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Five Straight...

I was thinking of putting up an article comparing this season to prior years- but it probably can be summed up quickly here.

Basically, the Sixers started really hot this year, and had a hot streak for a good part of last year. This lead many (me included) to conclude the Sixers had turned the corner and where now on another, higher level. But I think when you take a broader view, this is not the case. Yes the Sixers are a better team than a few years ago, but really they are still just a streaky team more than anything... and this has been the case for all but one the last six years.

Throwing out the EJ year as an aberration- here is every game from the past 6 years, broken down into hot, cold and mediocre segments. I think it shows that this year can bee seen as just another continuation of the trend. Again, these is not only a list of the streaks- it is every game played for 5 years (except the EJ season.)

2006/7: 5-19...13-19...17-9 = 35-47
2007/8: 5-13...9-7...4-13...22-8...0-4 = 40-42
2008/9: 13-20...14-4...14-17 = 41-41
2009/10: EJ garbage year
2010/11: 3-13...14-12...16-5...8-11 = 41-41
2011/12: 18-7...2-7 = 14-20

The point being this year and last had a couple of nice hot stretches, but not really out of the normal when compared to the hot stretches in prior years.

Here are a couple more seasons for you:

24-5...2-9...18-2...12-9 = 57-25
23-4...6-5...13-4...15-12 = 57-25

Pretty streaky seasons w/ fast starts, a lull, another good run, then a mediocre finish. That's the Mavs last season and the Lakers the season before. When you look at seasons like this, even great teams' look streaky, it doesn't mean anything, doesn't mean they're exactly like the Sixers teams of the past couple of years. Another hot streak after the break and this is a very different year from the past five. If the cold streak stops at 9, it's a very different year.

Yeah, NBA seasons are streaky just like NBA games.

Its more that this year feels like the past in that you buy into a bit of fools gold and then they regress back to .500 as their talent level dictates.

Maybe now the regression is back to .550 or even .600 (a 50 win pace), but it is a far cry from the "are they contenders" talk that we recently had. And in my mind puts to rest all the chatter about proving depth and chemistry is a viable alternative to the tried and true NBA star model to building a contender.

My big point is that this seasons run (and last seasons run) were no more impressive then any of the Andre Miller era runs the Sixers would go on in late winter or early Spring. So it is hard to convince myself that something has changed. We get some Fool's Gold wins, start drinking the Cool Aide and then are brought back to reality that this team lacks elite talent.

I think that depends on what they do next. 2-7 isn't that bad of a run if it's in the middle of two good runs, but if it turns into something like 5-14, then yeah, they're just a .500 team and big deal.

The most hopeful thing I saw this year was they opened up crushing lesser teams. I do not remember seeing them consistently do that in the past. And if they can continue to beat the bad teams (even un-convincingly) it could be the difference between being a .500(41) type team vs a .600(49) type team. And that might get you into the second round.

But it is an even bigger step to think about being a .700(58) type contender. I guess the hope is that being a 50W team raises the profile and measured value of your team to where you are in a position to make a big move. Sort of like this unremarkable 50 win line-up had the assets to make the moves to become a contender: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/DET/2002.html

Rick Carlisle should get coach of the century honors for squeezing 50 wins out of that roster.

Hmm, so now this is an acceptable argument?

Cool

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Spencer for hire on Feb 23 at 7:10
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The sixers have been a good 2nd half team for years now , we have that going for us. And if Hawes and Elton get back, we have a very deep frontcourt now to throw at teams come playoff time, positive thoughts ... positive thoughts ... positive thoughts ...

Sixers aren't good enough to win anything more than a first round series(best case) and even that would be a miracle with this squad. I thought that may be different when Hawes was in lineup but you never know with big guys and their feet. Worst case is they are maybe the 7th or 8th seed.
If the goal is to win a championship Rod Thorn has to wake up and do something. You can give this roster 5 more years together and they aren't going to be any better than Miami or Chicago and probably not even better than the Knicks.
Unfortunately the Sixers lucked out and got the 2nd pick of the draft a few years ago and there was no superstar there to take. Maybe Favors would have made a difference here. Who knows. Slightly above average for a decade will never win a championship.

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khouse reply to Gdog on Feb 23 at 9:11
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All of the excitement/optimism for this season was based on the expected growth of Jrue & Turner who have regressed instead. Couple this with Brand's suddenly "aged" game, Hawes's absence (due to injury), Lou's lack of self-control & Iggy's inconsistency...we desparately need J & T to contribute! Also, if Thorn were to make a trade...I'll bet he still considers Iggy for Ellis a viable option.

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Gdog reply to khouse on Feb 23 at 11:52
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Your exactly right. If Jrue and Turner actually made that leap the future would be a lot brighter. If you compare Jrue against the league average for PG's hes a little above average. Turner really seems like if he gains confidence and playing time he could be really good. Not sure if/when that will happen.
I still like the idea of getting Montae Ellis for Lou and Turner. People keep saying Lou IS Montae Ellis if he had the opportunity to play more. The thing is Lou cant handle playing more. He was gassed last night playing 33 minutes.
I'm not saying Ellis is anything fantastic--but he can score and maybe can be coached up a bit to play better defense. He is available and may be a better option than what we have.
Your not going to get any elite players with anyone on our roster. Your not any more than a few wins over 500 with this team anyway. Couldn't hurt to try something that would give you a great option at the end of games.


If you want scoring at the expense of defense, then you should at least strive for efficient scoring. Kevin Martin would be a much better fit w/ this team.

Something like this.

Maybe Morey would like another former high lottery pick. You can hide Martin between Jrue and Iguodala on defense, Hill gives you another body up front, Meeks goes to the bench.

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Anonymous reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 12:09
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Enough commentators and journalists have said it that I am beginning to believe that Darryl Morey vastly over rates his own talent on his roster and that is why he is not getting any moves done. Agents are steering their players away from Houston (I think Fegan is the name) because of how Morey behaves and acts. I do not think he is long for his job.

Also, is Kevin Martin not having one of the worst seasons of his career?

His numbers are down, especially FTA. Think McHale doesn't really like him. I think he'd be a definite upgrade at the two. He's a low-turnover guy who can shoot the three and gets to the line. I think he'd fit very well between Jrue and Iguodala. He's signed for next year, though, so you'd be adding about $7M to your cap number and take away the option of using the amnesty on Brand to sign a max player.

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Anonymous reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 12:23
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In my opinion, there are really only two max contract players this off season, and the sixers do not need Deron Williams and Dwight Howard is not coming here (nor do I think I want him here, the more he talks)

Chandler is going to be grossly over paid by someone, Eric Gordon is going to be over paid either by Indiana or New Orleans, but they are not max contract guys, so eliminating that option is not a horrible thing to me.

Waiving Brand to me seems fait accompli now, not a possibility if they can make a move but a necessity to move forward. Unfortunately his replacement is not currently on the roster so the sixers would need to find two guys with that freed up money. Look at the various NBA rosters, find a big man that a team would make available that you would even consider on the sixers. The only one I could possibly find is Haywood on the Mavs and I know he is not great and has a terrible contract.

I actually think Lavoy is Brands replacement. Not saying he is as good as Brand, or a quality replacement- but I think baring a major move that he is your starting PF.

Basing this on the fact that Lavoy can cover most PF's, rebound and has a reasonable BB IQ. Basically a starter who does not kill you. And you could say the same for Vuce at C if he can improve a bit (he is only 20.)

