September 2, 2014

Sixers 2010 Forecasting

Image of Forecasting the Sixers

We had media day, the team is practicing together and the preseason has started.  It’s time to get fired up about Sixers basketball – or should we?

Better stated, do we legitimately have anything to get fired up about going into this season?  If you listen to and believe the people in the organization and the players, we most certainty do…

“We’ve made some really good (off-season) moves (such as trading for shooter Jason Kapono). We did a good job in the draft. Thad (Young has) come along great and very quickly. Lou (Williams is) going to be starting for us (at point guard). We’re the sixth-youngest team in the league. We had the Eastern Conference champions on the edge (in a six-game first-round playoff series). There’s not too much negative that we can say about ourselves.” ~ Andre Iguodala

So the players and the organization feel we aren’t that far away from being an elite team in the Eastern Conference.  I personally wouldn’t go that far, but we’ll get to my opinion in a bit.

What about the national media?

What the “Experts” Say

John Hollinger – 42-40, second in Atlantic Division, fifth in Eastern Conference

ESPN Composite Prediction (53 voters) – 39-43 record (tied with Washington and Toronto), 7th place in the Eastern Conference – The difference between 7th place and 9th among the 53 voters is 0.4 of a win.

ESPN Power Rankings (Mark Stein) – 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference, 17th in the NBA

NBA.com Power Rankings (John Schuhmann) – 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference, 18th in the NBA

Hoopsworld Composite Prediction – (5 voters) – 3.4 place in the Atlantic Division

Hoopsworld Power Rankings – 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference, 19th in the NBA

Inside Hoops Power Rankings – 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference, 17th in the NBA

Wages of Wins – (Davide Berri) – The Best Case scenario is that Brand returns to what we saw two years ago and Iguodala and Dalembert remain productive (and maybe Holiday is not as bad as his college numbers suggest). If that happens, the Sixers will get about 35 wins from their top three players and the team might make the playoffs.  If Brand returns to form they get close to 40. So it is still the same argument. The team needs Brand to recover to be what they were last year. The Worst Case scenario, though, is that Brand doesn’t return to form. Given what’s left on this roster, the Sixers will then struggle to get past 30 wins.

Basketball-Reference Blog – 38.7 wins, 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 8th in the Eastern Conference, 18th in the NBA

The Experts Average Finish for the Sixers:

  • Record: 40-42
  • Atlantic Division: 3
  • Eastern Conference: 8
  • NBA: 18

What the Sixers Bloggers Say

Depressed Fan

Record: 46-36

Finish: 2nd in Atlantic, 4th in the Eastern Conference.  Knocked out in the second round of the playoffs, probably by the Cavs.

A healthy, motivated Brand more than makes up for Andre Miller’s departure. The Princeton offense helps raise their efficiency in the half court, but it’s the defense that really lifts the team up overall. Decent start, strong finish.

Liberty Ballers

Record: 47-35

Finish: 2nd in Atlantic, 5th in the East, losing the the second round to the Cavs.

I would have them a little higher, but I think they’re going to take a little while to learn the offense. Expect their best basketball to come post-All star break.

Philly Arena

Record: 42-40

Finish: 3rd in Atlantic, 8th in the Eastern Conference.  18th in the NBA

Good enough to be mediocre. If all things fall right (Thad develops into the 20 ppg scorer he’s capable of, Lou steps up his game, Brand comes back healthy, pieces fit in Eddie Jordan’s system), they could challenge for 45-50 wins with good defense, but we’ll lack the dynamic offensive player capable of attracting defensive attention, which will prevent them from being consistently good in half court sets, and prevent them from really challenging in the Eastern Conference.

Sixers4 Guidos

Record: 43-39

Finish: 2nd in the Atlantic Division (behind Boston), 7th in Eastern Conference (behind Orlando, Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami)

No great expectations this year, maybe this will be the key not to be disappointed at the end. I think the best thing would be to see the young guys continuing to progress, getting Brand back at a good level and the team playing some fun basketball. 2010 in my book will be mainly a step towards 2011, when we will (hopefully) be major players in the FA market.

Philadunkia

Record: 35-47

Finish: 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference and 22nd in the NBA

While I feel the Sixers are close to getting this franchise headed in the right direction, I see a step back coming this season. Learning a new offense is not easy and that’s especially true of the Princeton offense which is more complicated then most. That combined with the reintroduction of Elton Brand to the lineup could make for a beginning to this year that mirror or be worse then their very slow start in 2008-09. That will spell disaster in an Eastern Conference that has gotten significantly better in the off season and thus doom the 2009-10 Sixers to missing the playoffs. I also still believe that not adding another scorer in the backcourt (combo or two-guard) will come back to haunt the Sixers.

Heard from the Cheap Seats

Record: 44-38

Finish: 2nd in the Atlantic Division, 5th in the Eastern Conference and 16th in the NBA.  Second round loss in playoffs.

The Sixers weren’t able to do much over the offseason because of financial constraints that will hit their books next season.

The biggest move was probably the one they weren’t able to make: resigning Andre Miller or at least a sign and trade to bring in a veteran PG.  Lou Williams has to learn how to play the point and learn fast. The additions of Jason Kapono and Rodney Carney should provide some much needed depth to the bench. In addition, Jason Smith will be an underrated addition back to the roster after a knee injury.

Of course, the big question mark is what will Elton Brand bring to the table? Will it be the all-star caliber player we know he is or will it be the rusty, slow player we saw at the beginning of last season?

At the very least, we can expect Brand to add some stability to the front court and a defensive presence that was lacking at time last season. Overall, this team should take a step forward but is not quite ready to hang with the Cavs and Celtics of the world.

Recliner GM

Record: 43-39

Finish: 2.5 in the Atlantic Division, 7th in the Eastern Conference, 15th in the NBA

The Bloggers Average Finish for the Sixers:

  • Record: 43-39
  • Atlantic Division: 2
  • Eastern Conference: 6
  • NBA: 18

What Do I Think

You can’t just come up with a prediction in the bubble that is Philadelphia and being a 76ers fan.  It’s important to consider and evaluate both the hometown feel and the national opinion when former my own.

The national media probably doesn’t know as much about the Sixers as we do as loyal fans, Sixers bloggers and wannabe analysts.  What they do have is a broader perspective and more access to the NBA as a whole which is worth considering.

Their opinion could be based on the idea that maybe the Sixers just stink.  They don’t care to learn enough about the team. And/or they think the Sixers may be just-okay-to-pretty-good, but the rest of the conference and league is better by x wins, degrees, points whatever.

It’s all worth noting.

As for the local bloggers and people close to the team, we are biased at both ends of the spectrum.  We have the homers who no matter what the history or results still remain overly optimistic.  We also have the stereotypical Philly sports follower who is always hard and down on the team because of our past experiences with mediocrity.  Even if there is real reason for optimism theirs will be strongly tapered by the painful recent memory of disappointment.

I personally am probably in between and depending on the day will be at both ends.

I desperately want to get optimistic about this team.

I was last off-season when we got Brand and Speights and really thought this team could be enjoyable to watch.  Then Cheeks coached poorly.  The players played poorly, and the big money guy couldn’t stay on the court long enough to believe he would make a difference even if he was healthy.

As for prediction go you have a lot of them above.  We will save our full commentary on the upcoming season for the preview.  But here is my current thoughts…

The Sixers will take a step forward, in the form of a few more wins.

They should be slightly above .500 with a rejuvenated and healthy Brand, improved play from their young guys, and a full, and not that bad looking, group of reserves.

There are a number of  circumstances that need to happen even for this little improvement to occur, let alone anything more.

Because of that my optimism is there but seeping out slowly.   I need to see them play with my own eyes.  Shallow reports from the journalists in this town isn’t enough for me right now.

Your turn.

What Do You Say?

As always we turn it to you.  Now I want you to do the same thing all the bloggers and experts did.

