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Checking In On Jrue's Progress

Believe it or not, left out something I wanted to include in the post above.

In Tom's video, Jrue says his goal is to keep his turnovers to less than 3 per game. That's a fine goal, but I'd like to make it a more positive goal. More free throw attempts than turnovers, every game. It's a modest and achievable goal, and it's a bar he's fallen short of in 20 of 28 games so far this season.

"other times it results in a 20-foot jumper off the dribble rather than a drive into traffic that could result in a trip to the line (or a turnover)."

Do players/coaches actually think this way? Don't drive because you might turn the ball over, take a bad shot instead?

It was the case when Larry Brown was here- but it is a bit more complicated (not that I'm a fan of it.)

The rule mostly applies later in the shot clock, and has a lot to do with floor balance. Later in the shot clock defenders often leak out. In that setting, If you drive from the top of the key and miss then you have nobody back to prevent a run out. Add to that the Sixers get few O0boards, and driving in the last 8 seconds is really risky unless you have a good scheme to have 2 other players rotate back.

I was really high on Jrue being a star his season. I was sure he would be the teams go to player on offence and be the face of the franchise.

To me it all boils down to Jrue being patient. He seems to want to take over every game within the first 12 minutes. Could even be the fact that he read to much about himself in the media and it went to his head. When Jrue lets the game come to him he is much better.

About 1/3 of the way through last season Collins took away sole PG responsibilities from Jrue and made PG a shared position between Jrue, Iggy, Lou and ET. But if you look at team splits last year they did not really improve on either assists or TO as the season progressed. They were pretty much 22A/13TO most months.

I was hoping for Jrue to make a big leap this year either by re-assuming full PG responsibilities or becoming more of a scorer. So basically to become more of a DWade or a DWill. Obviously he will never be either of these guys for various reasons, but I was hoping for a step in that direction.

So either a higher scoring player who gets good assist numbers or similar scoring but much higher assists. Something in between would be more of a Payton.

But if anything, Jrue has maybe progressed more to being a Billups- sans FT's. He defends, takes care of the ball and hits big long range shots. But again, Billups got to the line 3 more times a game- and that made a big difference.

I'll post again the comparison between prime Billups, Payton and DWill as compared to Jrue this year. I'm not saying Jrue is close or will ever be close to any of these guys. More to look at the per 36 min and advanced stats to see what Jrue needs to do to make steps to be a more impactful offensive player. The most obvious being getting o the FT line.

http://bkref.com/tiny/63PMz

Note I was not able to only select out this current season for Jrue, so they are his career numbers.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 10:34
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If Jrue is comfortable with taking his jumper, and one of the biggest concerns that we have with his offensive game is his seeming reticence to take the ball to the hole and get to the line, this would seem to argue even more for MORE JTI.

You still get ALL of the benefits of Jrue's impact on the defensive side of the ball, get Turner (who is definitely a better rebounder than either Meeks or Lou and certainly has the capability to be a better perimeter defender as well) out there to make both our defense and transition-offense stronger, take advantage of Turner's ability to help run/initiate the offense, and allow Jrue to use his size to create more offense, post up smaller PG's, and get to the line.

Not to turn this into another thread about Turner's minutes, but it seems pretty clear to me that if you want Jrue to get to the line more, having another guy out there to handle the ball and help run the offense would free Jrue up to look for his offense more...right?

The numbers for lineups with JTI are still pretty strong - yes?

JTI has been just as effective as Jrue, Meeks and Iguodala, although they've played less minutes against starters. I don't feel like getting into this argument again, but I don't really think there's ever a shortage of ballhandlers when Iguodala and Jrue are on the floor together.

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bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Feb 13 at 12:49
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Do you think that Jrue looks for his own shot - including taking it to the rim and getting to the line - when he is the guy who has, as a KEY priority, not turning the ball over?

I would LOVE to see Jrue be more aggressive with his offense....I just wonder if that is more difficult to do when Meeks (a traditional off-the-ball SG) is on the floor with him. He could do it if Lou (obviously a better ball-handler, who has impressively improved his willingness to distribute and facilitate), but then you would have two guys out there who could do much of the same thing.

Jrues an interesting player. Much like Iguodola, because he doesn't score a lot he will always be over looked. Much like Turner, it seems whenever he takes it to the hole hes incredibly efficient. It just doesn't seem like he does it that much. Very nice article Brian. Which made me think as I was reading---is writing about the Sixers a profession for you or is it just for fun ? Either way, great job. Just wondering.

Nah, don't make my living doing this. Usually, it's just for the fun of it.

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tk76 reply to Gdog on Feb 13 at 10:59
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Surprisingly, the numbers say that Jrue is ineffective at taking the ball to the hoop as compared to his teammates. I will post the numbers later.

Off topic, but has anyone seen this Iguodala interview? A very good reporter who really lured out the voice in iggy's head.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgzXTTLlRsA&feature=youtu.be

Trivia

Name the player that Mitchell misspelled twice today at Philly.com. Not knowing player's names is sad for a beat writer.

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Stan reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 11:19
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I'm guessing Iguodala. Everyone else seems to have an easy name to spell. I still get the "o" and "u" mixed up in Iggy's last name.

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MCT reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 11:20
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That would be Anderson VareJOU?

I wish there was a more diplomatic way to say this, but John Mitchell blows.

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tk76 reply to MCT on Feb 13 at 11:26
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I only brought it up because he did in twice in the same article. Maybe he will grow into the job?

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 11:27
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Then I go and make a typo... But I am posting from a phone.

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Stan reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 11:33
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Maybe Mitchell wrote that from his phone as well?

