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Failures, to Varying Degrees

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anomiemnemonical on Jan 26 at 21:08
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Man, I really hope that team "Hinkie is an infallible analytics god" (GoSixers, Xsago, Tray, and some other role players) don't use any sort of lottery luck to justify Hinkie's inaction in the case that we do end up with a top 3 pick after all this. Their central thesis has been "process over results" and Hinkie has definitely fumbled the process here by not moving Turner and Hawes early enough. I've still yet to read a decent argument for why holding on to those two is a sound plan

Please point out to when anyone has said he is infallible.

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anomiemnemonical reply to GoSixers on Jan 26 at 21:33
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you got me, I made that part up. But I was actually hoping you would address the second part of the post

I think I spend most of these comment threads chewing out people who say Hinkie isn't screwing things up, although Brian is unduly pessimistic. Reading comprehension is really poor around here.

Summarizing my opinion from the previous thread:
I think characterizing ego and an unwillingness to "lose" a trade as the reason he hasn't made the move is completely unfounded. I don't think he gives on bleep about individual moves. I do absolutely believe that he has a much longer term view in place. I think he believes that he can have his cake and eat it too. I think he believes that he can keep Thad and Hawes until their value is at their apex and still be positioned as one of the 2 or 3 worst records in the league.

As for the individuals in question:
I think keeping on to ET was a mistake. I would have traded him in December or, if nobody would have offered anything of value (which I think is probably the case at that point in the season), I wouldn't have had much of a problem cutting him. He is no part of our future and (IMO) he's unlikely to bring anything substantive in a trade.

Thad I think is worth the risk: wait until the deadline and see if you can get someone to overpay. He has value to both bad (Good, young player on a good deal with cost certainty) and good teams (good player) where you should be able to start a bidding war.

Hawes I can see an argument either way. I could see some team, either due to injury or general team needs, adding Hawes to try to sure themselves up for the playoffs. The question becomes whether finding a team to overpay for him and maybe give you an early 20's 2014 first (or maybe a 2015 that has a chance to go higher) is worth the risk of winning another game or two while you wait for the apex of his value to arrive. I probably would have traded him for whatever I could have gotten early on, but I can also see where Hinkie's gambling could pay off in the long run.

To be honest, I was much more concerned a few weeks ago, back when we were 10-11 with MCW in the lineup. Since then we've looked like a really bad team, even when healthy. With only 11 games until the trade deadline, sitting with the 3rd worst winning %, and knowing that the final 2 months of the season we should be brutally bad, I think Hinkie's risks may have paid off.

My biggest point of contention, though, was Hinkie's motives. I'm fortunate enough to have had substantial time talking basketball with Hinkie, and to know people within the organization, so that does impact how I determine their motives. You can either take that as helping form a more educated opinion, or you can think my access makes me an apologist. I don't particularly think the latter makes all that much sense. I've interviewed Eddie Jordan (who I thought was a moron, and wrote as much), Ed Stefanski (who I thought was one of the nicest guys I ever met, but a below average executive), Doug Collins (who I thought ran a terrible offense and was a little egocentric), Tony DiLeo (another nice guy, but figurehead), et al. I've had access for years. I believe in Hinkie because he has won my trust and convinced me he has a legitimate plan. That doesn't mean he's going to be perfect in executing his plan, and he may make risk / reward decisions that turn out poorly (like hanging on to Hawes may turn out to), but I definitely do not believe his vision is so short as to jeopardize his long term success because he's worried about getting fleeced in an Evan Turner trade.

+1 for all of tho but

*still be positioned as one of the 2 or 3 worst records in the league.*

This is why I don't understand why everyone is so darn upset - I'm pretty sure even though Hinkie has 'failed' in the eyes of many chicken little's, that the sixers currently DO have one of the 2 or 3 worst records in the league.

It's like they listened to the talking heads who felt the sixers would be historically bad and since it's what they wanted - they believed them when normally they'd realize that they don't know what they're talking about most times.

I also can't believe that no credit is being given for the fact that Spencer Hawes HAS trade value since at the beginning of the second - I know I didn't think it was going to happen

So we chicken little's weren't capable of looking at the roster ourselves and coming to the conclusion they'd be terrible, it had to be the talking heads filling our minds with hopes and dreams?

And really, if you're tanking is a bottom three record the goal? Like it's cool, we don't need the extra 10% chance of getting the top pick, let's aim for bottom 3 instead of the worst. Who cares if being the worst guarantees a top 4 pick, we're cool if we can drop to 6th. Sounds like an apology and a rationalization all wrapped into one.

I think bottom 3 record is the goal because it's impossible to ensure you;ll have the worst record. A lot of circumstantial stuff happen during the season. There are all kinds of luck related situations as well. I think a bottom 3 guarantee is the most you can actually achieve.

Maybe bottom 3 is the best you can hope for when building a roster prior to the season, luckily your roster isn't locked on opening day and you can make trades to improve your odds as the season progresses.

Sure you can make moves to aid your tanking chances but you also need a large enough sample size to determine whether some trends will continue or they will even out during the course of the season. That's why teams rarely make any kind of trades before January/February. Prior to that, it's almost impossible to project where the team is headed record wise at the end of the season.

* by project i mean project with high degree of confidence in the projections. You can always make unreliable projections.

50% isn't a big enough sample size? 40%? What's the minimum in your mind?

Like i said, now you can reach some conclusions. In December it was way too early.

Good insight. But I do think you assertion that:

" I think he believes that he can have his cake and eat it too. I think he believes that he can keep Thad and Hawes until their value is at their apex and still be positioned as one of the 2 or 3 worst records in the league."

Has a bit of Icarus like hubris from the sounds of it. The next 11 games has a ton of winnable matchups. It might work out that finish with a bottom 2 record- but I just don't see how he can be confident given how many bad teams there are and how funky the last 2-3 weeks of the season tend to be.

I agree he might hit the jackpot, and probably he is a whole lot less risk averse then I am... because I would not have rolled the dice with their top pick. Not after already committing to a terrible season.

But, I guess I've already said that a dozen times, so I'll sit back and read other peoples opinions and see how it plays out.

Well, like I said, I wasn't so much disagreeing that he's taking a risk that I wouldn't necessarily take, and that my main goal is increasing the value of our draft pick. I agree with much of what you said. My main point of contention was Brian's opinion on the driving force for WHY he hasn't moved them yet.

I agree with all of this quite a bit as well.

My point really is less about the stuff others are arguing about and more with the reasons they use for arguing about them.

I guess if you believe his motives are pure then holding on to Turner is just foolishness? Hawes is gambling? Thad I think everyone gets.

Regarding Lavine, anyone else a bit concerned that he has sort of come out of nowhere? The guy was generally seen as maybe the #50 prospect entering college this year. Is it common for know US prep players to go from second tier prospects to NBA stars?

Good measurements and can shoot. I'm not really worried about the ranking coming out of high school. I get more concerned when a guy only emerges in his sophomore or junior seasons.

I think people are biased by the most recent comparable. Meaning that Klay Thompson gives a positive draft bias on him as opposed to say, Brent Barry (just joking, but skinny, can jump and shoot, and was a mid 1st rounder.)

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 26 at 23:29
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I wasn't aware that Klay Thompson had dunk contest athleticism, but maybe I missed that. Perhaps a better comparison is Terrence Ross. Anyway, I thought Brent Barry was a really good player. Per-game scoring numbers don't bear that out, but advanced stats do. Here's a guy with a career .607 TS%, a career defensive rating of 105, career averages of 4 boards, 4 assists, 1.5 steals and 2 turnovers per 36 minutes. Led the league in efg% twice. He spent most of his career playing alongside two or more ball-dominant players, so he didn't do as much as he might have. Perhaps he was more of a one-trick-pony than I give him credit for and he would have withered with increased usage, but within his role he was pretty excellent.

I agree that prep rankings are not consistently good measures and lack precision as a marker of success. Like I said before, I just think a high draft pick of a US player who was not highly regarded in HS is a red flag (ET was about #50 as a prep), while a guy who was a top prep and slides in the draft probably has a better shot than other later picks around them to develop into an NBA player (Lou, Jrue being prime examples.) That is not the same as saying that the #10 prep player will be better than the #25 or that every top prep player will be a star.

I would say a very high proportion of top 10 prep players become at least rotational players and your odds of being a really top player if you were lower than 50 as a prep are slim. But exceptions happen, and many of the exception are extreme- like Hibbert, who went from lousy prep prospect to presumptive #1 pick to sliding out of the lottery.

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buke reply to tk76 on Jan 27 at 21:01
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There are more notable exceptions than the ones you mention. Dwayne Wade was also not highly rated as a high schooler. Neither was Noah. From what I understand, neither was Oladipo. Prep basketball scouting is much better than it used to be but it is hardly foolproof.

I agree. It is just something worth looking at when making draft evaluations.

For example, look at the ratings of the 2006 prep class. It correlates well with who will be a draft bust (Thabeet, Speights and Uduh were all poorly regarded prior to entering college. The only real misses on this list are Ryan Anderson and Taj Gibson who are bother super role players.

where are you finding the rankings? Does that hold up for subsequent/previous years?

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Rusty reply to Brian on Jan 26 at 21:59
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He also had a big growth spurt (sp?), was recruited as a pg around 6'0.

Look at Anthony Davis...he came in as #1 recruit to UK but a year before that I don't think he was on rankings. I don't have the stats to back this so hearsay.

He was the #1 ranked recruit in the country. Other than David Robinson, players generally have had their main growth spurt in HS.

I'm not saying players should be drafted based on their prep status. Just that having a low prep ranking is a red flag, and drafting a highly ranked prep player later in the 1st round gives you a better chance of finding a steal.

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Rusty reply to tk76 on Jan 26 at 22:08
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My point is that Davis wasn't in the Top 25 his junior year. So growth spurts result in big jumps. Look at Paul George... he grew how many inches after he was even in the pro's.

I am still very uncertain on Lavine. Hasn't looked good in the live games I have watched him. But other highlights show him to have a lot of the "raw" abilities.

I think this explains the massive range he ranks between different mocks.

I did not realize Lavine jumped up as a prospect due to a late growth spurt.

Obviously he was not a nobody, as he was a recruit to UCLA.

Yes, it holds up:

http://www.draftexpress.com/RSCI/2009/

You can change the year in the pull down menu.

The biggest miss was Curry.

Look at the other years as well. The rankings are not precise, but in general, if you are not a top 25 prep player then you are not going to be a successful NBA player (except the rare exceptions who tend to be pure shooting specialists.)

