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The Experiment Fails

bebopdeluxe on Feb 21 at 23:12

I have defended Turner a lot around here, but he came up small in the 3rd quarter. Collins gave him a chance to show him something, and he failed to take advantage of it.

My bigger concern is that it seems like Collins is morphing before our very eyes from this sage, understanding mentor of young players to a frazzled, grumpy mess. He needs this break as much as the players do.

What a frustrating game to watch. That first quarter was brutal. Lou was brutal. ET...I don't know where to start with him. He has this great opportunity and he's using his time to prove that he should not have been the #2 pick overall.

Just a real frustrating game.

This game just confirmed that I am 100% behind trading any single player on this team, or combo of players. No one should be exempt.

Dwight reply to MCT on Feb 21 at 23:34

C'mon man have some loyalty.

MCT reply to Dwight on Feb 21 at 23:38

I might have loyalty in the morning but I don't right now.

Anonymous reply to Dwight on Feb 22 at 10:38

Loyalty has no place in building a winning sports team. You make the moves that can improve your franchise. You do not look fondly at a players history and decide not to trade him unless you feel it is a trade that hurts your team going forward.

The team is the thing, not the player. Loyalty to those who can not help you win is a mistake.

I feel like this game was coming after Brian said how Marc Gasol was a poor defender earlier in the year.

He certainly didn't look like a poor defender tonight. He looked pretty much unstoppable on the offensive end, as well. Still can't figure out why Memphis didn't just keep giving him the ball in the post all night.

Anonymous reply to Dwight on Feb 22 at 10:39

So you feel that Brian's comments early in the season are responsible for last nights game.

Do you also believe in Santa Claus and not talking about a no hitter

Anyone know if home court advantage in the 4/5 matchup is decided by record? Meaning, does winning your division automatically give you home court?

tk76 reply to Brian on Feb 21 at 23:44

Winning your division does not guarantee home court. It does five you 3rd seed.

tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 21 at 23:45


bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Feb 21 at 23:48

Don't know if that is right...I though that I read that winning the division only guarantees you the 4th seed - and you only get homecourt if you have a better record than the 5 seed. If a 2nd place team in a division has a better record than a division winner, they get the 3 seed.

That doesn't sound right. I think it guarantees you the #4 seed. #1 seed is always best record, division winner by default. #2 seed is pure second-best record. Then #3 and #4 are the other division winners (if #2 is a non-division winner). Correct? I should probably look this up.

But what you're saying is if Sixers win Atlantic, but have a worse record than ORL or IND, they won't have home court, correct?

tk76 reply to Brian on Feb 21 at 23:51

Yes. Best record in the matchup gets home court.

So in 3 vs. 6, 6 could have home court? Wait, no that's not possible. Unless the #1 and #2 teams came from the same division and the teams with the third and fourth best records were non-division winners. Complicated stuff.

#4 could easily be a road team against #5, though.

So basically, if we're talking about the teams in the hunt right now, the Sixers need to finish with a better record than two of Atlanta, Orlando and Indy to get home court in the first round, correct? Or does the #3 seed automatically go to the 3rd division winner if #1 and #2 are also the two best records in the conference?

If MIA/CHI are 1/2 and win their division, then is the winner of the Atlantic automatically #3, or is it determined by best record for #3?

MCT reply to Brian on Feb 21 at 23:53


Unless this has changed since then, you're right. We're not guaranteed anything by winning the division except the 4th seed, which is meaningless if we don't have home court.


MCT reply to Brian on Feb 21 at 23:46

As long as you have a better record than the 6 seed, you have home court. So we could still have the 5th best record but if we win the division we have home court. I think

An NBA team trotted out as starters Meeks, Lavoy and Noce... And promptly got blown out in the first quarter.

Not exactly a surprise. Any non-sixer fan would assume that would happen.

Heh. So much for depth.

There has to be like a 0% chance our starting front court on opening night next season contains either member of the starting front court this season, right? Please tell me that's right.

Anonymous reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 10:42

As I understand it you would only remove Elton Brand from the sixers roster for Dwight Howard. Do you feel that if Elton Brand is on the roster next year the sixers will be the first NBA franchise to understand a sunk cost and just let him ride the bench or over use him to justify his salary?

Or are you referring to last nights starting front court?

Actually, I think I've changed my mind about amnestying Brand only for Howard. This front court is such a weakness, and Brand is really only a band aid, and only a band aid like every third game or so. I'm thinking you start fresh and use his $18M to get some legit talent in there. Voose and Allen come back as depth (assuming Allen doesn't leave as an RFA).

Brand's play/absence have swung me over to GoSixers' side of the fence on this issue, at least for now.

Being a trailblazer is always a hard road to hoe...I gladly suffer the slings and arrows of the prisoners of the moment, of the past, of irrational exuberance and small sample size. (While we're at it, I find it amusing how so many people are turning on Doug when I was berated for pointing out his history and saying I see no reason it would be different in Philadlephia.)

TwoSense reply to GoSixers on Feb 22 at 10:55

Doug's history and the current state of this team go hand in hand exactly how?

