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Turner Massacres Boston

I was a Turner apologist for the longest time. After the last month I have changed my stance on him quite a bit. Tonight was the first game of the entire season that I didn't watch live. I check my phone around 8:15 and I see that Turner has 16 and 8 at halftime! What the fuck, that's really all I can say.

This game doesn't negate an entire month of poor play so I won't annoint him a savior or anything, but everyone has to be happy to see a game like this from him. I would be thrilled to see 12, 6, and 3 from him on average right now. Jodie gave us 9, 2, and 1.

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Court_visioN reply to MCT on Mar 8 at 2:24
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take one for the team and stop watching games please :)

Way ahead of you buddy. I recorded the game tonight on my DVR and then watched it later so that is my new formula for success. I just wish I was disciplined enough to not check the score on my phone but I'm not there yet.

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Rich reply to MCT on Mar 8 at 2:24
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If they combine for a generally efficient 18, 8, and 4, this team is so much more dangerous. They just weren't getting solid production for such a long time from both of them. If Turner can go 5-10 for 10 points and chip in on boards, assists, and defense, that's all we need. Now I think with him playing more starting minutes, it's either going to be a boom or bust for him. He doesn't seem to be capable of a guy like Thad who can turn it on for 5 minutes at a time. He needs to be out there more to get his impact.

All we need Jodie to do is start making more threes. Get that percentage way over 40 percent.

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MCT reply to Rich on Mar 8 at 2:44
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Yeah to your point, he started 2-6 tonight but ended up 11-19. Obviously he won't shoot that well every game, but still. He has had so many games where he ended 2-6 or 1-5 or 3-7 or whatever for the entire game. He's not a very good shooter so he needs to get into a rhythm to be productive. But guys like Lou and Thad can just come in and score without a sweat.

If Turner turns out to be more like the #2 pick that we hoped he would be rather than the player we saw in January and Febuary of this season does that change anyone's opinion of Coach Collins coaching abilities?

I will to me.

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MCT reply to KellyDad on Mar 8 at 2:21
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I had no issue with Collins not starting him before, and I had no issue with Collins playing him 25 minutes a game. I did have a problem with the 14 - 18 min games, and I think Collins is too hard on young players in general, not just ET.

Dude has a history of it:

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/4909/doug-collins-makes-me-and-scottie-pippen-nervous

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thewhettingstone reply to KellyDad on Mar 8 at 9:07
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Yes. I didn't see this coming from Doug; or, I didn't see the possibility of change in the guy. I am so happy I was wrong about him. I'm a Turner supporter - I've wanted him to play the point since we got him and have been waiting for this to happen. I feel very excited about the 6ers today. My hope in them has been renewed. Thanks DC.

One thing that was really visible tonight was how much Lou's play hurts Turner. We've talked a lot about Turner and Iguodala not being good fits, but this game showed that it;s Lou that is the real roadblock to Turner's success. Turner was super aggressive and productive with Iguodala and/or Holiday on the floor, but when Lou was in he almost never got a touch. This was especially visible in the 4th when he actually played a lot but looked like he completely reverted to his previous self because Lou was so ball dominant and Turner never really got a chance to do anything. It's like everybody was orchestrated (Collins?) to give Lou the ball and move out. When Lou goes into his "iso mode" he pretty much singlehandedly stops the Sixers biggest weapon and that is the abundance of ball handlers and creators. Overall Lou is probably having his best season in his career and has improved but this just has to stop. There is simply no logical explanation behind this...

Anyway, what i really wanted to say is inserting Turner into the starting lineup may actually benefit him greatly because he gets to play with Lou less now.

Iguodala and Holiday have figured out how to play with Lou more than Turner and Meeks and it would be interesting to monitor the substitution patterns in the next few games.

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sfw reply to Xsago on Mar 8 at 7:04
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I strongly agree with your point. I think Lou's ball dominance also negatively impacts Jrue at end of game situations. Lou & Jodie should work out with Lou drawing the defenders and swinging the ball to Meeks when motivated. Defensively, could be issues.

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Spencer for hire on Mar 8 at 7:54
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I am happy our coach swung for the fences and let Evan have the ball. I have been touting starting Lou for a while now and thats why he is a coach and I am just a fan.

Now I hope to see some end of game changes eventually but that is up to Evan. The defensive options for our coach now get real interesting, as we saw last night.

And Jrue and Iggy are both above league average from the wing so no reason to overplay Jodie. We are gaining 2 new players at the trade deadline [Evan and Spence] without making a trade, beautiful !!!

Garbage game, important win for a team licking wounds, itching to restore pride. Rising Stars Classic kind of resistence. Give Turner room to play pick-up ball, he'll live it up, do his cock of the walk part. (Was surprised Jimmy Lynam was so excited postgame about the controversial soph.) Get in his grill, he'll return to sporadic effectiveness imo. Let him dribble, lean, pick up steam, you deserve whatcha get. Collins' surprising turnabout commitment to him for remainder of season should eliminate some of his balking and blundering tendencies.

