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A Prospective Superstar

"Chris Duhon is nothing special, but at least he won't submarine the team with terrible shots and turnovers."

That sounds like a challenge Mr. Duhon!

Should've said "with as many terrible shots and turnovers as Jameer."

"The Sixers' job will be a little harder tonight because Jameer Nelson will not be playing. That's not a typo. Nelson has probably been the worst point guard in the league this season (.486 TS%, 22.5% turnover rate). Chris Duhon is nothing special, but at least he won't submarine the team with terrible shots and turnovers."

Uh...Duhon the past 2 years has had turnover rates of 30.3% and 27.6%, whereas Nelson has had 17.6% and 22.5%. He also had a TS% OF 44.6% last year. Nelson's been horrible, but Duhon's right there with bad shots and bad turnovers.

Orlando lost 4 of their last 5. 3 blowouts against Boston, Indiana, and New Orleans. They blew out Indiana on the road though, but gave up a 27 point lead to Boston the following night at home.

This team is not happy right now. If they're hitting shots, they're very hard to stop. And Dwight creates open looks. So I think it's a game of determination for them. Will they work hard and but up a fight or come in with their heads hanging low? We'll see.

The Magic are pretty much in the same situation the Nuggets were in last season. They will be much better when they trade away Howard, as unbelievable as that sounds.

Right now they are a very inconsistent team that can beat anyone on a given night, but can also lose games to the worst teams in the NBA. One thing they are probably not ready for is resilience from their opponents and i think that's the way to beat Orlando. Never give up play suffocating D on Orlando's "other guys" an you will win.

Yeah, I don't see that at all. Their entire personnel is built around Dwight and the attention he receives. Take him away, and you have some bad contracts with guys whose warts will be very present without dwight.

That is true in a way, but i also think Howards stature has made a lot of those guys extremely underestimated. Ryan Anderson for all of his shortcomings is proving to be a very good player. I think Turkoglu, Richardson and Nelson have checked out with this surrounding uncertainty and long term contracts and will play much better when the dust settles. Add that to the player/players the Magic receive in return and in the current eastern conference i can easily see that team outperforming the current one. Bare in mind that right now, the Magic are only 12-8 against one of the weakest schedules in the league with a barely positive point differential. This last part is a very telling indicator IMO considering that the Magic were year after year better than their record (pythagorean wins) and are now suddenly worse than their record.

In all honesty, without Dwight, the Magic are probably the worst team in the NBA.


It may be slight hyperbole, but not much. They'd be bottom 3-5. Who on that team is capable of creating their own shot? Maybe Jason Richardson? Ryan Anderson is a product of all the open looks he gets.

Have you seen the Bobcats and Wizards play?

Ryan F reply to Xsago on Jan 30 at 9:10

They're in the same situation Cleveland was 2 years ago. Hopefully OS will play his cards the same and hang on to Howard thinking he can actually get him to resign.

If Howard makes it to FA, we have a chance, a small chance, but a chance.

They will be in the same situation if they let him walk as a free agent. Unfortunately i don't see it happening. They will trade him during the season, probably close to the trade deadline.

Stan reply to Xsago on Jan 30 at 9:24

Denver actually had a team. A PG, C, and SG, to go along with their "superstar" SF. Orlando and Cleveland built a team of jumpshooters to compliment their stars.

They'd still be mediocre at best without Gallinari and Andre Miller (acquired for Felton), and that's before we even get to Wilson Chandler and Mozgov and the depth they provide.

They will be much better when they trade away Howard, as unbelievable as that sounds.

See, that's not a fair or accurate statement. The Nuggets got good players in back in the Carmelo trade, the reason they got 'much better' is that they became a much better team that didn't revolve around Carmelo.

If the Magic get say 4 draft picks from the nets and an injured center, I doubt they're 'much better' because their talent gets completely worse.

Carmelo hurts as much as helps his team

I agree with this. But from what i understand De Vos the owner of the Magic doesn't want a rebuilding job (he is very old), which makes it far likelier that they won't accept draft picks but valuable players in any deal involving Howard.

