March 5, 2015

Sixers Beat Atlanta for 4th in a Row: Have They Turned the Corner?

It sucks that this game and the Eagles coincide because the Sixers and Hawks is always a good, hard fought battle.  And both teams really have something to prove.

The Sixers winners of 3 straight want to find out what they are made of.  Can they beat a playoff team?  Can they string together 4 straight wins two of which would come against teams with winning records.

The Hawks got beyond blasted against the Orlando Magic in their last game losing 121-87.  They gave up 71 first half points and trailed by 43 going into the fourth quarter.  So the Sixers can best believe they will come out fired up at home, ready to take it out on them.

We will learn a lot about our team this afternoon.  I will be checking in periodically on the Sixers and try to watch the game on replay later.  If anyone isn’t an Eagles fan and will be watching the Sixers in it’s entirety I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments on the game.

OK back to the Eagles game.

Sixers vs. Atlanta Game Notes

4 in a row is really nice.  I didn’t watch the whole game just during half time and commercials of the Eagles game.  And Igot to see much of the 4th quarter as the Eagles game was locked up.

So the title says it all.  Have the Sixers turned the corner?  Have they finally figured it out?  Has Tony Dileo found the right system and right mix of players to not only sustain a high level of performance, but get victories as well?

I think most people will answer yes to those questions.  The jury is still out for me.  Have they improved?  Yes, absolutely especially on the offensive end.  I also think Dileo has coached much better then Mo as well.  He came in and clearly defined roles and you can see players sticking to them.  He has developed a solid rotation (Royal is really contributing).  He has instilled confidence in guys to shoot the ball especially from beyond the arc.  So there is no looking over their shoulder if they miss.  And he has put even more emphasis on pushing the rock (and the numbers support this).

Here’s why I remain a bit cautious.  I need to see more than just a run.  As they continue to win games and decrease the number and length of losing streaks my confidence will continue to grow as well.  I did a quick analysis of their next 8 opponents (including today’s win) and they have a combined .571 winning percentage.  They are off to a strong start beating a solid Atlanta team.

I will be at the Portland game on Wednesday and I am really excited to see that team up close and personal.  The Sixers will have their hands full at home, but if this 4 game winning streak is more than just a run, and a sign of the performance they plan to play with for the duration of the season Wednesday nights game will be a good one.

Next Game: Wednesday at home against the Portland Trailblazers

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  1. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, I peeked during time outs, etc. and the Spieghts/ L.Will. show is really a pleasure to watch. If he can develop the same mindset with Elton maybe it becomes less of an issue to move A.Miller, if they want to. Spieghts had 10 fourth quarter points and the look on M.Prices face everytime  Thad hit a three was priceless, no pun intended.

  2. Mike says:

    have no idea how this game unfolded as i was glued to the eagles game like everyone else, but i like the result!   atlanta obviously isn’t playing very good basketball right now, but i’ll take the W nonetheless.

  3. 2one5 says:

    I watched  a lot of the game had two TV’s set up the Sixers looked real good. Sammy in limited mins had a defensive effect on the game with some timely blocks also looked into the game even while on the bench. Iggy and Thad had  good all around games (Iggy some great alley oop passes  to Dbert). Speights was good again getting some aggressive rebounds. Andre Miller was very solid and has been playing like an All Star as of late. Ivey  again had solid mins off the bench not a lot of stats but did hit another three he could be a very key player for us if he continues to hit the open three since he brings so much to the court defensively. The Sixers are finally taking advantage of teams missing players as Horford did not play today. 

    The teams offense as of late has been pretty fluid, Zumoff commented on this saying not as much ISO offense is being run which we can all agree on is not this teams strength. The game against the Trailblazers if gonna be big they are another good young athletic team.

    Side Note: Josh Smith looked like he was half asleep. He did not show any emotion and had a very quite game he had torched the Sixers in games in the past. He had a couple dunks but did not really have an impact on the game.  I don’t know if he is being hampered by an injury or what but he did not look good at all.

  4. guest says:

    What a game Thad and Iguodala had!  We shot the ball uncharacteristically outstanding from 3.  This teams confidence level is very high right now and you can tell by watching them play.  At no point during this game did I feel that they weren’t in control or weren’t going to win.  Very excited right now about how Iguodala and the Sixers are playing!

  5. Mike says:

    yea everyone who says we should have signed josh smith i hope they watch him play a game every now and then.  the guy does not give a shit about winning.  if you think iguodala has a bad attitude it’s nothing compared to the autopilot smith goes on half the time.

    i really like seeing speights with 8 rebounds.  ever since that benching a few games ago i feel like he’s really been aggressive on the boards.  maybe watching ratliff helped.

  6. Rob says:

    Wait until the Sixers get Brand back, Tony DiLeo will certainly put him in the right spots.  I think we have found our coach in Tony DiLeo!

  7. Rob says:

    Yes, Horford was out.  So was Brand.  Even-steven!

  8. Mike says:

    i mean barring a miracle playoff series win dileo will almost certainly not be back next season

  9. Zack, thanks 2one5 says:

    215, thanks for the recap, especially the Josh Smith stuff.

  10. Tim says:

    I watched this game in full. I can’t beleive how many points we scored in the paint! The sixers really used there athleticism pushing the ball in transition at any oppurtunity they got, they also had like 7 alley-oops. As for the 3 point shooting most of our guys were just getting open from 3 as Atlanta was hanging back off our perimetre players because our penetration was unstoppable. 
    Thad, lou, iggy and miller were just beating players off the dribble at will. I don’t think speights missed a shot all game he was really and was running at any oppurtunity he got, i really like his hustle, all that pre-draft talk about him having no ‘motor’ or work ethic is crap this kid busts his gut every second he’s out there.
    What i think was the key though to philly’s victory tonight was excellent ball circulation in the half court sets it meant the atlanta players had to try and play us straight up which was good for us as we just beat them off the dribble with our speed and whenever they would double team we would always find the open man.
    I thought we played a really smart game tonight we played to our strengths and would have beaten most other teams in the league with tonights performance.


  11. Zack says:

    suede, check this out from the Inquirer, it’s Stefanski:

    “I’m really anxious, and I don’t know when that date is going to be, but I can’t wait to see Elton come back and just fit in with our style. And Elton will complement it. One thing I’ve always said is that Elton is a smart player. He will know how to fit into our style of play. What happened early in the season? I don’t know why it didn’t work early.”

