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Sixers Hold Off Warriors

Turner saved the game with his aggressive 4th quarter play. I just watched the NBA TV highlights of the game and they didn't mention Turner except to show his last dunk that gave Iggy the triple double.

No mention of his 20 points or 8 in the OT. Amazing, the "bust" mentality of the media will not go away.

Same thing happened with brand. Took a long time for him to get even a little recognition for his improvement this season.

I think speights not in the second half was aright. He went with Thad as your 'center' for so long, Speights just didn't fit. Unless you wanted to bring him in for the tap in OT like Keith Smart did with Biedrins.

Ball handling was really bad tonight, yeah the warriors get a lot of steals but still, it was worrisome how bad they were with the ball for at least the first 3 quarters (approximately)

Yeah, they were so sloppy. that's how GSW wins games, push the pace and get teams to make quick decisions that lead to turnovers.

I was sick to my stomach watching most of this game, but when I went through the play-by-play to update the Sixers' clutch stats, I saw that the Sixers made a ton of big plays to pull it out in the end. The Warriors are seriously flawed, but they are also a talented offensive team. I can't fault the Sixers' losing the lead late in the 4th; it wasn't their mistakes so much as Ellis' great shots. (The 3rd quarter was another story.) Some thoughts on this game:

* As much as Collins gets criticized for his in-game substitutions, he gets an A+ from me for this game. The biggest decision was to get an ineffective Brand out and play Thad at the 5. And letting Turner play instead of Lou was inspired. All five of the crunchtime players (Iguodala/Thad/Turner/Meeks/Jrue) made plays down the stretch of regulation and OT.
* It might have been against a poor defensive team, but offensive execution won the game: 15 points in 9 possessions in crunchtime in regulation, 17 points in 12 possessions while it was close in OT. While the defense struggled with a hot Ellis in regulation (14 points in 9 crunchtime possessions for GS), the defense was stellar when it mattered in OT (2 points in 6 possessions, 3 forced turnovers).
* I absolutely agree with the pick of Turner for POTG. His dunk with the shot clock winding down in regulation (Sixers down 3 with 2:23 left) was a huge boost. His turnaround over Lee in OT (to stretch the lead to 6 with 0:50 left) was major-league. What remains to be seen is if he can produce those baskets when he is the focal point of the defense (Iguodala, for example, got a lot of those type of baskets his first two years in the league when the defense was focusing on Iverson). From what I've seen, Turner's mid-range game is what makes him special, both his ability to create space and get his shot off, and his ability to shoot with balance once he does. So things are promising in that regard.
* That said, Iguodala shook off another poor start to play a very positive role in the win. He must lead the team in 2nd-place POTG finishes: he's not been named POTG in games where he's had 21-7-11, 15-10-11, and 18-16. Early on, he committed several sloppy (and this year, uncharacteristic) turnovers and was responsible for a few others not charged to him (poor pass that Hawes couldn't handle, pass to Hawes on the break, 5-second violation). But he wound up with key baskets in regulation and OT, plus two big steals in OT.
* Another reason the lineup at the end was perfect: there were 3 above-average passers on the floor. GS started to double-team Iguodala, who would pass it to Jrue in a 4-on-3 setting, often leading to easy baskets. The swing of the ball for the Meeks 3 in OT happened this way (Iguodala to Jrue to Turner to Meeks).
* Meeks made just two baskets, but both were huge. He is by far the Sixers' leader in clutch 3's this year, and he's also proven to be excellent at crunchtime free throws.
* Great play from Thad too. He really cuts well and finishes well, the perfect complement to Iguodala and Jrue on the perimeter.

Looking ahead, I'm glad the Sixers play the Pacers first in their next back-to-back. If it had been the Thunder first, they could easily have lost the first and then let down to lose the second. They have a much better shot of winning the first, then coming into the second playing loose with "house money."

Also, I'm not too upset with the Knicks' win over the Hawks. I think catching Atlanta for the 5th seed isn't totally out of the realm of possibility at this point ...

Video: Young after scoring 20 points and playing a lot of center in Sixers' victory:

http://ow.ly/492sA

Video: Turner on scoring eight of his 20 points in OT and playing a lot of center in victory:

http://ow.ly/491bi

oops -- ignore the part about Turner playing a lot of center.

Iguodala tied for NBA lead with 3 3B-2B this season. Joins LBJ, Rondo and R. Westbrook.

I'm reading in some other blog comments that Collins took some subtle digs at Turner in his press conference. Perhaps a response to Turner saying "I just want to play for crying out loud."??

Will be interesting to observe. Doug's been limiting Turner's minutes for no reason. He shot 47% in February and now 61.5% in 3 March games with a ridiculous 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and great rebounding and defense.

