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Sixers Must Handle Bigs

A week ago when i looked at the schedule this was the game that i circled as the most dangerous one in the Sixers quest towards .500. Don't let their record fool you the Grizzlies are a dangerous team. They'll get above .500 soon as their schedule will finally get easier.

Luckily, Mayo is out tonight which leaves the Grizzlies weak bench even weaker, while the Sixers have one of the best benches in the NBA. If they can use that huge advantage they will win easily.

Prediction: Sixers 104 Grizzlies 98

Whether or not Mayo plays is kind of irrelevant to me - sixers can stop them.

They can't stop Zach or Gasol really. Only thing that stops them is the coach ignoring the match ups

However, going to brand early and maybe getting speights in early to put those guys in some sort of defensive trouble would help.

Just pointing something out in terms of the 'starting line up debate' and it not mattering to some.

The Bulls are currently tied with Miami for the second best record in the east, missing Noah and Boozer for significant portions.

Many Bulls fans in various chats have one question

Why is Keith Bogans still starting.

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Jan 28 at 15:09
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I'm too lazy to look it up... but don't lots of teams send out a "starter in name only."

Certain players are better off the bench since it allows the coach to maximize their match-ups. Particularly if the player has an unbalanced game or is a tweener (Lou/Thad.) Some players get tons of starts despite having marginal talent (Mr. Willie Green.)

I think you'd have to define lots of teams.

I guess if Miami doesn't start Mike Miller, they'd fall into this category. The Bulls, as previously mentioned. San Antonio's been doing this forever. I can't really think of any others off the top of my head.

Dallas starts Stevenson
Atlanta starts Bibby
Memphis starts Young/Henry
Indiana starts/started Rush and McRoberts

You can make a case for Sefolosha at OKC and Fisher at LAL.

Milwaukee, well Milwaukee is in a league of itself. Everyone is starting there for a period of time.

And in the end yes there are the Sixers starting Hawes and Meeks.

Dallas is legit, Terry gets the bulk of the minutes there. Bibby is playing 30.4 minutes per game, he's not a nominal starter. Is Indy even starting McRoberts anymore?

I just listed starters that have absolutely no business starting (current or until recently). I wasn't as concerned with the minutes they play.

OK. I mean, that's not the same thing as a starter in name only, though. That implies he's not really a starter for his team, just a placeholder who doesn't play many minutes.

You can go around the league and find dozens of guys who really aren't good enough to be NBA starters, but still start in the NBA. DeMarcus Cousins belongs high on that list.

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Shawn reply to GoSixers on Jan 28 at 15:13
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I always thought Keith Bogans was there for defensive balance, as Rose would handle the ball for the majority of the time.

Listen to this, at the 22:00 mark Henry Abbott talks about Kobe, and really the larger issue that we've been talking about for a while. How the isolation mentality at the end of games is just stupid. It's also in the reading list now.

Since Fredette was mentioned yesterday. Thorn is mentioned in this article.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-fredettenba012811

Based on how involved Rod Thorn was in drafting for New Jersey, does that minimize the role that is played by Dileo?

Hope not

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abc reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 18:14
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The NBA's next Gordon Hayward, or maybe Steve Alford.

Or Adam Morrison

According to Chad Ford, many scouts at that ONE GAME moved Jimmer up from mid 20s to a lottery pick.

Sorry - but that's just asinine to me and makes me question the legitimacy of all those scouts

i think Memphis is just a really bad matchup for the Sixers

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tk76 reply to Mike on Jan 28 at 15:32
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But the reverse can be true. Does Memphis have the athletes and defensive desire to keep the Sixers from running?

Stuck in my mind is when Memphis absolutely destroyed us on the offensive glass, I think it was last season. That can't happen tonight.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 15:39
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But statistically, the Sixers have been one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the league. Which is probably scheme. But at some level scheme breaks down against superior rebounders.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 15:42
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DRR 75%. Good for 1th in the league.

Memphis has an ORR of 27% (7th in the league.) Teams above them: Por, Min, LAC, Sac, LAL.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 15:43
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should read:
Sixers DRR 75%. Good for 11th in the league

1th sounds better.

Pretty much this. Memphis is 6th best offensive rebounding team in the league. Memphis also doesn't turn the ball over a lot. Will the sixers be able to create enough opportunities to run?

Speights really should get the start tonight because of matchups. We really need Speight's strength to matchup with Zbo/Gasol. Hawes DRB% number isn't bad, but when it comes down to it he isn't strong enough to handle either of those two players.

