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They Get Back Up

Big, big win. Probably the best win of the season considering the Bulls are the second best home team in the league.

Regular season games usually do tell a lot about how teams match up.So the current with our possible playoff opponents:

Chicago 2-1
Boston 1-2 (one more to go @Boston)
Miami 0-3
Orlando 1-2 (one more to go at home)

It appears to me that they matchup pretty well against all of them except for Miami.


On a side note check out Jason Richardson foul on Anthony in over time. Grabbing his leg was hilarious. He has to get suspended for a few games for that right?

I think what's even more impressive about the Sixers' record against the top East teams is that they've been competitive in almost every game:

Bulls - won 2 of 3
Celtics - lost by 1 and 4, won by 3
Magic - won by 8, lost by 1 in OT, lost by 4

4-5 against those teams isn't bad, but the Sixers weren't far from 7-1.

The thing about the Heat that makes it tough for the Sixers is that the Heat is one of the teams that CAN go small against the Sixers and succeed. When they put Bosh at center and LeBron at PF, how can the Sixers match up?

On the other hand, I was thinking that a Bulls series wouldn't be the blowout that everyone seems to expect. Boozer seems to be a shell of his former self (I was thinking the Sixers had done a good job on him, but his numbers were in line with his recent production), and if Iguodala limits Deng, then the Bulls are basically a one-man team.

As it is, though, it seems the Celtics are destined for the #3 seed, as both the Bulls and Heat have easy schedules the rest of the way (and the Celtics are not playing well at all). Best case scenario for the Sixers would be Heat #1, Bulls #2, Celtics #3 and the Celtics in the first round.

Awesome, awesome "I didn't think they had a chance" win. I was resigned to the team going back to .500 but I should have been more optimistic.

I was watching the replay of Thad going down and it looked really bad, hopefully it is nothing serious because it would be difficult without him on the floor.

Not much is gonna dampen the mood right now. It's crazy a day ago it was all the anger at dropping the game to the Kings, and now exhiliration over beating the Bulls. It's been a crazy ride this year, but with many more highs than lows.

hmm I thought Hawes played well, he wasted all 6 of his fouls. But seriously, between he, Brand and Thad, there were always a sea of arms up in the paint whenever a Bull went up for a shot. They cashed in on a decent amount of blocks, deflections and intimidation.

to add to Jrue's praise; he played Rose like he spent all night studying the scouting report. Did not get too aggressive, backed up when his shot was not falling, recovered around the screens AMAZINGLY, forced him to his off hand, cut off the driving angles. Was very impressed.

Is Andre Iguodala now healthy? What gives?

I gotta give you credit. You called this game all the way and said cause you were going to be there they would win. I wanted to call this a win but didn't want to jinx them. We might have gotten that stinker against the Kings but we more than made up for it with this win. This is the kind of win that gives the team that much more confidence heading into the playoffs. I hope it don't get them overconfident and lazy.

Thad was a monster tonight. I wish he was like this every night. You could see the hunger/desire to win in him that greats have. Sometimes you see it in Iguodala, you see it in Brand a lot but it was really sweet to see it in Thad. I'm starting to think Iguodala is so undervalued because he makes it look so easy. Look at his stats and the guy plays within the team game. Defense is really underrated. But it's what also gets you wins when more than one player plays it.

Speaking of that, I'm pretty sure I saw you get some air time last night. I'll try to grab a picture off my dvr tonight. Completely forgot you were going last night, saw it, and rewatched it like 3 times saying to myself "that looks exactly like Brian, but what what he be doing in Chicago?" Completely forgot you mentioning that on SixersBeat last week until I read Joseph's post

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eddies' heady's on Mar 29 at 8:28
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Really good write-up and awesome picture atop this post. I can feel your passion all the way from Illinois. How 'bout them Sixers!!

Brian I think I saw you on tv a couple times last night, red warm ups?

