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Spencer for hire on Jan 15 at 12:10
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Iggy is the number one reason in my mind, and if this continues he should get Defensive Player of the Year votes. This team reminds me of the bulls team with L.Longly at center defensively.

Very good questions.

1. The coaches deserve alot of credit but I think the team has finally caught on to it. Dre is definitely our defensive catalyst and most complete defensive player. He is the only player on the team who has no weaknesses on that side of the ball. If he doesn't make 1st team all defense this year it would be criminal. However I think that Spencer, Thad, and Turner have all improved a great deal defensively this year and that has helped. We're still going to struggle with teams that have size in the frontcourt though which is why:

2. I don't believe we will continue to be this good, although I think we finish top 5. Still very impressive considering we don't have a big shot blocker/rebounder protecting the paint.

3. If we had Dwight, I don't think anyone would score on us. 80 points a game sounds about right. We would have a historically great defense, I have no doubt about it.

Iggy definitely has the reigns of this horse, and is leading the charge right now, ripe mature, experienced veteran but far from over the hill *just thought id toss that out there* Iggy. We all know Jrue & Evan have potential, it's just the perfect situation with J&E's potential and talent, having Iggy leading the charge, potent perimeter D, and I been dreaming about the Dwight situation for quite awhile now, and talk about it daily to anyone who listens to me, its not only a feasible situation, but the ideal situation, and something sixers front office should be planning & pursuing, Dwight Howard. That's a championship team right there, Jrue, Jodie/Evan, Iggy, _____ @ the 4, & Dwight. and hopefully keep our bench intact. Even Spencer could play the 4 since he is such a finesse big man with a soft touch, & has great range on his shot for a 7 footer.

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Court_visioN reply to Los5782 on Jan 15 at 12:45
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Spencer playing the 4 would cut the teams defensive potential in half.

You're right, spencer ain't the best on the Defensive end, that's a given, but with Dwight @ the 5, it's not much of a liability considering what spencer can contribute on the O end, Dwight can make up for everything else on the other end, Thad can definitely be a 4, an undersized 4 but is his speed/athleticism/and length make up for it, but I think Thad thrives off the bench leading along the 2nd unit, less pressure on him too, plus having such a potent 2nd unit helps the 6ers overall too. But yeah like I said I think with Dwight @ the 5, spence @ the 4 isn't a terrible thing @ all, I mean we have him starting right now @ the 5, so not much of a difference cept we'll have the best defensive big man in the league @ the 5. But yeah either way I think it COULD work but doesn't necessarily have to be spence @ the 4, could be someone else, just an idea though =]

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Court_visioN reply to Los5782 on Jan 15 at 13:14
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no, spence at the 4 would be atrocious. he has no lateral quickness. period.

Yeah you're right on that fact, wouldn't be the IDEAL 4 but just a possibility, I was just saying on the Defensive end wouldn't be such a liability for the team as a whole considering we would have D12 @ the 5, but yeah I'd rather have a real 4 @ the 4 too obviously

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stan reply to Los5782 on Jan 15 at 14:20
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Spence would be a capable backup to Howard. If Howard signs I would pay Hawes 4-5 million year for 3 years. Nothing more.

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Court_visioN on Jan 15 at 12:49
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I think the team just gives opposing teams so many different looks. The starting units defense give opponents one look centered around iguodala shutting down their number 1 option, then the bench comes in with Evan and Thad and just uses its energy to punish opponents. Have to give credit to the coaches, but more so to the players for buying into the scheme.

Dwight Howard on this squad allows Thad to be a starting 4. I drool at the thought of the athleticism and defensive potential of that lineup

Bogut cleared to return to practice, had Sixeritis/concussions symptoms expected to play tomorrow

lol

we probably won't stay the best defensive team in the league seeing as how we have barely played any top of the line competition, but top 5 is definitely a possibility . i would have to say doug collins and andre are the top reasons our defense is playing so well. i love that all of the players are finally putting an emphasis on d and i think those 2 are the reason for it. and just like any other sixer fan, i too have thought about the possibility of dwight in the middle. does anyone think we have a legimate shot of getting him next year if we continue to play this way AND if he doesn't get traded in the middle of the season?

