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Seven Deep?

I was thinking about the probable 7 man rotation before you posted it. I was actually thinking more in regards to a longer term 7 man rotation where they get rid of Lou and ad an athletic PF/C (say an Ibaka type.)

In that case they would give about 36 min each to Jrue/ET/Iggy/Meeks in a SG/SF/SF rotation (4 de-facto starters for 3 positions with Turner filling a "Ginobili role.") Then I tried to figure out how you work a 3 man rotation at PF/C using Thad and 2 other PF/C hybrid types (of which one currently is Brand.)

Thats a nice scenerio you got there, it could work well. Too bad Collins will never let them get rid of Lou, they'll probably start talking contract extention next year. Just look at the amount of shots he takes per minute, you can't replicate that kind of production. Especially the shot he takes from five feet behind the line, no one else can do that. Like when denver traded Melo and now they're losing every game cause they don't have a closer who can get a shot up late. Also someone should tell Evan you get can learn another thing from Lou, you take enough shots some of them will go in, and then the coach might run you back out there when you're 0-11 one game. Also don't be afraid to wave a guy off who got open for a shot and instead take a contested leaner. You get paid to take shots so remember that.

LOL nicely played.

Alvin reply to Chunky Soup on Mar 31 at 16:29

hahaha well done dude

mchezo reply to Chunky Soup on Mar 31 at 18:18

Yeah really, Lou is so unproductive he should ride the bench and never get in the game. he is absolutely the weakest link on this squad. shame we cant trade him, he makes far too much for his production. Without Lou we would probably be a fifty win team this year.

eddies' heady's reply to mchezo on Mar 31 at 20:22

This is not true. Every sentence except for the last one is true though, but not of Lou, instead Evan Turner; particularly the weakest link and far too much for his production parts. But actually, the last sentence could apply to Turner too - in the sense that if he could have supplied just a semblance of an NBA worthy game we would have fifty wins.

Shamefully, Turner now holds the label of most overpaid player on this team - by a long shot.

Regarding your actual post:

1. They have to get their #2 overall pick some playoff experience, right? I know they want to win, but the big picture is important too. I'd hate to think that Turner comes out of this year with minimal playoff experience. That would be a huge wast and set back his long term development. Just look at how important it was to Iguodala to learn from his initial playoff struggles.

2. In terms of this 7 man group the real hole is at SF. Lou, Meeks and Jrue can't give you minutes. I'd actually go back to what Collins said earlier, and see if they can steal a few minutes with Thad at SF. It's not ideal, but its better than Noce.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 31 at 13:39

And looking at Boston and Miami- I'd be fine putting Thad on Lebron or Pierce for 5 minutes a game. You just have to hope that he does not have to roatate much to cover SG's. But honestly, he probably shouldn't leave those stars anyway.

They have to get their #2 overall pick some playoff experience, right? I know they want to win, but the big picture is important too.

I think to collins winning is more important, if they can win and develop a player, that's ok with him but a guy hurting the team at this point (turner, speights) they just aren't going to get in to 'get the experience' unless games turn into a blow out in either direction

It's hard to argue against that philosophy at this point, right?

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 15:22

It depends on how you view Turner and Speights relative importance to this team long term.

I would hope Turner is seen as a key part of the future and that translates in the need to get him some playoff experience.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 31 at 15:23

Even 10 minutes a game would count for something. Whereas if he gets DNP-CD he might as well be watching from the stands.

See my comment below. Pretty much no matter what happens, he'll get his feet wet. And pretty much no matter what happens, he's not going to experience teams specifically focusing to slow him down. I'd like to see him get a bunch of minutes, but only if he's getting the minutes because he's playing well and helping them win. Token playoff minutes isn't a good idea.

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 15:36

I am really surprised that Turner was not able to become more of a core contributor by this stage of the season. That's not to say anything about his future- just expected he would have gotten his legs under him and adapted to the NBA game by now.

I honestly believe he has the length and handle to get to easy spots (inside 16 feet) were he can scorer or pass. Not sure why he has not done this with regularity as opposed to being a spot up shooter.

eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Mar 31 at 20:26

While I don't deny you your hope, why would you want him seen as a key part of the future after witnessing his game (lack of) for yourself this year?

