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Jrue's Opportunity

So.... has enough timed passed to ask this question? Jrue Holiday or Ty Lawson?

Watching the Bynum presser.. you would think we won the Finals, but hey... can't hurt to show the guy some love. Not a bad introduction.

"To be honest, my experience has been so great so far I'm really leaning towards making this my home..." sweeeet

Yep, that's been the highlight so far. Love the comments regarding proximity to family, friends in Princeton.

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Tom Moore on Aug 15 at 15:12
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Sixers video: Hundreds of fans showed Andrew Bynum how glad they are that he's in Philadelphia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcwiHiEvs40

To my eyes his problems on offense are related to shooting too many long 2's and going away from contact on drives. The former can be easily fixed imo. The later is something he is going to have to learn to do. He is still really young though. Even if he can become just a bit better then he was his 2nd year that is a pretty good player when you take his D into acccount.

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tk76 reply to KH on Aug 16 at 8:46
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Yeah, I wish he could have learned from Lou how to draw fouls. It is something Lou worked on early in his career by having an assistant coach hit him with blocking pads on driving

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Tom Moore on Aug 15 at 19:56
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seriously we announce and intro the PERFECT player that this team needs, and the thread today gets SIX comments? Not even anybody complaining that the only players Bynum knew from our team were Hawes, Richardson and Nick Young?

If anyone was curious about Bynum and the pick and roll, the Lakers didn't run it much, but they had absolutely RIDICULOUS success on the same exact play.

Kobe would set a quick ball screen at the top of the key and act as a decoy after the ball was quickly swing to Gasol at the right elbow, where he would run a pick and roll with Bynum, who would come up from the right corner, screen, slip and catch and oop pretty much every time without fail. Unreal they didn't run it more.

Lets hope the Sixers will be ridiculously good at it too AND will run it often :).

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Rich reply to Xsago on Aug 16 at 17:04
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I don't know if they have a guy as skilled Pau (Hawes is a good passer, but not mobile), but man, it was just a pitch and catch at the rim for a dunk. Pretty much all of Bynum's rolling experience is a lob above the rim. He's damn effective when you get it there.

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Court_visioN reply to Rich on Aug 16 at 19:15
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well when you're bigger than everyone else and you have decent athleticism....

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Rich reply to Rich on Aug 16 at 22:18
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Here's a video of the play, though they ran it a few more times than this. He barely makes contact on the screens but the defense has no fucking clue what to do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI-TAolIyNA

For me, the simple solution is usually the most likely one. Jrue doesn't draw fouls at a sufficient rate because his narrow shoulders don't allow him to bull through contact and still get off an acceptable shot. Thus far he's been relegated to being opportunistic on his dribble drive, which he should continue to do, but to be that number two option he needs two things: superior court awareness when he does not have a great field of vision, and enough strength in his upper body to take advantage of the positioning he achieves on his drives. But I'll call it now: future Olympian.

Off-topic, but has anyone looked at the Nuggets' roster lately? They made out incredibly well in this trade; gave up Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington and a future protected 1st rounder for Iguodala, and now their starting lineup is this:

Ty Lawson
Andre Iguodala
Danilo Gallinari
Kenneth Faried
Javale McGee

No superstars here, yet, but that's just an exquisitely balanced team. Depending on how the Human Question Mark holds up at center it could be an early 2000s Detroit Pistons-style group. Some defensive shortcomings, but a lot of those have just been covered by the arrival of Iguodala. Not that it matters this year if Dwight Howard's back stays healthy.

But still, notice that every single player in the starting lineup was acquired either (1) a weirdly lopsided trade or (2) late in the draft. They were a fun team to watch last year, and this year they've got to be my favorite team in the West. I think they'll be the third seed behind the Lakers and Thunder.

(Also, HOLY SHIT ANDREW BYNUM)

They're going to be a fun team to watch on the fast break. I think they'll have the 4th best record behind LAL, OKC, and SAS. I want to see them go deep in the playoffs.

I think the weak link in this sixers team is going to be the coach. Collins has proven he's willing to sacrifice long term games for a regular season wins.

The stagnation in Jrue's game is due to he's learning what he can't do, so he's playing it safe. If he takes a long two and misses, Collins won't give him grief. But if he tries to drive to get a better shot, or draw a foul, or a throw a difficult pass resulting in a turnover - he'll get benched.

I couldn't agree more that we should see a lot more from Jrue this season and he'll have a fair opportunity to show us. While I'm very optimistic about his upside, were he anywhere close to a max contract player by this time next year I would be very surprised - and the Sixers would be a very formidable team. He's not in that ballpark right now.

