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Brand Won't Let Sixers Lose

Didn't get to see this one but thanks for the recap Brian...small sample size rules apply, but does Brand showing he still has the potential for games like this in him change any of the thinking towards amnestying him? Since all signs point to a schedule that's back to normal with frequent rest next season, and he seems to be such a big part of their wins against playoff caliber teams...don't you almost have to see what this team can do with a semi healty and rested EB and AI9 alongside a semi average center next year?

Not sure how they'd acquire a decent center w/out using the amnesty on Brand. The decision on him really comes down to how they finish this season and perform in the playoffs for me.

Marty reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 10:04

Not sure who this "decent" center is you are always alluding to? Is there someone out there that I'm not aware of? There are like 4, 5 decent centers in the NBA and I don't see any possible way Sixers can obtain them (Gortat, Hibbert, Bogut, Jordan, Chandler). There's even less of a chance they can get a guy like Howard or Bynum. Not trying to troll you by any means, I just always hear you talking about the Sixers finding this elusive big man but have never seen you actually present a realistic trade or free agent move that would result in a frontcourt upgrade. Would love to hear your ideas on this.

Stan reply to Marty on Apr 1 at 11:10

Maybe a guy like Omer Asik. This draft is deep so maybe they can get a guy like McAdoo, Moultrie, Leonard or Young. Maybe they can trade Evan Turner for a guy with potential like Favors or Kanter.

I think this team would be at least 5 games better if they had a center that could rebound and not miss so many jumpers.

I'm not sure there is a decent center out there. That may be aiming too high. I just want an upgrade over Hawes. Going from terrible to below average is an upgrade. But if there is a deal to be made for a decent center, they're probably going to need cap space to make it happen.

If Nash leaves Phoenix, Gortat might be available, for example.

JCP reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 18:33

Brian, do you really think we need someone like Gortat? In my opinion he won't work in our team. He is not a shot blocker. He is not an offensive rebounder. He is not a post-up player. He is fast, great screen/roll player, but he needs a real point guard to be effective. And we don't have guy like Nash. I'd rather take Bismack Biyombo.

Personally, I think he'd be a perfect fit. Guy who can finish on the inside, move his feet on the defensive end, defend the post. I'd love to have Biyombo, but he's on a rookie contract playing for a rebuilding team, I don't see why they'd trade him. Gortat's making decent money playing for a sinking team that might lose its star, so I'd say he's likely to be on the block.

Alvin reply to JCP on Apr 1 at 21:23

I feel that Gortat is a great fit too. For one, he doesn't play soft, and he's not a complete zero on the offense end like say, Bismack. He can finish well inside and isn't soft (repeated for importance). Yes he needs a good point guard but Iggy, Turner and Jrue are all good at creating openings for big men, they just need one who can finish inside.

choopong on Apr 1 at 7:49

The actual link to the actual article


I'm quite surprised by the surprise of the article writer at liberty ballers as everything the ownership has done and said has indicated exactly what was indicated (in his opinion) on the phone call. This is not shocking news, this is not ground breaking news, this is obvious news to anyone paying attention who doesn't just buy BS spun out by ownership...every comment about the fan experience made by this man has made it clear what is important and how they measure success

eddies' heady's reply to GoSixers on Apr 1 at 12:47

That article just inflames my long-standing sorrows. Here's a comment I made right after the game Fri night:

"Utter disgrace. Looking at Vesely and the other kid, what a luxury WAS has, and that's ignoring Nene. This game was blah. But there's dissension, somewhere.

Where? I'm not that sure we can say, but I'm damn glad it's happening, maybe it'll wake the owners up and not just be happy with the increased ticket sales."

Well, I wasn't attempting to foreshadow with the reference to the 'increased ticket sales', but that looks to be the case and I had a bad vibe about it just from the rah-rah coming from this guy all year. Yeah, you have to have on a business face and exemplify positivity, but it boils down to nothing but putting lipstick on a pig, to me.

I realize I'm known for sticking my neck out and making declarative statements/opinions, but this group isn't going anywhere. This so-called "core". They're too flawed individually, but more importantly they're really flawed as far as roster construction.

There seems to be this mindset from some of the fan base that you should throw the young guys out there and "let them grow and develop". Well, what good is that really doing when, for some of us, you've probably seen enough?

Let's say Jrue or Evan make incremental strides from playing more and become just a tad above average players, where are you going and what are you actually winning if that even happens? Nowhere and nothing, I'd say; actually that's not being completely fair - you're still treading right into the wide swath of mediocrity.