    I like this very much, he doesn’t ignore the fact that the Sixers are playing really well without Elton Brand, and that Elton needs to adjust to complement what the Sixers are doing now.  I like this thinking, that they shouldn’t try to force this to work.  Regarding how to fit him in, I’m still not sure, though you and Rob have had good ideas in the past.

    I also really like that he’s scouting – I bet he’s trying to assess this upcoming draft’s point guards, trying to find the best future quarterback for this team.  Just like in the past draft, how he sorted out the different big man options (Hickson, Arthur, Speights, Koufos, Hibbert, Ajinca, McGee) and got us a good one.  Here’s to similar success with this year’s point guard crop!  This is one area in which I trust Stefanski very much.

    (Dannie, thanks for trying to help me the bulletting on the Eagles post, I’ll try another time)

  12. Rob says:

    What a great day, a great week, a great month, a great year to be a Philadelphia sports fan!!  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to have a victory cheesesteak either today or tomorrow!

  13. deepsixersuede says:

    Zack, if A.Miller is resigned Ithink they go after a shooter. Salmi, who has been better lately, keeps pointing out how L.Will. is doing a lot of A.Miller type things on the court. The pump fake, the 3 quarter court allyoop pass and the change gears drive are becoming part of his arsenal. And again, he and Spieghts have a bond of some sort on the floor, I wonder if they hang out off the court. L.Will. had 6 ass. today and seems to have slowed down his game, another A.Miller trait. I am looking forward to Elton returning also because he just has to fit in now and not be the man. Sam, by the way, was real active for the third game in a row. [25 min.,6 reb., 4 blocks] doesn!t sound like much but he was a factor.

  14. Dannie says:

    Zack – That has always been the thought process when Brand was acquired.  It was Mo that forced the issue with Brand and Stefanski probably didn’t and doesn’t want to throw him under the bus by blatantly saying that.

    Next step for Dileo is fitting Brand in and probably slightly adjusting his rotations.  Could be the difference between another extended “figure it out” period and a playoff run.

  15. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, seeing the improvement from Deleo taking over could an upgrade next year at coach possibly improve on it even more.

  16. CJ wither says:

    I think Dileo has done a good job. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fits Brand in the mix. I hope he puts Brand on the floor and says ” lets see you keep up with the young guys” because if they can run and win with Brand we will have our sixers team we thought we had.

  17. 2one5 says:

    No Prob Zack glad you liked the info

    Dileo has done a real good job can’t wait till Brand gets back. Also the Sixers better beat Portland I got a cousin out there who talks a lot of trash and has been getting on me about the Sixers bad start. I would love to beat the Trailblazers

  18. bstring says:

    17- 20 still not good enough at this point:

    Path back to .500 – next 9 games:

    Portland, Dallas, Houston, N.O and San Antonio   (Win 2 of these)

    New York (home and Away), Wash. and NJ      (Win these 4)

  19. sfw says:

    Dannie, the jury is still out. We have to improve over last years run. If we continue to play this way for the remainder of the year then maybe we can say we’ve turned the corner. Of course, the playoff effort will also determine that. Atlanta played a pretty poor game today. Agree, JSmith looked like all he wanted to do was shoot jumpers today. Thad is more refined as a player. Unfortunately, he’s a couple inches shorter. If he was 6’10″ he’d be better than Smith right now. Things are lookin up. Let’s keep it going.  

  20. Duracorr says:

    It is amazing how much better the team looks when the players make their shots.  If only Mo could have made more shots he might still be the coach.  Seriously, the floor opens up so much when the team presents a valid three point threat that has to be defended.

  21. Rob says:

    Anybody looking forward to the Blazers-Sixers game?  I know I am.

    Key matchups:
    Steve Blake v.s Andre Miller  (battle of high IQs)
    Brandon Roy v.s Andre Iguodala (nuff said)

    Questionable matchup?
    LeMarcus Aldridge v.s Thaddeus Young  (of course Brand would have been the better matchup)

    Of course, Greg Oden makes his debut in Philly. 

    Greg Oden v.s Samuel Dalembert  (who will look smart out there?)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see former Blazer Ratliff show Oden the ropes! 

    But the bench will be a factor between both teams. 

    I will say that the game will be a close one, with the Sixers by 5 points.  If the game were in Portland, a different story!!

  22. jjg says:

    Sixers ringing up the Ws – important bottom line, but keep your receipts.  After a 1-5 road trip, they’ve beaten Houston minus Artest, Bucks minus Bogut, 14-24 (now) Bobcats and Atlanta minus Horford.  Their suddenly through-the-roof shooting in those 4 games is anomalous – FG 154-293, 52.5%; 3 pt FG 23-47, 48.9% – (indicates lackluster, unplayoff-like defense by opponents) and can’t possibly be sustained, particularly by a group that has never been suspected of shooting Liberty Valance.  As a sign of fan giddiness over recent swell, suede points out that even club (motor)mouthpiece Salmi is improving. 

  23. jkay says:

    nuff said the sixers. the hawks though are an underachieving mess. its obvious horford brings much needed ATTITUDE and defense  (Pachulia was useless). Mike Bibby was hot (as was Iguodala) all nite and they couldnt even see that. Their starting five is a much more talented, shooting version of ours. if Josh Smith can have games like that, then thanks for Elton Brand. Woodson is trying to get them to play more a conventional style with the passing  n swinging the ball and for some reason it doesnt seem to fit them. Absolutely no defensive awareness; Miller threw those backdoor passes all nite. no one picked upon it. I was so high on this team but I see now they may never go anywhere, well except if Horford becomes real good. they really NEED  that guy.
    With that said, their intensity and effort pales in comparison to our very own Sixers of whom we just LOVE to complain about (Dannie). So this game has made me appreciate the sixers a lil more, cos contenders they are not, they still kick a lotta ass out there among the pretenders.

    jjg: your sarcastic tone and anti-enthusiams lead me to believe you have seen better days/play. So what does it say bout the state of the League, if the level of play the Sixers put up is enough to fell half the teams in the League on any nite? Is there no competition anymore? has ball retogresssed since the nineties?

  24. Rob says:

    Speaking of Philadelphia guys in Arizona, will Andre Miller and/or Andre Iguodala finally get on the reserves list for the NBA All-Star Game based on the way they are playing?  Iggy back in Phoenix would be great, since he played his college ball there and had an outstanding game against the Suns there last season (similar to the kind of game he had yesterday against the Hawks!)  It would be tough though in competing with former Sun Joe Johnson for that spot.  Let’s see how big the Horford injury really is, that could hurt the Hawks record a bit!!   

