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Doug Collins Confidence Meter

Doug has done what I expected with this team except with two players. Iguodala and Hawes.

I would have bet my kidney that he would have Iggy playing at an All -Star level this year. I don't know if you can blame Iggy's injury, not enough talent or Collins being late to figure out where to play him but I'm totally disappointed with Iggy's numbers.

I didn't expect much of Hawes except consistency. If Collins could find a way to motivate Hawes this team would be in much better shape in half court offense.

The record is about where I expect but I'm dissapointed that it's not 5-7 games better if that makes sence.

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tk76 reply to KellyDad on Feb 1 at 10:35
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What happened to the nicer avatar?

I'm fairly satisfied with the job Collins has done thus far. It's nice watching the team knowing that at least strategy wise the Sixers are at worst on par with the opponent. I'd even say by the end of the year he will be in the running for coach of the year (he won't win it but he will be top5).

As for what he's done with the players and the rotations he's actually surprised me in a positive way. Collins is the type of coach who is tough on young players especially rookies. Going into the year i expected heavy minutes for guys like Nocioni and Battie and some rotation minutes for Kapono and Songaila. I'm pleasantly surprised to see all of them getting DNP CDs of late. The fact that Collins has the team headed for the playoffs on the backs on the youngsters (almost exclusively) is amazing.

We are fans so it's expected to be biased in many ways and to bash him for some weird (at least to us) decisions, but all in all he's done pretty well with most of the players getting them in position to learn and succeed. He's done a better than expected job with Holiday, Young and Meeks and has rejuvenated Brand. He's probably been tougher than he should be on Turner and Speights and he hasn't given them enough of a chance but they are young and that should be expected in a way. Most coaches would probably do the same unless told by the front office (aka the Boss) to do otherwise.
I also think Iguodala is playing better too and more importantly he is being utilized better than before. If it wasn't for the injury and his perennial better play in the second half of the season he probably would've been an allstar.
Basically the only guys who have underperformed are Hawes and Lou. Somehow even a good motivator like Collins can't light a fire under Hawes even a contract year. That's unbelievable. As for Lou he's playing like his usual self for the most part, but has been given too much ball handling responsabilities. He really needs to be the SG of the team when coming of the bench and not the offense initiator. As soon as Doug figures that out the sixers will be in much better shape.

All in all, while it could've been better i'm quite satisfied with the job he has done so i gave him an 8. Hopefully he can get to a 9 by the end of the year.

I'm pleased with his job, but I'm giving him a 7 because of being unable to close games and mantain leads. Clearly he is trying to win now, and we lost too many of those games

I'm about were Xsago is. I think he's done an impressive job (once he got his feet under him:)

Coaches have a number of responsibilities (in no particular order):

1. Represent the franchise/public face:
*A: He was born for this and he chose and loves Philly.)

2. Put them in a position to win games. People downplay this because the team is developing, but it is a big part of his job.
*B: Rough starts and some odd late game choices (Lou and more Lou.) But he's had to find a different way to win nightly with a young squad. Most good teams have stars the can count on nightly to carry the load. the Sixers have to ride the hot hand on a given night. It might make them harder to game-plan against, but it makes things tougher for Collins. Iguodala would bring consistency but for his injury. And Brand has brought consistency- which is a new development.

3. Develop players:
*B+: It's a work in progress. But he really has put most of his players in positions to maximize and enhance their skills. A+ with Thad and Brand. And he has torn down and built back up guys like Speights and Turner. Even bit players like Battie and Meeks have been put in positions to maximize their games. And that's pretty much all you can ask for when dealing with limited role player.

Jrue is the only question mark (and he is one of the 2 key guys to develop.) But I do think Jrue is learning a ton this year and internalizing the coach- which is the key to being a PG. He has not gotten ideal opportunities 100% of the time he is on the floor- but he has played a ton of minutes, many of which in the role of true PG. So if Jrue is your only priority, then maybe Collins has missed some chances. But considering Collins wants to balance a bunch of things (other players, winning and Jrue) I think he has done a reasonable job with Jrue. But the jury is out on that one.