If i remember correctly the proposed Lopez deal that the Nets were offering to the Magic was a three team trade involving Portland and at least Gerald Wallace going to the Magic. Lopez + Wallace is an interesting start. I could easily see a lineup of Nelson/Richardson/Wallace/Anderson/Lopez led by Stan Van Gundy perform better than their current performance. They won't be championship contenders, but this current team is only a playoff team because it's in the East.

And it's unlikely that anyone is going to offer valuable players for Dwight when they know they can just let him hit the open market.

Dwight has a very short list (though maybe it's gods list) and those teams know who they are, and none of them really have 'the goods' talent wise to make a deal that makes the Magic 'happy'. The magic will be worse when they trade Dwight Howard

Well noone forced the Knicks to offer what they offered for a soon to be free agent Anthony. Doesn't mean it won't happen.

I don't like their long term outlook without Howard but short term i do believe they can be better than what they are now, which frankly is not a good basketball team.

There's a new decider in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

It seems it's not up to Dwight where he plays, it's up to God

Approached Friday night in New Orleans after a 26-point loss to the Hornets, Howard shared his thoughts on a long-shot trade to the Bulls. "If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen," Howard told the Tribune. "It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That's my brother.'' Chicago Tribune

So the only list is the one the creator makes up, in his spare time, he'll decide where Dwight plays (which of course means he's going to denver to be part of the tebow triumverate)

In all seriousness, it sort of makes sense that someone "blessed" with Howard's physical gifts would be religious. People look for explanations for why bad things happen... and the same for when you you are the beneficiary of extreme fortune.

Pardon me (and as someone who is an MD you should too) but all of howards 'gifts' are explained by more obvious things than an invisible all powerful creator who lets numerous billions suffer (for his own amusement)?

It's a BS answer and you know it - if Dwight said yes to Chicago there's a deal to be made - now - most likely - he's ducking the question and he's using his 'faith' to duck the question - it's more spin

Don't tell that to Salmons.

I totally forgot about that, that was kind of funny. Point is, anyone with an ounce of common sense (which does eliminate many) realize that all this is BS so why do they bother because it just makes them look more foolish.

Seriously, I hope he re-signs with Orlando and someone asks him why god didn't tell him that was the plan sooner and save everyone the hassel?

"Another source of conviction in the existance of God connected with the reason and not the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibilty of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look at a first cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a theist."

- Charles Darwin, possessor of "an ounce of common sense"

Pardon me (and as someone who is an MD you should too) but all of howards 'gifts' are explained by more obvious things than an invisible all powerful creator who lets numerous billions suffer (for his own amusement)?

I usually let comments like this slide, but I feel compelled to respond this one time. Your implication that no rational, intelligent person could believe in an omnipotent God who created the universe is false. I have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton and believe in such a God. Many people more intelligent than I believe the same.

Your claim that Howard is hiding behind his faith with regard to his future destination is a perfectly legitimate one to express and debate in this forum, but it does not have to be made with the accompanying ad hominem attack on all people of faith. Please refrain from such remarks -- which are irrelevant to the point you are trying to make in any case -- in the future.

Gerald H reply to GoSixers on Jan 30 at 11:23

"than an invisible all powerful creator who lets numerous billions suffer (for his own amusement)?"

Yeah, post your anti-religion rantings somewhere else

I'm not saying if it is right or wrong. But the logic goes like this:

Science can explain with random distribution why certain people will have rare physical or mental attributes. Economic reality explains why some are born rich while most are poor. If there is a calamity such as a plane or ship crash, it is often the case that a few lucky ones survive while everyone else perishes.

But if you happen to be the individual who is in that lucky situation, neither of the above give any explanation as to why you as an individual were the one that that was the fortunate one. And many people turn to faith to help them deal with the guilt/responsibility/burden of that situation.

Basically, I agree that when athletes try and tie religion and sports it come across as silly and fake. But I think the athletes are actually often trying to be sincere and actually humble. I guess it all depends on how they handle it. You have the Barry Sanders type and then you have the more brash, egocentric type.

But just because it comes of as hollow does not mean it is not what these guys legitimately think Remember, they are truly living in a different world.

FKD215 reply to tk76 on Jan 30 at 11:58

This is true a lot of the time. I think of Brain Dawkins ans someone who sounded pretty sincere when he talked religion. But sometime the egocentrism and the religiosity go hand in hand. For example, I think if there is a God, he has more on his plate than helping Tim Tebow pick up a first down.

