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Nice thoughts, and I agree 100%, but how often have we seen Jrue, Iguodala, Turner exploiting mismatches in the post when they should have?
Most teams would look to drive and get fouled when their offense hits ruts. The Sixers as of late have just kept chucking up these bad jumpers. This, compiled along with six or seven turnovers in the third quarter just created an avalanche effect. A truly ugly site that I hope to never see again.
In fact, that second half we saw last night was so lackadaisical and uninspiring. It seemed as if the offense was content on settling for the first long-two that came their way.
Hopefully this losing streak sparks a bunsen burner underneath them, or at least makes Doug consider running some different plays.
We know Hawes will be out for a while now, perhaps it's time to make some appropriate adjustments?

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Anonymous reply to Jeff on Feb 18 at 13:34
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When something happens or does not happen it would seem that it represents a pattern or coaching decision to me. The lack of the sixers exploiting mismatches in the post represents a consistent pattern to me which indicates that it is not on the player but it is a conscious decision by the coaching staff

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bebopdeluxe reply to Jeff on Feb 18 at 14:08
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GREAT point. Last night, when Turner went off the floor in the 2nd quarter, Carlisle IMMEDIATELY looked to post the mismatch - Kidd on Lou, and then VC on Meeks. When Turner is at the 2 and has a mismatch, then why does Collins just allow him to take someone in the post? Same with Jrue. Both of these guys have a decent to good low-post game...yet they never seem to look to exploit it.

How dare you question Collins. We have 20 wins!

If only Jrue Holiday was half the PG Jeremy Lin was :(

You mean the guy averaging over 6 turns per game as a starter?

Sorry, I was trolling

But I am upset with Jrue's production. I had a lot of hopes for him.

He's a much better defender than he was last year. On offense, he's looking more for creating his own long-twos than setting up his teammates. I'm not sure how much of that is on him or their offensive scheme.

I know the supposed "advanced" stats say Jrue is better this year than last year on D, but I honestly thought he was better last year based on observation. He seems to be letting more guys burn him this year. I question the "advanced" stats because it's never been explained whether it counts against Jrue or the PF if Jrue gets burned and the opponent scores a layup over the PF who was down on the blocks.

Just out of curiosity, do you question the advanced stats because you don't understand them?

Defensive stats are more flawed than offensive stats. You use advanced stats as a complement to observation. One informs the other.

I don't really care about advanced stats one way or another, they don't really mean anything to me. I'm satisfied looking at real stats for myself, but if people want to use advanced stats for themselves that's great for them, it's a free country.

My point about the defensive stats is that there's been a lot of promotion of Jrue's D being amazing this year, when I haven't seen it using my eyes. My eyes could be wrong, sure, but I'd like to be informed whether the advanced defensive stats count an opponent burning by Jrue but laying it in over Vucevic as 2 points against Jrue or against Vucevic. It's pretty important when analyzing whether the advanced defensive stats are useful or not.

I also have an inherent distrust of the advance defensive stats when you consider that the advanced stats say LouWill's D is great. He's one of the worst defenders I've ever seen in my entire life of watching basketball, up there with Kyle Korver.

Ask yourself this:

In a given game, who is Lou defending and who is Jrue defending?

Does Lou spend the same amount of time guarding the tougher opponent?

Do you think that defensive stats might be more favorable to the guy who has the easier defensive assignment (because he's not as defensively talented)?

This is what I'm talking about with how you have to use stats to inform your arguments and vice versa.

Totally agree, and absolutely that contributes to Lou's better advanced defensive stats. A key reason why I put little stock into those stats.

I think defense has to be mostly analyzed by the eye test. Iverson got a ton of steals but was a bad defender, stats obviously told us nothing. LouWill's advanced stats on defense similarly paint the wrong picture.

That's why I use the eye test on Jrue's defense, and from my personal observations I think that Jrue's D has regressed this year, regardless of what the advanced stats say.