Sixers games are fun to watch again this year. The team is playing hard, and other than the occasional Lou Will chuck-a-thon, they have a solid game plan on both ends of the floor. Collins turned the team from a joke to respectable within a year without a major influx of talent, so I have to give him props for that. It would have been nice to see what he could have done with a Sammy D manning the 5 instead of Hawes.*

* Aside: How do you know Ed Stefanski is a terrible GM? He has you pining for the halcyon days of Sam Dalembert.

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tk76 reply to zfg on Feb 1 at 8:42
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"How do you know Ed Stefanski is a terrible GM?"

Oh let me count the ways...

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bebopdeluxe on Feb 1 at 8:45
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I gave him an 8...I was pushing for him to get the job, and the strong points that Brian pointed out above are the reasons why I wanted him. Top-shelf basketball knowledge. Focus on fundamentals. Player devcelopment. He gets high marks there from me.

My only concerns right now are the obsession with Lou at the end of the game, and the sacrificing of developing assets like Speights and J/T/I for being the 6th seed...however, I also recognize that for the guys who want to win now (like Iguodala and Brand), he has to try to win games, and there is value in playoff experience (as long as it is with a stable coaching staff that can use those experiences to grow the team).

I also love, love, LOVE Collins' pressers. The man is MADE to coach in Philly. Passion out the ying-yang.

Story: Iguodala's skills translate to expanded role:

http://ow.ly/3O2cW

I'd like to point out another thing he's done well. A coach is like a manager of small company. In order to succeed he needs to find good capable people to work with him and help him. Collins has found a coaching staff that is really good and all of them are knowledgeable and do their job very well.

So does this mean Iguodala will be given the "Grant Hill" role for Collins?

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 10:50
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Sure sounds like it.

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tk76 reply to bebopdeluxe on Feb 1 at 11:04
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Can you name the PG who played alongside Hill under Collins?

A: A very marginalized Lindsay Hunter (for good reason.)

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 11:05
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So by the transitive property of illogical conclusions...

Collins will force Jrue into a "Lindsay Hunter role."

I just dont like the way he handles the 4th quarter of the game. Lou just eats the clock and than takes the shot. Lets get some ball movement or something.

1 - I'm afraid he's going to leave the team in worse shape than he found it. Impossible Only Eddie Jordan could leave a team in worst shape OK maybe Isiah Thomas as well.

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tk76 reply to Marcus on Feb 1 at 11:13
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Worse than mediocre with middling talent and overburdened by big ticket, long term contracts to non-stars?

I gave him a 10 for a couple of reasons

1. I love the fact that Collins does not play mind games with his players like EFJ. He also doesn't call them out in the press. In fact, it's been the opposite; constructive criticism and effusive praise for everyone.

2. His track record with younger players tells me that the Jrue situation is not going to be a problem. His great communication skills and the player's positive body language are right where they need to be.

3. Flexibility. Again, unlike EFJ, his coaching philosophy has been about creating a system which brings out the best in his players. Thad and Turner have both benefited from this kind of approach. Can you imagine EFJ coaching Turner?!

4. He's playing the young guys but he's also passionate about winning. Put me in the 'a winning atmosphere is important' camp.

5. The Lou iso's are frustrating, but I think it's more of a stage in the evolution of the team than a final solution. Having Hawes and Meeks in the starting lineup is a similar situation IMO.

Call me a Collins apologist, but I'm very happy with the work he's done so far.

He doesn't play Kapono. That alone makes him at least a 6-7.

He seems to be moving away from Nocioni.

He seems to be moving away from Hawes.

Thad is productive for the first time in years.

All that makes him a 9 in my book.

And preseason I was like a 3 because of the Kapono talk.

Thad is productive for the first time in years.

Ok, this has to stop.

It's not years, it's year

One year of non productivity

I believe Collins praise is partially out of hand because of how terrible Eddie Jordan was

Thad took a big step back in his second season under Cheeks and DiLeo as well.

Was still productive in his second year - but teams were ready for him more I believe. Rookie year no one expected him.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/y/youngth01.html

Is he improved this year - absolutely - is it after 'years' of 'non productivity' - no - it's after one completely horrible year under a horrible coach.

