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If I Had Told You...

Avery Johnson better hope they get this fiscal cliff thing figured out, otherwise he won't be able to file for unemployment next month.

So Deron Williams has now gotten a hall of fame coach fired, and the NBA's reigning coach of the month fired before the end of the next month. That's awesome.

Billy King can't fire himself

Stan reply to GoSixers on Dec 27 at 13:42

There's no point in firing him. That roster is pretty much set in stone, there's not much a new GM can do.

What did the ownership expect? Maybe they didn't think Deron Williams would decline as much, but it's pretty much the same team except with the addition of a fading star in Joe Johnson. They built that roster to sell tickets not to win championships.

There's not much a new coach can do with the roster the GM Built - they're a mediocre first round victim - nothing more nothing less - with way too many bad contracts.

The coach takes the fall for the GM's mistakes - because the GM can't fire himself but SOMEONE has to take the fall

Without reading anything about the hiring, the first thought that popped on my mind is: They'll hire Phil Jackson or Stand Van Gundy.

While the Nets have a poorly assembled team, i do agree that they've under-performed and that this is the right move. But with Billy King running the show, it may not matter.

PHil Jackson isn't taking that job

Doubt JVG would, either. Maybe Stan.

Only reason I could see that little van gundy taking the job is if he believed he could somehow stick it to the Knicks (which he can't probably), he seems the type to hold a grudge. LIke his brother, for instance, if the clippers are looking for a new coach (and keep Chris Paul, I wonder how that 17 million dollar judgement is going to affect Sterlings cheap thinking) I wouldn't be surprised to see SVG lobby for the job just for a chance to make Dwight suffer

JVG is not taking any job IMO. He is paid waaaay more by ESPN.

Yeah, I don't think he's even getting Eddie Jordan coaching money from ESPN to do a game a week or so. No way. He'd make more coaching, but he'd actually have to work more than 2.5 hours a week (plus time for commercials), so it's hard money for easy money.

Always wondered why people think there's big money in tv broadcasting - there really isn't. Though you're right - much easier to make - and no one questions your decisions.

Hey - he did TWO games on Christmas - TWO

Plus you get cushy speaking/appearance fees like Sloan as a talking head.

The Nets are using Carlesimo going forward...I wonder if Sloan (not New Jersey of course) ever wants to coach in the NBA again, those old school coaches, I think they're a dying breed, Pop is probably the last one...Collins had to 'change' to coach in today's NBA

I read somewhere a while ago that JVG wasn't considering coaching jobs seriously because he was making more money broadcasting (i think it was an 8 figure salary). That's why i mentioned it. You might be right though, i can't say this for sure.

This is the only link I could find other than one site claiming his net worth was $14M.

I know it's a long shot, but if Prokhorov made up his mind, he simply may not be able to resist a ridiculous salary.

From what you know about Phil Jackson do you suppose he's motivated by the biggest contract? If he was, he'd be working for the Knicks already I bet

First and foremost he is interested, in having power over basketball related decisions, something that i think Prokhorov may be dumb enough to give him (although to be honest with him as the owner, you can never have real decision making power).

That being said, if he receives a generous offer, he may not be able to resist, regardless of anything else.

It's hard to say. Their success is dependent on how well they shoot their 3-pointers. Teams #1-8 have better front courts than the Sixers and on the perimeter Jrue is the only player that can be considered a "star".

Yeah, but even if you're calling Jrue a star right now (which is HIGHLY debatable), could you call him a star coming into this season? I mean, he was middling at best last season on the offensive end. Without Bynum, coming into the season, this team looked pretty hopeless to me. Last year's squad minus Iguodala, Brand and Lou, plus Kwame, D Wright, Richardson and Nick Young. I voted 5-9 wins.

I expected something like 10-11 wins from the first 29 with this team, so i had to vote 10-14, which is in fact where they ended up, even though they are better than i thought they'd be. I have to admit that Jrue, Turner and Thad have all slightly beaten my expectations coming into the season, whereas Hawes and the newly acquired shooters have slightly underperformed.