What makes you guys think Jrue is even any better than Jeremy Lin ? You dismiss it like Jrue is Chris Paul or something. Jeremy Lin is winning games for the knicks---they won a ton of games BECAUSE of him with both Amare and Carmelo out. How many games are the sixers winning BECAUSE of Jrue ? How many games have we lost because Jrue has been god awful ?

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Anonymous reply to Gdog on Feb 18 at 14:43
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Then maybe you should become a Knicks fan? The knicks lost last night to one of the worst teams in the league, and Jeremy Lin started his ascent back to his actual skill level as teams are prepared for him and get some real tape on him.

Jrue Holiday has started every game for the past season and a half. Jeremy Lin has started less than 10 games. Jeremy Lin turns the ball over, and can't defend his way out of a paper bag. He needs Shumpert to do it for him. Jeremy Lin has talents that are magnified in a D'antoni system, but the Knicks are still terrible, beating up on bad teams. Jeremy Lin has yet to do it with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire
Linsanity is an apt term for what is going on, because it's insane. Insanity is not a good thing.

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Gdog reply to Anonymous on Feb 18 at 14:56
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Why would I become a Knicks fan, because I'm pointing out just how ineffective Jrue has been ? Knicks are 6-1 with Lin--nothing to sneeze at. Oh and as I recall they beat the Sixers too. I'm just being realistic--Lin is doing more to win games for his team than Jrue is. I love the Sixers since I was about 10 years old but I call it how I see it.


Your argument is so flawed I wouldn't know where to begin.

How bout with explaining what's so flawed about it? Are turnovers the only stat that matters? Iverson had a ton of them and we seemed to be OK with him.

I honestly haven't watched a Knick game since Lin started, so I claim zero ability to analyze his game. I also think Jrue has the potential to be a great player, he's only 21 after all. But why is it so ridiculous for gdog to think Lin is better than Jrue? I'd say most people who watch the NBA think Lin is better than Jrue.

You're comparing a season and a half (where teams have had the opportunity to make adjustments to how they guard him and vice versa) to a guy who played ten games. They shouldn't even be compared. You don't understand this??

The problem with both of your arguments is that you make sweeping generalities. It's one of those situations where it would take a very long time to explain, because you would almost have to start from scratch, and even after all of that effort, stubbornness might get in the way of either of you comprehending the rebuttal.
It's a lose-lose. No offense.

I didn't make any argument. I don't know anything about Lin other than he led a team to 5 straight wins. The Sixers have also gone on a 5-game win streak. I just think it's unfair to claim gdog is being ridiculous when he says Lin is better than Jrue. Most NBA fans would agree with him and disagree with you. If you disagree, that's totally fine, but acting like gdog is a complete buffoon is just plain wrong.

Trust me, I'm not trying to be offensive here, but I'd just like to point out that most NBA fans aren't well-informed. You can't always go with the status-quo. Sometimes you have to question it. You can't learn anything without being skeptical.

The pointn I'm trying to make here about GDog's arugment is that Lin shouldn't even be compared to Jrue (yet), because you're only comparing ten games with him as a starter to Jrue's 100+ games as a starter. The sample size is so grossly mis-proportionate that it shouldn't even be up for discussion.
Of course the average NBA fan is going to be on the pro-Lin boat. The media tells them to be, and they buy into it. The average fan doesn't know how to compare sample-size and advanced metrics to get a better picture of what's going on.

No offense taken, you don't have to worry about that with me. I've been called an idiot on here many times and brushed it off, so don't sweat this discussion, it's quite civil :)

You make a good point that it's difficult to compare Lin and Jrue because of sample size. I totally agree. I just don't agree that gdog's opinion is completely flawed because of it. I had the opinion that LeBron was better than KVH (who I loved) after LeBron's first 5 games.

I'm always down with being skeptical and I agree with you on that. I've been a skeptic of the Sixers' success and of Doug Collins all season, and been mostly beaten up for it, but that's fine.

While I agree that the average NBA fan is "misinformed," I don't think people here are any more informed because they look at advanced stats. Most everyone is misinformed, even NBA head coaches and GMs and announcers and ESPN analysts.

