March 5, 2015

Do You Care About the Sixers Right Now?

Old Sixers LogoI ask this question for a number of reasons I will share with you.  See if you relate.

  1. As a damn near season ticket holder I’ve found myself increasingly less excited to go to the games.  You know the feeling.  When going somewhere feels more like a chore, an obligation more than a deep rooted passion.
  2. 29-30, uncomfortably sitting in the 7th playoff spot and on pace for another 40 win season.  Considering the expectations on average was for the Sixers to finish around 48 wins and staking claim of at least a 5th seed and legitimately fighting for home court in the first round.  Yes, technically we are only 4 games back of Atlanta in the fourth seed and we’ve played 2 less games.  But do you have the same feeling you had last year at this time?  Last February they went 8-5.  Only 6-6 this February.  Last year they finished the season 14-9 do you feel that kind of run coming this year?
  3. Young players underachieving.  Lou has played indescribably awful.  Thaddeus has been a tease at best this season. Showing flashes of promise while disappointing with inconsistency.  Speights gives reason for hope and concern.  His combination of offensive skills, size and athleticism makes you wonder if we need Elton Brand at all.  But his inconsistent rebounding makes you question his effort.
  4. Cap situation.  Where do we go if the core of this roster simply isn’t good enough?
  5. Decreasing Sixers discussion and overall enthusiasm on the blog.  I regularly hear people saying they half watch games.  Switch channels during the game etc.

I certainly don’t mean to be a downer and I’d love to get the pulse of the fans on this.

Do you care about your Sixers right now?

Head over to the Depressed Fan for Brian’s more optimistic view of the Sixers.  (That sentence is just so funny when you think about it.)

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  1. jkay says:

    Dannie: you seem more depressed/indifferent than most of the fans here. understandably so.

    on topic: i still watch the games. some part of you is always anticipating something chaging and perhaps some new sixer team emerginng that doesnt combine low IQ, effort and intensity to lose a game in dramatic fashion. guess part of my psyche is locked in like a lottery player: “Today’s gonna be different. I can FEEL IT.” so await every next game to get disappointed anew. despondency has not arrived yet. I’ma go Barack Obama all the way: HOPE!!

  2. The Greek says:

    I will still watch every game, but it’s tough to root for a team thats starting center should be the captain and poster child for the L.A Clippers.  Just a soft, selfish, stupid player.  In fact, he has the lowest basketball IQ of any player that I have ever seen. 

    Willie G at the 2?  gee let me run and get my credit card to get some of those 76′er tickets.  

    Low W. at the point? I don’t thinks so.
    Lou at the 2?   He sucks there to.

    Iggy’s stupid faces? Weak, just like his brick laying standard pull up jumper at then end of a close games that we probaly lose.

    Not enough plays called for Thad. 
    Not enough minutes for Speights.

    Andre Miller lack of D, is the gateway to all those open looks for other teams.  don’t resign him.

  3. Ken says:

    I Sixers give little reason at present to be interested. I resigned myself to the fact that this is a 38 win team and headed for a first round exit or not make the playoff at all. They can’t add any real pieces this summer because they’re at least 10 mil over the cap. So, unless the young guys make leaps and bounds improvement we will see a continuation of mediocore play for years to come. Hopefully, guys like Young, Williams, Iggy, Speights, et all have a huge boost in basketball IQ and improved jump shots sooner than later.

  4. deepsixersuede says:

    The one positive so far to me is Iggy!s improved play, using his left hand more and finishing at the rim better. If Thad can be put at his natural position, the 3 spot, and show improved play that could be another positive. L.Will. has to at least get back to last years numbers,[42% f.g. and 36% 3 pt.] for this year to at least be saved for him. An improved playoff performance could probably heal a lot of our wounds ,Dannie, but it is tough to watch now.

  5. Mike says:

    i have season tickets, and i was just saying monday night how glad i am that there is not another home game until next wednesday.  i don’t think i could have stomached sitting in that building again this week.  of course i care about the sixers, but our relationship is severely strained at the moment.

