February 27, 2015

Brotherly Link Love 1-12-09

Everyone is high off the Eagles big win over the Giants.  And the Sixers are finally starting to give their fans something to get excited about.  Today felt really slow and we have to wait until Wednesday for the high anticipated match up with the Trailblazers I figured I’d bring back the Brotherly Link Love posts.  I haven’t done one of these in a while and really need to get back to it a bit more.  I think it’s important to recognize and discuss other people’s opinions outside of this blog and link up my fellow bloggers.  So here we go.

Elton Brand is All About Winning

Tom Moore’s Sixers blog has a new location and some good information and quotes from Brand.  First off Brand is on track to return from his dislocated shoulder on schedule.  He went down on December 18th and the word out of the Sixers was 1-month.  Well he was back on the court scrimmaging with full contact today and could make his return as early as this week, but more likely early next week according to Tom.

Also, Brand made it clear what he is all about – winning.  Suggesting that he would initially come off the bench when he returns if that is what’s best for the team.

Who You Got: Brandon Roy/Lamarcus Aldridge or Andre Iguodala/Elton Brand?

That was the question and ongoing debate in the comment section over at the Depressed Fan‘s last post on the Sixers.  It’s timely since the Sixers will face those two players on Wednesday.

Brian (author of the Depressed Fan) has this to say:

Brandon Roy is the best player on the Blazers and given the choice between Roy/Aldridge and Iggy/Brand, I’d take Iggy/Brand without blinking.

Assume that we are talking real time factoring in all players current age and career arc.

My initial response is there as well as Brian, as he always does, doing his homework and providing some shooting/scoring statistics for Iguodala and Roy.  Here are a couple more advanced stats that try to give an all-encompassing view of a player in terms of performance and their contribution to team wins:

  • Career PER (average is 15): Iguodala – 16.6 / Roy – 20
  • Career Estimated Wins Produced per 48 minutes (average is 0.100): Iguodala – 0.182 / Roy – 0.184

I the numbers say the players are nearly equal.  I personally think Roy is a more versatile offensive player  with a killer instinct I have yet to see consistently from Iguodala.

Meaning although their scoring efficiency numbers are close I prefer Roy because he is a better three point shooter, a better post up player and I think he is consistently better off the bounce as well.  Whereas Iguodala is an efficient scorer because his game is rather simple (not a horrible thing by the way).  He scores on layups/dunks and to a lesser degree mid-range jumpers.  In tough playoff series I think that makes him easier to stop compared to Roy – but time will tell on this point for both players.   I also think Roy is a stronger player in end game situations.  And ultimately I think he can be (if he isn’t already) a number 1 caliber player.  And you all know how I feel about the necessity of having that guy to be a real contender.

So I pose the same question to you guys: Which duo do you take?  And more importantly – WHY?

How much better are the Sixers without Brand?

Jordan over at Liberty Ballers posed that question but the bulk of his post focuses on the “perceived” impact (negative) Elton Brand has on Andre Miller’s shooting efficiency.  Jordan presents some shooting percentages for Miller with Brand and without.  And further breaks it down by games played only with the Sixers and overall.  His conclusion…

I just did some research and I’m pretty positive there’s at least one player who Elton has a negative effect on. That player is Andre Miller…So, the common denominator in Miller’s shooting woes isn’t the fact that he’s old and starts slow; it’s Elton Brand

I don’t agree with this conclusion for a couple reasons.  First, I think Miller, like Iguodala and Louis Williams simply got off to a slow start shooting the basketball this season and that has turned around as of late.  Part of it probably had to do with him getting his game legs back.  Part of it probably had to do with adjusting to the types of shot attempts he was getting with Brand on the floor (this applies to all players), and part of it probably had to do with the fact that Miller loves to dominates the ball offensively and pretty much dribble wherever he wants on the court.  With Brand there he needed to figure out how to get to the spots he likes on the floor offensively and and he simply wasn’t asked to score as much.  Also, I think Mo forced a Brand-centric offensive system on the guys instead of forcing Brand into what the Sixers had been doing previously.

If Brand is not full of ish with his “I am all about winning” comment then he should have no problem taking a reduced role and not being the center of the offense.  Knowing he will get his in slower paced games which is what they brought him in here for in the first place.

Besides that observatory opinion of the situation I also wondered about the actual numbers.  Now, I don’t know what his spreadsheet looks like or what exact numbers he used.  But when I went in an did a quick analysis specifically on the time Miller played with Brand in LA since the point was made that, that was Andre Millers worse shooting season.  I found some interesting numbers that basically confirmed my first thought that Miller simply had a bad season unrelated to playing with Brand or anyone else.