Great win. I think it showed the ceiling for how well the team can play this year. Last night wasnt a case of the bulls not showing up, it was the sixers playing hard and well for 48 minutes. My second favorite game of the year after the last boston win.

I watch very little of Sportcenter... but c'mon now. No other playoff team gets ignored in highlights quite like the Sixers.

Indiana actually has highlights when they beat the Celtics. But the Sixers clip was:

-Leading with the Sixers previously beaten by Bulls by 45.
-7 clips of Rose. One with a Rose TO resulting in a Sixer layup.
-No mention of the Sixers taking the season series.
-No mention of any Sixer (including Thad.)
-No Sixers highlights at all.

Its funny how SC is is so biased towards Phillies and Eagles team coverage. Its a shame the city only has 2 teams.

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Charlie H reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 10:25
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That's amazing even for ESPN. Not one highlight of the winning team? They're just doing their job, I guess, promoting Derek Rose for MVP. It was the same thing when the Sixers beat the Clippers and they showed Griffin highlights even though he only had 12 points and his team LOST.

I'm with Brian - no more doubting. The Sac loss can be challked up as one of those games. I thought it was inexcusable, of course, but after this game it looks like an aberration.

Thad came back and was moving okay it seemed. I don't think it's anything big. He walked off the court with an almost normal gait, too.

This has to be the biggest win of the year, at least the biggest since Boston. I thought the Bulls played well and after the 3rd I was convinced they were gonna win. The Sixers defense was great, even Hawes was good. Brand had a big block, they wouldn't let anybody into the paint in the last 3 minutes, and they made Chicago go to Rose almost every possession. As great as Rose is, that's not a good way to close out a game; they knew he was going to drive and just packed the lane.

What's up with Turner?

A lot of things were good in the 1st half, 4th Quarter. Good rebounding, strong perimeter defense. Kept the Bulls off the 3pt line. Lots of great things. However, I think it would be good to also discuss how the Sixers can get better. At times we were sloppy with the ball, especially in the 3rd where the sixers were obviously flustered with the runs the Bulls were making, as well as many missed bunnies by the 6ers.

Anything else to mention, as we look towards the playoffs, to next year, as how we can become a better basketball team? (#1 to me is rebounding, protecting paint on missed shots is scary to me)

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tk76 reply to Shawn on Mar 29 at 10:23
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Unfortunately they are a bit limited due to personnel.

1. They lack a rim protecting presence, so when Wade or Rose get past the first line of defense they can score at the rim. To be fair, few teams have an answer when that level player is in the lane.

2. They lack a true star level player, so are forced to play star by committee. They have enough overall talent to pull this off, but a star gives you a reliably productive mismatch all of the time. While the Sixers can't rely on a player who does great one half to give a repeat performance the second half. Guys like Lou, Thad and Jrue often have tremendous qtrs but never seem to sustain the elite production for an entire game, let alone every night the way the leagues best can.

So if you need a different guy to carry you every night (and bail you out in the 4th qtr) then its hard for the coach to find a consistent rotation or plan... and difficult to become a consistent winner.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 10:31
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On the flip side, experience will really help young guys like Jrue, Thad, Meeks, ET and even Hawes to become more consistent. I'm not convinced any will take a giant leap and bring their games to another level. But it is fair to expect most of them to be able to bring out their strengths and avoid careless mistakes on a more consistent basis.

Although when you look at all of the young players on this team, Thad is the one gyuy who physically can dominate his match-up in a way that Jrue, ET and the other yoounger players cannot. Add the recent uptick in rebounding and shot blocking and it looks like Thad is starting to fully tap in on his amazing raw athleticism.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 10:37
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Look at Thad'd rebounding rate and shot blocking rate this year as compared to last:

DReb%: 15.1 vs 12.2
-Still low for a PF, but trending in a reasonable direction.

Blk%: 1% vs 0.6%
-Again, still too low for a PF, but recently he has shown some promise. And he certainly has the length and ups to block shots. he just has to work on his timing, since he clearly is not a natural shot blocker.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 10:47
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I'm mostly talking about minimizing his weaknesses so they can play him more. Becasue those numbers, while improved stil have a ways to go.