And if he's going to only get a token 10 minutes in playoff games this year, why wouldn't you want him to realistically be watching from the stands? It's about the same thing, if he's only providing such a miniscule amount, no?

Did you just ask him why he would want Turner to improve?

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Apr 2 at 11:44

No, I meant why would you want him seen as a 'key' part of this team going forward when a) you've had a chance to see his limited game, b) he's a redundant player, c) realizing he's another wing who can't shoot. With the way most of these guys are blossoming under Doug and EB approaching a career decline, and Iguodala peaking, why should we as fans hold onto this small thread of waiting for a near 23 year old to become relevant? His importance to this team long term is not relevant at all. Just cut bait and move on. It'd be best for all parties involved. That, or we're going to all sit back and witness the Sixers trying one of their mostly unsuccessful attempts at making a player something he's just not cut out to be - because we can find better equipped backup point guards elsewhere, if, in fact, that is his best suited position on this squad.

You mention improve; how much improvement can this kid really make? He's way overmatched on this level and it's rather apparent.

It's hard to argue against that philosophy at this point, right?

It's not hard to argue against it - i could - just not with much belief. If the sixers still aren't going to win a title this year, is elton brands playoff experience this year more important than thad or speights?

Brand is not long for the sixers - at least as a starter.

Not saying it's something i truly buy into because sadly I'm done with Speights, just saying, long term, getting Brand playoff minutes isn't as important as others who might be here long term :)

Tom Moore on Mar 31 at 13:42

Have video coming of Collins talking about tightening his rotation. He says he should've played Turner instead of Nocioni against the Heat.

Tom Moore on Mar 31 at 13:43

Video: Iguodala Thursday on the playoffs and adjusting to playing with his balky right knee:


Tom Moore reply to Tom Moore on Mar 31 at 14:00


Video: Iguodala Thursday on the playoffs and adjusting to playing with his balky right knee:


Brian, really interesting post. If you listened to Collins throughout the year, he always hoped for the 8th/9th men to be specialists, either a perimeter shooter or a defensive big man. The problem is that none of the candidates do either of those things particularly well. Nocioni hasn't shot the ball well (neither has Kapono in his cameo appearances, for that matter), and Battie is only a good defender relative to Speights (which isn't saying much).

I'm thinking that the 8th/9th men will wind up being determined by matchups. For example, if it's Boston and Krstic is playing backup minutes to Shaq, Battie would get the call. Thad would be matched up vs. Jeff Green, and Nocioni would be called on before Turner to guard Davis. But if Iguodala gets in foul trouble, Turner might be called on before Nocioni to guard Pierce (at least I hope he would).

The other thing to keep in mind is how well the top 7 are playing. It's easier to play the 8th/9th guys if the team has built a nice lead ...

The other thing to keep in mind is how well the top 7 are playing. It's easier to play the 8th/9th guys if the team has built a nice lead ...

This is a good point, and jibes with something I read earlier today. Like, look at last night's game. Collins held Iguodala out until Martin came back in the fourth quarter, longer than he usually would have. That's a luxury he has when they have a lead. He did the same with Jrue vs. the Bulls (but actually waited too long to get Jrue back in there to match up w/ Rose).

Tom Moore on Mar 31 at 14:07

Video: Collins after practice on shortening the rotation and choosing between Turner and Nocioni:


I think if we actually have a shot at a first-round upset against Boston, that matters more than giving Turner a little time in some high-stakes games. I'm not really of the view that that type of experience is so much more valuable than regular season experience that 6 games makes that much difference when a guy's already played 82. Even if it is, an upset, even a 7-game loss or a really competitive 6-game loss, would be a big deal for this franchise. It would mean a lot in recruiting free agents; it might mean a bigger gate in the next season, which could lead to more willingness to spend from ownership. I don't really think you handicap yourself when you have that opportunity to give time to a badly struggling rookie.

There are a couple different kinds of playoff experience, imo. Just getting there and experiencing it is one kind. The intensity is different, teams don't take possessions off, the ebb and flow of the game is more extreme. That type of experience is just a matter of getting there and getting your feet wet.