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Johnnylaptop on Jan 15 at 13:35
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Coach Collins, and the player get two big thumbs up from me. This team, plays with heart, and chemistry. We can be the top defense team, if we continue to improve, game by game. Dwight Howard is the man. If Howard would come, other good player would want to join our team. It would be dream come true.

Anyone else think Thad Young is our MVP so far this season? The hustle he brings to both offense and defense has really shaped the identity for this team.

No, I don't think he's the MVP, he's the sixth man of the year sure, but sadly, Spencer has been the MVP up until now, but the revertting to mean seems to be happening.

Lots of folk hustle on this team on both ends of the floor,k not sure how that qualifies you for MVP especially with poor shot selections that Thad often displays

SO FAR, i'd give it to Iggy IMO, cause like I stated before, he's had control of the reigns so far on the team, game after game, he's brought that Defensive intensity to set the tone & lead the rest of the pack, plus Iggy is starting & thad isn't , dont get me wrong I like thad off the bench with the rest of the gang in our 2nd unit, but I feel Iggy is that bringing that Vet experience to the youngsters

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Spencer for hire reply to Dwight on Jan 15 at 16:13
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Thad's effect on games reminds me of Bobby Jones effect on games and on a team full of stars he was a big part on most nights. I hope when Elton leaves he can be kept in this role and be okay with it.

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eddies' heady's reply to Spencer for hire on Jan 15 at 18:23
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If he keeps playing like this, for the team to take a gradual next step, EB might ought to get prepared to be ok with that role before he leaves - Thad's former one.

Bobby eventually started too, no?

Heya Sixer fans. Great to see the team off to a good start this year.
1)Iggy without a doubt. Hes my favorite sixer by far. (except when hes hoisting jumpers at the end of the game to win it--leave that to Lou) Being at the games though hes on a short leash with the crowd. They just don't like him. Its funny if he were a great defensive player on the Eagles he would be worshiped, but not on the sixers. I guess the casual fan only cares about points. Id take him over Montae Ellis any day of the week. I dunno--maybe because hes not the typical pretty boy "face of the franchise" type. I dunno.

2) No they wont keep it up--like others have said, poor competition.

3) With Dwight this team would be in the mix to win it all every year.

I could be wrong, but I think Dwight is interested in two things: playing with his friend Deron Williams, and playing in a glamour market. That means NYC or LA (glamourous), with Dallas (not glamorous) thrown in as the third, but unlikely, possibility because Deron is from Dallas.

I still think Dwight Howard to the Sixers is a 0% chance pipe dream. If winning a championship were all that mattered to him, he'd just demand a trade to Chicago and be done with it. He has the clout to do that because he could tell Orlando that if they don't trade him to Chicago, he'll go to his second choice Brooklyn as an FA. Since this hasn't happened (Chicago apparently not even on Dwight's radar), I really believe glamour and playing with D-Will are his only concerns. Philly has no shot.

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Spencer for hire reply to stoned81 on Jan 15 at 16:21
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I like Magee as a backup option but doubt Washington let's us outbid for him. He next to Hawes would allow our perimeter guys to trap even more.

He seems athletic enough to play next to a center. A more reasonable option could be Serafin[ our #1 pick?] who seems like he could play a Mahorn like role next to Hawes if he resigns. Our pick probably won't be lower than 18 to 20 anyway.

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khouse reply to stoned81 on Jan 15 at 16:43
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Amen Stoned as you've totally zeroed in on the fallacy the FO is operating under! They think that if we play well, then we're sure to attract his attention while completely ignoring what he considers to be the larger/more important factors as you pointed out. The FO is hanging onto this "pipe dream" which is not exclusive to Dwight but was in evidence recently regarding Wallace's desire to return to the league. Seriously...we expect players to come to us now rather than being pursued or that they will suddenly consider the Sixers just cause we're playing well...really?! IMO, the only purpose this kind of BS serves is two-fold...to give false hope to keep butts in the seats while masking the FO desire not to add another big/player this season! The Sixer FO is a complete joke as it needs to stop this f'ing "dreaming" & bring in a big (Jeff Foote perhaps) to help this team now & into the play-offs!

I don't think the FO believes it has any shot at Dwight Howard. Only people here seem to think it's possible.