    I really believe Thad and Speights will be in the Rookie-Sophmore Challenge.  It would be a travesty if they weren’t. 

    But for kicks, Andre Miller in the three point shooting contest!  Scouting reports can add that if they want, but he is poker faced when it comes to launching threes and he doesn’t jump high to release the shot. 

  25. Dannie says:

    Jkay – Let me start by saying, I have no idea what your intent or basis was for putting my name in parenthesis. And the rest of this comment isn’t directed at you personally but the “thought” of someone thinking I “LOVE” to complain about the Sixers. 

    I will say this about Sixers “complaining”

    For one I in no way shape or form “LOVE” to complain about anything with regard to the Sixers or the Eagles and Phils for that matter.  I am not one of those inherently negative people that always sees what’s bad and ignores the positive.  What I do see clearly are results and well the reality is they have left much to be desired and have been well worth anyone’s complaining.

    What I see is a 17-20 true “underachieving mess” of a team who was suppose to have gotten stronger in the off-season. (not exactly sure how a 22-14 Hawks squad who actually got weaker in the off-season losing Childress and replacing him with Maurice Evans is an “underachieving mess” but OK)

    Sixers are 3 games ahead of last season (not saying much considering they were 14-23) and most statistical forecasting models (I’ve checked 3) suggest they will only win 38 total games this season.  Two less than last season (saying a lot).  I am pretty sure you and everyone else will LOVE to complain about that if it plays out as forecasted.

    What I also have seen is a team that has played sub .500 basketball for the last 5 years (173-192 – .474 to be exact).

    I’ve seen 3 playoff games won and two first round playoff exits in that time as well.

    I’ve seen 3 different coaches and an incompetent GM screw this franchise during that period and for the next GM.

    Finally, besides the fact that the critizism has matched the results, I’ve paid well over a GRAND to watch and support this team from the start of the season and for the remainder of the season. Not the $10 cheap seats deal the Sixers marketing department has been forced to promote in order to round up fans for this “underachieiving mess.”

  26. guest says:


    Say what you want about Iguodala, but right now I think he is playing on the All Star level.  If he played like this for the first 3 weeks of the season, than he already would have been an All Star.

    Do you have the numbers of Andre Iguodala with Elton Brand, and without?  I want to see if his numbers have been better than they were last year without Elton.

  27. Tom Moore says:

    Iguodala’s numbers are better this year without Brand (23 points) than they were a year ago (19.9 points). It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Brand comes back, which could be soon — Brand scrimmaged with contact Monday for the first time since dislocating his right shoulder.

    Also, the link to my Sixers blog on phillyburbs has changed.

    Thanks, Tom

  28. Dannie says:

    Guest – Interestingly you ask that.  I was just reading another blog who did an analysis I am kind of skeptical of regarding Andre Miller and his shooting with and without Brand.  I already have a counter-point to his argument, but when I get home from my clark-kent job I plan to dig a little more into the numbers.

    I can tackle Iguodala as well. 

    I will say this in advance though the premise that Brand is the cause for another players shooting woes makes very little sense to me when thinking about it in the context of the game – regardless of what the numbers say.

    Tom – Thanks for that Brand info.

  29. Tom Moore says:

    You’re welcome, Dannie. I wouldn’t say Brand is the cause for the other players’ shooting woes as much as other guys — primarily Iguodala and Miller — are getting more opportunities because the ball isn’t in Brand’s hands at the foul line so much in the half-court offense.  But it will be an adjustment — at both ends of the floor — when Brand comes back. The Sixers are quicker, force more turnovers and run better with Young that Brand. They are playing more like last year’s team in the final three months.

  30. Mike says:

    has anyone considered that maybe iguodala was just in a slump the 1st 20 or so games this season?  it happens.

  31. Tom Moore says:

    I think it was more that Iguodala was adjusting to not having the ball in his hands as much and getting most of his shots from outside, which is not his strong suit. With the Sixers running more, Iguodala is getting more baskets in transition and DiLeo is calling more plays for him with Brand out.

  32. Rob says:

    Have you noticed Tony DiLeo has the players set in both styles of basketball, including half-court basketball?  Perhaps, they are setting themselves ready for Brand in addition to playing their fastbreak game.  People wonder whether Brand can run–He can.  In fact, he was the first  Sixer to reach the other side of the court.  Surprisingly though, Samuel Dalembert is the last to make it to the other side.  For a person of his speed and length, he should be sprinting to the other side and go for the touchdown bucket.   

  33. Tom Moore says:

    A few stats:

    * Iguodala has put up 10 20-point games in the 14 games without Brand — he had one in the 23 games with Brand. He’s averaging 22.1 points without Brand and 13.6 with him.

    * The Sixers, after being outscored by 171-48 from the 3-point line during their 1-5 six-game road trip, are within six (75-69) from downtown in the four-game win streak.

    *Lou Williams is shooting 6-of-24 (25 percent) from beyond the arc in the last 11 games.

  34. guest says:


    If Iguodala was just in a slump, than when Brand comes back we will sure find out if that was the case.  But right now, the facts say that Iguodala just plays better without Brand.
    The focus NEEDS to be, How can we have Iguodala AND Brand playing to their full potential at the same time.  Having one of them succeeding and the other not isnt effective at all.   The way to do this is first obviously continue to run. But in the half court offense…We need to get Brand the ball in places where he can score without being double teamed or when he is double teamed, he can make an easy pass.  Remember one MAJOR problem early on with Brand was turnovers.  That was because he got the ball in bad situations where he couldnt score or pass.

    The same with Iguodala.  Get him the ball in places where he can get high percentage shots.  That should be easier with him playing the SF.  We need to get him in the post more often (along with Thad) because he has a good post game with his athleticism.  Also, Iggy can shoot a lot better when he doesnt have to create his own seperation for the shot.  Ive noticed just by watching.  Its like when he is moving into the jumpshot, its more accurate, but when he is falling back his shot goes a lot higher and is less accurate.

  35. Tom Moore says:

    A question: Is it significant that the Sixers’ three victories over current teams with winning records — at Detroit, home vs. Houston and at Atlanta — have all been without Brand?