I don't really pay much attention to what Howard says to be honest. He is not the brightest guy out there, and a lot of what he says doesn't make any sense but it's obvious he just doesn't want to talk about it his future. Or he is told not talk about anything because he (and his agent) don't know what will be the best decision right now either. We probably won't be able to see what he is going to do for the next month or so. After that it should get clearer.

@preston76 Coach Collins tells media Hawes is out for tonight, while Vucevic is listed as a game time decision.

Turtle Bay reply to sixerfan1220 on Jan 30 at 11:27

Ha welcome back, Voose. Enjoy defending Howard.

Six more fouls

Voose may not be demarcus cousins - but he does have some moves to get dwight in foul trouble

Voose does not drw fouls. He takes about 1 FT per 10 FGA. That is the lowest rate on the team. he draws less fouls then Hawes.

But I guess he can give his 6.

Well to be honest, the Sixers don't run any plays for Vucevic so he is really never in a position to be fouled. I don't his current free throw rate is indicative in any ways about his ability to draw fouls.

I think that's actually the biggest reason why players with low usage rates very rarely have good free throw rates.

He didn't exactly get to the line a bunch in college either.

I haven't seen a lot of him playing in college and i don't know how exactly he was used. His low free throw rate in college might translate to the NBa but i don't think it's a guarantee. Getting to the line is usually something that is developed with experience. I'm not saying it will happen, i'm just saying it's not a given that it won't. We have very little data to support any claim thus far.

Actually, we have very little data to suggest he'll suddenly be a guy who gets to the line a lot. We have data to suggest he won't.

Ugh. Howard just might end up with 50+ points tonight. I can't imagine how painful it will be to see Battie and Allen try to defend him.

Battie has had some success getting into Howards head. But he is only good for about 15 minutes against him.

They should sign a couple of big guys from the D-League just to throw out there as 6 foul sacrificial lambs. It is a waste to wear down Brand trying to cover him. I'd rather let the important bigs rest.

We have Speights...err, Elson, right?

Phil reply to Jeff on Jan 30 at 12:25

The Sixers have been pretty successful this season with team defense. And I think this is the way to go against Howard as well. No big on this team comes even close to guarding Howard 1-on-1. But we're good at rotating and closing out shooters.

This team, more than any other in the league, is built to exploit the double. If Davis is in the game, fine, double off him w/ a big, but I think you're going to have to leave him alone in the post most of the time. Take the fouls when you're beaten badly, maybe dig down on him when cutters go by, but I don't want to see predictable doubles, because they will lead to open threes.

Phil reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 12:36

Yep, I didn't mean to suggest double teaming when Howard catches the ball. Just play smart D, don't overreact, but hack him when needed.

Sixers had better be. Magic has the bombers. Could be tired due to back-to-back & travel; should be motivated though - have lost 3 straight. With Jameer out, though he hasn't been playing well, Orlando's a little weaker at heart.

Yes they have 'bombers' who for the season shoot the 3 as well as the sixers do...

Phil reply to GoSixers on Jan 30 at 12:56

Tied for #3 in the league. But they've taken 483 (#2), the Sixers have taken 332 (#19).

The big difference is they have a four who's taking and making a ton. That's not a good matchup for the Sixers. I guess you just hope Jason Richardson winds up being the one who takes them (and he keeps shooting terribly from deep).

Phil reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 15:18

Yep, and I'm a bit scared because Brand does not like to go out and contest long-shooting 4s. But switching Brand on Howard is a no-go as well (foul trouble).

... but Magic goes to that well with far greater frequency; 151 more 3-pt attempts, 7.55 more per game.

And yet they only average 19th in points per game scored (wanna guess who is 4th?)

Come on guys, I'm an Atheist myself and I really like to discuss religion. But there are better sites or places to do so, then a basketball blog.

Agreed. Keep religion and politics out of it.

This is a bit more complex than that, because we're talking about whether religion will have anything to do w/ where Howard will decide to go, but personal feelings on the validity of religious beliefs don't really need to be displayed/debated.