  6. Mike says:

    oh and dannie, i know you’re not a huge iguodala fan, but he is one of the only reasons this team still excites me.  there is a good discussion over at the depressed fan that calls his potential into question.  it is my opinion that if he develops a more consistent jumper, he can be one of the top 10 players in the league.  i really feel that is his only weakness.

  7. tk76 says:

    I watch every game (on DVR to skip commercials), and will tape all of the games when I’m in the UK next week- damn no free high speed internet to use my slingbox in the hotel!  I guess I may might enjoy vacation more since the Sixers and I will be on an enforced “break.”  I know my wife will be glad to see me separated from sports/internet/phone ;)

    Given I watched all of the games in the years between Brakley and AI, can’t see I’ll stop naytime soon.  But I am dissapointed.  I guess I was just to high on the future last year.  I love watching a team build, and the Sixers had a promising long term future with youth and cap flexibility that was only going to get better as reen/Evans/Sam come off the books.  I was hoping for them to slowly rise over about 3-4 years and then make the jump to contender when Young/Iguodala/Lou/Speights etc where in their prime.

    I have immense respect for DiLeo and and Ed (but BK was not stupid either, despite his misteps.)  Unfortunatley, I think they ended up getting stuck by trying to accellerate the winning timetable by adding Brand and keeping Miller.  It did not seem a risky move at the time (trying to win now and win later)…  but now that the lousy shooting looks to be a long term issue with Miller/Iguodala/Young, and there is not a good shooting PG replacement out there the future seems bleak.

    Even letting Miller walk, the team is on the hook for 60M in 2 years, and the tax might be as low at 66M.  That leaves no room to resign Miller and address shooting.  The lgicakl next step is dealing away young talent (Thad) for a low ceiling SG who can shoot- making them a 45+ win team with a core of Miller/Iguodala/Brand/new shooter.

    That kind modest short term gain reeks of prolonged mediocrity.  I’d rather watch a bad team that convinces me it has a future then a team stuck in 3rd gear for the forseeable future. 

    Again, Ed is really bright.  He shocked us getting Brand, and maybe he can pull another rabbit out of sleave replacing Miller with a young PG who can shoot?  That kind of move would help me get back on board.  I don’t want more wins in the next year or two.  A four seed s great, but not if that is the teams ceiling for the forseeable future.

  8. jkay says:

    Mike: ditto bout Iguodala, and throw in Speights (not Thad). the jumper is all it takes but the more I see him shoot, the more I don’t understand why it’s taking him so long to get it consistent. Maybe he may never have it. Wow thats depressing but it looks possible at this stage that he may just never get it, everything else he’s improving well. he’s still young. HOPE! lol

  9. Mike says:

    yea he probably has to overhaul his whole shooting form, which might not be possible.  he shoots with way too much arc.  the ball is so high in the air for so long that there’s too much time for something to go wrong before it comes back down.  that sounds like an overly simplistic explanation, but i think that’s all it is.

  10. The Greek says:

    You had me until you said lets trade Thad  for a low ceiling player.  C’mon dude, I have been around the same time zone as you and I am sick of being mediocre.   I just want to remind everyone that Thad is just 2o years old.  Thinking like this got us to trade that number one overall pick for Roy ‘bone to bone” Hinson.

  11. deepsixersuede says:

    I hate to say it but L.Will. is probably THE key player for this team to have a chance the next 3 years. If he lights it up in the playoffs and all of a sudden GETS it he gives E.S. the option of moving him for our shooter and letting E.S. use the draft to focus on our p.g., or he becomes B.Gordon, highly doubtful, and our answer is already here.

  12. bski says:

    Like I said last week, I am caring less and less with each passing day.  I did not miss a game before the all-star break.  The ones I couldn’t catch live, I would DVR and watch as soon as I could.  Well, since the break I have stopped DVR-ing.  I have already missed two games and it hasn’t really bothered me.

    The thing is that not only am I not seeing any progress this season, I’m not seeing any signs of progress.  I just don’t feel compelled to tune in to every game and watch it in it’s entirety when I know I’m going to get nothing more than the same old same old.

    This team is what it is and I have a pretty good idea what to expect on any given game day.  We have a very good chance, say 75%, of beating the poorer teams, a 50% chance of beating teams that are, like ourselves, around .500, and about a 25% chance of beating the better teams in the league.