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Comments

  1. deepsixersuede says:

    Danny, I think you are dead on with 43 wins, and I am fine with that total because a team that adds a new coach, offense, and new starting p.g.,s.g., s.f., p.f., and 6th man and adds a few wins is great in my book. Our young core will be contributing to the win total and not a player [A.Miller] who we know won!t be here when we challenge for a title. I am going to be positive and say Elton is close to full strength and we gain a solid year down the road because of his time off so Sam will be the one core piece that will have to be replaced. My 2 keys to this season are  1] Holliday, by years end can show flashes of a solid player and more importantly 2] Jason or Marreese show the toughness to possibly replace Sam at the 5 spot.

  2. great job Dannie thanks for putting this all together
    Really surprised by the 46/47 W prediction by Brian (DF) and Jordan (LB), while Philadunkia gets the nod for Most pessimistic Sixer blogger. While we made the same prediction, are you happy or worried? LOL
    Anyway let’s remember to check this post at the end of the reg season !!!

  3. jkay says:

    for what its worth I dont think the Sixers will be win that much unless they can amp up the defense. from the looks of it they’re defintely gonna struggle on offense again. I hope to be surprised.
    If Iguodala is gonna be an All-Star this year, he’s gonna have to do it on his own. this team won’t go anywhere fast early on, we’ll see  how they finish; usually strong finishers.

  4. Hobbes says:

    I suspect that this is *not* a team to be excited about this year, given the level of competition in the east and throughout the league and given the myriad team issues (new coach, all-star who hasn’t played in two years, lots of very young players, some of whom will be first-time starters, etc.).  One response to this view is “So what, we’re not really building with this year in mind.”  To which, I would answer, “absolutely.”  I’m fine with not being a serious contender this year, so long as we’re building towards something both sturdy and dangerous. 

    But, to my eyes, we ARE NOT BUILDING SOMETHING THAT SPELLS FUTURE SUCCESS.   I can’t prove this, of course.  But previous performances and the composition of past championship teams give me little indication that we’re anything impressive.  Williams has been entirely average–he surprises some games, disappoints in major ways in others.  He’s never looked like a “traditional” guard, like someone who creates plays for others.  That could change, but the record doesn’t give that indication.  And he’s a lousy defender and a rather average shooter.  Young?  Someone who likes the baby hooks, the jumpers, the open layups, but I don’t see someone who’s been willing or adept at banging down low, nor have I seen in him someone who can pull down rebounds in a consistent way.  Speights?  His reputation in Florida was that of ‘underachiever,’ and his play last year, this summer, and in two preseason games indicates that he wants to shoot and shoot often (unlike Young or Williams or Iggy, he does seem naturally adept at it, though), but as a big man he seems to have NO INTEREST whatsover in defense, and little skill with it either.  Smith?  7-footer who wants to shoot threes, who wants to play a finesse game, but whose shooting stats don’t suggest he’s exceptional at it.  Personally, I feel if you’re a 7-footer and you don’t have Dirk’s game, then you should get the hell inside the paint and mix it up. 

    Defensively, we haven’t been, nor do we promise to be, particularly excellent at defense.  Evans is gone, which, offensively, is great.  But he was THE ONLY GUY who actually stepped onto that floor last year looking to p*ss off guys on the other team when he was on defense.  Every great team has at least one or two of those guys.  I don’t see any on our roster. 

    Mostly, I see a lot of players on this team who are pretty good at some things, and pretty awful at several other things. 

    Then there’s the payroll problem. 

    The narrative for this team is about the future, that “we’re building for the next few years,” that we’re in the middle of “a youth movement.”  Personally, I don’t see a singly player on the team that looks untouchable, that looks like an indespensible piece of a championship-calibre team.  Some might argue that Iggy is one such piece.  While I’ve slowly come to respect his all-around game, I feel the jury is most definitely still out on his locker-room persona.  I sense that he likes being a big fish in a small pond, and several things last year suggested discomfort with the media calling “Brand” the leader of the team.  If I had to wager, I’d say that Iggy will have a hard time giving over control, playing nice, with all-star talents when and if we ever have them. 

    In short, I think this team is mediocre and that its periodic stretches of success is more flash than substance.  I predict serious success for neither this season nor several to come. 

  5. jesseg says:

    I’m excited for this season – and had two thoughts:

    the difference between sad sammy and happy sammy is pretty significant – and so far, it seems like there is a happy sammy.  If this is how it stays, then the starting five has actually changed quite a lot from the bulk of last year:  sad sammy green and miller are out, brand happy sammy and lou are in. I think that has the potential to be a pretty major upgrade, along with a better bench (smith kapono second year speights newly confident carney, and green)..  so I actually think its pretty safe to think the sixers could be close in a lot more games this year…

    the question will be whether they have the shooters/leaders that can take over the last five minutes, make the last shot, that sort of biz…  otherwise their improvement will just turn into losing games by 2 points that they used to lose by 8.

  6. deepsixersuede says:

    Hobbes, you raise a lot of valid points; I hope you are wrong on some but I can!t debate most. As far as Lou, I hope in 2 years he can go back to being our sparkplug off the bench with a better understanding of how to be a complete player. By this time next year we will have an idea of who the real Thad is; I suspect he will be a scorer that doesn!t fill a stat sheet;  Iggy , on the court has made a believer out of me but I agree about his personality throwing mixed signals at times. If Sam and Elton can become an intimidating defensive duo, a possibility, than this group has a chance to become a solid defensive team. But if it happens , what to do with Sam ? Holliday to me is key, they can!t afford to have blown this pick, and in 2 years if he is nothing special than you are definitely right; but if he can become the best or 2nd best player on this team they may in fact have a future

  7. Dannie says:

    If Jrue Holiday is the best or 2nd best player on this roster at any point this roster isn’t very good.  I just don’t view his potential to be that high.

    I think he can be a starter and be pretty good.  But when thinking about a championship team his potential for me is the 3rd best player at best.. 

    What would shock (and delight) the crap out of me is if he develops into a the type of impact player Rajon Rondo is/has become.  But again I do not at all think he is or will be that good as a complete player.

    I might say he could be like Derek Fisher on the Lakers title teams.  A key player but at best 3rd totem pole of importance during the Shaq years and definitely no higher than 4th on last year’s title team.

  8. Dannie says:

    In the future regarding this roster I look at it like this:

    1. PG – Holiday (Derek Fisher level or slightly better)
    2. SG – TBD (need a big-impact, complete player at this position)
    3. SF – Iguodala (I am cool with him in this spot on a title contender)
    4. PF and C – TBD (We need another big-impact player at either C or PF)
    5. Key reserve – Thad (hopefully he can reach Lamar Odom level of production as a versatile forward)
    6. Key reserve – Speights (offensive big off the bench)

    That’s it.  So right now I only view 4 players on the roster as championship pieces.  I’d toss everyone else in the trash.

    If Brand is healthy right now he only has 3 years so he is a short-term solution in the front court.  The four guys listed above could be here for 8+ years.

  9. deepsixersuede says:

    Danny, they might as well blow it up if that!s the case and go for a high lotto pick. If Iggy and Thad at the 2 and 3 isn!t good enough to win a title in 2 years we are in trouble. I am hopeing Holliday lives up to his high school hype and can become a sometime allstar but that remains to be seen.

  10. jkay says:

    Hobbes: first of all the Eastern Conference is ALWAYS weak. i dont buy that crap they sell every year about being improved just cos they played musical chairs with a bunch of free agents.
    “But, to my eyes, we ARE NOT BUILDING SOMETHING THAT SPELLS FUTURE SUCCESS.   I can’t prove this, of course” – Then why say it?

    Dannie: every time you pull up this talk about championship team you do realize that it makes no sense. we might as well just blow it up again. but of course by the time the PF, C and SG are here, developed and ready to play, Iggy would have Ray Allen athleticism and an injury away from retirement. sometimes all you can do is add good players and hope for the best. only teams like Orlando have the luxury of that kind of building.

    deepsixerseude: is it really worth it to give up that much for a high lotto pick? I’m sure Comcast is not liking the revenue side of the balance sheet. gotta win sumthin now just to keep afloat.

