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Mismatches, and Not In A Good Way

Any comments in regards to Minny's bench?

They don't have much of a bench, even less if Barea is still out. Williams hasn't found it yet, Beasley is Beasley. Beg him to shoot jumpers. And Martell Webster, Wes Johnson and Ellington are pretty much the same player. Shooters who can't shoot.

If it's close, I'd expect Rubio and Love to play 40 minutes each, if not more. Love averages 40 minutes.

This is a game i am really thrilled to watch because Rubio and even Love are probably me favorite non-Sixers players. The T-Wolves will be a very dangerous team in a few years if they keep this core together. Luckily, they are not there yet and there are definitely ways to beat them.

A few brief random thoughts:
- I was waiting for Pekovic to arrive for a very long time. He is a monster in Europe, mostly because he plays very "non-Euro" ball. I thought he would be suited perfectly for the NBA game but it took a long time for him to get the chance. And the reason for that is simple, his defensive fundamentals are terrible and is not a shot blocking presence.
- Minnesota does not have the personnel to defend inside. The Sixers need to attack the basket every single time. The only above average defender on the their team is Rubio.
- Brand, Thad and Vucevic are the key to this game IMO. If they are in attack mode all night long good things will happen.
- Pack the paint, let them shoot threes. Outside of Love and Ellington i am not sure you need to worry about the others from three.

Spencer for hire on Feb 19 at 9:02

I think our 2 rookies are the key players tonight with Minnesota's frontcourt defensive shortcomings. If Lavoy and Vuce can get 16 pts. between them we stand a chance.

As far as Love goes, I would give Iggy a shot at him for a short stretch tonight if he goes off.

Who would you guys rather have going forward, Pekovic or the Vuce? I think Vuce is better defensively and all aroung offensively but Pekovic sure can hit the boards. I would probably pick the Vuce.

Spencer for hire reply to Spencer for hire on Feb 19 at 9:10

It seems Minnesota has decided that Love is more effective playing with a lowpost center than with Milicic. This may allow for less wear and tear on Love's body throughout his career.

Could Milicic be an option for us this summer as a backup to the Vuce if Hawes is let go? He has a decent contract and can block some shots and allow Thad to play inside.

Vucevic. Pekovic is an interesting player but Vucevic is younger and a much better all around player. Pekovic is a beast inside but can't do much else. Not to mention Vucevic is younger.

Pekovic does hit the boards but only the offensive ones. He is not a very good defensive rebounder.

I've always viewed Pekovic as the scoring counterpart to Zaza Pachulia. Would you rather have Pachulia or Vucevic?

I would rather have Pekovic, becuase he looks like the tazmanian devil.

Coaching advantage tonight, Minnesota:

Rick Adelman 3,579
Terry Porter 15,586 (2-time All-Star)
Jack Sikma 17,287 (7-time All-Star)
T.R. Dunn 5,033 (3-time 2nd team All-NBA defender)
TOTAL 41,485

Doug Collins 7,427 (4-time All-Star)
Aaron McKie 5,871 ("Sixth Man Of The Year" '00-'01)
Michael Curry 2,986
TOTAL 16,284

T'Wolves staff: +25,201

South Broad on Feb 19 at 10:01

Bob Ryan with some (unusual?) Sixers love on his 'parting shots' on the Sports Reporters. Said they're the best story in the league this year. Basically like a swarm of ants that mess up your picnic. Will be a very tough out in the playoffs for someone. Won't win the championship, but will win the Atlantic. Doug will wear on them, and wear on them, but won't "wear" them out until next year, he's the Coach of the Year this year.

Really weird to hear this from a Boston guy on national TV. Good stuff.

Interesting but late-to-the-party comment by blabby Ryan.

I was recently thinking "queen ant" Collins' driving intensity and persnickety demands may be starting to wear on "the colony" at this juncture of season 2.

Spencer for hire reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 19 at 10:37

Hopefully winning and playoff success [one round at least?] will outweigh Doug's intense approach but lately he seems on edge a bit during postgame pressers.

eddies' heady's reply to Spencer for hire on Feb 19 at 10:48

Most coaches are on edge after losses, no?