    What’s more, I’m disappointed that the team is still so inconsistent this  far into the season.  They show this inconsistency in one of two ways.  They either 1) do not play an entire game, almost always having a bad quarter or a bad half, or 2) there is always at least one aspect—–free throw shooting, 3-pt. shooting, perimeter defense, etc…—–of the game that kills us.

    I want to stick with them, but they’re not giving me much to grab a hold of, you know?

  13. tk76 says:

    Greek, I don’t want the Sixers to trade Thad.  I was trying to say they have backed themselves into a corner with their roster.  I am afraid that they are going to make a move like that in a hope to win now.  Signing brand and possibly resigning Miller puts them in a win now mode that does not fit the rest of the roster.

    Honestly, I don’t think this team has much of a chance to be anywhere close to a contender for at least 3 years, and probably longer than that.

  14. tk76 says:

    BSKI, I’d like to see them start Speights.  Not to give them a better shot moving forward, but to ook to the future.  It would at least be something interesting to watch.

  15. The Greek says:

    Thats why I don’t want any part in re-signing Miller.  He is the main reason that Willie G has been starting these past 2 sesons.


  16. tk76 says:

    I agree.  i wish he could have been moved for a shooter.  It would have been great if they could have picked up at least a stopgap young PG like Lowry.  Then they maybe could have drafted a future starting PG and brought him along over a few years.  That might have cost them some wins these next couple of years, but would have set them up better for the future.

  17. jjg says:

    Speights:  the new flavor and fan darling.  My question:  Is he fearless, or mildly unhinged?  There are many unpaid 20-30 yr. old playground players in the good ol’ USA who could score ya 10-15 ppg, given a uniform and shot allotment.  What else does Marreese give ya?  We’ve gone this hyperventilating/reaching-route before with (consecutively) Dalembert, Iguodala, Williams & Young … a b-ball law (in)firm, if ever I’ve seen one.  Miller, Green & Ivey (to imperfect individual extents, of course) uphold the tenets of caring, intelligent team play and striving.
    The rest, including Brand, supply no source of pride.  Stefanski’s master plan is a mess … when does he take the hot seat?  A roster infusion of fresh blood/new mix needed.  Gripping a pre-selected losing hand tightly because of a certain comfort level, some magical thinking and stubbornness is foolish.    

    To respond to the lead question, I care about the logo, its representative history, and future prospects of the organization.  Have watched every version of the Sixers since their ’63-’64 inception and am disgusted by the intermittent effort (including concentration on tasks) and fundamental skill declension of this group.  If they get out and run, they can win; otherwise, predictable struggles of the underequipped rear their ugly head.  Stefanski, DiLeo, Lynam … parochial, stale 70s Big 5 leadership.  Unless a turnabout starts tomorrow, Wachovia Center will be relatively empty next month on account of product. 

  18. Johnnylaptop says:

    I  am a big  fan of the  Sixers  And go to the games with the    Hope   factor  thinking  today is going to be different,   just like  jkay  said above.     jjg ,   says it well  about the  Sixers,  needing   to get out and run,   and  Stafanski,  Dileo,  Lynam…  parochial,  stale,  70s big 5  leadership.    I still have  Hope,  we can  finish the season  on a good note.

  19. Tom Moore says:

    Sixers are in an unenviable spot — just good enough to make the playoffs, but not a title contender and not bad enough to get a high pick. It’s hard to imagine them winning a round, then they have to get a shooter and possibly a point guard with, say, the 16th pick and the mid-level exception (assuming they don’t re-sign Miller).

    Iguodala and Young play the same position and a new coach or DiLeo has to figure out how to incorporate Brand into the mix next fall. My guess is trading Dalembert will be an off-season priority.

  20. tk76 says:

    Tom you summarize the key issues well.

    I just wonder why they were inactive at the trade deadline?  Were they just blinded by the 14-4 run and expected to make noise in the playoffs?

    Maybe there was no way to deal away Sam for some partial salary relief or Miller for any value?  We will never know.

    We were all aware of the teams cap situation.  If you add in two 1st rounders they will be at about 60M heading into Fall 2010.  Assuming the rumors of the tax being at 66M that year, it makes even resigning Miller a challenge to stay under the tax.

