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Hedging? What's That?

Great work, Rich.

For the record, that was a nice rotation the Voose made on the first play, if that's Hawes out there he probably doesn't rotate, and even if he does, he definitely doesn't rotate quickly enough to get the steal. So there, no one can ever say I've never said nothing positive about the Voose. Of course, we are comparing him to Hawes so it's not exactly a high bar, but it was a nice play nonetheless.

jfp reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 19:03

This is why I come here and read most every day. I learn more about the intricacies of basketball than I can anywhere else. Great work, Rich and thanks, Brian for this forum.

Great article. This is the kind of insight that one could only hope in getting from a legitimate NBA sports writer.

As for the Sixers, I think I remember Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young doing a lot of hedging last year. It was just Spencer Hawes who didn't. Since Lou Williams opponent's PER is so much lower than Jrue's, it probably has to do with Jrue having to play more with Spencer.

I could be wrong, though.

Brand would do it from time to time, but it was almost like a call. Like Collins would tell them to really lock down and he'd show really hard, almost double. It happened rarely. I can't remember Thad doing much at all. Hawes was consistently glued to the floor on every pick and roll all season, and everyone knew it.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 13:15

Yup, often times Brand would be very intense looking like he wanted to hedge, but he played five feet behind the screen.

Wonderful work Rich!!

Collins hinted they will try to use the speed of most players on the team more this year on defense, so i guess we are going to see more rotating.

Also it's nice to see Thad and Meeks in a defensive set :).

Just letting you all know that Lakers-Clippers preseason is on tonight at 10:30. And at 7:00, the thrilling NBA debuts of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Tyler (Biyombo will spend this season in Spain).

Yeah yeah we are only getting thrilled when there is a Sixers game on. Who cares about the Cluppers, let alone the Bobcats.

Tray reply to Xsago on Dec 19 at 8:37

Oh I'm not suggesting that seeing the most athletic big man and the best point guard of their generation playing together for the first time would be thrilling or anything.

Biyombo completed his buyout, he's in Charlotte and will probably sign his rookie contract today.

I wish Larry Brown was still coaching the Bobcats. he would have been a great 1st NBA coach for Bismack.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 12:57

As Ziller points out on SB Nation, he's basically playing for free this year.

Another reason to like the guy.

suggestion: how bout we start putting sarcastic statements in italics, to promote clearness that is.
like this?

deepsixersuede on Dec 19 at 7:40

Excellent job Rich!!! Brian, the "new and improved" Spencer may fool you this year. :) I thought the Vuce rotated well all night and salivate with the thought of a J.Henson rotating from the weak side next season for us.

Hints on what ownership is thinking? Maybe maybe not...


To sum it up, the author says:

- Harris thinks the fans will respond to a good contending team
- He thinks the team can become a contender without a dominant big man (e.g. Mavs and Celtics)
- All basketball decisions will be made by Collins and Thorn
- They will spend money "for value"

Tray reply to Xsago on Dec 19 at 9:36

I do hope, like Brian said in a post a couple weeks back, that they hire a smarter GM at some point.

The Mavs have Dirk and the Celts had Garnett. They're both dominant big men in different ways than, say, Shaq, but they're still dominant bigs and they were the best players on championship teams. The last team that won w/out a dominant big in one way or another was the Bulls w/ Jordan.

Mopey reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 6:06

They had luc longley...

Edward O'Reilly on Dec 19 at 9:09

Rich, Great article and in depth analysis.

Very nice article. I would hope if the sixers go to a harder hedge to help style they wouldn't revert to having the 3pt defense of the eddie jordan era. But I'm sure Collins will have a dynamic defense that adapts to the style of play the sixers are facing.

On a side note, I know its preseason and all but durant had 21 points in 23 minutes on 5 shots. Who does that?

Tray reply to sooner on Dec 19 at 9:38

Someone who gets to the line 14 times. Impressive that he did that w/o making a single three.

sooner reply to Tray on Dec 19 at 9:54

Yea he's good at basketball.