    Viva  Holiday the Longshot!

  11. Hobbes says:

    Jkay, what’s your point?  Last year’s talent in the east left us fourth best.  We’re still poor in what you call a “weak” conference.  Not sure how I’ve been corrected on that score. 

    And on making remarks that I can’t prove, well, here’s a newsflash: that’s what sports talk is–combining observations with statistics and standings, with records, with comparisions, and then making a coherent narrative that includes, inevitably, interpretation and some speculation.   

  12. Dave T says:

    Even IF many things go right for our team…aka:

    -Brand regains 18/10/2 blks form
    -The P.O. clicks and we successfully move without the ball, make good strong cuts, set good picks, Iggy/Brand/Lou pass well
    -Iguodala becomes a 19 ppg, 6 rbd, 6 ast all around all star for us
    -Thad ups scoring to 17-18 ppg and hits 3′s at 37-38%
    -Kapono is light’s out from outside
    -Lou Williams makes better decisions
    -Sam isn’t as knuckleheaded as usual
    -Jason Smith proves he is not Brian Cook 2.0 and can bring some tough rebounding as well as his outside shot (for the record, have never been a J Smith guy)
    -Jrue Holiday proves his UCLA year was a total fluke being out of position
    -Speights starts showing the strong post game he had at U of Florida (for the record, think Speights is a future 19/10 starting PF).

    …I still just can’t see us getting past that 43-44 win at the VERY best.  And it is rare, as this city knows, for all the stars to actually align like that.  Somethings bound to go wrong, people bump heads, injuries, etc…and let’s not understate the loss of A-Miller and Lou, a scoring guard,  having the reigns for the first time.  That said I think, while we might only be mediocre or slightly better, I am hugely looking forward to how we do.  I find out team very intriguing and think we will be very entertaining to watch.

    My real biggest concern this year is an improved Eastern Conference:

    -Atlanta – Team chemistry should be off the chart next year as the main core has now been together four years, and additions like Bibby/Horford now having been there for 2 years.  Adding the Crawford/Teague combo has the possibility of being a true juggernaut of offense coming off that bench.  Joe Smith at PF bolsters their big man rotation.  A healthy Josh Smith/Marvin Williams starting the season.  These guys are a VERY strong team under the big 3 of Boston/Orlando/Cleveland.  Let’s also not forget Joe Johnson was hampered by injuries during their playoff run to the 2nd round.  I see 50 wins and a team that, if hungry, might really scare the bejesus out of some of the contenders this year in a 7 game series.

    -Washington – Going from a bottom feader 20 win team to having a healthy top 10 player in the NBA that seems to finally be “getting it” and at least saying all the right things in Arenas; Jamison/Butler healthy and ready to go (giving them a healthy big 3 for the first time in years); internal youth improvement from Dominic McGuire (fantastic last half of the year), J McGee and Nick Young; additions of Randy Foye (top five 6th men in the league potential) and Mike Miller giving them shooting and depth to the team.  Healthy Brendon Haywood.  I can see the Wiz REALLY surprising people and getting in the 47-49 win  range.

    Toronto – I am putting them at #6 right behind whatever order Atlanta or Washington finishes in…but I think they have a lot of things going for them this year.  Chris Bosh is going to be VERY HUNGRY trying to prove to people he’s a true franchise player and worth an automatic max contract, and to take his first two months of last year (where he played off the charts) and carry that for an 82 game season.  He also added lots of bulk and has said he’s looking to stay in the post more.

    Adding Hedo Turkoglu, giving them their first legitimate wing player since probably Vince Carter, is a nice addition, if overpriced and too long of a contract.  Jarret Jack I think is a very underrated signing, as this gives them one of the top 3 backup PG’s in the league.  Derozan, while I thought he was very overhyped at USC, is an interesting wildcard and if he shows any type of potential that helps this year, all the better for them.  And I cannot overstate: Jose Calderon coming back healthy…I can see him having an all star year this year.  If him and Bosh can stay on the court at full health…45-47 win team.

    Final analysis: Our Sixers will be in the 7th – 9th seed range in the East.  If everything goes amazingly right and they overachieve…6th seed.  If things go wrong, 10th seed.  But this is a very intriguing team and I’m curious to see how individual players pan out and how team chemistry gels under EJ.  But this team isn’t sniffing the second round with all the other midling teams improving.  We’ll be battling Miami, New Jersey, Indiana, and Detroit for the final playoff spots.

  13. Dannie says:

    Jkay - First off when did the Sixers blow anything up the first time?  Please don’t say trading Allen Iverson is considered blowing something up.

    Second – you don’t have to blow something up to get better.  You just have to make stronger moves.  Their are 4 players on the roster right now that I think could contribute to a championship team.  But we are missing the big-time impact player that 99% of championship teams have.  Looking at the talent we have I isolated SG and a big-man as the idea positions to plug in a big time player. 

    You can get one anyway draft/trade/FA I don’t care.  But without one we will never be able to have a real conversation about a championship.

    Only teams like Orlando?  Huh?  Let’s look at the last 5 championship teams and how their core was built for a second and see how impossible you insinuate it is:

    2009 Lakers – They were savvy enough to make the trade for Kobe and lucky the Hornets were clueless to his real potential.  Take a look at what they gave up and tell me 10 other teams couldn’t have offered better?  They took advantage of a dumb ass and cheap Memphis Grizzlies, kept a veteran, reliable, championship experienced at point around.  Made the right draft pick at #10 in 2005 when after a down year.  And this did this all AFTER trading a HOF center.

    2008 Celtics – Drafted Pierce and kept him long-term.  Found a completely stud at the end of the first round in Rajon Rondo.  Then they parlayed their draft position, young talent (Al Jefferson) and cap space into KG and Ray Allen.

    Side note:  This example actually shits on your comment about Iguodala being too old by the team we build a champion around him.  He is only 25 right now.  Pierce was 30 last season and 10 years in the league.

    2007 Spurs – Tanked a season and luckily landed Duncan.  Drafted Tony Parker 28th in 2001 (we drafted Sammy 26th).  Drafted Manu Ginobili 57th in 1999 (we drafted Todd MacCulloch 47th).

    2006 Heat
    – Drafted Wade 5th in 2003.  Traded for Shaq (gave up Odom and Butler) when everyone thought he was washed up.  The rest of that roster was pure role players.

    2005 Spurs – Same as above.

    2004 Pistons - Well this is the model everyone talked about when trying to figure out how the Sixers would build a champion.  Traded a 27 year old Jerry Stackhouse for Rip.  (we traded Stack for Theo and A. McKie).  Signed Billups as a free agent in 2002.  Traded for Sheed giving up nothing in 2004.  Drafted Tayshaun Prince 23rd in 2002 (we drafted Jiri Welch 16th this was a particularly horrible draft pick at the time and even more so in hindsight.  Boozers was drafted 34th, Roger Mason 30th, Scola 55th, Rasual Butler 52, Matt Barnes 45th).

    Sure you need a little luck, but the Sixers decisions over the last 15-20 years are the reason we are here.  There have been plenty of opportunities to draft better players, sign better players and trade for better players.

    We haven’t been adding good enough players over the years when they were clearly out there and available.  When you draft well and manage trades and signings well over the long-term you don’t have to “hope for the best.”  You just have to hope you stay healthy enough for all the strong moves you put together to come to fruition.

    Right now we are hoping we stay healthy just to make it to the playoffs and MAYBE, MAYBE win a playoff series AT BEST.

    Honestly I read your comment calling my stance “nonsense” as nothing more than your inability or denial to recognize the reality of the situation the Sixers organization is in and how legit champions and title contenders are built.

  14. guest says:

    Dannie, It’s crazy to see exactly how many times we have screwed up in the draft over the years.