A fourth year NBA player SHOULD show improvement over previous season...the blip is last year

Again, let's not give Collins credit for being a miracle worker compared to last year - the sixers were torpedeoed last year for a god awful coach

giving a guy a 10 means he's doing a perfect job - collins isn't doing a perfect job in my opinion and I believe anyone who thinks he is ignores the flaws

IMO Thad is better than ever. Yes last year was an aberration, but it's not like he plays the same way he's been playing the first two seasons of his career. This is his best year ever.

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tk76 reply to Xsago on Feb 1 at 12:31
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Yeah, this year they are "running plays" for Thad. 2 years ago "plays" made Thad's head hurt and he contributed by turning garbage into gold and streaking down the court on the fast break.

How much is that collins and how much is that thad being 22 and the natural evolution of his game and his drive for a contract

He's still weak on the glass and the defensive end, but he's real good at scoring points - which is good cause the sixers don't have enough players who score but do little else

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Joe reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 12:54
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Thad's play doesn't hurt my ratings of Collins. That is where I stand on it at least. A lot of guys are performing better than they did last year. It isn't something to be completely ignored, though I'm hesistant to give Collins much credit.

I just like that Kapono doesn't play really. He is such a bad player.

I just like that Kapono doesn't play really. He is such a bad player.

And so is Nocioni and Hawes - he rode Nocioni a lot early in the season long after he should have and he still plays Hawes too much (in my opinion) when while neither are good options, Speights is the better of the two and the 'honorific' of starter should be given to him even though it doesnt' really mean much

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Joe reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 12:54
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Thad was much worse his 2nd year.

He wasn't non productive - he was productive - just not as productive as his first year (which isn't a big surprise as teams have more film on him and can scout his very obvious weaknesses)

Productive for the first time in years is a bit hyperbolic for a guy only in his fourth year.

Last year his numbers were awful - but the sixers were awful - I think the hyperbole and the over effusive praise of what Collins has actually accomplished is out of hand because people have short memories

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Joe reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 13:08
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For a SF he was productive. Unfortunately, he played 2/3 of his time at PF. He was a decently below average player in my opinion during that season and took a major step back.

He was like Willie green last year. He isn't killing you, but he isn't helping you.

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deepsixersuede on Feb 1 at 12:16
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I gave him an 8 but am pleasantly surprised with how he has mellowed a bit, with days off and a willingness to bite his tongue at times, preferring a teaching moment over an ass-ripping.

It isn't the same N.B.A. he coached in before which makes me wonder how Sloan and his unzenlike approach still works.

Question, with this small sample size where would you guys rank him league wise? Top 5, top 10?

I don't know about leaguewide, but he's done at least as good as the precious 6 Sixers coaches IMO.

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deepsixersuede reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 12:43
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Look at our p.f. position, he has turned it into a team strength which makes me wonder if Sam was here could we win 45 to 50 games this year. What position, with Sam, are we weak at, including our bench.

I'm not giving Collins credit for Elton Brand. That's just silly.

He was injured and playing for an idiot.

Any half assed coach could have gotten this kind of production from a healthy Elton Brand

The sixers didn't have a half assed coach last year

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 12:53
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I'm giving him some credit. EB in his spots is effective. EB in the wrong spots is exposed.

Collins puts him 100% in the right spots. With EJ it was 100% the wrong spots. With Cheeks and DiLeo they never had much of a chance to use of disuse. But you can still give a guy credit for putting a guy in the right spots.

Was Mike Dunleavy a good coach for using Elton Brand correctly? No - it was just common sense.

Jordan used him terribly and no one else got to use him at all really, so Elton Brand is just being Elton Brand, he's still at a pretty lower output compared to the rest of his career when he was healthy and playing for a non idiot coach.

Part of that is age sure (he's 32 next month folks) but I'm not going to praise collins for something that wouldn't be praise worthy so much if eddie jordan wasn't, you know, a moron

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 13:10
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I gave him "some credit" for using Brand correctly. I did not say that this fact alone qualifies him as a "good coach." So don't contradict what I did not say.

I listed a number of reasons why I feel he has done a good job in my original post. Using Brand and other players correctly was a reason I think he has done well. And there are things that open him to criticism.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 13:12
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Sorry, more confrontational tone than I was looking to project.