Rondo (& teammates) didn't live up to his promise - intense as a can of peas. When Brand "springs" for 18 & 9 against you, you know energy is low. Days between games in playoffs should help the AARP Celts. Whatever evolves in May, this the last wheeze of the Big 3.

Sixers had advantage, took advantage. Even without Thadlius. A good evening's work for a good week's pay. Easy explanation: returning Pat Croce's can-do aura pervaded the building.


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Hobbes reply to Dollar Bill on Mar 8 at 9:27
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"Rising Stars Classic kind of resistence. Give Turner room to play pick-up ball, he'll live it up, do his cock of the walk part...Collins' surprising turnabout commitment to him for remainder of season should eliminate some of his balking and blundering tendencies."

I hope last night's game was a stepping stone for the kid. But, watching his game, I'm not inclined to disagree with you. Turner's confidence, when it's not in the toilet, hovers in the rafters. But other parts of his game get lower grades: A for rebounding, B+ for court vision on offense, C+ for on-ball defense, as he hustles but is not fleet-of-foot and gets killed on screens; C for his jumpshots and C- for his jupmshot selection. I'm not ready to grade his skill when taking it to the rack. He made most of what he threw up last night, but, to my eyes, quite a few of them really did look like he was throwing them up (off-balance, not square to the hoop, playing for contact more than makes).

For me, thrilled about his stats and his minutes. But I'm reserving big-picture judgement for now.

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MCT reply to Hobbes on Mar 8 at 9:30
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He also missed a few bunnies at the rim that rolled in and out so they kind of balanced out with the tough finishes he made. He definitely needs to work on his shot selection still.

You're right about the screens, he is a magnet for those and always seems to get stuck. He even tries this stupid spin move to get around them and it rarely works.

I would grade him higher for his on the ball defense though.

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Hobbes reply to MCT on Mar 8 at 9:39
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Prodded, I'll give him a B- for the on-ball defense thing. Then I'll mention that I forgot to note that his handle is a little sloppy, too.

Of course, I'm picky. Thad's game looks clumsy to me (which it is), and he's proven to be relatively successful in this league (despite being a bit of a cream-puff as a forward). Maybe Turner will yet prove to be someone who can be a productive starter who can periodically win you a few games, even while he's looking less-than-gaceful doing it.

Stay tuned....

If Turner and Iguodala are both starters, who plays the role of backup SF? Maybe you'd have to play Turner-Meeks combo when you want Iguodala to get a rest and an Iguodala-Williams/Meeks combo when you want Turner to get a rest.

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bebopdeluxe reply to Stan on Mar 8 at 9:17
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Yup.

So if Boston offered Ray Allen for Evan Turner as the principals of a trade, would you do it? Funny how the answer to that question may have changed so drastically after one game ...

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bebopdeluxe reply to Statman on Mar 8 at 9:18
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Nope.

On Sixers need, no question, yes. But ultimate answer would rest entirely on Allen's interest in transfer and mid-year integration to a sworn enemy's cause. I don't imagine he'd be eager.

Drastic change of aspects because of one game? Surely you jest.

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GoSixers reply to Dollar Bill on Mar 8 at 10:24
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I don't imagine Ray Allen views the sixers as a 'sworn enemy' but you just like a turn of phrase and being overly dramatic in a way that belongs on day time television.

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MCT reply to Statman on Mar 8 at 9:27
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I would only trade Turner for a young big with major potential or maybe a high 1st round draft pick since this draft is supposed to be really deep. I doubt anyone would offer either for him right now so I would rather hang on to him and see how JTI can finish this season together.

I wouldn't do it before the game either. The Sixers are not winning the title this year, and Allen will be a free agent after it. Why rent him?

In pro sports, the time is always now. Allen would increase this season's playoff prospects. That's entertainment! 2013 is the year 2525.

The smart teams think in advance. They try to predict what will happen down the road. It's that kind of "now" thinking that usually gets most teams in trouble.

In my opinion, the sixers are a 2nd round playoff team with or without Allen. He will make them better, but only marginally and it won't really make a big improvement.

Smart teams accumulate talent AND fill needs. Mavs & Lakers don't win without preseason pickups Chandler & Artest last two years. It takes vision & execution. Can't always be afraid to pull the trigger.

I agree but the sixers haven't reached the stage when they are one move away from contention. They are far from there.

Not a reason to go into a freeze like Thorn has. Brackins to-and-fro D league, the transactions. Like you said, needs exist, fill 'em like a pharmacist [phrasing dedicated to the eversweet poster GoSixers].

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Stan reply to Statman on Mar 8 at 9:40
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I thought the question was Ray Allen for a 1st round pick and Meeks or Lou along with Nocioni.

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Th Six reply to Statman on Mar 8 at 11:31
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Ray Allen would not be the answer for this team regardless of the game last night.