6 fouls on Battie
6 fouls on Lavoy
4 fouls on Brand

That's 16 fouls: 32 free throw attempts * 46.4% FT = 15 points.

Hack a Howard on isos. Howard was 4/15 yesterday, with our luck he'll probably hit .65.

You forgot elson

Along the lines of the last thread, could we restrict insane speculation that Howard would sign here of all places to this thread? : )

Could we please restrict all speculation that demarcus cousins is awesome to your fevered imagination?

Only if you include Kevin Love's current TS% as your signature on every comment you leave.

It's .573 and climbing today.

Stan reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 13:25

So who are the only team that should be talking about Howard?


I think Dallas and Orlando are the only places he ends up

If schedules were commensurate, the comparitive scoring rankings you cite would carry more significance. As is, doesn't mean a lot to me regarding comparitive offensive potency of the 2 clubs. Tells of trends: Sixers up, Magic down (to date).

Above, in reply to GoSixers ... 19th to 4th.

Yes, we all understood it, I'm sure you'd dismiss the great defense the sixers have played, keeping teams below their season averages too.

The sixers can only play the teams in front of them

And did you happen to notice the New Orleans Hornets bitchslap the team you seem afeared of?

Sixers -7 seems a bit high given who we'll have to defend Howard.

And low considering how bad the Magic have played recently.

I think -7 is exactly where that number should be.

they've covered double-digit lines the past two games. Think Vegas is giving them a lot of leeway, especially at home. I think they cover.

The 2012 and 2013 free agent markets look pretty depressing aside from Howard and Williams.

In 2014 we might have a shot at a 30 year old Bogut and in 2015 we'll have a shot at a 33 year old injured and slower Dwayne Wade.

IMO, I think the Sixers should trade Iguodala after this season if they can't get Howard.

The 2012/13/14 free agent markets haven't been defined yet - nor is the trade market defined either.

If wade is available, wouldn't lebron be available too, didn't they all sign the same contracts?

Nobody wants Lebron. he is not "clutch" ;)

Stan reply to GoSixers on Jan 30 at 14:03

Lebron would be 31. Wade would be 33 and slowed down by injuries.

And? They'll either bee free agents or they won't - and they'll both have been in the league the same amount of time - and yes wade is injury prone - but if ones a free agent - so is the other

With the new CBA, anything is possible. We don't know how it will all pan out. I think cap space will be very valuable in trades and actually i am not even looking at who will be available in free agency i think smart trades are the way to go forward for this franchise.

I think you're right, free agency is probably not going to help us much. That's why it's important this team maintains their strong regular season record. It has inflated the trade value of our players, now it's on management to properly use this value to bring the right players here.

So the only point of this season is to increase this teams trade value? How about loyalty? Let's root for out team.

I put up a contrarian post the other day about how the Sixers have found success by shooting the long 2 at a high percentage (everyone aside from ET and Iguodala who both need to avoid shooting them.) I made the parallel to the Mavs success last year as the best shooting 16-23 foot jumper team, in the league. This goes against conventional wisdom that has all long 2's being "the worst shot in basketball."

I don't know how much I believe in this, but I guess tonight could be a great field test. In theory, the Sixers have the perfect antidote to the Magic's defense. The Sixers win without getting to the line. The win with long jumpers- which Howard has little or no effect on.

Then again, the Magic will temp the already shot long shot happy Sixers to be even less likely to enter the lane. If Howard's presence makes Lou, Iguodala and Turner more reliant on jumpers then the Sixers will suffer. Much how AI used to struggle against the Pistons when the Wallaces would close the lane.

Iguodala's attempts are so far down I don't think making him settle for more jumpers will have much of an impact. If they can make him take a lot more shots, and those long shots are jumpers, then maybe.

Who do you think is #2 on the team in FGA from 16-23 feet? And only the guy who is #4 in those attempts is shooting worse at them.

Partly, guys like Iguodala and others will be left forcing up long 2's late in the shot clock if they refuse to enter the lane or swing the ball. It could be ugly... or not.

Well many defenses' goals are to make the opposing offense shoot mid range jumpers. What usually separates the good offenses from the bad offenses is the ability to hit those shots.

Or to keep moving the ball and not settling for them.