Many highly regarded point guards are turnstyles on defense. Jrue is a plus defender already at an age where many players are raw rookies. An environment that values team defense, and a game time coach that accepts nothing less helped reinforce his talent on that area and he has Top 5 talent defensively in that facet of his game.

Learning not to turn the ball over is a priceless attribute in a point guard in my view. However, hard the lessons, they will pay dividends for a decade.

Personally, I attribute the relatively slower development in his offensive game to two factors.

First, there were no scorers to pass the ball to last year. This team was pathetic in that regard, and those they could shoot a little bit liked to dominate the ball themselves.
Second, DC never installed a sophisticated offense. Without a decent preseason - and virtually no practice days to the the compressed schedule - they went with an unimaginative, simplistic offensive scheme all year. It was the equivalent of watching football preseason games when they don't want to give anything away. [only problem is it stayed that way all year] I believe that factor was responsible for the slump in the second half of the season ... they were predictable, simple and didn't have the players to do it simply on talent.

This year, there will be more time to build sophisticated sets. Most of the shooters we added are of the catch and shoot variety rather than the 'black hole' variety. Plus, we've added a first rate post presence. All the ingredients should be there.

I'm looking forward too seeing double digit assists this year from Jrue, with a assist/TO ratio holding steady from last season. If so, that would be progress I'd be happy with.

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CM reply to TNT on Aug 17 at 12:28
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"double digit assists" is a lofty expectation.

2 guys in the league averaged that last year (Rondo and Nash).

People that can neither spell nor proofread should not write such long posts. Apologies.

The next Sam Cassell

hey so does anybody rememeber that awful coach w/the braces and hilarious postgame conferences? neither does this team, only TWO GUYS are left from that season!

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tk76 reply to das411 on Aug 17 at 0:45
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Not to mention the new owners, coach and GM.

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tk76 reply to tk76 on Aug 17 at 0:45
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And mascot?

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Tom Moore on Aug 17 at 12:19
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Link to offseason videos, including two from Bynum press conference:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/sixers/video/

ibaka re-signs with OKC, 4-48

That sucks. I honestly thought some team out there would have offered him the max. This means that OKC may be able to give Harden the max without hitting the $70 million luxury tax mark.

What's up with the Sixers GM search? First Ferry declined, probably because of lack of decision making power. Then Penn was almost a lock to get the job, but now it appears he too is taking Ferry's path. Mike Zarren is the latest guy rumored as a front runner for the job.

There are two possible explanations IMO:

1. The lack of decision making power scares everyone.
2. After getting Bynum the Sixers need a different kind of GM (advanced stats guy) rather than a salary cap specialist (Penn).

not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but Collins is attending Thad's wedding in Memphis this weekend & said he plans to continue using him off the bench.

“I’d like to continue to play Thad off the bench. I like his energy and his attitude he brings to us,” Collins said earlier this week when the team introduced Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson.

“From all the reports I got, he has his weight up to 229 pounds — he finished the season at 215,” Collins said. “The one thing with Thad is if you put him with a big guy that protects him, it makes him much better. So we think he’s going to be even better with Kwame and Andrew, who is going to be an even bigger help with the speed and quickness he plays with. Thad is going to be a big part of what we do.”

Ibaka is a great signing for the Thunder. There is no way if I were them I give Harden a max contract. He is a very good player, but not a dominant player. He did not have max player impact in the Finals last year. How do they get over the top against Miami in the next 3 years if they eliminate any flexibility to improve?

They won't have any flexibility anyway. Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka alone, pretty much kill their flexibility. Someone is going to offer Harden the max if he continues playing well next year. For the Thunder the choice is Harden for max money or nothing. The choice is obvious unless they find a way to trade him.

As for how they can improve, the answer is simple: internal growth (their entire core is very young) and minimum salary veterans.

They also have Perkins signed for a decent chunk of change, and I think the more important question than how are they going to beat the Heat is how are they going to beat the Lakers

Somehow, the Sixers dropped in ESPN's future power rankings after the Bynum trade. link

In case the Thunder decide not to pay Harden and trade him before they lose him for nothing do you guys think he is a guy the Sixers should target?

Is Jrue/Harden/Bynum a core of a championship contender? I guess it depends on Jrue's progress but i think if healthy a team with that core can definitely contend for the next decade. That's a core that sort of reminds me of the Parker/Ginobilli/Duncan core even though it's not as good.

Of course i am assuming the Sixers have the assets to go after Harden which may or may not be the case.

Had they not signed Hawes/Kwame for two years, they might've been able to offer him the max next summer. Though OKC could've matched.