Also Thad shouldn't get many minutes tonight, His minutes should go to Speights tonight. Thad would be a good matchup for us on offense, but who can he guard on defense? he struggles with big 4s like Big Baby, and boris diaw. He also can't guard Rudy gay because of how bad he is on the perimiter. Plus he is a bad rebounder and Memphis is a very good Offensive rebounding team.

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tk76 reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 16:12
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Or if the Sixers go small with Thad Memphis might chose to go small as well. Which would be a win.

If the Sixers can force Memphis into their game then they will likely win. If they have to go big, then Memphis will likely win, since its hard to beat them at their own game.

With Mayo out i don't think we'll see Memphis going small. I'm not familiar with Memphis's Rotations, but seeing as Z-bo and gasol play 36 and 33 mins respectively, I don't think they will go small for an extended period of time. That said, I don't think Thad should get a DNCP, but he shouldn't get 25 minutes in this game as he really should not be on the court at all when Z-Bo/Gasol are on the floor for memphis.

Will Z-Bo make more damage vs. Thad than Thad will vs. him? I'd say the bad matchup goes both ways. Besides i think Thad will be matched up with Darrel Arthur most of the time i guess.

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tk76 reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 16:22
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I'm not so sure. Neither Z-Bo or Gasol are great shot blockers. And that will absolutely abuse either one on the other end. So why no see if we can get Thad to go off against them, and send Jrue, Turner and Iguodala to help crash the boards.

"Neither Z-Bo or Gasol are great shot blockers"

Gasol blocks 1.6 shots per game, Pretty good imo.

1.8/36 minutes is decent, by no means great. Which was the quote.

Of course Jrue (0.4/36 minutes), blocks more shots than Randolph (0.3/36 minutes). So yeah, he's pitiful.

Just thought of this, Thad could actually be useful trying to get one of the two in foul trouble early on, outside of that I don't think he has much use if Memphis isn't going small.

Sixers really need to attack Memphis's guards, that's the only mismatch that favors the sixers, Meeks really should not get many minutes tonight.

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tk76 reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 16:31
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I guess we will see how it plays out. But when going after another mid-level team, I would rather try and force them into your own style instead of changing your rotations to better compete at their game.

the Sixers strength is beating you with athletes. And the Sixers have managed to control the defensive boards well despite playing Thad at the PF for long stretches.

Thad has never dealt with a player like Randolph on the boards.

I think this game is all in Jrue's hands, he really has to abuse Conley, ET would be great to have in tonights game, I don't think Sam Young/Tony Allen can handle ET. 3 position is a wash, Brand vs Gasol is a wash to me. imo it comes down to Containing Z-bo and our guards taking advantage of the mismatch.

The thing on thad getting the 'big men' in trouble. He's not that great of a jump shooter, he's just good at beating his man off the dribble if he plays close - so knowing this - why don't the big men just play off him - force him to eaither shoot from the outside or drive into them and more likeliy get called for charging?

I agree with you, i think that teams haven't fully scouted and game-planned for Thad. To Thad's credit his mid range jumpshot has been better recently.

I wonder if Zach Randolph being a lefty as well as thad, will help Randolph guard him at all.

I predict a win tonight as well. I was worried about losing in Toronto but the Ace of Speights (LOL Doug) came through and the team looked very good overall. If we lose tonight, my guess is it will be because Louis Williams is antsy after going 2 straight games without engineering a 4th quarter collapse through useless isolations.

I like Gay a lot better this year. Partly for the stupid reason that he's crossed the magical 20-point threshold, but also because he's been a lot more efficient this season than previous years. His TS% is a career-best .556, which is surprising given that his usage is actually up. He's hit some big game-winners, had a lot of huge games, and while he'll never become a superstar, I put him right up there with players like Joe Johnson.

I've liked Rudy gay for a while, I thought he was a better play than Iggy going into this season, and now I don't think it's debatable. Iggy would be a much better 3rd option on offense/ Defensive lockdown player on a contender than Rudy Gay, but based on current roles Gay is better than Iggy.

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tk76 reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 16:54
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I think Gay/Iguodala would be a good on the same team. I know both players talked about that this summer.

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Tray reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 16:54
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Isn't Iguodala a 3rd option as we speak? Behind Brand and Jrue?

