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Jrue's Defense Last Night Was MVP Worthy

Great stuff, thanks Rich.

The final video was such an unbelievable play. He was so quick in getting between the screen and Rose, just a brilliant play.

Rich, great job with this post. It should be noted that Rose beat Iguodala going to his left once too, though Iguodala got his block on Rose when Rose went left.

It takes a lot of discipline to play a guy to his dominant side, and I notice this when playing pick-up. The problem is that when you shade a guy one way and he goes the other way (to his weak hand), he's going to be a full step ahead of you if he has any speed/first step at all. But the beauty of making a guy go toward his off hand is that he either has to shoot with his off hand (not everyone can do that) or he has to bring the ball back toward you with his strong hand.

Interestingly, it seems to me that Jrue is one of those guards who is better going to his left ...

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Rich reply to Statman on Feb 2 at 14:13
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He did beat Iguodala going to his left one time. But again there was help there in Brand, and he made an absolutely ridiculous sort of power floater (If there is such a thing) going to his left. I didn't mention it because that seemed like it was one of those "There's nothing you can do about it" plays.

Jrue seems to be quick and smart enough that he can shade to the left and get beat, but sort of recover for a few steps and cut off the middle of the lane until the guy has to go around him again. At least that's what he did last night.

There was something else about Jrue's play last night that was pretty interesting. You hear all the time about guys who pick up their defense when they get more touches and shots on the offensive end. Last night at least, Jrue was just the opposite. Offensively, he looked really tentative out there to begin with. The more success he had guarding Rose, the more active he got in initiating the offense and looking for his own shot.

Here's an interesting comp if you're wondering who should win the sixth man of the year.

Iguodala really needs to make the All Star team, or Jrue, or Thad, or Lou or just someone. This team just needs some recognition. Here's a comp showing Iguodala vs. a bunch of guys who are also probably going to be in the running. When you take the team record into account, and the huge hand he's had in that, he has to get the nod this year.

I think Iguodala has a very good shot at making the allstar game this year. I put some thought into it as well a few days ago and realized he is probably very close. It's all going to come up to name recognition vs. record and while record has been more important in the past the last few years the allstar tends to move towards name recognition (talking about votes from coaches).

My current Eastern allstar team looks like this:

PG: Rose / Jennings (D.Williams, Irving, Holiday, L.Williams)
SG: Wade / Johnson
SF: Lebron / Iguodala (Deng / Anthony / Pierce)
PF: Bosh / Smith
C: Howard / Hibbert (Hawes / Noah / Chandler / Monroe)
additional: Deng / Pierce

I am assuming 2 of each position and 2 additional ones. Other possibilities are in brackets. Lots of injuries and surprising bad play of some teams / players have made this allstar game very intriguing.

Interestingly i think Thad is the 3rd best PF, Turner is in the top 5 at SG and both Holiday and Lou have a realistic chance to make the squad instead of Jennings.

Not sure how ET can be in the top 5 at SG.

Keep in mind it is "guys who can play the SG position" so the field is not limited to players that exclusively play SG. For example, I could see Iguodala making it as a "SG" since the competition is tighter at SF.

I only meant guys that are listed as SGs basically. I know it's a simplistic approach but had to start somewhere. I only had players playing at a single position.

btw, there will be a SixersBeat episode tonight at 9:30pm. Just leave your questions here, if you have any. I'll put a post up about 9pm with the details to listen/call in.

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Court_visioN reply to Brian on Feb 2 at 14:40
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Assuming everyone's healthy again, what's your take on what the bigs rotation should or will look like?

Trivia question:

Name the 5 non-center elligible players in modern NBA history (the past 45 years) who made the All Star team in a year where they averaged for that season:

Less than 15 pts
Less than 6 Asst
Less than 7 reb

Iguodala is averaging 13/5A/6.7R

Here is the answer: http://bkref.com/tiny/Y6Ad9

Hint, 2 are players whose numbers will never be worn again by a Sixer.

Related triviality:

Iguodala is one of 13 player in NBA history to average for his career 15pts/5.7reb/4.7 asst (Iggy is 15.5/5.8/4.8)

The only players on that list not in the HOF are Iguodala and Lebron.

http://bkref.com/tiny/OrTr4

I am not suggesting this makes Iguuodala a HOF caliber player (he is not.) But it shows how rare it is to find a "glue guy" like Iggy.