Actually, would've taken more work than that. They'd need to get rid of Turner's contract as well. Possibly Lavoy, too.

The more important question to me is: Can he make this team a true championship contender? Because if not, than it's pointless making that deal. Assuming Bynum signs a new contract with the Sixers and Jrue signs a respectable contract as well, adding Harden with the max pretty much means they will have to go with the Jrue/Harden/Bynum core for the next 4-5 years.

He seems like a pretty good fit to me. Don't like his defense at all, but offensively he's superb.

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ojr107 reply to Brian on Aug 18 at 13:37
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My biggest concern regarding this team is the 4 position, and if we're going to spend big money on a free agent, I'd prefer it be at that position. I don't like the idea of playing Kwame or Hawes at the same time as Bynum.(As I don't think anyone on this board does) I Still a lot of question marks regarding Lavoy and how well he will mesh with Bynum. Thad may be a good fit with Bynum, but I still worry about him being undersized against a lot of 4s, even if he's playing with Bynum. The Gasol/Bynum front court seemed to have a lack of quickness both in the half court and fast break that was exposed in the playoffs two years in a row. Hopefully we can shed Brown/Hawes to set ourselves up to get a decent PF this summer.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Aug 18 at 12:11
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My guess would be, probably not.

Go to this blog for more sixers talk sixersfan.blog.com

hey remember that time Brian almost shut down this blog bc their offseason had been so hawful?

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20120819_Inside_the_Sixers___Turner_s_development_is_key_to_Sixers__revamped_lineup.html

I know he gets killed a lot here, there and everywhere, but Mitchell at least takes a stand here:

"But don't expect him to get the teacher's pet attention he has seen in the past. The Sixers' goals moving forward are a little bit too big for that."

That they are. It's put up or shut up time for Turner, and he should feel lucky he's getting another chance.

Also I have to say, I am sick of people making excuses for Turner. I did it for about a year and a half and at some point it just hit me that I wasn't being honest to myself. He's been a really bad basketball player so far in his career, and it's time for people to start realizing the challenges he has in front of him. I want him to do well, but he's been an anemic offensive player up to this point in his career.

I like Liberty Ballers. It's a good site with some good writers who are passionate, but the "Turner Is Ready For A Breakout Season" article was very off-base IMO.

I hope the guy is right and Turner comes out and kicks ass, but he has shown absolutely nothing in his first two years to suggest the such. I read the story and the part suggesting Turner's jump-shot isn't broken and disagreed completely because the other guys shoot a ton of threes, but the I saw Derek pointed out that in the comments. Like that's a huge difference, saying he shoots "38 percent" when the other guys are three point shooters and get to the foul line.

And if anyone doesn't think stats have any merit (which is dumb BTW), just watch the jumpers. Many of these are not in and out misses. They are bad bricks, suggesting he can't control the flight of the ball. Maybe it gets better over the Summer, but watching him does not give much evidence that it will.

The Iguodala thing is an excuse, one that I don't feel is valid but can't prove itself either way until he plays without AI9 here, but that goes away pronto starting against of all people, Iguodala. No more of that crap if he starts out poorly again. If he comes out gangbusters, I'm still not sure it's a valid excuse as to why he was so bad his first two years (Remember the Boston-NYK-Utah stretch? Iguodala wasn't in his way in those games), but hey, at least Turner'd be playing well.

And I don't buy into the playoff "he took it to the rim" argument. Like, he was getting his shot routinely blocked. Turner really struggles finding any easy points out there.

I just hope everyone calls a spade a spade this year as far as Turner goes, whether you like him or not. If he plays well (I don't know, like 13-7-4 on much higher efficiency), rate him as so. But if he plays at the same level as last year, there should be no more "He's ready for a breakout season" type stuff when next year rolls around.

I think this is the key year for Turner, more than anyone else on the team. The vast differences about the opinion on Turner come from the fact that he was a spectacular college player and has shown enough glimpses in the pro game to think that he might be able to figure it all out. Overall his first two seasons were a major disappointment, but that doesn't mean that he will or he won't become better. He really has one major flaw in his game and it's his shooting. It's affecting his entire game, and if he can't fix it he won't be able be a good basketball player. The advanced stats are usually harsh on low efficiency players (and rightfully so), which is why he rates so poorly. If he can improve his efficiency his advanced stats will show him as a very good player. I don't think he will ever develop a reliable 3 point shot, but i also think he can be a good player without having one. Consistently getting to the FT line and finishing with contact under the rim are the keys for him. He got better at this in the playoffs, but he needs to show consistency and of course there is still plenty of room for improvement.

