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Life Without Lou

This is an interesting situation. Finally, we will be able to see what life without Lou would be and possibly measure his value to the team. It's only for a few games, but Thorn will get a chance to see whether Lou is indispensable and should be kept or traded for something that the team needs more (aka anyone resembling a quality big man).

That being said, i really hope Lou is back at full health before the playoffs. I know he can singlehandedly lose you a game, but he can also win a game just as often. And considering Collins has shown that he likes to play his players more when they are hot and less when they are not i am confident that he can limit Lou's damage in a certain game and maximize his production when he is on. And when he is on, he really makes the Sixers difficult to defend, which is going to be key for them in the postseason.

It's worth pointing out that ever since the Portland game that Iguodala missed (a span of 7 games), Jrue has 53 assists to 18 turnovers while Iguodala has 41 assists to 19 turnovers. In the Portland game itself, Jrue had 10 assists to 1 turnover. So, while Iguodala still has been getting his share of assists (not as many as in Feb.), Jrue is slowly being given back more playmaking responsibilities. Jrue has shown himself worthy of greater trust, and Collins has responded in kind.

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Tom Moore on Apr 5 at 9:20
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Story: Turner's role expected to increase:

http://ow.ly/4ts0U

We will have to see whether TO's go up without Lou.

Like Iguodala, Lou takes care of the ball. Of the 16 NBA players with usage rates over 27% Lou has the second best TOV%. And 5th of 45 players with usage rates over 25%. I doubt whomever takes those extra possessions will take care of the ball as good as Lou. Even Iguodala has a much higher TOV% (and a much lower usage rate.)

Of course, the flip side being the rest of the team will be much more involved with Lou off the floor. But put it this way... Lou gave you average NBA offense (TS% 54% is the NBA team average) but below average TOV%. His shooting was below average (eFG% 46% vs league average 49%.)

So to make up for Lou's absence the team will have to either really take care of the ball, or run above average offense to make up for the bump in TO's.

Then again, Lou's defense is supposedly terrible. But the numbers don't really bear that out. Most likely because when Lou is on the floor the decreased T turnovers means less easy baskets for the opposition. So even if he gets beat a bit more in the set offense the numbers more than even out.

Overall, this helps explain the team's strong defensive numbers despite weak personnel. If you take care of the ball and cut down on giving up easy baskets off of turnovers- then you are ahead of the curve and get a big bump in all of your defensive stats.

Interesting hypothesis (low turnover rate improves defense), and there is probably some merit to that. However, not all turnovers are equal: traveling calls or offensive fouls are probably less harmful than missed shots (esp. blocked shots or long rebounds), which often result in fastbreaks for the other team. The most harmful turnovers are steals for the opposing team.

On the other hand, having watched the Sixers all year, I'm convinced that Lou's overall man-to-man defense is no worse than Jrue's, and probably better (though Jrue's higher steal rate probably balances things for overall defensive performance). If there were a stat for average distance between defender to jump-shooter (which research at the Sloan conference indicated is correlated to defensive FG%), I bet Lou's number would be better than Jrue's on average.

This isn't to say that Jrue isn't capable of much better defense than Lou, just that he hasn't produced it consistently this year. In fact, this is probably one of the Sixers' brightest hopes for the playoffs, that Jrue will step up his game even further and win his PG matchup vs. Rondo or dominate vs. the Heat PGs.

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tk76 reply to Statman on Apr 5 at 11:37
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Yeah, Jrue has a better chance of defending a top player, but against an average PG Jrue tends to get burned more. Jrue has a much higher DWS and a slightly better DRtg, but Lou has a much better opponent PER. But those stats are all flawed.

In terms of the low TO leads to better defense- that was the staple of Larry Brow's "boring offenses" for many years. Keep floor balance, don't take early jumpers and take care of the ball. Especially the AI teams, where AI held onto the ball a ton.

Not that it matters, but the DRtg numbers for B-R.com (from which you are probably quoting the DWS numbers) are very different from basketballvalue.com (where Lou's DRtg number is better than Jrue's and so the DWS numbers would be closer). Strange discrepancy, but from my impressions this year I tend to believe BV.com.

BV.com is dependent on play-by-play data, and there some shortcomings in going that route. One really odd thing is that play-by-play data counts it as an offensive rebound when a player misses the first of two foul shots. This throws off offensive rebounding rates, though I guess it shouldn't change the overall number of possessions when you're basically counting them, and not using a formula to come up with the number.