    For me, a pressing issue heading into this season is the Thad/Iggy situation.  I think it’s clear from last season that Andre plays best at the 3, along with Young.  We avoided that issue last season because of the injury to Brand.  Dannie meantioned that hopefully Thad will become a Lamar Odom type of player (talent wise), but I’m not sure whether that has him coming off the bench.  If we have roughly 4 seasons of around 40 win seasons… Sixers management along with fans will start to get impatient.  We might see our team make the decision to stick with either Andre or Thad and trade one or the other away.  If they blow this team up… that’s when it’s going to happen I think.

    Right now I see nothing but an average team relying on a Point Guard who had all of us saying “Lou Stinks” after almost every game.  Maybe he will mature… maybe he won’t.  Like last season… there are still a TON of unknowns surrounding this team.

  15. jkay says:

    Dannie: I get it! you’re forgetting something you said a while ago; you need a superstar! right? all those teams were very good before they added the missing link. are we that good? do you really wanna just draw parallels between positions and say we have this already and not that. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dwayne Wade (things those teams already had) Sorry if you think I am trashing your stance. I agree, I just dont think it will happen even if we tried.
    best chance – Detroit Model

    anyone watch the preseason game?

  16. jkay says:

    Hobbes: i’m all about being constructive. its kinda obvious we’re not going anywhere fast. think we got like a hundred posts on possible trades and draft scenarios to improve the Sixers. who knows who is right. we got what we got. complaining bout our partially screwed up situation won’t help.
    even though we are not very good, we can still win games and make the playoffs. that’ll keep us afloat till something happens.

  17. jkay says:

    Dave T: Toronto, Washington improved. Don’t you think the Sixers can’t beat both those teams out? Maybe its cos I dont think much of them.
    Why is Chris Bosh bulking up? I thought his advantage was always quickness. Even when he’s posting up players its still his quickness that beats ‘em.

  18. Dannie says:

    Jkay – I forgot nothing.  In all the examples I mentioned the core.  Pretty self-explanatory who the stars are.

    Point being those teams made good decisions via the draft or FA/signings to get the RIGHT superstar.  Are you telling me we couldn’t have got Kobe?  Hometown kid so I doubt he would have refused to play here like he was rumored to have with the Hornets. He was acquired for Divac.

    We choose Stackhouse over Sheed and Garnett.  Then traded him for role players.

    We could have drafted Boozer.

    Larry Hughes debacle  passing on Dirk and Pierce.

    And all that doesn’t even account for the potential trades and signings we could have made over the last 15 years.

    The point again is we have had plenty of opportunities to get a legit superstar and adequately build around him.  We haven’t.

    BUT that doesn’t mean more opportunities like that won’t come and we can finally start making the RIGHT decisions now. 

    This team is .500 or slightly better but our salary situation suggests we are built to win right now.  That is my biggest issue.  We have a mediocre team currently and a poor outlook over the next few years.

    Sorry if I am not super excited about a .500 team with a questionable future.  This team has been just spinning wheels for a really long time.

    Staying afloat?  What is the point of that exactly?

    Preseason game wasn’t on tv all they had was a live audio.  Prett whack.

  19. Dannie says:

    Looks like we won a close one.  Big comeback in the fourth quarter.  I’d really like to just watch that last quarter because it sounds like Jordan treated it as if it was a real game with his top guys in.

    Only 7:44 for Holiday.

  20. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, just got home from the game, as exciting a 4th quarter as a preseason game could have, some observations; most pleasant surprises: L.Will. being an efficient scorer and not turning the ball over ; Kapono moving well defensively and looking very comfortable with the ball in his hands ,even when he wasn’t spotting up for a jumper. Disappointments;  mainly how the offense stood around with Sammy and Thad on the floor, it looked like a lack of decision making had nobody cutting and being aggressive. Had a long parking lot, beer laden conversation with my older brother [S.F.W.] about Thad having trouble making decisions on the perimeter and Sammy , for every good thing doing 1 1/2 bad things on the offensive end. The unit that sparked the 4th quarter comeback consisted of Marreese, Elton, Kapono, Christmas and Willie. I suggested to my brother maybe you start Kapono and bring Thad off the bench till he gets it because though Sam is beyond getting it Thad , similarly to Stackhouse, has to learn to be a perimeter player and make decisions facing the basket. Marreese was awesome on the offensive end but had trouble guarding L;opez, though that is a tough task for anybody 2 inches shorter to handle.  Elton still played below the rim but was very active on both ends of the court, doubling the inbounds pass when they trapped and making good passes when facing the basket on the perimeter on offense. He seems to be a better passer facing the basket.

  21. Chris McC. says:

    I am actually very optimistic about this squad.  I started doing some research for my own Sixers preview and I started to read scouting reports and get excited about what I thought these guys could acheive on an individual basis. I really feel like this could be that season where Iguodala jumps into that superstar, Brandon Roy level in the NBA.  Thad could have a breakout year and Brnad, if able to adapt to the offense, could go through a renaisance.  Of course, the key word to all of that is “could”

    If the team starts to tank early I wouldn’t be surprused to see Lou moved.  If they can’t put together a decent season then I would love them to just find some way to get rid of either Green or Sammy.

  22. deepsixersuede says:

    Danny, give a meet up location for tommorrow, would like to say hey; The Iggy/ T.Williams matchup was fun to watch tonight, the rook was out to prove something. There was a lot of dribble handoff, no cutting and gain no offensive advantage stuff tonight for 3/4 !s of the game; if they don!t cut this offense is like watching paint dry.

  23. jkay says:

    Dannie: why cry over spilt milk? you could even say that they have invested heavily in our seemingly sub par group and are stuck with some guys. but little by little that will change. Sammy coming off the books is first, maybe we might have to trade Brand, re-sgning Thad might be another mstake. Staying afloat helps to make all that bearable while this so-called rebuilding we have been doing for years now kicks in. we can still do those things without the dynamite sticks.

  24. jjg says:

    Fostering a quicked-up version of an old school pattern offense with a team whose talent is immature and tailored by nature to run in a 24 second clock league strikes me as being counterintuitive or, to employ an old school idiom, stupid.  In my opinion, “The Princeton” per Sixers is a contemporary fraud (one propagated by musty purists) and a recipe for disaster when applied to a team with a ”developing” basketball IQ.  Lucky for them it’s a watered-down league so 41-45 wins and a playoff berth seem possible based on history, collective energy and will, but I wouldn’t bet on it. 

    The Iguodala/Thad directional see-saw must be solved.  They remind me of the old Doublemint gum commercial:  Two, two, two mints in one.  They should pick their keeper and move one for other needs … not enough interior defensive toughness in either player.     

  25. deepsixersuede says:

    I just came from the open practice; my highlight was getting to shake easy Eddie Pinckney!s hand as I walked in the concourse. J.Kapono, through an hour of drills, didn!t miss a jumper. Disappointed they didn!t scrimmage but the prior night!s game played into that. Looked for Danny and Brian [Depressed fan] but couldn!t locate them.

  26. Dannie says:

    Suede – I decided not to go and I am glad I didn’t.  I only wanted to see them scrimmage and they didn’t.  I watched it online the video stream was very clear.  I took absolutely nothing from it.  It was a pure PR activity for casual fans and kids.

    They didn’t get one thing at game speed or with any level of seriousness.  It was worse than a pregame walk through.

  27. Dannie says:

    Jkay – Please spare me the cliche (and it’s “spilled milk”). 

    Staying afloat is okay for a certain length of time.  That duration has passed in my book.  Staying afloat is okay if there is a clear and discernible plan in place – I do not see one.  Staying afloat is okay if we had a superstar just waiting to be built around – we do not.

    Staying afloat the was are currently is okay or bearable for YOU.

    Not me and clearly not for a whole hell of a lot of Sixers fans which is why the attendance is what it is in a major market city.

  28. RRose says:

    The problem I see with this team is there’s really no direction.  Is this a Princeton motion and cutting team or a running defensive team?  Last night I attended the game just to see what this season might unfold.  I didn’t see either of those types yesterday.  There are too many players on this team that don’t fit either system.  I never want to go back to the Barkley days of one HOF player and a bunch of rec center guys.  But I would settle for 2 REALLY good players regardless of position and a bunch of shooters.  Putting the ball in the basketball is really what most casual fans want to see.   Defense is overrated until playoff time. Then its about want and willingness.