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MCT reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 11:28
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I doubt it - he seems very disinterested. Almost like this is a rebound job for him.

I know some people disagreed with Kate Fagan's opinions (I did myself sometimes), but she worked very hard. Her blog was updated almost daily in addition to her frequent columns. Marc Narducci handles the "Deep Sixer" blog more than Mitchell does. He completely mails it in and you can tell he doesn't know much about this team.

Fagan was exactly what you'd think the Inquirer would be looking for in a role like this...a young go-getter with talent and ambition...she was aggressive in using all available opportunities to maximize the potential of her job & demonstrate the versatility that media companies prize above all else in this climate(thus her diligence with the blog as an outlet for multimedia content. She knew her basketball, she worked hard at her job and her coverage always tried to translate what was going on with the team into an informed narrative. Certainly you could find different things to object to-seemed to me like she reached for stories occasional but can you really blame her?at least she consistently brought something to the table beyond "sixers won, balanced scoring, bench contributions, collins had this to say."

Kate made the most of her stay, has moved on to i wanna say part of the espn family?don't remember except that i remember thinking it was a deep pocketed outfit that she landed with

Interesting analysis, Brian.

Jrue's offensive numbers are down, but his defensive performance has been so much better that his net impact on the team is much more positive than last year. That means he's no longer on the "superstar path," but he's now on the more important "winning impact" path.

The most encouraging sign for Jrue is his assist numbers this month: 5.6 ast/g to 1.4 tov/g. So he's increased his assists and lowered his turnovers vs. his season averages. If that continues, Collins will trust him more and more to make the "risky" passes that lead to easy baskets. And the Sixers would then have two players who are top-5 at their positions at assist-to-turnover-ratio.

It's an interesting notion that someone brought up above: Jrue has gotten better in an "Iguodala kind of way" -- his offensive stats don't show it, but the team is much better for it.


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tk76 reply to Statman on Feb 13 at 11:57
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Jrue would join both Iggy and Lou in that regard.

took me a second to get what you were saying. Yeah, Lou's assist-to-turnover ratio is off the charts as well.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Feb 13 at 13:00
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I wonder what Lou brings back in a trade? I think Turner is ready to take on his role and be this team's Harden. Not sure if the Sixers could get a good big or maybe absorb a bad contract and get a first in this year's deep draft?

Are you confident he can fill the role Lou plays? For all his warts, Lou's an efficient scorer and that's really what they need him for. Turner could handle the minutes, for sure, but I haven't seen anything from him that tells me he can carry the offense with his scoring.

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MCT reply to tk76 on Feb 13 at 13:11
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This is the way to go in my opinion. Lou only makes $5M but he will demand more when he opts out at the end of the year. Is he worth the money Thad got? I don't think we can afford that. I think we could make out well in a Lou trade because he is respected around the league and he's cheap. Turner is considered a disappointment who has slightly improved so he wouldn't bring back anything good in a trade, especially with his #2 pick contract.

Turner won't score like Lou but I think combined with Thad and the rest of the bench they can make up for some of it.

I know Lou's numbers are great but I still don't think it's good for this team the way he dominates the ball. Good Lou makes up for Bad Lou for sure, but Bad Lou shows up too damn much.

It would depend on who they got back in the deal, but I'm really, really hesitant to move Lou this season. The team gets stuck on offensive way too frequently, and often he's the only guy who can unstick them and just get some points. I think that's just the reality right now and I don't see Turner as the guy who's going to be able to step into that role.

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Scott reply to Brian on Feb 13 at 13:32
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Brian, what do you think are the chances that Lou opts out this offseason, and then asks for a contract we can't afford?

I understand it may hurt the team short term to trade Lou (unless Thorn works some magic), but if we don't how likely is it that he's back on the team next year with a reasonable contract?

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bebopdeluxe reply to Scott on Feb 13 at 13:36
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And - at a time that we will have the potential to be materially under the cap (depending on what we do with Brand), how desirable is it to spend a big chunk of that money on a guy who plays a position where we already have a fair amount of resources already on the roster?

I sort of answered this below, or asked a different question. I really have no idea. I think he'd get more money on the open market. I don't think the sixers should pay him more than he's making now (can't invest what amounts to a max contract in 2 bench guys, imo), so it looks like he'll leave or they'll overpay. I guess part of me is wondering if he really loves it here, and if he does, would he just play out the contract?

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MCT reply to Brian on Feb 13 at 13:39
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I wouldn't do it unless it was a good deal for us, but I'm thinking more about next year than this year. I have had more fun watching this team this year than I have in years, but I still don't think we have a remote chance of winning a title yet. We're going to need to make a significant move at some point to get there. I'm looking at this roster and I'm pretty much ok with trading anyone on it, although I wouldn't trade Jrue or Iguodala unless we got a superstar in return. Trading Lou would hurt us short term but he probably won't be here next year unless we overpay him.

I agree getting something of value back for Lou now makes sense for the long term, I just don't think they'll do anything that downgrades the team this year, not w/ this start and new ownership blah, blah, blah.

I'm actually kind of interested in seeing what Lou does. There's definitely more money out there for him if he opts out. I don't doubt that for a second. I'm wondering how much he wants to be here. All we hear is how he's a leader in that locker room. He's never, ever said anything bad about his role coming off the bench. He's really been a team guy as far as that's concerned. I just wonder if he wants to leave, if he wants to go somewhere to start, or I guess the ultimate question is how much does it mean to these guys to keep the group together.

I read somewhere Jeremy Lin's popularity may make Time Warner cave in their battle w/ MSG. If that's the case, I hope he keeps this up just long enough to get MSG back on my TV before the Sixers play the Knicks again.


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