Doug's history is that he lasts 2 1/2 seasons as a head coach, and the fans of this blog are turning on him after a season and a half, if you don't see Doug taking the blame you need to read the blog more. That's all I stated, I said nothing about the state of the team, I said that I didn't think Doug would last more than 2 1/2 seasons as the sixers head coach and many of the folks who were praising doug early in the season are turning on him (1 1/2 seasons in)

Eh. The coach gets credit when the team is winning, gets crucified when they're losing. That's not something that's exclusive to Collins, now or next season or last season.

I think it's premature to say this is the typical Collins wearing on his players stuff at this point in his tenure with a team. One thing the 20-9 start has done is make fans completely pissed whenever they lose a game, even if it's a game they probably should've lost going in considering injuries.

And it was premature to say that Brand was done...whatever you want to say, I see what I see, agree or not, maybe I'll be wrong, like I was about Brand.

The people over reacting to the losses are the same people (and you are guilty of it) who over reacted to the 20-9 start as well. The people who over reacted to a 3-13 start last year (or a 13-4 run). The people who thought the sixers were better than a 500 team because of the improbable 3-13 start (ignoring the improbable 13-4 run as well)

They're not as bad as 3-13, they're not as good as 13-4, they're not as bad as the past 5 games, they're not as good as the first 30.

They're mediocre, they were last year, and continuity means in the long run they'll be mediocre again this year.

Maybe, however, this will smack ownership upside the head about the front court and how while they are good in small doses, #8 and #50 are not long term answers for significant minutes.

I'm prone to overreaction. And I said premature, not wrong.

Well, in my life, I've never seen premature used in the context of "I think what you're saying is right but it's too early to say it". To me premature has always been the 'nicer' way of saying, you're wrong :)

And with that, I'm off again. It's easier to just read everyone else than get in the middle of it. Back to python and parsing the ESPN shooting data :)

In this case, I actually meant premature. I think they're kind of on a precipice right now. There are legit reasons for the poor play, and they can pull themselves together, but once that snowball starts rolling downhill, then people start to question things. When you're winning, your coach making you run laps for turnovers is OK. It's part of the process. When you're losing, those laps aren't as fun and you start questioning whether you're being held back. Don't think they're there yet, but with more losing, they might get there.

TwoSense reply to GoSixers on Feb 22 at 11:08

Collins may be taking the heat, but not rightfully so. Since the start he's been basically turning chicken poo into chicken salad, for what it's worth. The players have to execute, Collins isn't out there shooting 4 for 20 last night and not seeing the rim has a net versus Dallas.

This goes without mentioning the mountainous climb they had last night before the game even tipped off with injuries.

Every team has had injuries this year, injuries are an excuse.

Injuries do not explain questionable substitutions, or starting Andres Nocioni, or not letting young players make mistake, nor do they excuse such things.

I didn't say collins was to blame did i? I said OTHERS were turning on him, mostly due to unrealistic expectations of this roster.

Collins bears blame because though Thad and Lou couldn't hit the broadside of a barn last night, Collins left Lou in the game. As a team they're falling apart right before our eyes, and no one person is to blame (except maybe rod thorn because his answer to all the injuries was francisco elson)

mo speedy on Feb 22 at 0:32

Given everything that went on in this game, I feel a little bit odd singling out Turner. However, embolded by the fact that Brian and several others have already done so.

Really frankly: I'm sick of his bullshit. Tired of seeing him jack up long twos that have no chance of falling. Tired of him never creating anything despite the gift of size and a decent handle. But mostly tired of waiting for him to fulfill "the promise." I guess it's something that many of you have already come to accept, but he was a huge bust, period. And every time he pulls his bullshit disappearing act during a game, just makes me think about what could've been made of that pick...

mo speezy reply to mo speedy on Feb 22 at 0:43

Oh how could I have forgotten --

Sooo tired of seeing Turner get blocked. I swear he was blocked like 4 times tonight. Do they keep that stat? If so I would be shocked if Turner doesn't lead the league in blocks per FGA.

MCT reply to mo speezy on Feb 22 at 0:48

They do keep that stat and he was blocked once tonight.

Not defending his shitty performance, but thought I would answer your question.

I don't think he's blocked more than average, just from observation. He's not blocked as much as Jrue.

Scott reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 8:27

Jrue gets blocked way too much and so does Thad. Where do you find how many times someone gets blocked? For some reason, I feel like the Sixers could lead the NBA in the amount of times they get blocked as a team.

Go figure. They, in addition to Turner, each hover around 2 FTA/G.

He got his shot blocked a ton last year but not as much this year by my observation. I think he's done so poorly in drawing contact at the rim that he's settled on taking jumpers. When he does go inside, it's usually a miss, a disappointed look to the ref, and a glance at Collins to see if he just got his leash yanked.

On a positive note, when placed as a starter in the second half, he really started moving with a sense of purpose. Off the ball, on handoffs, screens - he was really staying busy. Granted, the team was playing as though the Grizz had personally insulted them, which is another mistake. That works for bits, like Andre in the first quarter, but won't replace consistent execution.

First off, let me say, I love the Blog, Brian. Thanks for running it. I've never commented but am a regular follower during and after games.