Sorry for going on a thunder tangent but does anyone else feel like the thunder should try and get an elite big for westbrook? I love watching that guy play but I think they'd be better with maynor and a very good big man then with westbrook and the 2 quality bigs they have.

Stan reply to sooner on Dec 19 at 10:14

I wonder how much they think of Westbrook. I thought they would have dangled him for CP3. I was thinking that a package of Ibaka and Westbrook along with other expirings would have been fair compensation for Howard.

Westbrook + picks for Paul would have been alone. But Paul wouldn't sign with the Thunder i guess.

What is impressive if he actually did it without the "cookie in the jar". I thought that rule will significantly limit his FT attempts. Not sure how he actually got to the line in this game, haven't watched it.

Over the next 6 years, who will win more titles, Lebron or Durant?

And will either win more than 2?

I know many of you will disagree but i think Durant will win more titles and neither will win more than 2 in the next 6 years. Over a longer period of time Durant may have a shot at winning more since he is still very young.

Actually i think this year is the best chance the Heat will ever have at a title as currently constructed.



Hmmn. Tough question. It'll probably depend on how the Heat handle the tax, how Wade holds up physically, and what the Heat can do when Wade is over the hill (and still under contract). I'd say LeBron has a better shot in the first three years, Durant a better shot in the last three. But if I'm making a guess, I say they each get one in the next six years.

Tray reply to tk76 on Dec 19 at 13:03

I'll go with 2 for the Heat, 1 for the Thunder, 1-2 for the Bulls. Not sure why I'm predicting the Bulls win anything, but I guess I think Thibodeau is a great defensive coach, Rose can still get better, and they'll eventually get the mix of talent around him right.

stan reply to tk76 on Dec 19 at 14:18

Lebron. I think he'll win 2 out of the 3. A

Interesting read. Good use of vidcaps to make it clear. I'll be paying closer attention to this on Tuesday.

The Mavs are signing Sean Williams (formerly of the Nets and the D-league). I know there were people here clamoring for him last season.

Hang in there today, doing some more work on the new template.

You already know I don't like the two columns... just wanted you to also know it does not work well in a mobile browser (DolphinHD on Android) because it is hard to scroll in the 2nd window.

I don't mind two columns, but this is sort of whacky (and the header i locked so that it's always at the top of the screen, obscuring text as you scroll down)

I'd use the right column for links to other articles, maybe some relevant statistics

Fucking android. Ugh. Still a work in progress. I'm just sick of scrolling like 5,000 pixels down the page to get to the comments. I'll work out the kinks, then see how it sits. Don't worry, I'm not throwing the old template away, and I'll probably have a more traditional version available for you to choose (it'll set a cookie so you can toggle and it'll remember your preference.

To be clear, I am not asking for a "mobile version" of the site. In fact the regular desktop version works great in landscape mode on my phone (I don't even have to zoom.) The main issue is that scrolling the whole screen is easy on a phone (a flick) but using a scroll bar is next to impossible on a small screen.

Not sure there is an easy answer for avoiding scrolling. I guess you could write script to nest replies if they have already been "read." That would significantly truncate the discussion "tree."

Hmmn, that might work, to show/hide based on whether a comment has been read or not. Let me look into that.

You'd have to make it so it's openable/closeable at the users discretion...wehther it's read or not so they can go back and skim?

Yeah, basically, it would need to toggle all read comments off, with the option to open individually or click a button to expand all of them. The trick is to make sure when a child comment is unread, the entire lineage including the parent should be toggled open, or expanded.

Also thinking about toggling the body of the entry open on first view, then closed on subsequent views to bring the comments further up the page.

Yeah. basically un-nest if:

1. The comment is unread
2. The comment has an unread reply

OK, done tinkering for now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Great article! The use of screencaps & video is really enlightening.

Are Afflalo, Humphries, Sam, etc. ever signing with anyone? The season starts in 6 days.

This is a very amusing little item:


stan reply to Tray on Dec 19 at 14:09

I heard Sam has been talking to the Mavs and the Rockets. Humphrey is a weird case, hes been offered a high school coaching job and a pro hockey position with minnesota. I thought some team would offer him the MLE.