    Since this team can’t generate a packed house on game nights now anyways,  they should find a way to become Golden State east fun to watch and cheer for.  For about 43 minutes last night I was glad I paid $10 for my ticket ($4) more for purchasing at the window.

    As for the past 5 years worth of draft picks I’m wondering if the same scouting personnel is still part of this organization.  Maybe they need to start there and make changes.

  29. jjg says:

    Scouting by Tony Dileo, smoke rings by Ed Stefanski, make-up by max factor, results by accident. 

  30. Zack says:

    Great Sixers talk.  suede, thanks for the game report.  “Marreese, Elton, Kapono, Christmas and Willie” is a strange lineup, why do you think it worked?  I’m intrigued…

    It kind of supports my idea of turning Willie into the starting/backup PG, I always thought he’d be a good there – it distracts him from shooting too much and puts to use his really good basketball IQ and feel for the game.  With Marreese, Elton, Kapono and Christmas you have four guys you can’t leave open, and that kind of advantage usually affords you higher-% shooting opportunities.

    On defense, Christmas guards the more athletic wing guy, Kapono takes the slower one; most teams don’t have two super-athletic guys at the wings.  Maybe Speights is used to playing with gifted, smart forwards like he did at Florida (Noah, Horford), and thus was comfortable being paired up with Brand and knew exactly how to be the 2nd banana forward (“Wow, this is much easier than playing with Reggie Evans…”).  Maybe Speigths and Brand isn’t the biggest or strongest frontcourt, but both can rebound, limiting the other team’s second chances.  Then those rebounds lead to outlet passes, to the running trio of Kapono, Christmas and Willie (all four-year college graduates, by the way): Willie makes great decisions on the break, Christmas is the young ‘un who beats his man down the floor, and Kapono trails the break and hangs out at the arc if Christmas or Willie needs to kick it back out.

    How did Carney and Jason Smith look?

    My quick take on what the Sixers can do this season: I think their defense is going to be strong enough to take them to the Eastern Conference Finals.

  31. jkay says:

    Dannie: ok?? ……. and spilt is correct. i’m british.

    Zack: you’re about to OD on optimism. do you think Chritmas makes the team? saw a clip last night when he shot a 3 off the break, his release was perfect, hope they keep him around.

  32. jkay says:

    i wonder how the East will play out this year. will Orlando be better, same or worse? – Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Dwight Howard – seems like a lot of players who need the ball in their hands. too much of a good thing?

  33. jjg says:

    Wish Philly had Orlando’s problem of 4 prime timers.  Wouldn’t worry about Magic.  The lone ball and the nature of the game always settles that score.  As long as role players surround, can’t have enough offensive weaponry.  Problem with late Seventies Sixers’ Erving, McGinnis, D. Dawkins, Collins, Free, Bibby, 
    Mix, Joe Bryant, Terry Furlow collection was their strong commitment to weak defense.   

  34. guest says:

    I still think Orlando will be a little bit worse than last year.  The Hedo/Lewis combination caused match up problems for pretty much every team last year. Both can post up, shoot the three, and take it to the hole.  Hedo also has the ability to handle to ball in all situations, whether it is in half court or on the break.  Vince Carter is good, but I don’t think he will be able to replace “Mr. 4th Quarter”.  Although Vince was also good in the clutch from what I saw.

  35. The Real Rob says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am looking forward to seeing the Sixers play the Suns twice this preseason.  I just checked out the Warriors-Suns preseason game on TNT.  It will be interesting to see how the Sixers fare against other uptempo teams, plus this team always plays against so-so teams in the preseason. What’s up with that?

    Anyway, GO SIXERS, and may this team surprise us and go further than expected!

  36. Johnnylaptop says:

            I took my son to see the Sixers Fri. night, it was fun to watch the Sixers wake up in the forth quarter to win.  Like Dannie says a win is a win and I have to agree. I was at the game and it was a mess especially the first three quarters. Lou W.  looked good, very confidant,  made nice  shots and was assertive, got the job done. Jason K. looks really solid, we made a good trade. Christmas was great, very quick, for the amount of time he played he got the game going for the Sixers when he came in, he woke up the crowd. Good hustle, nice 3-point shot and I believe tipped or stole the ball, would love to keep him. Jason Smith showed alot of energy when in the game but sat most the night with a heat pack on his leg. He looks stronger than he did.  Thad ran his ass off and contributed on both sides of the floor..
        Now Iggy,  Elton and Sammy.  Iggy-37min. 2for14shooting…0for3from3pt…5turnovers…3rebounds.   Elton-30min. 5for12shooting…6rebounds. OK but he made the winning shot.   Sammy 4turnovers.         I looked at the two previous games box scores, here they are.  Wedesdays game,  Iggy- 23 min…3for5…1for3 from 3pt…4turnovers…1rebound.   Elton-20min…3for7shooting…4turnovers.     Tuesdays game,   Iggys-25min…4for7 shooting…7turnovers…1rebound,    Elton-22min…3for6shooting.  add some of numbers together for the first three preseason games of our two best players and it will blow your mind,  This is our best. These two should be better prepared than this period………….     my point I want to make is  Iggy and Brand need to step up and play ther ass off and excel. They are the leaders on this team. They need to show the other players by example hows it done. They took the money they should be ready to play. Both of them should not miss the shots there missing. They need to step up. When these two guys start to produce like they should the rest of the teams problems will get much smaller.   I know it’s a new system and we have a learning curb but these two pro’s need to knock off these mistakes and lead.    3wins…0losses…GO SIXERS                                                                                                                                               

  37. Joecooler2u says:

    Tough one. This year there is a lot of change. From the head coach to the starting PG to the returning Brand+Smith, to the newcomers Jrue+Kapono+Brezec+Carney. I’m really big on Carney returning because his athleticism made this team tough to keep up with a couple years ago (they were running teams off the court even with Miller). Kapono adds that desperately needed 3 though is he enough? Someone (or a couple) need to step up and hit the 3 when Kapono isn’t in the game. Carney and Thad seem more likely cause they got the mechanics, they just need consistancy.

    Being reliable is one thing ALL the Sixers need to improve on. From top to bottom we need some assurance. The revolving door of coaches has stunted this team’s growth somewhat. Think about it, there should be no question about if Lou would be ready to start at PG by now. He hasn’t even done so once so how can we be sure of him? Maybe I understand more of why people wanted Miller gone earlier than this year. We would know if Lou was ready or not by now.

    I think the responsibility needs to fall on the shoulders (no pun intended) of Brand and Iguodala. The need to be the leaders and not just in words, but they need to take the reigns now that Miller is gone. That’s what they are getting paid the big millions for. What worries me is who does the Sixers turn to in the playoffs (if they make it) when it becomes more of a halfcourt game? I don’t think Lou will hold up to that pressure. I think we need a solid vet PG who can run the team in those times (despite the Eds saying they don’t need a typical PG). I don’t think Ivy or Jrue can do it so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a vet backup PG. I’d be disappointed if we don’t. One positive with Miller being gone is, during his time in Philly the 76ers got off to SLOW starts. Miller didn’t seem to care until post-All-Star break. I think with Lou and his quickness they might get off to a better start but stumble at times because of youth and learning a new system/coach.

    In the past, I’ve been overly optomistic (as most fans are of their team) but this time out I want to be a bit more realistic. Not to say I don’t want this team to maximize their wins. I can never go for tanking a season because that’s not a winning attitude. I just want to “keep it real” as the original AI would say.