I don't think you can start two serviceable players (both Vuce and Lavoy) but you can start one if you can somehow pick up a quality starter at the other spot.

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Anonymous reply to tk76 on Feb 23 at 12:45
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I disagree with your premise that Lavoy is Elton Brands replacement. He is a fine stop gap, a good bench player, but he is not good enough to take that role, to have that kind of responsibility, at least he does not seem to be yet. I have not seen enough from him this year to be ready to hand him those keys.

#8 and #50 are very good bench players, very good second teamers, and I am glad they are on the roster, but upgrades over them are necessary, and Brand and Hawes should both be gone next season

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Anonymous reply to Gdog on Feb 23 at 12:07
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This is a constant refrain, and it is not a refrain that makes any sense.

Monta Ellis plays more minutes than Louis Williams, Monta Ellis is not, however, a better overall basketball player than Louis Williams. He makes more money, he has a bigger 'q rating', a bigger 'profile', but he is not better than Louis Williams.

http://bkref.com/tiny/EHSaO

Louis Williams is better than Monta Ellis. If you want Monta Ellis in the Sixers starting line up, just put Louis between Jrue and Andre. He does most things better and costs a heckuva lot less.

The Monta Ellis clamoring, for years now, is ridiculous and foolish. There are those who would have traded Andre Iguodala for him.

Would you trade Andre Iguodala to obtain Louis Williams?

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Gdog reply to Anonymous on Feb 23 at 13:57
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Brian. I like Kevin Martin too. Not sure hes available to us though while Ellis may be.

As far as Lou vs Ellis---your comparison shows Ellis with a clear advantage in a lot of categories and lou with some slight advantages elsewhere. But heres what your missing...Lou CANT PLAY STARTER MINUTES. His own coach said it last night. He was gassed playing 33 minutes.
Furthermore Ellis shoots 46% vs Lou's 42%. Thats a BIG deal when u consider he has almost double the FG attempts. There is no comparison between the two. lou is a good BENCH player. Ellis is a starting two guard.
Jeremy Lin has better numbers than Chris Paul in a 10 game sample, is he better than Chris Paul ?


FG% alone is a useless stat.

I don't really care if Lou is better than Ellis or vice versa. I don't want either guy dominating my offense for 30+ minutes/game. They're volume scorers, not efficient scorers. Basically, the best you can say about them is that they keep your offense at an average level when they're using possessions. So you're average for 30% of your possessions, then you have to find a way to be above average for the other 70%. That probably would've helped over the past 9 games, but for the long haul, that's not really a good way to be an above average offense. What you need is a guy who's way above average for 25% of the team's possessions, or so.

Also, Lou has been much better in the clutch than Monta, and they both play the same game. "Watch me dribble and shoot."

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Anonymous reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 14:08
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Not to mention that over the next few seasons, Lou Williams will probably still be cheaper than Monta Ellis and hence more valuable as the same player

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Gdog reply to Anonymous on Feb 23 at 16:03
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Hard for you to say Lou is better in the clutch. Ellis has a lot more opportunities so of course his percentages in those situations are going to be lower(assuming that's what your going by). Sixers had a good defense in 2000 with Iverson dominating the ball while being suspect on defense. It worked then. No one can accurately predict WHAT Ellis could do on this team. I do know what we have here has been mediocre for the past decade and the ceiling is at best losing a 5 game series in the second round. The other thing you need to consider is Lou can leave after this year if he chooses. I get your dislike of Ellis though--you feel he may be a ball hog and torpedo the offense much the same way Lou does when hes "bad Lou" .
Its understandable but the Sixers options are limited. It could backfire---but the alternative isn't really working either.

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Anonymous reply to Gdog on Feb 23 at 16:25
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I did not say he was better in the clutch, I said he was a better overall basketball player (which you ignored by selectively choosing the statistics that matter to you, and choosing weak ones at that)

You should look up Monta Ellis PER numbers, that is probably a statistic you like right?

And your argument that can be summed up with 'he has more chances in the clutch so of course he failed more' does not hold water as having any common sense. If he was better in the clutch than Louis Williams he would succeed more often in the situations regardless of number, but the data does not support that. You ignore data constantly when it disproves your point. It is a primary reason few people will continue to respond to you. You state a hypothesis, with few if any supporting pieces of evidence other than your opinion (which does not qualify as evidence). When presented with actual evidence that proves you wrong, you ignore it, or switch the point of discussion to another wholly unsupportable hypothesis.

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Gdog reply to Anonymous on Feb 24 at 9:10
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1st off Brian said he was better in clutch and you both responded to me so I tried to respond to both of you.

2nd-Since when does sample size NOT matter ? Your argument makes zero sense.

3rd- I get your comparison of Lou and Monta--they are very similar. However Lou cant play starters minutes. His own coach says so. Don't let the facts get in the way of your argument.

Simmons snuck this into his column today whining about the Celtics:

"Three Rondo trades make sense that don't involve just swapping him for Pau Gasol: (a) Rondo to Houston for Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola (unlikely with how well Lowry is playing); (b) a three-teamer with Rondo and Elton Brand to the Lakers; Gasol and Luke Walton (expires 2013) to the Sixers; and Evan Turner and rookie Nicola Vucevic to Boston (unlikely because Philly supposedly turns down all Turner overtures); and (c) Rondo to Indiana for Darren Collison and Paul George (unlikely because Pacer fans would flip out if George got traded). I gotta be honest … I'd do any of those trades. Especially the last one...."

^ Brand, Turner, AND V8 for Gasol and Luke Walton, seriously??

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Cornelius Talmage reply to das411 on Feb 23 at 10:34
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Hmmm... for Pau Gasol. Replace Voose with Lavoy and I'm starting to listen. Someone a little better than Luke Walton would seal the deal.

You do that deal in a nanosecond. Faster, if possible. "Philly supposedly turns down all Turner overtures" Really? If people are making overtures, I consider that a good sign, unless it's like "We'll give you Thabeet for Turner. They were both #2 picks!"

Simmons is entirely clueless most times, and unbalanced, but in favor of the Cletics usually. If i read that correctly he would trade Rajon Rondo for Evan Turner and Nikola Vucevic? Hell, that's just not fair to the Celtics, they get severely ripped off in that deal based on the league wide perceived value of Rajon Rondo. The sixers seem to do very well since they get the best player in the deal and give up 1 over the hill PF due a huge salary next year, Evan Turner who hasn't shown much since he arrived in the NBA and #8, who shows flashes of having offensive game (but very little defensive game)

of course you do that deal, it's unbalanced, but what's really odd is the part where the celtics possibly do the worst out of all 3 teams. They end up with Turner and Vucevic and that's it?

More examples that Simmons doesn't actually watch games or have a clue...he's just a well paid fan

Even just considering him a fan, what's his goal with a trade like this? Does he want the Celts to just completely tank and rebuild?

I honestly have no idea, maybe he hates Rajon Rondo, maybe he loves Avery Bradley, maybe he thinks Evan Turner would work as a point guard/forward (though watching the way he dribbles up the court I'm not even sure he can be that any more) for one last one of the big three...maybe he's just remembering how ainge just assembled 'young pieces' and turned them into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and thinks that he can do it again some day?

It's a bad bad bad trade for the Celtics in my opinion.