Also, Pippin's career numbers:
16.1/6.4/5.2 stl 2.0
Iguodala:
15.5/5.8/4.8 atl 1.8

I few other Pipping comparisons:

Pippin was age 25 at the start of his first season where he was named to an All NBA Defensive team (2nd team.) Age 26 the first time he made 1st team All Defense.

Iguodala was 26 at the beginning of the first season he was named All Defense (2nd team.) So only 1 year behind Pippin in All NBA Defense recognition.

Iguodala was 26 to start this year. The year Pippin started age 26 he had only been named to 1 All Star game thus far in his career. So again, only 1 year behind.

Obviously the biggest difference is that Pippen had already won a title at age 25. But Playing with MJ probably helped. But the point is that Iguodala could still be raised a ton in national profile if his team starts winning.

Right, I mentioned Bobby Jones the other day as the precedent for Iguodala's making it with such a low scoring average. However, Bobby was uniquely well-respected around the league for both his game (great defense, high-percentage offense) as well as his gentlemanly behavior. It's harder in this day and age for Iguodala to be appreciated for many of the same characteristics in his game, plus he wasn't "gentlemanly" earlier in his career.

Grantland actually writes about the Sixers today!

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/15951/2-sixers-fans-react-to-beating-the-bulls

...even though it's pretty clearly two guys who had not watched this team at all before last night, there's still one incredible line slash potential new nickname in there: "But the real highlight was the bench. Ah, this bench: Thaddeus Young (19 points), Lou Williams (14 points) and Evan Turner (points are a stupid metric!)"

I can't, for the life of me, understand how this comparison is not being made by the media. Jrue and Gary Payton. Same size. Same athleticism. Jrue's a better shooter. Gary was a better defender in his third season- but Jrue is only 21! Why is that never taken into account? Jrue would be a top 5 pick in this years draft if he stayed at UCLA. Here's the comp between Jrue in year three and Payton in year three.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=holidjr01&y1=2012&p2=paytoga01&y2=1993

The Sixers are also playing a special brand of team basketball that limits offensive production of all of our players individually, skewing Jrue's stats. All in all, we have a special point guard on our hands.

found this interesting while reading zach lowe's sitdown with thorn, http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/02/02/rod-thorn-talks-sixers-andre-iguodala-rumors-stephon-marbury-and-more/

SI.com: How serious did negotiations get with Spencer last summer before you guys just agreed on the one-year qualifying offer? Did you guys make a multi-year offer?

Thorn: Yeah, we did. Spencer — and I give him credit — thinks he’s a terrific player. In his mind, the offer was not commensurate with how he views himself. And the league was not offering him what he thought was his true value. He didn’t hesitate. He came in a day or two later said, “Hey, I’ll come in on a qualifying offer, and I’ll show everybody what I’m worth.”

Looks like the country is starting to take us seriously now. There is a poll on Espn.com that asks which loss yesterday was more surprising, the Heat or the Bulls. The last time I checked close to 80% chose the Heat losing to the Bucks. It should have been 100%

Great stuff Rich as always. I love these X and Os posts from you keep em coming.

It's interesting to me that Collins and probably more importantly Micheal Curry have consistently devised great defensive schemes against teams with one major weapon used heavily in the offensive concepts of the team no matter the type of player. Chicago (Rose), Orlando (Howard), Atlanta (Johnson) all fit the bill of those teams that they have recently played against. Where the team struggles is against more balanced teams with multiple evenly used weapons such as Miami and Denver.

Another thing I found interesting with the horrible charge call on Iguodala last night: The ref, Mark Lindsay, is another Philly guy. I am a fan of referee critiquing, not out and out bashing, but there's two things I've seen this year:

1. The charging calls are getting to be just really bad. It's at the point that you get the call if you are moving slow, not with your feet planted.

2. I hate when all of the Philly refs call a game here. Crawford, Callahan, and now Lindsay have made calls that have been really bad against the Sixers. It could be that they are just missing them, but man.

3. Oh, and Violet Palmer just isn't very good.

Yeah, Palmer has really hurt the chances for future women refs in the NBA. She is sort of the Clarence Thomas of trailblazing refs if that makes any sense.

Yeah, another instructive article Rich. It's great seeing good defense tuirning into dunks on the other end. I'm also glad that the refs did not bail out Rose with weak calls on those plays. Because that kind of thing can really turn a game.

Some interesting on/off the floor stats that show how valuable Jrue is to the defense (or how big a step down his replacement PG is at defense):

With Jrue on the floor opponents score 92.8 pts per 100 possessions. With Jrue on the bench that number jumps to 102.7 pts allowed.