    All that being said, my gut feeling is 45-37 W-L and maybe a trip to the 2nd round, but not beyond that. I’m not expecting Brand to be his former 20-10 self. Not expecting Iguodala to lead the league in scoring. Not expecting Thad or Lou Will to score 20+ ppg (maybe nobody on the team will but the best possibilites are AI, Thad & Brand) Not expecting Lou or Iguodala to lead the league in assists, but I got a gut feeling we won’t be as bad as everyone expects. Sure we still have Dalembert and his brooding and lackluster play, Willie Green and his undersized game, the inconsistency of the team in general. I just feel this weird bit of optimism, Not because they are doing well in the pre-season or anything (like that ever matters compared to the reg season).

    I’m not underestimating Miller and his absence or even the loss of Evans on defense, but we did get quicker (Lou over Miller), more athletic (Carney over Rush), and better at the  3 (Kapono + Carney over seldom used Marshall). Will Brand be as bad as he was when he played last season? I’m not expecting 20-10, but he got something to prove to the fans and himself. Iguodala needs to show he can lead and win. Lou needs to show he can be a starter. Thad needs to show he can hit the 3 and rebound. Sam needs to………..oh well that would be expecting too much. I expect some stumbling blocks, some growing pains, but I also expect other teams will underestimate us……….they did for the last 3 seasons. Why not this year?

  38. The Greek says:

    Right now Sammy is a salary albatross, so I ask this.  Will he be a desired trade commodity next season when his contract is expiring?   If Lou has a decent season won’t he increase his trade value 2 fold?

    Wouldn’t those 2 be good to use for a package to get a really good player next season?

  39. AtlantaHawksFan says:

    There was a time we used to be apprehensive about you guys coming to the A-Town. Cause at any time you guys could explode. Not any more. You guys look like us three or four years ago. Your best player Thad Young is from the A-Town. Dont say we never gave you anything. Keep that rebuilding process going baby.  By the way listen up, the name is  Teague, Jeff  Teague rookie of the year.

  40. jjg says:

    Pop culture correction:  two, two, two mints in one was the tag line of Certs, both a breath mint and a candy mint, not Wrigley’s Doublemint gum as erroneously offered above in post 24.  Happily, both products remain available for your refreshment.   

  41. Rob_STC says:

    Atlanta Hawks Fan:

    We whipped you 2 out of 3 last year. And the one game at the beginning of the year the Sixers were up 20 points early in that game. I don’t  see the Hawks improving with another wing player like Jamal Crawford. You would have to wonder why he has bounced around so much in a short period of time.  

  42. AtlantaHawksFan says:

    That was last year playa. You have to admit, we got better, you didn’t.  We still showing you much love though. Keep rebuilding, your GM will get it together—-hopefully. I feel your pain (sml)

  43. jjg says:

    Any franchise that once featured Charlie Criss and Spudd Webb is whack.  Georgia basketball, oxymoron.  Hawks got some talent but they always flub it up somehow.  It’s Woodson, not Wooden, remember.  Footnote:  ya coulda kept Lou Williams for us, spared the pain. 

  44. AtlantaHawksFan says:

    What are you trying to say!!!! Atlanta was short on talent. We got some now baby Ha ha ha.  Sorry about Lou Williams, we were chock full of duds. Something had to seep through the cracks——–sorry charlie (sml)

  45. deepsixersuede says:

    Zack, Carney was hurt, didn!t play. Jason is bringing energy but his shot looks terrible; at the open practice his shot was flat and clanking off the rim. Getting stronger may be part of the reason, rust the rest. Atlanta Hawks fan, we aren!t much farther away than you guys, and you have a ticking time bomb [ Josh Smith ] as one of your key pieces. I like our core guys as much as yours, but you could send us Horford if you wish. Jumpin, love hearing the old jingles, makes me want to have a Ballentine beer. Danny, a question about our new offense that I would like your opinion on ; for 3 quarters the other night, with mostly our starters on the floor there was absolutely no cutting being done and 5 guys were spread out passing the ball around the perimeter gaining no advantage at all. If your out there don!t you make a cut just to get things going, it was frustrating to watch. In the 4th quarter, like a light switch was clicked, all of a sudden they were cutting and slashing and getting open jumpers. If this is a read and react offense, how can Iggy or Thad or somebody not just cut through and start it up, it was frustrating to watch.

  46. AtlantaHawksFan says:

    deepsixersuede

    you drinking too much of that Ballentine beer, if you think we would give you Horford. I must admit fellas, I have a Phillies  fan in my office, and he stuck it to me all year bout your Phillies(baseball). Hope you guys repeat and at least keep it in the national league. And that’s the only nice thing I am going to say about the city of  Philadelphia. By the way Mike Vick is only a loaner.

  47. jkay says:

    AtlantaHawksFan: hey if you’re just here to gloat, might as well leave.  and dont get carried away by the potential of your team, cos thats all it is until they can prove they can actually win.

  48. jkay says:

    deepsixersuede: “with mostly our starters on the floor there was absolutely no cutting being done and 5 guys were spread out passing the ball around the perimeter gaining no advantage at all” – you do realize that there is going to be a lot of that this year. tough to watch but its growing pains. think of a sixers team who has been playing the same way since Mo Cheeks was head coach. Jordan was right when he said you’re gonna have to de-program them. thats our default mode right there.

  49. Dannie says:

    Suede – This offense is not for robots.  It’s not a simple flex. 

    It’s instinctive.  It’s read and react.  It’s countless IF-THEN situations (all good team-oriented offenses are)  If this happens (defense overplays, Brand does this) then I do this (cut backdoor, go dribble hand-off) Etc. Etc. Etc.

    It’s almost as bad to have pointless cutting as having no cutting. 

    Right now guys have to learn how to think offensively in practice and hopefully in time it becomes instinctive during games where they unconsciously read situations and react accordingly.

    I fully expect things to look ugly to start the season and they should be relying on their defense to control games not just early but all season.

  50. The Greek says:

    Dannie I ask you will Sammie and his expiring contract be a desired trade target around the league in your opinion?

    BTW, JJG welcome back!

  51. The Real Rob says:

    Check this out.  There could be a chance that Rafer Alston could join the Sixers this season.  I think he would make a great backup for Lou, since Jrue is still raw and Ivey is more of a defensive stopper. 

    http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/truth_rumors

    Even though it is preseason, I love what Lou has done thus far as a starter.  Now with that said, the Sixers MUST reduce their turnovers and MAKE their free throws. 

    GO SIXERS!

  52. The Greek says:

    At any rate, Roy is anxious to give it another go with Miller on Wednesday.
    “It’s weird, because when I play with (Steve) Blake, I’m used to Blake spacing and stretching the defense. Whereas with Andre, there’s gonna be somewhat of a learning curve there,” Roy said.

  53. Dannie says:

    I am pretty sure their is no chance Rafer Alston will be in Philly.  They mentioned the Sixers because they assume we NEED or WANT a starting quality point guard. 

    Both are debatable.  What’s not debatable is Rafer Alston’s value as a starter.  Honestly, at best he is at the bottom of the scale in terms of starting quality.  To me has been a reserve player starting for whatever reason similar to Willie Green.

    Makes absolutely no sense to bring him here from an on the court perspective.  What would be smart is moving some dead weight for his expiring contract ($5.25M).

  54. Dannie says:

    Greek – “Dannie I ask you will Sammie and his expiring contract be a desired trade target around the league in your opinion?”

    All expiring contracts have value.  I think it’s safe to assume your bringing this up because you want to move Sam.  I actually think that would be a big mistake.

    You do understand the ultimate value in the “expiring contract” right?  The salary that comes off the books freeing you to do whatever with it.  Very rarely does a team get equal value or even close to it by trading expiring contracts away.  The teams that do are the title contenders or fringe contenders who need one more key player for a playoff run.  I don’t think we are that.  Nor do I think Sam is the type of player that teams around the league would few as the last piece to a championship puzzle.

    The real value is in the salary that comes off the books and we should keep that.

    It would be a HUGE mistake to trade Sam.  The teams that would want him want the cap space and will be trying to unload their own over paid scrubs.  We should just let his contract expire, gain the $12+M in salary off the books and go from there.