What else does the guy have to do? His minutes have gone DOWN. It was only a matter of time before Turner said something, and Doug apparently fires back? Is this the first sign of the Doug Collins that wore out his welcome in his previous coaching jobs?

I need to see Collins' comments. Was wondering how Turner's statement would be received.

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Mgfields reply to Brian on Mar 7 at 0:57
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Collins said Turner was "solid" and "not flashy", but was a "Philly type of player" who Collins can see averaging 17/7/5-7. I think this is a non story.

All based on blog comments, so unreliable sources of course, but I read that Collins said Turner will be "really good, but not super good" and that he'd "never" average 20 ppg.

I'm pretty sure Turner can average 20 a game so that is odd, and I just don't see the purpose in making these comments.

It may be a non-story in the sense that perhaps he's not reacting to Turner's "crying out loud" statement. But it seems like an unnecessary thing to say about your rookie guard.

I watched Collins say it... he was trying to be positive about Turner's game, he probably could have used better words but there was no bad intent there.

OK I hope so. Definitely makes a difference when you hear the tone, so I certainly won't jump to any conclusions. Poor word choice regardless, but it's not easy when you've spent the last 3 hours on your feet yelling, then you're shuffled into some room with a million microphones in your face. You're bound to say some words that you wouldn't use when thinking about it.

I'm sure Turner probably feels the same way about his "crying out loud" statement. I think he has a right to be pissed, but it's unlikely he really meant to throw that out there, probably more a case of adrenaline after a big win.

You can listen to it here. It wasn't a shot at Turner at all, imo.

Thanks for the link. Yeah it sounded fine, praising him actually, "Philly guy" in response to the question about the fans digging him. He could've done without the "not spectacularly well" finish, but this is definitely a non-story.

And Collins sort of took care of the "I just want to play for crying out loud" thing by saying "Evan would be getting a lot more minutes on a different team, but here he's behind Jrue and Dre."

I wish one of the reports had followed up by asking, "well why is he behind Meeks as well" but I can't get everything I want, I suppose.

Overall great game for Turner, hope it continues, glad to hear the nice words from Doug C.

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bebopdeluxe reply to stoned81 on Mar 7 at 14:07
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To be honest, listening to Collins, I thought he was unnecesarily dialing down Turner's upside. I don't see any reason why - if he has the ball enough - why he can't potentially be a 20-point score in the league.

And this constant refrain about Turner's lack of "athleticism" is utter rubbish, IMO. That play in the 4th quarter where he made that block/rebound, brought it down the floor and then had that flurry of offensive rebounds that got him that hand from the crowd was as athletic as all get-out. If Iguodala does that, everybody crows about Iggy's "athleticism"...so why, when Turner does it, is is not "athletic"?

So - just so I have it straight - unless Turner can explode past someone on the dribble and flush it in somebody's grill - that Turner is not "athletic"?

Please.

There's something to be said for 'tempering' expectations, and expectations for Turner were wildly and completely unrealistic this yar. I don't mind what Collins was doing. I don't think it's going to impact Turners drivers or work ethic or desire to be as good as he can be, but maybe it will get the irrational idiot fans to calm down a little and give the kid some time to mature

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bebopdeluxe reply to GoSixers on Mar 7 at 14:20
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Agree 100%...the way I read it when Collins said it was to lower expectations so Turner could exceed them (just like smart managements of publicly-tradede companies...underpromise and overdeliver).

Thanks for the link, Brian. Does that site always have the postgame press conferences in their entirety?

Historical info: the game Coach Collins referred to was in 1981, his last year in the NBA (he was injured by the playoffs and didn't play). It wasn't on Mother's Day but on April 19, Game 7 vs. the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Sixers did play at the same time as the Phillies, who drew 30,000+ and beat the Cubs to run their record to 7-2 in the year after the 1980 World Championship. In fairness, the Phillies have always drawn well on Sunday afternoons. The real shame was the Spectrum crowd of 6,704 (out of a capacity of 18,276) for a Game 7.

You read about the game in the SI Vault and watch most of the last 10 minutes on Youtube. Bucks fans complain that the Sixers received some favorable calls in the final minute (the telecast doesn't bear that out), but the Bucks have only themselves to blame: down 1 with 9 seconds to go, the Bucks let the Sixers run the clock out. Can you imagine if that happened today, to any NBA team?

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Tom Moore on Mar 7 at 1:02
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Iguodala sees triple again in Sixers' victory:

http://ow.ly/494tD

Interesting quote from Collins in the press conference about the 3-13 start: "We were playing winning basketball, but making losing plays. Now we are making winning plays."