The other kind of experience is when a team has several games and several days to game plan how to stop you, individually. This is the experience Iguodala got against Detroit, and then put into practice the following year against Orlando. The Magic did the same things to Iguodala that Detroit did the previous season, but he knew how to handle the extra attention. That kind of experience is really valuable, and really hard to come by. And there's pretty much zero chance that even if Turner does play in the playoffs (which he will, and should), he's not going to be the focus of anything. He's going to be out there in a really important game, but the game isn't going to hinge on how he plays, and how the opposing team does things differently to make it much harder for him to produce. If that makes any sense.

The way I see it, no matter what, Turner is going to get the first kind of experience. No matter what, he is not going to get the second kind.

I think it might be more important for the team to learn what kind of guy Turner is than for Turner to learn what the playoffs are like, though. I'm sure this would drive most statisticians crazy, but I believe you learn a lot about a player when he's playing in the most important game of his life. Some guys are better than they've ever been, some guys have problems just doing routine things when the pressure is ratcheted up like that. You learn a lot about yourself in those situations. Anyhoo, he'll get minutes, but probably not too many and he'll have ample opportunity to earn more, or less, depending on how he plays.

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 15:32

Interesting take.

As for the last part- about how guys respond to pressure- its often complicated.

For example, Look at Jrue. I think he has really stepped up in some of their bigger games when the rest of the team really needed him- for example the win against the Spurs. But he also has shown a tendency to make some terrible late game turnovers in close games.

IMO, the showing up big is much more important looking forward than the careless mistakes. Because you can learn to cut down TO's, but being the type who asserts themselves in big games usually is more of a personality thing.

Jrue is really a cool dude, and I mean that in the best way possible. Watching him in that Chicago game, he was just completely focused and didn't seem overwhelmed in the least.

Good point here. I see the high pressure situations like this. Some guys can do the things they normally do, like it's any other game, and that's a valuable skill. Some guys can't do the things they normally do, and that blows. And rarely, there are guys who can do things they can't normally do, they're the ones you really want. The guys who can jump higher, sprint faster, play longer without getting tired.

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 15:45

And that was not exactly a good game for him. 12/6/4 and 3 TO's and took some abuse at the hands of Rose.

I thought he played Rose very well in that game, there's only so much you can do against him, especially w/out someone to protect the rim behind you. He wasn't a big part of the offense on the other end, 8 shots, right?

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 16:00
tk76 reply to tk76 on Mar 31 at 16:00

Sorry, typo, meant 39 minutes.

johnrosz reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 16:57

This is what raised my first legit concern about Turner. Things got really dicey in the half court against OKC, and Evan was absolutely suffocated out there. It's one thing to play well against PHX and GSW, I've yet to see him put together a good one in a half court game.

Tom Moore on Mar 31 at 15:07

Iguodala on his sometimes bad body language: "I’ve always tried to be conscious about it. Most of the time I’m mad at myself. That’s the biggest thing."

Collins said Thursday that Battie (flu) still isn't ready to play. Would guess it'll essentially be an eight- or nine-man rotation most nights -- five starters, plus Lou, Young, Nocioni or Turner and sometimes Battie as the third big. Hawes playing well allows him to get more minutes and keeps Speights on the bench.


Do you think Coach Collins would answer a question of the type "What does Mareese Speights have to do in the off season to show he's ready for minutes?"

Alvin reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 16:32

That would be interesting to hear from Doug itself. But it feels like we all know what Speights needs to do, but he has yet to bring it consistently enough to earn the minutes.

Tom Moore reply to Alvin on Mar 31 at 17:58

I think what it boils down to is Collins doesn't trust Speights. Speights is too unreliable and a big liability on defense, where pretty much all he does is tries to draw charges. Battie is much more consistent and reliable, which is why he'll be the third big man in the playoffs.

Does Speights answer questions to the media much? or is he just not asked. I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about the matter and what he's going to be doing in the off season to work on it?