Speaking of trading Turner for Allen reminded me of something that has really been bugging me.

Outside of a top 10 superstar what kind of a player should the Sixers pursue that will realistically make them a legitimate contender?

I was thinking about possible trades for high profile players that might be available, cpuld possibly be interested in the Sixers and are young enough (Iguodala's age has to be the limit right?) and the only guys i came up with were: Millsap, Bogut, Ellis, Okafor, G.Wallace, Bargnagni, Martin, J.Johnson and Granger. Do you guys think IF the Sixers were able to make a trade involving some combination of Nocioni, picks, one of the rookie big men, Lou or Turner (i am assuming Holiday and Thad are off limits) they can become a contender with some of these guys?

I think Bogut and Milsap provide major upgrades at the PF and C position long term but do they make them a contender? They will solve their rebounding issues (assuming Bogut is healthy of course), but they most probably won't solve their issues on the offensive end even though they will provide inside scoring and much needed free throws. And for the rest i am really skeptical if they will significantly improve the team at all.

This is not really a question regarding specific players rather than the possibilities of the general direction of the team. Bare in mind all those guys come with a baggage (usually their contract) which will probably limit the team from making subsequent moves.

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Stan reply to Xsago on Mar 8 at 10:15
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Millsap- Yes
Bogut- Yes
Ellis- No
Okafor- No
G.Wallace- No
Bargnagni- No
Martin- No
J.Johnson- No
Granger- No

None of those guys makes us a contender and I'd only trade for Millsap and Bogut if Howard was completely off the table.

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ryano reply to Stan on Mar 8 at 10:44
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How about this trade?

http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7zq8x2l

Gets rid of Lou and gives up Thad, but Millsap and Favors provide the front court depth we've been missing. Thad is a very tough loss, but I think the depth up front with Millsap and Favors would be worth it. Does Utah make that deal? I'm not sure I would, but Lou and Thad are the types of players Utah needs- high energy-instant O.

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Stan reply to ryano on Mar 8 at 10:47
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I don't think Utah would make that deal. They'd be left with Jefferson and Kanter as their frontcourt

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Th Six reply to Xsago on Mar 8 at 11:48
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You can probably add Al Jefferson to that list.

Im happy to see Turner get good production on the floor with Jrue and Iggy, as said before Lou's game just kill Turner's game. I need to see Turner do this more often, specially when teams starting to put him back on the scout report, but as I said he looks like a player that needs the ball to be effective and get rythm for his shots to follow, some guys are like that, others like Meeks or Thad are more instant offense. Now coach has put Turner in a position that fit his strengh, and now we can see if he is the player they thought they got on draft or if he is just a role player. I still wanna see Turner after a summer of NBA training with the team setting goals and monitoring him, maybe his so so athleticism may improve half a second but with his ballhandling ability may be enough to get to the paint regularly.

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eddies' heady's on Mar 8 at 10:18
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Something seems off here. Didn't just last week Thorn went on radio and declared that Turner wasn't a point guard? And vaguely called him a 3? Now Doug is gushing last night after the game about how that's what Turner is - a point guard?

Appears the conversation is going to take another heated turn regarding Mr. Turner. It started with Meeks, and why was he 'taking' Turner's minutes. It then minimally went to Lou getting 4th quarter burn over him and why was Lou 'closing' but not Turner. It could have shifted to why wasn't he getting more minutes over Andre at the 3 (if you go by Thorn's whatever-logic), but I think we all would agree that Andre is clearly more vital and capable at that position. Well, now it seems it's going the way of stirring the pot of those in the Jrue Holiday is this teams' (should be) point guard camp, that is, if we take Doug's words for it.

It looks like it's taken a year and a half for this organization to finally realize that Turner is not going to flourish as a 2-guard or off-the-ball, as they told us in the beginning that they drafted him for. Same thing with they've realized that he's not a suitable or natural wing man or small forward, or at least not good enough to overtake Andre Iguodala.

So after all this time, we've arrived at the pretty obvious conclusion that he's a ball-dominant player that has a better chance of excelling if he's given the rock. Not exactly a novel concept if you watched even a smidgen of his college career.

So this leads me to, if this is going to actually be the case and their too-long-awaited conclusion of Turner, we basically took two back-to-back drafts and drafted figuratively, and I emphasize figuratively, the same type of player - a would-be point guard.

That's some way to "build" a team. Someone please save me. Or get DiLeo and Witte and the leftovers from Comcast the hell out of here, or, please let it come forward that it was ALL on Stefanski's plate and he ruled and overruled the whole roost.

Let the Evan Turner is stunting Jrue Holiday's growth at the point position, and, Jrue Holiday is stunting Evan Turner's growth and stealing his minutes at the point position rhetoric commence; now. On your mark ......

Well, it's not like they were Jrue's minutes to steal at the point anyway. He's been playing more minutes as a score-first combo guard the entire season.