These owners appear to be the types to play right along with this mindset. Keep holding on to shreds of hope with players they feel attached to, for whatever reasons, just as long as the gate receipts and other incomes keep them operating in the black.

I don't know what they may be able to do or how they're going to do it (esp w/ the silly so-called 'new' CBA), but something MUST be done. THIS summer.

But likely, as I frequently like to quote tk, as fans we're just going to be three years away from being three years away. I mean, it's been an admittedly small window for them to do anything so far, but listening to what they 'say' why should we have any reason to believe any different?

So, so, so frustrating.

The original exchange as well as the follow-up articles by Michael Levin and Derek on libertyballers were all interesting. The question has been debated before in many forms, but I was thinking it comes down to how probable one thinks each outcome is. I would break it down as follows.

Scenario A (current, "Iguodala = best player")
45% chance, make playoffs, lose in first round
35% chance, make playoffs, win one round
5% chance, make playoffs, win two rounds
15% chance, miss playoffs, get low-impact draft pick

Scenario B, near-term (tank next year):
25% chance, make playoffs, lose in first round
50% chance, miss playoffs, get low-impact draft pick
20% chance, miss playoffs, get future All-Star draft pick
5% chance, miss playoffs, get franchise player

Scenario B, long-term (tank every year):
25% chance, become a perpetual loser ("Clippers")
25% chance, make playoffs occasionally ("Bucks")
40% chance, perennial second-round threat ("Hawks")
10% chance, become a threat to win the title ("Thunder")

I've made my views on this known in the past: I'm firmly entrenched in favor of Scenario A, would much rather see good basketball on a consistent basis than terrible basketball with a slight increase in "championship hopes."

What I'm really interested to know, if you favor Scenario B, is whether you think the long-term probabilities are any different than I've estimated them. If my 10% "threat to win the title" becomes 25%, then my preferred strategy would probably be different. But the important point is that the "optimal" strategy comes down to risk/reward, and I don't often hear estimates of how likely the "reward" is in the high-risk (perpetual tanking) strategy.

bebopdeluxe on Apr 1 at 9:32

I agree that DC brought Hawes back when ATL brought Smith back in...the problem is that Thad is too gassed right now to play against a physical stretch 4 like Smith, so he felt like he had to match size versus size.

I also agree that the double-standard on TO's for Jrue/ET versus others is maddening. At some point, you just have to let JTI figure it out on the floor.

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when they went to Turner's mismatch on Maynor late in the game...

Wow. Find the mismatch and EXPLOIT it.

That's a change around here.

Seems to me that this Sixers team was really finding it's stride a few weeks back when JTI were fully in control of the floor. Then Hawes returned from injury and Doug's insistence in shoehorning him back into the lineup and seemingly running all plays through him really bogged things down.

Hawes absence of a low post game kills his effectiveness with JTI on the floor. I know Vuce hasn't been all that great but his skill-set seems more of a match with this team.

This team does have the assets to get a good Center.

It would require giving up one of Jrue, Evan, or Andre. Its not that I think the three can't play together, but we need a quality center more than we need all three of those guys.

Barring that, would Kwame Brown be an upgrade over Hawes? How much money could we offer to Kamnan?

With the return of Brian's day-after analysis pieces, I'll jump in with a few observations.

- It bears repeating because it happens so rarely: down the stretch in the Hawks game, the Sixers scored twice in a one-possession game with under 2 minutes to play. The first one was an open 14-footer that Brand shot with confidence and knocked down. The second was a semi-isolation where Turner cleared space with a smaller man on him (Teague?) and knocked down an elbow jumper. I like that Turner was able to score, but in reality that wasn't too different from a Lou/iso move. The Brand jumper was more exciting, because it's the type of shot the Sixers can get (and hopefully make) with regularity.
- Along the same lines, the one and only bright spot in Friday's game was the Iguodala isolation at the end of the first half that ended in a Thad layup. I've long argued that a multiple-option play is the Sixers' best chance in "endgame" situations.
- The point about the Sixers winning without contributions from Thad and Lou was a good one, but that is part of a larger trend. They both have struggled for a while now, and I think it's because other teams have scouted them. Both Thad and Lou had good games in the blowout vs. Charlotte (Thad 10-12 for 20 points, Lou 8-12 for 19), but both have struggled otherwise in the last 10 games (Sixers 3-6 in the other 9). Thad has 77 points in the other 9 games (8.6 PPG), shooting 41%. Lou has 100 points in the other 9 games (11.1 PPG), shooting 39%.
- As ugly as the Wizards game was, if the Sixers had to split the games this weekend, it was better for them to win the Hawks game. We'll see if it makes any difference in the long run (I myself am concerned with the three remaining games vs. the Nets).