And if the sixers are 'not listening' to offers for Evan Turner it's because the offers right now are probably like 'we'll trade you willie green for evan turner, but you have to take this bad contract to make it fair'

Forgot the link, it's more like BS hates everything about the Celtics now and wants them to somehow blow up their roster while getting better:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7604660/the-danny-ainge-anniversary-party

Not sure how trading Rajon Rondo for Voose and Turner makes them better.

Like him or not, Rondo is the only young player of quality on that roster. If he recalls how they got the title recently it was one player of quality and lots of young assets traded to teams who had given up in one way or another and were just looking to trade their stars while there was still value (you know unlike holding them until they are well past their prime, rearranging deck chairs on the titanic and then trading them for Andre Miller and Joe smith or whomever?).

If Simmons is looking for a high pick in THIS draft (which is supposedly super deep and talented) I think the celtics should have blown it up much earlier...

Boston can cut ties w/ Garnett and Allen this summer and have a ton of cap space. I guess I just don't see the logic in trading away their only young contributor and getting a return like turner and voose. doesn't make sense to me.

The only counter argument is that Garnett and Allen are still 'good enough' to put the celtics in the bottom of the lottery/8 seed in the east...giving up your facilitator maybe is enough to tank the season to a top, say, 7 pick?

What do they have now, 15 wins? It would be pretty tough for them to get into the bottom 7, I think. Some bad teams down there. They'd have to move Garnett, imo.

Or just - you know - bench him, or cut him.

I don't see why more teams don't just cut guys in the last years of their contracts when they want to tank.

Sure some fans will be pissed off, in the short run, but if you build another title contender they'll call you a genius for being a maverick.

That, and sunk costs, someone in the NBA figure out a sunk cost

simmons thinks you can't build around rondo as long as he can't make/is afraid to attempt a 15 fter and teams can play three feet off him. i disagree, i think rondo is a winner, but his game is very flawed if you are making him the centerpiece of a team. he badly needs a talented supporting cast

that was my reaction too-cool, there's a market for turner!turner is just not working here and he is the only piece on the team that could be moved for value, potentially, without significantly harming the current squad...i am a turner fan but the more i watch, the less chance i see of him figuring things out with dc as his coach

Turner is a headcase. Not in the Demarcus Cousins mold, but in how wildly his confidence swings. Before Hawes got hurt, Turner knew his role. It seemed like Doug made it clear he wanted Turner to initiate the offense on the night shift, he started slow, eventually got comfortable and then, atleast for a few weeks, looked like a real player. At that time to project Turner as a 15/7/5 guy was a given with upside to that for sure. Since Hawes has gone down things have changed. Lou has taken it upon himself to score more. Lou started subtely dominating the ball more on the nightshift and Turner started drifting. His role changed the second Hawes went down. He deferred to Lou and gradually lost all confidence. Now, he is a mess. I know Lou scores. But i am tired of watching Lou be Lou. That is not the Sixers team I am interested in anymore. My bet is that if we traded Lou, hopefully for a legit starting 2 guard, and turned to role of playmaker over to Turner on the 2nd team, he would flourish. Not right away, but in a couple of week he would know he needed to go out and get 15/7/5 per night in 30 minutes. And he would get it. I have no doubt in this. Right now, he is all jammed up in his head, his mechanics are off and he is lost, again.

Teams are calling about Turner and they are not offering Willie Green. There have been games this season, granted they were a long time ago, when i was certain he was the best player on the team. It's all about the role he is being asked to play and his level of confidence in that role. Now, is this a good sign, no. But it is where we are. We are not winning anything this year, not even the Atlantic Division. Trade Lou now while his value is high. Give Turner 30 minutes a night and let him find his game. This is what i will watch. Lou in BOSS mode getting scorched on D, not swinging the ball...I've watched that for 7 years now. Get something for Lou while you can. Yes, you will lose more games this year, but Lou is not a real closer for a great team. He's fools gold.

CSTH

forget what i just said, i agree with this!

76ers '10-'11 FG.461 3-ptFG.355 FT.770 FG/A 1/.596
76ers '11-'12 FG.449 3-ptFG.372 FT.730 FG/A 1/.582

'10-'11 offense/defense 99.0/97.5
'11-'12 offense/defense 94.0/87.5

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Last night:

Jeremy Lin 6-11 1-2 4-4 2 R 9 A 2 S 4 TO 17
Willie Green 7-16 1-5 1-1 4 R 4 A 1 S 2 TO 16
Andre Iguodala 4-12 0-1 3-5 4 R 4 A 5 S 2 TO 11

NBA: Linsanity! Willie-Nillie World! Dialing For 'Dala!

OK, offense is 5 points worse, defense is 10 points better. Lin had a good game last night, Iguodala and Willie didn't. That was enlightening.

Iggy did a good job on KMartin for the most part.

Defense doesn't matter. Only scoring.

This is getting quite ridiculous.
Kevin Martin scored 14 in the 4th, 12 with Iguodala on the floor (I know he didn't guard him on all plays, but still...). FOURTEEN.
Our All star's stat line in 10 minutes played in the 4th says 2 pts (1-1 fg, extremely efficient !!!! lol) - 1 assist - 1 rebound and again he was NOWHERE to be found in the last 7-8 minutes of a close game, but no one mentions it, while we obsessively dissect any "advanced" stat to show how valuable he is...
All I know is we continue to lose close games over and over and we don't improve an inch in that category.
Lowry almost singlehandedly wins the game for Hou ON BOTH ENDS in the last two minutes, and here we are talking trades, smh...

Kudos for an excellent example of over reaction, hyperbole and small sample size.

yes, the sample of Iguodala's shortcomings is the 4th is really small, lol....
How about you give me some samples of great 4th Qs by him that ACTUALLY helped us win close games? This year, or last year, or in the last 2-3 years... I can't wait to have such big numbers reminded, really.
Or, staying in the "small sample size" category, how about you show me how great he played in the 4th vs Hou, because I completely missed it (too busy overreacting, probably).
Was Iguodala too proud for limiting Martin to just 14 pts in the period or he felt that the layup for the 65-71 with only 9 min left gave us a pretty safe lead so that he didn't have to take any more shots ???? Definitely an All star caliber 4th, last one of a pretty long list... lol

Actually, all but 3 of those 14 4th quarter points were scored on other defenders. Iguodala shut him down that game. Had Collins put him on Martin earlier in the 4th, we probably win.

I think it was 2 points. He had a foot on the line.

I don't know Derek, you are probably right, but in order to win games you have also to score points. And to score points ot have to take shots/responsibilities.
Iguodala played great D on Martin most of the night but then we'd have to see if he was defending on him when he missed the previous shots etc etc...I don't care much, honestly, at the end of the day he was in when Martin scored 14, Ig scored 2 and we lost the game.
Same story vs Minn, NJ, Denver, Clippers etc etc, ALL GAMES LOST: Ig was abused by Andre Miller, beat by Paul (on a really tough shot, true, but still..) etc while I don't remember a single big basket by Ig in any of these games, correct me if I'm wrong.
Not blaming only Ig for all the loss/losses of course but my standards for All star-caliber performances in the 4th are higher, perhaps... Lowry in 2 min did more than Ig in 34 games

This is too overly-simplified. You can't blame Iguodala for Kevin Martin's fourth quarter scoring when Iguodala wasn't guarding him. That's just asinine.

Yes, you need to score points to win, but you need to do a lot of other things as well. You can't just say the sixers lost because he only scored two points in the fourth quarter.

