively solicits opinion on his value.

How do you get a great offer if you won't even talk about a guy? If Chris Paul starts forcing his way out of New Orleans, are you going to call their GM and say, "I'm not even considering putting Jrue Holiday in this deal?"

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Tom Moore on Dec 5 at 16:46
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Report that Sixers are looking to trade Iguodala is inaccurate, according to Rod Thorn:

http://ow.ly/3kfTn


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