That said, as frustrated as I am with the recent losing run, I can't believe some of the comments I'm seeing here!

Evan Turner played 26 mins last night. He was 1-5 from the field. As in 5 shots. Reading the comments in the game thread and above you'd think the guy did nothing but jack up bad shots all night (cough, cough, LouWill).

I know he's gotta take it to the rack more, but if I recall, he was fouled several times on drives in this game (non-shooting fouls) and missed a few jumpers. A few of those jumpers were a little early in the shot clock for my taste but they were open shots. Gotta knock 'em down.

I hate feeling like someone's gotta defend the guy when his recent play isn't all that worthy of defending, but he's also not worth being singled out as the reason we lost either. I guess my question is why all of the "he has no heart" stuff? Because he has goofy facial expressions? Please. He was the only one sprinting back in the 3rd quarter to stop a breakaway dunk after a Lavoy turnover (which wasn't a foul either and Doug let the ref know it).

Not sure what people expect, but this team, as currently constructed is NEVER going to have someone who is a consistent 20+ point scorer. Collins sub patterns are too odd and he loses guys on the bench for too long. Jrue was blowing up in this game and suddenly was the forgotten man. Why wasn't he back on the court to start the 4th?

When we're winning, the all for one, one for all stuff works, when we lose 4 in a row, it doesn't.

I'm frustrated as well, but with this team, singling out one person as the goat (not G.O.A.T) is tough, because everything is so spread out. It's like communism and Doug's Lenin. Everyone gets just a little taste, and as soon as you seem like you're getting too much. Back to the gulag you go.

Thanks for indulging me, and sorry for the long post. I'm as frustrated as everyone else. Let's get this win in Houston tonight.


Anyone who is a fan of the 76ers wants ET to succeed but he is his own worst enemy. He doesn't hustle around the floor when he doesn't have the ball exhibiting little to no effort. He takes too many jumpers and is not a good enough shooter to be doing so. His driving instincts haven't improved to the extent they should have as he frequently dribbles into a dead end.

He's an above average defender and rebounder and to that effect has his usefulness. Otherwise, he's only shown flashes. The phrase "hasn't put it all together yet" is very applicable to his career to this point.

Hobbes reply to Cin on Feb 22 at 9:49

"Flashes" seems to be the recurrent optimistic phrase to characterize Turner. Not sure it's an accurate one, though. "Flashes" connotes extended periods of time. Frankly, I think there have been precious few "flashes" of these in the last year-and-a-half.

More accurate, perhaps, to say he has occasionally "made plays"! Or, perhaps, to say he performs certain tasks (rebounds). Beyond that, I feel I'd be straining.

Rarely does he seem in control of himself (shots go in, in spite of himself!?). But on how many occasions was he actually controlling some aspect of a game--a player he was dominating, a quarter he took over?

On offense, he looks to me predominantly passive and lazy and occasionally clumsily successful.

Maybe it's partly a confidence/Collins thing, or a team/fit thing. But, let's be honest. Just how fickle is this date? he has been taken to dinner, given some candlelight, showered with some affection. Just how perfect must the evening be in order for him to put out? And if it takes that much, is he worth the trouble?

eddies' heady's reply to Hobbes on Feb 22 at 9:56

So well said. Thanks for your poignant thoughts.

How many Sixers have dominated a quarter or game? You have to look at these things in context. Also, your analogy is flawed: the table has hardly been set for him. This was a year of continuity in both personnel and role. The upcoming offseason will be one of upheaval in both regards. It would be foolish to judge him before that, especially considering his history of being a late bloomer.

Hobbes reply to Cin on Feb 22 at 13:04

Do you feel his 33% shooting percentage from 16-22 feet (where he takes most of his shots) can be explained away by "Doug's not giving him choice minutes? What about the 63% FT number?

I'n not "giving up on him," but I'm also not willing to accept that every single lackluster aspect of his game (the failure to exploit size disadvantages when they come along; the various poor shooting percentages; the standing around on the wing; shot selections; etc.) can be swept away with the "Dougy doesn't send him flowers" broom. And if that is the problem, then he's mentally weak. Seriously so. And he can't put the ball in the hole with 20 minutes of playing time and an offense that's running through him, then he just might be too limited and too passive.

Better players find ways to get themselves onto the court.

Evan looks to me like somebody who'll wear your a** out with his need for cozy foreplay. He needs to sack-up.

Hobbes reply to Hobbes on Feb 22 at 13:05

to be read "not running through him." Sorry

mo speezy reply to Steve on Feb 22 at 9:50

Personally I wasn't so much singling him out for last night, but for his play (& lack thereof) in general. The biggest thing for me is: I'm just tired of waiting for something from him, waiting for him to "show up" in more than a few "blip on the radar" games where he plays decently. At some point you have to stop waiting for an impactful player to emerge, and start accepting him for what he is. As mentioned, I think a lot of people here have long since accepted that he's just not the player he was billed to be when drafted, but for some reason that just fully crystallized for me last night.

eddies' heady's reply to mo speezy on Feb 22 at 9:58

"At some point you have to stop waiting for an impactful player to emerge, and start accepting him for what he is."