By looking at the actual game logs I saw that there were 20 out of the 80 totals games Andre Miller played in the 2003 season that Elton was hurt.  My first thought was “did Jordan account for this or did he just take Miller’s 2003 totals?“  I don’t know the answer to that question but here is the breakdown from that season:

  • In 60 games with Brand: 41.2% FG (298-724)
  • In 20 games without Brand: 38.7% FG (79-204)

What that tells me is Andre Miller flat out sucked shooting the ball in 2003 and it had nothing to do with Elton Brand.  In fact he actually shot slightly better when Brand played that season.  Because Miller shot so poorly in the 2003 season and it represents 71% of his total “with Brand” shot attempts so it gives the impression that he doesn’t play well with Brand, when in reality he just didn’t shoot well period that season and it skews the results.

One final note about Miller’s 2003 season.  He shot 108 three pointers that season easily the most in any season of his career.  Those three point attempts represented 12% of Miller’s total shot attempts which is double his career average. He shot 21.3% from three that season which is his career average.  So that season his poor three point shooting had the greatest impact on his overall FG% than any season in his career as well.

In the end I really just think it comes down to having WAY to small of a sample size of games with Brand to come to such an emphatic conclusion.  This season I simply chalk it all up to natural ebb and flow of an NBA season.  Guys get hot and cold , it’s just part of the game.

’09 free agents may be better than ’10 class

David Aldridge who I personally like a lot as an NBA guy wrote a very interesting piece on NBA.com where he will be blogging regularly now (bookmark it).  He suggests and provides ample reasoning why the 2009 free agent class although not better in franchise-level talent may have a bigger impact on the NBA landscape than the more heralded 2010 free agent class.  As well as being more realistic in terms of actually landing a good, but not great player.

One premise: there are only a select group of cities that “really” have a chance to land the likes of LeBron, Wade, Bosh even Amare if he opts out.  And those cities do not include Sacramento, Memphis and the like.

David offers more insight and it’s an overall good read.  What does it mean for the Sixers if anything?

That’s all I got for tonight, but there should be plenty food for thought to keep the discussion until Portland comes to town.  You’ll notice with my link posts I don’t just give you the link.  I gotta add my 2 cents because, well it’s my blog and that’s how it should be.

If you like these kinds of post let me know and I will make sure we do them more often.

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  1. tk76 says:

    The Sixers could actually be players in the FA market this summer.  They will have the MLE, and I doubt many teams will go over that threshold when bidding this year.  The economy and the desire to free up cap space for the Summer of 2010 will keep a lot of teams on the sideline.

    As this post was about other blogs…  I occasional contribute to Derek Bodner’s blog PhillyArena.com.  Here is a link to a short article about the Sixers financial position in regards to the Cap and the Luxury tax.

    Basically, the Sixers need to clear at least 4M of Miller’s salary in order to be able to use the full MLE without going over the tax.  This means either getting back a 4M expiring in a Miller trade (along with a new player who stays) or resign him for 6M or less.  Otherwise the Sixers likely will not use the full 6M MLE this  summer to add to the roster because I doubt they are willing to go above the Luxury Tax threshold. 

    Of course if they let Miller walk the Sixers will be well under the Tax- but they will only be 2M under the cap.  That would mean they would lose Miller and still only be able to sign a player to at most the MLE.

  2. jkay says:

    WRT Brand/Iguodala vs. Roy/Aldridge- having Roy on one side is reason enough for me to pick it. stats are deceptive: 20ppg, 6apg, 6.5rpg, 1.5spg – whose stats are those for a season?? it could be (a)Lebron James (well have to tweak the points up more), (b)Andre Iguodala, (c)Kobe Bryant (him too) or (d)Paul Pierce. Is Iguodala is the same class as any of those guys? NO.
    Just seeing Roy play is enough. Like Dannie said; the killer instinct, just one of those IT factors that the top tier players have. its unfair to use stats. Roy will be sumthin. Iguodala is just different thats all. but if you wanna compare, you can’t take Iggy.

  3. jkay says:

    the free agent class of 2010 might turn out to be all hype in the sense that elite players will simply re-sign with their former teams (they do that like 90% of the time) who may have convinced them with some new addition that it may be possible to win the big game.

  4. Brian says:

    In the Roy vs. Iguodala debate, I think people may be giving a little too much weight to the thirty-something games that have been played this season, and not enough to their bodies of work. I agree that Roy is a superior perimeter scorer (jump shooter), but he has not been as efficient of a scorer as Iguodala.

    There are definitly factors weighing in Roy’s favor, statistically. Notable among them are 3-point shooting and assist:turnover ratio. Personally, I think Iguodala’s a better overall player than Roy, and when you factor in durability, it’s an easy decision for me.