Hawes, Allen and D.Wright have been better of late IMO, so they might improve. The schedule gets a lot tougher at the same time though, so it may not be visible in the win column.

2 more wins on this trip and they've beaten my expectations.

GSW, Portland, Phoenix. They have to find a way to win 2 of those IMO.

Brian, I'm curious to know if you are coming around on Turner as I am. I've been down on him since I first saw play in summer leagues, and knew he wasn't gonna be the star I had hoped for. During his first two years he had the look of a guy who wouldn't even last in the league, let alone be in this teams future plans.

However, this year I think he has finally started to figure out what his role is and how to get the most out of his skill set. He knows his sweet spots and has had no problem letting Jrue be the focal point. Hell, he even developed a 3pt shot that looks somewhat decent(45%? He's not keeping that up, but he looks like someone that could shoot about 15% of his shots from downtown at a 35-38% rate. I'll take that)

I'm also starting to dig his demeanor on the court. Jrue and Thad are total nice guys out there and I think we need an asshole out there like Turner to give this team some attitude.

It really seems like Doug broke him like a dog those first two years and now hes just happy seeing the court. Ready to contribute to whatever role the team needs. And that's really what hes become to this team, the jack of all trades type of player. Backup point so Ivey and Wayans don't have to play? He's got it. Cover for Thad and Allen/Hawes on the glass? He's got it. Defend the other teams best wing? He's got it.

So what do you think? You like Turner being in the future plans or are you still counting down the days until someone else offers him a contract we won't match.

He's been much better, still waiting for him to play somewhere else, though.

A couple things I've liked (in moderation):

1) he hasn't hesitated when he's got a size mismatch. He takes those guys down to about 8-12 feet from the hoop and just shoots over them. For the most part, this has been a consistent weapon. Kind of like Corliss Williamson when he played for LB. If he got a matchup against a guy shorter than him, he'd just kill it.

2) The three-point shooting. If you look at his numbers, the threes are basically his entire improvement in terms of scoring. Last year, his TS% was .478, which is attrocious. This year, it's .510, which is passable, barely. If he was shooting his career number from 3 (27%) on the same number of attempts, his TS% this year would be .468.

Basically, he's improved a ton from three, everywhere else, he's worse than last season.

So if the three-point shooting is legit, and he can be a threat with it, then maybe I reconsider. If he regresses, even a little bit, then yeah, hope someone takes him off our hands. The rebounding from a guard/sf is nice, but not enough to overlook the other stuff. And regardless of what some poster's say, his distributing has really been piss poor. When he's running the offense, his assist-to-turnover ratio is terrible, the offense grinds to a halt, and he has no idea how to handle pressure at all.

He's been much better than I thought he would be, but that bar was set pretty low and I think they could get much more for their money than what he's providing.

And regardless of what some poster's say, his distributing has really been piss poor. When he's running the offense, his assist-to-turnover ratio is terrible, the offense grinds to a halt, and he has no idea how to handle pressure at all.

His Assist to Turnover ratio may be undesirable but I dont agree that his distribution is piss poor. If you agree that our team needs as much point play as possible then turner plays a valuable role on this team. While he clearly doesnt handle on-ball pressure well (partly bcos of limited athleticism) but he makes MANY plays that Jrue just doesnt. No knock on Jrue but if he were a more pure PG, then Turner might be considered redundant. Holiday's assists are usually off penetration, usually with pick and roll. While he is improving even as he is playing, he is still wanting as a PG. Holiday is averaging 7+ assists per game, he makes the pretty plays but seems to struggles with the basics. like finding the open man. I liken him to a QB that tends to stare down his receiver.

