March 2, 2015

Sixers / Hawks Game Thread

Hapless Atlanta Hawks

Hawks got their asses kicked last night, I am not sure that’s good or bad for the Sixers tonight.

Their starters got rest since the game was well over early and they should be highly motivated to play well and remove the stench from their performance against the Bulls. Oh and not to mention the Sixers are only three and a half games back from taking over the 5th seed.The difference would mean playing Orlando in the first round vs. facing the Heat.

Clearly there is a lot for the Hawks to get up for. But there is also motivation for a young, hungry Sixers teams as well.

Iguodala will be back in the lineup tonight, hopefully his knee is strong enough because he has Joe Johnson to deal with.

Al Horford will also play even though he tweaked his hamstring last night vs. the Bulls. So it’s worth watching to see if he is hampered and slowed at all.

To me the Hawks not only factually are a fading team, they look weak right now with a very shallow bench. The Sixers need to lock in defensively and just run them off the court. The worse thing they can do is come out flat and allow the Hawks in the second game of a back-to-back to seize the early moment.

Kick them while their down and move a full game closer in the standings.

This is your game thread.

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  1. Dave T says:

    Jodie Meeks’ defense has slowly improved throughout this season.  I enjoy watching it.  3rd quarter, Josh Smith swung a pass to the top of the key to Joe Johnson (Meeks’ man on D), wide open at the top of the key because Meeks was helping on a drive.  Meeks started to wildly rush Johnson to guard the 3…but then stopped himself, and correctly approached JJ in a defensive crouch, close to the ground.  He stopped Joe from shooting, and when JJ put the ball on the floor for a drive, Meeks stuck to him like glue, not giving him an inch in the lane, forcing Joe Johnson to swing a pass to the other side of the court.  

    He still has a ways to go, particularly with over-committing too early and leaving his man to help out too far down in the paint area.  But little things like the above have improved, and when he puts his hard hat on, the guy can be a pesky on-ball defender.

  2. Dave T says:

    Even though they are going in, the 3 pointers we are taking tonight suck. Lou Williams is being his regular self, heaving up inexcusable 3 point shots with 18-20 seconds still on the shot clock.  Jrue has made 1-2 of these as well.  Not a good habit to get into…nothing is worse for mediocre, or in Lou’s case, subpar 3 point shooters than to have made baskets on bad shot selection.  It’s just all the more of a green light, at least in Lou’s mind, to shoot more.

    I so strongly believe this, that I bet if there were a statistical formula to measure patterns of 3 point shots in a game for overzealous 3 point shooters, that more often than not, when someone like Lou makes a poorly attempted 3, this will often be followed by 2-3 bad shots, that result in misses.  Making a crappy shot like that is basically begging to go 1/3 eventually…I can’t stand it.

    • tk76 says:

      Give me too many 3′s over too many long 2′s any night.

      NBA average from 3pts is 36% which translates to 54% from 2pts (eFG%).

      While the NBA average for 2pt jumpers from 16-23 feet is 39% (I looked it up :)  )

      Sure, either way a balance offense is key.  But I’d be happy to see Meeks getting 6 good looks from 3pts and Jrue getting 3 every night.  Other than a dunk/lay-up, an open 3pt shot by an average or better 3pt shooter is the best shot in basketball.

      • Dave T says:

        Tk – My point is that these aren’t “good looks” or “open 3 pt shots”…these are Lou Williams ( who is most definitely, at absolute best, a mediocre 3 point shooter) having horrendous shot selection and gunning it up within the first 5-6 seconds of an offensive possession.  All I’m saying is that when those crappy selected shots go in…it sets a bad precedent, and tends to give a player more confidence to shoot again…which in Lou’s case, often results in an even poorer shot.