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khouse reply to stoned81 on Jan 15 at 17:15
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If that's the case than Thorn is a bigger piece of crap than I thought! I mean Hawes has been better but is still too inconsistent/injury prone to be counted on! Vuk as done OK for a rook but Brand is regressing & Battie (as he proved against the Knicks) is a complete disaster! As many have pointed out here...we need another big, who can give us some size on the inside, play defense & hopefully score some points as well! Jesus...has Thorn even addressed this as a need for this team and if so, why hasn't he done a damn thing about it! Like Boston did with Stiensma...can't we at least attempt to find a real solution to our most lingering/glaring problem?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U3nas2uLyc

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Da Jruth reply to khouse on Jan 15 at 17:46
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That video just completely and utterly pissed me off. Had forgot all about this kid, but saw that game vs Kentucky (can't remember the outcome?) and maybe a few others he played in the NCAA's. Loved his footwork and adeptness. It makes not one bit of sense basketball-wise why this franchise/team is not giving a minimal contract (can you still give 10 day'ers?) or even just a tryout to a guy(s) like this. So maddeningly frustrating....I mean, the goal is, to get better right?

So maddeningly frustrating....I mean, the goal is, to get better right?

Not always...sometimes the goal is to maximize profits, the sixers are in first place, but the attendance is still pitiful, if tickets aren't selling, why should ownership invest more in a team that a city won't support even when they are playing the best basketball in the NBA?

(I don't necessarily SUPPORT this line of thinking - but the owners are in this probably to make a profit)

Sixers will have to keep winning in order to attract fans. It won't happen overnight. If they go a third of the way into the season playing as well as they are now, and they're still not drawing a crowd, then something is seriously wrong with this city.

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Spencer for hire reply to stoned81 on Jan 16 at 8:03
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If this team wins the division and a series or two and Dwight opts out , I like our chances if Collins gets in a room with him alot better than before. Shit, he could probably sell me a car without tires !!!!

Interesting tweet from the CEO in response to a question from...someone:

>>
@SixersCEOAdam (Adam Aron) - Wells Fargo would need a $1 million lighting upgrade and we do not own arena RT @Eyeshotista please turn down the house lights like at MSG.

15 hours ago

re: Brian's main Q, isn't the biggest difference so far the bulked up Spencer playing at a near-all star level? If he gets hurt or can't keep this level of play up, where would this team be?

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Dwight reply to das411 on Jan 15 at 15:24
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For the last few games Hawes has reverted back to 2010 form because of his injured back, and the Sixers have been fine.

Games against the Wizards are not an accurate gauge, they're really not an NBA team. Spencer was clearly missed against the Knicks.

So Spencers poor performance against a 'non' nba team is even more telling.

NBA team or not - Javale McGee made Spencer his bitch last night, and he's not even a good NBA big man - just a raw one with upside.

Spencer was missed against the knicks, but he was just awful last night (and no word on voose not playing in the second half is weird - gues doug hates him now)

ESPN is reporting the Dwyane Wade is out 'indefinitely' with his ankle, so that might mean he won't be available for the sixers game against em...indefinitely is always so vague :)

Hard to look at stats and rankings when the level of competition has been poor. That doesn't take away from their success but makes it hard rock make projections moving forward.

I've been trying to find a way (website) to sort the defensive efficiencies of the best defensive teams in the past, but haven't found one yet. If someone can check it it would be nice to know the numbers.

As for the questions:

- I'd say even though the coaches have devised the scheme and Iguodala is the best player on the defensive end i would give my defensive MVP to Thad because of his greatly improved defensive ability and the way he energizes the whole team on that end.
- They can't keep this up on the defensive end, because the current number is absurd and completely unsustainable. As far as i have checked the current defensive efficiency would be the best in the last 15 years at least if sustained for a whole season, possibly even best ever. Also they haven't played any of the top offensive teams in the league yet (which due to the relatively small sample size is somewhat a result of the great defense the Sixers have played against the "bad" offensive teams, but is still a fact).
I do, however, believe they can stay at least in the top 5 possibly even better if they remain healthy. Top 3 is not unrealistic.
- Defensively the team with Howard would be absolutely amazing. Now that's best defensive team ever material. I do think it's possible Howard signs with the Sixers in the summer, but i'd pit the chances at 5% at the moment. The biggest problem IMO is that i don't believe Howard will end the season in Orlando and become a free agent. A team with a chance of resigning him will trade for him eventually. My guess is the Lakers trade Bynum and picks for him.