    Ed reportedly said at a season ticket holders event that the team will not go over the tax.  That means Miller or the MLE this summer (not both) and then finding a way to dump salary for 2010.

  21. bski says:

    Yeah Tom, that’s it in a nutshell.

    We’re halfway between wanting to win now and trying to set ourselves up for the future, and the results aren’t so good.

    This might be a “playoff team”, but we know it’s nowhere near where it needs to be.  How do we get it there is the question.

    As your post illustrates, it won’t be easy.

  22. Zack says:

    bski, I’ve been too bored with the team to do some self-analysis of why I’ve been that bored, but I think that’s it – “they show no signs of improving.”  I hate Stefanski for killing the magic from last season, and you could see right away from the preseason games that things were going to be a bit muddled this year.  I have more fun watching the NBA sunday games, and occasional Warriors games.

    You should’ve seen the recent Warriors game against the T’Wolves – Minny had fallen behind big-time in the 3rd when McHale put Rodney Carney in, and with his energy and ability to cause some chaos with that athleticism of his, the Wolves started clawing their way back.  Sound familiar?  Cheeks spent all this time trying to turn Carney into a better pro, and some other team reaps the benefits.  Remember all that tough love Cheeks was giving him about Carney needing to “do other things” in order to get more PT?  He’s really taken that to heart.  He had the second highest +/- for the T-Wolves that night, at -1.  He’s still not the best 3P shooter, but he still loves taking them.

    Anyway, nothing like that happens for the Sixers anymore.  But it’s alright – it’s time to move on.  Stefanski has to look at it like the Rockets GM looks at his team – paraphrasing from that NYT Mag article, all the big money was spent on the stars, Yao and T-Mac, so they had to fill in around that with cheaper players.  The Sixers, like it or not, have Iguodala, Sam, and Brand as their big-money guys, and Stefanski has to fill in around them with the right cheaper players.  This is why Jason Smith is so important to me – not that he’s ever gonna be a huge star, but he has the potential to be one of those great, critical role players that would come on the cheap (sorry Jason Smith’s agent, whoever you are).

  23. 2one5 says:

    I am def caring less and less about this team. Player like Sam, and Iggy are very frustrating. Lou stinks and Willie is not an NBA starter. I think we as fans have put up with this team commendably given the product on the floor. I am worn out by the team making the same mistakes over and over again. I feel like this team has been the same for the last 5 years or so even the teams with AI and Webber were bad 3 point defense and were about a 500 team. Another thing frustrating me about this team is as BSKI said I don’t really see that much improvement which is what is needed by this teams young players.

    The Cavs get Mo Williams and have shot to the top of the league. Granted they have prob the the best player in the league but I think if the Sixers can get rid of Willie or Lou and put in a player like JR Smith of Charlie Bell I think this team could be much better but the franchise has to decide if Thad is a keeper. 

    Thad and Iggy need to start together this year, let them play together as much as possible. We need to see if this team can be successful with these 2 starting that will dictate what moves need to be made.

  24. Hank Scorpio says:

    The sad part about all this is that I keep finding myself hoping for a miracle… you know, someone to take Lou or Sammy or Reggie (no offense, Reggie… love your heart) off our hands and give us someone truly worthwhile in return.  Is that asking for a miracle?  You see trades all the time where you think, “wow… why would they trade him for him?”  I guess it is… and, unfortunately, it’s exactly what we need.  Now, that’s depressing.

  25. Kevin says:

    I am a season ticket holder, and I am finding myself less and less interested.  Not much I can add that hasnt already been said.  I love the sixers, just hard for me to watch them right now.

  26. tk76 says:

    Hank, those lopsided trades are more often than not for finantial reasons.

    the only way a team would take on Reggie’s
    s 5M/yr would have been if we had used Miller expiring contract as incentive.  I’m sure we can swap him for someone elses overpaid garbage, but I doubt that would help the team.

    As for Sam, I shudder to think what kind of return we would get on his 2 yr 25M (with trade kicker.)  It would be better to keep Sam for another year and then at least have him as an expiring contract.