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 12:53
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I give him more credit with Thad than Elton, but overall he seems to get a lot, according to matchups, from the 4 spot.

Could Thibodeax have been a better choice here? He has Chicago, minus a defensive p.g. and Noa playing good defensively. He would be my coach of the year now.

He's not better than Phil Jacskon, or Poppovich, or Sloan, I think Thibodeau has done a great job in Chicago, I don't think he's as good as rick carlisle

So there's five names without taking a look at each roster coach :)

So no - I don't think he's top 5

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 12:46
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I agree, maybe top 10 at best.

Top 5 overall probably not but top 5 this year in the COY award consideration by the end of the season is more than possible.

Aside from Thibodeau and Popovich he's done as good a job as any this year. Monty Williams and Carlisle round up the top 5.

Aside from Thibodeau and Popovich he's done as good a job as any this year.

If the sixers overall are not any better (or worse) than they were under cheeks or cheeks dileo is he still doing a top 5 job?

You mean the Cheeks Dileo teams that got 40 wins with veterans such as Andre Miller and Sam Dalambert? Yes he is doing a top 5 job.

And i'm guy that thought Dileo did a pretty good job (Cheeks not so much).

Voted 9.. not perfect but still consider it a luxury to have him

I'm pleased with Collins' performance.

I feel that he's seen success in several key areas:

1) He's getting production from Brand. Getting something from that investment is important and one of Eddie Jordan's biggest failures.
2) I'm fine with handling of the young players.
3) He has restored some credibility to the organization, which had progressed to Barnum & Bailey levels of absurdity. It appears that they're operating at (at least) the minimum stardard for a non-Clippers level franchise.

Put me at an 8

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 13:13
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Collins on Iguodala: "He's the cornerstone to what we're building."

It's really interesting how they've suddenly started appreciating Iguodala.

I kinda get the feeling that they are building up his price and they are planning to showcase him in the next few games (thus the point forward role + go to guy). I'm probably wrong but it's weird how noone mentioned Iguodala all season long (except in trade talks) and suddenly every single day someone has something positive to say about him.

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tk76 reply to Xsago on Feb 1 at 13:29
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No, I think they decided to not trade him... and they are rationalizing it to themselves and others.

Damn - thanks for ruining the moment :)

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Tray reply to Xsago on Feb 1 at 15:08
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I agree that the sudden discovery that Iguodala can pass is either suspicious or really laughable.

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tk76 reply to Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 13:28
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"Cornerstone"?

That smells to much of "franchise player" to me.

Key piece... Building block... maybe eve lych pin would be suitable. But he is not a cornerstone of any team that has contending aspirations. And I say that not to be critical. But only a few players are "cornerstone" IMO.

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deepsixersuede reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 13:42
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If he continues to play like he did this past week, how many players are better leaguewide?

That doesn't make him a franchise guy.

Not every team has a franchise guy. Danny Granger is the best player on the Pacers - not really a franchise guy, Devin Harris on the Nets, the Warriors don't really have a franchise guy, neither do the Cavs, Raptors, and many others.

Some teams have more than one franchise guy - Lakers have at least 2 - Heat have 2 - Spurs have 3 though one is getting kind of old.

It's an important distinction.

Iguodala has been the 'corner stone' and best player on the sixers for a while now - it's just the franchise preferred to ignore it.

Iguodala didn't suddenly develop these talents - he's always had them and maybe Collins should be given credit for finally recognizing them (as opposed to giving him credit for Elton Brand :) )

How many teams are building towards being contenders (or are contenders.)

I'd say all this teams have a better "cornerstones."

Lebron/Wade
Kobe
Duncan
Rose
KG/PP
Deron
Durant
Dirk

In their primes, much better "corbnerstones." Some are fading.

If we're talking better cornerstones - I'd add the clippers to the list too personally.

Having a big man like Griffin seems to be is huge

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 14:26
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My main point is have we seen the "best" Iggy and has he seen his best supporting cast yet. We may have a 50 win cornerstone here if built around the right way.

The best running mate has been Miller and now Jrue, Turner and Elton may reach Miller"s level. Is it a given he can"t be right below the top five currently in or reaching their prime?