L. A. Steve reply to Steve on Feb 22 at 16:46

In regards to ET, I still think he has a bright future, however, I'm not sure it's in Philly, or at least as long as Doug Collins is the coach here.

I don't think he's being used properly, I believe he needs the ball in his hands more. After all, he sees the court better than anyone out there. It's obvious to me that he's pressing big time. Even so, he almost always makes the right play; he doesn't force bad shots, and hits the open man, to me that's big. I agree he's not driving as much as he should, earlier in the year he was driving the lane and putting up a 5 footer, with success, but for some reason he stopped doing that. He was playing decent until, for some inexplicable reason, Doug cut his minutes. 18 mpg will screw anybody up, especially, a #2 pick whom people are calling a bust. I say put Evan and Jrue out there and let ET play the 1. The way Jrue is currently playing he's more suited for the 2 anyway.

While most appear to want ET's scalp, my guy is Lou Williams. One out of every five games he comes in and is lights out, the other 4 he's killing us. I've never seen such poor shot selection in my life, it's ridiculous, he has no conscience. It's always the same thing, some unsuccessful off balance fall away jumper, from 20+ feet away, with some defender draped all over him, and yet, we see it over and over again. I guess Doug thinks that's winning basketball.

I'm not sure you understand the definition of a bad shot.

That wasn't really fair. Should've said we have different definitions of what constitutes a bad shot.

L. A. Steve reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 19:26

I think I do, in fact, I'm sure I do!

Spencer for hire on Feb 22 at 9:14

.that still wants Spieghts over either of our rookies should take note of his inconsistant effort last night. A rookie can be excused some as part of a learning curve but Spieghts is playing for a contract.

I am getting to the point that I hope some N.B.A. GM. thinks Turner can play the p.g. spot and that that raises his value. Utah in particular. At this point a Turner and Milsap swap may benefit both teams and I find it harder and harder to think Turner will become better than him.

Turner and Nuce for Milsap and R.Bell frees up playing time for Burks and Favors since Utah is falling out of the playoff race.

Turner/Burks/Hayward aren't a very good shooting bunch. Also, a Young/Millsap frontcourt would be tragically small.

Spencer for hire reply to Cin on Feb 22 at 10:10

Milsap would replace Elton and Elton would backup Hawes if the deal happened. My main concern with Evan is how he succeeded in college surrounded by shooters and screeners. Everything revolved around him and he doesn't seem willing to just be a contributor.

If he is to succeed here I would put the ball in his hands and let Jrue play off the ball. Collins keeps saying he wants Jrue to score so try that for a two week stretch or move him for pieces that fit or on draft night for a pick.

And his 3 early buckets (that Collins ungraciously said postgame he didn't jump more than one inch on) helped kickstart 30-10 Q1 disaster.

Oh, you mean his only three hoops of the game, when Nocioni was guarding him? Yeah, impressive. Almost as impressive as the next 6 that he missed. Or maybe it was the killer effort he gave on the 2 defensive boards he grabbed in 21 minutes. Same old Speights. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

You know sometimes I lament the inability to post images here, the 'dead horse' jpg would come in handily constantly :)

Was aware of your conviction; "total ------ zero" clued me in.

Speights: 6-6 from the line - that's effort & perfect execution... and 4 more free throws than any brave Sixer last night.

Has shed some pounds. Is contributing to a winning team.
Yes, his effort/concentration at times is wanting; should be more consistent, but that could be said of many. Fact: Grizz was 3-6 prior to his starting, are 16-9 since he was placed in a starting role. Must be doing something right. Bridging the interior hole until Randolph returns. Lionel Hollins is no dope.

Spencer for hire reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 22 at 10:27

Jumpin, I wish him well but feel it is time to move on. It seems our discards have done well lately, especially Willie. Allen and Vuce have shown flashes, there is that word again, and hopefully our frontcourt depth next year will be better for it.

I hear ya, Suede. Just wanting to give a little positive shading to the picture. Guy has more than his share of detractors, like Willie did. I like some of what he does, including cheering for his mates when he's residing in Benchville. Be clear: I do not expect him to be honored in Springfield.

Vucevic and Allen - too early to judge; let's just say they've served some, but they don't excite.

I haven't seen too many Grizzlies games this year, but it seems to me Speights is in a position where his flaws can be masked and he can make positive contributions here and there, because he does have skills. Playing next to a top-5 center helps. On the Sixers, there was no masking his flaws.

Good point. Load-bearing stanchion, he's not.

Sixers play great defense, which is a sign of good coaching and the players buying into his system. Defense is all about effort. However the better teams are not going to turn the ball over constantly to provide easy points for the sixers. The lack of an elite scorer is painfully obvious. Lou Williams is not that guy, maybe only 10 times a year is he THAT guy. And when hes not that guy hes a disaster. I think the Sixers would be a better team moving Lou and Turner for Montae Ellis and a pick and or player. Ellis is a quick player who could get better defensively and he can score like crazy. The whole play hard defense/create turnovers are great. Until you run into a team that doesnt turn the ball over and has elite scorers.
I know many of you don't like Ellis---but he can score, a lot. Hes better than Lou and is probably on par defensively.