Kris Humphries seems to be trying to stay in the reality spotlight with his own reality show. I honestly think it's turning teams away. He's a mediocre talent with a 'tabloid' lifestyle...no team is going to want that

Stan reply to GoSixers on Dec 19 at 16:51

I haven't heard anything about him having his own reality tv show. If that's true, he deserves what he's getting. I just think that a guy who averaged 10/10 should be able to find a spot on a NBA roster. I don't know what the Sam's or Afflalo's deal is.

I'm surprised BK hasn't offered him the same deal he gave to Kenny Thomas.

question about the comments, when i hit "show", the comment doesnt always show, does anyone know how to fix it?

Are you seeing a hide/show button right now? Hmmn, I'm not seeing it. thought I stripped it out before I went to lunch.

Since people are talking about the website functionality, any way to make it so we can mute or pause the ads in the top right corner? For some reason when I hit pause and/or mute nothing happens. I appreciate the website regardless, but thought I would at least mention it.

Also if enough people haven't said it already, great post Rich.

I turn the volume down to zero - it seems to remember that - and then i never hear them

?? comments have a (Show) button but don't open when clicked?

Yeah, I never saw the show button. Should be fixed now.

Brian, the +/- button works well both on Chrome and Android. As you probably know, nothing is collapsed yet.

Can you check it now?

Yep, compressed and button works.

Now just add a +/- button at the end of the article stub (the article intro that shows at the from page) and you will have the compressed look you wanted.

Also, have you though of comment numbers? That makes it easier for someone to site a previous comment. Especially important when the actual comments are compressed.

Lastly- I think the page loads much faster now that the comments are hidden.

Expand works. But there is no way to re-compress all at once.

One small issue I noticed.

When on the front page, if you click on someone's post it navigate to it but does not open it back up if it is read.

I think I have a fix for this figured out. Will test it out later. I can live w/ how it's currently working for the time being, so I'll just leave it up for a while as I figure the rest of the stuff out.

One other issue. A new comment shows, but the thread above that it is in response to is not showing. for example, you replied to Tom, but Tom's original comment did not show. Is this how you want it?



Actually, expands all, but contracts only the ones that have been read (which is even better.)

So more accurately:

"Expand/Contract previously read comments"

:) I'll probably just put +/- all or something. That text is just a placeholder for the final version, which will have a couple more bells/whistles.

Tom Moore on Dec 19 at 17:21

Sixers story (with Collins video interview): Speights has inside track on being fourth big man


Wait, I assume Thad is the third, right? So Speights is ahead of the Voose and Battie?

Strange, considering he barely played on Friday night.

It's about time. He's ready for a breakout year.

Break out the donuts.

I'm actually kind of surprised no one has jumped on the "building trade value" angle of this story.

Do you think that's what's going on here? I don't. I think Collins is being honest when he says an out-of-shape Speights is better than the alternatives.

Tom Moore on Dec 19 at 17:24

If Speights gets time before Voose it will probably be the rare instance where the masses are not clamoring for the rookie to be thrown into the fire.

Brian, new posts are taking about 30 seconds to show up (when you go back to the home screen.) Is this normal?

They do post immediately when you return directly to the comment thread.

Not really a big deal, just feedback with regards to the new scrips.

Yeah, I put the homepage on a script that runs every minute, so the number on the home page won't update right away, but the comment will show up on the article page right away. It took one dependency out of the publishing process, and sped up the comment submission time.

A good basketball town?

The pregame on the radio for lakers/clippers starts 90 minutes before tip off

It looks looked Arron Afflalo got the same deal as Thad (5yr/43M). Good for him.

He's not worth as much as Thad, imo.

Here are two interesting comps. Thad, Afflalo and Stuckey.


Last year

Note that Thad is 3 years younger than Afflalo and 2 years younger than Stuckey.