This is the main reason I wanted the Sixers to Draft guys like Jrue, Thad, DeAndre Jordan, Hibbert, et. I think college is broken. Prep level is broken too, but at that level the players have been watched closely for years. So you see a lot more prpep stars who flounder in college go on to be great pros then than you see prep players ranked out of the top 25 go on to be great pros.

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 27 at 10:53
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The highest Roy Hibbert was ranked was #89. Some didn't rank him and the others had him at #99 and #129.

Sorry, that was my point. Hibbert was not highly ranked in HS, so was one of the outliers. I was trying to say he was undervalued then valued correctly and then undervalued again on draft day, so sort of a double surprise.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 26 at 23:44
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How is Shabbaz doing/how do you think he will do? How about Mayo? How about Telfair? In the 2004 Rivals rankings, Telfair was 6th, Malik Hairston was 7th, Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris were 9th and 10th, Rondo was 25th, Afflalo was 26th, Lowry was 28th, Horford was 36th, Noah was 75th, Rodney Stuckey was 131st. In 2005, the top four were Gerald Green, Josh McRoberts, Ellis, Blatche. Julian Wright was 8th, Richard Hendrix was 9th, Greg Paulus was 11th. Amir Johnson was 29th, Danny Green was 31st, Wilson Chandler was 44th, Wes Matthews was 84th, Darren Collison was 100th.

I also put very high value on RSCI rankings every year. I've come to realize however that the logic holds for the top 5-10 recruits for the most part depending on the high end depth of the class. After that i'm not sure there's a big difference between the #12 recruit and the #34 recruit for example.

And i also think there's a very good reason for this. The high school game is more in the open court and as a result benefits from better spacing, which is definitely not the case in college.

P.S. This is only about the players as recruits (after their senior year in high school) not after their junior year in high school or whatever.

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eddies' heady's on Jan 26 at 22:49
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"Hinkie's #1 goal should be to avoid getting trapped into mediocrity. But a team with MCW, Noel and a couple of good but not great players in the 2014 draft, and you might be looking at 4 years of 35-45 wins."

(From tk76 in previous thread. Brought it over here and wanted to touch on it.)

As for the hot topic at the moment of whether Hinkie is/or has screwed up, I don't have a firm opinion one way or the other at the moment. It's still too early in the season for me to cast judgment. There's quite a ways to go and some really dreadful and awful teams out there. I honestly have no idea how it will all shake out. I do know that the last 2-3 weeks of the season usually has some surprising and unexpected happenings. Crazy things always would happen to us or who we were playing against all those years fighting for the 7th-8th seed. So I'm sure of one thing, that there will be some jack-in-the-box moments down the stretch. Whether good or bad, who knows?

With that said and regardless of the unknown outcome, what I quoted by tk76 is what concerns me the most and what I initially mentioned on here back in the preseason. There doesn't seem to be this clear-cut eye-popping star in this draft. Some good necessary pieces? Yes. But that transcendant star? It looks doubtful, but they're all still so young.

I just worry that we'll end up with two decent players from this draft to pair with MCW and Noel (and hopefully Thad,) and with the conference being in such bad shape we'll be right back to where we were the last several years. Not bad enough to get good; not good enough to amount to anything.

Also, I've never been of the belief that Hinkie wanted to be the worst team in the league as most have assumed. I think there's some validity to the thought that he wanted to evaluate some of the current pieces going forward (even Turner who they didn't re-up and Hawes and definitely take a look at Thad). Whether this has anything to do with his non-activity, I think we're all left guessing at this.

I'm definitely not a Hinkie apologist but I'm certainly not a Hinkie infinite-rope-giver either. I think a lot of fans are giving him the benefit of the doubt just because he's of the analytics background. If he were a newly hired Stefanski or DiLeo with no background in analytics, I believe there'd be a lot more pessimism and frustration with his moves (or lack of).

The jury is still out on the guy, to me. There's just not enough evidence for me to come to a conclusion yet. I'm doubtful anything will work out in the franchise's favor, but that probably has more to do with past history than anything to do with Hinkie at this point.

Those risks are there regardless of where they pick. I do have some faith that Hinkie will have other ways to improve the roster once the picks are all made, but life will be so much easier if he lands a few legit stars. And there obviously is both luck and skill to that. Getting lottery balls just helps your chances, but there is a ton of unavoidable risk in any course right now.

I agree that moving Hawes and Turner should have happened, but this is faulty:

"The Sixers have 14 wins in 44 games. At their current rate, they'll finish with 26 wins. 26 wins would have been the 5th-worst record last season, 8th worst the season before. It's more than likely 26 wins will leave the Sixers outside of the bottom five."

Well no. 26 right now is on track to finish third last. For 26 to finish outside of the top 5, five teams, obviously, are going to have to win 25 games or less. Right now, only two teams are on pace to do that. Why is it "more than likely" that three teams, currently on pace to win over 26 games, will win less than 26 games, but that the Sixers themselves will not be one of those teams? Is it not more than likely, at the very least, that we'll trade someone at the deadline? You might say that of course teams' records at the bottom will fade by the end of the season as tanking gets more overt, but first, that same reasoning should apply to us and we already have a small lead on the teams you think will pass us. Second, I think the surprisingly low number of really bad teams isn't a fluke; most of the teams with really weak rosters are in the East, but there are only three good-to-decent teams in the East. (Atlanta is .500 without Horford against a pretty soft schedule, and I'm very impressed by Chicago's gumption but I don't see how they can keep winning.) With almost every home conference game a winnable game for teams like us, Boston, Orlando, Cleveland, the Knicks, etc., it's hard for the worst teams in the league to have really bad records this season. If you look at past seasons, you won't find half of the Eastern playoff bracket below .500, or an eighth seed with 34 wins, which is where Charlotte is headed. Of course, you would think there would be a counter-effect in the West - that is, playing in the stacked West should depress the records of bad Western teams. Indeed, it has in the case of Utah, Sacramento, and the Pelicans; they would probably be playoff teams in the East, or in Utah's case pretty close to it. But strength of schedule can only make a fundamentally mediocre team so bad, and those teams have reasonable amounts of talent.

Another reason that you're unlikely to see 5 teams with awful records is that, as GMS get smarter, the number of unintentionally awful teams is sharply decreasing, and the intentionally bad teams, while bad, avoid signing or keeping the really awful sorts of players that can sink a team and are largely comprised of decent, raw young players. Five years ago, Orlando would have kept and played Hedo Turkoglu. You don't see that anymore. Milwaukee's probably the only team with a truly dreadful roster of the sort that used to fill the bottom of the standings.

I was looking at where 26 wins would have put a team in the past several seasons. This year could be different, definitely. They also could go the rest of the way with their 2 best players in the lineup, rather than missing better than 25% of their games. Of course injuries could go the other way for them or their opponents.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 11:26
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I'm not really worried because both the GM and the HC are signed on for the long term and neither one of their jobs are in jeopardy. They both know that it's in their best long-term interests to lose as many games as possible to get that top pick.

This isn't the 2007 scenario where you have a HC fighting for his job, an apathetic owner and GM who is a fuckin idiot.

This is a team in which Dewayne Dedmon and Brandon Davies gets significant minutes in the 4th quarter! 7 years ago Iguodala, Andre Miller, and Joe Smith would have played the entire 2nd half and they wouldn't go past a 7-man rotation.

This year they're not even feeding you bullshit about making a playoff run. Their whole message for this season is "player development". The Sixers so far have managed to increase the value of Hawes, Turner, and Thad while managing to keep a bottom 3 record. To me the fact that we're only 3 games out of the 10th worst record isn't a major concern because the people in charge of this team aren't crazy enough to let it go that far. Not having much of a separation between the teams ahead of is worth the risk IMO if it means getting an extra first round pick.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 13:46
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Let's say you're right and bad teams do worse in the second half than the first, so that two teams on track to win 26 or less will become five by the end of the season. Why wouldn't we regress like all these other teams that you think will? You could say we're okay when we're all healthy, but so is the competition.. and I don't think anyone believes we stand pat at the deadline.

The teams with the 3rd to 8th worst records are too closely bunched right now to accurately predict where any of them will end up.

The Sixers might end up with the second or third worst record. And I doubt the jump all of the way to the 7th worst, but the concern is that they are one of a bunch of teams lumped in there. It is similar to having 5 teams fighting for 2 playoff spots. You'd feel a whole lot safer if your team had separated themselves from the pack, and having the best/worst team on paper is only so much comfort.

The assertion is that Hinkie might have been able to separate them, so there is stress now. And certainly he might, as Derek says, have his cake and eat it to, but finishing just bad enough to get a chance to draft a great player. We won't know for a while.

Very very well put. I'v been arguing about this for a while. Everyone just points out to "we've won too many games with MCW in the lineup" and noone really looks at the context or the opponents and how they got to the amount of wins they have and how the rest of the season projects to play out for everyone.

One more thing. I think the team's poor record in January might be giving people as false sense of security. They're 2-9 in their past 11, with some terrible lopsided losses in there, but they haven't played one game against a tanking team over that stretch. It was a pretty tough stretch of games. The schedule will get easier.

The most interesting two-game stretch comes immediately after the trade deadline, MIL and ORL, both at home.

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Jeff reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 15:14
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Despite the sixers being 1-1 against he Bucks with a miracle three-pointer by Hawes, I think both of those games after the trade deadline are wins if they don't make any trades and the Vuce doesn't come back from injury by then (I don't know his time table, and I'm too lazy to look it up).

The bigger concern is, which teams are going to sell off players to become worse, and which of these teams could actually become worse than the sixers if the sixers don't make any trades?

Ok, so this will probably be a very long comment but i will also jump right into the discussion. Maybe it's because i have engineering and research background but even without the presumably incredible amount of data that Hinkie has i think i sort of understand his way of analytics based team building. There are a number of issues i would like to tackle here and i will put them in the same comment:

1. Analytics Approach What really analytics based team building means? I think there's still a lot more development needed (not enough quality data available yet) in this area around the NBA, but team building can be summarized with an extremely simplified optimization problem:

total value = draft picks value + players (trade) value + player development value + cap space value

There's more factors involved but these in my opinion are the most important ones. The goal is to maximize the total value, not maximize a single part of it (like cap space or draft picks).

Some key points here that i think tackle some common misconception of the entire process:
- Draft picks value is related to the expected value of the picks that can be acquired with some likelihood in a draft with solid depth like this one.
- The position in the standing determines the percentages with which the team will have a chance at the #1, #2 and #3 picks (and the lower picks influenced by who makes a "jump"). It doesn't equal draft position.
- It's not about the current record or the record over the past 20 games, it's about the projected end record. That's the record that goes into the draft pick valuation.