Jeff I know my english is bad but I thought that "Not blaming only Ig for all the loss/losses of course" was clear enough.
Same for "my standards for All star-caliber performances in the 4th are higher, perhaps.." which is the point I want to make.
Let me ask you this simple question: are you happy with Ig 4th Q production in close games (that DOES include scoring)? Do you think it's All star-level production? My answers are "No" and "No".
To end this discussion on my part, and not to sound like a hater, I am very pleased with Iguodala's year so far, I am happy to have him on our team and I think he's a very good player, an elite player in some important aspects of the game (defending, rebounding, passing), but this doesn't prevent me to note his (pretty obvious, btw) limits, that here many seem to overlook, for whatever reason

See Statman's post below.

Key phrase: "for the most part." Just like the night before w/Gay, FOR THE MOST PART. And the 0.1 grab of Love, FOR THE SORRY PART. And late duels with Miller, Anthony & Williams, FOR THE TRIED PART. AI9, semi-lockdown defender, FOR THE FULL PART. Each game alluded to was a Sixers loss, FOR THE ABSOLUTE PART.

Let's keep his acclaim within reason. Iguodala is a strong defender, generally speaking, but the reputation contains some hype[rventilation], a stretch to praise (and justify expenditure). Remove him from Sixers roster, and the floor wouldn't fall out (nature abhors a vacuum; elements remain and new ones would enter the mix); interested observers might be pleasantly surprised by the results of a chemistry change.

An enterprising GM could take this All-Star "era" opportunity to move him while his value is near peak in a manuever to improve the future of the team. Bigger names than Andre have been traded in midseason.

It's my opinion that Type A Doug clutches to "Dre" ("he does so many things for us") more than Type R [Reposin'] Rod ("he's a good player"), however, the 5-game losing streak may rouse Mr. Thorn into preempting, forceful and unexpected proactivity. Key word: "may."

If the Sixers are a .500 team during Collins tenure then the EJ clause means that Collins failed to improve the team. But if they end up with a much better record and go deeper in the playoffs then you have to give him credit. Also, I think you can blame EJ for the Sixers being so dysfunctional at the start of Collins first year.

So yes, big picture, EJ's year was an outlier and aberation.

Sorry, should be a reply to GoSixers.

I'm not sure I want to credit Collins if they win a first round series this year (though I'm no longer convinced they will, even healthy, Elton Brands fall of a cliff was much faster than even I thought it would be). Keep in mind that this season is an aberration as well due to its truncatedness (firefox says that isn't a word, I don'd care). Not sure if you've read what people are talking about in regards to 'minute retention' - but that seems to be having a greater impact this year than most years and the sixers had serious minute retention at the start of the season, though injuries have cut into that.

I still don't think Collins makes it much longer than he did at any of his other jobs, I think his constant comments about missing Spencer demonstrate a disconnect with what's wrong with the sixers. Maybe he'll make the entire season next year due to this incomplete season - but I don' think he'll coach 3 full (246 games) seasons as the sixers head coach

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L. A. Steve on Feb 23 at 14:18
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As I see it, if this team is going to continue to compete with Boston and the Knicks in the Atlantic Conference, Rod Thorn needs to need to make a major trade before the trade deadline. It seems to me that our problem areas are: consistent perimeter shooting, and size and offensive skills in the paint.

Rod needs to shake up this roster, my 2 top trade bait candidates are Lou and Dre, both are veterans in their prime, and have enough cachet around the league to make a significant deal or two. In reading some of the post I saw Monta Ellis, and K-Mart mentioned, although they would be great additions, I doubt that either is on the market. Both are having great years, I don't think their teams will part with them. However, Golden State might be willing to give up Stephen Curry. With Klay Thompson and Nate Robinson coming off the bench they have two talented offensive players, they may be willing to trade offense for defense (Dre), especially, when you consider Mark Jackson is a defensive oriented coach. There is a real need for them to improve on that end of the floor, so I see this as a real possibility. Another possibility, rumors are swirling about Pau Gasol being moved, would the Lakers be interested in Iguodala and Williams for Gasol and someone. Once again, we have a defensive coach looking for improvement on the defensive end, and like Golden State, the Lakers have a need at the 3. Either trade would change the landscape and drastically improve our offense, and our team.

Aside - Doug has often stated that our offense is hurting because Spencer is out, with the implication that it will be better when he returns. I'm dubious, I've watched this guy for 4 years and he showed very little. In my opinion, the question still exist. Are the first 10 games he played this year an aberration, or the real deal?

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Anonymous reply to L. A. Steve on Feb 23 at 14:29
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Does Boston have a second NBA team in secret? They are awful this year, and it is not something that will easily be fixed

If your goal is to improve the team this season, trading Iguodala isn't a good idea. If your goal is to improve in the future, and maybe change the direction of the team, then you can consider it.

If GSW would rather trade Curry than Monta, they're pretty dim (unless the ankle stuff is chronic and they know that).

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L. A. Steve reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 16:00
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Iguodala is having a good year, but you've got to give up something to get something back. Whether a potential trade involving Iguodala will help or hurt us this year is conjecture at this point, but, at least we know how you feel about it.

I don't know how many Warriors games you've seen this season, but Monta is the their #1 option. He's averaging 22.4 ppg, (6th in the league), and 5.8 apg. He's the guy who has the ball in his hands in clutch situations. This is what I based my assumption on. Despite the fact that he's been in the league 4 years longer than Steph, he's not that much older, (2.5 years). But, who knows, you could be right, I'd take either one. Actually, the guy I'd like to get from them is Klay Thompson, however, I don't think they'll part with him, they love him.

If this slide continues they may need to consider starting Thad at PF and hoping to force opponents to counter with a smaller lineup. That might up up the game more and help prevent having to dig out of a hole every second quarter.

I think they still would have enough scorers off the vench with Lou, ET and Vuce.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Feb 23 at 15:40
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I am not saying this would be a long term answer, but more of a stopgap sparkplug until they get a big healthy to where they have some semblance of offensive balance.

A good defensive start only helps so much when you struggle to score 10 pts in a qtr.

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johnrosz on Feb 23 at 15:40
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That Simmons trade is absurd...I don't even think ET gets a second contract at this rate.

Does it drive anyone else nuts when ET walks the ball up the floor when he's charged with initiating the offense?

This isn't the Big Ten, you don't get 35 seconds son. By the time he gets things going (if he doesn't have his back to the basket) there's barely any time on the clock for a good look.

So disappointed in him, I just want him gone at this point. I've been one of his biggest supporters, wished he'd put it together, it's just not there right now. What a failure, at least they can just blame it on Stefanski though.

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Gdog reply to johnrosz on Feb 23 at 16:12
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Turner for where he was picked has been a bust but it seems to me like Collins really dislikes him for some reason. I've caught on TV a number of times where the whole team is playing like crap and when they go back to the huddle he yells specifically at Turner. Dunno. I think Turners talented but his issues definitely seem mental. He has the tools to be pretty good but is wildly inconsistent.
Not sure if we would have been any better with Favors or Cousins in retrospect.

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Anonymous on Feb 23 at 16:31
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That Simmons trade is absurd...I don't even think ET gets a second contract at this rate.

Speaking of absurdities. Willie Green has gotten how many NBA contracts? Nate Robinson has gotten how many NBA contracts? Kwame Brown. The list goes on.

Michael Olowakandi got a second contract.

If Evan Turner turns out to be only good defensively he will get a second contract to come off the bench somewhere.