Spencer for hire reply to eddies' heady's on Feb 19 at 10:56

I think the condensed schedule isn't helping much either and the fact there is no practice time. I am hoping for a 5 year run by Collins at least and that a foundation is built going forward.

Yeah, losses change the dolphin into a piranha. Media, watch your fingers on those gadgets.

Nice subtle dig at Turner there Brian. Rubio shoots 37%, Turner shoots 45%.

Rubio also isn't allergic to getting to the line, and he hits 3's above the mendoza line. I don't pay attention to things like FG%, I go by observation alone.

Spencer for hire reply to Brian on Feb 19 at 12:51

Brian, I am trying to understand the advanced stats more clearly. What are your most important ones for a scorer. And comparing say, Meeks to Lou, how do you compare the 2 players?

The question wasn't directed to me but i will answer it nonetheless :).

High TS% with a high usage rate = Great scorer.

If you ask me that's the most accurate take you can have with the available advanced stats. If one of those stats is lower things get complicated. Points per possession is a great metric too and can in the right context be used instead of TS%.

Bare in mind advanced stats are still fairly limited and while they give great indication at some of the more subtle aspects of the game, they still can be quite flawed at times. Just like our "eye-metric" tends to be flawed very often.

Spencer for hire reply to Xsago on Feb 19 at 13:53

Thankyou. I am so used to looking at the basic stats and feel like an outsider in some discussions. Never to old to learn a few new tricks.

I was comparing M.Ellis to Lou because of all the previous, get Monte talk, and trying to discourage a few coworkers from making an Iggy for Ellis deal. And Jeff's discussion yesterday helped push me to new territory also.

To give you an idea how flawed "true shooting percentage" is, Monta Ellis last year shot 45% FG, 36% 3P, and 79% FT. Lou Williams shot 40.% FG, 34.8% 3P, and 82.3% FT.

Lou had the higher "true shooting percentage." What a joke.

You can't use these stats in a vacuum like that.

Anonymous reply to spiller27 on Feb 19 at 14:10

It seems that things that don't agree with your world view are statistics you discard whereas those that work for your preconception are ok.

Your comment again reinforces the perception that you don't have an open mind or an ability to admit you are wrong. The math behind the true shooting percentage is sound and accepted by most who follow study or report basketball. You dismiss it because you don't agree with the conclusions it presents. This is a common mistake for those who don't have an open mind or come to things with preconceived ideas, which it seems, you are one of those. You can't be persuaded because you don't care to have evidence that is contrary to your belief.

It's almost like you are a creationist, and instead of accepting contrary evidence as valid, you will either dismiss it or make excuses for it.

Regardless of my world view or opinion on creationism (huh?), I was merely pointing out that true shooting pct. is lower for a guy who has a much higher FG%, slightly higher 3P%, and slightly lower FT%.

Rather than me being closed-minded, It seems that you are jumping to the conclusion that because a stat is labeled "advanced" it's obviously right and only the smartest people can figure it out. As if an advanced stat cannot be questioned.

Anonymous reply to spiller27 on Feb 19 at 14:35

I am sorry the metaphor confused you, but it also proved my point.

You dismiss it because of one specific example while not examining the entirety of the available data which others have. These are people smarter than me ,and most likely smarter than you, who do such things for a living. If it was as flawed as you want it to be, most people would not use it at all. Again, you dismiss that which disproves your point, seemingly because holding on to your flawed hypotheses is more important than admitting you are wrong.

Which does not lend itself to useful discourse.

Hence the use of my metaphor.

"If it was as flawed as you want it to be, most people would not use it at all."

Most people don't use it at all. So I guess it in fact is "as flawed as I want it to be."

Spencer for hire reply to spiller27 on Feb 19 at 14:11

I believe turnovers have a lot to do with Lou being better than Ellis, or at least equal. And getting to the foul line more also.