  36. deepsixersuede says:

    Guest, I think Elton being able to hit the 15 footer makes it easy for him to slide in for Thad because with the players now shooting better, Elton should get more one on one oppurtunities. We can!t clog the driving lanes and need to allow for guys attacking the basket. I think Iggy is playing with more confidence, but not because Elton isn!t out there but just because he is playing better. Tom, I think the coaching change and guys just playing better lately had more to do with it than Elton being out. L.Will. and Iggy were terrible earlier in the year and A.Miller was nothing like he has been lately. I am more concerned with Sammy coexisting with Elton than the rest of the players because if THEY could get it, like Garnett and Perkins GET it, than we could turn our trapping and gambling defense up a notch and , like Boston did to the Lakers, we could beat teams that are more talented than us.

  37. guest says:


    I agree.  But would you not agree that Elton wasn’t getting the same “easy” looks that he was getting with L.A.?  His turnovers I say was still a major problem and reflects the fact that he wasn’t comfortable when he got the ball.  I agree, more one on one’s will help his game and this team.

    Iguodala’s increased level of play has a lot to do with confidence.  You can see it in his swagger and the shots that he is taking.  Also his free throw percentage has gotten a lot better.  This also speaks to his confidence.  But the point production has sky rocketed so much, Ill be really intrested to see if he can continue that with Brand.  I think he will slow down a little when Brand comes back, but I just want Iguodala to play the same way, shoot the same shots, and get the same oppurtunities.  It is clear to me that we play better when Iguodala has a good game.  Our teams turn around (small turn around) has had a lot to do with Iguodala’s turn around.  (Along with Lou Will’s.)

  38. Ken says:

    I wonder if Tony D. plans on starting Brand as soon as he returns or will he be asked to work is why back into the rotation? Personally, I’d like to see Brand work his way into the starting rotation, which of-course is where he belongs. The other question is how will Brand’s return effect the minutes Evans, Young, and Speight’s are currently getting? I think Tony D has done a great job with his rotation. I don’t find it suprising at all that the Sixers are playing better without Brand. Whats important now is that Brand quickly makes whatever adjustments are necessary to mesh with the Sixers current style.

  39. Dean H says:


    I read somewhere that Larry Brown is trying to trade Gerald Wallace.  Would it make sense for us to trade Sammy for him with the hope of gettng to what we really need?  Just a thought as this is new to me.  It works on the ESPN Trade Machine.

  40. Tom Moore says:

    The problem with trying to trade Dalembert is he has a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract, meaning a team acquiring him must pay 15 percent of the remaining monies due to Dalembert. That makes it very hard to deal him because he’d be owed another $4.5 million up front on top of the remaining two years, $23 mill from 2009-11.

    If you remember, Geiger had to waive the trade kicker (worth $5 million) to allow the first Iverson deal to happen in 2000 but refused. That trade would’ve resulted in the Sixers getting Glen Rice, Eddie Jones and Jerome Williams (they also would’ve had to trade Kukoc).

  41. Dean H says:


    Ok, not looking good. 

    Do you think he would waive the trade kicker since he is not happy?  And, btw, thank you for the new address for your column.   I had deleted the old one over the weekend.

  42. Tom Moore says:

    Sure, Dean. I don’t know if Dalembert would be willing to leave money on the table — professional athletes tend to not like doing that unless there are extenuating circumstances. I would be surprised if they can trade him. The Hornets’ Tyson Chandler has a similar contract, but doubt if New Orleans would be willing to make that swap.

  43. Dean H says:


    Thank you for your answer!  You depressed me……..   I guess I better get use to Sammy and try to make lemonade out of the lemons.  Start looking at his positives and ignoring his enormous negatives! 

  44. Tom Moore says:

    Didn’t mean to depress you, Dean. Anything is impossible, but I’d say it’s unlikely to happen.

    BTW: I kidded with DiLeo after practice today that instead of a general “thank you” to the fans that watched the Sixers yesterday during the Eagles game, he could have thanked them by name …

  45. tk76 says:

    I’m sure the majority of us who watched the Sixers game used their DVR’s to be able to catch both games.  Made for a great, if unproductive, Sunday- but at least I was able to skip the comercials.

    I agree that Sam’s big contract makes a trade unlikely.  One outside possibility would be to combine in Millers 10M expiring as a sweetener.  For example, Miller+Sam = J.O.  That would free up J.O.’s 22M before the Summer of 2010- leaving the Sixers 18M under the cap to go after a huge name with their core intact (Dwade, Amare etc.)  Of course this type of deal is very far fetched- as is the notion of being able to find a home for Sam in the first place.

  46. jkay says:

    @Dannie: omg ma bad. lol. i just put ur name there as a joke, more of an emphasis rather than accusation cos u make so much of the effort the team puts in every night. was just trying to sell my point bout our team’s play actually being superior to most teams in the league which is half amazing. it just amazes me that there are a LOT of teams out there worse than us that I wonder if WE have the right to complain. i forgot bout Childress, to lose their 6th man is crucial, but i still think their starting five trumps ours in talent (thats all that matters to me). and i can’t really call us underachieving right now; i would say very confused. the hawks may be winning more games but i dont see much of a difference from last year at all. in the 2 games against us, so far, unimpressive. i just think that they will never reach potential cos none of their core guys seems to want to take it to the next level. forgive my mindless venting.

    whats this bout Iguodala not being able to play with Brand??
    geez how many problems can one team have…i was just starting to accept Thad’s bench role…if this holds any water it would officially make the offseason a waste! Well i doubt it, but seeing recent play makes you wonder…..
    Hope they can co-exist without diminishing each other’s production or maybe even complement each other?

    Am I the only one that thinks trading Elton Brand might not be such a crazy idea after all?

  47. jkay says:

    how many ppl are eager to trade Andre Miller NOW? raise hands pls.
    this is so confusing. this team gives u so many looks. they are like the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NBA.

  48. tk76 says:

    Miller has raised his game to back where it was last year.  I don’t understand why he lets himself get so out of shape each summer, but no arguing that he is back to top form, which makes him a top 10 PG.

    The problem still remains that his is a poor fit with a line-up of Brand(PF), Young(SF) and Iguodala(SG.)  That line-up needs a PG who can shoot to help make up for the relative weakness at SG/SF.

    More key is that Miller is ill suited to run the pick and roll/pop with Brand.  Because players don’t respect Miller’s range, they go under Brands screen and dare him to shoot. This effectively blows up the play by cutting off drives by Miller and while clogging up what Brand wants to do.