His DReb% is 182nd in the NBA. Just behind Kristic, Darko and Okur. A bit ahead of Bargs. A full 1% behind some other lanky guys like Cassipi, Ariza Moon and Wilson Chandler.

His Block% is 239th. Just behind Ariza, Artest and Steven Jackson. Just ahead of Glen Davis, Arenas and RJ. But if he can bumop that up from 1% to 1.6% he would be equal to the likes of Zaza, Dirk, Odom and Grannger. Still not great shot blockers, but guys who at least are hard to shoot over.

Not a great two footed leaper. Don't think he really has it in him to ever be a consistent shot blocking threat. His timing seems better, though

He has a great standing vertical and good standing reach. I think it is mostly a lack of having a natural knack for shot blocking that hold him back. Its not a learned skill, but he can improve.

His non-step vert was 34.5 and non-step vert reach was 11'8.5.

That non-step vert was the 8th best all time out of the 200+ 1st round picks in the draftexpress database. His non-step vert reach is also in the to 30 all time. Both numbers are better than Josh Smith.

I'm not a huge believer in combine numbers. to me, that goes against what I've seen on the court. I don't see him particularly quick off his feet nor explosive off of two feet.

It would be interesting to compile a workout warrior list. Guys who put up jaw dropping numbers at the pre-draft workouts/measurements.I'll throw same names out there off of the top of my head:

Thad
Wall
Alexander
Roddy B.
Tyreke
Oden

Joe Alexander

I thought Alexander was NCAA Tourney performance-driven?

Nah. Workout warrior. DX had him in the mid 20's in April/early May of that year before the combine, after which he shot up to 8.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Joe-Alexander-1185/mock-draft-history/

Definitely shades of Mike Mamula. Ignore the race part.)

Ditto. I mean, how can Josh Smith not be way higher than Thad? How can his vertical not be way, way up there?

It's also how quick you get off your feet and how quicker you can reach your max. The fact that you can meet the ball at its apex a second after it's gone past you isn't all that relevant to blocking a shot.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Mar 29 at 19:23
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Vert does not measure power and how quick of a leaper you are. It also does not measure how you jump partly off balance.

In an ideal setting Thad jumps as high as almost anyone (at least at the time of the combine), but that's not the complete story. The point is more that Thad is a really imrpessive athlete.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 21:21
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Well... maybe Thad's not that quick a leaper then. Thus explaining why he doesn't appear in games to be a great leaper. Smith, though, really gets up there. So that just has to be a lower number than what he's really capable of. Anyway, does it really matter if a guy can get from 1% to 1.5% in block percentage? That's not a difference of many shots being blocked.

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Charlie H reply to Tray on Mar 30 at 11:10
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Not to you maybe. To me, he looks like one of the best leapers I've ever seen.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Mar 30 at 11:31
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Yeah, the number is arbitrary. I'm more just hoping he can be even a minor presence defensively. Right now he is not a deterrent. He'll never be a Josh Smith, but he could be better.

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Tom Moore on Mar 29 at 10:27
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Blog: Young gives Sixers a scare during big night:

http://ow.ly/4oGzq

Was anybody else surprised by just how bad Speights was when he got in the game last night? I know he hasn't been playing lately, but I am one of the people that still has faith he can pull it together at some point in his career. I don't think I have ever seen him look as bad as he did when he first came in last night, though. Makes me feel much less optimistic. Obviously, it's one game though and his minutes have been so limited lately.

Not sure what was more depressing: short-arming the shot from 4-feet after being spoon-fed by Iguodala (in Speights' rookie season he would have taken a step and dunked) or watching Boozer waltz in from 8 feet away and dunk. It almost seems like he still has some physical problems, reminds me of how Larry Johnson lost leaping ability in the latter part of his career ...