If you're going to play JTI on the perimeter together, then I think you kind of have to completely throw roles out the window on the offensive end and just go by matchups. That's the advantage. All three of those guys can initiate offense, so if Turner has a size advantage, give him the ball. If Jrue has a quickness advantage, run it through him. If you're in a rut and you need some penetration to get an easy look for a big, give it to Iguodala. At least that's probably the ideal.

Jrue and Iguodala really need to keep up their three-point shooting for JTI to work, imo. But if Turner can present himself as a legit scoring threat, and teams start putting their best perimeter defenders on him, then things should get much easier for Iguodala and Jrue. And if teams gameplan to take Turner out of it, well, then you've got an advantage on the wings w/ the other two guys. We're a long, long way from that point, but it's definitely not something you would ever get from playing Meeks between those two, and really it doesn't materialize when Lou plays with them, because Lou is really bad at recognizing it and he holds the ball too much, taking away whatever advantage is created.

The first step is for Turner to reproduce this type of effort, which is a big question. If he does so with any regularity, then the next thing is for him to be able to take a back seat when defenses lock down on him and set up the other guys.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 11:17
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I really don't disagree with anything you said man, but that's a shitload of "ifs" in there.

Turner has done this very same thing before, only to vanish for 20 or so games. His jack-in-the-box requires too many turns of the handle.

But anyway, if you do as you say and focus on the matchups, I think that's looking at it more individually. Team defenses will adjust accordingly, and at that point we don't have any shooters for those kickouts off penetration/double teams, and we don't have a legit big for a dumpdown/roll to the hoop/lob finisher.

"IF" we were in a fantasy land, and Turner was this guy we saw last night, you've basically got three ball-handlers/initiators on the perimeter and three guys who can on any given night accumulate a decent amount of offense. I don't like being pessimistic and like to consider it more of a realistic outlook but, you ain't going anywhere or winning shit if that even materializes.

Now I realize there's other scenarios and options by way of roster upgrades/changes that can come of it, but staying with that as the status quo doesn't equal any type of ascension. I know, I know, Rome wasn't built in a day, but for arguments sake it shouldn't keep taking 29 years+ to build it either. If these three work and can co-exist you still aren't any closer.

Yes, you would have to get creative. Like roll one of your shooting bigs to a wing and have ET operate more in the post.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Mar 8 at 11:50
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Ummm...you mean like, say Spencer Hawes?

;-)

I would agree that before any other decisions need to be made about what to do with the roster, we need to see if JTI actually, you know...WORKS? Which is what I thought we were doing at the beginning of the season (at least as it related to closing games...until we went back to LouWillVille)...or what I thought we were doing last season, after Iguodala came back from his post-WC resting of his knee (before Collins inserted Meeks into the starting lineup).

I don't know if it was Collins, Thorn or the Tooth Fairy who finally said, "we need to figure out whether JTI works, once and for all"...and to their credit - if what they said last night is to be believed - they are staking a big part of this season to answering that question.

It's about fucking time.

I agree that anybody with half a brain had to know that, based on what he did in college, Turner needs the ball in his hands to maximize his toolbox...and hoping to turn him into Ray Allen (calling Herb Magee) was the equivalent to drawing an inside straight with the river card. I would LOVE to really know the "war room" conversations that led to the decision to take him. What's done is done, though...

Here's hoping that rather than trying to pound the square peg in the round hole, that we will focus on what JTI CAN do, as opposed to what they cannot do...how we can force other teams to adjust to US...just watching Iggy and ET work that post-up game against Rondo last night was a thing of beauty. We need to do that EVERY FREAKING GAME - find the mismatch on the floor and RUN IT TO DEATH. I also love how JTI changes things on the defensive end...my guess is if Meeks was starting last night, he would have been on Allen - and how nice it was to have Jrue on him instead. How having Turner on Rondo may have limited the C's from running the two-man game with Rondo and Pierce. While I am sure that there will be times where a Jrue/ET backcourt will be challenged in terms of overall quickness, there will also be times like last night where the positives will outweight the negatives.

I have no idea if JTI will work - as much as I think it can and hope it will. I am just happy that it sounds like they are committed to finding out themselves...we have a LOT of decisions to make this summer, and I think that doing this now can only help.

What you said about defenses adjusting, that's kind of my point. You've got three guys who can attack, so the adjustment is to take Turner away, then you go to the other two. You adjust to take Jrue away, you go to the other two. You trap Iguodala, that opens things up.

It's not an ideal offense. You're going to have to rely on Jrue and Iguodala being able to knock down threes (I'm confident in Jrue at this point, he's been above league-average each of his first three seasons. Iguodala is too streaky for me). You're going to have to be able to beat a zone, which I think they'll see more of. But all they really need is for their offense to remain above average to be a very good team, and this strengthens the defense. I think it strengthens the defense before the first shot goes up, but that depends on Turner's focus level. But once that first shot goes up, it strengthens it a lot more because of his rebounding.

