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Cavs Help Sixers Right The Ship

Holiday had a refreshingly good game. The team needs more of that. However, just like some of the guys over at the game thread, i too felt like Thad deserved POTG. He almost single handedly changed the direction the game was going to with his energy, timely plays, cuts and scores at the basket. He even had a couple of really nice passes.

Anyway keep winning!

jswigga on Feb 12 at 5:45

Nice to see Nick score the way he can and should. Back to the basket, housing fools.
I sort of feel like like the 10-12 footers he and Lavoy often take (and hit) are kind of fools gold. Yes, they can both make them - LA and Nickky came out early in the season knocking those mid-range shots out like champs - but those shots should be extensions to their games, not the hallmark.

Whatever. Vooc played himself another epic game. Props to him. Hopefully Lavoy will take a few steps closer to the bucket.

bebopdeluxe reply to jswigga on Feb 12 at 11:25

At this point, I think we need to start the Vuc until Hawes is back...to use Collins' words, he is much more "ball-friendly" and he offense flows SO much better when he is out there.

Eh. I don't think it really looked like that with the Voose starting. Thought his demotion was deserved. He played better last night, not the previous couple.

bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Feb 12 at 13:00

I hear you, bro...but he is a rookie and ups-and downs should be expected. Right now, Allen simply isn't doing enough to start, IMO...and when he is playing well, I just think the offense flows better with Vuc out there.

Raffaele on Feb 12 at 9:18

I did not see the last couple of games but looking at stat sheet I'd wonder what's going on with Evan Turner. After showing good progresses, did he revert to the inconsistent play of last season?
Anyway great blog, Brian, and keep up the good work.

South Broad on Feb 12 at 10:16

During pregame last night, Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com was asked about trade rumors. He mentioned Evan Turner was being put out there for feelers. Said of any Sixers to be on the block, he was the most likely. Not much was detailed or pointed, but just the mere mention sent up the antenna. Anyone think he really has any knowledge about this? Or simply run-of-the-mill "rumor", which becomes even more common as the deadline approaches?

Hard to imagine that they trade Turner right now. He gets paid a lot for his production and his value is still low. I can only see him moved if it is part of some much bigger deal. Otherwise no reason to sell low on a guy who could develop into a really valuable player for them.

Sort of like Harden a couple of years ago.

I wouldn't be shocked if they moved Turner for a young big. I'd welcome it if it was a young guy who could finish and defend. I'm not sure what his value is like around the league, though. Wouldn't want to sell low, but you may not be selling low. He's shown much more this year than he did last year and I think it's pretty clear he'd put up some numbers with 30+ minutes/game. Put him on a team where you don't have better options for initiating offense and he could flourish with a bigger role.

I'm starting to feel the same way. Turner's minutes are dropping, even when he plays it is in the wrong role and I really think Collins has a problem with Turner.

I think trading Turner will come back to haunt them big time if it happens.

It would be a colossal mistake.

Trade Turner, potential be damned, because we are all set starting a 3-point specialist with zero other skills? If Meeks were released today, you'd be hard-pressed to find another team that would even pick him up, let alone play him more than 10 minutes a game. And yet you're satisfied with him to the point where you'd trade our #2 overall pick from last season.

Explain what you just said to Doug Collins.

How did you get that from what Brian posted?

Brian said he'd welcome a trade of Turner for a forward. Turner has played well this year in his ridiculously limited minutes, and yet a trade would be "welcome." Meanwhile we'd still be stuck with Meeks as our starting 2-guard.

Brand, Hawes, Thad, Lou, Meeks and ET all get about the same minutes per game (all between. 24.7 and 27.7 minutes per game.) So not sure the difference of 2-3 minutes a game makes for "ridiculously limited" when with 3 more minutes he would be getting the 3rd most minutes on the team.

I'd be hap to see him get a few more minutes, but again, he is right there with everyone else in terms of the team concept of 2 35 minute players (Iggy and Jrue) who have the greatest impact on +/- for the team and then 6 other guys averaging about 26 minutes... then a few spot guys who give you 15 minutes.

Not sure how when all 6 of those guys get about the same minutes ET gets to be singled out as the persecuted.

ET's minutes have been collapsing the last two weeks, for no reason. That has not happened to the others.

Dwight reply to Brian on Feb 12 at 14:34

I like Turner and I think he'll become an Iguodala type player, except better on offense, but if we were offered Derrick Favors for Turner straight up, I would do that trade.