This guy Kurt Helin has the Sixers out of the playoffs, which I think is way wrong, but there's no real point arguing Sixers with outside people. The thing I will take umbrage with is that he says Washington and the Nets, who I think may be two of the worst teams in the league, will just miss out.

I really think the Sixers should be disappointed with anything less than a Top-5 finish.

Agreed. I know the Wizards are horrible, and it was presesaon, but the Sixers looked like they hadn't missed any time on Friday. I think they're going to pick up where they left off and the continuity is going to be good for a handful more wins than they should get. Home court is a distinct possibility.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 20:43

I kind of like that they will fly under the radar, unlike when Brand first got here and too much was expected even nationally.

I mean, the Wiz and the Nets though? I saw them both play preseason games and they stink. There's some leeway for how bad they'll be, but even "mediocre" seems way above their ceiling.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 20:47

Actually someone posted their blog predictions in the comments section. I thought this was solid analyis. He'll be big time soon:


Heh. That's funny.

Ryan F reply to Rich on Dec 20 at 8:14

The name of the blog is fitting.

I read the Sixers over-under is 30.5, which was shocking.

Really. That's worth betting, if you're the betting type.

Yeah, i'd take the over myself - but i don't think they're going to massively surpass it

Dear god - another power outage in san francisco - this is just embarassing

Bobcats 1-0, folks. Beware.

Sam Dalembert has yet to sign a contract - that's odd

Throw him the bi-annual and dump Speights for a second rounder. That keeps you under the lux tax.

Do you think speights would still be on the team if they could find someone to take him for a second rounder?:)

I think someone would send us a second rounder for Speights and $3M, if they really needed to make it happen.

Stan reply to Brian on Dec 19 at 22:07

I would love for that to happe. That being said, the Heat would be fools not to offer Sam the MLE.

They already used their MLE on Battier.

Nick Young is funny

Nick Young says he will take it out on the league not getting a multi-year deal on the free agent market

I think the Sixers might be the most succesful Philly team this year.

I think the phillies had the best record in the major leagues in the regular season

So - no I don't think the sixers will be the most successful Philly team in this year.

I also hear tell that the flyers are pretty good

Give Knicks superfan Spike Lee credit for planting the seed in Tyson Chandler’s mind last season. Lee, who has become tight with the Knicks front office and attends periodic practices, chatted up Chandler before the Dallas game in early February last season. “Last year he was trying to convince me to come here in free agency as if he was the general manager or owner,’’ Chandler revealed. “We were talking before the game. I said, ‘Look, Spike, right now I’m a Maverick and chasing a dream, trying to go for a title. Free agency is the furthest thing from my mind.’ He definitely was planting that seed.’’ New York Post

There's something really wrong with this if true - there's tons of tampering in the NBA that seems to be ok

Tray reply to GoSixers on Dec 19 at 22:51

There's something wrong with a fan of a team telling a player he hopes the player will sign with the team he's a fan of?

Yeah, I don't have a problem w/ that. He doesn't work for the Knicks.

Lee, who has become tight with the Knicks front office and attends periodic practices, chatted up Chandler before the Dallas game in early February last season.

A fan shouldn't be on the court like that, agents shouldn't be negotiating trades...

I'm watching this Lakers/Clippers game and I also watched a bit of the earlier game. There's some ugly, ugly basketball being played. I'm also starting to wonder if the Clippers are going to be more interested in winning games or trying to throw as many lobs as possible.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 0:32

Clips look good to me. Lakers look horrible though.

Are the Lakers still playing the triangle? Haven't been paying a ton of attention, but pretty sure I saw it. Thought they were doing away w/ it under Brown.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 0:59

Looked pretty similar to it, and Kobe was bossing people who he thought were in the wrong spots, but he probably does that regardless of the offense.

Yeah, I think Brown is going to have problems in LA. He wasn't quite in charge in CLE, and I think Kobe has a much worse "me first" attitude than LeBron ever did. Jackson could get him to realize that taking 40 shots wasn't the best way for the team to win, I think Brown will struggle w/ that.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 1:34

Kobe looked a little slow tonight, even though his numbers were pretty good. Refs were pretty kind to him though.