  5. deepsixersuede says:

    I take Roy over Iggy for one reason, the ability to shoot the ball. Both guys do a lot of things but Roy cannot be defended as easily. Brand to me, if healthy ,is better than Aldridge now but in 2 years, I don!t know. Better without Elton, I don!t think so. People forget that moving Iggy back to the 3 and Willie back to the 2 is when we started playing better and Elton looked good in the one game, I believe, where he was out there with that lineup. My one question is who loses minutes when he comes back, that is gonna be Deleo!s toughest call and that is why moving Sam comes into play.

  6. deepsixersuede says:

    TK76 and Dannie, good link information, thanks. The 2 guys I would love here are B.Gordon or Turkaglu. Turkaglu at the 3 and Iggy at the 2 makes us long and better defensively but only if we can keep A.Miller and move Sam and Willie with my “sweetner being this years #1 and possibly a future #1, a steep price but Boston was willing to pay it.

  7. tk76 says:

    Looking at Roy and Iguodala, it will be interesting to see how their numbers are once their teams make the jump from mediocre to winners.  I think as more of a scorer Roy’s numbers will continue to improve as his supporting cast matures.

    Iguodala’s scoring likely will go down as more natural scorers like Thad and Lou start carrying more of the load.  Iguodala was/is only a 20 ppg scorer when forced into a #1 scoring mode for which he is not well suited.  If the Sixers can become a contender it will be with Iguodala scoring less but contining to put up good all around numbers despite having the ball less.

  8. Dannie says:

    Brian – I agree that more weight is likely given to Roy’s current performance.  It’s called the recency effect, something psychological people just do naturally.  Which is also a good explanation why people are obsessed with saying current players are on par with MJ now. 

    • Roy has 5 thirty-point games this season and 7 in his two and a half year career.
    • Iguodala has 0 thirty-point games this season and 8 in his four and a half year career.

    Who knows where Iguodala would be in his development if Iverson wasn’t on the team when he first came into the league and he had the ball more.  But, Roy’s recent results  suggests his development is steadily increasing to a level I am not sure Iguodala would ever reach.

    Everything else everyone has said I agree with.  I take Roy because his ability to shoot from the perimeter fits better.  Also, I place a high value on not turning the ball over and their Roy is superior.  Defensively, I think Roy is solid and capable of defending multiple wing positions so it’s not like we are comparing a good defensive player (Dala) to an pure offensive guy like a Michael Redd.

    As far as their other numbers I think it’s pretty much a wash when you adjust slightly for position (Iggy should have slightly more boards being more of a natural SF/Roy should have slightly more assists being more of a natural SG).

    In the end I prefer Roy because I see him becoming more of a go-to player that can close games which I think is very important in the playoffs whereas I think Iguodala will always be best served as a complementary player.

  9. bball says:

    Waiting and saving money for free agents 2 or more years away is fools gold anyway.  Who knows if ANY of them will even hit the market.  Teams always re-sign players in the last year before free agency.  My prediction is that there will be about 5 teams that waste 2-3 years and destroy their team to save enough money to be able to sign one of these players and only one player will actually be available.  Leaving 4 teams absolutely screwed.

  10. tk76 says:

    BBall, I agree, teams should not blow up a promising core just to be a player in 2010.  But if you are a bad team that needs to blow it up anyway I think it makes sense to free up as much cap space as possible.  At very least it should be a buyers market if FA these next few years.  Even if you do not hit a homerun, there should be good values in the FA market- where in the past you had to overpay.

    Its a pipe dream, but as for the Sixers, if they could pawn off Sam and Miller for J.O. I would be all for it.  That way they would have 18-20M in cap space in 2010 without touching their young core.  Maybe they would be a bit hurt next year, but its not like JO is a downgrade from Sam.  And this teams young emerging core+Brand would make them an atractive destination for FA’s, even if they could land one of the truly big names.

    I’m sure that 18M would be able to add some great peices to go along with Brand,Iguodala, Thad, Speights, Lou and Smith.  Not to mention Evans and green would bring 10M more expiring contrcats the following year (in order to exetend Young.)

  11. Dannie says:

    bball – I think teams should have planned to have all their cap space available this coming off-season with the idea that they have two shots to land an impact player or two in ’09 and ’10.   Which is obviously easier said than done.

    But, I disagree there will be that many teams who “waste 2-3 years and destroy their team.”  The reason I say that is what was the chance that these teams were going to be any good in the first place?  What was actually wasted?

    If you look at the teams involved they are probably in a better situation now having made a lot of moves to clear cap, acquire shorter, cheaper contracts and younger players than they were before. 

    Look at New Jersey.  They moved Kidd and Jefferson two core pieces.  They got Harris who is a monster and drafted Brook Lopez as new core players at the two most difficult positions to fill with quality guys.  And moving Jefferson and Kidd actually had Carter playing a bigger role and he isn’t playing to bad either.

    The Knicks have players that fit the system their newly acquired coach likes to play and although they still are bad overall, they are not as bad as people thought they would be (just beat the Hornets last night among other strong opponents). 