2. Process over results
- Process over results means that you value the decisions based on how much sense they made for the team long term given what was known at the time the decision was made. The assembled roster looked like a horrible tanking roster when assembled. The Bynum trade looked like the trade that will move the needle for the team. It ended up as a horrible trade for the Sixers but it was still the right move. There's risk in everything but you play the odds.
- Process over results often means staying the course and not overreacting to some early results. Just like the team shouldn't have overreacted to the second round playoff series 2 years ago, maybe they shouldn't overreact to a few more wins than needed in the first half of the season? In December stating anything with certainty definitely would've been overreaction. Now, we might be able to reach some conclusions.

3. Sixers are too good with MCW
- I've said this a number of times but i will put it again here. Yes, the Sixers have been pretty good when MCW is healthy, which presumably he should be going forward. But the exact same thing can be said for practically all of the other tanking teams (Orlando-Vucevic, Utah-Burke, Sacramento-Gay, Lakers-Farmar and Blake, Boston-Rondo/Crawford). This is not a fact that should be used when pointing out that the team will finish with over other teams IMO.

4. Impact of smarter offense
A common misconception is that because Brett Brown is too good of a coach and has improved shot selection, the team will win too many games and is destined for mediocrity.
- The team is currently at 99.8 and 108.2 in offensive and defensive efficiency respectively, down from 102 and 105.7 last year under Doug Collins. There's no real proof that Brown has moved the needle so much that he will impact the Sixers winning that much. And defensively this roster shouldn't have been worse than last years squad (you replace Jrue with MCW and the rest are either the same players or players with similar defensive abilities).
- There have been studies that coaches don't impact wins by more than a few games in either direction anyway IIRC.

5. Season projection
- First of all, i'm on record saying that my goal is having a bottom 3-4 record which would practically ensure a top 5 pick. I'm also on record saying that the goal is having 22 wins at most in the end. If i get the feeling the team might be on pace to win much more than that i'll start to panic a little bit. But i don't think that's the case yet.
- The average records of the bottom 5 teams over the past 5 seasons are: 15, 19.8, 23.2, 24.6 and 25.6. And i think because of the large number of tanking and bad teams this year the win totals for these teams will be elevated a little but this year (someone needs to win the mutual encounters between the bad and tanking teams).
- Various factors have impacted the Sixers record this season like the improved play of Turner, Hawes and T.Young, great fitness early int he season, luck etc. You won't fix it all by trading Hawes and Turner for nothing.
- I've said this from the start of the season and i still think that the Sixers won't win more than 4 games after the trade deadline. I always factor this in MY projections, even though i do admit that the number could go higher a little bit depending on who exactly will be kept.
- FWIW, i don't think Hinkie is above blatant tanking late in the season.

Conclusion: Wins are not good for the team, but Hinkie holding onto Hawes, Turner or anyone else was not necessarily the wrong decision.

P.S. I didn't discuss anything in any detail because the post would've been too long but my general point is that everything stated above has to be taken into account and how it impacts the total value.

Oh and to finish it all of: The Sixers have the third worst record at the moment, no real reasons why they should be better than the teams above them rest of the way and reasonable reasons why the team will become much worse after the deadline (trades, blatant tanking).

You could argue there's been blatant tanking to this point and they're still on pace for 26 wins.

There's a thin line between "process over results" and stubborn self destruction. I guess you can still look yourself in the mirror at the end of the season with the 6th-worst record but the worst differential and say, "The process worked, we were the worst team statistically." You failed, but it wasn't your algorithm's fault, it was that darn luck.

There's a point where results require an adjustment to process if the goal is in jeopardy. That point came about a month ago.

Your 4 wins after the break prediction doesn't seem realistic to me. 7 games against pure tanking teams (BOSx2, ORLx2, UTA, MIL, SAC), 3 more against the 2 teams they just beat (NYK, CHA), 4 more home games against less-than stellar teams (WAS, CHI, MEM, DET).

If Boston decides to go full tank, it will be pretty easy for them to pass us with 4 games left on the schedule.

I count 18 winnable games left on the schedule, with about 9 more that wouldn't be shocking upsets.

And games that they "should lose" can easily become wins depending on circumstance (like resting before the playoffs and teams with injuries who want to give a star a night off "because it is just the Sixers."

Basically my only point of contention is that when you have so many bad teams tightly clustered then you eventually start to lose your ability to control you draft position. While acting more decisively by making an earlier trade gives you a bit of a buffer that will better lock you into a 2nd or 3rd worse record.

I don't want a 5th or 6th pick, and the 4th worst record has a 52% chance at getting the #5 or #6 picks. Hinkie is willing to risk being in that position or feels there is no real risk in dropping 1 slot despite so many other teams with similar records. I don't share that confidence.

Otherwise I am in agreement with everything else Xaago has written above and what Hinkie has done. I have confidence in the picks, trades and organization he puts in place.

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Jack Straw on Jan 27 at 8:33
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I'm a bit surprised they've been able to come away with 14 wins through 44 contests, but I'm not overly concerned at this juncture.

I'd like to think Hinkie will look to flip one or two of Turner/Hawes/Thad to a contender as we approach the deadline, leaving us with a roster that won't be capable of stringing together 3 and 4 game win streaks (which currently account for more than half of our current wins).

Exactly half of our current wins, actually.

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Jack Straw reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 10:10
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Ah... I guess I'm no Hinkie when it comes to math.

I'd imagine both Hawes & Thad would be in higher demand around the league than Turner. Its a bit crazy to think about, but if we were to move them for picks/prospects/expirings our remaining roster would have a combined 10 years NBA experience (not including whatever we get in return).

Wow, that is nuts.

They will be the only team in NBA history to not have a player age 26 or over on the court at any time this season. Hawes turns 26 in the end of April, but likely will not be on the team then.

Well, I just had a conversation with a Nets/Knicks fan and he seems pretty excited about the Sixers' prospects. Maybe I'm overreacting after all.

I am much more optimistic about the Sixers than I was under Stefanski or BK.

Yeah, well there's a chance. I was pretty optimistic before the Turner disaster. Still think had they gotten Favors things would've turned out differently. If he was on a team that needed him early in his career and gave him minutes...ah, no point.

They have ownership, a GM and a coach that seems to think outside the box and swing for the fences. And all of those catch phrases has to be an improvement, no?

It doesn't have to be. Could be a downgrade, but like I said, there's a chance. Better than drafting 15th in a weak draft (or 2 in a weak draft, in Turner's case).

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 27 at 12:04
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I was pretty optimistic about Stefanski. He signed Elton Brand and didn't trade Iguodala for Monte Ellis like everyone wanted him to. He also drafted Jrue Holiday. His moves were risky but I liked them. I liked the Mo Speights pick at the time because they went after the most talented guy despite his character concerns.

He completely fucked up when he hired Eddie Jordan on the idea that this offense wouldn't require a true PG and it could be lead by Lou Williams.

At least he fired Eddie Jordan after a year instead of giving us this bullshit about how Jordan's offense takes 2 years to grasp. After the Doug Collins hiring he pretty much became his puppet.

I kind of liked Stefanski but I think it was because he wasn't Billy King.

Well - in comparison - the nets are capped out, old, with few draft picks, an owner with little clue and a GM that the Sixers were glad to get rid of...and as for the Knicks, well, they have a terrible owner as well, still listen to Isiah Thomas and have hitched their wagon to a guy who can do one thing very well and nothing else even a little well and have no idea how to build a team around him...oh yeah, they're capped out and with minimal draft picks for the future as well.

I mean the nets and knicks are the epitome of stuck in mediocrity I think

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Stan reply to GoSixers on Jan 27 at 13:45
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They're always going to be players in free agency. In 2015 and 2016 they'll have a ton of cap space which what they have going for them at this point.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 11:49
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Apparently the Lowry trade stalled because the Knicks weren't willing to give up a 1st round pick for 2018. I guess that goes to show you what Turner's value would be around the league.

2nd round pick for 2018? If that.

Probably too late for Toronto to really tank.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 12:06
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I think any trade to NYK would require us taking back JR Smith who has 3 years left on his deal. I think I'd rather keep Turner.

I'd rather cut Turner.

The Supreme Court with some remarks today that are tangentially relevant to the "is Turner costing us wins or handing us losses (or both)" debate:

Consider a baseball game in which the visiting team’s leadoff batter hits a home run in the top of the first inning. If the visiting team goes on to win by a score of 1 to 0, every person competent in the English
language and familiar with the American pastime would agree that the victory resulted from the home run. This is so because it is natural to say that one event is the out­come or consequence of another when the former would not have occurred but for the latter. It is beside the point
that the victory also resulted from a host of
other neces­sary causes, such as skillful pitching, the coach’s decision to put the leadoff batter in the lineup, and the league’s decision to schedule the game. By contrast, it makes little sense to say that an event resulted from or was the out­come of some earlier action if the action merely played a nonessential contributing role in producing the event. If the visiting team wound up winning 5 to 2 rather than 1 to 0, one would be surprised to read in the sports page that the victory resulted from the leadoff batter’s early, non-dispositive home run.

I predict this blog will be a much nicer place to talk Sixers basketball in a month when Evan Turner is off to greener pastures.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 27 at 13:37
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Not if we survive his loss. Of course I take the point that we don't really have the players behind him to help us do that, but even so, how much worse should trading our fourth best player make us?

Heh, my point wasn't really about win-loss record, rather than simply not having him on the team, something that half the fan base have wanted for a long time...

It won't be so nice when they notch their 25th win with 10 to go.

I will say that while I think a top 5 pick is fairly secure, Boston could take our top 3 pick. There's no evidence that Boston is better with a rusty Rondo than career year Jordan Crawford. So far it's be the opposite.

i think its more rondo knocking off the rust

I also think it's Rondo figuring it out slowly, but i do agree that Boston along with the Lakers are the two main threats to the Sixers. Of the 7 tanking teams (Milwaukee, Orlando, Philadelphia, LAL, Boston, Sacramento and Utah) i think Milwaukee is safe at #1 and Sacramento and Utah are probably going to finish 6th and 7th. Positions 2 through 5 are yet to be determined. Everyone's in play and everyone has shown serious tanking ability thus far. And it will probably be decided after the deadline. Whoever figures out how to tank effectively in March and June will come out on top.

I honestly think Rondo's going to shit the bed without Garnett and Pierce, and I'm going to enjoy watching it (except when the Sixers are beating them 4x).

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 18:31
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I always thought he was overrated defensively.

He's a good player, but his numbers were inflated on that team in that system. And he was always a gambler on the defensive end.