    Miller is a very good PG, but he is not able to keep his defender honest and make them try and fight over a pick.  This is not a prerequisite for being a good PG, but is crucial to this team.

  49. Dannie says:

    tk76 – You are new here so you don’t know that you are preaching to the choir.  I’ve posted that countless times as well as being discussed in the comments since the beginning of the season. 

    But, I am over that at this point it is what it is. Miller is not a perimeter shooter although he is pretending to be one right now.  As you say he is a strong point guard and his floor leadership has been extremely good and more evident as of late.   It’s up to the coach to make it work rather than just conceding that there just isn’t a fit because that isn’t going to solve the problem either.

    The point guard market is extremely thin in terms of free agents and realistic trades, especially when the criteria consist of being able to consistently make not only spot up threes but 3pt shots off the bounce in pick and roll situations.  Unless they can find a diamond in the rough or  get very lucky in the draft with a player that can come in immediately and play point guard we are left with Louis Williams (better than Miller at shooting the three at least) or a much worse option if they don’t resign Miller.  That sounds like regression and I am not sure Stefanski can risk that with all he put into Brand.  That is why the more I think about it the more I think they have to be leaning much more towards resigning him than trading him or letting him walk.

  50. jjg says:

    Given big contract, Miller’s being incommunicado with organization this past summer and his lousy beginnings to last 2 seasons is reason enough to trade him.  His arriving out of shape leads team to sputtering starts, ultimately effects team’s end-of-season record and playoff road.  His “best pump fake in the game” applies street level to Sixers’ brass.  Performance accountability doesn’t begin in December.  And his annual defensive liabilities – while he compensates some with cunning – are obvious, and take a toll.

  51. Dannie says:

    JJG – Trade for what?  Simply saying trade this guy or that guy is the easy part.  Actually coming up with something that makes sense for the team and works financially is much tougher.

  52. jjg says:

    Dannie  Lowry - young, underutilized gym rat, energy guy, contagious winner – and a spot up quality shooter.  Seems possible, even thought it might take a 3-way arrangement. 

  53. tk76 says:

    As I wrote in the other thread, if they can resign Miller to 6M or less (about the MLE) they will still have enough room under the tax to add another player (likely a shooter.)  Then they could draft a developmental PG to replace Miller over the next few years.

    Miller is not the long term (or even short term) answer at PG, but his ability to guard bigger SG’s is a real plus.  If they can keep him at around that 6M number, he can share the PG spot with Lou next year, and then be a valuable role player once a new PG replacement is ready to take over.

    If Miller leaves, or demands over  6M the team is in a tough spot.  They are not likely to go into tax teritory, so extending Miller to more than 6M per means to MLE signing this summer, which would be damaging.  If Miller walks they still will only have the MLE and that might not be enough to lure the right replacement.

    Tradewise, it would be great to get Hinrich if he is available.  That would still put them up near the tax this summer (meaning no MLE additioon), but he could be the answer they need as a big combo guard who can shoot, defend and play next to Lou.  He lacks great playmaking or penetration skills, but the team can get that from other players (Lou and to a lesser extent Iguodala and Young.)

  54. Dannie says:

    JJG – Lowry is young, an underutilized gym rat, energy guy and we love him here on the blog being a Nova kid.  But a quality shooter he is not.

    • Career FG%: 42.6%
    • Career 3pt%: 26.1%
    • Career eFG%: 45.8%

    Interestingly enough, Lowry hasn’t really been involved in many if any trade rumors while Memphis’ other young point guard Mike Conley has been involved in quite a few.  Not sure if Memphis is giving up on him or what. 

    Also, Memphis actually recently acquired Shaun Livingston who I thought the Sixers should consider giving a try out.  I like that he is a bigger point guard (6-6 – 6-7) with defensive capability which makes him a nice compliment to Louis Williams.  Whereas Lowry and to a lesser degree Conley wouldn’t put two barely six foot guards in the backcourt.

  55. jjg says:

    Dannie  And I’m sure given GM interest and purview of NBA landscape there are many other possibilities, though I can’t supply here off the top of my head. 

    While occasionally playing superbly, overall, Miller is a grade B PG.  He’s certainly not a reason to calcify the roster of a 2nd tier playoff team.  The future requires movement, which includes some risk. 

  56. Dannie says:

    tk76 – By all indications Hinrich was involved in some trade rumors but I think that might have changed and the Bulls would prefer to keep him and part with Larry Hughes.  I know for a fact that the Bulls do not want to be without both Gordon and Hinrich so they would probably wait and see on moving Hinrich until after this off-season to be safe. 

    Check out this post by Brian over at the Depressed Fan on deals involving Gordon and Hinrich and Bulls fans/bloggers opinion of them.

    Obviously Miller isn’t a long term option.  But short-term, right now I think he is the number one option until someone provides evidence of something better.  I hope Stefanski can pull an ace from his sleeve.

    I am just not convinced Stefanski is willing to experiment with Lou at point or a young rookie point that needs development during the first 3-4 years of Brand’s contract.

    But then again, maybe Stefanski is a gambler.

  57. tk76 says:

    Sorry if I am reinventing the wheel here.  I recognize a lot of the posters from last year’s deep sixer blog.  I typically post at phillyarena, RealGM and Philaphans, and I’m sure this has been all discussed…

    The most concerning thing is reports that the tams and Andy Miller have not even been in discussions.  Maybe this means both parties expect Miller elsewhere either at the deadline or this summer, but it hurts the team if they can’t get a guage on whether Miller would be willing to stay and for how much.

  58. jjg says:

    Dannie  I offered Lowry’s name knowing his limitations as a shooter.  But he’s quick, tenacious on D, has relentless determination and can steer a team.  I’ll take those qualities in a guard competitor any day.  If Sixers would find a legit shooter, Lowry could find his number.  

    Your comments include a premise of needing to find a complement for young Louis.  That’s a different view from mine.  I’m not at all convinced that LW is the winning player that he’s been extrapolated to be by the organization and, reactively, the press.  NBA’s long history is rife with 20 ppg losers.  I wanna more j-shooting consistency and decidedly better work on the defensive end.  Money commitment is in place but ‘cart before the horse’ where he’s concerned.  


  59. tk76 says:

    The Depressed Fan blog entry with feedback from Bulls bloggers is interesting.  But it sounds more like they would be scared away by Sam’s contract than anything (and justifiably so.)  