A couple more notes that slipped my mind last night:

1. Turner was really, really bad in his brief run, and you could tell Collins was furious. He made a series of about 4 mistakes, and after the first you could see Collins get a little upset. After the second it was a little more, and I think he had McKie go talk to him during a free throw. After the third, he had seen enough and then he finally yanked him after the fourth. Turner was just completely lost on both ends of the floor.

2. Even w/ Turner being out of sorts, still no PT for Nocioni, which I take as a positive. Noc was being heckled by a couple of guys in my section, "Hey Nocioni, remember when you used to play?" Thought the heckles were kind of weak. Actually, I think people are too nice here to properly heckle, but there are worse problems to have. I got heckled by cars driving by as I was walking back to my hotel after the game, but it was pretty light hearted.

3. Can't believe I forgot to mention this, but Stefanski and Tony DiLeo were sitting one section over from me, gave Tony a big high five after the game and told him it was a huge win. He was pumped up.

Off to see some sights. Oh, and if anyone has a screen shot of me on TV, e-mail it to me. I have the game on DVR back at home, but I had the NBATV feed. brian@blogsbyfans.com

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Charlie H reply to Brian on Mar 29 at 14:27
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Sounds like ET was baked.

I quickly made a list of FA PF and bigger SF's for this summer. Most don't directly compete with Thad, but I hope that the plethora of options at all price points makes teams hesitate before throwing a huge number at Thad. I also hope the new CBA drives down his leverage.

Sorry the list takes up so much space :)

Thad
Green
Jarebko
Prince
Butler
TMac
B. Wright
Vlad Rad
Battier
Hayes
Dunleavy
Barnes
Mbah a Moute
Kris Humphries
Troy Murphy
David West
Wilson Chandler
Jared Dudley
Grant Hill
Dante Cunningham
Carl Landry
Julian Wright
Andrei Kirilenko
Yi Jianlian
Josh Howard

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Tray reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 13:01
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Isn't he one of the three best players in that group?

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tk76 reply to Tray on Mar 29 at 13:06
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Yes. Like I said, teams will prefer Thad. But if the price starts going high they might rather get a Wilson Chandler or Landry on the cheap and use their resources on another need.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Mar 29 at 13:10
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Sort of like if you want a laptop and your only option is 1K then you buy it. But if there are a lot of lesser options for 300-500 dollars then you might think twice about your needs befoer getting the priciest option. And I think Thad lacks the "name value" to put him in another league of FA like some of the guys last year.

Teams pay big money to guys that they think will pay off at the gate. And Thad is not in that class.

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Ryan F reply to tk76 on Mar 29 at 14:15
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Thad is also much much younger than most of those players though. I think he'll have the best production value out of every player above. Teams will have him high on their list.

I think resigning him is necessary, even if you have to match an offer a little high. At least then you have him as a asset, whether on the court or as a trade chip.

He's younger, but he's also restricted*

Anybody have any updates on Thad's groin injury from last night. I haven't read anything. Good thing I guess.

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tk76 reply to Ryan F on Mar 29 at 14:18
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He returned to the game.

Am I the only person who would prefer the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs?

Well i'd still prefer Boston ahead of Chicago. But Chicago is a better matchup compared to Miami definitely. Miami is probably the only team that truly scares me because Lebron and co might be the only team that can "outsmall" the Sixers, which neutralizes the Sixers biggest strength. Thankfully due to Boston's struggles as of late there is very little chance that we will see Miami in the first round. It's probably going to be Boston and i think if they don't find a way to get things together, we might have a shot at an upset. Especially if Rondo keeps playing terribly (reportedly he is playing injured)

Chicago's lack of experience vs. Boston's uber playoff experience is a valid point. As the Celts showed in 2010, they can turn it on at most points. I know the Kendrick trade has created some bad energy but remember they had NO momentum going into last year's playoffs.

The Bulls haven't won a series since who knows when. We could certainly scheme them pretty well and take it 6 or 7.