Just a suggestion - take some time to learn and understand these metrics before brushing them off. A few years ago I had no idea about winshares/48, usage rate, etc. I could've easily brushed it off as irrelevant, but the more time I spent reading on it, the more relevant it seemed.

You can't tell me that the same people who voted Iverson to be an allstar a couple years ago are as well-informed as people on this blog. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't hold any water.

Who votes for the all-star starters? Mostly kids right? I haven't voted on that since I was 8. Not a fair representation of the "average fan." Plus the voter may be voting on who he wants to see play, not who he thinks is having the best season.

I look at it this way. All fans are right some times and wrong some times. Most every Sixer fan I personally know liked the Vucevic pick. Most everyone here hated it. The humans, the "average NBA fan," were right about that, and the people here were wrong. That's fine. There are examples of where people here were right and the humans I know were wrong. That's fine too. No one is any smarter than anyone else.

Again, suggesting that most people who vote on all-star candidates are actually eight-year-old kids is a sweeping generality. It's not an argument that holds water.

The fact of the matter is that more people that season thought Iverson should be an all-star than say other more eligible candidates.

This is because Iverson got more media hype than other, more deserving players. Fans bought into this and voted for him. It's not because they were well-informed, or just as informed as some bloggers/analysts.

Intelligence has nothing to do with it. More so, it's a number of other factors.

LOL, he should become a Knick fan because he thinks another point guard is better than Jrue? I guess I should become a Clipper fan then, since I think Chris Paul is better than Jrue. What a joke.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. Because the Sixers aren't winning games because of their perimeter defense and low turnover rate. Jrue hasn't helped them win at all.

Are the low TOs really helping us win all that much? In our 4 recent losses we've still kept TOs low, at 10, 10, 6, and 8.

Yes, they have, but the offense has taken a nose-dive. Low turnovers are always preferred over high turnovers. I'm not sure why you would second guess this.

I second-guess it because if our turnovers are only low because we launch ill-advised threes all day, then no, the low turnovers are not better. I'd rather have higher turnovers with more penetration than lower turnovers with launching of threes all day.

By simply looking at yahoo! sports nba team stats page we can see that the sixers average 15.8 threes a game, good for 20th in the league. So no, it doesn't seem as though they are taking more threes as a result of wanting to turn the ball over less.

Fair enough, I should've included long-twos. We seem to take excessive jumpshots especially with the game on the line.

Jrue is actaully being asked to run and manage the team. Lin is running just one play and freelancing through the rest of the game. He isn't really being asked to shoulder the load like Jrue is.

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DonH reply to KellyDad on Feb 18 at 17:34
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What? Lin is shouldering a much bigger load than Jrue right now. It's not even close.

I'd much rather have Jrue than Lin for this team but I doubt Jrue could do what Lin is doing right now if he were in his role. Lin can actually finish and draw contact around the basket.

That's not really a fair comment seeing as we've never seen Jrue in a role where he has complete freedom to do as he wants on the court.

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DonH reply to Jeff on Feb 18 at 17:44
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Very true. But I'm saying this based on what I see when Jrue does actually attack the basket. Most of the time he looks scared and unsure of himself. He could really be a force driving to the basket with his athleticism, body, and ability to finish with either hand. To me it still looks like he's struggling to figure out what he can do around the basket. Lin on the other hand, already knows what he can do and is confident at doing it.

What would happen if Jrue averaged 5 turnovers a game playing for Doug Collins? He wouldn't be playing simply put. Maybe because Lin is NY only viable option at point guard that he gets a pass but he inst held to the same tough standards as Jrue is.

I'm not getting involved in this Lin vs. Jrue argument, but I would like to point out that the Knicks have been about an average offensive team since Lin took over (103 points-per-100-possessions). They've been winning because their defense has been much improved. And their defense has been much improved mainly because they haven't had Melo and Stoudemire on the floor. Funny how no one talks about that.

Brian, I think it's about time that you got involved in sensible arguments such as Jrue vs. Lin.

There does seem to be a ton of sense involved in that argument.

I should just say stats don't matter and from my personal observations Lin sucks. That's apparently a valid argument.