I agree with you that when you look at basic stats Ellis seemed to be better but that is why I am trying to delve deeper.

Didn't think turnovers affect true shooting pct. but if they do, that's just bizarre.

Free-throw pct. and field-goal pct. should be distinct stats in my opinion. Combining them doesn't make sense, in one instance you have a hand in your face and in the other you don't. They don't mix, the scenarios are completely different.

There's definitely a condescending attitude from the advanced-stat holies that they are smarter than everyone else, and those of us who don't worship the advanced stats are just idiots. Then they have the gall to call us "closed-minded." No reason for that behavior, but that's what they do. I don't criticize people for looking at advanced stats, they can look at whatever they want. But they love to denigrate anyone who doesn't follow them.

Free-throw pct. and field-goal pct. should be distinct stats in my opinion. Combining them doesn't make sense, in one instance you have a hand in your face and in the other you don't. They don't mix, the scenarios are completely different.

You really don't need to say anything more than this. It says it all about how your brain works. Just stick with FG% and your eyes.

Tray reply to Brian on Feb 19 at 15:14

Instead of mocking this guy, could we explain to him why he's wrong? The reason why he's wrong, of course, is that foul-shots and three-pointers were a way bigger percentage of Lou's attempts last year than they were of Monta's. Monta might make these shots at about the same rate, but Monta's taking over 4 shots from the field for every free-throw and Lou's taking only a little over 2. So gee, who would you expect to be more efficient?

It's been explained to him, repeatedly. Mocking is all that's left at this point.

Twisting my words again, OK. Why do you insist on ignoring that I was talking about advanced defensive stats? Because it doesn't fit your point?

How were you talking about advanced defensive stats when you were mentioning fg%?

Brian is mocking my statements from yesterday where I analyzed Jrue's defensive prowess this year based on the eye test instead of advanced defensive stats. I specifically pointed out that I didn't trust the advanced defensive stats because no one has answered whether it counts against Jrue when he gets burned by his man who then makes a layup over the center (i.e. does it count against Jrue or the center?). Brian has extended that to imply that I said there is no need to look at stats on offense, observation is all that matters, which I never said and will never say.

I see. Pick n'rolls are difficult to analyze (another reason why you can't give full weight to either the eye test or defensive metrics, because both are flawed, but using them together gives paints a better picture) in terms of who is to blame and who is not.

If Jrue were to go under the pick, for example, and the big doesn't hedge well, is it Jrue's fault that the opposing point guard hit the jumper? I would put more blame on the big in that case.
If, for example, Jrue were to go over the screen, but is lazy at doing so and the opposing PG easily drives past him, then I would put the blame on Jrue.
Now, if Jrue is lazy at fighting through the screen, but the big (hypothetically) is a good defensive, shot-blocking presence that can prevent the opposing pg from making a strong drive to the basket, then it's a defensive win for the big. However, Jrue was technically guarding this PG and it would look better for Jrue in this case, even though it was the big who did all the hard work in getting the stop.

Jrue's defensive stats were worse last season for a number of reasons, but most importantly this was due to our bigs being so bad with pick n'rolls that Doug would basically opt to put Jrue on an island and have the big sit back toward the basket to stop a potential drive. This would go into Doug's philosophy of forcing the PG to settle for the long-two rather than go for the easier lay-up.

Spencer for hire reply to Jeff on Feb 19 at 14:25

Does Vuce, thus far, seem average, below average, or good on hedging, in your opinion? He looks solid to me. And if you break down defensive impact of a center, how does shotblocking, pick-n-roll defense and man on man post defense get valued by our coach.

I remember how well Houston defended last year with C. Hayes at center. It was all about drawing charges and no shotblocking.

I know we all want Howard here but if Jrue and Vuce can be real good defenders at their positions maybe a scorer can be added instead.

We really don't have good post defenders on this team. We rely on our perimeter defenders for a lot of work. Vuce needs to increase his lower-body strength if he wants to not get destroyed by the biggers centers of the NBA.
There have been times where Vuce was pretty bad at hedging. He's a rookie, so he gets a pass for now.

