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Taking Stock

I am a believer that if this team continues to play like this, it is a playoff team. They are simply put, better than any team currently behind them in the 9th position. I read somewhere (it might of been Chris Mannix) that Charlotte will make a push under Paul Silas, and I just don't see that. Now with Indiana really coming back to the pack, I expect them to keep sliding past the Sixers.

I think that the Sixers will battle Milwaukee for the 7th seed, but playing well enough under Collins (who has done a great job as far as preparing them to play) to where a .500 record will be in reach (I guess that would probably make them the 7 if they get there). I for one know one team that won't want the Sixers if they get in as a low seed: Boston. These games recently have been wars. The Sixers in all likelihood wouldn't beat them, but I can see them making them work to get out of the 1st Round.

It's too bad the start was so shitty.

My opinion on this team has changed to an extent, maybe not as much as others. Before this road trip I didn't think this team was very good. I thought their recent success going into this road trip could mostly be chalked up to a fluke hot streak that had happened over a very small quantity of games. But after seeing them compete with the Lakers for 3 quarters in their first meeting and then nearly taking one in LA, playing Boston close for a 2nd time this season has made me realize that this team isn't as bad as I thought and is probably one of the top 15 teams in the league or at least very close to being one. They still haven't shown enough to be considered much better than that. On this road trip they beat a short handed Orlando, a Meloless Denver, and their final win was vs a Phoenix Suns team that the sixers are much better than. It's also easy to forget that the sixers were completely blown out by the Chicago bulls on this road trip.

The main problem I had with this team before the road trip, is still an issue, and is one that I don’t see getting fixed any time soon without a major trade happening. The team still has absolutely no front court. Nobody on our team can match up with opposing teams’ talented bigs, which is a problem that no matter how hard this team tries will keep this team from challenging good teams in a playoff series. Dwight Howard had 10 offensive rebounds vs the sixers. Against the Lakers the Sixers were outrebounded 45-35 and if it wasn't for the fact that the sixers out shot the Lakers from 3 the sixers would have most likely lost by double digits

I don’t think the sixers are going to be able to play much better than they are right now and from here can only improve their offense, but even that has its limits due to the fact that this team is lacking a good offensive front court, Elton Brand just isn’t enough. Overall I think we are currently seeing the best of the sixers and I expect the team to play 500, or just above 500 ball for the rest of the season, which is better than what I thought going into this road trip.

Honestly my opinion on the Sixers hasn't changed much all season long. I predicted them to win 41-42 games season and as it appears they are headed exactly there. I think the 7th seed is within reach and i wouldn't be surprised if we ended up there. I'm not high at all on Indiana and New York, and Milwaukee is in a very similar position to the Sixers.

And as for everybody saying that we beat undermanned teams i would like to remind you all that our best player Iguodala missed 8 games so far, Lou Will missed a pair and Hawes wasn't healed early on. The point is a win is a win everybody has injuries and everybody beats undermanned teams.

And another reason why i am fairly high on the Sixers is that over the past few years they have consistently been a slow starter. Except for last year when we decided to tank early enough, the difference between the start of the season and the second part is obvious. Usually the sixers play the best ball in January and February so i expect big things soon... We'll see if i'm right. A lot will depend on what Thorn does nearing the trade deadline...

This are the actual records over the past few years:

2006-2007 10-29 start 25-18 finish for 35 wins total
2007-2008 14-24 start 26-18 finish for 40 wins total
2008-2009 13-20 start 28-21 finish for 41 wins total
2009-2010 7-22 start 20-31 finish for 27 wins total
2010-2011 13-20 start

Notable facts: In both playoff seasons they struggled in the last few games after actually going above .500. Last year they improved in January and February again but then decided to tank the season.

The trend is obvious in the post-Iverson/Iguodala era. And honestly i think we are probably a better (and more complete) team this year than in any of those years.

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Jason reply to Xsago on Jan 3 at 4:46
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"And as for everybody saying that we beat undermanned teams i would like to remind you all that our best player Iguodala missed 8 games so far, Lou Will missed a pair and Hawes wasn't healed early on. The point is a win is a win everybody has injuries and everybody beats undermanned teams."