Tom Moore on Feb 12 at 10:43

Mike Missanelli wrote a piece for the Inquirer advocating trading Iguodala for Monta Ellis. I guess they needed someone to fill the tremendous void Kate left on that front. Funny that he points to Monta's 48 point game against the Thunder as an example of how the Sixers need a guy who can put the game away in the fourth. The Warriors lost that game, mostly because they gave up 60 points in the second half and couldn't defend to save their lives.

Was hoping someone would take that down, thanks Brian - amazing how they've had so many "sportswriters" who know so little about this team pontificate on them lately...and for the record, that column was linked by that HoopsRumors site, but IMHO is nowhere near as important as the huge huge ovation that AI9 got on Friday night when they announced him as an all star!

Dwight reply to Brian on Feb 12 at 14:41

Missanelli barely even watches the Sixers. And Monta Ellis isn't much more than a glorified Lou Williams.

He's shown flashes of being able to get to the hoop and finish against good defenders(Like Battier). But than he will go entire games without even trying to go to the hoop. Not sure if he's just not getting the oppurtunities since he comes in with L.Will and Young, or if the issue is stanima/confidence.

He has improved his value this year, not sure by how much.

Also it looks like @SixersCEOAdam is dropping a few hints about things via Twitter - they are working on some sort of special for fans if they hold opponents under 76 points, but that may not happen until next season, other bobblehead nights in the works, they hinted at possible retro jerseys being planned and those blue ones may show up in April, and we'll see the new mascot "next season for sure, maybe later this season"...plus there is some sort of big announcement coming tomorrow about Wilt Night on 3/2, interesting...


The Wilt night special:

Free cab ride home in the morning for the first 20,000 in the door...

MCT reply to tk76 on Feb 12 at 14:29


L.A. Steve on Feb 12 at 14:58

I don't believe they'll trade Turner at the deadline, maybe Collins would, but I don't think Thorn will go along with it, I think he'll be more willing to move Iguodala, if the right offer comes along. Frankly, I don't think they move either, even though I would prefer they move Dre, providing they get a good offer. Recently, I read a Rod Torn Q&A where he was asked who has impressed him the most this year; he named two players, and one of them was Evan Turner. He remarked about how much improvement Turner has made this year. He was also asked about Iguodala, the part of his response that I remember was, "Andre is a good player not a great player". Dre has 8 years in the league, basically, what you see is what you get, and what I see isn't all that great. Personally, I like Turner's game; he has a lot of skills, and a great work ethic. I believe he'll become a good shooter over the next couple of years, I think he has all-star potential, but really, who knows, we'll see, it will all play out, we just have to keep watching.

Actually, what I wanted to address, before I read Brian's comment about trading Turner, was last night's game. When this team moves the ball, has its cutters on the move, and is taking it to the hole, they're tough, and when they don't, they're not, they're very beatable. Want Proof of that, check out last night's game. This was what I was ranting about after the Clippers game. Obviously, Doug had something to say about the way we played against the Clippers: taking all those jumpers, not passing the ball, not going to the hole, not hitting the cutters, and not swinging the ball from side-to-side, because the difference in our offense between Friday and Saturday was night and day. Now the question is can we keep it up and do the same things against the good teams?

A microcosm of Jrue's season. He has really regressed in terms of his efficiency numbers because he rarely gets in the lane or to the line. The 3rd season is where you are supposed to make the big leap- which arguably he has made defensively and taking care of the ball- but this year he has really disappointed as a PG.

Do people think this system is a good fit for Jrue, or is he just a limited player at this stage of his career?

First 2 years/2012:
FG% 44.5%/43%
eFG%: 49.5%/47%
TS%: 52.5%/50%
A/36min: 6.2/5.0

The last 2 years he has played similar minutes yet his Assists and FTA are down and his long 2's are way up.

Dwight reply to tk76 on Feb 12 at 15:36

From an individual numbers stand point he isn't as good. But you can tell by watching the games how huge of an impact he has on the team. His defense has skyrocketed and is a major factor for our #1 ranked defensive efficiency. He's also done a GREAT job of controlling the pace. The Sixers still have a lot of fast break points but are middle of the pack in tempo. He's also making smarter passes as his turnover rate has plummeted.

The way you can tell who the best players are on a team is by looking at how many minutes they play. Jrue leads the team in minutes.

Jrue has had an OK season. Not as good as last year. I still think he has great potential. But I can't say I agree with you about his defense. Multiple opposing point guards have had their best games of the season against us. His defense has gotten worse rather than "skyrocketed" in my humble opinion.

Dwight reply to spiller27 on Feb 12 at 15:42

Defense isn't about how many points you limit your man to. It's all about how well you communicate and can rotate. The Sixers are top in the league in opp. 3 pt % and that has a lot to do with Jrue being great at rotating and communicating.