Again, all of this is based off Turner playing at least close to the level he played last night. Or a reasonable facsimile of that type of efficiency. If he reverts, the offense is going to be worse than it was with Meeks at the two.

They definitely have to learn how to attack a zone...

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 11:35
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Like Doug said last night, this isn't easy. And once teams start to gameplan for Turner and escalate him in the scouting report, you've got a hugh wrench thrown in which leads me to totally agree with the O being worse than with Meeks at the two.

Disagree about two things. First, Turner's game last night was his best game by far. He played well against Phoenix last year when he was hitting jumpers. He got into the lane last night and controlled the game. Not saying that's repeatable, but this was something new.

"IF" we were in a fantasy land, and Turner was this guy we saw last night, you've basically got three ball-handlers/initiators on the perimeter and three guys who can on any given night accumulate a decent amount of offense. I don't like being pessimistic and like to consider it more of a realistic outlook but, you ain't going anywhere or winning shit if that even materializes. "

Yeah you are, because here's the great thing about all of that. Nobody can freaking score on that lineup. It's not a guaranteed championship of anything, but if Evan Turner plays at or around the high level he did last night, this team has a much higher ceiling.

Yeah that quote makes no sense to me. A guy potentially improving the team is a good thing even if they are not yet a conteder. If your only standard for a guy is whether or not they get you to a champion level then you are always going to be disappointed because those types of impact players are few and far between. How many of those types of players have been drafted #2 in the past 30 years? (Durant and Kidd.)

If your supposed best case scenario is true then at very minimum it means you have a great trading asset. That in itself is a big deal considering what we were looking at with Et as a marginal bench player.

Lynam compared Turner to Magic Johnson in his rebounding and pushing the ball up the floor without need of an outlet pass. Move over, Jrue. Or calm down, Jimmy.

I said the same last night saying they will have to try and use him like a mini-Magic. It is not saying ET holds a candle to Magic- more that he needs to play that sort of power-point role to be effective,

To be fair, Collins took most of the point responsibilities from Jrue a year ago, so it is not that big of a change for Jrue right now to be asked to be more of a scorer than a true point. In fact it has been point by comittee for a while (Jrue/Iggy/Lou) so giving Et some of that role is not a big change for the team's overall scheme.

I'd like to see them take the traditional PG responsibilities away from Lou when he's in the game. Run him off the ball for catch-and-shoot, or catch-and-drive looks, but it kills the flow when he's bringing the ball up and dribbling for 18 seconds getting no one else involved.

Think of him as a safety blanket when he's on the floor as well. Run your offense, try to get a good look. If nothing materializes you can always iso him with about 10 seconds left on the clock and let him make something happen.

I totally agree

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 11:21
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But aren't you a fan of having a traditional PG, and not a point-by-committee? Like, I have gleaned from you that you prefer more defined roles from a coaching standpoint, no?

Yep, I'm definitely a fan of having a traditional PG, but you have to dance w/ who brung ya, and if the Sixers don't have the personnel to allow for that. They probably could transition to it w/ Jrue handling the ball all the time, but that wouldn't be playing to the roster's strengths.

Now if you get a big who can finish and maybe command a double once in a while, then the dynamics of the roster change. But with what they have right now, a mult-pronged attack is the best way to get the most out of each guy.

If we're talking about the type of offensive basketball I like, it's essentially the polar opposite of what the Sixers play. I hate all these jumpers, absolutely hate them.

Yeah, we can all dream. But I guess it is nice to have Lou as a safety valve if the get stuck having to get bailed out late in the shot clock. But he has to learn to save that type of play for those late clock situations.

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Rich reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 13:18
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The thing about that which would be effective is that Lou can be damn good running off screens. If there's a late close out, the defense is at his mercy. You aren't hurting Lou at all in that spot.

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eddies' heady's on Mar 8 at 11:30
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Really, what does it say about our braintrust when Rod Thorn goes on wax exactly a week ago and says Player X is not this, then after Player X shines in said role, the coach Doug Collins says Player X is exactly what the GM/President just said a week before he wasn't?

Why did Dr. J and Andrew Toney and the bunch have to pull me in at such a young age to this franchise? Oh, brother....

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eddies' heady's reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 8 at 11:32
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I mean, is this incompetence or just ordinary difference of evaluation? Cause it bothers the hell out of me.

The summer before Collins 1st season he told Thad he would be exclusively playing SF. Thad even trimmed down some to prepare. Then in camp it was clear the team desperately needed a PF, and all of the sudden Thad was 100% a PF. Things change. people see things differently. That is not always a bad thing.

This is not the White House where you need to project a consistent message. If there are different views within the organization it is not such a huge problem, and it is also fine for views to evolve with time.

I'd love to know what's going on in the front office, and really why Turner was put into the starting lineup when he was. I mean, he didn't do anything on the floor that warranted to the sudden burst of confidence from his coach, and then in his first start he looked exactly like the same player who had been stinking it up on the bench. Then before last night's game we hear that he's the starter for the rest of the season. Did that come down from above? If it did, did it come from Thorn? Or was this Collins switching from the stick to the carrot?