Yes but we can reasonably deduce the difference between a team at full strength vs a team missing a key player. Simply put if the Lakers didn't play Pau/Bynum/Odom/Bryant and the sixers beat the, we can safely say that win is meaningless in determining how good the sixers are. Just like we can say that Kobe wouldn't score 30 if Iguodala was there. Really it's an important factor in analysis and shouldn't be chalked up to every team loses players at some point in the season, has to be factored in.

Also I don't think this trend is something you should count on, the sixers were much different teams then. Last year Jrue just started to get his starts. Also I guess that is the affect of changing the coach every year, but you have to think Collins has gotten more than any other coach has in this short of a span that i think it's possible this team has hit its peak and won't be able to improve much more. In last 21 games sixers are 11-10. I think that the sixers might have a better Jan/February just because the schedule is easier, 2nd half of February are all very winnable games and if the sixers end up having another 2 months that fit the trend it will have more to do with the schedule than actual improvement barring any major jumps from ET or Jrue.

I agree that beating undermanned teams impacts the analysis of where this team is. But it doesn't say any less than losing without Iguodala.

I also agree that the schedule plays a major factor but it doesn't change the fact that they are headed towards .500 ball and not 32-34 wins that others think is the ceiling of this team.

As for the slow starts i too think that the constant coaching changes have been a major factor, coupled with Iguodala being a slow starter each year.

Also as evident with the constant lineup and rotation changes i would disagree that they got much more with Collins at the top. The best from Collins being the coach is yet to come IMO, this is just the beginning.

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deepsixersuede on Jan 3 at 9:02
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I feel like I did a few years ago in the playoff years, on any given night we CAN beat any team, but back than my main reason was A.Miller, the veteran leader, who on most nights willed this team to wins.

Now our coach, and his use of this roster, gives me hope every game. And unlike Miller, I know he will be here next year. Jason, our frontcourt isn't a strength, but our coach seems to be getting the most out of it and our rebounding seems middle of the road rather than as bad as we thought going in.

When Turner starts getting 30 m.p.g. we may become an elite defensive team come playoff time and if Thorn gets our coach a parttime defensive big we may scare a 1st round playoff opponent with our young guys playing a major part.

Rich, I look forward to whoever we may play in the playoffs because our 1,2 and 3 can match up with anybody and for the first time since L.B. I think our coach is a strength.

Sixers end trip by facing Hornets:

http://ow.ly/3xoPr

I still think they're a mediocre team that could make the playoffs and get bitch slapped in the first round. I think even in the lakers game, they would have had a better chance of winning if Iguodala played (and my god phoenix just sucks don't they?)

Nice to see Turner play some good games but I have some concerns out of the lakers game regarding his defense on Kobe (that most people don't seem to share) but maybe the clamor of people ready to cut him and send him to Europe will die down a little.

Thought they were a mediocre team when the season started and they stunk, when they were 8-3 and during and now at the end of the road trip.

They're a mediocre team with big holes at multiple positions and no bench players who can do more than score.

Plus Doug Collins HATES speights

I was trying to watch Turner on Kobe closely, and it sure seemed to me that Turner was glued to him like a blanket in the 4th quarter. Kobe couldn't seem to get past him, so he kept fading away. It's impossible to defend a guy who is falling away from you. Kobe just happens to be the best player in the world and made every shot while falling to the floor in the 4th quarter.

Well, he made half his shots. 3/6, I believe is what someone posted after the game.

He seemed to be 'running at' Kobe on the shots he took in the fourth quarter and i'm still concerned about not leaving his feet at all when he challenged kobe (who was off his feet)

I thought I could check it on Synergy but Synergy ain't up

I'll check on the full synergy today before tonight's game.

Thanks, i was psyched to starting using mysynergy and they have this BS thing about 'couple of days' that's been up for over a week and they don't respond to customer service inquiries :)

He was 7-12 against Turner for the game, 3-6 in the 4th quarter. A lot of his makes in the 4th were well contested, and most of his makes earlier in the game off picks with little help from a big.

3 of his 4 drawn fouls were on Turner, although one was the intentional at the end of the game.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 11:28
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3 of 6 was correct, but he got two of the rebounds, probably because he knew exactly where they were going. I thought ET was right on him. Kobe just made amazing shots.

You're talking about him not jumping to contest the shots? I didn't go back to watch it, but if that's the case, eh. Not really that big of a deal. If you've got him taking fallaway jumpers, the contest really doesn't matter all that much. Probably more likely he would've fouled him.