I wonder if Thorn and Collins are willing to build around him and Turner was their best option of giving him a scorer that he hasn't had.

They're a team on pace to win 36 games - with holes at numerous positions - starting 2 guys who don't deserve to be in rotations on most teams and a bench full of one dimensional scorerrs.

So no - I don't think they're 'close' to a 50 win team.

More importantly, regardless of win total, I don't think they're close to being able to take out any of the top 4 eastern conference teams in the first round. (Orlando, MIami, Chicago, Boston)

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 14:37
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I agree they have one major hole, Turner should fill the 2nd one. My point is Iggy seems very close to Melo, Bosh and Griffin because he seems to affect a game as much as them on both ends. Griffin reminds me of Boozer, a one end player.
I wasn't saying this is a fifty win team, but that Iggy could be the best player on a fifty win team, in my opinion, that is why I can't find fault in building around him.

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 14:40
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Gotta say, if I'm Boston I do not want any part of the Sixers in the first round. Those games have been wars recently. Not saying they would win, but Boston would rather play the Knicks or other team in the playoffs. Same goes for Chicago and Orlando, the Sixers showed they can compete with them.Those teams are much worse than the teams the Sixers lost to in the playoffs.

Miami would be real ugly IMO.

Kendrick Perkins - 0 games against the sixers

Plus come playoff time - the celtics cheap shot defense gets away with more and KG can be a bigger bitch and still not get in any trouble

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 14:54
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I feel pretty darn confident Iguodala would put the shackles on Pierce for an entire series. That's gotta be at least a game win right there and will keep things much closer every night. I think they could seriously compete with them if Jrue plays good ball.

Boston really got off to a hot start last playoffs. That might be key that they get out quick again. The Sixers have the best chance of making them pay for playing their team.

I feel pretty darn confident Iguodala would put the shackles on Pierce for an entire series.

Paul Pierce Boston Celtics - Super Star

Andre Iguodala - not so much super star

Who do you think is getting screwed over by the refs come playoff time?

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 17:07
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Slightly fatalist outlook.

Or, you know, someone who pays attention to history.

Fatalist or not - who is more likely to be favored in the nba playoffs by refs who change the way they call the games come playoff time - celtics 'superstars' or sixers 'almost stars'?

It's a star driven league - the celtics have '4' - the sixers have zero

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 17:20
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Eh, I mean Pierce is good at getting calls but he seems to be the one more in foul trouble during the regular season matchups. Lost in Iguodala's defense is his ability to not foul. He averages less than 2 a game and I would wager a lot of those are good hard fouls to prevent FTs too. I don't think the refs would even be able to foul him out or anything even if they wanted to.

ierce is good at getting calls but he seems to be the one more in foul trouble during the regular season matchups.

Yeah, and that's great and all, but the playoffs are called differently than the regular season.

Typically, they let them play more in the playoffs. Also, defensive superstars, like Artest, also get the benefit of the doubt on the defensive end. I think Iguodala is either at that level, or approaching it. There's no reason to think Pierce is suddenly going to be able to score efficiently against Iguodala just because it's the playoffs.

I think perception matters more than reality in the playoffs and the perception is not that Iguodala is a 'super star' defnder unti folks like ESPN / ABC actually NOTICE that he's a super star defender

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 18:11
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If perception mattered more than reality in the playoffs, LeBron James would have two rings.

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 22:05
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Iguodala may have been given super star defender status as a result of his performance in the Olympics.

Small thing - but Jrue did it too - it wasn't the olympics, it was the worlds, Iguodala might not make the olymipic squad if everyone shows up.

I think his performance this summer opened eyes but I don't believe it had that much impact

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 17:20
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So back when the Hawks' almost-stars beat the Celtics' stars, do you think that refereeing prevented the Hawks from going over the top? I think Boston's a better team than any team they'll face, except for the Lakers should they get their act together, and that officiating will have nothing to do with winning the series they'll win.

Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and sadly even Mike Bibby have a higher 'q' rating than the sixers players.