    Given the Bulls are up against the tax, the chance to get Miller’s 10M expiring should be enticing.  Not enough for them to give back Hinrich straight up, but maybe as part of a larger deal.

  60. jjg says:

    Re #58:  insert ‘see‘ – 2nd paragraph, line 5, between “wanna” & “more”  

  61. tk76 says:

    JJG, LW has 5 year contract, and is a productive player who will get steady minutes on this team.  He has limitations (unlikely to ever be a full time PG) but with his new long term deal you can’t dismiss how the future starting PG would fit with him.  Otherwise you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  62. Dannie says:

    JJG – Actually I didn’t say it was necessary to complement Louis Williams.  I simply stated that Livingston’s size and defensively capability would work well in complementing him.  I could have just as easily said Livingston’s size and defensive capability gives the Sixers flexibility in signing a smaller shooting guard.  For example Ben Gordon if the Sixers were able to acquire him.

    Also, I merely pointed out the fact that with Lowry and Lou in the backcourt we would at a distinct size disadvantage.

    The priority I have always stated as finding a defensively minded shooter at the point guard position.  Factoring in size and current roster, and as tk76 points out is simply me doing my due diligence when considering all aspect of player shuffling.

  63. jjg says:

    tk76  No doubt LW provides offensive production and fan-pleasing showmanship.  But I see him more as shiny PR ornament than playoff sustenance at this point.  (Stefanski gave him early big bucks based on scoring-envy, my opinion.)  Defense wins.  If Williams could step it up on that end and refine his offensive game further, he could be a real contributor to winning in April, May & June. 

    Given status quo contract lock and granted PT (without full merit, for lack of practical alternative, for want of justifying expenditure), obviously you look to complement LW (and all others) to make the best of the situation … then wait until pride subsides to erase mistake(s) by trading for better fitting piece(s) with similar contract numbers.  Slim-to-none chance of that transpiring though.  “The marquee has been lettered; on with the show.”

  64. jjg says:

    Dannie  I get where you’re coming from.  Didn’t intend to skew your position, if you read it as such. 

  65. Morty says:

    jjg: I’m with you re Miller. Resigning him would be a mistake in my opinion – sometimes you need to take a step backwards to take a step forward, as Coach Reid likes to say. I’m not into the Lowry suggestion, however, since he does not provide the shooting we need from the PG position. Give us a PG who can run the pick and roll with Brand effectively.

  66. jkay says:

    where to find that PG is now the question that no one can answer……
    Miller’s presence right now is good for the team; it gives ‘em some  confidence, playoff hopes and generally some improved play especially with Brand just coming in. If somehow we could get a sweet deal, then he’s gone. but most likely he will finish the season and leave as a FA which isnt all that bad you know!!

    Tk76: he makes $11mil currently, say what you will bout him being reserved, he is not going to accept $6 or $7 mil, ego won’t allow that nor does he want to stay that badly.

    Depressed Fan’s trade deal proposals replies from the 2 other Chi-town blogs were interesting to read. seems ppl have a better idea of our situation down here. We may just have to give Sammy away or get lucky if we do wanna trade him.

  67. Dannie says:

    Morty – The question isn’t just taking a step backwards.  The question is how far back is that step and for how long will it take to start going in the right direction again.  Keeping in mind the financial commitment we have with Brand and factoring in his age – think window of opportunity.

    So I pose the same question to you as I did JJG, if you are against resigning Miller what is your plan?  Simply saying give us a point guard who can run the pick and roll is obviously easier said than done.

    Right now the best options I see if via the draft.  This team doesn’t look to be in a good position cap wise to sign a free agent.

    The only other option would be swapping one of our young guys with value (Thad, Speights Lou) to get your point guard.  And if you go that route, what is the deal?

  68. tk76 says:

    I’m not convinced there is a huge market for Miller.  If Calderon’s salary started at 7.4M this year, I don’t see Miller getting beyond the MLE.  I don’t doubt his ability, but at 33 he’s a short term solution at a position teams want a long term answer.  Add to that the financial climate and his value on the open market takes a hit.

    Here is a post by The Sixer Fixer at RealGM breaking down possible suitors for Miller:

    “There’s a good chance he will come at a discount over what he would typically get. I don’t mean a discount to re-sign here, I just mean a discount in general because I doubt there’s going to be a lot of team lining up to offer him a huge deal (years or $$). With so many teams holding onto cap space for 2010, that takes some teams out of the mix. Then factor in a lot of teams already have their starting PG and how many teams does that leave? If some of these teams are in rebuilds, I doubt they will be situations that Miller wants to go to at this stage of his career.

    Teams that I can’t see having any interest in Miller are Boston, New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte, Cleveland, Washington, Orlando, New Orleans, San Antonio, Denver, Oklahoma City, Utah, LA Clippers and Phoenix. All those teams have their young future PG or a guy better currently than Miller.

    That leaves these teams…
    1 – NY Knicks – are they blowing their FA $$ on Miller. No way. They are out
    2 – Milwaukee – set to be well over the cap next year so unless they get expirings, it won’t happen.
    3 -Atlanta – Bibby is a FA, would they prefer Miller over trying to re-sign Bibby?
    4 – Miami – another team not looking to sign anyone (unless it’s a stud – Boozer?) to long term deals before 2010.
    5 – Dallas – Kidd is a FA – again, do they go after Miller vs. trying to retain Kidd? Over the cap anyhow.
    6 – Houston – Alston stinks, but I think they will be over the cap too so can they make an offer?
    7 – Memphis – do they give up on Conley (should IMO, he sucks). Is Miller a good fit there? Don’t see it.
    8 – Minnesota – do they give in and say Foye can’t play the point? Another young team…does Miller fit?
    9 – Portland – they will still have Blake, Bayless and Sergio under contract. Don’t see Miller as a target for them.
    10 – Golden St. – do they trade/dump Ellis or anyone else? If not, the won’t have the cap space.
    11 – LA Lakers – way over the cap. No chance they could sign him for more than the MLE.
    12 – Sacramento – they signed Udrih to a long term deal and are over the cap as of now. Don’t see the fit.

    That’s the 29 teams besides us.

    Out of that list I would say VERY FEW are legit locations for Miller. I’d say the only teams that could even pull it off if they wanted to (and I doubt some do) are Atlanta, Miami, Memphis, Minnesota, Portland, Sacrmaento and us. I really don’t see Memphis, Minnesota or Sacramento being of interest to Miller (or them in him).