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 28 at 17:04
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You mean Brand and Lou ;)

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 17:09
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Well, Lou has become the crown prince of the fourth quarter, God knows why, but Jrue's actually taking more shots. It's kind of depressing to realize that Brand, Jrue, Iguodala and Williams are the pecking order. It's kind of Brand to come back, but his leading our team in scoring is reminiscent of the time Denver traded everyone and was left with Juwan Howard to carry them after the trade deadline.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 28 at 17:12
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Score one for the geriatric set.

Brand is leading the team in scoring with a 19.7% usage rate. I'm not sure there is a pecking order, not with this many guys hovering right around 20% USG.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 28 at 17:18
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Name all NBA starters making more than 1 mil per point/game.

I'll start with Brand, Arneas and KG.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 17:19
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Its actually quite a big list.

Simply put Rudy Gay would be the #1 option on the sixers. Iggy isn't the #1 option b/c he's not good enough offensively. Credit to Doug for not trying to force him into that role imo.

Iguodala vs. Gay in each of their 4th and 5th years in the league.

Slight edge to Iguodala in scoring efficiency, in both seasons, pretty much even on the boards. Two big differences in their games, Iguodala was an elite defender, Gay wasn't, and Iguodala was an elite playmaker at the position, Gay isn't even close.

Have you seen a lot of 'rudy gay is grossly over paid' articles? I know I haven't

What's the point of comparing Rudy's 4th and 5th seasons to Iguodalas 4th and 5th season? Gay is 2 years younger, so if anything he can still improve. Yes Iguodala is a much better defender, but its my preference to have an offensive player over a lockdown defender who struggles offensiely. Iguodala's playmaking ability is superfluous imo. He isn't required to create plays. The sixers don't need his playmaking ability and most teams wouldn't ask him to create.

Gay is a much better fit for the sixers for various reasons, He brings the scoring the sixers need, the dropoff in Playmaking and defense can easily be recooped by playing Evan Turner alongside Gay. The only teams that would prefer Iguodala over Gay imo, are teams that would only need him for his defense aka the contenders in the league.

My point is that you're overstated the difference between Gay and Iguodala on the offensive end. Gay takes a couple more shots than Iguodala did at that point of his career to score a couple more points. I mean, if you want to be technical about it, Iguodala's been better than Gay even this season.

Swap in Gay for Iguodala and you'd get a guy who does nothing to make anyone else better, scores a couple more points on a couple more shots, and costs you a handful of points on the other end, per game. Oh, and he's signed for longer and making more money than Iguodala as well.

and the reason I used Iguodala's fourth and fifth years is that Iguodala was a BETTER scorer on top of being a much better overall player at the point in his career Gay's at right now, and people (probably you, but I don't have proof) did nothing but complain that he wasn't "the man." Now you're trying to tell me Gay's a better player when he's a poor man's version of what Iguodala was, and a poor man's version of what Iguodala is right now, and he's more expensive. It's silly. We've already got a guy that does what Gay does, I'm just hoping someone isn't dumb enough to give him a max extension like Memphis was with Gay.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 18:13
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Also, aren't they kind of tied right now in advanced stats? I think their win shares per 48 are identical. You can't exactly deny that at least this season, Gay is doing way more on offense, and doing that way more more efficiently. I mean, he's even a 41% shooter from three now. Pulling out Iguodala's 5th season seems like cherry-picking to me, given that Iguodala isn't producing like he did back then. With way less usage, his efficiency has declined, and not to be picayune but it is kind of odd when your star wing player only hits 66% of his foul shots.

I really don't think I overstated the difference between Gay and Iguodala on the offensive end whatsoever. In fact I think those advanced stats prove he is a much better offensive player, he has a higher TS%, a higher eFG% while taking more shots than Iguodala all while taking 5 more shots per game than Iguodala.

I also think you are overvaluing Iguodalas defense. The NBA is a league where offense is valued more than Defense.

I would Gladly trade Iguodala str8 up for Rudy Gay,with his current 5/82 million contract, right now without any hesitation. You could easily trot out a roster of Jrue/Turner/Gay on offense without any hesitation, and the defensive drop off from Iguodala to Gay isn't that significant on the sixers do to the fact that the sixers can then play a Turner/Gay lineup without any problem whatsoever. Also Rudy Gay is 31 months younger than Iguodala and fits much better with Jrue/Turner's prime.

"The NBA is a league where offense is valued more than Defense."

Now this is ridiculous. Just ask the Suns and their 5 titles...