Hinkle would be redeemed in my eyes if he pulled off a trade along the lines of Hawes and ET for Bennett and Waitors. I would take on potential busts like that if the cost was our expiring vets, especially as it both helps the tank and potentially could accelerate the rebuild.

Ugh, won't Bennett be making like $10M by the end of his contract? I'll bet my left nut that contract is like a hot potato for the final couple years of his deal. Argh. If they'd made that deal back in December I could dig it, but that's too much money to take on. I'd rather they just cut both of them loose than something like that.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 16:22
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Yeah, really. Of course both have serious talent, but that's a huuuuuge risk.

I mean, if you can look beyond the fact that both guys have sucked ass on CLE, the Sixers would have 6 lottery picks in a four season span on their roster in July, the #1, #6 and #11 from last year, #4? and #10? from this year and #4 from 2012. One of them has to turn into a star, no? Even if they all suck, all those high picks would give Hinkie a boner. I bet he'd jump at it.

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tk76 reply to Brian on Jan 27 at 17:32
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The salaries don't bother me and if all you are giving up is Hawes and ET then it is worth the chance, even if they only turn into nice bench players you extend in a few years it would be worth it.

Like you said, the main point is to further compress how many lottery picks they have on their rookie deals at the same time. Hopefully a few would be stars and the rest complementary pieces or trade assets.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 27 at 17:48
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I thought we are trying to make a free agency splash in 2015, and Bennett would cost 7 million in 2016 if we exercised his team option.

Of course, I think you'll never get someone with Bennett's talent, no matter how awful he's been so far, for Hawes and Turner.

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 27 at 18:06
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Here are some rookies I would take for Hawes and/or Turner:

Mason Plumlee - has been very good so far. Billy King would probably love to have Turner, and how many GMs can you say that about?
Tony Snell - but Chicago won't trade.
Sergey Karasev - a possibility
Shabazz - probably the highest pick you could conceivably get for those guys, on a team that might actually be looking for a talent infusion (although probably not the sort of talent we have to offer), and maybe our coaching staff could make him into an NBA player.
Dieng
Gobert in a heartbeat, but unfortunately Utah has no reason to make trades.
Archie Goodwin
Tony Mitchell - horrible D-League numbers though.
Jeff Withey

Some sophomores:

Austin Rivers could be available, but no way.
Evan Fournier has taken a step back this year, but I would take him.
Budenholzer seems to hate John Jenkins, but he had a good rookie year.
PJIII
Jeff Taylor
Jae Crowder is a poor man's Kawhi. He would be a steal.

Hah, I think my bit of sarcasm did not come through. I think Clev would laugh at my proposed trade- it was more to illustrate the type of trade that Hinkie would need to pull off in order to compensate (IMO) for holding on so long to Hawes and Turner and ending up with 6+ extra wins compared to dealing them earlier.

If Hinkie is holding on to them because it takes team before a team is willing to give up a high upside (if risky) prospect then I would agree it is an acceptable trade off. But I don't actually expect that he will get any such promising return for Et and Hawes in the end.

As for the names you list, some look promising in an Eric Snow, McKie, Hill sort of way, but I don't think it any likely move the needle much in a rebuild. Probably the types of return that would have made sense back in mid December, but certainly not worth the wait (as I suspect you would agree.)

Like I said before, I don't expect the Sixers to be a legit destination for FA in 2015 unless either their picks are clear superstars on the rise by then (unlikely but maybe possible) or unless the somehow acquire a young established name player through trade first. So those nice potential role players are less enticing as the team won't likely have the stars in place for them to complement.

Probably reasonable for people to shoot down and Gordon trade notions, but maybe there will be an opportunity to make a Harden or KG like trade at next year's deadline or in the summer of 2015 that puts the Sixers at least in the conversation in regards to attracting another FA. But again, I think this is unpredictable and unlikely.

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 11:53
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Kevin Love has a player option for 2015/2016 so next season is going to be his last season in Minnesota. I wouldn't be surprised if Minnesota were to trade him at the deadline or next summer.

I think the only way Philly can acquire him is via trade. Free agency is highly unlikely because it would require their 4 lottery picks to play at a high level. I don't think Love would consider Philadelphia as a free agent when he has the opportunity to build a contender in a big market like LA or NY.

The Sixers have the assets to acquire him but I'm not sure what Hinkie is willing to give at this stage of the rebuilding process. I wouldn't trade Jabari, Embiid, or Wiggins for Kevin Love but if we end up Julius Randle I would consider moving him for Love. The Sixers would then fill out their roster with Noel, MCW, the Pelicans pick, and whatever they can get for Thad, Turner, and Hawes. Then they can aggressively shop for free agents like Loul Deng, Eric Bledsoe, and Kyle Lowry.

The Sixers will likely be at a huge disadvantage in any Love trade talks. There have been similar trades where the player typically names a few teams he would be willing to sign an extension with, so those teams can give up assets knowing they will get to keep Love long term. More likely the Sixers will be one of the trading partners that will have to risk losing assets for a potential 3 month rental. And giving up those assets will make it less likely Love will want to resign.

I guess a few teams like NJ took that risk and were able to convince their star to stay, so maybe it could happen.

It was pointed out in the comments section at LB by Case Daniels that if you set the line of good versus bad teams at 17 wins (roughly .500 ):

14 of the last 18 games have been against the "good teams". Only 7 of the next 19 are against good teams- so a lot more opportunities to either cement their basement status or harm their lottery chances. More than half of those games are before the deadline.

Right now I'd be excited with Embiid, Wiggins or Parker. The next tier is certainly promising, but I'd much rather see them get one of those 3 players and then a next tier player with the Pelican's pick. Right now that is where I am measuring the relative success of this painful season of losing.

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 13:42
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It would come down to convincing him that his best chance to win a championship and make the most money would come in Philadelphia. The Sixers would still Noel, MCW, and bunch of cap space to convince him that they could sign or trade for another good player. But I bet the prospect of him playing with Durant in LA, with Melo in NY, or Howard/Harden in Houston would be more attractive to him.

If it wasn't for the Brand signing and the Bynum trade I'd be more confident in making a trade like that. But right now I would be inclined not to take it. The Sixers have been burned a lot in the risks they've taken.

You are right that having Embiid, Wiggins, or Parker would be exciting. I just don't like Julius Randle. If the Sixers end up with Randle or anyone outside of that top 3 I would be really disappointed.

Eh, 17 wins is a very convenient cut-off margin. It's nowhere near .500, it's actually even under .400. And by putting the cut-off there you are just missing half of the opponents whose strength isn't much different from the declared "weak" teams(Knicks x2, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit).

I did not come up with that total, but I did mes up the math badly.

I do think 17 wins pretty well separates the bad teams from the rest. There are good teams, medicore teams, bad teams and terrible teams:

Good: 26+ wins: 10 teams
Mediocre: 20-23 wins: 8 teams
The rest are 19 wins or less and have not yet really separated themselves aside from the bottom 2.

Of course, based on SOS, Sixers sit at 17th, which is right about average schedule strength wise. Utah and Sacramento have had the two hardest schedules in the league and still have more wins than the Sixers, which is promising. Orlando and Milwaukee are at 20 and 22, respectively.

Milwaukee's strength of schedule is totally besides the point at this point, I suppose. And any Western team is going to end the season with a much stronger schedule than any Eastern team, so it's not like it will even out between us and Utah or Sacramento.

SOS doesn't take into account home/road games and that usually has a far bigger impact than the record of the opponent.

I generally like the Hollinger Odds (because they actually project the rest of the schedule as is), but they have flaws as well, namely not accounting the impact of trades and injuries. Right now they project the Sixers with 23 wins and the 2nd worst record after Miwaukee (16) and just ahead of Orlando (24). The only other team under 30 are the Lakers (29) though and i doubt everyone else wins over 30 to be honest.

SOS doesn't take into account home/road games and that usually has a far bigger impact than the record of the opponent.

Why the hell not? If it doesn't it's a piss poor evaluation - and it's pretty easy to create a SOS based on home road opponents - seriously...

Well i don't know why, but as far as i know it only uses the records of the opponents and their point differentials. Sacramento for example has the #2 SOS, but they've played a lot more home games than rode games. There's no way their schedule has really been the 2nd hardest so far.

It won't even out, but it will get easier.

wont be around for tonight's game

plumlee killed hawes when they faced in phoenix

also frye is the type of player that usually puts up huge numbers vs the sixers

Looks like an ugly start mostly due to the Suns hitting shots. I would rather lose that way. One interesting thing I took away from the Lowe BB article was that they are packing the paint due to no shot blocking presence. Brown adjusted this after we were giving up soooo many 3s during Icecapades. This gives me hope that we will have a much different defensive system next year with Noel in the middle and gives me less stress about our defensive struggles this year .

Andrew Bynum still not signed, hah, guy is incredible.

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SonOfZink on Jan 27 at 19:49
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As the camera zooms in on Dionte Christmas sitting on the bench, he turns to a teammate and says, "These motherfuckers are horrible."

An above-average showing from Turner, but will it be enough?

every game i miss the other team seems like they are pushing 100 through 3 quarters

Then it's your duty to miss more games I think

sissy 3

anyone who watched want to tell me if the bad shooting night from mcw was good shots being misses or bad shots

The usual - a little of both. He takes a lot of shots some nights. Some are good, some are not so good. And he drives a lot and frequently doesn't get the shot or the foul. Sounds like a common Turner type night, too.

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Tray reply to buke on Jan 27 at 21:24
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Let's not compare the ROY to, you know, the great Satan of Sixerdom.

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buke reply to Tray on Jan 27 at 22:06
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Well put. Perhaps the difference is that he's still young and may well earn salvation from eternal damnation.

7-0 run cuts the suns lead to 8

green 3 lead back to 13

hawes fouls out

Good numbers from Hollis. And a loss.

yea he has been playing well lately

lost by 11

at Boston on Wednesday

Got to lose that toilet bowl match up.

Dropping to #4 and thus having a 52% chance of falling out of the top 4 in the lottery is bad.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 28 at 1:02
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At least we're putting some distance between ourselves and Utah. And Vuce will be back soon.

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The Six on Jan 28 at 0:23
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This game was horribly officiated. Just one more example of why the NBA is the most poorly officiated sport of the four majors IMO. The 3rd Q took forever to get through. Touch foul after touch foul...the refs just killed any hope of a fast paced game (which both teams excel). Let the teams play. Good god.

Looks like the Rudy Gay fool's gold has worn off in Sacto. Dropped 4 straight. Lakers have also dropped 4 straight.