Spencer for hire reply to Gdog on Feb 22 at 10:22

Looking at how much Ellis dominates the ball, before I make that move I would give Lou or Turner the chance to do the same. Why do I think Ellis would prove ineffective with limited touches and
sitting on the wing.

The guy shoots 45% from the floor. Scores what 24-25 a games average ?
The Sixers HAVE given Lou the opportunity to score a lot. He doesn't get it done consistently. Turner is more of a facilitator and he hasn't shown he can score in the crunch or to be honest, at any other time( he can score some...but certainly not 24 PPG).
To a certain degree you are trading for potential. Ellis is super fast, gets a lot of steals so the tools are there to defend. Maybe with Collins coaching...
Plus you say goodbye to Jodi Meeks inthe starting lineup and send him to the bench where he belongs.
End of the game, 3 seconds left you have a unguardable player to get the ball to. We see how that's working out now with our current team.
So a starting lineup of

Jrue, Ellis, Iggy, Brand, hawes/allen/voose.

Bench of Thad/Voose-Allen/(some other swingman to be defined later)

Defense is great-but its more an offensive league and no team has ever won squat without having a go to guy at the end of the games. EVER. You can play hard defense but you STILL need a go to guy.

Neither does Monta Ellis. We'd explain to you how Monta Ellis and Lou Williams are basically the equivalent player if we felt there was a snowballs chance of you understanding it, but your sub WIP understanding of basketball makes it difficult

Anonymous reply to GoSixers on Feb 22 at 10:51

C'mon man. Now there's been in-fighting and squabbling but none of the condescending crap. Just leave it out please, it serves no purpose.

You must be reading a different blog, there's been condescending crap constantly even on my hiatus, the whole 'it's all me' bull shit is just that, bull shit. Idiots should be told they are idiots and the 'fighting' tone of this place shouldn't be blamed on me as numerous people do nothing but sling arrows and insults, they just find new targets.

I'm not responsible for the condescending 'tone' on this blog any more than I'm responsible for all the 'conflict'. It's a natural part of a blog of people passionate about something (People who aren't passionate don't post on blogs folks) so please cram it up your pie hole

Gdog reply to GoSixers on Feb 22 at 14:22

Just because I don't agree with your opinions doesn't make me any more or less knowledgeable than you. But based on your 3rd grade level responses I feel pretty confident I have a much greater aptitude to form an intelligent opinion than you do.

I'd like to see a game where Jrue Holiday successfully combines his ability to score and his ability to create for others. 22 points 4 assists 3 turnovers 0 FT's and an unsustainable 80% 3 point shooting night looks good to some. I have not enjoyed Jrue Holiday's overall game this year, his progression seems either stalled of his own accord or derailed by a coaching staff that can not figure out what they want him to be and is obsessed with Lou Williams as a point guard

I dont think that Turner blew his "golden opportunity" at starting by any means. Putting him in at the half of a game where the team is trailing is almost setting him up to fail. Not to mention asking him to suddenly flip a switch and play at a high level when he has been really struggling.

I think it was a move of slight desperation by Collins. If he wants to put Turner in a spot to succeed then making him a starter would have been best served after the all star break. Atleast give Turner an opportunity to adjust to a new role and try and build some sort of confidence.

The guy literally begs for minutes. He got them last night, Meeks was buried on the bench until Turner laid an egg and Collins had to go back to him. that's an opportunity to me, golden even.

You're right, Turner didn't blow his opportunity last night, he has blown it all season. He's just not good offensively, his 'new shot' isn't much better than his shot last year and he's a worse shooter than Andre Iguodala (who might be shooting a career best this year, I don't know, but come on, he's not exactly a great shooter) so far this year.

Evan Turner didn't blow his chance in one game, he's blown it all season, the only people who don't see it are the people who have a preconceived notion of Evan Turner because he was drafted #2, came in with expectations and will not accept the evidence (substantial by now) that he has not shown enough to start. Blaming jodie meeks, blaming doug collins, blame whomever you want, the only person to blame is Evan Turner.

Lets just look at this teams personalities for a minute;

What happens if you put Voose in the starting line-up? He struggles.

What happens if you put Lou as your starting point guard? He struggles.

What happens if you put Thad as yur starting power forward? He struggles.

What happens if you take a 6'7 two guard and try and make him a backup point guard? He's gonna struggle. Turner was and is a scorer. New jump shot or bad jump shot he has a scorers mentality. If you watched him in college and if you watch him when he chooses to be aggresive you ca see he is totally out of out of sort with what Collins is asking him to do.

Turner was and is a scorer huh? That's all he's ever done? Would you like to think about that comment? Turner isn't a scorer in the way Allen Iverson was a scorer.

The more he plays the more he is a clone of Andre Iguodala, he's just not as good as Iguodala was when he came into the league. Turner is not 'a scorer'

eddies' heady's reply to GoSixers on Feb 22 at 11:11

Hey, don't tell Derek that he's a clone of Iguodala. I tried that route in Jan. 2010 to no avail.

