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Good analysis, as always... it's encouraging that there's evidence to back up what we see from watching the games.

Of course, Green's decreased minutes are made possible not just by Thad's development, but by Carney's. In that vein, I wanted to get your thoughts on the new Rodney Carney, if possible. Living in dreaded Boston, I don't get a chance to watch the Sixers as often as I'd like, but I actually liked the Carney pick last year when the Sixers made it. Now it's strange for a four-year college player, but he seemed to need some development time to acclimate himself at the NBA level, but he's beginning to show signs of being an effective rotation player at worst and a decent starter at best. I was able to watch the Detroit game on March 12, and it convinced me that Carney absolutely is a key part of the future of this team.

So Brian, I know you were never a huge fan, but what do you think now?

Check out this link from Joe in another post.

Carney came in here with the reputation of being a great athlete, good defender and long-range threat. For the first year and a half he only lived up to the good athlete part. From that article, it looks like Reggie Evans gave him a lesson on how you excel in this league, and he's taken it to heart.

He's put in the hard work and it's showing on the floor. Is he a starter? Well, he definitely could be right now for this team, but we're comparing him to Willie Green, which isn't fair to Carney. Could he start next year? I don't think so, not for this team. I still think they go out and get a PF, move Thad to SF and Iguodala to SG. But could definitely be the shooter off the bench this team needs.

If he can hit 40% from three AND bring the energy, defense and rebounding off the bench that he has over the past couple of weeks he'll be a huge asset for a long time. I love the way he's playing right now, and I just hope he keeps putting in the work.

There's nothing I enjoy more than being wrong when I write off young Sixers.

Thanks for that. As the school paper beat writer for the Providence team, I got to see both Florida and Memphis come to Providence during the 2005-06 season, and I came away more impressed with Carney than anyone else (except for Darius Washington, Jr., but that's a discussion for another time ha). A guy that athletic who can consistently stick jumpers out to three-point range? Now that he's stepped up his game, he should be relegating Willie to the bench, but we'll have to see how Mo decides it should shake out.

I agree about him coming off the bench in the future (though I think we might be well-served running out a starting five of Miller, Iguodala, Carney, Thad, and Dalembert for the time being). I'm just still worried about who will be the power forward to complete that lineup. It's a concern for the offseason, I know, but it's the next piece this team needs and it'll worry me until we figure it out.

Thanks Tray.

For me, this quote was the best thing about the whole interview:

MT: To see this team gel is quite honestly, amazing. Are you becoming close off the court as well?

TY: We are like brothers and the coaches are like fathers. We are bonding on and off the court. We hang out a lot. It’s all one big family right now.

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Joe reply to Tray on Mar 27 at 16:53
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nice article.

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Joe reply to Tray on Mar 27 at 16:55
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oh and I chucked at this...

"TY: I grew up watching a lot of tape of players and took from this guy or that guy to get to where I am now. I would say Lamar Odom and Tayshaun Prince."

deja vu

Providence? Herbert Hill must be your boy then. Is his knee healed yet? What is the deal with him.

Darius Washington Jr. Viewer discretion advised...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=r-cqlbqJFWM&feature=related

I thought he was gonna be a good NBA player. That clip is not for the faint of heart.

That was painful to watch.

I was going to ask if anyone knew anything about Herb's health, because I haven't heard anything in a while.

It's a shame he hasn't been able to get himself on the floor... I was telling people last June that it'd be great if Herb wound up somewhere like Phoenix, because he's a little slim in the shoulders but is athletic enough to run the floor a bit. Lo and behold, the Sixers morph into such a running team... and Herb isn't healthy enough to reap the benefits.

You're right, by the way, that clip is not for the faint of heart. I was never a big Washington fan because of his braggadocio, but your heart had to go out to him after that miss.

Alright, I've hijacked this discussion enough. Sorry Brian.

Hey, no problem. This is what the comments are for.

I was intrigued by Hill before the draft last year, just based on what I'd read about him.

This is funny. I was digging through my archives, check out the last sentence of this post I wrote right after the lottery was held. Then take a look at the guys I was saying the Sixers should take. I didn't even mention Thad at #12.

This is the one I was looking for. I was hoping they'd take Herb with the #30.

What kind of guy was Herb at Providence? Was he the team leader, a vocal guy?

I like the article as well; it seems like this team has great chemistry starting with the young guys.

Good post and very perceptive.

There is a stat to track +/- values in relation to the strength of team you play, the player you are directly opposing and who you replace on your own team. It is called adjusted +/-. Anyhow, Thad is 6th in the league (he was as high as 2nd before that cold streak lately) of the people who have enough minutes to qualify and is light years ahead of anyone else on the team. Coincidence? Probably not. ;-)

http://basketballvalue.com/topplayers.php?year=2007-2008

Thanks for that link, Chris. Those are impressive numbers for Thad.

One thing to take special note of is the team rebounding rate with Thad on and off the floor. It drops with him on the floor, but only by a small fraction, which is very impressive, considering he's coming in for Reggie Evans, one of the best rebounders in the game, most of the time.

As I'm sure you're well aware, Herb was a late bloomer. He went from a 6'9", 190 pound recruit five years ago to an unstoppable force as the Big East's Most Improved Player last year. He was soft-spoken when I talked to him his redshirt freshman year, and he was still soft-spoken as a senior, but make no mistake: he was the go-to guy and a leader by example last year. All the younger guys knew that they would win if they got the big guy on track, and he absolutely carried that team down the stretch last year.

The intriguing thing about him as far as the Sixers system goes is that he's a good out-of-position offensive rebounder, runs the floor well, learned to dunk almost everything by the end of senior year, and has an absolutely unstoppable jump hook from 8 feet and in. It'd be interesting to see him integrating into the Sixers running game: his biggest asset would be on the secondary break, where he could nearly always beat his man downcourt, establish early position, and then be deadly with that jump hook.

I got to know him a little bit and he's a really good kid. He learned a lot about work ethic and playing the right way from Ryan Gomes (another great kid). He's still improving, certainly, but I have high hopes for him when he finally gets healthy again.

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Chris reply to PhillyFriar on Mar 27 at 23:05
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I'd have loved to have seen Hill play this year. I think he is exactly the style of player we need. He hasn't gotten any love from the media but his career trajectory was roughly the same as Al Thornton's with the exception he isn't as flashy or athletic.


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