Haha. I was trying to be nice with him, but you read my mind.

"I should just say stats don't matter and from my personal observations Lin sucks. That's apparently a valid argument."

Twisting words, once again. I specifically was talking about defensive stats, as you know but chose to ignore. I've asked whether Jrue's advanced defensive stats take into account his man burning past him and scoring a layup over the center or PF, or if it counts against the center instead. Haven't received an answer yet. If it counts against the center, that "advanced" stat is absolutely worthless. And until someone explains that, the stat serves no purpose and I"ll keep going with the eye test exclusively.

Doug Collins has been a pretty good coach so far, but at this point, it seems like he's not allowing the young players to grow offensively. I understand the limiting turnovers approach, but at some point, he has give to give the players a green light. Jrue, Iggy, Turner, and Lou can all get into the lane and drive the ball pretty effectively, and either score, get to the line, or create chances for their teammates. They need to have the freedom to do this, even if it results in a few more turnovers.

Where was old man Battie last night??

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johnrosz on Feb 18 at 15:14
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ET should go back to his old shooting form after he goes and gets a refund from Mr Magee,how can it be any worse? Just do what worked for you your whole life, . That was putrid yesterday.

He had worse efg and ts% last season. He's not a natural shooter. He's a superior rebounder with good handle. Take other 2s on the block and go from there. He'll never be a catch and shoot guy IMO.

I agree with this. I never thought his stroke was all that bad last year, and he really picked up his shooting towards the end of the season and playoffs (including much improved 3-point shooting). Re-working something that was successful your whole life I always found odd.

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Anonymous on Feb 18 at 18:50
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Some interesting stats from espn (may have been said)... Dirk scored 24 in second half. Sixers entire team scored 24 in second half. The starters didnt make even 1 basket that half.

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Tom Moore on Feb 18 at 19:02
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I don't have hopes of Doug trying to exploit mismatches. After all, when a guy gets hot we sometimes forget about him altogether.

The whole "sharing the offense" thing is a great idea, but sometimes you feed the hot hand or take advantage of mismatches. Those are two things I have seldom seen from Doug and I've almost given up hope on him using that.

It's like he tells them "no turnovers. run. don't give up. work hard on defense. you'll figure out offense when you're on the floor."

Wanted to answer something GDog said above:

"How many games are the sixers winning BECAUSE of Jrue?"

and then this quote from Spiller27:

"My point about the defensive stats is that there's been a lot of promotion of Jrue's D being amazing this year, when I haven't seen it using my eyes."

My comments below are not intended to dismiss your opinions, simply to state where I am coming from and how I arrive at my different opinion. I've said before that no one has to use any kind of stats to be a good/smart/real fan. But that does not mean that hard facts/data can't be used to help inform a strong opinion.

Jrue is on the floor for about 3/4 of the Sixers minutes. When on the floor the team has outscored opponents by 214 points. Jrue's +/- is the 6th best margin in the entire NBA and by far the best on the Sixers.

When Jrue is on the bench the team is only +27.

So per 48 minutes the team beats opponents by an average of 3 points when Jrue is on the bench. But the team outscores teams by an average of 10 points when Jrue is on the floor.

So the Sixers are a bit above average with Jrue on the bench. But when Jrue is on the floor they perform as well as any team in the NBA, and the measurable difference he makes in his teams performance is as great as any player in the NBA right now- even after 2 terrible games in a row.

When Jrue has a bad game or fails to slow down a PG then the Sixers lose. Simple as that. Just like if another teams most important player costs them games when they fail to perform.

When he is on the floor the team averages roughly 1.07 pts per every offensive possession. They average about the same when he is off the floor. So by the numbers the offense is the same with or without him.

But... when Jrue is on the floor the opponent scores 0.93 pts per possession. When on the bench the opponent scores about 1.04 points per possession. Since games average about 100 possessions per team, that is a difference of about 11 points per game.

So the Sixers defense is about 11 points better when Jrue is on the floor, and the offense is about equal. This is not the case when you look at the same numbers for Iguodala, Lou or Turner. It is only the case for Jrue.