With 7 games to go the Sixers are likely looking at a 15-17 game improvement in wins as compared to last season. I know Larry Brown has a reputation as a reclamation specialist- but has any other NBA coach come close to what Collins has accomplished in his 1st year on the job:

Sixers: 15-17 game improvement (12 more wins with 7 to go)
Washington: 18 game improvement
Detroit: 18 game improvement
Bulls: "only" 10 game improvement

Here's hoping he has more staying power and long term success than he did after those other great first year bumps.

What's his improvement over the dileo year?

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 16:57

You can keep going back years, but the teams become less and less comparable. The Hawes/Sam swap was already a big change. But factor in Andre Miller that team 2 years ago even more different.

Every new coach is going to be replacing one that "failed" and was fired. And every new coach has to rebuild up team cohesion that was lost during the run-up to the previous firing. In the Sixers case that was probably played a big factor in the 3-13 start.

I'd say in most instances the team 2 years before the firing had a better record than the year previous- thus the reason why the previous coach got fired.

You can keep going back years, but the teams become less and less comparable. The Hawes/Sam swap was already a big change. But factor in Andre Miller that team 2 years ago even more different.

Elton Brand played 28 games.

So you think Andre Miller and no elton brand is more talent than a second year jrue holiday and a healthy elton brand?

Sorry. This team has more talent (in my opinion) than they had when Dileo was here and COllins is supposed to be the uber coach.
Did he do a good job this year, sure he did, did he do a great job based on his talent? Probably not. Just last year the team so WOEFULLY underperformed it's talent it SEEMS to be a better job.

Let's not forget Eddie Jordan and his inability to coach or use elton brand at all, his inattention to defense, and the fact that Lou Williams had the best year of his career

Do you feel the same way about Thibodeau? I mean, Del Negro was really a terrible coach. They were a pretty solid playoff team under Skiles, then they added Rose and Boozer, I mean, aren't they just playing to their skill level now rather than being coached by an uber genius?

Thibodeau is probably getting more credit than he deserves, but the bulls at least made the playoffs last year.

If Dileo or cheeks had coached last years roster to a 40-42 record - 8 seed - first round loss and then been fired for lack of 'advancement' - and then collins came in, would the praise for him be so good?

The sixers record was not reflective of their talent last year because their coach was an idiot who didn't know how to coach a roster, who alienated his players and made them all miserable. Collins not being a dick warrants praise?

Personally, I think when a coach of a team I root for beats my own expectations by 10 games or so, that merits praise. I'm typically overly optimistic before the season begins and I thought I was giving the Sixers an extra 5 games when I predicted 32 wins.

As for the Bulls, they were a playoff team last year w/ a bad coach and no PF. They got Boozer over the summer, and some other pieces, and got rid of the bad coach. Actually, they've notably improved their roster while you can't make the same claim about the Sixers over last season. I think Collins has probably had more to do w/ the turnaround in Philly than Thibs did in Chicago, based on your criteria, at least.

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 17:44

The Bulls made the jump from also ran to legit playoff contender. They have improved their talent and are somewhat healthier. But not every team can be a contender, so its worth more than the W/L record.

But were your expectations were clouded by last years record and performance (as was almost everyone's) is the question.

Did the sixers out perform this year or just out perform unreasonably low expectations because they had a horrible coach last year.

Collins is a better coach than eddie jordan - but so are you, or tk, or derek, or even eddy or kellys dad.

All I'm saying is that the jubilence over Collins performance I believe is over blown because of the weight of unrealistically low expectations.

They were a 500 team (pretty much) before Jordan - a half assed coach gets em close to 500 last year - and then Collins performance isn't so amazing, is it?

Under DiLeo and Cheeks, they had a guy in the middle who blocked a ton of shots and gobbled up defensive rebounds. With that, a halfway decent coach can coax a decent defensive performance out of a team. A good defensive coach can couple that with an elite wing defender to create a very good defense. The main basis for my prediction was the complete lack of an interior presence on the defensive end. I didn't think it was possible to have a top-ten defense with a sieve as your starting center, and I still really don't know how Collins has done it.