    Not to mention they also improve their team cheaply through the draft by being weaker.

    And for the teams in a big market they are the teams that SHOULD be gambling on free agency because as Aldridge said they are have the best chance to land a big time player if there is going to be a change in teams.

    All I am saying is look at the actual rosters of teams expected to have a lot of cap space and you see good young players already there.  No one really blew up anything of any substance to gain the cap space.  And by the sheer number of guys available the next three years they have as good a chance as ever in a buyers market to land someone.  Maybe not LeBron, Wade or Bosh but maybe Joe Johnson, maybe Dirk, Michael Redd etc.

  12. Ryan F says:

    the other night Lou was doing an interview and I think he hit the nail on the head (for lack of a better cliche), he said something along the lines that the team has to focus on their strategy of running with the basketball and not forcing the offense into EB every2 possessions like in the beginning of the year.  I think if Dileo finds a way to do that when EB gets back on the court the Sixers will be just fine, as long as they keep hitting open jumpers.

  13. Tom Moore says:

    An update: Elton Brand participated in a full-court scrimmage during Tuesday’s Sixers practice and said he didn’t have any new soreness. He said he could possibly play Friday against the Spurs AND Saturday vs. the Knicks, depending on what the medical staff recommends. I’d say it’s more likely he’ll go Saturday or next Tuesday against the Mavs, barring any setbacks.

  14. Tom Moore says:

    The problem with trading Miller and Dalembert for the injury-plagued Jermaine O’Neal is who would play the point for the Sixers in 2009-10? And you’re essentially giving up on this year, which could be a tough sell for the fans. The Raptors’ Colangelo is willing to take risks, but I don’t know that having Dalembert on the roster will make Bosh any more likely to stay — which is Colangelo’s main goal.

    As for the Sixers being players in 2010 free agency, the Sixers would have $49.9 million committed (if they could somehow trade Dalembert) for 2010-11. That’s without taking into account a point guard to replace Miller, this year’s draft pick or possible extensions to Jason Smith and Thaddeus Young. The 2008-09 cap is $58.7 million, so even if it goes up $2 mill a year — which might be too much — it’d be more like $13 mill.

  15. tk76 says:

    Thanks for the Brand update.  I really enjoy your work covering the Sixers.  IMO you are one of the top 2 writers covering the team…

    As for J.O., the Raps would throw in Ukic to give us a cheap PG- but I was only half serious with that trade proposal.  It would take something drastic like that to entice someone to take on Sam’s salary, esp with the trade kicker.

    That said, the team has 55M committed to 2010-11 according to Hoopshype.  Take away Sam’s 12.2M and they would be on the books for 43M +/- a few Mil for draft picks.  They have no cap hold RFA’s that year, so that should put them somewhere in the range of 15-20M under the cap depending on where the cap is set. 

    Of course more likely they will keep Sam and resign or replace  Miller, so the Tax will end up being more relevant than the Cap.

  16. Tom Moore says:

    Hoopshype doesn’t count team options when arriving at that $55 million figure for guaranteed 2010-11 contracts. Even if the Sixers traded Dalembert for somebody who’d be off the books by 2010, they’d have to renounce their rights to Jason Smith, Thaddeus Young and Marreese Speights to get to $43 million. It’s not going to happen.

  17. Tom Moore says:

    Oops, forgot to thank you, tk76, for the kind words. They’re appreciated.

  18. tk76 says:

    Here is an interesting link 

    Apparently Iguodala has the best adjusted +/- in the NBA over the last 2 seasons.  The names right behind him: Lebron, CP3, Garnet, DWade and Nash.  The top three lead the pack by a considerable margin.

    I assume this indicates Iguodala has been the most important player to his teams success over the last 2 seasons.   Whatever it means, being at the top of that kind of link means you must be doing something that is really helping your team.  The only other Sixer that has a positive adjusted +/- over that span is Young- who was #3 in the NBA last year (makes sense given how much better the team played last year once he was inserted in the line-up.)

    Oddly, Andre Miller is ranked 4th worse in the NBA! Top adjusted +/-

  19. Ryan F says:

    I think I would take Roy/Aldridge over Igg/Brand simply because of LA’s age and Portland’s record, without going into depth and looking at numbers. If it was a toss-up and both of them we’re 23, I would say our tandem.

    Those 2 are the best players on their team and their record is 23-14 while the Sixers are 17-20.  Brand has been hurt yes, and you could argue that they have a better supporting cast, but the bottom line is their team is winning games and the 76ers aren’t even playing .500 ball.  So I think there should be no reason for anyone to choose the home team’s 2.

    On another post I said I thought IGG was playing well enough to fight for the honor of 3rd best SF in the East, I was wrong Danny Granger is just too nasty right now, but he is definitely the 4th.  Maybe..

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