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Sixers Lose Ugly In Portland

btw, great turnout for the game thread tonight. Thanks to everyone for participating. It's going to be a fun season.

Amusing twitter exchange between Matt Moore and Zach Harper regarding Cousins (who had 10 points in the 3rd):

@HPbasketball Hardwood Paroxysm
@talkhoops I do not have the words for how much DeMarcus Cousins stole Pau Gasol's manhood in the final 5.

@talkhoops Zach Harper
@HPbasketball I did see that. Cousins looked awesome. I really hope he keeps this up. If he does, he's the best player they have.

Just finished watching the game. Some ugly, ugly basetball early on by the Sixers. The good thing is it kind of looked like it was all nerves from big expectations. I expect them to settle down. And what better team to do that against than the defense-less Suns.

Positives:

- Strong finish. Not just at the end of the game but at the end of most quarters as well. This is one of the things Collins stressed last year and where they seemed to struggle.
- Hawes, while not great was much better than last year. If he can be like this consistently the team will be much better.
- They were getting to the FT line when things went south in the first half. They need that consistently.

Negatives:
- Holiday was atrocious. This is his worst game as a pro that i have watched for sure.
- Brand looked tired and out of shape. Can't have that if the team is going to have a good season.
- Turnovers. They are playing exactly the opposite of the way they've been playing all season long last year statistically. They need to win the turnover battle to win. And there were some really, really bad turnovers.

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Cin reply to Xsago on Dec 27 at 10:37
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Credit to Hawes for logging 38:55 minutes with only two fouls and plenty of contests. I won't nitpick the clanging jumpers or boards he gave away because they were simply better with him out there. He made a couple of shots he normally doesn't but did show some nifty post moves. Maybe it's Opener Syndrome but he was rushing all his jumpers and aforementioned nifty post moves. If he knocks down those (completely and totally) open jumpers and digs deeper into his inside-move repertoire (instead of solely rolling off and sissy hooking) he could work very well within the offense.

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Josh reply to Xsago on Dec 27 at 10:53
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I agree with Brand looking very tired. He was a step slower than everyone else this game. I am hoping this is something we don't see again.

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The Greek on Dec 27 at 9:23
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Too many open shots for the Blazers.

Iggy should have given the ball to Lou on that last shot.

And lastly these team needs someone who can rip a freakin tough rebound.

As some have said, Portland is not a very good matchup for the Sixers. Longer at just about every position. Tough place to play for the opener.

Really like the analysis job by Malik Rose. I think we may have a keeper.

A couple interesting points from the rotations chart last night:

- JTI played 9:48, they were outscored 21-25.
- Interestingly, JTI didn't play a second with Young at the four and Brand at the five. Hawes was at the five for all their time on the floor together.
- Only 9:03 w/ Thad at the 4 and Brand at the 5, they were -8 in those minutes, outscored 15-23.

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eddies' heady's on Dec 27 at 10:35
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I can honestly say that was one of the most helter-skelter type games I've seen this squad ever play. And I fail to place belief in it being by design. Just so much early-in-the-clock drives and forays in the lane toward the hoop. Usually I'd say I love the aggressiveness and the benefits it can bring (getting to the line, putting teams in the penalty, causing refs to become quick with the whistle seeing you're the aggressors, opens up the kickout game as D sags back, etc) but it can't be uncontrolled aggressiveness and just pure turbulence. It's hard to even remember Jrue bringing the ball up and initiating a set or anyone else who was supposed to be responsible for that role.

Along with all the countless loose balls flying around off of non-secured or tipped rebounds, just a game full of nothing but a bunch of commotion it seemed. Straight pandemonium.

Tough to watch, yet you look up at the end and they only lose by 4? Don't know what to quite make of that besides a proverbial shake of the head.

I saw them try to run a couple of sets early in the second half, they had Brand come out and set a pick for Jrue, then Thad came from the opposite side and immediately set a second pick, but it really didn't go anywhere. I saw a couple dribble handoffs that led to jumpers, but for the most part, it was a lot of one-on-one, or one-on-three, and just drives off isolation. This didn't really resemble what they were like last season. It was much more like the second preseason game than the first. Hopefully, Collins will have them going through sets today in practice and they'll be a little more, I don't know, organized on Wednesday night.