You may be able to make the case that he's gotten this roster to play to its potential on the offensive end this season and any improvement shouldn't really be attributed to Collins. I'd disagree, but there's an argument there, somewhere. I don't think you can make the case that they'd be this good defensively, with really one plus defender in their ten man rotation, without Collins. And defense is the reason they've had this turnaround.

Yes, he looks better in comparison to Jordan last season, but he really does deserve all the credit he's getting for getting the team as a whole to defend like they have considering the limitations on that side of the ball.

With that, a halfway decent coach can coax a decent defensive performance out of a team.

And yet Jordan couldn't do it.

So yeah, he's better than Jordan.

Like I said, being better than Eddie Jordan isn't hard.

year 2 will be more telling than year one.

johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 17:00

Can't make that comparison, it was a much different team with Miller.

I know you don't like Doug that much, but you can't disregard what he's done after the 3-13 start. Eddie Jordan did an awful lot of damage, bad habits aren't that easy to shake.

if we 'can't compare' because of one mediocre player (cause jrue is hella better than miller) then you can't compare last year because it was a different roster, with a much dumber coach. Tray or you could have coached the sixers better than Eddie Jordan did last year.

People ignore the 'job' Eddie Jordan did and over praise collins based on comparing it to last years record, but the sixers grossly under performed their talent last year because theye were coached by a moron.

I think it's more fair to compare them to Dileo because even though you think Miller is a big deal I think HAVING elton brand for a full season is a much bigger deal than having andre miller and elton brand for only 28 games.

In fact, Collins has more talent than Dileo had, so he BETTER have a better record.

johnrosz reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 17:24

difference of opinion on Miller I suppose.

I don't think you can ignore the way they take care of the basketball this year, or the way they've defended the 3 pt line, after what seems like a decade of inept 3 pt defense.

And I think you're ignoring the fact that Eddie Jordan didn't care about defense or know how to use his talent.

Comparing Collins record to the barely at or below 500 teams of the cheeks/dileo era makes more sense to me than comparing them to the record of a guy who makes isiah thomas look like a genius. It gives Collins more credit than he deserves because Jordan was terrible (and again, you ignore the fact that this is elton brands first healthy year in philadelphia because it gives collins an advantage Cheeks/Dileo never had)

tk76 reply to johnrosz on Mar 31 at 17:32

Yeah, I think Andre Milelr in his prime is a mucjh more winning player than Jrue at 20. Jrue is more talented, but he still is learning the game and the PG position. While Miller regularly knew exactly when to step up and how to settle down the team.

You can't even harp on Miller's defense, given Jrue has been torched much worse than Miller was that year.

tk76 reply to johnrosz on Mar 31 at 17:28

He's done a great job maximizing the play of Brand, Thad, Iguodala and Meeks. You could arguably say the same about Hawes- since I think he is basically a bum.

Collins has walked a tightrope with Jrue. He's both given him a ton of minutes (35 min/g is 19th highest all time of the 100 players in NBA history who played at least 15 min/g at age 20.)
But he's not completely handed rue the keys, because that would have cost them a lot of losses. Probably close to an ideal balance of player development without costing the team wins.

As for Turner, that's a tough one. Overall Turner has averaged nearly 23 min a game and appeared in all but 1 game. But he's clearly not being maximized nor showing progress. So next year will be pretty key. And I do wonder more and more whether the rumors about Collins being down on Turner on draft day were true. Collins has admitted that he was not one of the lead decision-makers regarding the draft.

As for Speights- all NBA coaches hate the guy. he should have his very own personal doghouse. So I don't read much into his lack of PT. Had he somehow gotten Speights to tap into his talent it would be a plus- but that might not be a realistic expectation.

BTW - I'd give coach of the year to poppovich personally

tk76 reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 17:42

I probably would go with either Pops or Thibbs. I'f definitely rate Collins top 5 for this year (that does not make him a top 5 coach per say.)

I actually think if you're talking theory, x's and o's, pregame strategy/preparation and maximizing his players' skills, he's at or near the top of the league. As for in-game management, I think he makes some questionable moves and I think it comes from him being too emotionally involved. The team feeds off his energy, but he doesn't see the forest for the trees, sometimes.

tk76 reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 17:51

That's probably a fair assessment. But I think it will take a few years and hopefully a bunch of playoff games to better assess Collins as a coach of the Sixers.