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 28 at 18:26
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The Suns couldn't play defense at all, but you do need a really solid offense to win. Either a very solid offense and brilliant defense (Boston), or spectacular offense (pretty much everyone else, including the Spurs, who were always super-efficient, though slow).

Of course you need offense too. It's 50-50. But saying that offense is more important than defense in the NBA is kindly put baseless.

I don't consider the Suns a great offensive team btw. Just because they play fast paced and as a result score more they are not what I consider great.

I really believe the NBA is a game where offense is more important, and I'd much rather have a team with above average offensive players that are inept defensively than 5 lockdown defenders that are inept offensively. Obviously it's a loose example, but it's not something that I know how to back up through statistics.

Not to mention that simply describing Iguodala as a player who "struggles" on offense is a gross understatement of what he brings to the table. I think a lot of Philly fans have a hard time looking past PPG and also suffer from confirmation bias ("people tend to remember what confirms their beliefs and forget what does not").

And to say that Iguodala's playmaking is superfluous when he's the best passing forward in the NBA this year (only LeBron averages more assists but LeBron has almost twice the turnover rate and a much lower assist-to-bad-pass ratio) and this year the best passer on the Sixers period is a dubious argument at best.

I also think that this whole entire blog looks past the fact that PPG is a very relavent statistic and one that has to be taken into consideration. You cannot just devalue it.

Also Rudy Gay is scoring much more efficiently 20.6 ppg than Iguodala is scoring his 14 ppg.

What is "much more"? I see Gay at 55.6 TS% (career high) and Iguodala at 53.3 TS% (career low, while suffering from an injury). I'd be willing to wager that at season's end, barring further injury troubles from Iguodala, Iguodala's TS% will be the same as or higher than Gay's.

By the way, Gay is having a good year defensively by all measures, so I actually agree that the dropoff defensively from Iguodala to Gay wouldn't be that great, but I disagree strongly on the assessment of their relative offensive impacts.

But, again, role needs to be taken into context. Gay is being asked to create a lot more offense, and he's still doing so more efficiently. Running a 55.6% ts% with a 23.2% usage is significantly better than running at 53.3% ts% with an 18.6% usage, especially when you consider that 56.2% of Iguodala's buckets are assisted, compared to only 40.2% for Gay's.

IMO Gay's producing a considerable amount more and doing so more efficiently than Iguodala if Andre were asked to perform that role.

BTW, I think Andre's a better play. I'm just talking about the difference on offensive productivity this year.

IMO Gay's producing a considerable amount more and doing so more efficiently than Iguodala if Andre were asked to perform that role.

This is a good point, but no good coach would ask Iguodala to fill the role that Gay is playing for Memphis right now. Used properly (and healthy), Iguodala put up a 56% TS% in 08-09 with 22% usage rate, so he's capable of the type of season that Gay is having this year. I might be in the minority, but I see no reason why Iguodala couldn't approach those numbers again.

I said that in the context of how they were playing this year.

Alright. Much more might be an overstatement. But when i consider that he is putting up a better TS% while taking 56 more shots per game I think it's much more impressive.

And I really disagree with you about the offense, the sixers would have a #1 scorer, something that I think would help this team overall. I also think Gay/Turner would be a much better combination that would lead to better offense than Turner/Iguodala. I Also think that Gay would take over late game scenarios which would relieve Lou of his duties, making this team much better offensively. I would be shocked if this would put up less than 97.4 ppg with Gay. I really think the Gay/Iguodala exchange would help the sixers point differential going forward.

Meant to say 5-6, not 56 more shots.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 28 at 18:06
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Well, he makes people better by commanding defensive attention, something that Iguodala doesn't do to a great extent. There was a very interesting post by Nate Silver, the baseball reference guy, at the New York Times, showing that virtually everyone who's ever played with Melo was substantially more efficient alongside him than when they played on other teams. I believe the two exceptions were Voshon Lenard and Marcus Camby. One guy who suddenly became an efficient player playing with Melo was, of course, Iverson.

So - a lot of memphis box scores tell you that he commands defensive attention that Iguodala doesn't or are you just making things up again?

This is wrong on so many levels.

1) Iguodala doesn't struggle offensively. He's just average in terms of shooting.
2) A players playmaking ability can never be superfluous.
3) More than half the teams in the NBA would let Iguodala create.

If you have playmkers like Jrue and Turner already on your team, then Iguodala's playmaking ability isn't worth that much.