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Andrew Saltz on Dec 27 at 10:43
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Nothing to add but:
Glad basketball is back
Evan Turner has a very nifty touch pass - saw him use it at least twice in the second to get teamates (Hawes!) easy baskets.

I thought Brand did a good job with defending L. Aldridge in the second half actually. That plus Lou Will's dribble penetration + assists and Evan Turner's overall play were the positives in my book.

Jrue's jitters and Thad's jump shots (bad match up for him) on the other hand... not so positive.

Also, M Rose did a nice job, especially in the second half. I think he's going to be good next to Zumoff.

My only complaint with M-Rose is his complaints/defending the refs calls (depending on how they affected the Sixers). He seemed like any call that went against the Sixers was wrong. The blatant moving screen was the one that stood out to me.

overall, it's minor.

I've seen lots of praise with Malik Rose, but I wasn't very impressed with him, I didn't see him as a good upgrade over Snow.

Application questions: Are you an ex-player? Are you out of a job? Do you want one? Can you tolerate Zumoff?

Oh yeah, we had a busy game thread last night, how did the new system work out for everyone?

the new system worked great

It might just have been me but the 'new comments' counter didn't seem to keep up with the traffic and volume of posts...

Can you elaborate on that a little? Do you mean there were more new comments than the counter showed? Or you clicked on the counter and the new comment wasn't on the page yet? There counter updates every 30 seconds, so there will be a bit of a lag.

The counter indicated new comments when i was looking at those new comments, it wouldn't update for a couple minutes but when i entered my comment it showed a whole bunch of new comments.

It might just be my pc and firefox i've noticed a weird kind of thing going on

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 11:22
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seemed to bog down pretty bad particularly at points in the second half as I remember. but it bogged down like that last year when an abundance of comments were submitted in close, small amounts of time. Just a delay when hitting submit and reload page taking longer time to come up

pierce probably wont play tonight, if they had no-one to guard melo, how are they suppose to guard lebron?

This has nothing to do with what went on on the floor, but I thought the CSN Philly crew was way too sunny about an awful game. Dei Lynam started her post game interview with Doug by asking, "So shall we start with the fourth quarter?" And Doug replied, "Let's start with the turnovers." In Doug we trust....

Awful game, overall, and I walked away thinking, 'There are no more moral victories.' They stunk and only lost by four. So what. Hopefully this was opening night, on the road jitters, and they'll get into a groove. Everyone knows they can't afford 3-13 again.

I thought iguodala really showed some leadership yesterday, scored more points then I thought he would and his defense was not enough to stop gerald wallace, but not for lack of trying what did he end up with a steal and four blocks?

The Sixers will never beat a team like this until they add someone who can rebound/provide some interior defense which has been this team's Achilles heel since idk...forever! As Brian suggested a few weeks back...a player like Fesenko would be the pefect add here but hey...let's continue to delude ourselves that Speights will ever be anything or why sign Tony Battie when grandpa is apparently not even in shape to play! I mean...what the hell is the FO doing & why can't/won't they acknowledge/address this weakness already...you'd think Comcast still owns us or something...

who can rebound/provide some interior defense which has been this team's Achilles heel since idk...forever

If by forever you mean before Spencer Hawes got here, yes it does seem like forever

Honestly, I'm not too worried about this game after sleeping on it. This was literally the exact same type of game we saw in Portland last year (Wallace was great, Matthews and Batum hurt them with threes). Jrue was bad last night, but I don't expect that to carry over.

The thing we can be positive about was Turner. Even against a long, athletic front line, he was able to get to the rim time and again. Really liked what I saw from ET.

Oh, and I hope the refs don't buy into all of that flopping Portland did all game. For such a strong dude, Gerald Wallace hits the floor like he gets shot on every screen. I will say that the one Camby took at the end of the game on Jrue was a good call.