Not to mention - I don't think the sixers could beat the hawks in a 7 game series either

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 17:51
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You know, the refs actually do have to call a series as it's being played. They don't make up their minds beforehand what's gonna happen post-Donaghy. Even if they would want to call it one sided (I'm not sure this is true. Have the Sixers ever been royally screwed by refs the last two appearances?), there is more of a context than "Q rating." They need to actually watch the game and call it.

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 13:37
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Video: Holiday on playing more off the ball and working to improve his ball-handling:

http://ow.ly/3OhPi

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tk76 reply to Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 17:24
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Classy kid.

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 13:57
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Video: Iguodala on his expanded role:

http://ow.ly/3OiIi

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tk76 reply to Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 17:40
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http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/sixers

Good interview of Iguodala yesterday by Dei. He talks about "being Jrue's biggest fan."

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 14:16
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Video: Collins on Iguodala being 'the cornerstone to what we're building" and the importance of this week:

http://ow.ly/3Ojqu

two road games against teams with winning records at home (that's right folks, after the egg denver laid, the nets are 12-11 at home)

I could see the sixers being 1-2 this week easy

Anyone care go guess why DeAndre Jordan isn't on this list?

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Tray reply to Brian on Feb 1 at 15:10
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What list.

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Tray reply to Brian on Feb 1 at 15:19
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So do you actually think it's worth it to pay for this stuff? I mean, it's a shame they put their one informative writer, Hollinger, behind a pay wall, but he's not the only statistically informed NBA writer in the world.

For me, it's worth it. I read a ton of crap every day, including their rumor mill. There are at least a couple stories a day I wouldn't be able to read if I didn't have it. I'm kind of a junky, though. Most people could get by w/out it, I'm sure.

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Charlie H reply to Brian on Feb 1 at 20:33
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Fine by me cuz I hate even going to that site. It's pretty much a must-have for you, I would think. Very helpful having the rumors on here, I don't have to check anywhere else. I do go to hoopshype every couple a days.

Brian

THe hoopshype.com rumor page is much more complete - updated more frequently - and honestly - I've never read a 'rumor' on the ESPN site that wasn't also through hoopshype.

I really only look at the chats and some of the advanced numbers in basketball (their insider baseball stuff is much better)

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tk76 reply to Tray on Feb 1 at 17:52
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Get in on one of the cheap ESPN the Mag deals and you can get insider for 3$ a year.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Feb 1 at 21:06
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I hate that magazine. I used to get it with Insider when I paid for Insider, and just reading it made me feel stupider.

Well they do have a 'digital' edition now so so you can just delete the email and stop feeling more stupid.

I can say that on the web updates, I tend to avoid quoting insider articles as I feel that if ESPN wants people to pay for it - presenting it for free violates their copyrights (i know others don't feel that way - I do though)

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Old School Sixer Fan reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 22:33
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I got the magazine for Continental air miles (essentially free since I don't fly Continental much). That gave me Insider for free. Its worth free.

Cause he was a second round pick?

Im impressed that thad is 5th

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 15:34
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Then that is odd, because I feel like at least half the teams in the league would rather sign Jordan than Thad.

If Jordan isn't on the list because he's a second round pick - maybe that's why - or maybe landry is a second round pick

It's Chad Ford - I don't hold very high regard for Chad Ford - he may just have forgotten that Jordan is a free agent

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 16:45
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You mean Landry isn't there either?

No - he is there - when i said 'maybe it's cause jordan is a second rounder' - i hadn't looked at the list yet.

Landry was a second round pick - in 2007

Deandre Jordan was a second round pick in 2008

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 16:55
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In any event, Chad Ford was high on Jordan back in the day. It was the actual evaluators who weren't so sure.

I got to thinking, IF the Sixers continue to play pretty well and make the playoffs, are they better equipped this time around? I would actually say yes, acknowledging the huge dropoff from Dalembert to Hawes/Speights. A few reasons:

1. We have a healthy and pretty damn good Elton Brand for the first time. He showed pretty well in his first playoff go around, didn't he? Our starting PF for those last two series? Thaddeus Young. Now he's a scorer off the bench so that's an upgrade.

2. Collins' personnel decisions drive me crazy at times, but he's the best coach we've have recently. I'd love to see what he could do in between games in the playoffs.