Technically, he is averaging 7+ assists, but 8.8 is a good deal more than 7, but his assists-per-game isn't really the issue. The issue is that things get easier for his teammates when Jrue is at the point, that's not the case when Turner's on the ball. When Turner's on the ball, everyone is basically standing around waiting for him to finally get into the offense (if he ever does). Jrue's pick-and-roll and drive and kick game is the offense. I mean, the only other thing they run is that stupid horns play with the dribble handoffs. When Turner's out there, it's a bunch dribbling going nowhere, usually ending in him smothered by 3 guys 12 feet from the hoop. From that position, he's about as likely to find a big for a layup as he is to turn the ball over.

And having trouble with ball pressure is a pretty big deal if you're tasked with running the offense. Unless you have a gentleman's agreement w/ the opponent that they won't press you because you can't handle it.

I prefer Wright on the ball to Turner, Wright at least has the ability to dribble with his head up.

mymanjrue reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 17:54

if you honestly prefer wright on the ball to turner...i just can't believe that...i think you need to step back and maybe look at turner in a fresher light...your complaints are in many cases valid...ut you also take faults that both jrue and turner run into...dribblng too much, leaving the rest of the team to stand around...and attribute them solely to turner...i probably do the exact opposite but i do try to always remind myself that i am disposed to see what i would like to see

i thought last night in particular the offense was ALL standing around looking at jrue until turner took the reins for a spell and really did a great job passing and spurring ball movement. after that, jrue distributed quite well too

I'm not saying there are no bad possessions when Jrue's handling, there are and I point them out. What I'm saying is they are rare when Jrue's handling, they're the norm when Turner is initiating. Jrue is pretty much always doing something with his dribble, because he can do something with his dribble. Turner tries, but he just can't, so he gets bogged down out on the floor, or gets a hint of the paint, then gets in trouble. He has no burst, and really no change of speed, so when he's in the pick-and-roll, he doesn't create an advantage. When he's handling out top, he can't do the one thing he's been good at, use his size to back his man down (though he tries to do this from about mid-court, with little effect).

I made fun of Collins in the preseason for saying Wright had a good handle, and I still think that statement is kind of funny because he's kind of an awkward dribbler, but when he's running the show, he's using his dribble to put pressure on the defense, and he always has his head on a swivel. He's making plays for other guys by putting pressure on the defense. That's what Jrue does very, very well, and it's what Turner simply cannot do. From the wing, when he gets the ball in or near the post with a size advantage? Yeah, he can create from there. Dribbling the ball up? Both he and the offense are helpless unless no one picks him up and he can dribble down to the elbow and use his size.

You really didn't notice how atrocious the offense was when he was running it while Jrue was out? You didn't notice that he had 19 assists and 12 turnovers in that four game stretch, or that he could barely get the ball past half court whenever anyone pressured him? In the same four games, Wright had 23 assists, 8 turns, in about 1/4 of the minutes Turner had at the point.

When Jrue is running the offense, he gets into the lane pretty much at will. He turns pressure into an advantage, he splits doubles he draws help defenders and he sets guys up for easy looks, and he mostly does a really good job of taking care of the ball. (3.1 to 1 ast/tov ratio since that dreadful stretch early in the year).

Jrue does this with pretty much every defense keying on him in every situation. Teams double every pick-and-roll, there's always help and traps. Turner gets zero attention when he's on the ball, one-on-one he can't create. I'm not sure how else to explain the difference.

mymanjrue reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 22:38

Thanks for the reply Brian. You make many good points about Turner's limitations and Jrue's abilities. I did notice how limited the offense was with Evan at the point in Jrue's absence. I think Turner would have had considerably more success running the point for four games with Jrue alongside him as a secondary playmaker and offensive weapon. But I'm willing to concede that Jrue's ability to get where he wants to on the floor with such ease so often makes him the better choice to be the lead facilitator. But you really underestimate, in my estimation, what an asset Turner is a secondary facilitator, and how much he has contributed to Jrue's success. jkay gave a beautiful description of what Turner provides that Jrue doesn't. Both guys need to be plenty involved.