    Both Reggie and Sam are at least decent role players.  Its just a shame that the team is headed to be up against the tax.  If they loose Milelr they will be bad.  If they resign Miller they will be against the tax, so no other shooter will be added… and they still won’t be very good.  Its a no win situation.

  27. tk76 says:

    Who knows, maybe they do something crazy this summer like trade Iguodala for Ellis.  i would not make that move, but he is a SG that would fit nicely next to Miller.

  28. Dannie says:

    Zack – Did you by chance watch the Dallas vs. Hornets game last night on TNT?

    Right now I make sure to watch every single Hornets game (I have league pass) because Chris Paul basically plays “Elite NBA Streetball.”  He was making the entire Dallas team look foolish last night. For me his is the most exciting player to watch.  He went on a rampage in the third quarter.  4 straight possessions he cut through the defense then tossed a perfect lob pass.  One of which he proceeded to cross the bejesus out of Jason Kidd.

    He was coming down on the break full speed, Jason Terry met him at half court and actually looked like he just tried to wrap him up and foul, Paul gave him this sick hesitation, threw the ball between his legs, continued down court to do what he does – drop off one of his 15 dimes.

    Like I said in the post.  I still have tickets to most home games and I still go and I still watch every game.  But man it’s not as entertaining or enjoyable as watching college hoops or other NBA match ups.

  29. bski says:

    You know what else has me unsettled?  It’s that I can’t shake the feeling that we are in for more of the same next year if Brand isn’t completely healthy and/or he is not the difference maker Stefanski brought him here to be.

    I just feel like Stefanski doesn’t want to make any major moves before he sees Brand back at 100%.  Until that happens, he cannot accurately assess the team and it’s needs.  As a result, he has kept the team in a holding pattern this year for fear of dealing someone too soon.

  30. Dannie says:

    Where is Rob and Fred to infuse some positive mojo up in this joint?

  31. jjg says:

    food for thought:

    1.  Who is responsible for getting them into the “unenviable spot”?  Don’t say fate … that’s too easy … Brand was a risk on his signing day, and though he appears like a warrior/stud, brings with him the whiff of a loser.

    2.  Is there a need for personnel consequence of any sort, management or player level? 

    3.  How does the organization go forward and move away from that spot?  Veteran additions and emphasis?  Or move Miller and stick with youth direction/belief and its investments?    

    4.  Are the present decision-makers (Snider, Lukko, Stefanski, Dileo &  staff) likeminded and capable of  building an NBA  
    championship team?  What playoff-successful identity is actually being formulated?

    5.  How much upside do development-hopefuls Iguodala, Williams, Young and Speights actually, as opposed to dreamingly, have? 

    6.  Has the present constitution of the 76ers earned fan loyalty?  

  32. Dean H says:

    Not sure you want my thoughts but will give them since you asked.  I am turning less and less to your blog due to the overall attitude about the sixers on this blog and less about them.  Yes, they have their problems but repeating it over and over only makes it worse.  I am a season ticket holder (1st year) and at this moment, do not plan on renewing.   They are very inconsistent, and have loss way to many close games.   
    But, hopefully, they will turn it around this month.  And, yes, Ed is going to have to do some miracles if we are going to compete next year.  He made it clear he is not paying the luxery tax next year and every successful team pays it from what I can tell.  So, that speaks loudly. 

  33. Zack says:

    Dannie – sorry, I missed it, I’ve always found it hard to catch those TNT NBA broadcasts.  But what you described, just flat-out great basketball play (Elite NBA Streetball in this case), just doesn’t happen often with the Sixers.

    For me, the closest any Sixer comes is when Sam decides to play water-tight interior defense, and then he becomes like Dhalsim from Street Figher on a pogo stick, with arms coming out of nowhere to knock balls out of the air and alter all sorts of shots, from any angle.  He’s gotten so much better since the Larry Brown year.  I still stand by what I said before – the Sixers should make him captain of the team; it’s not like he’s leading them into mortal kombat or anything.

    BTW, is there some UNC blog that you go to to talk about the Tar Heels?  If you do, do you use some sort of screen name?  I’d like to read what you write about them.  I haven’t seen them this year, but the guy who impressed me the most in the tourney last year was Danny Green, as far as NBA potential goes.  I might try to catch the Duke game this Sunday.