I have no idea what Thorn's role is with the team. No idea if he is the one who wanted to trade Iguodala for Monta. If he was, and this ownership group put the kibosh on it, then he's kind of nutless in the organization, right? I mean, your new bosses, before they even became your bosses, basically called him an idiot.

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Th Six reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 11:57
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Bingo. This is the question. I don't like this big mystery as to exactly how much influence Thorn is exerting and if he and Collins are even on the same page. Reminds me to some degree of the Eagles play-calling responsibilities. Who is doing it?

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anonymous reply to eddies' heady's on Mar 8 at 11:42
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How about just Rod Thorn's honest and correct evaluation of what Turner had been to that point. It's not like he said Turner can't improve. I dont see the issue.

I wouldn't read too much into what Thorn said about Turner. There could have been a number of motives behind that. Maybe he was trying to entice other teams to call about Turner's availability by implying that the Sixers didn't see him as a fit with our roster. Maybe he was just defending his coach from the critics who wanted to see Turner playing more, explaining that Turner just hadn't played well enough, etc.

I think the odds are a lot better that Turner has about 5 more games like this in his career than that this game represents any kind of lasting improvement.

Depends. If he's legitimately given 30+ minutes/game, I think no matter what he'd probably be good for a game like this a couple of times a month. He's capable of getting hot, he's shown that before. The issue is going to be his baseline. If he has one game like this sandwiched between 10 bad games, he's not a starter. If his baseline is half of this, and he explodes every once in a while, he can be a difference maker. I'd say the former is more likely than the latter, just based on his first 1.5 years in the league.

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bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 12:23
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Before Monday night, Turner had exactly SEVEN starts with Jrue and Iguodala...all before his 20th NBA game. I think that Turner is MUCH better prepared to handle this now than he was then...don't you?

I also think that Collins is much better to handle it this time around than the last time they tried this...back then, they were still thinking of ET as the SG and Jrue as the PG...and the entire offensive philosophy flowed from that premise. Now that Collins has 1) stated catagorically that he views Turner as a PG, and 2) has publically stated that he wants to see Jrue more aggressive with his offense, it makes sense to me that the the sets and plays that will be run will have a different baseline construct than they did the last time they tried this - yes? Collins has also had 1.5 years to see that, with Jrue showing a pretty consistent stroke from 3 and with Iguodala's improvement with the 3, he can feel more comfortable running plays where ET has the ball in his hand and - depending on who they are matched up with defensively - they can run plays that will include getting good 3 point looks for either Jrue or Iggy.

There will hopefully be more iso sets...more taking advantage of mismatches on the floor )like ET on Rondo last night)...in short, more of the kind of offense run in the NBA EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I would think that - as the did last night with Turner on Rondo - Collins is a good enough coach (and JTI are smart enough players) to find those mismatches on the floor and exploit them.

As far as Collins or Thorn changing their mind on Turner, it reminds me of the classic John Maynard Keynes quote (it is at least attributed to him)...where he had publically changed his position on some Depression-era monetary policy theory, he said, "when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"

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Tray reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 17:07
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Yeah, I agree with your less hyperbolic formulation of what I said.

I'm a hyperbole filter during the daylight hours.

I'm a huge Turner apologist and games like last night are the reason why. It's amazing to watch him when he is shooting with confidence. His mechanics are so much better, less rushed. Last night was what i had been waiting for all year. Now, getting to the issue of if he can duplicate it, i think he can.

1. He rebounds. Even when he can't throw a brick into the ocean he hits the glass. If Doug simply tells him to rebound and push it hard, everytime, he will get 10 and 8. Now if he actually hits a few of those early drives to the hole, his confidence soars. Then he will hit a few mid-range jumpers as well. I think 14-8-4 is a realistic expectation for him in his new point forward role.

Turner on the floor with Lou is no good. Turner is too much of a headcase to be able to handle playing with Lou. Lou is going to dominate the ball, period. Turner needs the ball to be effective at all. De-coupling those two is a step in the right direction.

If Turner shows that he is really a point guard, do you start listening to offers for Jrue? Wow, that would be crazy. You could get Steph Curry for Jrue. You could get Derrick Favors for Jrue. That's getting ahead of ourselves, but overall I'm pumped. Above all, i really want to see what this kid's got. Last night was not a 5 times a career game. He just rebounds too well and his handle is too good. He can get to the rim. I'm mostly worried about Jrue getting lost.

Brian, i think your spot on. You play to the mis-match. What do you think Iggy meant when he said stress free basketball? 3 players that can handle just balling? Not worried about creating looks for others out of necessity?

I'm sure Turner will shot 3 for 7 Friday night, but we just need to keep riding it to see how it plays out.