    So that leaves just Atlanta, Miami (Chalmers is a nice player, they may just stay with him since Wade does most of the ball handling anyhow) and Portland. Are any of those teams throwing a big offer Miller’s way? Not likely. Of course teams can make moves that may change the current makeup of their team between now and FA, but I think the reality is that guys like Bibby, Miller and Kidd may just resign with their current teams because they will the the ones who can offer the best deals. With not a lot of options for those guys, their price should be down some. Is 7-8 mil/yr too much in your eyes?”

  69. tk76 says:

    Again, the majority of last post was a quote from The Sixer Fixer, that I copied from another board.  I don’t agree with all his analysis of interest in Miller, but I found it interesting.

  70. Dannie says:

    tk76 – In summation the reason people are finding it hard to make realistic Andre Miller trade proposals is because their isn’t a great need for him in the market, and those that could use his services as  rent-a-point either don’t have or wouldn’t give the Sixers back anything back of substance that fits our needs (young point, legit shooter).

    Which brings me again back to the realization that Miller will be here throughout the rest of the season baring a masterful coup by Stefanski or a trade blunder giving him away for nothing.

    This theory follows suit if and when he becomes a free agent as well.  Not many teams if any are going to give him a deal equal to what his current salary is $10M so if I am Andre Miller it’s gotta be about picking a team that gives me the best chance to win and be comfortable in my lifestyle and like their style of play.  That to me sounds like a good chance he will be resigning with the Sixers unless we get more of an indication the organization plans to go in another direction.  And if so, I want to know their plan just like I have asked all the commentors who are pushing Miller out the door.

  71. jkay says:

    with their attitude towards the FA class of 2010, I second that: usually there is always some desperate team looking at a player who had a good season stat-wise and signs him thinking he is the answer to their problems. that may not happen this year. GMs are gonna be horading pennies.

  72. jkay says:

    tk76: agreed.

  73. deepsixersuede says:

    Guys, I think L.Will. is the first option to take A.Miller!s spot if he is moved. There are no good options available and to bring a rookie in and expect him to start for a playoff team would be a big mistake. Minn. and Sac. would be my 2 main suiters for A.Miller  because he may resign with Sac. because of its location and possibility of improvement if Martin stays healthy. Udrih can actually play with A.Mill. but they may try to have us take him in the deal. Minn. is a team he could turn around quickly with the talent they have and getting a young p.g. this year for him to tutor would probablky be their gameplan BUT would he resign there if they overpay him, maybe. Foye is improving but he is at most a combo guard, in my opinion. If we took back some bad contracts [ Madsen,Cardinal] and expiring deals Collins, McCants maybe Minn. would take Sam and A.Mill both because they seem to both fit a need for their team and they have to be tired of loosing, just look at the M.Miller trade as proof of sorts.

  74. Morty says:

    Dannie: I think the window with Miller is probably a 2nd round exit. I would look to move Miller before the trade deadline, probably to a team that needs cap relief, and use the rest of the season as Lou’s audition. Should Lou fail, I’d look for a bargain at the MLE, or the draft. Like you, I’d part with one of our young guys for a great deal (I’m thinking here of the a similar deal where Boston gave up Jefferson for Garnett).

  75. Tom Moore says:

    Lou Williams has a “1″ body and the game of a “2.” I like the way Ivey, who is a role player, runs the backup point more than Williams, who is better off driving to the basket from the wing.

    As for the idea that the Sixers can sign somebody next summer even if they bring back Miller for $6 million, they’d only have the mid-level exception with which to add somebody. I doubt that Miller would agree to a $4 mill pay cut, though.

  76. Dannie says:

    Morty – It’s not that simple.  You left an entire side of the deal off in your comment.  Move Miller at the trade deadline to a team that needs cap relief.  Ok sounds good for them.  What about us?

    My first thought, in order to support your idea that the trade partner is doing this for cap space is that the Sixers would be taking back near equal salary for either a lesser player with more years on the deal or multiple mediocre players with smaller, but still longer term deals. 

    Explain to me the benefit of that?  I’d rather just let Miller walk at the end of the season then add longer deals for guys who probably won’t play given the Sixers current top 8 guys.

    Point again, it’s not as simple as saying trade Miller at the deadline.

  77. Tom Moore says:

    If Miller is moved by the Feb. 19 deadline, it’d either be for somebody in the final year of a contract or a player the Sixers think can help them. The chances of something happening would likely increase if the Sixers are a sub-.500 team in another month.

  78. Dannie says:

    Tom - I don’t think the question is will Miller take a $4 million pay cut, or any pay cut for that matter. 

    The question is will he even have a choice in the matter given the economy and # of teams with cap space AND a need for a 33-year point guard who at the beginning of his new contract will likely depreciate faster than a new car.

    Another question to consider, would Miller go to a team where he will assuredly be a back-up?

  79. deepsixersuede says:

    Tom, I would love to hear E.S.
    1s opinion on L.Will. as a one. His signing of Ivey makes me think he isn!t sure he is ready yet but he also is our best 2 guard right now. E.S. keeps saying they are basketball players not a 1 and a 2, that hint tells me he may not be shy about trying L.Will. at the one if the 2 guard [Iggy?] can distribute also.

  80. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, on your last point; what is the best possible situation for A.Miller at this point of his career; 1] take less money, less playing time and get a ring;  2] same as here, help a young team improve, get plenty of minutes and good money, closer to home;  3] go for the most money regardless of location, teams upside. I would say #2, he doesn!t seem the type to want to sit behind somebody. And Jumpin had a good point earlier, at his age working out over the summer should be a must and put in his contract if we are willing to sign him.

  81. Tom Moore says:

    Youre’ right. Stefanski’s constant answer about Williams is: “He’s not a 1 or a 2 — he’s a basketball player.” But that doesn’t answer the question. He told me the same thing when I asked him if Williams was a starter or reserve because he played the fourth quarter, but I said it’d matter at contract time, when he and his agent wanted to be paid “starters’ money.” The issue with Williams at the point is that there wouldn’t be as much ball movement or easy baskets resulting from Miller looking for cutters, etc. I’m not a big Ray Felton fan, either.

  82. deepsixersuede says:

    Tom, I think it only works if Iggy can run the offense 1/2 the time, similar to how Thomas and Dumars switched up and how B.J.Armstrong was more or less a spot up shooter with Pippen running the point, but I!m not sure it would work but Iggy seems to be making better decisions and better passes lately.