        Meeks I’d definitely be ok with taking some of those shots, because he’s a deadeye assasin from 3.  Jrue…I just don’t think it’s a good habit for our starting PG of the future to chuck up a shot at the beginning of a position just because someone gives him a foot of open room.  Run the offense, find a better shot, don’t settle.  We are always at our best when we don’t shoot, but have the patience to move the ball, slash and break through the defense, making things happen.

        • tk76 says:

          Stop looking at Lou as a PG.  He is a scorer.  Used in that role he is valuable.  Asked to be a PG on offense then he is not playing his natural position.

          Lou has hit 81 3′s at .345.  Last year he hit 70 at .340%

          That translates to a better than 50% shot.  Not a bad shot at all for him to take.

          Lou: 30% of his shots from 3pts with eFG% 52%.   4 Free Throws  Made per game.

          ET: 41% of shots from 16-23 ft with 36% FG%.  1.3 FT’s made a game.  Almost no 3′s.

          Iggy: 33% of shots from 16-23 feet with 37% FG%. 3.1 FT’s made per game.  24% of shots from 3pts with eFG% 52%.

          Again. I’ll take a guy jacking up 3′s over a guy who loves long 2′s.  Lou is not a good PG.  But he is a good scorer.

          • Dave T says:

            Tk – When did I even mention Lou’s PG abilities?  I’m not talking about him needing to create; I’ve always thought his ideal role is a combo guard off the bench that can score his butt off, and sometimes create and run the offense when he needs to.

            But just because a guy is a shooter/scorer doesn’t mean you want him taking bad shots.  I’m not talking about how many times he shoots a game…I’m talking about quality of shots. Lou often has not just bad, but AWFUL shot selection…he’ll just gun it up without thinking.  That’s called settling for jumpshots, and just flat out not being a smart offensive player.  It can hamper the entire offense.  I wish to god he was a more efficient player that picked his spots for when/when not to shoot his 3′s more carefully.

            I’m fine with anyone that can hit a 3 taking an open shot…as long as it’s in rhythm, uncontested, and in the flow of the offense.  The best shooters (Ray, Peja, Reggie, Glen Rice, Mitch Richmond back when) all understood that.  

            I also wasn’t comparing him to a long 2 point shooter, but if we’re going there, I’ll take a 15-18 foot jumpshot, that is open, in the flow of the offense, smartly timed, and after the ball has moved around, every day over some guy like Stephen Jackson or Baron Davis that just hoists up 3′s without thought.  That method is far more risk/reward…their poor shot selection gets away from fundamental team basketball.

          • tk76 says:

            I just don’t think the numbers bear you out.  He takes difficult shots- but he makes them.

            What is the difference between Lou taking 3 or 4 difficult 3pt shots and hitting them at 34.5% and another guy taking the same number of wide open 3′s at the same percentage?  The result is the same.

            You list Reggie, Peja and Ray Allen?  Seriously, why not criticize a center for not measuring up to Wilt, Russel and Shaq?    You list the 3 best shooters ever.  Lou is not a shooter.  Meeks is a shooter.  Meeks is the only guy who can flat out shoot, just like Lou is the only guy who can flat out scorer as a guard.

            Compare Lou to other scoring guards off the bench.  The gold standard right now is probably Jason Terry (who really is a starter in all but name) and then Jamal Crawford.  Those two are the best in the business at what Lou is supposed to do…

            Well here is the comparison, and I don’t think Lou is doing half bad considering his job description and peers.:


            So compared to the guys who are supposedly the best at what we are asking Lou to do:

            Lou has by far the best WS/48.
            Basically tied for TS%
            The bast scoring per minute
            The lowest TO rate
            The best assist rate
            the best rebounding rate
            The best FT rate
            In the middle in 3pt% 

            The area he struggles is 2pt jumpers.

        • tk76 says:

          Along the same lines, it is good for Jrue to take 3 3pt attempts per game (he’s averaging 2.8.)  It forces his defender to stay up close- which helps his drives.  And his eFG% on 3′s is 55%, which is better than the average eFG they can expect running their offense.  The Sixers team eFG% is 49.6%.  