I think he will be better next season. How much better is the real question. Will he be good enough to warrant a place in the core of the team going forward? That's unclear. But as always you have to give at least 3 years to a player in the league to properly evaluate him.

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Rich reply to Xsago on Aug 20 at 10:45
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"Consistently getting to the FT line and finishing with contact under the rim are the keys for him. He got better at this in the playoffs, but he needs to show consistency and of course there is still plenty of room for improvement."

This is where I don't draw hope from the playoffs. Turner was basically putting his head down and bulling his way to the rim, but he was still forced into plenty of tough finishes (w/o contact) and most of all, getting his shot snuffed. It was admirable at the time and maybe helped change the team's mindset, but for long-term prospects it seems to me a different story.

Now obviously if he improves at drawing contact while mixing in an improved jumper, then we'll have something. It's just hard to see that coming.

I completely agree with you, and I didn't give much credit to the libertyballers article. I guess if someone really wants Turner to be good they will go through the troubles of finding ways to twist numbers around to suggest it.

To be honest, I see him not being on the team next year unless he has some kind of breakout, which is unlikely without him taking away possessions from more efficient players.

And I believe people will make excuses for Turner no matter the outcome. People don't like to be wrong.

Oh, and on a positive note:

Bynum!
Mike Zarren!?

So if Jrue does not play up to expectations this year do they let him walk and make an all out effort for CP3? Is that even remotely possible part of their plan?

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Stan reply to WOF on Aug 20 at 17:14
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The Sixers don't have the cap to pursue CP3. Jrue would have to regress substantially for the Sixers to look elsewhere for PG.

I'll be happy if Jrue averages closer to his 10' numbers and gives us an efficient 15 ppg and 7 assts, while still playing decent defense. Anything more than that and he'll get the max deal.

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wof reply to Stan on Aug 21 at 18:09
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they wouldnt even have the space if they let Jrue walk? Would they be within striking distance?

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Stan reply to wof on Aug 21 at 19:20
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They would also have to decline the team option on Turner, use the stretch provision on Richardson, and hope that Kwame opts out.

Max contracts are based on a percentage of the NBA salary cap. If it's expected to go down, wouldn't it make sense for Bynum to sign his extension now?

If the cap goes down by $3 million, he's sacrificing about $1 million a year.

That represents at least a month's worth of strip club money. :)

Nah, the max is 105% of previous year's contract for guys who aren't coming off rookie or small deals. The cap won't influence the value of his max deal. Signing an extension would cost him years and money

It's 105% of previous season or the % of cap, whichever is higher, if what I said above didn't make sense.

The only potential exception to this for Bynum would be if - given his age - he wanted to execute a three year extension now, allowing him to negotiate an additional max deal extension before the current CBA window expires. Wouldn't make any sense for an older veteran ... but at 24 it's something he might want to consider.

Depends on his agent's assessment of whether the contract provisions of the next CBA will be more or less attractive for star players.

hey brian, how about a not-so-depressed meetup at a preseason game in...Atlantic City?

Sixers To Host 'Boardwalk Classic' Preseason Game At Boardwalk Hall In Atlantic City On Saturday, October 13 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS http://on.nba.com/MKK0gW

Is Hawes' high post offense effective enough to offset his slow-footedness and lead weight mimicry on defense when alongside Bynum?

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Court_visioN reply to Cin on Aug 21 at 20:26
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you're asking in the wrong place. you already know the answer to that question when you're on this blog, I think, haha.

The way I see it is this roster will be set to test drive until December at the earliest, so a half season of the limp-wrist extrodinaire is a virtual guarantee.

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Rich reply to Cin on Aug 22 at 21:07
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I don't think anything is effective enough to offset Hawes' deficiencies. That being said, I'll be interested to see how Collins runs Hi-Lows with him and Bynum.

Actually, I'd pray Hawes has another blazing hot start to the season so they can trade him in December, maybe for a backup point guard.

Just read a Larry Coon article from before the Howard-Bynum-Iguodala trade. He says it makes more financial sense long term for Bynum to sign the three year extension with an opt out clause in 2015.

Here's the insider article. It's an interesting situation and it might be the reason why Bynum said he wants to stay and is open to signing an extension.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8214165/nba-salary-strategies-dwight-howard-andrew-bynum

The only problem I see with that math is that this year's maximum salaries are based on the artificially high salary cap (it's not a 50/50 split this year, it's frozen at $57M because 50/50 would've been less than $57M). I don't know what the cap is going to drop to, but I believe it will drop starting next season. He's saying the max will be $20M if the cap grows by 4.5% from the current number over the next two years. While BRI might grow that much, I think it's doubtful the cap will grow that much over this season's number, due to the artificial floor in year two of the CBA.