I kind of feel like last year they were coasting and this year they have real problems. But that may just be hindsight; at the time it might have looked like they had real problems then too.

Hi guys. Been awhile since Ive posted here but Ive been keeping tabs on the sixers, not as close as I like.
I have a couple questions for you hardcore observers.
The few games I have watched most of, Spencer Hawes has played pretty damn well. Is he our starting center of the future ? I think he had 16 boards sunday and hit some key jumpers yesterday. Were these just two good games and hes sucked the rest of the year ?

Evan turner---A few months ago he seemed like he was playing better and now he doesn't seem to get in much at all. What are your impressions of him so far ?Disappointment ?

Marrese Speights---I see him cheerleading on the sidelines and thats about it. Are we ready to label him a bust and move on ?

Just wondering. I'm tuning in a lot more these days. Great win in Chicago after the Sacramento disaster. Collins is awesome, the guy just makes sense.

Spencer hawes is definitely not the sixers Center of the future.

I am worried about ET, I'm not sure that long term he can fit with Jrue and Iguodala. I think the majority of sixers fans are now worried/disappointed. Also, an overlooked aspect of the lockout is no summer league. We will have to wait until pre-season to get a look at his progress.

I saw a stat on phillyarena that Speights lineups are +58. Not sure if Doug Collins has mis-evaluated Speights, but hopefully hawes won't be back and speights will get an opportunity next year.

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Tom Moore on Mar 29 at 19:21
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Sixers could clinch playoff berth as soon as Wednesday:

http://ow.ly/4p7gG

from thad's twitter account

"I'm good ppl ... No worries ...I'm good to go ..."

for the record, he is a GTD for tmrw's game

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BoulderEagle on Mar 29 at 22:51
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Speights is a waste of space. No defense whatsoever. Battie was out with "flu-like symptoms" last night but I'm sure will get minutes in the post-season.

So Cousins has 7 assists to 1 turnover tonight, and I was about to say how his passing has been improving. To my amusement I found that, while his assists are indeed up this month, to 4.1 per game, quite good for a rookie power forward, his turnovers this month are up to 4.1 per game as well.

Notable rookie bigs who had more than 3 TO's per game and a A/TO ratio worse than 1:1...

http://bkref.com/tiny/kAeS9

Zo: 1A:3TO
Shaq: 1.9A:3.8TO
DRobinson: 2A:3.1TO
Ewing: 2:3.4
Mutombo: 2.2:3.5
Duncan 2.7:3.4
K.Malone: 2.9:3.4

Cousins: 2.4:3.3

Of all of the statistics that predict a bad outcome, high TO's for a young big is not one to worry much about. Young bigs who get the ball a lot make lots of TO's.

Cousins bad stats are his FG% and TS%.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Mar 30 at 0:33
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His foul rate may be concerning too. I agree that the turnover issue is a little overblown, and is partly a function of the daft way Westphal's chosen to use him in the offense, as a slasher/passer from the high post. Anyway, today he has a 17/7/8 on 16 shots, 2 turnovers and 2 steals. (He did foul Channing Frye behind the arc with 10 seconds left.) They win for the fourth game straight. On the whole, though, this has been kind of a disappointing rookie class, between Cousins's grotesque inefficiency, Turner having kind of a lost season, Favors not really doing a whole lot besides being an okay rebounder, committing tons of fouls, and looking good on the court, Wesley Johnson becoming a passive three-point-specialist, and John Wall sporting maybe the most broken jump shot/mid-range game in the league. Here's a guy who shoots 29% on long twos, 33% on 10-15 footers, and 31% from 3-9 feet. He shoots 31% from three, but at least they count for three points. Basically, any shot he takes that isn't behind the arc or at the rim is a bad shot. I guess the good news from the draft is Ed Davis being way more NBA-ready and defensively solid than anyone expected, Monroe turning out to be an NBA center, Bledsoe maybe being capable of running a team one day, Landry Fields, Patterson starting to look like a legit rotation big man, and Paul George appearing to be an okay player and not just another Brandon Rush. Oh, and Trevor Booker.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Mar 30 at 1:03
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Yeah, pretty much agree with that assessment. I'm sure in a few years there will be guys who develop into temendous players. But its hard to get excited about the 2010 draft class. I guess when the Sixer win the #2 or #3 overall pick it rarely turns out as good as we would hope. Sean Bradley, Stackhouse and KVH/TT certainly suggest it... and ET has a long ways to go to break the trend. And were any of those draft classes anything special?