Lastly:
Lets look at how the Sixers perform with various players on the floor with or without Jrue.

Sixers team +/- (minutes in parentheses)
Thad: +145 (550min) with Jrue; +31(300 min) without Jrue
Iggy: +126 (840) with Jrue; +38 (245) without Jrue
Turner: +71 (390) with Jrue; +2 (340) without Jrue
Young +145 (550)with Jrue, +31 (325) without Jrue
Meeks: +123 (550) with Jrue; -13 (350) without Jrue

There could be a very good reason why these numbers are meaningless. But it looks to me like the teams success happens when Jrue is on the floor, and when he is on the bech they are mediocre. And the last 2 games show how much the team struggles when Jrue plays below average.

As a fan I do not watch defense as closely as offense. I remember a few individual plays where the defense breakdown or their is a steal and quickly forget the majority of the average plays where a team settles for a difficult shot. But the numbers are not so biased.

I am not saying Jrue is a great player. I am saying he has been the most crucial to this teams success this year- and when he has played poor recently the team is no longer a good one.

THIS is an excellent excellent post - do you have those stats with Jrue and V8, have they played enough together for there to be a decent sample size?

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tk76 reply to das411 on Feb 19 at 1:39
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The brand-Jrue numbers are similar, but Brand has played very few minutes without Jrue.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 19 at 1:43
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Basically the team has been successful regardless of who Jrue plays with. But for the rest of the players we see major team success generally only when they are on the floor with Jrue. So this leads me to believe that Jrue has been the most important in the team's success.

This is the sad reality. Jrue is going to be the next Iguodala in Philly if (a) the team doesn't win a ton of games, including playoff series or (b) he doesn't evolve into a 20ppg scorer on the offensive end. People are going to clamor for Jeremy Lin, or Brandon Jennings or whatever PG on another squad is hot at the moment because Jrue doesn't score enough and who cares about defense. I just hope the team continues its upward trajectory so Jrue doesn't start getting booed and ushered out of town by the Inquirer and WIP.

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L.A. Steve on Feb 19 at 0:04
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"In a given game, who is Lou defending and who is Jrue defending?"

If they're both on the court together Lou guards the small guard, and Jrue guards the big guard, otherwise, they both guard the 1.

My observations of Jrue's defensive prowess is sometimes it's good, but too often he gets beat, he's inconsistent. I too believe that he has a problem keeping his man in front of him. He gets caught flat footed a lot and they just blow right by him; it's like his head isn't in the game.

Personally, I think this Knick rookie, Iman Shumpert, is my definition of a very good defensive guard, this guy is tough.

My observations of Jrue's defensive prowess is sometimes it's good, but too often he gets beat, he's inconsistent.

Just speaking as a person who's watched every possession this team has played this season, you can probably count the number of times Jrue's man has beaten him in pure isolation like you're describing on one hand. Last season, this was a problem from time to time, not this year. When his man scores this season, it's either on a jumper or on a drive where he was sprung by a screen. He's been superb at moving his feet to cut off penetration on isolation, no matter who the opponent is.

A number of PG's have dropped 20-35+ pts on Shumpert in his brief stint of 17 games getting starters minutes:

Jennings 36 pts
Rose 32/13A
Wall 22pts/9A
Knight: 19pts
Westbrook: 21/8/8
Nash: 26/11/5
Kemba: 22pts

He's had some good defensive games. But he also got pretty well lit up in 7 of those 17 games. Hardly consistently good defense or a guy to say has played better defense than Jrue.

The guy plays in NY, so if he does anything it gets turned into the greatest ever.

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L. A . Steve reply to tk76 on Feb 19 at 13:39
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OK, tk76, now show me how many minutes Shumpert was assigned to each of the guys you mentioned in your post and the number of points he allowed, then we'll begin to establish some credence to your data. Don't forget that during the course of a game he'll be assigned to defend either guard, so I want only the minutes/points he's guarding the guys on your list, otherwise, what's the point? Recently I caught the second half of the Lakers/Knicks game, when Kobe got hot they stuck Shumpert on him. Despite the fact that Iman was velcroe, Kobe was knocking them down with regularity. Once he gets it going nobody can stop him, such is life in the NBA.