One other thing, is Vuc your starting center next year? Do you really pay Hawes with this kid around? I know it's not ideal but 2 years from now Vucevic will be serviceable. You put a big bad 4 next to him and he can put up 12 and 8.

Sorry for the rambling. I'm super pumped.
Thoughts?

Given the lack of great centers in the NBA, you might consider re-signing Hawes and hoping to get 48 minutes of servicable (and affordable) C play out of the 2 of them. Yes I feel dirty for saying "re-sign Hawes", but I do think Hawes and Vuce are a nice complement in terms of filling 48 minutes of C play. They can be used in similar sets, but each bring a little bit different look (Vuce with the inside scoring and Hawes with the better perimeter game.)

It would be contingent on getting a good PF replacement for Brand- but at least it means you have a cheap option at C. Likewise, Thad and Lavoy can give good bench minutes at PF.

I may be coming late to this, and apologies if it's already been discussed, but what do you guys make of Hochman's comments re Turner? Collins's response and Hochman's apology were cryptic enough that I believe there's something there. I'm not so interested in speculating as to what Turner's personal issue is, so much as that it seems like the Sixers are convinced that that issue, and not a lack of talent, are holding Turner back. Witness Collins suddenly promoting Turner to the starting lineup the same day as Hochman's comments and Turner's glowing performance.

Which comment from Collins was vague?

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Naik reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 14:32
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Brian,

Collins's response didn't deny there was an issue, he just said he was "shocked" that Hochman would "throw something out there like that and leave it open-ended." That to me is saying Collins was shocked that Hochman said it and left the door open, not that there isn't an issue.

I'm a lawyer so admittedly I may be parsing words here.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20120308_Evan_turns_in_a_keeper_as_Sixers_rout_Celtics.html

Strange. Turner said he had no idea what Hochman was talking about. If that's what Collins said, it isn't a denial.

Does the style voose play remind anyone exactly of ilgauskas? Tiny hops tip in king!

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L. A. Steve on Mar 8 at 14:37
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Well, what do you know, what a difference a day makes! Can you believe it, Doug finally takes the shackles off, and changes Evan's job description. Until last night his primary duty, within the half court offense, was to dribble the ball up the court, pass it to a teammate, and go stand in the corner, expecting a pass that never comes. However, last night, for whatever reason, Doug changes ET's assigned duties; Evan, take the ball, go anywhere you want, and make something good happen. Well, needless to say, mission accomplished, a job well done!

Last night, Evan got to play his game and everybody benefitted, everybody had a good game, and the offense looked great, especially the big guy's - Elton and Nik. As far as I'm concerned, we don't need a center, we already have one, I love Nik, I love his game, forget Spencer Hawes, it's all Nik, Now, I know Elton isn't the Elton of old, but, honestly, I don't know where we'd be without him. He's our muscle, and on defense when Doug puts him at the 5, it's amazing; he's as tough as nails, and doesn't give an inch to anyone. The way he blocks those big center's shots, and the fact that he's only 6'8" and doesn't have much lift, he's something else. His thumb must be getting better because his shot is starting to fall, last night they were going in with consistency.

Finally, one more thing about about ET, can you say SHAKE-N-BAKE, shades of a Philadelphia legend, Earl the Pearl Monroe. I mean Evan was putting on his moves, faking the shit out of the Boston defenders, and the fans were going nuts with the ooh's and the awe's, it was definitely cool. Additionally, he's got a great handle to go along with those awesome moves. If things continue in some form and fashion similar to last night, and I believe they will, I see no reason to make a deal; unless we get a great offer for Lou Will, I feel putting Evan in the starting lineup is our trade, so let's just ride it out and see how it goes, I expect things will be looking up!

I like Turner, but I will hold off on the Magic Johnson or even Earl the Pearl comparisons for now, LOL

I'm glad people are getting excited though. Destroying the Celtics in an important game, with a great game from a young player who has been struggling is a great way to energize the fan base again. I hope it isn't temporary.

I think the similarities end at their size and ability to man the point, which, to be fair, rarely come in a single package.

The great thing about Turner last night is that nothing he did seemed extraordinary. Other than his shots falling, it was basically as could be expected: he got enough minutes and touches into a rhythm and proceeded to show off the better parts of his skill set. I don't think it's been mentioned but that's two straight games with a Turner-to-Iguodala alley-oop connection, which is awesome. You have to dig his creativity in transition.

It really surprised me how he came out as the primary facilitator. Obviously the results speak for themselves, but the rest of the team seemed to respond to his leadership. Jrue, by the way, is absolutely not being marginalized. This is actually who he was expected to be coming out of UCLA. I think the duo of Holiday/Turner is a very complimentary and potent one.

With Iguodala in the tertiary (of the starters) facilitator role, he does so well as the defensive perimeter anchor and transition ace. With his feet set, he also looks tremendously confident behind the line. Off the dribble he looks good up to about 20 feet. He's absolutely the All-Star on this team and just does not need to carry an offensive load for that to be apparent.