Stan reply to Statman on Apr 1 at 15:38

If the Heat lose today, I might stop watching NBA basketball for the next few months. At what point do the Nets start tanking? They are 8 games below 8th place with 15 games left in the season. Andy push they make would be futile and it would just take more ping pong balls out of the lottery

Don't stop...

Turner's end-of-game iso was different from Lou's in that it went in. If Lou had actually made his isos at the end of games, no one would have complained.

bebopdeluxe reply to spiller27 on Apr 1 at 17:10

Turner end-of-game iso was also different in that ET had Maynor by FIVE inches.

Find the mismatch, isolate it...and EXPLOIT it.

Lou going into BOSS mode is NOTHING like what the Sixers did when they gave the ball to Turner when he was being guarded by a guy who was five inches smaller than he was...that was SMART basketball.

There will be few times when JTI is out there that one of those guys will not have some kind of exploitable advantage...the key is to TAKE ADVANTAGE of it.

Maynor plays for OKC, and he's out for the year. He had Teague on him. I thought it was a post up rather than an iso, and a really good job.

bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 17:54

Sorry...I kept getting those guys mixed up before the draft as well..


agreed 100%

So besides injuries all around, I guess today Sixers fans should root for Miami over Boston, so the Celtics drop behind us and Miami gets closer to catching the Bulls...?

Well, we should always root for the celts to lose, but don't think we want Miami to catch the Bulls.

well so long as the Sixers can climb back up from 7 does it matter whether the Bulls or Miami end up 1-2? Can any of the other east playoff teams except maybe Orlando if they hit a crapload of 3s, take down either?

bebopdeluxe on Apr 1 at 17:13

For me, the ideal situation is for ORL to stay at 3, MIA to stay at 2 and us winning the Atlantic (with or without home court...although getting it would be the cherry on top).

Miami home 21-2 road 16-11...hmm no i guess that's the reason why nobody wants them to pass the Bulls...

how nice, a pissed off miami team on Tuesday

Why does Miami never shit the bed when we play them?

Because the mathcups favor the heat at pretty much every position against the sixers?

Celts and Rondo looked pretty good today like they always do on Sunday afternoons, but man, that was a piss poor effort by Miami.

am i crazy to think the sixers can get the 3 seed? only 3 behind the magic and we face them 2 more times

i dont think it will happen but its closer then i thought

Yes you're crazy to thin k the sixers can get the 3 seed

At this point I think it's a 50:50 shot they get the 4 seed

Forgetting how they've played, it's not just Orlando, they'd need to pass four teams to get the three seed. I don't think it's going to happen.

Can anyone guess what important stat the Sixers are worse at, by a substantial margin, than any NBA team since the Chicago Stags of 1946 (and they weren't really an NBA team)?

I'm gonna say free throw rate. They are last by a good margin.

Can you guess what important stat the Sixers are better at than any team ever in the history of the league (and the Chicago Stags)?

turnovers per game

Tray reply to Brian on Apr 1 at 22:16

Maybe that's because in the Sixers offense the ball never enters the paint and just gets skipped around the perimeter (hint hint).

It's certainly possible.

Here's a logic question for you, though. With the league-wide turnover rate up this season (.133 to .134 over the past three seasons, .139 this season), and the free throw rate is decidedly down (.210 this season, .229, .228, .236 and .231 over the past 4 seasons). Which is more remarkable, setting an all-time record for lowest FT rate, or setting an all-time record for turnover rate?

Tray reply to Brian on Apr 2 at 20:01

Well, to be fair, our stats on turnovers don't go back nearly as far as our stats on FT rate. Earliest season we have turnover rate for is 1973. So I'm going to cheat and saying that setting an all-time record in the NBA, going back to the late 40s, is more remarkable than setting a since-1973 record for turnover rate. Almost twice as many seasons, you know. Also, have you checked to see if freethrow rate is way down compared to all seasons, or just the last few? Because all you've shown is that it's not surprising that a 2011-12 team that's really bad at getting to the line would hold the record for the last 4 years.

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