The Sacramento Kings have been without starters DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) and Rudy Gay (strained left Achilles) for the last three games.

hmmn, how long are they supposed to be out?


Gay could play Wednesday, however Cousins might be out a bit longer.

“Wednesday is a ways away in terms of rehab (for Cousins),” head coach Michael Malone told The Sacramento Bee. “I think it’s a realistic possibility, but we’ll have a better idea as we get closer to that time."

9-12 when they both play. Better hope they get back soon.

exum will declare for the draft

He would be a great Pelican's pick if he slid that far, however unlikely.

How awesome of a name is Dante Exum? I don't know much about this guy but he sounds like winner.

MATH PROBLEM:

At their current rate of speed, how many seasons will it take studious Hinkie & stirring Brown to climb the steps to the Eastern Conference Crown?

SCOUTING REPORT, DEFENSE:

Was driving by PCOM the other day, rolled window down. Faintly heard "Sieve Right", "Sieve Left" and "Sieve Middle" being shouted in an authoritative, instructional tone.


TWO TOKENS OF DUES PAYMENT:

27 yr old Goran Dragic and 28 yr old Gerald Green.



Next year will likely be another "rebuilding year", but with more interesting prospects on the roster. If they are going to turn the corner, it will start in 2015-6. This also aligns with the fact that they likely want to preserve their lottery protected first rounder next year (Moultre trade, now in Boston's hands) and that the Heat will become less of a dominant by that point. Although I'm sure there will be some other superteam by then.

Yeah, Spring 2018 at earliest for serious run. That's if '14 draft sequencing falls favorably their way. Rookies Cheeks, Toney, Erving, Jones & Malone wouldn't have won together. Takes time to ripen and to be steeled, individually and teamwise.

The core players of championship team are almost never under 26-27. It takes time to go through all the steps. Even the best ones can't do it at a very young age. If they don't add at least one high end older guy (e.g Love) i don't think this team will win a championship anytime soon. But they might become a contender in say 3 years.

The best players typically make at least the conference finals by their 4th season. But ideally their best player is likely joining the team next year.

Vets are definitely needed. Ya either grow em, acquire em - or both.

'67-'68 Sixers (62-20) picked up 34 yr old Jumpin' Johnny Green (booster rocket to glass) midway through season to help bolster frontline, provide spark from bench. But then "the Kangaroo Kid" broke his wrist in Round 1 Playoff against Knicks; dimmed chances, though Knicks were disposed of 4-2.

The local defending champs were then up 3-1 in EC Finals vs. Celts but managed to lose 4-3, 110-106 in Gm 7 at Spectrum; Wilt curiously taking just 1 shot in 2nd half; Wilt (6-15), Green (2-6) & Walker (3-6) combining to shoot 11-27 from FT line. Hurt as much as '64 Phils collapse.

Wilt with the rare MCW/ET off shooting night :)

your player comparisons - sacrilige!

*correction, Gm 7 final score was 100-96, not 110-106

footnotes:

game marked end of Wilt's 3 1/2 seasons as Sixer

game marked end of Alex Hannum's 2 yr Sixer coaching reign [he won ABA title the following season directing Oakland Oaks... 68-13, 62-20, 60-18 in consecutive seasons(!), 3 NBA/ABA championships in span of 10 seasons (also won in '58 coaching St. Louis Hawks)... the big man could coach a little

the celtics have had 1 back to back since rondo came back and he didnt play in the 2nd game so i wonder if he takes tomorrow off

It's a great excuse for them not to play him against a tanking contender. I'd bet he won't play.

they are getting blown out by the knicks so maybe they will limit his minutes in the 2nd half in hopes of playing him tomorrow

tk76 trade targets, Waiters and Bennett, had strong games today. 15 and 8 for Bennett on 10 shots (2 made threes), 21 points for Waiters on 13 shots. But the Pelicans easily beat them behind Davis's 30 and 8 blocks (second youngest player with that line after Shaq), knocking the Cavs to within 2 games of us, while Orlando and Boston are being destroyed by lousy Eastern lottery teams on the road. Terrible night for the tank.

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The Six reply to Tray on Jan 28 at 22:44
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Pelican won their third straight. That's a positive for me. I was getting nervous and still am.

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Tray reply to The Six on Jan 28 at 22:48
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How high are you willing to let their pick get just so we won't be nervous? They'd pick 11th at this point.

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The Six reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 1:30
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Don't get me wrong...it's a balancing act watching Pelicans games. But NOT getting that pick (and the Pelicans are an Anthony Davis sprained ankle away from being a top 5 lotto team) would be a disaster. First and foremost we need to secure the pick. Yes, the #6 pick would be a beautiful stroke of luck, but let's be realistic. 10-12 would be just fine by me.

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Tray reply to The Six on Jan 29 at 1:47
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I guess we could learn a lot about each other's sensitivity to risk from how we see this. The 6th place team cannot get the 5th pick, or the 4th, but they do have a 20% chance of moving into the top 3, which I find unacceptably high. The 7th, a 15% chance, the 8th, a 10% chance, the 9th, just 6.1%. A great deal depends on where you think the cliffs in value in the draft are, and of course that depends on whether Parker and Embiid are really coming out. Looking at draftexpress's mock, which assumes they both come out, I see a pretty big cliff between 7-8 (Gordon/Vonleh) and 9-10 (Cauley-Stein/Gary Harris). I think I'd take the extra 4% risk of losing the pick altogether at 8 to avoid that cliff at 9. (Of course, there will be value below 10, but it's harder to say where it will be - James Young looks the part of a very good NBA player, but he's also a risk - and of course, the order will change and by the time of the draft it's likely that Vonleh will move up and Randle will move down and the cliff, as I see it, will be a little earlier.) Now, whether you actually want NOP to drop to 8 now, or whether that's too scary and you'd like them to stay where they are now and drop to 8 at the end of the season... that's another matter, but I'm not sure that they'll ever get there if they don't start passing some teams soon.

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buke reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 11:08
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It is reasonably likely that one or more veteran players will move up to the higher ranges of the draft based on some late season and tournament performances and that will have the effect of pushing one or more heralded freshmen downward. Derrick Williams' and Oladipo's high draft positions are examples of those occurrences. There is also the combine which gave a major boost to Cody Zeller. My point is that a player like James Young might be available at a lower position than he now appears. I agree with you that he definitely looks like a very good prospect. One shouldn't worry too much about the unquantifiable risk of a given player.

No, one shouldn't; irreducibly so since its unquantifiable. :)

"What - me worry?" - Alfred E. Neuman

"given player": Jack Givens, Kentucky (4 yrs), Atlanta Hawks (2 yrs): popped in 41 in '78 NCAA title game win vs. "Tinkerbell" Banks, Gminski, Spanarkel. 18 for 27 from the field! Had some help from Rick Robey, Kyle Macy and others.


There's something to be said for the
Neuman philosophy. I remember that game well and I was pulling for Duke, perhaps for the only time ever. I wasn't advocating drafting a veteran player who gets hot in tournament. I was only commenting on how such a player can cause other players to fall into lower draft positions. I like the player Tray mentioned for the Pelicans' pick.

Agree, especially in this Mad world.

'Alfred for President' placard: "You could do worse, you always have"

Joe B. Hall and his recruiting helicopter. Lexington was rockin' in the 70s.

Was just kidding you. As for Pelicans pick material, I wouldn't know one from a kettle of fish as I don't usually watch college games anymore, on purpose.

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Stan reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 13:41
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The Pelicans have a shitty coach who is going to get replaced and they played without Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Ryan Anderson for significant portions of the season. I think that this year they will have a lower record than in any of the next 3 seasons. I'd rather get my first round pick now when it's in the lottery, whether it be in the 6-8, 8-11, or 11-14 range, rather than get a pick in the 20 range in 2015.

I fully disagree with this. I'd take a chance of them getting into the top 5 just to be somewhere in the 6-8 range over 11-14 any day of the week. Picks in the late lottery usually aren't all that different from late teens early twenties which is where the pick would land in 2015. Pelicans losses is what is needed, but unfortunately they are not coming. They are only going to get healthier.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 29 at 11:12
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So finishing sixth place, are you okay with the 20% chance of top 5? I think that if Embiid and Parker stay in, 6-8 looks like a pretty consistent shelf of talent, so I'd be happy with 8 over 6 to cut down on the top 5 risk.

I didn't really go that deep. I'm not even looking at the available players in this situation. Draft picks are first and foremost an asset.

But in general yeah i would take the risk. It's worthed. There's no way they'll end up with a bottom 5 record so i'm rooting for Pelicans losses all the way. If by some miracle the Pelicans move up in the lottery, i'm fine with their 2015 pick instead.

I'd be happy with anywhere from 6-8. The risk is what it is. I just want to be in a position to take Exum if he drops or LaVine.

Tonight's game is really huge in terms of our own pick. (along with the other three remaining against Boston). They need to start losing game against the teams they're competing against.

I don't think the Pelicans are a real risk to be anywhere near the wort 5 records in the league.

I am definitely worried about this game tomorrow night, seems like we should be favored.

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tk76 reply to Rusty on Jan 28 at 23:37
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Well either way, I guess we can hope for some lottery luck.

Was messing around with the ESPN Draft Lottery simulator a bit today. Had the Sixers picking anywhere from 1-6 with their own pick and had the Pelican's pick almost always at #11.

Had Gary Harris as the pick at #11 nearly every time.

Any draftniks here have a thought about Doug McDermott from Creighton as a late lottery pick? 6'8, great shooter who can stretch the floor, but probably can't guard any 3's in the league. Pure shooters with good size are always valuable IMO.

Thoughts?

i dont like taking shooters who cant guard anyone in the lottery

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buke reply to steve on Jan 29 at 15:26
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His comparable on drafts boards is Kyle Korver. That comparison is particularly apt because 1) both were of similar size; 2) both were known as great shooters with limited athleticism; 3) both played most of their careers in the Missouri Valley Conference where they were conference MVPs (Creighton switched to the new Big East this year). The big difference coming out of college is that Korver was selected later in the second round.

Korver managed to deliver on his reputation as a great shooter while developing his defense enough to get by OK. He's now in his 12th season averaging a modest double figures. If McDermott has a career like that he will be well worth an 11th or 12th pick. He wouldn't be my first choice, though. I kind of like a James Young selection there.

McDermott's a much more versatile offensive player than Kyle. He's sneaky around the hoop and moves very well cutting without the ball. I expect him to have a better career than Kyle.

I hope you're right. I remember watching him on ESPN during his senior year of high school and he outplayed teammate Harrison Barnes. It would be nice to see another four year player from a mid-major have a good career.