Good comments by all. Some additional observations:
- I don't want to pile on Jrue, but he had very poor offensive execution the whole game. When he penetrated, he did so to get his own shot, rarely setting up anyone else. In that way, he reminded me of Andre Miller (one of Miller's main deficiencies as a PG). If Jrue is going to bring this team to the next level, he needs to make the players around him better.
- That said, I thought Jrue gave a much improved defensive performance in the second half. He seemed to have trouble containing Felton's penetrations at first (thanks in no small part to trouble getting around picks and no help from the big men), but Felton really got very little done in the second half. And Jrue's steal of Wallace's pass was textbook defense.
- I also thought Thad's hustle on defense made a difference for long portions of the game (I seem to remember a stretch in the 2nd quarter most). At first, it looked like he was just running around wildly, Reggie Evans-style, but eventually his helping on the P/R started to disrupt the Blazers' rhythm.
- On offense, I wonder if Thad's electric fence is going to be moved in to 15 feet? He still wound up 5-9 with his usual array of smooth baskets in close. His free throw shooting looks worse each year, though (thankfully, he almost never gets to the line).
- I thought the pace of the game was too fast for Brand to be effective. Portland wasn't very effective in their high-paced game, but it took Brand out of the game and led to a lot of offensive rebounds and open 3's. I can see the Blazers succeeding with this style (though I wonder if they really have a go-to guy in Aldridge).
- The most encouraging part of Iguodala's game was that his penetration game was back. He went 2-of-4 on penetrations, got fouled twice (plus an and-one), and picked up the bogus charge call on what should have been another and-one. This was a large part of his best offensive season in 08-09 that has been dormant for two years.
- I liked Hawes' game overall. He showed improved reflexes on defense and good fight on the defensive glass (though a better rebounder might have gotten 20 -- the Sixers' initial shot defense was not bad in this game). Now let's see if he can translate any of this into better help on the P/R.
- Speaking of Hawes, I see that he ranks 5th in the NBA in assists per game -- and Iguodala is 3rd in blocks per game. Which is less likely to continue?
- I can't imagine that Meeks will be starting much longer. If he's not hitting his shot, he's a net negative. Turner, on the other hand, looked like he belonged on the court, even if his jump shot wasn't falling.
- I do think there are some positives in this game to bring forward, but the outlook will turn ugly if the team can't beat Phoenix on Wednesday.

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jkay reply to Statman on Dec 27 at 13:09
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>> I can't imagine that Meeks will be starting much longer. If he's not hitting his shot, he's a net negative. Turner, on the other hand, looked like he belonged on the court, even if his jump shot wasn't falling.


I agree. DC gave the speech and all but he's not looking good at all so far. How many forays to the hoop have we seen where he just gets stripped, stopped or blocked? He is also a fast break killer. Heck he can't even dribble past anyone. I think at some point, DC is gonna just be like; 'I'll live without the 3pt shooting' and bench him. Of course, it would be nice if that could coincide with Turner hitting a couple of deep ones to give him an excuse.
Brackins cameo soon IMO.

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Rich reply to Statman on Dec 27 at 13:34
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Great points Statman. This team needs Jodie to be successful. I'm really worried about his play.

You really think so? I think Meeks is completely insignificant and the team wouldn't miss a beat if he were released. He was an overrated 3-point shooter last year (wasn't even top 20 in the league) and he does absolutely nothing else (no midrange game, can't drive, dribble, pass, or defend). We shouldn't be relying on 3-point specialists to be successful.

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Rich reply to stoned81 on Dec 27 at 21:21
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Just because you don't like Meeks doesn't mean the team isn't worse if they can't get good play out of him. It's literally the same thing with Turner last year, just the opposite. If Jodie gets fazed out of the lineup, this team now is only really seven-deep, with Brand being one of those seven. That would equal disaster in this abbreviated season. The team often is going to have to play closer to 10 out of necessity, but it would be nice to have 8 guys you can always count on.

I have a hard time seeing how one of the players in one of the league's best five man units has suddenly gone to completely insignificant. As for all of your complaints, it doesn't matter if he has a midrange game or make plays for other. He does that by spacing the floor and making threes. He's shown he has the ability to defend between Jrue and Iguodala as well. 40 percent is 40 percent too. What's overrated about it?