Assist to bad pass ratios this year: Iguodala 6.3, Jrue 4.0, Turner 3.3. They are NOT equivalent as passers. If you replace Iguodala with Gay (who doesn't do any passing) and let Jrue and Turner do more of the passing, you'd probably wind up with 2-3 more lost possessions per game (i.e., good passes turning into turnovers), more than offsetting the marginal improvement in offensive efficiency going from Iguodala to Gay.

The hope with Jrue/Turner would be that they improve that aspect of their game, seeing as they are still developing....

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tk76 reply to Statman on Jan 28 at 18:19
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But over the next few years, won't Jrue and Turner continue to improve as passers? You don't make a move for today, but for the team they are building for.

The only reason I would turn down a Gay/Iguodala swap is that Gay has a terrible contract. But otherwise I would do the trade for fit reasons.

Okay, you just summarized what I said more quickly and succinctly ;-)

I guess i did :)

Actually, the Thad vs. Gay comps favor Thad, too.

Until you realize that Thad and Gays game are entirely different and there is no reason to even compare the two. Thad plays 4 on offense, Gay plays the 3.

I don't think Thad would be able to maintain this kind of efficiency or per minute productivity if asked to play 40 minutes per night, regardless of matchup.

Can someone explain the meaning of this quote, from this article?

One person who is taking notice of Holiday's play on both sides of the ball is head coach Doug Collins, who knows a thing or two about quality point guards having coached Joe Dumars in Detroit.

How does coaching an old shooting guard in Detroit have any relevance at all?

Bad article. Jrue's season is far from a Breakout imo, his numbers are a little bit better than his per 36 mins last year. I really like Doug's quote though.

Yeah, this is off base. the important numbers are pretty much all up, and he's maintaining efficiency with a big jump in usage rate. Most notable, FTA up, AST up, TOV down. That's a jump. Look at the advanced numbers.

I can't tell if you are saying i'm wrong and it is a breakout season or if the article is wrong.

It simply comes down to the definition of a breakout year. I consider a breakout year taking a significant leap and I don't consider Jrue's current season to be that. The only numbers that have gone up are Assists and Turnover%. He's scoring less efficiently than he did last year.

Question about Jrue's Assist%, I'm not really stating it as fact since i didn't watch enough Eddie Jordan system Jrue Holiday. could his Assist % simply have gone up by 30% just because he's playing under a competent offensive system? Would his Assist% really only be 24% had Doug Collins coached the sixers last year? I would have to assume that the fact that many players he is playing with this year are playing much better than they did last year increases his Assist%. i don't think that his jump in Assist Ratio is soley because of improvement, i think last years # was actually lower than it should of been because of the system, as well as Brand/Thad not being as effective.

That said I'm not complaining about Jrue's season, I just don't consider it breakout.

I guess Jrue's just no Rudy Gay to you.

heh, i'm not even knocking Jrue, i just don't consider his current season "breakout".

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tk76 reply to Jason on Jan 28 at 18:11
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The numbers they look at for breakout are points and assists. And both are way up from last year.

Yeah but so are his minutes. is ppg per 36 is up 2.7, but he's also averaging 2.3 more shots this year... His assists are up 1.1 per 36 though, i don't consider going from 5.7 to 6.8 per 36 as breakout.

[Impression]Also he's not even the best passer on this team yo! His good pass to bad pass ratio is only 4:1. Sixers should trade Jrue, since he's not as good as Iguodala, and make Iguodala their Point guard!!!!!!!!!!!!! [/Impression]

That entire article was terrible.

"While he doesn’t carry MVP credentials like Rose or take over games like Paul, the UCLA alum"

Getting his degree in one year would be truly amazing.

"Just don’t expect Holiday, himself, to put any emphasis on his standing among the young floor generals."

And I thought I,loved,commas.

"that would be plain to see for anyone who happened to catch Philadelphia’s recent road wins against Williams’ Jazz and Steve Nash’s Suns"

you know, except that both of those games were at home.

"The 17th over-all pick in 2009"

and

"could wind up being the reason that the Philadelphia 76ers return to the play-offs this season."

huh ? who the F hyphen-ates those words ?

That entire thing just,made, my head-hurt.

C'mon, Derek, dont y-think your bein' a bit, you-know, anal-retentive about all-this?

I read that in a Sarah Palin voice.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 18:34
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And this guy is clearly the 1th best writer at hoopsaddict.

I heard a rumor that they're about to get a eleventy million dollar investment from some company


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