The two points I'm making here is (1) In the NBA you can play good defense and still get lit up. In Baseball great pitching (part of defense) stops great hitting (part of offense), in basketball great defense doesn't stop great offense. (2) You need to scrub your data better if you want to validate your argument with those numbers, as is, it's inconclusive.

The reason I made the comment about Shumpert being good on defense, wasn't based on numbers, it was formulated from my knowledge of the game and personal observation. The first time I saw him was when we played the Knicks, I remember being surprised because he was bigger and more athletic than Jrue. Then he proceeded to give him, (Jrue), all kinds of problems that day. I've seen him play about 5 games since, and I'm still impressed. I think that his physical attributes are outstanding: height, strength, speed, quickness, length of arms, quick hands, aggressiveness, and coordination. His offense isn't nearly as impressive as his defense, but the potential is there. It's very unusual to see a rookie play defense at that level in the NBA. I just wish he was in red, white, and blue.

"in basketball great defense doesn't stop great offense. (2) You need to scrub your data better if you want to validate your argument with those numbers, as is, it's inconclusive."

Every playoff series ever disagrees with you on this. TK76 did a great job of forming a rebutttal. It's not his job to present even more data to you while you present none. If you want your argument to hold any weight, then you need to do a much better job of proving your point.

I like how you chose to zero in on that one question rather than seeing how all the questions I proposed related to each other.

Here's what a lot of you guys are missing. Brian included. I'm not saying Lin is better than Jrue--I am saying hes doing more for his team to win. Its opinion, but its opinion that's probably shared by many, not just "uninformed" fans. Guys who played the game, not just people looking at stats. Im not saying stats have no purpose but you can skew the stats any way you want to make an argument for/against something. One of the guys earlier in the post said Jrue looks "scared and unsure of himself" a lot of the time driving to the basket and Lin seems confident. If we as observers of the game see it, dont you think each team that these guys play for see it too ? Dont you think that has an effect on how the team plays as a whole ? Confidence is a huge part of the game and it cant necessarily be measured with stats.

Sure, you're entitled to your opinion, but excuse me while I...*palms forehead*

Yeah your pro Jrue argument makes a ton of sense. Lin has 12 points, 6 assists and his TEAM IS WINNING at the HALF. Beating a team that just humiliated the sixers on their home floor.
Hmm---lets see Jrue's line there...Oh---3 points, 4 assists...but hey he did have 0 turnovers.
Your like the guys who root for the Eagles(which I do) who think Mike Vick is better than Eli Manning because hes on your team.




Lol, wow. I'm sorry, but this is incredibly stupid.

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Anonymous reply to Gdog on Feb 19 at 14:15
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Hmm...that metaphor isn't apt at all, and I'd explain to you why if I thought it would make a difference to your ranting and raving and inability to understand the facts presented to you.

However, you respond with emotion and when presented with evidence that proves you wrong you get angry, take it personally, and dismiss it.

Are you sure you and spiller27 are not the same person?

I assure you we're not, ask Brian to check the IPs if you want verification.

But that's typical of the way you've been commenting. You call us "closed-minded" and yet you can't even believe that more than one person would hold an opinion that is different than yours. LOL but we're the closed-minded ones.

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Anonymous reply to spiller27 on Feb 19 at 14:43
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So we can scratch off both metaphors and humor

Lin 28 Pts 14 assists. 7 turnovers...beat the mavericks WITH Jason Terry. oh wait--7 turnovers. He sucks. Being accountable for more than half of your teams points means nothing if you turn the ball over. I bet the knicks wish they had Jrue instead.

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eddies' heady's reply to Gdog on Feb 19 at 18:55
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While I like Jrue, I don't wish that.

Exactly. Nobody does. Except a few guys who are trying to convince themselves that Jrue is somehow some mega talent. Its clear as day he isn't, not yet. Right now--as of today---Lin is more valuable to his teams success. And its not even close.


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