          I think Jrue using 3 possessions a game for 3′s is a good shot- especially given he plays off the ball for large chunks of the game.  Now if he started shooting 6 a game it would be bad for the flow of the offense unless he was a full time SG.

  3. Dave T says:

    Marc Zumoff on Marvin Williams – Marvin, on a breakaway in the 4th during the Hawks collapse, had a WIDE open court with only one defender between him and the basket.  Instead of taking it up strong, Marvin stopped and shot this ugly, wuss, spineless shot…half pulling up and half trying to just throw the ball in awkwardly.  

    Zumoff:  ”Marvin Williams…shoots it?…I don’t know WHAT THAT WAS!!!…misses the shot and the 76ers have the rebound!”  haha excellent.

  4. Pete says:

    nice comeback tonight… Thad playing great all over the floor and Lou being “good Lou”

  5. Dave T says:

    Doug Collins reaction right after we sealed the game was awesome to watch.  The guy has a genuine bond with this team and the hard work they’ve put in…pretty cool to see a hard nosed, no nonsense coach like him giving Lou a big hug after the game and giving Brand some “I told you with hard work, what we could be,” looks.  

    Props to the guy…he said at the beginning of the season that his vision of our team would be one that shared the ball, spread out scoring among 6-8 players, and have a team that got defensive stops without having one major offensive scorer doing all the load.  Everything he’s saying has slowly begun to become our identity.

  6. Pete says:

    Some fun with Jodie Meeks…

    - In March, he has hit 36 of 76 from 3 (47.3%) from 3
    - He is on pace for 138 3′s, 6th on the single-season Sixers list
    - He is on pace to be the first Sixer to average 2 3P/G, shoot 40% from 3, and shoot 90% from the line
    - Only players in NBA history to do bullet #3 are Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups, Reggie Miller, Peja Stojakovic, Mark Price, Mo Williams (really?) and Steve Nash
    - Only other Sixers to average 2+ 3PM/G and shoot over 40% are Korver and Barros

    • jkay says:

      Meeks may evolve into a really strong bench player, when we get that stud SG. For now, can’t give better production than this. He is a little less streaky now. His rebounding is impressing me the most.

    • tk76 says:

      Dana Barros in 94/5 came real close- and had one of the all time great NBA seasons for a shooter:

      pts: 20.3
      FG% .490
      3pts:  5.2 attempts/g at .464%
      197 3pts made
      4.7 Free Throw Attempts/g at .899%
      assists: 7.5
      Steals:  1.8

      Trivia (almost impossible):

      Name the Only other player than Barros in NBA history to have a season making at least 180 3 pointers at a better than 45% clip?  

      Hint: in ’96/97 and these were the stats:

      47% 3pt%
      207 3 pts made

      • Pete says:

        That Dana Barros season is insane, by the way. 

        The only Sixers players with a higher Win Share number in a season are Wilt, Barkley, Moses, Julius and Schayes.

        My first guess on the trivia was Dale Ellis. The answer was among my follow-up guesses though! Would never have gotten it if you didn’t say “almost impossible”

        • tk76 says:

          I would never had guessed.  I only found it using Basketball references season finder.

          That Barros/Spoon/Bradley team was “interesting”, but not as much as the next year when they added Mad Max to the mix.

          • Dave T says:

            Dana Barros had a season with us averaging 20 pts, 7 asts, 49% FG and 45% 3?  Jesus christ, I never would have remembered that.

            Those rosters we were trotting out back in 93-95 were truly some of the worst teams I’ve ever seen assembled.  And what’s best is that many of us were genuinely excited to have signed Vernon Maxwell, and waiting for Sharone Wright and Shawn Bradley to start blossoming.  And let’s not forget Trevor Ruffin, Tony Massenburg, Derrick Alston, and Rex Walters.