3. Iguodala is a weapon defensively. He was in the past, but now he's 2 playoff trips smarter to go along with that.

4. For some reason, even though they still score in transition a lot, I feel as if they are more prepared to play a half court game.

What does everyone else think?

I mostly agree. Although to be fair if they do make the playoffs this will also be the youngest of the recent playoff teams that we are comparing this team to. Youth is going to hurt in the playoffs. A lot. Even the highest caliber of young players usually struggle in the playoffs when they are young (e.g. Durant last year vs Artest and the Lakers)

It really depends on who they play, but overall, I'd say they'd probably have a little better chance. Mostly because of Collins. Personnel-wise, I think they aren't as good w/out Miller and Dalembert, unless Jrue and/or Turner really thrives in the playoffs.

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Rich reply to Brian on Feb 1 at 15:48
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It's weird, personnel wise they are worse in places and better off in others. The center and PG (though Jrue certainly could play at Miller's level), but a huge upgrade at PF and moving Thad to the bench. I think Thad would be huge in a playoff series as the energy guy off the bench. If Turner and Speights give you anything (and really anything), the bench is markedly better than 2 years ago.

Donyell Marshall, Theo Ratliff, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey- It's hard to figure how those series went six games.

Are they younger though? I guess the big wild card and person that you are referring to is Jrue. I would think how hard they push a team falls on his shoulders, so that's something that might hurt the team because he might struggle. That doesn't always happen though, Derrick Rose did a nice job in his first series.

Meeks and Hawes would likely struggle, but anything you are getting from them is a bonus.

Brand is older and has experience though. Iguodala, Lou, and Thad are all older.

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Rich reply to Rich on Feb 1 at 15:41
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That was meant as a reply to Xsago.

Well lets put it to the test, shall we?

Age of rotation players in 2008-2009
- starters: 32, 27, 24, 20, 27
- bench: 22, 21, 28, 27, 35
(Brand of course is not included cause ha wasn't there for the playoffs)
average age: 26.3

Age of rotation players in 2010-2011
- starters: 20, 23, 26, 31, 22
- bench: 24, 22, 22, 23, 31
average age: 24.4

Those are your 10man rotations. So this year's squad is full two years on average younger than the one from the 2008-2009 season. Add to that the fact that Nocioni may not even play come playoff time and the fact that the veterans had far bigger roles on that team than on this one, the difference is actually enormous. It's even more than i thought.

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tk76 reply to Xsago on Feb 1 at 17:50
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Take out Ratliff and Battie (the two old men bigs) and you are talking about 1 year average age difference.

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Rich reply to Xsago on Feb 1 at 18:09
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I guess in age, yes, they are a little younger. Let's dig a little deeper though and go with NBA seasons:

2011:
Starters: 2, 2, 7, 12, 4. Bench: 6, 4, 1, 3, 13. (That's Lou, Thad, Turner, Speights, and Battie). If my math is correct, that's 54 seasons.

2009:
Starters: 10, 6, 5, 2, 7. Bench: 4, 1, 5, 14, 14 (That's Lou, Speights, Ivey, Marshall, and Ratliff). Again, 68 seasons.

Take away the two vets at the end of the bench who played really spot minutes in 09 and it's a lot closer. If you look at the 8 man rotations, they are very similar, and in four cases (AI9, Speights, Thad and Lou) they are two years older.

It's not like it's a competition to see what team is older, but many core players are older. I guess that's what I meant.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-11-12

Complete list of 2011 and 2012 (current CBA) free agents by team - without any of Chad Ford 'commentary'

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 17:07
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If Collins can get production from our current center crop, the unrestricted 2011 bigs that can be gotten cheaply could really help the sixers defense.

What if, besides our draft pick we add either Turiaf or Fasenko and keep this group together, minus Hawes.

I love turiaf, but he's a little injry prone this year and a bench guy, not a quality offensive piece.

As for Fesenko - All I Know about him is HOllinger or Thorpe was always real high on him and he accomplished very little.

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johnrosz on Feb 1 at 16:07
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Doug is the man. When you step back and realize that the anchor of his defense is Spencer Hawes, he's done an incredible job.