Did you really not notice how Evan picked up the team twice last night running the point?Early in the game, as I've descried several times, then early in the fourth when Holiday went to the bench and ET dropped dimes, kept the ball moving, and pushed us to our largest lead

O have [problems with isoEvan...I don't think that's all he is by any means...and I also don't think it's as bad as you say. He has done fairly well on ppp in isolation if reports from synergy subscriers are correct. Jrue too. He does need to keep his head up when he's in the paint. He needs to not worry about the whistles, keep attacking and improving your finishing at the rim, getting better at kicking out off of deep penetration...the whistles will conme

mymanjrue reply to jkay on Dec 27 at 17:49

very well said...i agree with your analysis and i thank you for articulating it so clearly

Not sure how else to put this: His distributing ability as a point guard has been underwhelming. His distributing ability as a wing has been very good.

I guess what i am trying to say is that Turner, contrary to popular belief is not that great as the point guard of a team. But he is definitely better than most wings as a passer and a guy who can create for his teammates. The key here is not needing to rely on him to run the offense every trip down the court as well as limiting the ball pressure he gets just past mid court, which are his weaknesses as a point guard, but are non-factors as a wing.

mymanjrue reply to Xsago on Dec 27 at 23:11

you make good points sir

I voted 5-9. I thought that even with Bynum, they were at best a 1st round exit, with a good shot at winning a series but it was going to be a rebuilding year in the sense of getting better before we are even ready to taste prime time.
i figured Jrue would be a stable PG who could shoot from dee and run P & R with Bynum, and Thad a smooth operator down low. The rest of the roster was a throw-i of shooters and warm bodies. My projection would be the whole team improving bcos Bynum was playing. Without him, they would be the Wizards.

i think this team as is is barely a .5oo team and it's fate will depend largely on the health of JET; they will need to play heavy minutes in order for the team to be at least competitive. Question is, will they hold up? When there is injury, how many wins can they whether out without any of the 3? To be determined.

Pleasantly surprised to far.

my apologies for the grammatical destruction.
sorry Mr. Friedmann

Yeah, just JT for me. Don't think they'd miss a beat with Richardson and Wright starting.

Actually, they'd miss a beat on the bench. Probably can't afford to lose any of the top 7 guys for any extended period of time, otherwise Ivy or Wayns is getting burn.

I voted 14+. Early schedule was such a joke on paper, I fully expected them to be above 500 heading into the road trip. 14+ assuming no jrue injury of course.

Shocking stat of the day:

The Sixers starting lineup (Jrue/J-Rich/Turner.T.Young/Lavoy) scores 117.3 points per 100 possessions, which would lead the league by a mile (OKC Thunder are the leaders at 112.9). They are the fifth best lineup in the league among the ones getting 100+ minutes and they've played far more together than the 4 better than them (bigger sample size).


Wow, that is shocking. 8th most minutes, best +/- of the top 14 lineups on the list. I'm dumbfounded by those numbers.

how many total minutes have they played? or how many mpg does that lineup average?

263 minutes in 18 games, so 14.61 MPG.

You'd think he'd go back to that, but it's difficult considering his limited options at the four and the one. He needs to stagger those guys after the start of the 1st and 3rd.

This is kind of crazy. So the exact same lineup, but you sub in Wright for Richardson and they become terrible offensively (95.2/100P) but dominant defensively (92.5/100P).

I don't think it's that crazy if you consider how bad Wright have been before the last 5 games or so. If i remember correctly the lineup with Dorrel has improved of late quite a bit.

The extent to which the defense has been good is what I was staggered by. The offense made sense.

Injuries have limited the amount of minutes he could've played them. Jrue missed time, J-Rich missed time...