But simply grading his first year- especially given their stated goals- its hard to give him anything worse than an A-/B+. And you can make a strong argument for a higher grade than that.

But I think it will take a few years and hopefully a bunch of playoff games to better assess Collins

So after he's gone.

Or do you really think he lasts more than 3 years?

jsmoove reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 18:00

You predicted he wouldn't even make it through this year, right? Around the time he took off for the concussion...Didn't you say he would bow out mid-season?

I was sort of half kidding but I said I wouldn't be surprised if he left halfway through the season, but that's also when they were off to their 3-13 start (and I wasn't the only one thinking he wouldn't make it through the season and found the timing of the concussion symptoms returning very 'conspiracy' like')

The 3 years thing though isn't a number I made up, it's pretty much his track record

3 seasons in Chicago
2 1/2 Season in Detroit
2 seasons in Washington

What's also interesting is the 'hiatuses'
6 years between chicago and detroit
3 years between detoit and washington
7 years between washington and philly.

He doesn't exactly have a staying power and I wonder if he is of the 'larry bowa school' (bowa isn't the first but the one that sticks in my memory) of rubbing goes the wrong way after a couple years.

(Or scott skiles if you want)

Three years seems like a reasonable guess to me at this point. I know he said he wants to be here for five.

Collins was fired after leading the bulls to their best record in 15 years and a conference finals appearance?

Jeez - that's rough

Yeah, I always thought he got a raw deal in CHI. I mean, that team was so talented, you have to think if he had hung on he'd be the one with five rings. Though maybe at that point they were so talented they really needed a zen master more than a teacher.

johnrosz reply to Brian on Mar 31 at 18:39

it was Jordan that wanted him out, correct?

Don't know. I think there was a book written about that, I didn't read it, though. If anyone knows the title, I'd like to pick it up.

I'm assuming it's The Jordan Rules by one of my least favorite basketball writers.

Rich reply to GoSixers on Mar 31 at 20:00

He did want him out, because Collins apparently became so emotional after every game, that Jordan couldn't take it. He also apparently gave into Jordan, so the organization was alright with doing it.

In related news, coaching a young Michael Jordan wasn't fun, per se.

I wonder if that's a strong indication of just how long it takes Collins to rub a team (and organization) the wrong way?

Conference finals,still fired, and it's not like they had larry brown waiting to replace him (even though of course brown still had a job with the sixers, oh wait, that's how detroit played out)

Spencer Flaws on Mar 31 at 19:49

We got mentioned as one of the most intriguing teams going into the playoffs.

I think Collins has tempered himself enough that what he did wrong with those other teams he has corrected about himself for the most part. You can see when he is happy now, not so much when he is mad. He's learned to praise instead of be harsh. He's also learned to let his assistants be a "voice" to prevent the players from being tired of his own. He's matured a lot as a coach. Is he perfect? No. Not even the great coaches like Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach were perfect. But he fits for this team. I really don't see why he wouldn't be around here for 3-5 years. Larry Brown lasted here longer than he did anywhere else and he's moved around more than any coach. Collin's situation with his other teams were different. He wasn't fired so much based on his work but because expectations were higher than his rosters could deliver at the time. He's always had young rosters. Grant Hill, Michael Jordan, Rip Hamilton etc were all young when he had them. He certainly was at fault for being too emotional with Jordan and company but it's not exactly like MJ was easy to coach at the time. He had an insane desire to win and was frustrated he didn't get to the point he wanted to be. The simple fact is the players weren't mature enough when Collins had them to get to that championship level. The Pistons were as good as that talent could get and same for Washington. I couldn't imagine any coach getting those teams any better than they were those years with the same rosters. Same for this year's 76ers.

I bet if you go back to his first years at Detroit, Chicago and possibly even Washington he 'enjoyed it' as well.

3 years - 3 different jobs - separated by decades. He obviously didn't 'learn' anything between those jobs. No reason to think he learned anything now.

If anything, as he's older, he might start to miss the much easier well paying broadcasting job sooner than later.

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