It also depends if it is an open shot generated in rhythm or a rushed/contested jumper... and of course who is taking the jumper. A Dirk 18 open foot jumper is not a bad shot IMO. An Iguodala on is.

Tray reply to dwight on Jan 30 at 17:27

Not really, what often separates good offenses from bad offenses is where they take their shots. Denver, a very good offense, takes just 12 long twos a game and 33 shots at the rim. We take 24 long twos and 19 shots at the rim. They're clearly coached to take threes or to try to get to the basket, and that works out very well for them. Of course, you're limited by your personnel; Denver couldn't do that if it didn't have players like Nene, who can score 14 a night with mostly dunks.

Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 30 at 17:12

I didn't see this contrarian post, but I don't buy the argument, because what it misses is that Dallas didn't take many of those shots at all. In fact it was just 24th in the league in attempts from there, and it took 2.3 more shots at the rim per game than long-range twos. Now, Dallas was incredibly accurate from there (45%) and probably should have taken more of those shots than shots from the 3-15 foot range, where it was a little worse at converting. But (a) Dallas would still have been stupid to take more long twos than layups or threes, (b) we don't have Dirk and Terry and, therefore, are nothing like Dallas. The Sixers are shooting 41%, which is a lot lower but still probably higher than where we'll end up, and they're shooting more long twos than threes or shots at the rim.

Oh how awesome - Big Daddy, aka the @sixers fan here - http://twitpic.com/4t3p78 - is now tweeting! Tweeps, #showyaluv to @Sixers_BigDaddy

...and the Revolutionaries are trying to get people to use the #HowardtoPhilly tag today...anyone who wants him here, help out!

I'd rather have deandre jordan on his contract than dwight howard on the one he's going to get

if he doesn't get traded and extended, howard's salary will start at $13.5M. Jordan's started at $10.7M.

Let's put it this way - dwight howards approach to improving his game since he entered the league makes shaq look downright dedicated in y opinion

Shaq had more natural ability than Dwight - and for someo reason used his strength and size advantage a lot better

Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 30 at 18:28

It's weird how you discount eddie heady's and others' blathering about energy and heart and other nonquantifiable stuff, but then turn around and suggest that you wouldn't sign the best big man in the league just because he happens to be an underachiever. So are all kinds of useful players. I don't get what someone's unrealized potential has to do with measuring what he does give you.

Because i'm not talking about energy or heart

I'm talking about improvement in weaknesses which is quantifiable

Or do you think his lack of improvement offensively since he entered the league is acceptable?

Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 30 at 18:44

Well, 2 things. One, he has improved; there are shots he can make now that he couldn't in his early years, he's somewhat more fluid, and stats tell us he's way more efficient than in years one and two and that over time he's taken on a much heavier load on offense. The early Dwight was incredibly raw. But two, agreeing with you that he hasn't improved much, I think that yes, it's acceptable. First of all, for all I know he's just too musclebound and uncoordinated and lacks the touch to ever develop the kind of offensive game one would like him to develop. But even if that's not the case, I'll accept a guy who's been averaging 20 points on a career .600 TS%, with 13 boards and over 2 blocks and all kinds of less quantifiable defensive contributions any day, even if I think that he could be a way better version of himself if he tried harder.

Stan reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 18:19

wow. He should whine his way out of town now ala Melo. This makes the NJ situation a lot worse. If they sign Dwight, they'll have enough money to sign their first round draft pick and still have 8 million in cap space.

I honestly hope this is a joke...

One changes the game, the other does not. That's like saying you would rather have Iguodala at 12M than Lebron at 17M.

You're right he changes the game - he gives a way for the opposing team to reduce the chance of a successful offensive set every time he touches the ball - put him on the line - there's a better than normal chance of a 0 point trip...i don't think he uses his strength to his advantage - and dude whines about calls more than iguodala

Dwight reply to GoSixers on Jan 31 at 1:57

Dwight certainly isn't Shaq. But there's no doubt that he's the most dominant low post player in the league. In any case, I don't like his attitude. He continues to shove his teammates under the bus while talking about which teams he would most like to go to.

He continues to answer the questions asked of him - I don't really care what you think of his attitude, your comment only makes me rethink my position.

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