If one truly believes Evan Turner will not get a second contract then that might be the most over reaction I have ever seen in a player evaluation

Thoughts on Ryan Anderson this offseason?

Big, stretch 4 with some rebounding skills and great advanced stats (i.e. underrated)

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tk76 reply to Matt on Feb 23 at 17:51
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Hard to know how he does away from Dwight. I guess you can try and look at how he did when Dwight was off the floor.

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Anonymous reply to tk76 on Feb 23 at 18:00
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He is in his contract drive having a 'big year'. Defense isn't a priority so much on the Magic because of Dwight. He is not the kind of four I like in general.

He will be over paid by someone. The free agent comp that just sticks in my head in terms of over payment is Troy Murphy.

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Spencer for hire reply to Anonymous on Feb 23 at 18:26
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I actually like Ilyasova more but only if we either get a lowpost center or Vuce can be that guy. If the team still feels J.T.I. can work together than a stretch 4 is a good fit.

I want to add to our core rather than move guys in a trade. Between the draft and a hopeful amnesty of Elton I believe we will add 2 solid pieces.

If we end up in the 20 to 25 range our 2 second rounders may allow us to move up a spot or two and target a player in A.Moultrie or Plumlee who can battle Lavoy for Elton's minutes. I agree with T.K. that if Thad is kept in his role that Lavoy and our draft pick could challenge to start.

If Lou leaves that should give us more caproom and you fill in the blanks than. O.Asik would be my number one target if Vuce isn't thought of as a starter. Call Chicago's bluff and see if they will amnesty Boozer to resign him.

I think this team would be fabulously stupid not to entertain strong offers for Iguodala or for Lou. The team as currently constituted will never have a good enough offense to win, and no superstar free agent is walking through those doors. This year we started out hot thanks to our youth and continuity, but, thanks to the terrible offense we've exhibited for the past month, we've fallen from 1st in the league in offensive rating to 11th, at 104.2, a mark which was good for 24th in the league last year, and 25th the year before that. It's a very bad offense that's been above average this season only because of the effects of compressed play and the absence of practice time or training camp on the league. If anything this year has been a year of regression for the offense, especially for players like Jrue and Turner, for whom more usage has just meant jacking up more 20-footers rather than any real development. And as always, none of these guys are particularly good shooters from any range, whether it's from 15 feet or three. Do the smart thing and trade for some offensive talent, preferably young and cheap talent. That doesn't include Monta.

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Rich reply to Tray on Feb 23 at 19:46
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Name a package and I'd be all ears. Saying "young and cheap talent" doesn't really do much for me though.

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Anonymous reply to Rich on Feb 23 at 19:50
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Naming a package will not do much either as no one hear knows what trades can or can not be made

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Rich reply to Anonymous on Feb 23 at 19:57
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Yes, I am aware that we don't know what trades can or can not be made. Thank you for that contribution. I'm sure a few people are happy that you clarified that nobody here is in an NBA Front Office though.

I meant in the sense of conversation or argument. It bothers me when people say "young and cheap good offensive players." Such vague terms really don't really add much to the discussion and Tray knows what he would have in mind because he pays more attention to the rest of the league than most.

Jrue's a pretty good shooter from three. His problem is that he doesn't get to the line. I'm not against trading anyone, the discussion above was about trading Iguodala to get better this season. That's not going to happen.

Answer: a 2-7 stretch.

Question: What does it take to draw the idiotic Iguodala comments out?

Somehow, I think people like JJG and Ricky will really miss Iguodala if/when he is traded. Who else can draw out such impassioned criticism? I'm not sure, but I tend to think complaining about Jrue won't be as fun to the anti-Iguodala crowd ...

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Anonymous reply to Statman on Feb 23 at 21:58
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Evan Turner?

Maybe the new owners will extend Spencer Hawes and give us a new target?

Statman, just to clarify, I am not in the "Trade Iguodala" camp and I am not an Ig hater. I like Iguodala and I am well aware of what he brings to the team, which is a lot. I think he is overrated by many fans, and I find ridiculous that in a site like this with such great in-depth analysises by Brian, you etc his BLATANT shortcomings in crunch time are generally either forgotten or overlooked, but this is not the point.
My problem is that I don't think Sixers can win a title with Ig as best player of the team. I am not interested much in "Trade machine" discussions, but I think Sixers have several assets to use, so yes, I would listen to offers and even try to get creative in making the team better also by trading him, if necessary.
Just FYI the 2004 Pistons are one of my fav teams of recent times, this means I would be ok with a "no supertars" team, unfortunately I don't see Sixers having the same potential with this roster.

Ricky: it's nice of you to say that you are aware of Iguodala's positives, but I honestly can't remember a single positive comment you've ever made about him (other than in this context, when you claim you are aware of his positives). Maybe that is a reaction to your perceived bias in the other direction from the pro-Iguodala camp.

People believe what they want to believe. This is what is known as confirmation bias. For example, if you think I ignore Iguodala's shortcomings in crunchtime in recent years (he was actually quite good in 08-09), go back and read my multiple posts last year reporting on the Sixers' performance in the clutch, where I observed from the numbers that he wasn't good at all. Brian has said more than once he doesn't want to see Iguodala shoot in those situations.

If you have a similar example where you gave unqualified praise to Iguodala, I'll be glad to see it. The blog is archived, so any such claims can be easily verified.


ahahaha, you are probably right, I rarely praised Iguodala, at least here, maybe because I see Brian & others taking care of that pretty well :-)
Also I do think that posting "Great points", "totally agree" comments doesn't add much to the table, I prefer heated discussions...
I think our views on him are closer then you might think, seriously, I remember you did some nice research in the past, maybe you used this link also (please sort by "FG %" to see what I am basically criticizing him for). It's from last season, maybe Ig just cut his attempts to nearly zero this year to avoid being on the same list (lol, just being evil)!

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/plus/shot_finder.cgi?request=1&player_id=&match=single&year_id=2011&is_playoffs=N&team_id=&opp_id=&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&shot_pts=&is_make=&shot_type=&shot_distance_min=&shot_distance_max=&q4=Y&q5=Y&time_remain_minutes=2&time_remain_seconds=0&time_remain_comp=le&margin_min=-5&margin_max=5&c1stat=&c1comp=ge&c1val=&c2stat=&c2comp=ge&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=ge&c3val=&order_by=fg

Okay, so in the interests of "heated debate": suppose Iguodala realizes that he hasn't shot well in the 4th quarter in recent years. Isn't the intelligent thing to do to focus on setting others up (Jrue, Thad, Lou are all more natural scorers, especially off good passes), rebounding, defending, and shooting selectively? I don't understand what your complaint would be with his doing that. If you argue that shows his limitations, so be it. But you seem to be going beyond that, criticizing the lack of shots itself, almost as if you want him to take more crunchtime shots (so you can criticize him more if he misses??). I want him to play in such a way that maximizes the team's chances of winning.

fair enough, interesting points.
I think the best thing for him AND THE TEAM would be to reach a reasonable balance between last year (insanely high # of attempts in crunch time, 44, and awful %, 31% - btw this is on the coach, also), and this year.
I mean, it's fine if he realized he's not good and takes less shots down the stretch, but playing 8-9 4th Q minutes and taking one or zero is not helping either.
BTW it's not like this year he's not shooting in those situations, take a look at this (and sort by Fg% again), if I did everything right I set the minimum amount of shots at 5:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/plus/shot_finder.cgi?request=1&player_id=&match=single&year_id=2012&is_playoffs=N&team_id=&opp_id=&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&shot_pts=&is_make=&shot_type=&shot_distance_min=&shot_distance_max=&q4=Y&q5=Y&time_remain_minutes=2&time_remain_seconds=0&time_remain_comp=le&margin_min=-5&margin_max=5&c1stat=fga&c1comp=ge&c1val=5&c2stat=&c2comp=ge&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=ge&c3val=&order_by=fg_pct

This may perhaps fuel the Ellis/Ig debate again, Monta is shooting 60% on 20 attempts, which seems to me damn good, while Iguodala is 1/6, for a pathetic 16% (for the record I would NOT trade Iguodala for Ellis).