You also kind of have to wonder if a guy with his injury history is willing to give up the guaranteed $46M+ over years 4 & 5 of the max contract he could receive.

I also just looked at the math, so Coon is saying he could opt out after the second year and receive a contract starting at $20.4M in year #3. But if he signs a five-year max deal, year three would be worth $20.49M.

I guess the argument he's making is that in year three, Bynum could secure two extra years by opting out and signing a 5-year deal. Of course, he could also sign an extension that summer tacking on the two extra years.

The only way this would make sense is if the cap far outpaces the yearly bumps he can get in the 5-year deal (7.5%) which I find extremely unlikely.

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Stan reply to Brian on Aug 25 at 14:23
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Doesn't the salary cap count toward 44.75% of BRI?

Not sure I follow. BRI is basketball related income, the cap is basically the percentage of that number which goes to the players (some expenses are deducted from the number before the calculations). The split used to be in the high 50's (57%, maybe) in favor of the players. This CBA dropped that number to 50%, but it doesn't go into effect until year three of the CBA. For years 1 and 2, the cap was guaranteed to be no lower than it was for the last season of the previous CBA. That's why it's been the same number for the past three seasons, BRI didn't grow enough to overtake the artificial floor.

Essentially, 50% of BRI in 2011-2012 was not greater than 57% of BRI in 2009-2010.

Of course, there's no way the actual number could've been high enough in a shortened season, though I would assume they'd prorate it to set the cap.

The cap will go up if 50% of BRI in 2012-2013 is greater than 57% of BRI in 2009-2010 was. Make sense?

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stan reply to Brian on Aug 25 at 22:48
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Sorry for the wording. What I meant was - doesn't the salary cap equal to 44.75% of BRI?

No, it's not this season. That's the agreed-upon calculation going forward (50% is the total player portion), here's the relevant Q from Larry Coon's FAQ:

The salary cap calculation beginning in 2012-13 takes 44.74% of projected BRI, subtracts projected benefits, and divides by the number of teams in the league.
In 2012-13 the salary cap was guaranteed to be at least $58.044 million if the calculation produced a lower amount. This prevented a drop in the salary cap as a result of a drop in revenues due to the 2011 lockout.

You're right, the cap is 44.75%. My comment above was wrong, the split dropped to 50%, not the cap.

Has any player in the NBA ever hit more than 39% of his 3-point attempts while having a FT% less than 62%?

Without checking, I'd bet Iguodala and maybe that guy from Orlando way back who got the yips in the playoffs. What was his name, Nick Anderson? I'll look it up in a minute.

Nope, he never did it.

Here's the list of guys who have done it w/ at least 50 threes made.

Oh man, that Iggy-is-Bruce-Bowen guy is going to be in the market for a new pair of jorts if he clicks that link.

I learned a new word today.

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ryano reply to Brian on Aug 24 at 9:50
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Mike Miller's line is insane. Over 700 minutes played and 4 free throws taken last year??? Wow.

Anyone thought about Maalik Wayns making the roster?
Had some flaws in college, but also played with a terrible supporting cast in his last year. Has some intriguing qualities.

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eddies' heady's reply to Rich on Aug 22 at 23:18
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If he makes it, color me very surprised. Thought he was a disappointment considering the hype he was ushered in with out of high school. No way I can picture him actually running an NBA offense and possessing the innate qualities that position should require.

I hope the Sixers are going to pigeonhole him into the "Pure PG" category when really he has some legitimate strengths as a scoring guard. The thought process for me is that he played with a lot of really bad teammates last year and maybe then his two weaknesses (turnovers and three point shooting) will get better as his teammates improve. In Orlando, he had his moments.

At least he'll get a chance, and if it doesn't work, no big deal. I see higher upside in Wayns than I did with Xavier Silas.

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TwoSense on Aug 24 at 11:08
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You safe up there Brian? Crazy, crazy world we live.

Yeah, I wasn't in the city today. Crazy stuff.

Hmm not sure what i think abt this:

Adam Aron‏@SixersCEOAdam

Yes, and a BIG night. 50th Season. Intro Blue uni's. Hello Bynum. Iguodala a Nugget. RT @ThisJust_In04 is there a giveaway on opening night?

I fooled around with my screencasting software and did a video on what I saw in Bynum's pick and roll game. The video and editing are pretty poor, and half of the video is just me talking, but you get to see the pet play the Lakers ran earlier.

http://www.richhoops.com/?p=39


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