I don't have a game-by-game breakdown of his pick n' roll defense, however. Someone who has synergy could give you a better picture of this.

I am not sure how good Vuce is at hedging... But he does seem good working in space. He gets his hands on loose balls and rotates reasonably well give his footspeed.

Knicks > Mavs so Knicks > sixers!

Hornets > Knicks, Knicks > Mavs, HORNETS > MAVS!!!!

I am happy to be looking forward to seeing this game just for the game itself instead of focusing about its place in the big picture. Interesting matchups and I don't know what to expect.

If the sixers can play their game they can beat this team. Of course, giving up lots of rebounds can off-set their rhythm.

Yeah, my biggest concern is having to get two or more stops per possession before they can finally secure a board.

It almost kills me seeing opposing teams get 2,3,4 opportunities to score because the sixers fail to secure a rebound. This more than anything else this season has bothered the hell out of me. All that defensive effort goes down the tubes, and expends both energy and spirit.

Spencer for hire reply to tk76 on Feb 19 at 16:51

Tk, great points on Jrue yesterday, I just read it this morning.

ugh. The Knicks had Amare and Tyson Chandler on the bench for the majority of the 4th quarter and Dallas couldn't exploit it. JR Smith was matched up against Dirk defensively on several occasions and did a decent job. Dallas lost this shot on 3 pointers and rebounds, all of which were opened up for NY because of the double team Dallas put on Lin.

I'm officially worried about the Knicks. JR Smith, Lin, Novak have all been playing at a high level, and we don't have anyone on this team who can defend Amare or Tyson Chandler. This is the same Dallas team that only allowed Jrue Holiday to score 4 points. Today they had to double team Lin and he still ended up burning them for 28 points and 13 assists.

I think it's safe to say that the Knicks are better than the Sixers.

Steve V reply to Stan on Feb 19 at 16:10

It's safe to say they're better when they've beaten the nets,Jazz, wizards, Lakers, Wolves, Raptors and kings? And got beat by the Hornets? One impressive win against the mavs? But when the Sixers destroyed those teams and got a quality win against the Bulls they didn't count because someone was injured. Don't be a prisoner of the moment.

Rich reply to Stan on Feb 19 at 17:05

For the record, you've had this Knicks boner all year.

It's safe to say they're playing better ball than the Sixers right now. It's also safe to say the Sixers have a 4.5 game lead on the Knicks, and it took them an 8-1 run to get to .500. We'll see what happens from here.

bebopdeluxe on Feb 19 at 16:55

It is getting harder and harder to deny that Lin is the real deal, which sucks for us.

If Melo buys in, with the addition of another D'Antoni type of player in Smith, I think they are better than us.

Not quite sure what you mean by the real deal. He is a decent player who works well for their roster and scheme. Prior to Lin they had zero PG's. Now they have one, which should mean they are no longer completely dysfunctional. But if you are implying that Lin is a great player then I disagree.

I think several dozen players could have stepped in Nd thrived in that opportunity. Not Shumpert or Sherman because neither are PG's. But IMO Jrue, Lou or ET could have stepped in and really helped that team considering who was playing PG prior to Lin?.

stan reply to tk76 on Feb 19 at 18:43

You cant deny his stats. Even if he is just an above average pg, He makes the Knicks so much better.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Feb 19 at 18:46

What I am implying is he is at least an average NBA PG - is it your sense that he is less than that?

And if he is a legit NBA PG, then the one thing that we fell pack on this summer (Toney Douglas? Really??), goes by the wayside. He also seems to be - as he has been at every level he has played - a guy who raises his game in crunchtime....which certainly bodes well for the future as he learns the NBA game and cuts his turnovers in half.

Do you disagree with that?

Jrue and ET can feel free and step in right now for our team starting tonight.

eddies' heady's reply to Stuff on Feb 19 at 18:53


Can we have Tyson Chandler and Amare, or do we have to use Brand and Vuce.?

Each team is flawed compared to contenders. NY is not the team to worry about long term.

Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

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