Dwight reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 0:50

The Clippers look really, really impressive.

I really like the Billups-Paul combo in the back court. They complement each other pretty well. Also I had no idea how dominant DeAndre Jordan is on defense. I can see why the Clippers gave him that contract. That's the shot blocking and defensive presence that the Sixers need.

As for the Lakers, I can see why Kobe is so upset with them. They have zero bench. Jason Kapono is considered one of their key pieces for crying out loud! If Bynum or Kobe or Gasol go down, they are screwed.

NBATV promo for tomorrow night's game "John Wall and the Wizards take on Evan Turner and the Sixers!" Really? Either the fifth or sixth best player on the team?

Dwight reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 0:45

Yeah, I saw that. I guess that means the most widely recognized player on our team is Evan Turner. Hopefully it will become Jrue Holiday by the end of the season.

mchezo reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 6:21

Four of the NBA's top ten plays for last Friday featured Wall and the Wizards scoring on the Sixers.

Cin reply to mchezo on Dec 20 at 11:09

There's nothing so exciting as a garbage time slam against a lazy defense. I see all this potential that Wall has and really he's already an extraordinary talent, but is he a winner? It's the same question I've seen posed to Blake Griffin as well, but he does seem to have those intangibles within him (and Chris Paul will sure help bring them out, can you say them same about Rashard Lewis?). I don't know, I guess being so disappointed in Turner's rookie season I'm trying to find flaws with the more "successful" Wall and Cousins, but I honestly don't think the 76ers would be better off with either. Collins could have done wonders with Favors though... shame, shame.

Neither Wall nor Cousins were good NBA players last season. They can both obviously improve, but their production was pretty terrible. Actually, there were only a handful of players who played 2,000+ minutes and produced less last season.

The Sixers are on NBA TV later tonight. I spent all my post writing time working on the new entry template (some parts of which you've probably already noticed).

Will have a brief preview up in the afternoon. In the mean time, check out some of the new features and let me know what you think. I'll give a complete rundown of what's changed, and why, later in the week.

With Arthur being out for the season, how about Speights to the Grizzlies? What do they have to offer?

Possible targets: Selby, Henry, Mayo, Young... Not sure what Speights's value is atm and what these guys value is as well. None of them feels a need but some are young prospects that can be of value later on.

My guess is that Speights' value is zero at the moment. As in, second round pick at best.

sfw reply to Xsago on Dec 20 at 12:02

Thanks for the link:

"Speights is scheduled to earn $2.7 million this season so Philadelphia might require Memphis to send a combination of Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez to complete the deal. "

We can corner the market on Xaviers. Sounds great!

Rich reply to tk76 on Dec 20 at 14:30

Well it's pronounced Zav-ee-ay. He'd be like Bizarro Jrue with regular spelling, weird pronounciation.

So we could have both "ex-zavier" and "Zav-ee-ay."

Tray reply to tk76 on Dec 20 at 15:02

I'd be happy to get Henry. He wasn't good last year, but he has some talent. In college he was a good shooter, though he was just 2-17 from three last year. Vazquez seems like a lot to ask for; I'd be surprised if they did that.

jsmoove reply to sfw on Dec 20 at 14:48

Interesting. Hope it comes true. I would love to have Vasquez as a backup to Jrue. Very savvy and heady player. Good IQ.



OK, this isn't what it's going to look like, but down below the comment form you'll see a black box that says new comments with a number. That number represents the number of comments which have come in since you've been on the page (it updates every 30 seconds, that timing may change). If you click on the number, the page will reload, scroll to the oldest, new comment, and mark all the comments as unread, so they're expanded. This should come in handy during game threads, and it'll be in an easy-to-access location.

Just as an FYI:

For some reason the new format does not load on DolphinHD browser. Not a huge deal, as it does work on the stock android browser and on Opera Mini. But I think Dolphin might be the most popular 2nd party browser for android. It opens the page, but you can't scroll up and down to get to the comment. Strange,, since it worked fine last night with the collapsing and other new features.