My question is not about defense actually (the Sixers were a great defensive team in that 66 game stretch last year), it's about the improvement on the offensive end in a post-lockout year where offensive numbers across the league have significantly gone down. They are 3rd or 4th offensively in the league right now (depending on whose numbers you use) which is way better than the middle of the pack offensive team they were last year and i would say the last decade at the very least. They have even improved their numbers while every other teams numbers have gone down.

It may take me some time to do it cause I gotta write the query properly - but I could give you DFR (by team) for the past few seasons - but not historically - basketball-reference might have it?

Only if you go manually season by season and i was lazy :). I did go through the past 10-15 seasons and the current Sixers mark is about 4 efficiency points lower than the best mark during the span. The Bulls current efficiency is also better than all of them if i am not mistaken.

Now, i know that as the season goes on teams will improve their offense (i think statistically that's what happens every year), but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

And of course, the best mark during that span were the Spurs in the lockout shortened season.

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Matt reply to Xsago on Jan 15 at 23:11
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Just go to the franchise index pages and sort by DRTG.

The best ever was '75 Bullets at 91.3

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Tom Moore on Jan 15 at 16:54
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eddies' heady's on Jan 15 at 18:46
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Nerlens Noel.

damn, that young..

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eddies' heady's on Jan 15 at 18:57
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Who is most responsible for the stifling defense this team is playing (coaches and/or players)?

-Aaron McKie and Doug Collins, probably Michael Curry. The players deserve a portion of credit here too.

Can they keep this defensive production up for the entire season?

-Maybe not this much, but pretty close.

Any chance they finish the year as the #1 defensive team in the league?

-Probably not, even if they don't, they'll be a very formidable foe on that end every night. It's occuring even without a shot blocker.

Dare to dream, for a second. If the Sixers had Dwight Howard in the middle playing 40 minutes/game, would teams even be able to break 80 points/game against them?

-I don't care how many points they get, I just know that more times than not we'll have more than the opponent. Many more times. ...... Is the dream over now?

There's an article on CSNphilly.com which talks about how Michael Curry designed a defense that could take advantage of the strong perimeter defenders and weak interior defense. He's the mastermind behind it all.

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eddies' heady's reply to Dwight on Jan 15 at 21:09
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Interesting. Thanks, nice to hear as I don't read that site.

Is mastermind an exaggeration or is that what the piece said? I was merely hypothesizing with my answer to the question.

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jkay reply to Dwight on Jan 15 at 21:19
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couldn't find it. where exactly? title?

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Dwight reply to jkay on Jan 15 at 21:41
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I've heard people say Collins turned the D over to Curry quite a bit. If it's true, he's done a spectacular job...I still hope he isn't Doug's replacement, though. Didn't like him at all when he was the HC in Detroit.

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Dwight reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 22:23
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Well considering how bad Detroit has become since he left, maybe he wasn't such a bad coach after all.

Maybe. They did drop from 59 wins in the season prior to 39 in his only season there as HC, but they also traded Billups for Iverson that year.

I don't know, I just don't want any retreads in the front office or as the head coach. I'm fine w/ a first timer with promise, but I'd prefer a guy with a proven track record.

1.) Collins and Iguodala. Collins has clearly instilled a practical and successful defensive system and Iggy is the catalyst for it.

2.) I'm gonna say no, just based of statistical likely hood. I'd guess at least top five, and no worst than top 10.

3.) It depends on the pieces lost if acquiring Howard through a mid-season trade. If not, and he comes as a long-shot in FA (supremely doubtful), and the roster is generally the same, the best - no question.

For the life of me I can't figure out how the Jazz are doing this. Beating the Nuggets right now in the third quarter.

Al Jefferson has a 51.8% TS with 26.8% usage. I guess he doesn't hurt them because he doesn't turn the ball over.

Heh, Lawson basically handed this game to UTA, Millsap took it.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 22:32
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He's been really great lately and you have to jinx him by watching him play.

Yeah, I know. He's been impressive, every time I tune in, though, he's taking bad shots and turning the ball over down the stretch :)

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jkay reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 22:47
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if an extra talking head helps; he's been good.
you missed out on the Miami game, had an impressive showing IMO.
Not a Lawson fan, by any stretch, but, offensively he looks far better than Jrue.


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