I think Doug has done a fair job, and agree with most of your thoughts. When the Sixers were looking for a coach I was hoping they would get a young coach, maybe try to pul a diamond in the rought, one that would grow with the team.
When they got Collins I feared he would hold the young players back - which he has, to some extent.

I think he has done a GREAT job in getting the team prepared, understanding their roles and keeping their focus. And has definitively turned the defense around. There are not many coaches out there that could get this team where they are now, specially after a 3-13 start.

That said:
1) Collins did rely a bunch on some players that had no business in playing (Nocioni, Hawes, Lou sometimes), although he has been better lately.

2) He has this system for rewarding/punishing players, but where is Spencer Hawes' punishment? Isn't it time we get him out of there? How worse could we be? Speights has a great game, and then he plays only 9 minutes the next game. Turner has been playing his ass off, yet he's not consistenyl getting 35 minutes a game. Come on, we're not winning a ring! You ahve to play Turner, and you have to play Jrue in the 4th.

3) Aaandd..his late game management. Oh man. He is BAD. He insists on letting Lou do whatever he wants. He doesn't feel the need to put Holiday/Turner in there and let them get the experience. And some of his substitution patterns are horrible to say the least.

And that's why I gave him a 6. He's been good, probably better than I expected. But he's brought the problems I didn't want him to bring. Can't complain with the team though. They are playing their ass off. Start Turner already!!

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 18:12
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Told Holiday made sophomore team, but Turner wasn't picked to rookie squad.

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 18:33
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Collins today after third question today about how this will affect Holiday: "I think you guys are making a big to-do about this, like there’s going to be role changing or whatever. We run an offense where everybody plays off the ball. We don’t have an offense where one guy’s going to dominate. Those guys are all interchangeable. When I say this, it’s not something we’re doing for the first time – we’re just going to do more of it. I don’t want you to think we’ve made some gargantuan change."

If it's not a big deal, if it's an expansion of something they've been doing already - and just a little bit more - then why did he even bother mentioning it?

Smells a little fishy to me

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Feb 1 at 19:37
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I don't know, coaches make small changes all the time and some of the time they announce these small changes. I don't really care if they win games or not, but I guess at this point I'm in favor of anything that will get their best player more involved. If he gets some near-triple-doubles, maybe teams will want him more. Or maybe we'll get a decent seed thanks to this "nice wrinkle" and it will be a big wonderful valuable learning experience for Jrue and Turner that will magically catapult their games to new heights.

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 19:16
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Collins: Iguodala at point forward 'a nice wrinkle':

http://ow.ly/3OuW4

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Charlie H reply to Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 20:28
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Good teams always have a veteran bringing the ball up (unless it's Magic). This is a good way of getting a better pg without benching Jrue. Maybe it'll be good for Jrue's outside game. Turner's too.

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Tom Moore on Feb 1 at 19:28
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Rookie/sophomore game pick Holiday: I need to work on 'taking care of the ball in the fourth quarter':

http://ow.ly/3Ov6g

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Charlie H on Feb 1 at 20:19
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Simply because they are recognizably a well-coached team and he has them thinking as a group. I've hated some of his substitutions, as we all have, but I think he's trying to see his guys in all kinds of situations. Not mind games - just testing their mettle. Speights is thriving because he's learning how to play, Jrue is getting some hard knocks, which is good. He's brought Brand along nicely. I think he puts Lou out there at nutcracking time to show the team that when it comes right down to it, you gotta have a real scorer, and Lou's the closest thing we have. It's almost like a message to Jrue & ET. That's my optimistic take.

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Charlie H reply to Charlie H on Feb 1 at 20:19
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should have said I gave D C a 9.

A good game from Cousins tonight - 20 points, 6 boards, 14 shots. Of course, Brian will say the 20 points were scored on 20 possessions (14 shots, 6 foul shots, 3 turnovers). That said, Sacramento loses by 5 points to Boston while only scoring 90 points; I think you give credit to their leading scorer on the night, and second leading rebounder, for being the biggest reason they were even in the game at all. Besides Donte Greene (15 points on 12 shots), no one else played an even decent offensive game.

He was inefficient and his team lost

But at least he got his right?

Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.


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