I tend to believe BV.com over B-R.com, simply because B-R.com's is derived from a formula, which is adjusted for pace. What's the spread between their DFR's?

If I'm reading the sites correctly, Jrue's DFR is 106 at B-R.com and 105 at BV.com, while Lou's is 108 at B-R.com and 104 at BV.com. At 82games.com (a month out of date), both are at 106.

I still can't believe that B-R.com uses different definitions (individual vs. team) to calculate OFR and DFR.

Re: play-by-play data, it's true that missed free throws are counted as team offensive rebounds, but if you look in any boxscore, the total offensive rebounds equals the sum of the individual offensive rebounds (i.e., they don't count the team offensive rebounds). So my guess is that any site that computes advanced stats should tell their algorithms to omit those team offensive rebounds.

Right, but I'm pretty sure BV.com does not. If you look at their OREB%, they're all really high. or at least they were the last time I checked.

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Tom Moore on Apr 5 at 10:01
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Sixers officially signed Daniels.

Also, here's a Collins video on how Williams being out could effect Young and how Sixers won't have Williams getting to the line and scoring late in games:

http://ow.ly/4tuh7

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Tom Moore on Apr 5 at 10:57
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Daniels could play right away for Sixers:

http://ow.ly/4tygK

more bad news, elton brand has been playing with a broken hand,

Not that I don't believe it but how could a NY times reporter be the first to break this?

So according to Collins Evan is going to play more of his natural game with the 2nd unit having the ball in his hands. This could really help him and the team if he steps up because when he has been used the way he SHOULD be used he's had good games. Unfortunately he hasn't been used that way enough as Collins has been forced to try to turn him into a SG. Really Turner should be pretty much filling in as Jrue-Meeks' backup. The loss is the threat of Lou's 3 point game (when he is hot or clutch) and getting to the line.

Collins needs to show Turner some trust and not yank him for every mistake and Turner needs to earn that trust by playing well. I'm concerned about Brand's fractured hand. Speights might need to be let out of the doghouse as well. If the bench is so deep and the league's best Collins should let the stallions out to play. It could be wild with Speights and Turner but also unpredictable to a vet team like the Celtics and Heat in the playoffs.

The last time Turner had a chance to step up it was his foul trouble that cost him PT. And he has not played more than 10 min of competitive game action since.

I am interested to see how Turner plays t his "natural position." That should be a decent gauge of what promise he has as a player- and puts him firmly in no-excuse, put up or shut up territory. he's a competitor- so hopefully he responds.

So basically, aside from simply lacking talent or being over-matched by the Celtics defense, there is no other reason why Turner should not perform well tonight. If he is as talented as we think he is- there is no reason not to be able to showcase it these next 5 games.

And if Turner fails to produce in this "natural role" over these games, then there are no excuses left and IMO it would confirm any and all doubts to his present and future as an NBA player.

I know that sounds like hyperbole- but after a year of excuses and underwhelming performance- these last 5 games should be the perfect opportunity to show he can get over the hump. He will be given the minutes in the ideal role and he's had 1500+ min of NBA experience. So perform or expect the doubters to get even louder heading into next year.

Just curios, what is Evan's natural position?

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Apr 5 at 17:23
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Ball dominant SG. Sort of like what Kobe does (effectively)- controls the ball, takes a bunch of short/midrange jumpers and creates for others. But not a PG and not a spot up shooter.

But that's not something that would work on this roster so allowing him to play his 'natural' position seems like a bad idea at all?

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Apr 5 at 17:58
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Is it a worse idea than trying to get him to play a role he fails at (off the ball shooter?)

I'm not saying ET will always be limited in his role. But right now I think we've seen enough to conclude that currently he is a below average and infective NBA player in an off the ball role. Maybe he will expand his game. Maybe he won't amount to much of anything. or maybe Thorn will shake up the roster down the road.

Keep in mind that ET was neither Thorn or Collins's guy. So they are not wedded to his success in the same way.

I think Evan is a point-forward type like Iguodala but since he has that position locked up Evan is more a point-SG. He really couldn't get much time at PG or SF because of Jrue-Iggy so SG is what he is left with but he should bring the ball up and distribute when the other play-makers aren't in the game.

he's a combo guard imo.


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