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Tom Moore on Mar 7 at 8:42
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Speights works way back into Sixers' rotation:

http://ow.ly/49eSw

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deepsixersuede on Mar 7 at 8:46
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Statman, watching the 3rd quarter I felt the complete opposite of you, wishing we put a big lineup out there and ran pick n rolls to Spieghts; it seemed easy to score early on when we played good half court offense. Collins' adjustments reminded me of how L.B. always adjusted his lineup to what the other coach was doing. I wanted to see Spieghts,Brand,Young, Iggy and either Jrue or Evan out there and pound them inside.

This was the first game in a long time that Elton didn't seem to have his legs; his shot was flat all night so hopefully he comes out strong Tuesday. We almost had 8 double figure scorers, incredible. In 2 years can Thad and Evan consistantly put up last nights numbers and will that silence the need for a star here.

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eddies' heady's reply to deepsixersuede on Mar 7 at 8:57
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I don't think either can consistently put up numbers of those kind until they both knock down perimeter shots with regularity.

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deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 7 at 9:07
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I expect Collins to expand Thad's game next year and allow some 3's, he seemed pretty good in his first couple years. If H. Magee works some magic with Evan, who knows? Would that change your feelings about his ceiling? I see an A.Miller level player at worst in Turner and I mean that as a compliment but hope he can become more than that.

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eddies' heady's reply to deepsixersuede on Mar 7 at 9:28
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Allowing Thad to shoot 3's and him making them are a whole different ballgame :) He just doesn't seem to have even the slightest of touch/feel on some of his shots. Some look and end up really bad after he lets them go.

As for Herb working w/ Evan, I'm very leery on this. Breaking the mechanics of the shot down after doing it that way for 20 years seems like a shaky proposition. I think the chances of it turning out worse are higher than it being for the good. If Herb does make some successful changes on the shot, it may be another 2-3 years before you see them fully take effect. I don't know, it's just a dicey thing for me with all the learned muscle memory that is currently in place and the repetitions that got it there and then you try and adjust it or even start all over after doing it a certain way for a very long time.

My feelings on his ceiling are still the same. Not to minimize it, but him going off in spurts against lousy defensive teams (or 2nd units) and showing flashes here and there doesn't really constitute anything big picture for me. Let's see it versus some better defensive teams or when the other team has gameplanned for it and then maybe we can talk. If he does anything of the sort in the playoffs then I may start to see things a little differently. But the Phoenix's and Golden State's and Detroit's and mostly second stringers, ....eh.

Is your opinion on Turner's working with a shooting coach would result in a high likelihood of failure based at all on precedent, or is that just a guess?

As for your opinion on Turner's ceiling, that's definitely just a guess.

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deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 7 at 9:54
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When I read Magee's strategy," show him my example of the perfect shot" was close to what he said in a newspaper interview, it had me worried. A slight adjustment is all I want and expect; a drastic change, I agree, will set him back.

S.Marion and Noah still shoot the same. He wouldn't be the first scorer that is not a great long shooter though, so he can still be effective.

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eddies' heady's reply to deepsixersuede on Mar 7 at 10:20
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That's my dilemma with him - if he doesn't incorporate a long shooting game then it will diminish any ability he may have to get to the basket. If he's going to play shooting guard like we drafted him to do, that's going to have to be a staple of his game, or whatever else he may have in his repertoire as far as getting to the hoop will be minimized by the lack of a consistent jumper. Teams will play off and give him the shot, as you occasionally see some do now.

We don't know what's going to happen with Herb but from what I gleaned from Collins' comments and Herb's was they were going to completely "re-work" the whole shot. I'm in agreeance that drastic change after getting to this level by shooting a certain way and then break it down and start over will be a setback.

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deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 7 at 10:43
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Just from a scoring perspective 2 guys that weren't great athletes, couldn't shoot from deep and scored 18 a game are J.Malone and O.Birdsong and neither got to the basket like Turner can. The middle game can't be discounted and is probably the hardest to master. A.Miller could of scored 20 on any given night when he was here with little weapons around him, so the 3pt. shot will be icing on the cake to me, if Evan gets one.

Agreed on the muscle memory. He could have a jumper with better form but horrible consistency in his footwork and release and end up with a worse jump shot.

Anyone know anyone who has worked with Magee in the past (aside from Malik Rose?)

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deepsixersuede reply to GoSixers on Mar 7 at 12:58
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Magee 's last pupil was Jameer Nelson in the article I read. Daily News I believe.

Magee taught me to shoot. But that was forty years ago and, of course, not one-on-one. Helped me a lot. But there's only so much one can do to make up for the lack of size, strength, quickness, court awareness, and athleticism.

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Rich reply to GoSixers on Mar 7 at 14:17
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Barkley, and this guy named Tim McCormick from hearing him speak at camps.

I think he's worked for one or two days with a bunch of guys.

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deepsixersuede reply to deepsixersuede on Mar 7 at 9:00
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Only twice in the last 40 years has the sixers had 3 reserves outscore their starting teammates in a game. The last 3 were O. Woolridge,J. Dawkins and the infamous W. Kidd.

