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Brian,

The depressing thing so far is I don't see much evidence of visual progress that the team is starting to 'get it'. They look badly out of sync. It is still early but I have to say I made a mistake in thinking with EB they'd be a standout. They still have time to turn things around but they need to make some progress.

How is Speights doing? I'd have thought he could make a difference even if he is a rookie. He has some really nifty offensive moves near the basket.

Speights really isn't getting any minutes. I don't think integrating him is a priority right now. Mo needs to figure things out with his starters before he starts worrying about a role for Speights. At least, that's what I think his priority should be. Honestly, if I was Mo I'd cut back on the minutes for everyone off the bench and have the five starters out there as much as possible until they figure out how to play with each other and execute the strategy.

I'll have a post tomorrow about something positive I saw tonight that they can definitely build on. For now, I'm going to bed to hopefully forget about this game.

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Tray reply to Brian on Nov 12 at 3:43
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This isn't what you're going to say, but could this positive thing possibly be Iguodala not playing like a total dickhead? Or maybe it could be Royal Ivey's solid 70 seconds of play. Seriously, he's my favorite bench player right now (besides Speights). He doesn't actually do anything, but he doesn't do anything stupid either. This is way more than you can say for Green, Williams, or even Rush. Solid third-string point guard.

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gdog2004 reply to Tray on Nov 12 at 6:31
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Now THAT would be a great headline for tommorrows blog...
"Iguodola continues to play like total dickhead..." ...lol.

Ivey really is a younger version of Ollie, it's uncanny. I haven't seen enough of him to know if he's good or bad, but he seems to hustle at least.

I think if we're gonna be serious about challenging in the playoffs then we have to wonder how we give so many minutes to Willie Green. I mean, Juan Dixon barely got playoff minutes for the Pistons last season and he's way better than Willie.

It's amazing how you make it so clear, Brian, yet the players seem so confused out on the court. I really have to wonder if it's the coaching staff that are failing to explain it to the players because if they emphasize it enough in practice they should be starting to adapt by now.

Daly, Brand, Thad, Iggy, Andre
Speights, Evans, Rush, Lou, Ivey
Ratliff, Marshall, Green

To be fair, we don't know what goes on in practice. That article from the Inquirer yesterday is a really positive sign, as far as I'm concerned. Back to the basics of spacing. They need to keep hammering that home, and not only in practice. They need to get them in the film room and show them what's happening to Brand when he's abandoned in the post and when the lane is clogged, how easy it is for the double to get there, and even for a third guy to help when he splits the double.

I'll have more on this in a post later today.

One things for sure, if Mo doesn't stop playing willie all these minutes, it will cost Mo his job. The plus minuses when he's in and out is ridiculously telling. The guy's a black hole on the team. I'd buy him out right now just for the sake of the team. I think a coach like Phil Jackson would have sit willie last year...I don't understand why Mo won't do it.

Any thoughts on how long stefanski will put up with this slide before making changes?

1/4 of the season. If we don't see them get their heads screwed on by then I'd expect something. To be honest, I kinda think there's something going on behind the scenes right now, but if after 20 games they're say, 5 games under .500 we'll see something tangible. Who knows, maybe there's a worse contract than Willie out there that we can swap straight up.

Oh, and another thing. Does anyone have a running plus minus of willie in game and out of game? Is there a website that tracks this? I'd like to see what it was last year and what it is this year.

I can't find a cumulative total, but they do have it in the box scores on NBA.com. I used to keep track every game, but I found it too frustrating after the first couple of games this year.

Here are Willie's numbers, I pulled them from the box scores while I ate my breakfast. The number in parens is the +/- when he was on the bench.

vs. Utah: Willie -18 (+5)
@ ORL: Willie +3 (-13)
@ MIA: Willie -22 (+5)
vs. Sacto: Willie +18 (+16)
@ ATL: Willie -9 (+2)
vs. NYK: Willie +22 (+7)
vs. TOR: Willie -14 (+3)

Totals:

With Willie on the floor: -20
With Willie on the bench: +25
Average negative effect, per game: -6.43

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Bryon reply to Brian on Nov 12 at 15:02
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First time posting but this has been a daily must read for the last year and a half for me. As a former player and current pick-up game player, the breakdown and insight is brilliant. One question as I have watched every game intently; what is the plus/minus with Lou on the floor instead of Willie? Your post from a few weeks back about Lou and Willie not passing and jacking up shots really was spot on.

I know there hasn't been a lovefest for Willie on here going back to last year but from what I see Lou appears to set them back just as much (although I know they are on the floor together the majority of the time).

Thanks for commenting Bryon. I'm putting a post up in response to this comment.

Sixers are one of the 10 worst teams in the league right now...maybe even one of the worst 5. They are the worst team in the division. The rebuilding nets are better at this point...at least they have been in almost every game and have beat some good teams.(detroit)
I think Mo has to shoulder a lot of the blame. The players arent THAT bad....and I hate to quote the fat man here but its true. "A coach needs to put his players in the best possible position to win"
I mean these coaches watch tape...couldnt they see that Iguodola cant shoot and that moving him to SG could be a disaster ?
Brand is only effective with one on one coverage...hes not good enough to beat the double team and he has no one to pass to when he gets doubled. This team is in trouble...forget about 4 or 5 seed. I think making the playoffs would be a victory at this point.


Even considering the excellent third quarter against the Jazz, I really can't see the current starting lineup producing consistent victories this year.

If that's what Ed and Mo come to realize, they only have a few options and they all relate to improving the offense via better and more reliable outside shooting.

1) Sit a wing player (either Iggy or Thad) and bring in Rush or LouWill. I don't think the $80 mil man will be benched, so this would mean sliding him back to SF and benching Thad. I don't like that either, since he's looked like the best player on the team so far... plus he's versatile and can hit an outside shot when he's open... so why would we sit him?

2) Sit Sammy and bring in Rush or LouWill. This has been mentioned before. Basically, everyone slides down and we play small ball (sort of). Iggy moves to SF where he belongs. Thad plays PF, which we know he can do. Brand is a small Center, but he probably has just enough beef to pull it off. Plus, we can sub in both Sammy and Marreese and take advantage of their strengths when necessary.

I really like option 2 and I like Rush over LouWill. His defense sucks, but he shoots lights out, particularly when he's open. LouWill's more of a playmaker than a shooter. He can continue to sub in for Miller as appropriate.

I'd actually be happy if the problem on offense was a lack of outside shooting, but that isn't the case right now. Brand is getting devoured by double teams immediately after catching the ball and they aren't giving him a clear outlet pass to make. The ball never even gets to the open shooters. Until they fix that, we won't know how effective Iguodala and Thad are going to be on the wings in the half court. One thing at a time.

Of your options above, I like Rush the most. But we aren't there yet.

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Tray reply to Bart on Nov 12 at 15:45
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I really don't like creating more of a size disadvantage with Brand than we've already got. Or making Thad play the 4 again. I really hate that. He's the future, and his future is at the small forward spot. Look, as Brian's said, a lot of this is horrible spacing and turnovers. I've said all along that this wasn't a team built to win 50 games, but it is built to win 48 or so. Eventually everyone will start playing up to their mediocre abilities. That's when you can really start talking about making major moves, once people are playing well and it's still clear we're nowhere close to really contending. Right now it's just bad chemistry and sloppiness.


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