A few thoughts on this game:
- For all the fears about defense in this game, the Sixers did a credible job, even on Gasol. Great performances by Jrue on Conley and Iguodala on Gay (for the first 42 minutes).
- As everyone else has noted, the problem was the lack of offense down the stretch. Did you know that Memphis scored the "winning points" with 8:15 left? (A Mayo 3 made it 77-70, so the Sixers wouldn't have won even if they shut out Memphis for the last 8 minutes.)
- If ever there was a game for Collins to go away from his regular tendencies, it was this one. I give Collins credit for the 3rd-quarter starting lineup (though it was only logical). But with Lou struggling and Jrue hot, Jrue should have been the focal point of the offense when he came back in in the 4th. Not sure if Memphis would have allowed it to continue, but Jrue was getting points on his own in the 3rd on Conley. I don't think Collins sat Jrue too long in the 4th (it was only a 5-point game when he returned), but it was crazy for Jrue to resume his "stand-in-the-corner-and-watch-Lou" 4th quarter role in this game.
- Simply put, this team as constructed/designed cannot withstand 5-24 from Lou and Thad (7-34 from the bench on the whole). If the team wants Iguodala to score more, they need to design more plays where the primary option is for him to shoot. Watching him his whole career, I would observe he is not the type of player who can go several minutes without shooting and then make his next shot. On this team, shooting is often an afterthought for him, lowering his own percentages (because his form isn't good enough when shooting as an afterthought). The pass-first mentality has been fine for most of the year but hasn't worked over the past several games when not enough other players have been making shots.
- Nocioni was predictably horrible in his few minutes. I think Collins still remembered Battie fumbling the ball to the other team in his last start, but playing 4-on-5 on offense while having a solid defense would have produced a better start. The only positive from that experience was that Collins is unlikely to go back to Nocioni for any reason now.
- As bad as Nocioni was, the team was only -8 when he was in. Vucecvic played just as poor a quarter when he came in, completely dominated by Marc Gasol.
- Speights looked like he was headed for a 40-point night when guarded by Nocioni, but Speights spent the rest of the game reminding Sixer fans why they got rid of him. He made a series of plays in the 3rd quarter that single-handedly kept the Sixers in the game.

So I guess the Sixers' 3rd eleven went 4-7, quite disappointing. It will be good for the team to take a break, win or lose tonight.

The sixers offense is terrible, no one on the roster, healthy or not, is going to make it much better. It's too dependent on things you can't depend on for a long period of time. No one draws fouls, no one posts up, even when there are mismatches there's no posting up either by player or coach decision.

Spencer Hawes will not cure the ills of the sixers offense. The sixers hot start was the joy of continuity which, now, most teams have 'caught up' with their rosters and the sixers advantage is gone.

They might still win the division, because they are in a pretty bad division, but the way they seem to be sliding downwards (even in some wins) I am not as confident of them winning in the first round this year, whatever the seeding.

Spencer for hire on Feb 22 at 11:05

What has hurt the offense more, Hawes being out or teams gameplanning better. If we aren't getting to the line run more screens and put sets in that accomplish that.

Having no low post threat seems to be illuminated by Elton's hand and Thad stepping out more this year. That along with limited deep shooting makes for a limited offensive bunch.

I feel like this team is better offensively with Hawes, and it hurts that he's out, but he shouldn't be the linchpin of their offense, that's a problem Collins needs to solve rather than an excuse he keeps pointing to. They aren't a bad shooting team anymore, they should be able to spread the floor without having their center play 20 feet from the hoop. They should be able to move without the ball w/out Hawes distributing. They've got four playmakers, they've got good size in their perimeter guys, they regularly have mismatches they can exploit, their bigs are at least a little bit skilled. I just feel like Hawes coming up high was their first release valve, with him gone, it's the Lou dribble handoff, when that isn't working, they get lost. Last night, Jrue could get pretty much anywhere he wanted on the floor, but they went away from that.

You can't make iced tea out of lemons, you can only make lemonade. Collins isn't using Hawes as an excuse that I've heard. Others are using Hawes as an excuse to excuse the poor play, execution, whatever of their favorite player. It's just easy to say 'if hawes was back...' to excuse Jodies poor shooting, Evans lack of shooting improvement, Jrues uneven inconsistent offensive play, the teams inability to draw fouls while shoot, Lou's piss poor shooting some nights.

To me it's dennis green time, they are who i thought they were, they just are lucky to play in a bad division so that their pantload they are dropping right now isn't costing much in the standings.

I know I'm not known for believing in must wins and the like except for very special occasions, but losing tonight would kind of suck.

Well, he does start a lot of interviews with we really miss Spence.

Some of this slump is no spence, some of it is lemons from lemonade, some of it is bad decisions by collins, a lot of it is also uncharacteristically bad shooting from the guys the team depends on to score (after uncharacteristically good shooting from those guys).

Trying not to go overboard about this stretch of bad play. I'd be shocked if they win tonight, though.

a lot of it is also uncharacteristically bad shooting from the guys the team depends on to score (after uncharacteristically good shooting from those guys).