    Besides his contract isn’t expiring until the Summer of 2011 so what is the point of discussing right now?

  55. jjg says:

    Sam:  annoying dope (or should that be dupe?); 60 million drain.  Sixers:  bigger dope for investing.  Am with you all the way on Dalembert, Greek; his play is lackluster and his attitude stinks.  The organization would benefit from his remove.  Thanks for the nod. 

  56. jjg says:

    suede:  What a combination, all across the nation – baseball and Ballentine!

  57. The Greek says:

    The reason that I brought it up Dannie was from your previous conversation of the future in post 8.   Love Sam or hate Sam, he won’t be here in 2 years.   And if Sammy expiring contract has any value,  it would be his single greatest contribution to the Sixers organization if we could get someone that we can put on that little list of players who are championship worthy. 

    I have no choice but to root for this Diva once again, but  running an offense through him is a recipe for disaster.   33 minutes a game would bring about at least 4 to’s a game.

    When Eddie Jordan was asked about Kapono, he said the was was a drama free low maintenance  type player and he loved that.   Whats going to happen after a game like there last where Sam struggled and was glued to the bench watching Speights lead the team back in the 4th quarter?

    JJG,  this offense that Jordan brought  is great.  Your right that we might not have the proper players for it but like I said 5 months ago we are 2 years, 2 draft picks, and hopefully 1 major trade away from having our final product on the court.   I just hope that they play with the energy and effort that they showed in 07 -08 instead of the dogs from last season.

  58. jjg says:

    Greek,  I wonder why you think it’s great.  What have you seen that’s so impressive about it?  Patterns tend to be assistance for lesser players (and self-justication for coaching staffs).  The improv guys in systems make or break you.  The Sixers that have been placed in that category – Brand, Iguodala, Young, Williams, Speights (to different extents) - aren’t good enough to counter the league’s elite over the long haul when the playing is for keeps.  Since I haven’t seen a minute of play of this year’s assemblage of talent, my remarks are based only on historical evidence.  Still, I don’t expect to see offensive coalescence 
    with this bunch anytime soon, no matter what university’s name is attached as title.  Monikers don’t win anything for you.  Superior talent and bonded wills win in the NBA.  (Was MJ & Pippen or “The Triangle” primarily responsible for the string of championships in Chicago?)  As Dannie stated, D (along with rebounding) is gonna dictate Sixers’ fortunes, one way or the other, early on and going forward. 

  59. deepsixersuede says:

    Jumpin, if you read C. Butlers comments on hoopshype; ” it is an equal oppurtunity offense”, than to me it is a perfect fit for this group, especially with the addition of 2 quality snipers [ Kapono, Carney] to the mix. And a young p.g. [L.Will.] who is being allowed to take baby steps as far as his responsibilities early. But defense is and always will be the key and Ayers really seems to be stressing the pick and roll aspect of that. By the way, L.Will. was called a “pick magnet ” by Hollinger last year and looked better in the nets game at seeing the screens and getting through them, a big issue at the top of our defense. Jumpin, I wasn!t sold on Jordan but so far I like his assertiveness and attention to details, he seems to see and address the right things, something that was lacking the last few years.

  60. jjg says:

    Good to hear, suede, but I’ll delay ticket purchases for the time being.  LW’s exhibited atrocious D of past is a concern; if he’s growing in that respect, great, it’s gotta help; doubt a skinny, excitable, shot-loving kid like him can turn resistence up much on a consistent basis.  Carney:  wouldn’t call him a quality sniper – at least not yet; streaky, yes.  “Equal opportunity offense” … sounds pretty; run by dolts it can be pretty ugly.  If Jordan is taking the bull by the horns, good, that differentiates him from most recent two coaches.  The soon-unveiled product will tell the truth.   

  61. deepsixersuede says:

    Jumpin, it seems L.Will. has been talked to about  1] turnovers  2] forcing bad shots. Example; he made a great drive and finish getting the crowd stirred up but next time down gave the ball up and continued to run the offense, me and my brother [S.F.W.] were really impressed with his under control play. As far as the offense, having our best player, Iggy, be willing to give the ball up for the best available shot, along with not having a true #1 option makes this a good offense for this group, in my opinion. I often wonder ,if Arenas was healthy, if he would of been happy running this offense and not getting enough shots. As far as Carney, he seemed to show in his last month here before [38 %] a knack for being a threat but has to show it over a whole season, your right, but he is better than what was here last year. Jumpin, Kapono moved better than I thought defensively and he seems to pass fairly well so he may be a pleasant surprise.

  62. Dannie says:

    Two things…

    Word is Arenas has been in 100% playmaker mode since returning and his teammates are loving it.  If he can balance his scoring ability (and love for doing so) with playmaking for teammates Washington will be solid.  He has all the ability in the world offensively when healthy he like most players today need to learn or how to control and hone their gunning impulses to score more efficiently. 

    Big reason I love MJ so much.  For a guy that took soo many shots he always ended up shooting 50% from the field as a guard.  Kobe has never come close to doing that in a season.  LeBron has yet to reach the 50% plateau and surprisingly D. Wade has been closest (and consistent close) in that regard shooting 48.3% from the field in his career.

    I am always fascinated by volume shot takers in today’s game.

    My second thing is turnovers.  I have a serious, serious concern about them going into this season.  New offense, Lou starting, Iguodala handling more, Brand and Sam handling more.  Rookie 2ns or 3rd string point.

    We really need to be good on defense.

  63. deepsixersuede says:

    Danny, Iggy made some interesting comments about his high turnovers the first 2 games. He seems to see openings that some of the other guys don!t and he made a couple of beautiful leading bounce passes the other night. Spieghts seems to have the best hands of our big guys and may get courttime early to help the offense flow [providing he gives defensive effort]. I really think Iggy is gonna make major strides in this offense [8 ass. per ?]. We are lacking in a volume scorer though and end of game ,and quarters and halves, situations will have to involve a bit more creativity on our coaches part.

  64. deepsixersuede says:

    By the way, Thad, on more than one occasion the other night had an easier oppurtunity to score on the right side of the rim but instead jumped to the lefthand side to finish, hopefully he can gain confidence in his weak hand and become a better finisher. Iggy seemed to improve his lefthand dramatically last year and became a lot more dangerous at the rim.

  65. jjg says:

    Dannie,  Can you see this cast of characters truly embracing a defensive identity and taking pride in performance of such unceremonious work over a season?  I can’t.  I see and hear visions and echoes of Chris Webber in Iguodala, Brand and Williams … a lot of strut, a lot of quips, 
    a lot of falling short.

  66. Dannie says:

    I will wait and see on beautiful bounce passes and Iguodala thinking he has Magic Johnson court vision all of a sudden.

    At the moment sounds like a convenient excuse for tossing the ball around.  Throwing passes your teammates are not prepared for and trying to justifying it by indirectly saying it’s their fault is has a more accurate word than “interesting.”

  67. RRose says:

    One thing about that game I really liked was EJ called a timeout and ran a out of bounds play that worked to perfection.  It left Kapono wide open for a 3 pointer and he drilled it right in front of their bench.  I can’t recall how many times they would come out of time outs and look totally clueless.  Both under Cheeks and Dileo.  Those type of plays win games.

  68. deepsixersuede says:

    R.Rose, that was a nice play but they seemed to have trouble on a few under the basket inbounds plays getting the ball inbounds. Dannie, as a former p.g. I did have to learn who could and couldn!t catch certain passes and adjustments on his part definitely have to be made. When I read his comments it seemed to me to be him telling his teammates to finish their cuts and be more aggressive but that is just my opinion, but your right it is a fine line when making excuses. He seems to be trying to be the leader of the team and maybe say things the coach may want said.

  69. The Greek says:

    Dileo, what a joke.   I will never forget going the the nets sixers game last year in Jersey and watching the whole team act like a bunch of clowns with there 360 reverse layups from the free throw line.   The only person that took the warm ups seriously was Theo. 