A: Andre Iguodala

Q: What "leading" player who is being paid 13.5, 14.7 and 15.9 mill-ee-uhn dolluz (dolluz, dolluz) in this and the next two years has compiled shooting numbers of this pretty 'baker's dozen' block in a season that's but 34 games old: 4-12, 5-14, 2-9, 1-6, 5-13, 3-15, 3-9, 4-12, 4-12, 2-6, 3-12, 1-4 and 2-10?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: What conditioned and practiced professional athlete shoots, uncontestedly, a '9 inch in diameter' ball towards an '18 inch in diameter' rim from a distance of 15 feet at a measly .616 conversion rate?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: What 8-yr vet of 587 regular season games has played in only four playoff series, and losing ones at that, participating in 6 postseason wins and 16 postseason losses while establishing himself as a playoff underperformer, as the naked eye and statistics bear out?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: What touted "stopper" has been startled by a rainbow of successful shooting opponents at the close of games this season in arenas spanning the nation, at the very time his team was in need of his supposed specialty, stops?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: Who will consort with All-Stars this weekend on the questionable basis of selection-time team record and incessant motor-mouth lobbying of his popular and networked head coach?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: Whose ticket was punched for another city by management this summer after he snuck out of his exit meeting last Spring, only to have the arrangement voided by the incoming neophyte owners?

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A: Andre Iguodala

Q: Who is the wormed apple of Brian's and Statman's eye?

Seriously, you're really going to miss Iguodala if he ever gets traded, an "Iguodala withdrawal" of sorts. You're a curmudgeon in general, but you're at your curmudgeonly "best" when thinking and talking about Iguodala.

Q. What type of person derives his most pleasure in life from putting down others?

A. I'll let you fill in the answer.

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Anonymous reply to Statman on Feb 24 at 12:36
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Curmudgeon, very apt word, though I was trying to find one that represented being in love with the sound of ones on voice and using obscure words and references to amuse ones self and irritate others.

Your posed question is assumptive, and false in its insuation. To set you straight, I most delight in my on-court defense, rebounding and passing ability... fairly common skills, yet enjoyable nonetheless.

You, Statman of "Rectitude," raised a moniker of mine (not used on this blog) in a snotnosed comment to Brian last night at 9:55 because your mind festers with resentment over criticism of your clearly-flawed cause celebre, Andre Iguodala. And your disposition is not a new development, as we both know.

Curmudgeon? That's an earned status, and a sign of open eyes. Kind of an honor, really - thanks.

But a true curmudgeon, in the disparaging sense in which you intended, wouldn't lend a rhetorical hand, as I have, to try to lift you from the rubble of the kabuki theatre of advanced statistics into the fresh air of observation and common sense as you lay immersed in frustration, with realities twisted beyond recognition, spouting to defend the object of your affection, wingnut wingman Andre Iguodala. I must say your loyalty is admirable in its resoluteness but fateful in its inflexibility and its clasp. I rest in the awareness of my efforts.

Sayonara.

And you have the audacity to say "Blah blah blah" to other people? Wow.

verb tense correction - 'had'

And I didn't say it, I wrote it.

Little things mean a lot. For instance, "Wow" is Mom spelled upside down.

I look forward to another post comparing Len Bias and Ralph Sampson to Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala. Those are gr8!

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Hobbes reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 24 at 15:09
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As someone who teaches 'literature and writing,' I enjoy the wit and the playful use of language.

And as a former player (organized) and current-but-aging pick-up baller, I concur that AI does not come as advertised (though, I'm compelled to say I think he gets billed poorly on both ends of the fan extreme; and I'm compelled to say I think he's settled admirably into his rightful bball role over the last two years and he deserves some credit for that).

Regardless of all of that....and regardless of whether a bad stretch of games happens, doesn't happen, or continues for longer than we like.....this team is mediocre, and mediocrity pretty much sucks in professional sports because it doesn't result in championships and it doesn't result in championship-calibre draft picks.

A Barnes & Nobles basketballer... you're a dying breed, Hobbes. But appreciated. Long live Anne Bradstreet, gritty Massachusetts Bay Colony PG.

I too am tired of Sixers mediocrity, passed off by the organization as the rising sun, giftwrapped by Zumoff's tongue. I hope for a roster shake-up, but I'm not hopeful. :)

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TwoSense reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 24 at 21:01
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Sans the Zum ref, very near feelings possessed here.

WTNY! .. is straight play'd out...

As tk once said 'round them there parts, - you're just 3 years away from being 3 years away. #tootrue

I respect Zumoff as a native Philadelphian and smart guy who is a longtime Sixers fan, but he's too much a mouthpiece for the organization for my taste; vaudeville act on the microphone wears thin - ham & corn. Re his team: all that glitters isn't gold, partner.

From now on instead of saying Andre Iguodala you can just use the moniker, "Thinks He's Kobe Bryant."

And instead of Dollar Bill, you can choose from the following: "Adds Nothing to the Table", "Troll", or "Philly.com".

Curmudgeon is a good one, but just doesn't quite state the full truth.

I wouldn't say that, but I could say, "He thinks he's Urkel, or Mars Blackmon's taller brother, or a deserving All-Star." However, I'm above it.

The rote, cliched putdowns are a yawn. With thoughts you'd be thinkin' you could be another Lincoln IF... .

Somebody got under Jeff's skin.

You would like the idea of getting under my skin, because then you'd be fulfilling your purpose as a troll.

Ouch!! There's that word again! You're mean!!!

Knicks below .500, again. Sixers officially hold 3.5 game lead heading into the AS break.

1/11 from the floor, 8 turnovers for Lin.

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Stan reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 21:41
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I want to make fun of the Knicks, but we lost to the Heat twice by more than 20 points.

Jeremy Lin may have been 1/11, but he only had to make one shot to get 8 points. That's impressive.

8 points on 14 possession (not including the 8 turnovers) is impressive?

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Stan reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 21:45
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I was being sarcastic

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Court_visioN reply to Brian on Feb 23 at 22:09
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no, but going 6/6 from the foul line is :)

That's like 8 games-worth for Jrue :)

Yes, but if you listening to Barkley, Reggie Miller and co. it was acceptable for Lin to have such a sucky game because Lin was 1.) tired 2.) not ready to face such a challenging team, and it was Amare and Carmelo's job to help him through the process 3.) It's just an off-game and he'll bounce back 4.) ______________________(insert other shitty excuses).