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deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 12:44
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It was almost like Collins's last words when he left the bench were "don't leave your feet". But he is learning how to guard as much as how to play off the ball. I don't know if he played man or zone in college.

This team would be alot closer to .500 if Collins had not taken so long to settle on his player rotations.

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deepsixersuede reply to KellyDad on Jan 3 at 12:46
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I actually think he figured out his rotations pretty quickly since he probably rarely saw these guys play; they weren't on many T.N.T. games so how much film of them did he see.

I'm sure he watched plenty of film (probably every game) after taking the job over the summer.

Any way the Sixers can take advantage of Dallas losing Butler?

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T McL reply to Shawn on Jan 3 at 11:24
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Do the Mavs own any terrible team's draft picks? I doubt it... otherwise, the only guy I would want (this year) is Chandler and they're not getting rid of him

Would the Sixers have any interest in Haywood? I'm guessing Dallas would have serious interest in Iguodala if Butler is out for a long stretch as being reported.

Have you seen Haywoods contract? And his play? THere's no reason any team would be interested in Haywood, Mavs can't give him away

I think Haywood has some skills, but agreed, that contract is pretty unwieldy

I think it continues to firmly put them in the "contender for last rung of playoff teams". Their losses to the Lakers and Celtics have been more impressive, and told me more about the team, than any of their three wins.

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deepsixersuede reply to Derek Bodner on Jan 3 at 12:49
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Derek, thoughts on R.Jackson? Is he gonna be any more than a bench big in the NBA ?

Doubtful. I think he comes back down to earth a bit when 'Cuse schedule gets tougher later in the month and through February. We'll see. I'm still a bit leary about his rebounding being legit, but if it is, then I think he has a place as a rotation player. Before this year I didn't consider him a legit prospect, but the rebounding changes things dramatically if it's legit.

I'd be curious what his draft stock is. He isn't even listed in DX's mock draft, but he looks like someone NBA teams should take a long look at as an energy big off the bench. He does have offensive limitations and I'd say he's a powerful (but average) athlete, so I don't know if that is a spot the Sixers would take him.

Another guy in Rick's class in HS is having a great year as well, Brad Wannamker, who is just a winner plain and simple. If he could tighten up his jumper a little bit, he has the tools to become a very rugged combo guard off the bench. His passing and defense remind me of an Iguodala at the SG position.

These guys are more than likely 2nd rounders or undrafted at this point though. Derek will know better, but I have the feeling they aren't even close to locks to getting a chance in the NBA.

Yeah, I just posted above. I don't see Jackson's post game translating at all (and really, it's not translating much at Syracuse, he's not creating much offense himself successfully), but if he could develop a decent jumper I'd feel much better about his pro prospects. As it stands, I think he's probably a second round pick, but I could see him sneaking into the first round if his rebounding holds form as he plays tougher competition. I don't view him as an NBA starter unless his jumper develops, though.

Wow, a 1st Round pick? That would be great for him. I don't think a legit jumper or post game develops. He is a pretty good finisher of dunks and lobs, which may help. I don't really see him becoming an offensive weapon though. He always was a good rebounder, maybe the fact that he often played on the edges of the zone with Onauku in the middle hurt his numbers?

Oh, I think it would be a stretch for him to go in the first round. As I said, barring a drastic improvement in his game, I don't see him being an NBA starter. It wouldn't completely shock me, though, seeing the need for bigs up front, how well rebounding typically translates to the NBA, and the relative low value of a late first round pick.

Hey guys, here's the game capsule from the other night, w/ the rotation chart and four factors.

Mediocre team, first-round loss, several huge positional holes sounds about right. Individually, Jrue's showing he can probably be a top 10 point guard soon if not right now, Turner's looking less like a complete bust, Thad may well have found his calling as a mismatch off the bench. On the down side, Lou seems like he'll always be the same gifted but stupid player, our most/only promising big man has disappeared into a black hole and may not even have much trade value anymore, Iguodala's almost become a non-factor scoring-wise. Brand's done well but that's kind of irrelevant to the long-term success of the team; at least it might make him tradeable.

Brand is done? Wow, what happened, did he blow out his knee last night?

I like the team, but they need to get better at some facet of the game to really push forward this year. They either need to become more elite at shooting from beyond to make up for the lack of bigs, or they need to find a big who can play some defense.

Regardless, I'm excited about watching every night so that's a plus.

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