I can't believe LePippen would allow the Heat to lose to the Cavs. That's just absurd. He should be disqualified from any/all MVP talk based on this game alone.

Also, the loss put them a half game behind the celts for the #2 seed, meaning right in line to play the Sixers in the first round. I'm a bit concerned we could see another string of bad play from Miami which would keep them right at #3 instead of moving up.

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jkay reply to Brian on Mar 30 at 3:45
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honestly I would not mind facing them so at least we can have a chance to shut down their ridiculous egos.
after seeing this team play, I declare; it can be done.
superstar calls and all.

...so Mo Speights talking trash on a Cavs fan on Twitter just might be the funniest thing I've seen in a while, not quite sure if it translates into comment form though:

>>
Mospeights16 - So y'all going to talk about a team who won 15 games this year . Really cavs
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - Omg they let yall win lol RT @CavsBen: @Mospeights16 Have you beaten the Heat yet? Didnt think so
about 4 hours ago via Echofon


Mospeights16 - Please can someone tell me who the cavs playing in the playoffs? Lmao because ppl acting like they the best team in the league sheesh
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - Lmao they look like it RT @FlawdaGator: @Mospeights16 you gotta let em have this one tonight. i thought they were going to rush the court
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - Oh the cavs playing the winner of the NIT in the playoffs
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - RT @jhiggy3: @Mospeights16 @CavsBen hahahahaha #cavs fans are just mad because 16 wins is gonna be the most they get for the next 10 years!
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - Oh we only 6th seed Thats all lmao RT @CavsBen: @jhiggy3 @Mospeights16 Lol hows your hoops team doing bro? Canada sucks at basketball
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - NIT champs RT @CavsBen: Celtics, check. Lakers, check. Heat, check. Who is next?! Lol #Cavs #NBA
about 4 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - @ChristianDudley @CavsBen @beastly524 stay tune NIT champs vs cavs coming soon. But y'all did win tho so go have fun in that terrible city
about 3 hours ago via Echofon

Mospeights16 - 6th seedRT @franco99999: @CavsBen @Mospeights16 maybe mo can think of more funny lines while riding the bench behind tony battie and hawes
about 2 hours ago via Echofon

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jkay reply to das411 on Mar 30 at 3:41
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quite confusing format. reminds me why i don't use Twitter.
another reminder of why Speights is earning DNPCDs.
cmon!, when in doubt, keep silent ; the best form of wisdom.

This is simply amazing. This takes speezy twitter hilarity to a whole different level.

What's ironic, is that he'll likely somehow, someway, end up playing for a 15 win team in the very near future.

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Sreva reply to das411 on Mar 30 at 13:36
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I can't believe we passed over Roy Hibbert, Javale McGee, DeAndre Jordan and J.J Hickson for this bum

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jsmoove reply to Sreva on Mar 30 at 14:42
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that's called the Stefanski Special
and to think there was talk of him taking Brand's starting job when Brand went down with that injury and needing to replace Reggie Evans

That's the best conribution that Speights has made in 2 years.

Sucks to be CLE, having some bum on another talking trash...

Story: Resiliency again pays off for Sixers:

http://ow.ly/4puze

What a fool Speights is. Hes talking like someone who WATCHES the NBA. Not someone who is IN the NBA. But is sitting on the bench cheering really being IN the NBA ?
I think he aspires to be Jack Haley.


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