The reason I disagree with you is that I think Meeks hurts the team even when he's playing his best, because his best is 40% three-point shooting and nothing else. There's a reason Craig Hodges never got on the floor except in 3-point contests. I won't deny being a Meeks hater, but I don't agree that we are suddenly 7 deep if Meeks is moved to the end of the bench. Vucevic will be in the rotation, Brackins should be given a chance. Removing Meeks to the end of the bench will be a net plus in my opinion, as we'll be able to start the 1st and 3rd quarters 5 on 5 instead of 4 on 5.

Felton looks like the Round Mound of Re-pass the Mashed Potatoes.

Jrue: immaturity showed; costly; where was his head?
Brand: cement shoes; slept thru Half 1, spunk too late.
Turner: Herb went to fridge after his FTs.
Iguodala: Wallace as impacting in 7 fewer minutes.
Meeks: '1st shot side of backboard' blues.
Young: scrapped but astray-J hurt.
Hawes: involved performer in circus of a game.
Williams: Portland's nothin' after Manayunk.
Collins: not one of his better games; tough though when your quarterback is hallucinating in hostile environment.



Just wanted to cheer old buddies Brian, Derek, Statman and all the crew, just finished watching Game 1 and I have my own observations as well, but they will come later.
I had the impression that we run uphill all night and all attempts of comebacks came 1 posession short, always followed by an allowed 3 or a bad TO leading to an easy 2, sometimes both.
VERY curious to see if the 7 + 1 man rotation will be extended and how in the second night of a back to back

Kate Fagan on twitter today:

I don't agree with people saying nothing has changed for #Sixers, that this year will be same as last. It's not going to be "same old."

My response sent to her:

Did I miss them signing an interior presence today?


:crickets:

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khouse reply to Rodney Buford on Dec 27 at 22:52
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Great response as like last year...it remains the team's greatest weakness that will limit any run we have in the playoffs!

Drew Gooden suspended one game for a flagrant two

And yet KG can make like he's going to choke someone and not even get a fine...that seems balance

This is cute having three of your better players coming off the bench and trying to play with six little guys and two big guys but clearly not the path to success in the NBA. Time to trade Lou or Thad for a piece that fits or start them and gets Meeks and Brand out of the starting lineup. I know that lineup is too small but it has to SCREAM out to Thorn and the new owners to DO SOMETHING!!

Are the new owners willing to amnesty Brand's contract and use that money to get a piece in here that fits better? If we were a big market team we would have done that already. I can almost understand as new owners that they did not want to eat two years but will they be willing to eat the last year of his contract and replace his money with another player next year? Brand is a class guy and I have always rooted for him through his college and NBA days but it just did not work here.

So they should amnesty brand ? When should they do it?

What free agent will be available next year to replace Brand that would be worth blowing our 2013 cap room? Howard isn't going to sign here, he would unquestionably pick Brooklyn with D-Will over Philly with Iggy in my opinion. I prefer to keep the cap flexibility, Brand will give us solid PF production for 2012-13 on an expiring contract, rather than having to shell out a 4-year deal for a replacement that eliminates our cap flexibility.

I wouldn't mind trading Lou. Lou is overvalued on the market in my opinion, so I'd love to trade him. I think with Thad's contract it would be impossible to get equal value. Kris Humphries getting a one-year deal changed my mind about whether we got a fair deal with Thad, I now think we overpaid.

We have a boatload of cap space coming in 2013, I think the plan should be to target that year and re-sign Brand at a much cheaper price.

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Court_visioN reply to stoned81 on Dec 28 at 0:51
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i wouldn't be so certain that howard would play with deron williams and a bunch of garbage (have you SEEN that team?) over a young sixers core.

not saying howard signs in philly, but it's definitely not a lock that he goes to new jersey.

It's also not a lock that Deron Williams stays in New Jersey.

it's a lock that D-Will stays in NJ if they sign Howard. D-Will will surely talk to Dwight to see what he's doing before leaving NJ.

I never said it's a lock that Dwight goes to the Nets. I just said it's a lock that he'd choose Brooklyn over Philly if those were his two options. I stand by that.

kevin love, 15 FTA in the first quarter

Cousins update: 7/18 from the floor, 2/5 from the line, 16 points, 4 turnovers, 5 fouls. Solid game for him. Kept the TO+PF to less than 10, which is an accomplishment.

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Tray reply to Brian on Dec 28 at 2:54
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11 boards, 2 blocks, 27 minutes.


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