Or is that just 'reversion to the mean'? They out shot themselves early in the season and now this is just balancing. I mean, we know I'm a huge Andre Iguodala fan, but even I don't buy that 'left eye lasik' (which is only good for five years, wtf?) suddenly made him a good 3 point shooter - do you ?:)

Ok - that's it - promise :)

Spencer for hire reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 11:22

The thought of bigs playing up top seems a pet pieve of our coach. With Thad expanding his game and our shooting improving maybe he rethinks that and asks Thorn to get him a low post big.

Vuce shows some low post skill and maybe upon Hawes return we get to see more "sissy hooks" to balance the floor better.

Brian, if you had a choice this summer of Kamen or Hawes for the same money, your dislike aside, what players offensive game improves this team more?

Hawes. He doesn't shoot as much as Kaman.

This is a great point. Teams have scouted the Sixers and know their tendencies by now, and their halfcourt offense is fairly simple. It's time for more variety in their offense. Hopefully they use the break to think about (and practice) some new plays.

Spencer for hire reply to Statman on Feb 22 at 11:40

.I know he gets ripped for being a finesse post player but let him pass out of the post , like Vuce does, and allow the offense to revolve around him, ala Walton in those Blazer days

Now that Thad is not on the elbow attacking put Hawes there, just a thought.

eddies' heady's on Feb 22 at 11:16

Evan Turner, you have finally let the masses down. Well done, my fellow Sixer. You have definitely marked your place in Sixers history, albeit not in such a positive way. I can now hopefully continue my laughing at your sorry excuse of a game, which was the only way I could stop from weeping at the thought of you being THAT pick, and not have every weighty sling and pointy arrow thrust back at me (me and jem have something in common?). On second thought, probably not though as the spell you cast runs deep.

I remember last year when I mentioned several times that he was no better than the guy he replaced - none other than Willie Green. I didn't expect him to make it THAT true.

Heh. Even w/ as bad as he's been, he's still head-and-shoulders ahead of Willie.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 11:42

Seriously is he? I haven't compared any numbers or anything? Or are you just referring to Willie's incessant shooting of 20 footers?

Heh, actually Willie's shooting about 10% above his career average from 3 this year.

Basically, in terms of helping the team win it goes Meeks, Turner, Willie. In that order. Here's the comp for the three careers.

Your fellow Sixer? No way, you played in the NBA! What's it like?

The bottom line is this team benefited from an easy early schedule now reality is setting in. Turner this turner that bullshit I wanna see him make it but the many chances he has had this year he hasn't done anything with it don't blame Doug for his play blame Turner.

I'm going to hold the "fourth eleven" preview and poll for the All Star break. Probably won't have time for a real preview of tonight's game, either. I'll combine the preview w/ the game thread and post it earlier in the afternoon. Lots of catching up to do at the office today.

So there's zero chance Collins starts Nocioni tonight, right?

Sharone Wright reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 11:47

Geez, I hope so.

Everyone here needs to chill out. This losing streak isn't even such a bad thing for the sixers. In order for the them to be successful, Jrue needs to be "the guy." If you have watched him play over the last 2 years, you should know he has all the skills to be the guy. He can shoot, drive, play defense, finish, high iq etc. He played 1 year at UCLA out of position and came in the NBA with a coach who now coaches high schoolers. If you can't tell that he will be a top point guard then you seriously confused about the game of basketball. Sure he hasn't played as well as we all thought so far this year, but we need to give him some time. Not every 21 year old is gonna start off like chris paul and derek rose have, it is clear as day the only reason jrue has been playing poorly is because lack of confidence. As soon as he starts realizing it, which is exactly how he played last night for those 2 quarters, everything is going to fall in place.

Sharone Wright reply to Timm on Feb 22 at 14:00

If you've watched this team over the past 8 games and you are not alarmed at their lack of efficiency on the offensive end, then I think you are seriously confused about the game of basketball.

Regarding Jrue, I have his jersey, and I’m a big fan, but how can you not be discouraged by his performance this year? Inconsistent is the nicest way to put it, and he has even threw in a couple gag-jobs in the clutch. The NBA is littered with players that have the skills to be the guy—but aren’t. I’m worried about him—and I don’t think it is unreasonable.

sure their offense has sucked the last 8 games, but i think that is in part because of injuries, but a lot to do with the decision not to have jrue running the ball a majority of the game. i believe what happens is that Doug gets emotional, which is one of my beefs with doug, and then decides to make it the lou will show. not only is this not effective, but it is detrimental to jrues development. he shouldnt even have to demand the ball, he needs to have the respect of the teammates where they want him to have the ball and run the show. I am obviously a little disappointed with his play this year, but if I just sit back and take the emotion out of it, I know that he is gonna be great. Like I explained before, he is 21, he hasn't been "the guy" since high school, and whats worse is that his team, including doug, doesn't seem to be encouraging him to be the guy. last night he pretty much single handedly got us back in the game. He looked like that dominant player that I know he can be.

Statman mentioned this above, but I thought I'd go back and look at the play-by-play to see exactly how it happened.