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Anonymous reply to Jeff on Feb 23 at 21:47
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What I always find interesting is that certain players always have excuses made for them while other players are held to a standard that exceeds their actual talents or game. It is not unique to the sixers, but the TNT blowhards do not like the sixers, and partly, I remain convinced is that because Barkley is still angry towards the organization that sent him packing. His hatred for the sixers infuses his 'unbiased' journalistic opinion constantly. He used to be the person whose opinion I respected the least on TNT but then they hired Mr O'neal, which increased Mr Barkley from worst, to second worst, commentator on TNT

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Stan reply to Anonymous on Feb 23 at 21:54
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I don't think its due to resentment. The Sixers are a team without "character". No superstar, no young talent, no controversial player. They're good enough to win any given game but not good enough to win it all. No one is "exciting", no one scores 20ppg.

Agreed that O'Neil is worse than Barkley.

o'neal is unwatchably bad. chuck knows it, too

i support charles

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bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Feb 24 at 10:51
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But bravo for him to strip the ball from DWade as he was going in for a "fuck you" basket when the Heat were up 12 with less than a minute to go (not the first time that Wade has been low class - didn't he do the same thing to the Sixers last year?)...

If/when Lin comes back to earth, I wonder if the media will start making negative Lin name puns- "linept", "linsufficient", etc..

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mo speezy on Feb 23 at 23:47
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Was sitting here tonight watching the OKC-Lakers game and stewing a bit about the Sixers, and trying to put my finger on why I feel so sour right now (inordinately so, given that it's only 5 games and not a season). I was remembering back to a post Brian made maybe about a year ago (?), essentially asking the question "why do you still watch this team?" - can't remember if it was during a particularly rough path or something else, but the theme that came out of many commenters’ answers was that it’s about seeing "moments" - i.e., where the "young guys" (Jrue, Evan, Thad, to a lesser extent Meeks) "put it together" and do something on the floor that makes you say "Wow!". I basically agreed at that time - it was definitely a combination of hope & anticipation about the future plus the just the visceral enjoyment that came out of seeing the guys riding the crest of a wave that they thought would never stop - knowing that you're sharing in the experience of a young man figuring this shit out that he's poured his heart and soul and the majority of his time into at this point in his life. Yeah, at least for me, there was something kind of vicarious about watching those moments that made it that much more profound.

And for some reason, I just get this sense that that type of excitement & feeling of forward motion is all but gone in a few of the young guys, but especially Jrue and Turner. I could definitely be wrong, but I've had this feeling lately that there's something about their approach that smacks of "going through the motions." It's a combination of what they do in the game and their body language & interactions with teammates and Collins - which I do realize are completely subjective judgments - but I feel like I've seen enough over the past 15-20 games that it's not just haphazard inference. (Has anyone else noticed this? Am I reaching that far?)

As far as my enjoyment of the team goes, that perception is enough to really fuck with the amount of satisfaction I'm getting out of their "success" thus far. But for fun I can take it a bit further and venture a guess as to the reason: Collins. It's funny that his reputation is kind of prophecy at this point, but with his track record it starts to seem less apocryphal and more of a useful statistic: he loathes young players, his overbearing coaching style wears thin, he starts to lose teams after the second year. It's easy to write those things of as products of circumstance, subjective judgments without value, etc., but I feel like we've all witnessed it firsthand this season. The habit of yanking Jrue for even marginal mistakes without prejudice? Placing the blame squarely on Evan’s shoulders for lapses in 5-man performance, and publicly (and frankly, sometimes humiliatingly) letting him hear it? “Simplifying the offense” with the mandate of no risky passes from the incompetent ballhandlers, only “safe” offensive schemes that limit turnovers and let everyone get back on D? Think back to when you were 22 and consider how that would affect your psyche, and I think you can appreciate the overall effect of Collins’ style is having on “the kids.”

To cut to the chase: I get the feeling that at times Jrue and Turner (but especially Jrue) feel less like they’re the part of a team of equals working to win games, and more like outcasts trying to prove their worth. Sometimes when Jrue is chucking up long jumpers, getting heavily contested layups blocked, not looking for the extra pass, not creating, looking a little bit “pouty” on the court, dropping his head as he runs to the bench; I think what he’s really saying is “are you happy coach? Is this what you wanted?”. I feel like I’ve had a bit of misdirected hostility towards Jrue and especially Turner over the past few days, but I’ve come back around to the stance the poor play and questionable attitude are more of a function of circumstance than skill/personality/etc.

Anyway – I could be wrong. The point is that I’m finding it harder and harder to share in the success of the young guys, and the lack of that type of identification is what’s making the “success” of this season feel just a bit empty.

Interesting post. I guess I just don't see what you are seeing, but we all watch the game from different perspectives.

I see a bunch of young guys getting worn down by a few losses and an unneding run of games and travel. I think they got a little high on themselves and probably lost a bit of their edge and now are comeing crashing back to earth. Sort of like whe a team gets up by 20 and lets up a bunch and then find it hard turning it back on when the other team mounts a comeback.

As a fan I feel a letdown becasue I thought maybe this team was gone to prove my doubts wrong but instead their record is regressing to properly reflect their talent level.

As for Collins- everything I've seen suggests he loves coacjhing the young guys, but just does not tolerate some of the mistakes that other coaches can. For example, Coach Calipari can send out a bunch of 18 year olds with talent and watch them learn by mistakes. Most coaches can't stomache that, but it does not mean they hate coaching young players. But it does probably limit their shelf life.

But overall, I don't know of another coach who would get a record of much better than 20-14 out of this team. It is not as if this is a contender under a different coach. They only have so much talent and experience.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Feb 24 at 11:14
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As I watch Collins - both on the sidelines as well as after the games - I wonder if we are getting a sense of what happened in both Chicago and Detroit...I would agree that he has gotten a LOT out of these guys, and I don't know if another coach would have gotten as much...but I also wonder if it comes at a cost. It was the 2nd year where both CHI and DET saw that big jump over the 1st year...he gets a sense of what he has to work with in year 1...starts installing the concepts that he wants to run...makes his list of guys who get with the program and gives them minutes that can be a bit of a head-scratcher (Don Reid, Jodie Meeks) and makes decisions on guys who he just doesn't think are buying in with what he is selling (Rip Hamilton? Theo Ratliff?).

As the team starts winning more, he becomes less tolerant of the things that made him look so good in developing the roster in his first year...watching him last season through 3-and-13, he kept a steady hand on the tiller - through some absolutely BRUTAL losses...and that had to contribute to how the team responded in the 2nd half of the season. But now, as the team starts winning more, the patience that he showed in year 1 starts to disappear (and I am all for demanding more from the players as they get better and the bar is raised, but it seems like the pendulum has swung from uber-tolerant last year to looking like he is ready to have an aneurysm on the sidelines after a turnover this season). The players - who all loved him when he took over, who all respect him like mad for how he has helped their games - start pressing to not make mistakes...and the flow, rhythm and JOY that we saw at the end of last season and the first 20 or so games of this season VANISHES.

They will still get a lot of wins...more than people expected...but the team gets strung too tight and falters in the playoffs. He comes back for a 3rd season...still moderately successful...but the issues that creep up in year 2 aren't fully resolved...he starts getting burned out...the players start playing not to win, but not to get the hairy eyeball from Collins...and it is over.

I think we were all under the impression - after watching last season - that this is a "mellower" Collins...who was going to defer more to his assistants and not go through the same emotional roller-coaster that he has gone through in the past...but watching him over the past 2-3 weeks, I wonder if that old dynamic is starting to rear its ugly head again. I think he needs to find a way to help these guys rediscover the joy in their game before it is too late. Understand that this is STILL a young team...understand that he STILL has roster issues...understand that - without Hawes and Brand - he has to be flexible with how he utilizes the roster...otherwise I fear this is going to end up a lot like things ended up in Detroit and Chicago.