Same as starting lineup, but Hawes for Lavoy = -8.3/100Pos (65 minutes)
Same as starting lineup, but Kwame for Lavoy = -11.8/100Pos (58 minutes)

Starting lineup when Jrue was out (Kwame, Thad, Turner, Nick, Richardson) = -18/2/100Pos (44 minutes)

The best thing about all this is imagining how good they can be with Bynum, who could technically be a bigger much better version of Lavoy.

if only Lavoy could stay out of foul trouble

random thad thought

when he does that behind the back dribble, im more confident in that then when he dribbles like normal

EC all star ballot so far:

Back Court
1. Dwyane Wade- 645,875
2. Rajon Rondo- 574,272
3. Deron Williams- 309,778
4. Kyrie Irving- 258,193
5. Ray Allen- 195,142
6. Monta Ellis- 71,287
7. Raymond Felton- 66,745
8. Jrue Holiday- 56,683

Front Court
1. LeBron James- 970,314
2. Carmelo Anthony- 891,759
3. Kevin Garnett- 328,716
4. Chris Bosh- 308,194
5. Tyson Chandler- 260,000
6. Paul Pierce- 171,601
7. Joakim Noah- 129,331
8. Josh Smith- 111,260
9. Anderson Varejao- 99,955
10. Amar'e Stoudemire- 90,996
11. Shane Battier- 88,800
12. Andrew Bynum- 84,939
13. Luol Deng- 76,400
14. Brook Lopez- 67,991
15. Jeff Green- 52,785

So if it ended today, starters would be Wade, Rondo, LBJ, Melo and Garnet. Jrue should be somewhere between #3 and #5 on that list, mixed in with Irving and Felton, but Felton's out for a while now.

mymanjrue reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 22:22

how great is it that bynum has thirty thousand more votes than Jrue...oy vey

Stan reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 22:49

I haven't watched a lot of Knicks games this year, but Raymond Felton's numbers are awful. 15.8 pts on 16.4 shots, 26% usage, OFRTG of 96, and a DRTG of 108. The numbers are a little surprising because at times he looked like the best PG on the court vs. the Lakers. He's 2nd on the team in MPG and 2nd on the team in USG%, yet the Knicks are 21-8.

Wow, he fell off a cliff since I last checked his numbers. I stand corrected.

12. Andrew Bynum- 84,939
Ok we need to get Derrick Rose on the ballot too.

Westbrook's putting on a defensive show tonight. Collison is outscoring him 25-4, so far.

It's just really tough to watch a game with multiple superstars. You breath on them, they go to the line. I've literally seen five whistles that weren't close to fouls in the ten minutes I've been watching this DAL/OKC game.

Stan reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 22:23

It's even worse when they're playing at home and they start doing that annoying stare down as the crowd goes wild. Celtics home games when they're winning are intolerable.

wow that collison shot

What happened? I turned it off.

wow. That's crazy. The ball touched 3 people in 2.2 seconds. Vince's pass was sick, I'm surprised he didn't shoot the fadeway over the double team.

how bout them Clips? just blew Boston out, which depending on how you perceive, may not necessarily be an accomplishment. But having watched their take-down of Denver on Xmas Day, I must say they look legit.
Somehow they got the bigs to play some D instead of trying to make highlight reel blocks, Jamal Crawford is beasting and, as much as some ppl dont want to admit; Blake Griffin is very good and getting better.

They are really good right now, but i'm thinking they may be peaking a little bit too soon. They've also had an easy schedule during this winning streak, which will inevitably end in the next 3 games (@Utah, @Denver).

It's interesting how Del Negro has a terrible reputation as an NBA coach yet in reality his teams have performed reasonably well. I mean he is getting zero love as a coach of the year, solely because people think he is not. And he is coaching the team with the best record in the NBA - the Clippers of all teams.

Da Jruth reply to Xsago on Dec 28 at 19:43

That Del Negro reputation chatter is hogwash. Results speak louder. I wouldn't be upset in the slightest if he was the 76ers coach.

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