            In looking through the mid 90′s, one of the things I had forgotten is that we had Derrick Coleman and Clarence Weatherspoon both playing PF the same year.  What a wacky ass time for our team.

          • tk76 says:

            Don’t forget Willie Burton’s 53 pt game.

  7. jkay says:

    what miracle is going to keep Thad with us for a good price this summer?
    Hawks belong in the 7-8 seed bracket of playoff teams. I would not put 5th seed out of reach at all.
    Iggy put a ton of pressure on his knee tonight; might be unavailable on Friday.
    Speights can start dressing in street clothes now. Turner is another endangered species, especially with the so-so crap he’s putting out there. If Noc was any decent…
    Go 76ers.
    go orlando

  8. guest says:

    Pretty exciting stuff, great to see Doug Collins active and ecstatic about the squad. I remember there being question marks about his health heading into the season, coaching a mediocre team would be nothing but added stress.

    There are still obvious flaws and concerns about this team (especially long-term), but being in contention for the 5th seed is something that will put those issues on hold for the next month or so.

    Finish out the season strong, give it your all against a better team in the playoffs, see what happens.
    Great stuff.

  9. RRose says:

    Impressive win tonight against a team they play really well against. The Hawks and Knicks are fading fast. Perfect timing for the Sixers to catch the Hawks. The Heat will be tough Friday night with 3 great individual players in Wade, Bosh, LBJ. Wade usually kills the Sixers when he was by himself. The Sixers are the team nobody wants to play come playoff time. Welcoming the believers, gone are the naysayers.

  10. The Real Rob says:

    Great character win for the Sixers!  They are playing better in “big” games and are walking the walk and talking the talk.  I love it!!  Superstar?  Who needs one, when you have a great bench.  Lou, Thad, and Noc were awesome on both ends!!  Doug Collins for Coach of the Year!!


    • Dave T says:

      Real Rob – Who needs a superstar?  Actually we do.  Desperately.  Because despite the fact that it is fun as hell to be able to come behind and root for this team, and despite the fact that Collins’ is maximizing this team’s talent and getting them to buy in…this team has a clear, built in ceiling because of fundamental roster issues, and is unfortunately not going to ever be dangerous enough moving forward.  

      I’m not trying to rain on your parade, the Hawks win was great and I love the fact that I actively look forward to Sixers games again…but our team is a young, scrappy team, that while coming into it’s own, is really not that good if you step back as a whole.  We are a 1st round playoff team…and a good enough one to bring a true fight to a top 4-5 East team, but not beat them.  And what is it that’s missing?  A go-to-go scorer, a star.

  11. deepsixersuede says:

    Great win; Dannie, I would love your thoughts on Meeks compared to the other young shooters in the league, Thornton, Ellington, Redick and Morrow in particular. It seems the sixers did something right here. I think Thornton can score 20 ppg. and is better offensively but has issues defensively and just playing the right way.

    Two things I am looking forward to Friday, how we defend the big 3 and how they defend our bench.

  12. Randolph says:

    Sooo glad I don’t root for the Hawks. It’s easy to see how the Sixers could’ve wound up a similar team to them style and talent wise. It’s a relief that it seems the Sixers have much more heart.

  13. The Real Rob says:

    Check this out, an ESPN Sixers-Heat preview from the Heat Index.  An honest assessment for both teams regarding tonight’s game:

    Also, check out LeBron at a Dance Workout.  He’s taking his talents like a lady, as  shown on ELLEN.

    GO SIXERS!! This should be a fun matchup and hopefully a Sixers statement (with a victory)!!

    • jkay says:

      gem of an article really: most just cite random information and stats.
      Given how well Iguodala moves and how often he’s matched up against the opponent’s most lethal wing scorer, his low foul rate is unbelievable.
      They’re a bit vulnerable at the rim (see above), but they compensate by making it more difficult to get there by denying entry passes and funneling ball handlers away from the middle of the floor where it’s harder to feed the block.

      Someone definitely watches the Sixers.