In the second and third quarters last night, Jrue shot 9/14 from the floor, 4/5 from three for 22 points. With 1:23 left in the third, Collins put Jodie in for Jrue. In the fourth, Jrue came back in with 6:41 left on the clock. In the final 6:41 he got two shots, a missed runner and a 20-footer from the baseline, that's it. Why wouldn't you call a play for the guy who's been carrying your offense all night? Why wouldn't you run your offense through him?

I realize Jrue isn't Deron Williams, but if you watched the Nets/Knicks the other night, you saw a perfect example of how you ride the hot hand. When Williams caught fire, the Nets kept feeding him (until he fouled out). I don't understand why the Sixers didn't do that with Jrue last night. Also thought he was on the bench for too long in the beginning of the third. Even if the deficit was only 5 when he came back, he was so hot I thought a brief rest would've worked better, then get him right back out there and keep the ball in his hands.

Timm reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 14:42

I agree that it was ridiculous that they brought him out for that long. But I don't understand why Jrue can't be deron williams. I think Jrue has the skills to be as good as Deron and last night we saw a taste of something that isn't just a "hot hand." Due to failure of the lou will show and ISOdala, we got to see Jrue with a bit of a looser leash, the Jrue that is allowed to make a mistake and then get the ball right back on the next possession and not have to give it up. Thats all he needs: the freedom to make a couple mistakes and still get the ball back

Maybe he can be as good as Deron, eventually, but he isn't there right now. That was my point.

Rich reply to Brian on Feb 22 at 14:48

I didn't even realize that he sat seven minutes last night. Why not extend the guy a little bit with how inept they were last night?

One thing I will say about Jrue: He is going to need to figure out how to balance scoring and distributing, that's for sure. The kid is shooting 40 percent (if you round up) and I really think he needs to be taking more of them instead of the long twos. There's no basis besides observation on this, but his jumper is excellent. In a couple of years I wouldn't be stunned to see him at 43-44 percent with a lot more attempts. When he sets his feet and is open, I think it's going in every time.

A big thing for him is getting more confidence in shooting spot-up threes. His release is a little slow, but sometimes he has time to get off a good shot, and slowly pump fakes, takes a dribble in, and puts up a long two. His shot is definitely there though.

Timm reply to Rich on Feb 22 at 14:55

the distributing will come once the scoring comes. last year he always looked to pass first and that made his assists always decently high. now that he needs to do more this year his passing has been a bit spotty. Once he becomes that scoring threat though, he will be able to hit the open guy up all day. plus it doesn't help that the "lets lou run the point while jrue stands in the corner not getting the ball" play is being run so much this year

I would like to input my 2 cents at the bash o' turner..
I know the blog has lots of numbers guys, it is usefull but sooooo misleading. Numbers are good to help evaluate a player but they are too a very good way of get your opinion tru other throats at internet debate. C'mon guys, how many players we have in this blog ? I mean guys that play at least 2 to 3 times a week, I dont care if you play on the streets or the next YMCA..
A guy like Turner needs rhythm with the ball to make his thing, and Collins is absolute destroying his rhythm and confidence. A guy like Iggy, anyone who ever played the game know Iggy has no offensive game to save his life, he has no rhythm offensively, D is another history, is more about effort. Technique and athleticism help both O and D.
I was a lazy and didn t post an article from ESPN and the story was a scout telling his 2 cents over the Linsanaty and spoke his mind about ET struggles, he sad the whole linsanaty is about a good player, a system the suit his style and a coach that gives him the green light. Turner has the shortest leash on the team if Iggy dont shoot for a whole game that s ok to collins, if Lou shoot the team out of game thats ok to collins, if jrue makes a mistake or 2 he s out of the game too lol, but seriusly, collins is micromanaging the team, especially a guy that was not his guy at the draft, so he gives turner the toughlove just to make his point. I remember Iggy ´s 1st, 2nd, 3rd season a so on and he had no game outside those fast breaks opportunits, everything was AI (O.G.) and Iggy just collects the alley oops and stand in the corner 3s and the fastbreaks and thats it ! Compare ET to Iggy and even Lou now is an easy way to make the point in a discussion but not very accurate.
Im not saying the sixers has a Wade on the team at the bench but the cards that ET is playing are very tough and those cards basically are been handed by collins.
Bash the 13 M dollar bruce bowen, he is getting the allstar recognition, but cant score a point in a half ?? Bash the muttafckng boss and his stop the offense shoot a 30 ft, bash the league and the lack of practice time, a couple a weeks ago collins said the team would have only 7 pratices til the end of regular season. Its not enough !! The team can t change the way they play (trhu hawes) because thats no practice time. Some is gonna say but the other teams also don t have the time, but they got someone to rely on, that s not the way this team is constructed..
So all this to say more love and patience
PS And for all the non players of this blog you can bash me, but for me if you can t play and is just another web designer or else frustated ball player, you need to go to the court and see how is compete in real life against another men.
Sorry for the 5.000 words or so

Anonymous reply to JH on Feb 22 at 16:53

Numbers only mislead you if you do not know how to interpret them, but Evan Turner is a bad basketball player right now. What you have provided is yet another excuse for him. Excuses are aplenty, his shots going in are not so much.

It is sad to me that now I would rather have Thaddeus Young take jumpers than Evan Turner, that just is upsetting

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