Your humble opinion is dead wrong, and pretty much every stat backs that up. Miller is really the only PG who has killed Jrue in a one-on-one matchup. Parker had his way on the pick-and-roll, which is partially on Jrue, mostly on the shitty bigs. Williams did pretty much all of his damage on the other guys who were guarding him, not Jrue. The team DFR is 10 points better with Jrue on the floor because he's dominating his defensive matchup pretty much on a nightly basis, last night is a perfect example of his affect on the game.

If you absolutely need numbers, Jrue is allowing 0.72 points-per-play against. Iguodala is allowing 0.73. And those two guys get the toughest matchups on the perimeter.

Opponents are shooting 34.4% on Jrue, overall, 30.6% from three. They score on 33.1% of all possessions.

As a point of comparison, Turner is allowing 0.94 points-per-play, his man is shooting 43.7% on him (36% from three) and scores on 43.1% of plays.

Iguodala is the reason this team's defense has been very good the past two season. Jrue is the reason they've gone from very good to great this season.

Who is the play considered "against" if, for example, Tony Parker flies by Jrue and puts the layup in? Is that against a big down low or against Jrue? If it counts against the big, that would explain a lot. If not, well then OK. But just from observing games, this point per play against stat is mighty questionable if Jrue has better numbers than Turner. I suppose Turner giving up points to LeBron in 3 meetings could contribute to that.

I wonder what Lou Williams "points per play against" are. If they are lower than Turner's, I won't have much faith in the stat.

Lou's are better than Turner, worse than Jrue 0.78. But Lou always gets the easiest matchup, Jrue always gets the hardest. Turner typically gets a pretty tough matchup as well. Turner hasn't been terrible, but he hasn't been nearly as good as Jrue. I also find it interesting that Turner has been scored on by LeBron in 3 games, and somehow those points shouldn't count, but when Jrue goes up against elite PGs and they score points it's proof that he's regressed on the defensive end for you.

Back to the earlier point, I'd trade Turner for Favors in a heart beat. Same goes for Biyombo, Ibaka, Taj Gibson. Really any forward/center who could plug the defensive holes we have up front. That isn't me picking Meeks over Turner, that's me recognizing the holes this team has, and the redundancies it has as well. Turner is expendable if you fill a hole on the roster.

And saying Meeks wouldn't even be picked up by another team is probably the most idiotic thing you've ever said here, and that's an extremely high bar.

Fair points, but my point was that Jrue gave up some of Parker's/D-Will's/Miller's best games of the season. Parker only scored more than 37 once, Miller hasn't come close to 28 in any other game, and D-Will scored over 34 only once but did tie it twice (you say Jrue didn't cover him for his baskets, I do remember Iggy covering him multiple times so fine). Whereas Turner didn't give up LeBron's best games of the season. It's not that going against LeBron doesn't count.

Most teams already have a 3-point specialist and have no need for Meeks. 3-point specialists are a dime a dozen. He would find very little interest on the open market, a couple teams might give him a minimum contract (I never said he wouldn't get signed, I said you'd be hard-pressed to find a team that would sign him--to me that means one or two out of 30 could make an offer and he'd mostly sit the bench). If that makes me an idiot then fine.

Regarding Turner for Favors, I can understand that although I disagree with it. The others I can't even fathom. This team seems to play better with Turner out there. He brings energy, playmaking, and rebounding. We have rebounding struggles, dumping one of our best rebounders is not a good idea in my opinion.

I agree that Taj is a stretch. don't think he is the type of impact defender that would be a difference-maker- although I have read people think he is one of the best man post defenders in the game.

Not sure how you can blame the bigs for Tony Parker going off. It wasn't just the pick and roll, he was making repeated outside shots because Jrue wasn't getting near him, no hand in the face.

I have no idea what DFR means but since Jrue and Iggy play the most minutes and usually play together, it could be Iggy and not Jrue that is mostly responsible for any statistical advantage of better defense when Jrue is playing. From my personal observation I'm seeing Jrue getting burnt a lot and losing his man repeatedly on picks.

Parker was 1/7 on outside shots in that game. Good call, though.

Look at the synergy numbers I quoted above for Jrue. That's him, not Iguodala.

Looking at the nba.com play-by-play I see 5 "Parker jump shot" scores. 2 of them were floaters, so I presume those are fairly close in, but that leaves the other 3 at a minimum being on the outside.

Here he was 2/11 from outside 10 feet. Just raining jumpers in Jrue's face all night long.

fair enough, I guess those 2 jumpers made an impression on me.