I've been thinking a lot lately about Hinkie's strategy and I read Brian's piece about how he is basically letting his ego get in the way of a golden opportunity. I hear that and tend to agree but another thought came to me as well, what if Hinkie, a self proclaimed "probabilities" guy, has already done the math on the lottery. Meaning, he knows exactly how many games he needs to lose to get the #2-#3 slot, he knows exactly the probability that gives him of landing in the top 3, and he knows exactly when he needs to dump, Thad, Spence and Turner to make these numbers work.

Bottom line, there is no way he is letting us finish better than third going into the lottery.

If he does, so he can get the 24th pick or 2 more 2nds and it costs us Parker or Wiggins, I will lose all faith.

I'd say if he thinks he can control things to that degree then we're definitely dealing with hubris here, because it's impossible.

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buke reply to Brian on Jan 29 at 15:36
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On that we certainly agree. I don't get the unshakeable faith in Hinkie's powers that some people seem to have. Reminds me a little of what was once said about Newt Gingrich: he is the kind of person who dumb people believe is really smart. Hinkie probably is making it up as he goes along just like most people. He'll win some and lose some just like the other GMs. We can only hope that his record is significantly better than a coin flip.

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Tray reply to buke on Jan 29 at 16:09
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I think smart people believe Hinkie is really smart too, though certainly not infallible; he's waited too long to move Hawes and Turner and some of the little roster moves have been mistakes. Newt never impressed me as smart. I mean, he's smarter and more well-read than the vast majority of the population, but that's not saying much. With Hinkie, moving Jrue was one of the most daring and unconventional moves in recent NBA history, and not in a dumb way.

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buke reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 16:49
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All that proves is that he had one bold move in him. As Roger Ebert once said, "A director who makes one great movie shows that he had one great movie in him." And, no, I don't think it was a dumb bold move either but that doesn't convince me that his tenure will be far more successful than some of those who preceded him.

As far as whether he has waited too long to trade Hawes and/or Turner, we'll just have to see. Certainly Hinkie has been able to achieve a respectably miserable record with them so far so he hasn't failed on that objective. Three weeks left and around all star break is the best time anyway.

One bold move in under a year

Billy King didn't make a single 'bold' move in his entire time he was the actual GM (after Larry Brown left) - he made bad moves - like bringing in a broken chris webber - or trading allen iverson to maintain mediocrity - but he never made a bold move

Once again the sixers currently have the third worst record in the NBA, and the second worst point differential.

I'm not really sure where the chicken little sky is falling hinkie has no clue what he's doing is actually coming from.

To be clear, there are shades of grey. I'm overall a fan of Hinkie and the organization, but I still think that there is a risk being taken by holding onto vets too long which may come back to hurt them. I think he is more of a risk taker then I am, and that may or may not pay off.

There is a lot of luck effecting any GM- which Hinkie has pointed out in interviews. Stefanski may never have been a great GM, but he could still be here had Brand returned to his All NBA form. Likewise, BK was creative, and had one of his complicated 4 team trades he was trying to pull of have worked he might have made it back to the Finals with AI. He certainly threw enough stuff against the wall that maybe something could have stuck.

I think at this point I rate Hinkie as potentially a much better GM, but he also could get unlucky the way Portland did with Oden or he could make the best moves he can and still end up with a mediocre team based on the talent available when they pick. I do like that he is at least trying to maximize his chances... just not enough in the case of when he ultimately gets rid of his vets.

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buke reply to GoSixers on Jan 29 at 17:17
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"I'm not really sure where the chicken little sky is falling hinkie has no clue what he's doing is actually coming from."

Well, since I've said no such thing, it's not coming from me, but I'm not surprised that you can't break your habit of attacking phantom arguments instead of the points people actually make.

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MojoSoDope reply to GoSixers on Jan 29 at 17:32
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"I'm not really sure where the chicken little sky is falling hinkie has no clue what he's doing is actually coming from."

Where has anyone said any of that around here? Read weekly and haven't seen that mentioned.

What's more interesting or intriguing to me is why there seems to be a segment on this blog that can't help themselves from slobbing all over the guy just because he's done nothing to this point but build a talent-deficient loser with some upcoming cap space that no star is likely going to want.

Basically, he's got a roster full of youngins' and bench players (Hawes/Turner/Young), that to this point nobody wants to give anything of value for. He's got two more youngins'-bullets in the revolver yet to be fired. An enthusiastic still suspect coach that prefers to run.

So, how is what he has or is doing any different from other squads of the past? Like, it's really no different than when Andre Iguodala was this budding star and Dalembert was adequately manning the paint. Those teams had slivers of hope, but no definitive rosy outlooks. Or one of Mo Cheeks later years when their slogan was "Run With Us", they played an up and down game with some decent talent at some positions. Or when Marreese Speights was this untapped stud that was going to take Elton Brand's starting spot, or Jrue Holiday was the next Gary Payton that should run the team over Lou- I leave alot to be desired as a PG- Williams.

Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel and the potential two upcoming lottery picks really offer no more slivers of hope going forward than the previously mentioned.

What makes this guy such a mental giant then?...reading some of it borders on a masturbatory nature.

Well maybe you should read again with a bit more comprehending eye, I haven't seen anyone slobbering either, I've seen people preaching patience...the rest of what you've said indicates that you might not even understand what the plan is.

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MojoSoDope reply to GoSixers on Jan 29 at 17:47
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"With Hinkie, moving Jrue was one of the most daring and unconventional moves in recent NBA history, and not in a dumb way."

You wouldn't consider this slobbering from just up above? Remember the Boston trade for Ray Allen?

Care to enlighten me and help me understand what this plan is you seem to be knowledgeable of?

Hinkie inherited a team that was both locked into mediocrity and lacking in future assets. In less than a year he has at least oput them in a position where they have 4 lottery picks in 2 years and have a blank slate in terms of the cap and roster flexibility. He has also turned his somewhat overrated All Star PG into 2 lottery picks while effectively moving his own team's pick from late lottery to the top of the lottery, and turned a #11 pick in a weak draft into the consensus ROY.

Not bad for 8 months work.

Before:
35 win team with a 23 year old good PG and a roster recently gutted by the Bynum trade and missing 2 future first rounder from the Bynum and Moultrie trades.

After:
The ROY picked at #11 in a weak draft. Noel, 2 lottery picks coming in next year, multiple 2nd rounders and roster flexibility.

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MojoSoDope reply to tk76 on Jan 29 at 17:57
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Well aware of all that. Still doesn't guarantee future success or contention in a finite number of years (as you just mentioned up above). Which is what I was saying initially about previous teams not having much of a definitive rosy outlook and these moves don't represent anything close to that - as of yet.

This thing can trend downward just as much as alot are believing/hoping it will trend upward.

Or, it can likely flatline right back into "locked mediocrity"; flexible mediocrity may be more like it, but none the more palatable.

Of course it does not guarantee future success. With the state of the Sixers after the failed Bynum trade there was absolutely nothing that a GM could have dome to guarantee success- although getting the best player in the draft at #11 certainly helps matters.

8 months in, all we can do is evaluate the moves a GM has (or has not) made, and whether that could potentially get them on the road to contention. They have quickly gone from zero chance to a team with options.

Using your Celtics for Ray Allan trade as an analogy... Last year's Sixer team lacked assets that would enable them to put into motion the types of trades the Celtics made in assembling their big 3. They had Jrue and Thad and were barred from trading away a #1 pick for the next 4 years. But now 8 months later the Sixers have dramatically more assets and flexibility. Whether or not this pays off remains to be seen, but what would you have like to have seen after his first 8 months on the Job?

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buke reply to tk76 on Jan 29 at 18:07
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I agree with you that he has given the team access to more young prospects and financial flexibility than they had before (although they were headed toward decent financial flexibility with or without him). But, if the Sixers are sitting where the Kings are after three years, all of these possibilities won't have amounted to much. We'll see what happens.

The one good thing about that cursed 7th or 8th seed "mediocrity" is that you are fewer steps away from "success" than the Sixers are now. If the Sixers had not made the Bynum trade and strengthened their team in increments, they might be the third seed now and I'd be looking forward to the playoffs instead of just the draft. The past is the past, but the next few years may make us all a little more nostalgic for the 2012 team.

They may have been 3 seed simply because a 500 tea in the East can be a 3 seed this year. I'm not sure that makes them any legitimately closer to contention than their current team given that a Jrue/ET/Iggy/Thad/Vuce team getting picks in the 20's would need some massive trades to be a contender, while the current team has at least 4 swings in 2 years at finding a cornerstone franchise player in the draft. And contenders tend to have superstars and that intact Sixers team has none.

My guess is that you are all as psychic as Miss Cleo and that the only person with any actual insight - albeit not a whole lot - would be someone with press credentials who talks to people who actually work for the sixers.

Hatred will always fuel the belief that you know what the person you hate is doing and how it's awful and terrible...that doesn't mean you're right...no matter how much certainty one has...if you don't have all the facts your conclusions are most likely faulty.

Here's a possibility

Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes are expiring contracts this year, the sixers most likely will revoke Turner, thus both with be unrestricted free agents. Why would any team pay any amount of money to them this year when they could just wait until the off season to pay them.

I realize that sort of thinking doesn't play into the whole 'Sam Hinkie thinks he's smarter than he is, I know better and he's screwing it all up' kind of thinking, but hey...it is what it is.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned just cutting them, eat the contract but get more losses

Well, the insight was Hinkie thinks he can get a first rounder if he waits until the last minute, which kind of goes against your "nobody wants them" blatant apology.

I'd be in favor of cutting both of them, preferably a month ago. I think Derek brought up cutting Turner.

I think there's enough of a market for Hawes where cutting him isn't the only option, probably for Turner as well, but whatever hoops you have to jump through to avoid criticizing Hinkie in any way are cool with me. Chicken little.

You're really just turning into a bitter old man aren't you?

That polar vortex is bad juju

More angry than bitter, but definitely old. And you seem like you're on the Sixers payroll or something.

Nothing I've said is crazy. I'm guessing about motivation, obviously, but the fact is they would have a worse record had he been proactive about it, and a worse record is pretty important when you're gunning for a top pick. So the contention could be that he's held onto them because he wants to build a winning atmosphere (and 5th worst equates to winning more than actual worst), or you could say he's holding out for some monster deal to materialize, maybe even just tangentially where the facilitate a deal and get a lottery pick for your trouble. The latter theory doesn't hold water, though, because they could simply facilitate with their cap space. I don't know, I've rub through every scenario I can think of and none of them outweigh the cost of inaction, so I'm left with the conclusion I've drawn. Hubris.