    JJG, the last  time that I think that I enjoyed our offense was in 1985.   Although I was intrigued by the pick and roll skills of Sharone Wright and BJ Tyler with Kenny Payne stretching the D from the corner!

  70. jjg says:

    Greek,
    BJ:  quick as a bug, and as effective.
    Sharone:  lazy, like a South Carolina summer day.
    Kenny Payne:  had good posture, good practice stroke, no game.
    And Lynam and Nash are still around??    

  71. RRose says:

    I never want to see anyone lose their jobs, times are hard.  But Lynam? whew!  The days of saying Shawn Bradley will revolutionize the game and commenced to drafting him over Webber and Penny was an absolute disgrace.  Again the people selecting these players are just as responsible as the players themselves.

  72. Dannie says:

    Was he fired?  Link?

  73. The Real Rob says:

    So far so good.  The Sixers are 4-0 this preseason with a 93-85 win over the Knicks.  Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young had their BEST games by far this preseason.  Hopefully, that will translate to the regular season.  I can’t wait for the two games with the Suns.  That should be a fun uptempo game, where hopefully the Sixers will prevail in both games!

    GO SIXERS!!  (AND GO PHILLIES!!)

  74. jkay says:

    turnovers keep piling up. but at least they made their free throws. Jordan needs to keep rminding them that they have a set offense. Iguodala doesnt need to dribble for 15 seconds anymore.

  75. jjg says:

    28 turnovers vs. Knicks.  (That is not a misprint.)  1 every 1:45.  Holy cannoli. 

  76. jkay says:

    if you think beating the Knicks means anything at all , then take a look at this stat: New York Knickerbockers -   7 for 41 3PT shooting last night.
    2 things wrong with that; to jack up that many and to miss that many. Mike D’Antoni’s offense which was once near poetic with the likes of Nash, Stoudemire, Bell and (personal fave) Barbosa has now become quasi-street ball; an excuse to hoist up shots at will with the likes of Hughes, Robinson, Harrington and Chandler.
    Yeah methinks Wilson Chadler might not be starting the next game.

  77. Zack says:

    Quick Sixers hit:

    I read the TrueHoop piece about Wayne Winston and adjusted +/-, and I thought it was a good read and recommend it; I would link to it but it’s been hard establishing a solid link to it, so if you wanna find it go to TrueHoop on ESPN and search for “Wayne Winston”.  He has a small, funny bit about Iguodala:

    Andre Iguodala, though. Whenever he’s on the court for Philadelphia, they’re great. Whenever he’s off, they suck. God knows why he’s a good player. I watch him play, and I don’t know.

    Here’s a link about Iguodala that DOES work, thought I think someone here linked to it before:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=3490

    Something that made me think of Thad and Marreese:  He says that Kevin Durant’s +/- is so horrible that if OKC were to put him on the trading block Pau Gasol-style that the Mavericks (who he used to work for) should stay way, and this led to a a few NBA people speaking up about this topic.  One interesting take from Kevin Pelton (I think) is that some of the NBA’s younger superstars started out with horrible +/- numbers while putting up very good box scores, but those +/- numbers eventually turned around, and his main example was Carmelo Anthony.  This made me think of the Greek and Dave T (commenters here) constantly pimping Thad Young and Marreese Speights, and how Young and Speights have been mini-Kevin Durants in that they’re young, full of promise, and put up good lines but could have better +/- numbers (though Young has better +/- numbers than Speights).  It also made me suddenly hopeful, that if they just get through their growing pains, my future Sixers team could have close to Carmelo Anthony-type talent at the forward positions.

    Dannie, when is the Sixers preview coming?  You been following the Sixers a bit?  Kate Fagan has been doing a great job at Deep Sixer (it seems like it started after you called her out a bit in that one post, I don’t remember where); and there’s been interesting stuff going on with them, too.  Quickly, off the top of my head:

    - I’m worried that this team is too dumb to learn the Princeton; in that Knick game Jordan said he went to “regular” NBA sets because some players on the Knicks knew the system and the players were “insinuating” that they go to those “regular” sets (that’s just… are you kidding…  i mean, it’s the preseason…  forget my Eastern Conference Finals prediction, this is still a bunch of brats)
    - Jrue Holiday had to be babied after not getting PT against the Knicks (grow up)
    - Brand looking CONSISTENTLY good
    - not too related but Chase Budinger and Ty Lawson, two players that were discussed as potential draft picks here, are doing well in the preseason and their respective teams seem genuinely happy and excited about them

  78. Dannie says:

    Zack – I have been quietly monitoring the Sixers but the lack of televised preseason games makes anything pure speculation and assumption.

    Where my head is at the current moment.  We will start slow, no doubt about it.  I think when the games start to mean something, defense is really being played all game and teams are playing their regulars we will struggle to score.  That combined with my complete uncertainty with how well this group under the new coaching staff will defend I think we can expect a slow start.

    I’ve been saying it for a while, we MUST win with defense in the beginning, middle and end of games and the season.  I hope the offense will click down the line but we shouldn’t be banking wins on it.

    I am glad you introduced that link.  I have a post coming this week related to it.

    Brand looked good up until the last preseason game where he stunk again the Suns.  Again without being able to see why I can’t pass judgment.  What I can say is he looks great physically.

    I am not a Jrue fan at all and I hate that he was babied.  But I guess that is Jordan’s style right now.  Holiday did have a nice overall floor game against Phoenix in is first action of any significance.

    And you are right to question whether this team is to dumb for the offense.  Iguodala is turning the ball over like crazy and blaming teammates ineptitude to read plays.  Certainly not a good start.

    I can not wait to open night I want to see some real ball ASAP.

    Sixers preview coming a few days before opening night.

  79. deepsixersuede says:

    Guys, Sixers are on N.B.A. T.V. tonight at 7, part of their free preview before the season starts and I will be DVR ing it because of the Phils. Dannie ,in Spieght of the loss it was good to see the Youngins get some quality time. Nash went off on A.Miller a couple nights ago but L.Will. [in 35 min.] didn!t get abused pts. wise but without seeing it Nash may have been in distributor mode. At least Jrue showed something.

  80. The Real Rob says:

    Also on Tuesday, the Sixers will host the Wizards and that preseason game will be on CSN at 7PM! 

    GO SIXERS!!  ALSO GO PHILADELPHIA SPORTS TEAMS!!

  81. Pete says:

    I don’t think I’m getting that free preview – that sucks.

  82. Dannie says:

    I am not getting that free preview either, just checked.  Will have to wait until Tuesday for my first look at the 2010 Sixers.

  83. deepsixersuede says:

    Danny, the preview was broadcast in spanish and I just watched the 1st half. My biggest observation; with Elton in the post the ball wasn!t dumped in the whole 1st quarter yet when Marreese came in with the 2nd unit the first 6 times down the court the ball was dropped into him to start the offense. I don!t mean this in a bad way, the starters dominated and looked real good but it seems Jordan has a different view of how the personnel will function the best and Elton, for now, is the 5th option offensively in the starting unit. With Stoudemire and Frye up front Sam was getting a touch every other time down the court and looked to be making quicker decisions, mostly shots, but not holding the ball, a good thing.

  84. The Greek says:

    Zach  as the driver of the Thad bandwagon, I welcome you aboard!  Refreshments and strippers are on the back of the bus.
    Just got back from Greece on saturday, so for me it was a huge treat to get the watch the sixers play on tv last night.  The spanish broadcasters were annoying as hell, especially if you don’t understand Spanish.
    I love the way that the whole team played, aside from Brand missing a bunch of shots very close to the rim.  Hopefully that is just a product of him not having his game legs yet.
    Speights looks like ab absolute beast on Offense, I’m just praying that Jordan can get through to this guy and gets him to play good sound defense.
     

  85. Johnnylaptop says:

       FYI   Just want to let you guys know tickets to the Wizards are for sale on StubHub for like  25 dollars for real good seat dead center very low. You also could pay 5 dollars for other lower seats and then  wonder or watch it on TV.  GO SIXERS

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