You might want to put in an "optimized for" caption somewhere once you are done.

jkay reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 14:53

awesome Brian, you're working hard.
this definitely makes it easier to navigate.

Tom Moore on Dec 20 at 11:46

Sixers video interview: Craig Brackins on moving to small forward and hoping to crack Doug Collins' rotation:


Well this is interesting:

The Philadelphia 76ers Chief Executive Officer and co-Owner Adam Aron announced today that "American Idol" Season Five finalist Ayla Brown and the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will partner to provide fans with an exceptional National Anthem performance at Sixers home games this season.


Stan reply to das411 on Dec 20 at 15:34

I would honestly pay to go see something like this at every home game -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_h7Lm7C9Nk

Malik Rose- F'n A.

Drexel represent!

Dwight reply to sixerfan1220 on Dec 20 at 15:32

They need to bring back Bob Salmi. That guy was great.

Rich reply to Dwight on Dec 20 at 15:54

He was so much better than anyone else they've had IMO.

Do we still have to listen to Zumoff? I hate him with a passion.

Stan reply to Scott on Dec 20 at 15:52

With a passion? Little extreme, no?

Scott reply to Stan on Dec 20 at 16:02

when i was in high school his kids locker was next to mine. his kid was actually much younger than me, they mixed up all the lockers at my school. the kid was the absolute worst. little spoiled high pitched whiny kid who wheeled around his books in a bag with wheels. the kid sucked. none of this has anything to do with why i hate zumoff. just an anecdote.

anyway, i hate zumoff with a passion because he repeats his 5 one-liners over and over and never can think of anything new. it would be one thing if we just had to listen to him for one season, but it has been a decade of the same stuff at this point. i hate him. one day im going to drive by his house, dump a bunch of trash on his lawn, and yell at him to turn it to gold. from garbage to gold zumoff! ahhh, i hate him.

Dwight reply to Scott on Dec 20 at 16:44

I actually like that he always has the same one-liners. Kind of like how Bob Salmi always talked about how great Andre Miller's pump fake was.

Tray reply to Scott on Dec 20 at 15:53

I think when I'm actually a lawyer I'll file a class action for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Sixers for subjecting us to Zumoff all these years.

I found the Lakers guys to be terrible last night. Zumoff never makes me cringe. He's not good, but he also isn't terrible.

Rich reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 16:01

They were missing Joel Myers as the play by play guy last night which is weird. I'd love someone knowledgable to write a post about the best and worst announcing teams. Sean Elliott vs. Tommy Points is really close for my personal least favorite.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 18:37

I didn't see it. I watch the Clippers a lot on league pass and love those guys. They're funny, drunk old men.

Stan reply to Tray on Dec 20 at 16:03

Zumoff is ok. Not great but not horrible. I would take him over Mark Jackson any day.

That being said, Tom Mcginnis is my favorite Philadelphia radio announcer. I liked him better than Kalas and I like him better than Merrill

I sat right behind him at the Bulls game last year, that guy is so into the game, it's amazing. He was jumping up and down at one point when the Sixers were blowing Chicago's doors off. Don't think all the Bulls guys at the table were too happy with him :)

Stan reply to Brian on Dec 20 at 16:37

My favorite McGinnis moment was a few weeks after the 09' all star game. They were playing the Pacers and Granger got a favorable foul call. McGinnis was got upset and yelled "Oh, Danny Granger can do no harm. He had 2 points in the all star game for crying out loud!"

Nets sign Humphries for a year, according to Wojnarowski, and might get Kirilenko. Knicks sign Steve Novak.

How can you guys not love Zumoff? He is easily the best broadcaster we have in Philly.

Just listen to this call. No one else brings as much passion as him.


Dwight reply to Dwight on Dec 20 at 16:50

Also I loved his "The Sixers have shocked the world!!!!" after we beat Detroit in game 1 of that playoff series a few years ago.

Tray reply to Dwight on Dec 20 at 18:38

Sounds like a middle aged man ecstatically having sex for the first time in a while.

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