  34. Dannie says:

    Dean H – Everyone’s thoughts are always welcome here and I really hope you haven’t been given the impression that not to be the case.  With that said…

    The attitude on the blog isn’t a deliberately fictitious aura I made up.  The comments above yours suggest it’s the overall pulse of Sixers fans at the moment based on their results on the court, the expectations (just or not) coming into the season and the immediate outlook beyond this season.

    You are down at the Wach every game, what do you feel in the building?  I know what I see, hear and feel and that is what I express when I write.  I am not a warm and fluffy kind of guy generally so when things are going bad that’s what I say.  When things are going good I say that too.  All while adding my own flavor and outlook.  What else can I do?

    Pete and I never said or sought out to be everything to all people.  All we do is call it like we see and believe it to be to us and encourage any other viewpoint and opinion.  Over time we’ve found there to be quite a few people that one way or another found what we say interesting, enjoyable, objectionable enough to hang around to disagree with us and genuinely worth their time.

  35. Dannie says:

    Zack – You know what most of my UNC-fandom is expressed offline.  I talk a lot with Pete about college basketball in general (a lot about Nova, ND and UNC) and a few other buddies.  Last year I actually wrote more college basketball stuff on the blog than I have this season.  We do a ton of NBA draft coverage once the season ends though.

    Interesting you mention Danny Green. Love his game.  In a starting role he has improved his numbers in nearly every area most notably his shooting.

    I actually have him targeted as a player the Sixers should take a long, hard look at.  Everyone that liked Rodney Carney this would be a better replacement in the role everyone wanted him to play.   That lockdown perimeter defender/shooter/hustle and energy wing player.  Green is already a strong defender and is shooting the ball extremely well this season and has shown NBA range.

    Right now:

    • DraftExpress has him as the 96 ranked player and a mid second round pick.
    • has him going 43rd
    • ESPN has him at 56 in the top 100 and a late first round to early second round prospect.

    Anytime you or anyone want to talk college hoops let me or Pete  know we are all for it.

  36. Duracorr says:

    Back to your point about caring about the Sixers. I am a committed fan.  I watch almost every game on TV.  Right now I’m very disappointed in their shooting and their 3-pt defense.  I’m encouraged that Thad is working on his shot.  I seem to disagree with the majority on Sam D.  I think the Sixers are better when he plays more because they can defend the perimeter better when he is behind them.  (if only he wouldn’t try to shoot the ball).  I’d like to see Speights start some games at PF and see if he can fit the role intended for Brand.  I’d like to see Low W spend some time at the point with the first team to see if he really can be a PG.  But most of all, I wish they could hit open 3-pt shots like everybody else.

  37. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, I like Green also, if he slides to the second round he could be a Chalmers like steal. I have to ask you, is Henderson a better 3 pt. threat than Ellington? I think he is flat out the better player but I always thought of him as a more midrange kinda guy.

  38. Dannie says:

    Suede – Henderson is not a three point shooter right now.  He hasn’t proven to be a good college three point shooter let along have NBA range.  Everyone has Henderson as the better overall prospect because of his physique, athletic ability and potential to be a do-it-all shooting guard in the league. 

    Ellington is a three point shooter and in the NBA I think that would be his niche role.  A spot up shooter. He has good size at 6-4 / 6-5 so he wouldn’t be another undersized shooter.

    I’ve played against both guys.  The impression I got at the time was Wayne was the more polished player, better shooter, better ball handler and Gerald had the higher ceiling. 

    The ability to shoot the ball as evidenced by our Sixers is always needed.  Gerald has always been a good defender, rebounder from the wing and a team player.  But he hasn’t shown enough versatility on offense and scoring ability until this season, particularly as of late. 

    Staying in the Duke family Henderson could end up being similar to Dahntay Jones on the low end and Grant Hill on the highest end (with lesser assist making ability).

  39. Ryan F says:

    Its funny I had a conversation about this topic last night.  There hasn’t been a game in 4 days and not once have I thought to myself “damn, I wish there were a sixers game on tonight.”  That is sad, I havent felt this way in a while.


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