I guess we will have to see how the next 2 years play out.

IMO this year's early success puts an unrealistic burden on the team going forward. They do not have the talent of a contender. If either Collins or the fan base expect them to win again at that level with this roster then they are settling themselves up for frustration.

excellent post. You hit on a lot of what I've felt watching this team the last couple weeks. More and more I, like you, put the blame on Collins but I am almost afraid to say it...we have to start, though. It is f-ed up when the biggest cheers during introductions are not for your potential emerging star pg or your all atar, all defense forward, but for your coach, who has never had long term success, blew his shot at multiple titles with the greatest player of all time by losing that players respect almost instantaneously(read the jordan rules) and really, is famous and successful as a tv personality more than as a head coach

the guy who sits next to me at games is an older over weight white guy...not to stereotype but kinda the quintessential negadelphia type...boos igoudala when he is introduced(when iggy makes a good play, he'll bleat that "we're not in crunch time!"), booed ryan howard who was in the house at the dallas game, bitches about how jrue will never be an elite pg...looooves collins. seems to hate all the (young, black) PLAYERS, but loves the older white coach. hmmm

I couldn't agree more with your bservations of turner and holiday in recent wks. As a 24 yr old, I especially liked what you said about imagining how playing in DC's system, which seems to be predicated on his players not being smart or particularly talented, would feel...

I am seeing what you're seeing...I am hoping that it is just a lull...losing and winning are both contagious

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Spencer for hire reply to mo speezy on Feb 24 at 8:21
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Good thoughts; My main issue with our coach and Jrue and Evan are the "mixed signals" both young guys are recieving.

When our coach tells Jrue to score the ball and be aggressive he should allow for a slight bump in turnovers and let Jrue play through them with a pat on the rump at times.

I remember wanting Favors over Turner till I read about him and his "villian" nickname and the fact that he could be our closer. That swayed me to his camp. But he seems like a guy that needs a certain role yet our organization seems to think he is a jack of all trades type of guy and may never start him.

Maybe it will take a Lou or Iggy exodus for us to see his true skill level appear but if that isn't gonna happen maybe he should be moved.

I agree with you in lot of your points, collins is taking the fun out of the game for the young dudes..
When you are winning so much of the "why he can do it and I don t" just go by but when the time get tougher those same ideas start come to your mind and that just take a toll, mentally speaking.
Why can Lou get a ton of turn overs and shoot every time and from everywhere he wants and Jrue and ET can't ?
Why can Iggy get whole halfs with out being agressive at the offensive end and not get benched like ET ?
Brian would have said "because theres the another side of the game, the defensive one your moron !" lol But man outside of Dre and Jrue, ET is our best defender but being just good on defense don t work for him as work for them..
The mixed signals take a toll on you and thats all on collins.
I remember reading some collins interview a couple of weeks ago and he said "thats his last gig and he wants to go down with a championship" and the feeling I had was "shooot" maniac doug is back again, micromanaging, stressing out the players with such high demands. This is a young team in developting mode and tryint to win at all costs, will cost some of young guys their developtment.
That is the feeling I get watching the young guys play,specially ET, like "whatever ! the coach are gonna yell at me anyway, why bother ? just hope to get traded soon"

Really good dialogue guys. I like this
"To cut to the chase: I get the feeling that at times Jrue and Turner (but especially Jrue) feel less like they’re the part of a team of equals working to win games, and more like outcasts trying to prove their worth."

That's what I see too.
I think what made this team exciting earlier is the exact thing that makes it a little depressing now.
Jrue and Turner.
There are stretches where these guys look REALLY good. And then you think,"well they are playing really good, they may not win a championship now but with more time they will become GREAT and then you can add a piece or two and be right there..."

But then they come back down to earth and you wonder if Turner will ever "get it" here and if Jrue will ever become "the guy".

I think people like Collins because he seems like a very smart x and o guy and he really cares and hes super accessible. He explains everything win or lose after every game. No Andy Reid here. However---his track record isn't really that good. Even with some really good Detroit and Chicago teams he did nothing with them.

Looking at Miami/Knicks last night its pretty clear that Miami is head and shoulders above all. And will be for the next 5 years. Knicks have a lot of talent but I'm not sure it can all come together, time will tell.
Hell I'm not sure you can take the best players on the Knicks and the Sixers and beat the heat.

Trade scenario
Let's say Orlando decides not to trade Dwight Howard at the deadline. Howard decides to leave Orlando is free agency and he wants to sign with the Clippers. Would you trade Iguodala, Nocioni, and Brackins for DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Eric Bledsoe and Ryan Gomes?

The Sixers would go into a rebuilding mode but they would have a nice core of Young, Jrue, Turner, and Jordan.

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Anonymous reply to Stan on Feb 24 at 10:21
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The clippers make such a trade why?

That trade is unbalanced in terms of talent towards the sixers it is almost unfair.

Brackins and Nocioni are useless fodder. So the Clippers trade a great back up for Dwight Howard a contributing caron butler a young eric bledsoe and a useless ryan gomes for Andre Igudoala?

I'm a fan of Andre Iguodala and this trade is unfair to the clippers.

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Stan reply to Anonymous on Feb 24 at 10:29
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It built to free up cap space for Dwight Howard. Caron Butler and Gomes have 20 million left on their contracts after this year, if LA can't rid themselves of those contracts they wont be able to sign Howard.

LA gets the opportunity to sign Howard, save 20 million in useless contracts, and have a top 5 SF.

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Anonymous reply to Stan on Feb 24 at 10:36
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Hmm, so the sixers trade their best player for 20 million in useless contracts and still are missing pieces at various places on their roster?

Caron Butler is not useless, DeAndre Jordan is not useless. The Clippers do not actually need Dwight Howard, and if they are smart they do not want him either.

DeAndre Jordan would be a nice piece to add to the sixers, no doubt, but the rest of the deal is flotsam and jetsam for no apparent reason.

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Stan reply to Anonymous on Feb 24 at 10:49
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20 million refers to the 16 million owed to Caron Butler over the next two seasons along with the 4 million that is owed next season to Ryan Gomes. By making this trade LAC would be upgrading one position while putting themselves in the position to upgrade another.

Basically IF everything goes according to plan, LA would end up replacing Jordan and Butler with Howard and Iguodala.

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Anonymous reply to Stan on Feb 24 at 10:58
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And the sixers would be adding jordan, and replacing iguodala with butler (who will turn 32 in 2 weeks). Improving one position and getting desperately worse (and older) at another position and eliminating much of the cap flexibility they would obtain when they amnesty Brand.

Dwight Howard has spouted a lot of nonsense from his own mouth and from his handlers, agents what ever. I have read nothing that leads me to believe he would sign with the Clippers (nor do I think he is a good fit for the Clippers, they do not need him and he gets in Blake Griffins way once Griffin realizes he is not a stretch four)

Jordan is the perfect, cheaper, compliment to Blake Griffin, Howard is not.

I do not believe Howard wants to go the the Clippers
I do not believe the Clippers should want, or need, Howard
I do not believe even if they did that they would agree to the deal you suggested.
I have not yet read the new CBA so I do not know if Sign & Trades still gain a player any additional money, but if they do, I expect the Clippers and Magic would work out a direct deal and DeAndre Jordan would be a major part of it.


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