This might just be growing pains, like Chip Kelly trying a swinging gate, or a Brad Smith wildcat at the worst possible time. Doesn't mean I think Kelly is a bad coach, nor Hinkie a bad GM, just think it was some stupid shit from a guy early in his career because we tried to get cute in a business where being cute costs you. Unfortunately, the stakes are much higher for Hinkie and his boner non-moves could have far reaching repercussions. Kelly just dropped a game or two he shouldn't have, but came out ahead on the season, IMO.

The next 20 games represents the easiest stretch f the schedule and will make or break any hopes of tanking. I'd be more comfortable had Hinkie unloaded a few vets by now, but we will soon seen how the Sixers match up against the rest of the leagues refuse- starting tonight.

The next 20 includes:
Bos X2
Orl X2
Utah X2
Mil
Det
LAL
Cle
Was
NKN
BKN
Sac
Atl

Also important in the same context: The Celtics are about to start a key tanking stretch of their own. In their next 4 games they have the Sixers x2, Orlando and Sacramento.

The Celtics are a team that is arguably worse than the Sixers until trades are made. But if both teams make expected trades (including Rondo) the Sixers should be worse.

The Celtics have lost 13 of 15 and 16 of 19. They are peaking at the right time :)

Funny I was going to mention this last night. What are thoughts on Nick Stauskus?

He recently moved to #14 on Ford's board. I don't like him with the Pelicans pick but I do like him with a third first rounder. His height surprised me to the upside, his shooting is well known, but his handle has been better than I expected as well.

I think he would also be easier to hide on the defensive end versus McDermont.

I guess he was going to be on the list of guys I am high on versus consensus, but he seems to really be shooting up on consensus boards.

Other guys on my list:
Vonleh (no more but thought he was worthy of #5 pick)
Randle (still think he is 4th best player despite his ineffectiveness recently)
James Young (I think he has Michael Redd potential and will figure out shooting issues)
Wayne Selden (could be the overshadowed story ala Eric Bledsoe when he was with Wall)
Stauskus (mid-late first round, known shooting)
Alex Poythress - second round pick - could be good glue guy and learning his role well on UK. I know consensus might be here but I am a big fan of what he is doing.

mcw named to the rising stars game

Random thought:

How do you compare Jrue and MCW right now?

Ceiling:
MCW has a higher ceiling as he is a bit younger and more pure PG instincts, but ultimately I expect they will end up about the same caliber, but with MCW having more unique numbers. So second tier near All Star for them both through their prime.

Team building:
-Jrue is easier to build around because he has both good size and a good jump shot. He can fit in almost any backcourt, even giving you quality SG minutes on both ends. In fact Jrue might be a more elite player at SG simply due to the lack of quality 2 way SG's in the league who can shoot, although he is better suited to play PG. There is so much more talent in the NBA at the PG poition right now.
-MCW is a bit harder to fit in your backcourt because he lacks a reliable jumper, but with the right fit you get a more elite team with his better passing and foul drawing ability.
-Both players are not at the level where they attract big name FA, but MCW has a better chance to become a name player because he already has a higher profile.

Foundation player potential:
Jrue is probably were he should be as someone clearly not the best player on his team. MCW might end up a 1A type of franchise player in a Rondo type of way, as he could really complement high scoring teammates where Jrue as more of a scoring guard would not.

Really difficult to answer. There are two major aspects that are impossible to project right now:

- How Jrue would look in a smart offensive system
- How much development doesn't MCW have in him considering his advanced age for a rookie

If i were to guess i think MCW develops into a better player in the long run, but that doesn't mean Jrue won't be good. In fact Jrue's versatility might make him a batter fit for most teams around the league and he will have an easier job in becoming a key piece on a contender.

All in all i think if he stays healthy long term, MCW will become a multiple allstar and a top 5 PG in the league. I think he will be able to develop his jump shot to a respectable degree and that's all he really needs. Defensively, he'll be a menace in the kind of scheme the Sixers will likely employ long term.

It is hard to know what a top 5 PG will be with so many quality PG's out there. Other than CP3 and Curry there is not that much separation.

I'm not really worried about ranking so much as him being damn good at his position - and I believe he will be - and he'll be better than Jrue at Jrue's peak in my opinion

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 29 at 19:16
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I'd rather have Jrue as my PG. He's a better ball handler, defender, and jump shooter. But I would have to disagree with you on playing off the ball, I think MCW is better at that role. Jrue's game is all about timing and pacing. I've never really seen him make a lot of jumpers on catch and shoot situations or get buckets on oboards and cutting to the basket. I think Jrue is strictly a PG whereas MCW is better at finding ways to score without the ball in his hands.

Jrue is a better defender now than MCW is now - let's talk in 5 years and see who is the better defender after 5 years in the league.

Carter Williams draws contact, he gets shots, he gets better looks than Jrue got as far as I remember and he has pretty good court vision - I don't see him being as confounded by double teams as Jrue is/was

no rondo for boston tonight

also no Avery Bradley

Those fuckin assholes. I hope Jeff Green has a big night.

It will be interesting to see the chess match between Brad Stevens and Brett Brown in trying to lose this game.

They should send MCW home to have a nice dinner with his family and let him watch the game on TV.

Is it too late to trade ET and Hawes?

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Stan reply to tk76 on Jan 29 at 18:33
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Maybe this can be one of those nights where ET helps us. Brett Brown could have Turner play the point.

It will be interesting to see the chess match between Brad Stevens and Brett Brown in trying to lose this game.

It'll be interesting when people learn that coaches and players don't tank...GM's build bad rosters, coaches and players still try to win

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 29 at 19:33
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I think he's being sarcastic, but google the mark Madsen game if you think coaches never tank.

vuce back for the magic tonight but on a minutes limit

Jesus, a minutes limit on a player coming back from a concussion? And the concussion was almost a month long... If that is not tanking i don't know what is...

********BOSTON GAME**********

Jesus...Kyle Lowry is 5-5 from 3pt range in just the first quarter against ORL. Fantastic.

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Tray reply to The Six on Jan 29 at 19:40
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Huge game two days ago too. 31, 5, 6, 5 steals.

hawes to the line

made both

mcw rebound and finish

no one stopped him

hawes you dont need to run Wallace off the 3 point line

cause i care about such things, wroten and or Thompson should be in the rising stars game

That's rose-colored. Wroten probably has the worst offensive numbers in the league. I like Hollis, but he isn't playing enough (nor doing enough)

im pretty sure both are doing a better job than mason plumlee and olynyk

Not true, Plumlee is doing a great job. Olynyk... well, Olynyk had one huge game lately.

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 21:07
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Also, they left out 51-point scorer/slam dunk champ Terrence Ross.

lavoy tip in

How far do we rise/drop if we win this game?

go from 3rd worst record to tied for the 3rd worst record

Tied with 2 teams in wins, but two fewer losses than BOS, two more losses than SAC.

Tray, this is a chance for your side of the Turner theory. If he loses a game they should've won on paper with a below average game that'll be one on your side of the ledger and four or five on my side.

nice cut by thompson, to the line

made both

lavoy and thad have cost mcw a couple of ast by missing layups

dedmon block!

down 3 end of the 1st

Lavoy needs to play 40 plus minutes tonight...

sissy 3

dedmon back door cut!

Twolves shutting out New Orleans. Hope that holds up.

no Anthony davis for NOR

no pek for MIN

et's 2nd airballed corner 3

good quick post to mcw

sissy jumper

et to anderson

up 14?

7-0 run by boston

mcw and 1

missed the ft

up 6 at the half

thad 3

sissy 3

sissy 3

et floater

Lowry ends his night with 33, 7 and 11. Magic are blown out. Lowry's probably having one of the ten best seasons in the league.

thad slow to get up

trying to battle with it

up 3 end of the 3rd

hawes running at olynyk leads to a boston 3

anderson 3

Turner has got fat in season. That's not easy to do

et to the line

split them

lavoy is so bad

Does Ohio State scout for doughy unathletic guys? Sullinger is Turner +2 inches.

mcw splits the ft

This is a pretty fucking big 1:45.

Bayless misses a pair!!!

Thad to the line. This is a tie game after he splits 'em.

He missed 'em both! Advantage Boston because this might be a shutout the rest of the way.

MCW's turn to miss a pair?

thad misses both

still down 1

mcw splits them

tie game

Ah, he made the second. TIE BALL GAME, FOLKS!

Humprhies looks like he won the championship with that tip in. Sweet fist bump, looks around, realizes no one cares.

MISS IT!

et to the line

split them

down 1

Atta boy, Turner. Now BOS uses entire clock and scores.

et at the buzzer

lol

Oh dear.

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 29 at 21:55
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Now before you start up, let's keep in mind that Boston wouldn't have even been in this game at the end had Turner played a better game. I'm putting this on Hawes and whoever made Sullinger miss 16 shots (also Hawes??).

Eh. Pretty average game for Turner. This wasn't an example. They should've won on paper, he played an average game, they won. Of course, if he isn't on the team, who takes that last shot? :)

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 29 at 21:59
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I wasn't saying this was an example of a game we lost because of Turner's below-average game, obviously. Since we won. But Turner usually scores about 21 points when he uses so many possessions. As much as it may seem like it, he is not shooting 35% on the season.

EVAN TURNER LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!!!!!

EVAN FUCKING TURNER!!!!!!

Good work, Hinkie.

95-94 devastating win.

God, apparently, had his eye on this game. According to Evan Turner. I guess the big man is a Celtics fan.

Atlanta comes to town on friday

Well-rested after they got tonight's game canceled.

still very injured

dont know if teague plays

How long before Spiller shows up to tell us Turner would be doing this all the time if the team around him was better?

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 29 at 22:02
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I guess every player is entitled to his fans. It's not quite as ridiculous as liking Willie Green.

Oh dear. A smear. His little horse must think it queer to stop without an outhouse near.

How dare you smear the great WG? He led his team to the first round of the playoffs last year.

You misinterpreted my remarks. But that's half the fun.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 29 at 23:06
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Splitter showed up on Libertyballers. When some guy wrote:

Unlike you idiots I enjoy watching my favorite team win. hopefully ET gets resigned next year. Go Sixers!!!!!!

Splitter chimed in:

Agreed, incredible shot!

But it got much, much better. This is from splitter:

BUZZAH BEATAH!!!!!

Nothing better than Evan Turner shutting the door in the faces of those Celtic fans! I loved seeing their depressed droopy eyes, absolutely hilarious. What a shot! It’s pretty amazing, after years of guaranteed last-second bricks by the “closer” Lou Williams, we actually have a guy with ice in his veins who nails the final shot. And everyone here wants him out of town! Amusing. Hinkie seems to disagree, and it eats at you all!