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bebopdeluxe reply to Cin on Mar 8 at 15:23
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Well stated. For all of the focus on "Evan is a point guard", Iguodala and Jrue had 14 assists between them.

That is the BEAUTY of this. We can take advantage of mismatches. We have THREE guys who can handle the ball, facilitate and pass. Turner DRAMATICALLY improves our transition game.

And, of course, on the other side of the ball...things get a little better as well.

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Rich reply to bebopdeluxe on Mar 8 at 16:37
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I would offer a word of caution before people blow Turner's night out of proportion: They played an old team, albeit a good defensive one, on the second night of a back to back. Not that anything should be taken away, but Pierce and Allen were ready to be taken apart. They had no shot-blockers either. The Sixers lived in the paint last night, but that's probably not going to continue.

It's great when Turner plays well, but you can't have the guy being the whole offense if he offers up 1-12 performances. You'll lose to a lot of teams. Saying JTI will balance things out and make it work is nice and sounds logical, but it's much harder to put that in practice.

Let's hope Turner continues to play this well.

The offense has to continue to go with the hot hand and Collins will still try to get Lou going every game, and Meeks will get his chances too, but having Turner solidify minutes ahead of those two is only a plus. Even if he isn't on fire he can help in other ways. I guess the question is if he'll recognize those circumstances and respond accordingly. As you said, it's only a hope at this point.

As a side note, I really liked the starting line-up with Turner and Vuce on Monday. He's only a rook so it won't be that potent this year, but when the chemistry is developed that is a lot of punch in there. They didn't fare well on the scoreboard but came out so energized. The lack of chemistry had them thinking too much and it kind of fell apart after a bit.

I agree. He basically took the same shots as Monday but they just fell for him versus the Celtics.

Hoop Data doesn't have the stats up, but he was 0/8 from outside of 10 feet on Monday. 1/4 in the lane. My guess is he took a higher percentage of his shots in the lane last night than that. But it wasn't like he hit 6 long twos last night or something fluky like that. Mostly, he took good shots and hit them.

I was really talking about the fact that he took shots within his game. He didnt force anything or settle for a bunch of jumpshots. The shots he took in both games were totally makable.

I was actually agreeing with you. Thought he worked his way into easier shots, but nothing crazy. Seemed repeatable, if he doesn't get swallowed by a bigger defender, but if teams do that, they've got mismatches at the other two perimeter positions, most likely.

I know you were but you should know by now I dont really pay attention to Hoop Data, 82games and Synergy. I just watch each game twice and trust my own eyes.

My eyes told me he took fewer jumpers. Doesn't hurt to see if the numbers saw the same thing as your eyes, though.

Gotcha

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GoSixers reply to Brian on Mar 8 at 17:24
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Heh. Not in the mood to parse right now.

I've mentioned before concern that even in College ET struggled to score effectively against bigger, athletic defenders (like when he struggled against Tenn in the tourney.) I'm not sure last night really assuaged those concerns given he went off against a couple of fossils (PP/Ray) and a smaller guard(Rondo.) ET really thrived in college against smaller defenders (PG's.)

I'm hoping that in the next few games we see ET have similar success against some athletic defenders. But being on the floor with Iggy and Jrue will at least make it unlikely he draws the best and longest defender.

Looking at the upcoming schedule we should get answers soon. Now if we can only see them win a few close games...

In fact these next 9 games will tell us a lot. 8 of them are against teams that could give them trouble. Win 6 of these and they are probably in good shape in terms of winning the Atlantic.

The fact that you raise the possibility of winning 6 of the next 9 is a good sign (I think?). Given the Sixers' struggles in close games, the wins would likely have to be "comfortable" ones -- so it is a good thing that the Sixers have shown a penchant for blowing teams out (they lead the league in 20+ point wins).

Conventional thinking is that being able to blow out bad teams is a good indicator of being able to win close games against good (and bad) teams. That's why the Sixers are still #4 in the Hollinger Power Rankings, despite being #10 or #11 in actual record. Even in the Sixers' current 3-8 run, they've managed to compile three more 20+ point blowouts. We'll see if they continue to confound the "Expected Wins" formula (expected record under that formula: 30-10).

Two teams are significantly underperforming according to expected W/L. The Sixers, who should be about 7 games better, and the Trail Blazers, who are one game under .500 with the 3rd-best differential in the West and 7th best in the entire league. 10 games under their expected record, and 1.5 games out of the playoffs.

Nice to see Turner have a good game for once. Would like to see it against some younger competition that wasn't dead tired on the tail end of a back to back. Still, its encouraging.

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Tom Moore on Mar 8 at 21:57
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Every time I watch the Magic play I'm shocked by how devoid of perimeter playmakers they have. Jameer and Duhon are probably the worst PG combo in the league at setting up their teammates, and the SGs are even worse. Dwight would be absolutely crazy to re-sign there.

korver has missed about 5 wide open looks


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