The only other regular with a similar impact is Iguodala, but interestingly overall Jrue is a net +6.4 while Iguodala surprisingly is a net -1.7. Don't really know why that is.

Where are you getting those numbers? At basketballvalue, Jrue is a net +8.36 while Iguodala is a net +1.76. And the numbers at basketball-reference.com are totally different again, where Jrue has the worst net (ORtg-DRtg) of any Sixer regular (+3, whereas Iguodala and Thad are at +16, Lou at +14). Makes you wonder what is going on with the different statistics ...

Just using 82games on/off stats.

Don't know why the defensive pts allowed per 100 possessions is identical for Jrue and Iguodala but strangely the offensive pts per 100 possessions vary greatly between the two players. The offensive production is much better when Iguodala is on the bench for some unknown reason. not so much when Jrue is on the bench.

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Rich reply to tk76 on Feb 2 at 16:25
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Totally agree on letting the weak call go on that play. Last night's game was generally well-officiated (I think they missed a ball out on Noah too), but they got the flow of the game exactly right. That's what's important too.

Iguodala should DEFINTTELY be an All-Star this season.

The level of his individual play and the fact that his team is performing at a high level should be enough. If it's not, he's got a couple of sportcenter "wow" highlights (self pass dunk off the backboard and around his back dribble) to appease the more casual fans.

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bebopdeluxe on Feb 2 at 16:14
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t.co/A9CxULIE

Clap your hands, everybody...

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bebopdeluxe on Feb 2 at 16:18
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Let's try that again...

http://t.co/A9CxULIE

Doug Collins said at his postgame press conference that Derrick Rose was sick yesterday and that he had to leave practice earlier in the day. Don't mean to piss on anyone's JRUE parade but it is what it is...

This is news why? They said this at the beginning of the telecast, he seemed ok to play when it was a close game and then after they got bitch slapped in the third quarter he was too sick to play.

Of course you meant to 'piss on the parade' - that's fine - if it makes you happy

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Gdog reply to GoSixers on Feb 3 at 8:18
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No I'm not, just being real. I'm a long time Sixer fan and would love to see Jrue be some elite player or for that matter elite defender. Not there, yet.

No one said he was they said he had a great game last night shutting down derrick rose who was magically healed to be able to beat the knicks last night. ANd the note you felt you had to bring up was brought up during the game by the announcers so it's not like doug was saying anything viewers already didn't know.

Derrick Rose was SO SICK on Wednesday that Thursday he dropped 32/13 on the knicks

I still stand by the philadelphia phlu

"Really, the only thing a lot of people would say that separates the Sixers from teams like the Bulls is that elite player, however vague of a term that is."

Maybe a lot of people would say that; I think a lot of other people would say that unlike us they have a pretty great big man rotation and a good center.

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Rich reply to Tray on Feb 2 at 18:16
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True. At this point though, the big man rotation gap has probably narrowed a bit, for now at least.

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jswigga on Feb 2 at 18:11
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nothing to add except a big, fat thanks. To the author, of course, and also the fans who check in here regularly.

I am so stoked to have found some other heads who are as big (ok waaaay bigger) fans than I.

Cheers and keep up the good work.

between my frenetic schedule, have been able to check up on the Sixers games, while scanning DF daily.
Excellent post Rich. Once I saw that steal when Jrue was pinned between Rose and the screener, I figured he was favoring one side.. Now I know it was his scheme.

"What if the Sixers consistently turn the other team's star into an ordinary player?"

It's a silent hope I keep in my heart with regards this team's future and the urgent prospect of avoiding inevitably dreaded Hawks plateau. JTI look promising. Wonder what they can do against Miami a 2nd time around. DC has not given us a preview of his defensive scheme for the Heat. I know he has one. I'd like to see it tomorrow. Will DVR that game.


Just wanted to shout out to the Sixers on a huge win.
Fans better get the WFC rocking for Friday's game. Need to hear some real noise (and not just for Big Macs)

Jrue's defense will show tonight when Derrick Rose crushes the Knicks.

A great way to get a PF hot is to let him play against Boozer.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Feb 2 at 21:25
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He was inexcusably lazy several times last night on D. Just terrible.

I live in Chicago and he is crucified on the sports shows.

Understandable. He doesn't seem to mind watching opponents score. A trading buckets-player now. Am surprised Thibodeau tolerates to the extent he does. If Boozer ain't hittin' (or seriously boarding), he should be sittin'. 30, expensive, on downside.


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