He's like this demented cackling villain of the Sixers blog commentariat. "Hinkie seems to disagree, and it eats at you all!"

i really hope they are this good in close games when/if they get good

It's a Catch-22, they'll never get good if they keep being this good in close games. Our pick is going to be #7, the NOP pick is going to be #12.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 29 at 22:12
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7 is really unlikely. 5 is totally possible.

I wonder how Turner's clutch stats compare to some of the great perimeter players whose class he thinks he's in. ("In my mind, I’m one of the best perimeters out right now. I feel like I’ve always been one of them.")

I land from a flight and see this is how it ended. Meanwhile I caught the KU game on the flight and was really really growing on Wiggins and what he could do with BB. Heart....broken....

Gay is back for Sacramento tonight, but Cousins isn't. Unfortunately they're playing Memphis, one of the hottest teams around.

Wiggins is having a strong game tonight, although just as I type that he makes the laziest entry pass. Like the basketball equivalent of a misthrown eephus pitch.

Anyone know what that logo / emblem was on the fronts of those red T-shirts that pack of Sixers fans were wearing? They kept showing them after ET's buzzer beater.

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Tray reply to Rodney on Jan 30 at 0:37
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Probably a portrait of Mitch McGary.

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buke reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 11:51
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Funny! Personally, I doubt he comes out this year with his medical problems. He really screwed up by not coming out last year. The real kicker for his decision is that Michigan has adjusted very well to his absence.

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Da Jruth on Jan 30 at 0:11
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Turner's crossover to get into the lane was pretty sick. Bayless looked like he was in a four-inch-pour of concrete.

They funny thing is Bayless typically looks like he's in a 6-inch pour of cement on defense.

One win away from 8th, and Hinkie stays silent.

Turner beating the Celtics at the buzzer in a game noone wanted to win is simply so... Sixers. I guess there is no end to the Sixers curse to somehow do it all wrong. I'm at the point where i think it doesn't matter what Hinkie does. Elliot Williams and Brandon Davies would probably be hitting off balance threes to win the game if the veterans were traded.

I'm mad at the win, but i'm even more mad at the system. This is simply horrendous. The fans base booing and cursing it's own player who won them a game at the buzzer against the arch nemesis. Everything is so wrong about this.

Don't get me wrong i still want him gone, but you gotta feel for Turner a little bit. He won the game at the buzzer against the Celtics and the fans hate him for it. It's just wrong.

It's not his fault. The GM fucked up. He shouldn't still be on the team.

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eddies' heady's reply to Xsago on Jan 30 at 9:07
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Totally agree with almost all of this. It felt good to see that shot fall against the much despised except it didn't feel as good as it was supposed to or used to feel. Rooting for a loss is something I have a difficult time with. Sometimes won't be mad if they lose or cough one up, but goes against every inch of my sports fandom fiber to actively watch a game and 'root' for an L. The NBA being screwed up in this regard is just one of the many reasons why I still do and always will have a passion for college basketball.

There's nothing like the purity of Jay Wright's tailoring, John Calipari's conjuring, Rick Pitino peregrinations, Dick Vitale's exhortations, the Selection Committee's bracketing and the Carrier Dome receipts. Pom poms and boola boola! "PTP-er, baby!"

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tk76 reply to Xsago on Jan 30 at 13:17
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I guess part of why I've been obsessing over losing enough is the fact I want them to be good again quickly, so we can avoid a tanking season for a long time.

Agree the system is broken, but I'm not sure you can fix it given how much it is a star driven league. It will never be the like the NFL.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 30 at 13:44
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His solution is the dreaded Wheel, plus higher max salaries and a harder cap to compensate for the loss in competitive balance from dumping the lottery.

I don't really have A solution, i can't really think of a perfect one, but yeah what you described sums up my opinion as the best option at the moment.

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buke reply to Xsago on Jan 30 at 15:03
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Here's one. The 14 non-playoff teams get to pick first but in random order with no weighting. The team with the worst record has the same chance of picking 14th as picking 1st. The playoff teams could still pick in the reverse order of finish.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 15:37
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The real issue no one mentions is that it is a free world, and eventually athletes get to chose where they want to play. The lottery and rookie contracts/RFA helps minimize this to some degree. Getting rid of the lottery will just make the imbalance worse and make it more like baseball- but worse.

It depends on the system replacing the lottery. It won't necessarily impact the balance at all.

Two-part solution:

A: There is no lottery, draft order is determined as follows: Best team to miss the playoffs gets the #1 pick, 2nd best to miss gets the #2 pick and so on. Then worst playoff team gets pick #15 and you go up.

B: All national TV money, league merchandising, fines (team, player, organization) and luxury tax payments are put in a common pool. That money is divided among the playoff teams each year (assuming this should be maybe $50M/team).

So you have an incentive for every team in the league to win as many games as possible. And if you're on the fringe of the playoffs and thinking about tanking for the #1 pick, it's going to cost you $50M to do so.

This rewards teams for actually trying, it would lead to teams at the bottom trying to improve other ways than the draft, it would mean mediocrity is not a life sentence in the league. It would mean a season like the one we're watching right now would never, ever happen again.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 17:25
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But then you could have an owner who is complacent with getting the #8 seed since he's going to make $50 million. He might not care to go out and sign a player to take his team to the the next level. I'm not talking about signing a Lebron James, but an owner might not want to spend $7 million to sign a good SG that he needs. Or you could run into a situation where the team might not care to fire a coach who consistently fails at getting past a certain round in the playoffs or isn't running the system that best suits the team's players. It would be like the Bulls never firing Doug Collins. It could turn into a situation where mediocrity is the goal.

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Tray reply to Stan on Jan 30 at 18:08
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Well, it would be pretty risky to build for the 8th seed, because you could easily be 9th, or finish a lot worse with injuries. The owner you're imagining would probably have to build for a 5th or 6th seed to be safe.

I don't think complacency would ever be a problem when every team has a true incentive to improve every year.

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Tray reply to tk76 on Jan 30 at 16:46
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But see, if you let teams pay LeBron forty million, while capping their total salaries at 60 or something, the hope is that balance will be obtained by putting superstars on an island with mediocre role players. So basically the situation that most superstars are in on their first team, but it lasts forever. And by crushing all these great teams that bring fans to the NBA, and creating this new means of guaranteeing balance, you end tanking, which is just too icky to be tolerated.

I wonder if not calling the timeout on the last play was a subtle last second tank attempt, or strategy to win. You'd think in most cases a coach is going to want to draw up a play in that situation.

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Matt68 reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 8:21
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I've read that offenses do better without the timeout because the defense isn't set. I'm sure it depends on how good your coach is at drawing plays though, and Brown may be above average, at least.

Outside of MCW, this season is a disaster. And he won't be enough to make up for it if they keep rising (falling?).

I'ts difficult to tell what was the case in this situation, but in Europe coaches often let the team run a play without calling a timeout in these situations. European coaches tend to think last possession timeouts help the defense more than they help the offense.

Especially with the personnel Boston had on the floor (Sullinger and Bayless), I think it was a strategy to win.

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Mike reply to Brian on Jan 30 at 9:14
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Turner said he wasn't listening to anything anyway, he decided on his own he was taking the shot

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eddies' heady's on Jan 30 at 9:11
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I did think that Boston was trying their darnedest to reduce their chances of winning with just a minute or so left when they subbed out Gerald Wallace and Brandon Bass for Kris Humphries and I think that D-League guy (?)Johnson. I remember thinking at that moment why would he take out Wallace and Bass for those two in crunch time?

All this tanking is too confusing, as a fan. So before the season started, I made the decision to just root for my team, like I always do. Last night was awesome! And I got to talk smack to my Boston friends...which was also confusing, because they don't know whether to root for wins or ping pong balls either.

I've noticed refs are starting to let Turner use his rump, arm and shoulder more prior to shot launch. Could it be that he's passed through pledge paces and become a full-fledged fraternity brother? Dec 20 and Jan 29. Habit? Or passing fad? Gotta give the Kidet kredit for perseverance in the face of hordes of doubting Thomases, if only for last night's crossover and humped-up capper. Some slick passes too.

The "consensus ROY" is shooting .401 on season after last night's 4-14. TS% .480. eFG% .433. Some year.

98 ORtg, 106 DRtg. .056 WS/48.

MCW: long-limbed eager beaver, but his shooting is inferior and his overall play is dipping of late. The only wall he's met after 35 games is his limitations in conjunction with more opponent attention.

Credit for deferring to a possessed ET on last possession.


"Possessed ET" had quite a game last night as well. 6/17.

They both suck, and they still won.

Evan's on a mission, and he's inviting you to become one of his missionaries, even though you've resisted the application process to date.

West reserves:
LaMarcus Aldridge
James Harden
Dwight Howard
Damien Lillard
Dirk Nowitzki
Tony Parker
Chris Paul

East reserves:
Chris Bosh
DeMar DeRozan
Roy Hibbert
Joe Johnson
Paul Millsap
Joakim Noah
John Wall

These selections really exemplify the weakness of the conference. Millsap is an All-Star in the East, while Cousins and Duncan, having much better seasons, can't make it in the West. That said, DeRozan over Afflalo or Lowry, or really almost any of those reserves over Lowry, is crazy. Lowry is 5th in win shares in the whole league. His team is very good when he plays and bad when he sits. He has a .587 ts%, makes a prodigious number of threes, fifth most in the league, has been dominant of late, and plays defense. DeRozan is only a little better than Turner, Wall has not been nearly as good.

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 19:36
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Oh and Anthony Davis. Davis is not an all-star in the stacked west, Millsap and DeRozan make the team here. You could probably make a western b-team that would beat the eastern reserves. Dragic, Cousins, Davis, Iguodala, Lawson, Duncan..

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 19:50
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Also, if you go to nba.com right now, they have a picture of five of the all-stars, and one of them is Lowry, instead of DeRozan. Mistake or protest in the IT department?

Lavine is very difficult to judge in that UCLA offense, watching them makes me truly frustrated.


Separately, I am starting to really like Stauskus. He seems to really have built his game since last year, can do a lot more than I expected. I'd be curious to hear Derek's thoughts on where he thinks he could go. I'm not much of a McDermont fan because I think he'd be harder to hide On defense. I would like a knock down shooter even if he comes off the bench.

So it was widely assumed that Cleveland was no longer a tanking threat with Luol on board, but so far no such luck. We're just one game worse than them now, and they're losing games by huge margins.

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 30 at 23:55