Suede: you might be right, but we'll never know. However, Brand wasn't dominating in the low post because the Warriors were playing a gimmick defense (doubling and scrambling) that the Sixers weren't handling well. My comment was more along the lines that it was the correct decision to take Brand out for Thad.

Remember in the Finals in '01 when Shaq fouled out of a game and then Larry Brown took out Mutombo? That's probably what you're remembering. For this particular team, though, the Sixers play small as well as anybody.

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deepsixersuede reply to Statman on Mar 7 at 9:16
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Yea, I can't argue with the result. I like the fact we can play big, guards included, and still cover perimeter scorers like Ellis and Curry. Not many teams are that versatile and that is why, in spite of our frontcourt I don't care who we play in the playoffs.

If you guys really want to see some high praise, watch this on Jrue by our coach at Friday's shootaround.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgPFwL3lCj8&feature=channel_video_title

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deepsixersuede reply to Shawn on Mar 7 at 9:20
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Good stuff; that should cast some doubt on any thoughts that Jrue isn't this teams future p.g. . We are shooting 35% from 3 as a team with one pure shooter getting minutes, so maybe our 3 amigos can work together.

Miami Heat players were crying the locker room yesterday.

Am I the only one who think that once you're over the age of like 12 that crying after a game that isn't the last game of the finals seems a little, um, weak?

I think they're crying because this whole thing was supposed to make things easy for them. Now they've taken less money and all of a sudden, they realize it's not just going to be a cakewalk. Maybe Bosh is going to have to actually hit the weights next summer and Wade/LeBron won't be able to spend as much time making commercials. Oh, and they're also starting to understand that the group of misfits filling out the rest of the roster may just be the best supporting cast they're ever going to get after the new CBA is put in place.

I'm still expecting Riley to step in as coach for the beginning of next season (if there is a next season).

I think there are 4 kinds of shooters:

1. Natural/pure shooters (Ray Allen)
2. Streaky good shooters (Lou)
3. Streaky inconsistent shooters (Iguodala)
4. Can't shoot (Biedrins, Shaq)

Each of these groups have different ranges to their shots.

Right now Turner is a #3 with 21 foot range. I believe with work he could become a #2 with 24 foot range. Streaky shooters can improve their range with improved body mechanics (legs/balance.) Lou is an example of this. He now has 26 foot range.

Iguodala will never be a #2 because he lacks touch. His shots come off very heavy. While Turner has a reasonably soft shot. So while he'll never be pure, he can get to the point that his "streaks" become more common.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 7 at 13:48
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Also, I think Turner can become deadly within 15 feet. You do not need the greatest form to master a 15 foot jumper. Just look at Andre Miller.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Mar 7 at 14:13
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Great post.

If you are right - and Turner becomes a #2 with 24 foot range - then with all of the other components of his game, Turner has the real potential of being a borderline-All Star and our closer of the fuure.

Had Collins been given the job instead of EJ last year, what record would they have achieved?

I'd say 37-45, but possibly much better depending on what he got out of Sam.

The important question isn't sam I think but point guard. Would he have started lou as the point or would he have allowed Jrue to play, I think they would have been 500 last year as well. I think Brand would have been more contributory than he was under jordan. It would have been better top to bottom, only player who might take na overall step back would have been lou actually.

I wonder how collins would have felt having Lou and Green :)

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Mar 7 at 14:04
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I think he would have used Green a lot. maybe even used Green as "PG" with Iguodala as point forward. Or he would have told Stefanski to add a PG to the roster.

I don't think Jrue would have been a major contributor until later in the season.

This is why I say the EJ hire worked out great. Got us Turner. Then we got Collins a year later with a top draft pick who has made a big impact imo

As for Turner's shooting, Magee is probably no going to change his form. At most it will be getting his elbow under the ball a little more. That seems doable, but who knows.

The key to what Magee will do is with hand placement. Specifically, following through his shooting fingers (middle and index) and following through a little higher. The encouraging thing about Turner's shot is that it is almost always on line, but the fact that it's flat makes a miscalculation long or short a miss right off the bat.

Herb Magee is no Randy Ayers. I've heard him say many times that there is no one specific way to shoot a basketball. He is much more concerned with following through and where your hands are at the end of the shot. I'd be willing to bet that he will not make Turner any worse.

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sfw reply to Rich on Mar 7 at 15:55
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Randy Ayers! I almost fell out of my chair. Can't believe he is still sitting on a chair right next to a head coach in the NBA.

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Spencer Flaws on Mar 7 at 17:31
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how many times does evan turner say definitely in his interviews? I mean come on dude.

LOL it's kind of entertaining. Any question... "Oh yeah, most definitely."


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