I've got the basics for a post on this, maybe in the morning. I think there's at least a partial reason for it.

Look forward to the post.

I do agree that the combination of Iguodala, Jrue and Curry's scheme has made a huge impact this season, and you can't downplay the teams defensive strides.

But at the PG position you need a player who can make an impact on both ends. I'd be interested in comparing where Jrue is now to where Payton and Billups were entering their primes, since those are the two most natural comparisons.

Here is some data to look at in terms of offensive games:


Unfortunately only goes back to when Billups was 31- but that season they went to the Finals, so it is an interesting comparison. Billups was a much more efficient shooter in terms of ts%, but not really different in terms of eFG%. The main difference was Chauncey could really draw fouls at a high rate.

I'm also including this link: http://bkref.com/tiny/63PMz

A comparison of Jrue's numbers to the prime of Payton, billups and Deron to get a sense of what areas he needs to improve to make the leap from defensive specialist/shooter to all around great PG/defender.

... before the circular firing squar starts up again, can we all agree tp remember that Jrue is still just *21* years old?

I'm saying he is in his 3rd year and starting to become the player we can expect him to be in his prime. So where is he trending- and how does this compare to some guys we would identify as his benchmarks.

Looking at the numbers he puts up the same number of FGA at a similar percentage as those guys. He just fails to get to the line. Ignoring Deron, hist Assist numbers/36min are not that far off. the defense is probably getting close.

So basically Jrue needs to generate 2-3 more FTA and 1 more assist (and be on a team that consistently wins) to approach what Billups and Chauncey did statistically. But he is not trending towards being a "Deron" because he is much lower assists and lower usage.

Yeah, a long 2 keeps his TO's low and thus keeps him on the floor.

But I think his 35 min/game suggests that Collins trusts him to where he can maybe start driving more.

The sixers are one of the most exciting teams this year in the NBA and they are so young that it could keep being exciting for years to come. They are one piece away from contending with the Heat. I think they have enough pieces to get past the Bulls. Iguodala is starting to learn his role (not the finisher) and is deserving of his all star nod this year. I'm looking forward to the remainder of the season. Great blog!

Forget Monta, what about Eric Gordon? Can defend, score, drive, an athletic & can be that closer. & He's still so young. Jrue, Eric Gordon, & Iguodala?

Stan reply to Los5782 on Feb 12 at 15:50

I'd love to have him........if he was healthy.

The healthy part is the big thing for me. I love the player he is, but I just have no confidence in him being able to stay on the court.

For anybody wondering who the random white haired guy next to the Sixer bench is...looks like CSN talked to him during the Spurs game: http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/video?PID=Y_h3y5scwXzXMiF7nxtnH7Vb_cUxyLqE

He's kind of embarrassing. I thought when he got in Kobe's face he should've been ejected, permanently.

Sort of cool that he gets the players fired up. Don't think he should be allowed to leave his seat to heckle an opponent. At least not when he is right on the floor like that.

Dwight reply to das411 on Feb 12 at 16:39

That guy always seems to be at all of the Sixers games I got to. He's always fist bumping the players before the game starts. I guess he's like the Sixers version of Jack Nicholson or Spike Lee.

Celitcs won but they almost blew the game.
Sorry for bringing up Lin (you guys are probably sick of hearing about him), but I think offensively he is as good as Rondo but with a better jump shot. Too bad Amare/Melo aren't sound fundamentally as KG/Peirce

ALvin reply to Stan on Feb 12 at 19:44

He is a turnover machine though

Tray reply to Stan on Feb 12 at 21:46


Hard to evaluate a guy with a 31.5% usage rate since that is so abnormal. We will have to see how he plays in a more balanced setting where he is not dominating every possession. We will know a ton more in a month. But it helps him to be playing under Dantoni, who will give him every chance to succeed and not be overly focused on defense or conservative play. A guy could never explode on the scene like this under someone like Larry Brown.

Not turning the ball over is great and all, but I'm starting to worry its coming at the expense of driving to the basket.

It is. However, I'm not too concerned about it since their record is 19-9. If their offense starts falling apart to the point where it is costing them more games than not, then I'll be worried.

Yes and no. Holiday started to pass far less and look for his own shot (mostly long twos) more because he doesn't want to turn the ball over.

P.S. Do you guys think "hype machine Lin" will even play under Collins? He is so turnover prone that he probably won't get even a chance to show what he's got.

Stan reply to Xsago on Feb 13 at 7:25

It depends. NY had to play him out of necessity. If Collin's PGs were Iman Shumpert and Tony Douglas, I don't think he would bench Lin in favor of those guys.

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