  83. Dannie says:

    Suede - Best situation depends on Andre Miller who is kind of mysterious to me.  Naturally I think all players want to win a championship and all players want to get paid.  Typically you hear guys as they get older start weighting winning a championship more than the money, but Miller very rarely if ever talks about that stuff.  

    He is usually not heard from in the summer and this summer when his contract was a small point of discussion he had very little to say on it. 

    I guess we will find out if he indeed goes to free agency this summer.  You would think we would get some sort of indication about his desires.

  84. deepsixersuede says:

    Guys, do you think there is any way E.S. keeps Sam and A.Mill. and just tries to upgrade the 2 guard spot by packaging Willie,Jason and our #1 ?

  85. Dannie says:

    Suede – I think Stefanski wants to move Dalembert and by all accounts there are no takers.  If this teams continues to play well and are in the midst of a playoff run Miller isn’t going anywhere unless someone comes out of nowhere with a “can’t turn down” deal.  So I think Miller’s situation is dictated by how the Sixers play from now until the trade deadline.

    And let me ask this, who is to say the Sixers can’t upgrade the 2 guard position WITH their #1 pick?

  86. guest says:

    Guys, I dont know about you, but I really like Aaron Brooks from Houston. Ive been impressed ever since I saw him at Oregon. Hes a rookie, but has a very nice shot (from what ive seen) and can take the ball into the lane and can finish.

    Houston may want a proven veteran to come in and make an immediate impact considering all the injuries they have. And Im not sure they are going to want to trust a rookie PG in the playoffs going against other PGs such as D. Williams, CP3, Tony Parker etc.

    The problem is, I dont know who to include in that deal. We wouldnt want to trade Miller for Brooks straight up would we? Houston doesnt have any really impressive bench players that I would want. Scola is very talented but they wouldnt give him up.

  87. deepsixersuede says:

    Guest, Brooks is more of a change of pace guy, Alston seems to be playing well as their starter and the last 2 years he has shot well from 3 also. Any trade of A.Miller to Houston would have to take Alston back in return, probably, and I wouldn!t have a problem with that if L.Head was also in the deal.

  88. Morty says:

    Dannie: Obviously, in any Miller trade the Sixers would have to take back a lesser sized contract for a couple years. So as to the return player, Stefanski would have to put on his scouting pants  real tight, but that’s his job not mine. Hopefully he can get the better end of the deal, with some luck, he could pull out a keeper like he did with Speights in the middle of last draft. I think he’s done a fairly decent job managing what he inherited, and this is another in a series of big decisions.

  89. sfw says:

    Great blog tonight.
    Agree Danny. After reading this Blog seems like they stay put and look to add the shooter in the offseason(Draft or trade). Willie’s value will increase as his contract becomes shooter. Sammy is fine as long as he concentrates and gives effort but that contract will cause the Sixers to continue to look.
    Tom, You’re a great addition to the blog. I really respect your work.
    Hopefully as constituted we’ll get those 45 wins and win a playoff round. Not an easy task but we have enough talent to do it. Up to the coach and must stay healthy.

  90. Dannie says:

    Guest – Couple things

    • Aaron Brook isn’t a rookie, this is his second season.
    • Aaron Brook isn’t a point guard he is a Louis Williams clone. Basically a 6 foot scoring guard.  And he isn’t as good as Lou.
    • You can’t trade them straight up because the salaries don’t come close to matching up (Brooks makes the minimum).
    • I don’t think the Sixers need anymore power forwards so Scola doesn’t fit.
    • Houston’s starting point guard is Rafer Alston (not very good) but is a 9 year NBA veteran running their team
  91. deepsixersuede says:

    Dannie, I!m just not sure a good 2 guard can be had at the 15 to 20 spot but who know!s. Guys like R.Bell, J.Salmons, A.Parker,M.James and Mq.Daniels may be gettable but they probably aren!t worth more than Willie,Jason and a #2.

  92. Dannie says:

    Anthony Parker is a free agent this summer so he is a shooter option using the Sixers MLE.  He is making $4.55M this season and I don’t expect he will be getting a large raise.

    Marquis Daniels can’t shoot – 23.9% from three for his career.

    I wouldn’t discount the draft like that.  Don’t forget we got Speights at 18 and Lou at 45.

    Depending on where we draft there will be players available at point and shooting guard.  Pete and I go absolutely crazy for the NBA draft.  Now that conference play has started I am starting to create my Sixers big board so I have some names for when the time comes.

  93. jkay says:

    i just watched tape on game vs. Bobcats. Iggy’s court vision is getter better(he even recognizes the defensive sets faster from the top of the key when he sets up the half-court offense);  ditto for Lou Williams albeit more shaky. having andre miller is really a plus for both those guys. Iguodala is basically doing for us what Turkoglu does for Orlando. Iggy may have peaked/or soon peak when it comes to scoring points, but he continues to grow fast as a point-forward. i put that all on Miller (monkey see, monkey do). really a shame to lose that now. just a thought.

  94. jkay says:

    if it wasnt obvious already ___ typo: “getting better”

  95. deepsixersuede says:

    JKay, if it is a cap reason, targeting Gordon or Turkaglu, for example, than I have no problem going with Ivey or L.Will. for the rest of the year but otherwise we should keep him, hopefully getting above 500 and winning a round in the playoffs will make it a no brainer.

  96. sfw says:

    That shooting 2 guard may be developing in Europe or that minor league. An example is Von Wafer on Houston who’s been around for a little while, must have gotten stronger and is now playing a nice role for Houston. Almond on Utah, once he gets stronger will probably be a good shooting role player. I think the 6’10″ kid from St. Joes will develop once he gets a bit stronger.  Hopefully, Ed has his eyes on someone.

  97. Tom Moore says:

    The thing about Iguodala is, although he has good court vision, he dribbles the ball off his foot too much and seems to try that spin move in traffic once a game, resulting in a turnover. Asking him to be like Pippen did and regularly initiate the offense isn’t ideal. Perhaps he could work on it in the summer. On the other hand, he knew he was going to play “2″ with Young at the “3″ after adding Brand and it doesn’t look like he worked on his outside shooting too much during the offseason.

  98. deepsixersuede says:

    Tom, my thinking on it is up top he is less likely to force things where on the wing he gets alot of stupid turnovers trying to go through 2 people and L.Will. seems better on the wing so I was trying to think of a way to mazimize both players skillset and the way he works with Spieghts makes me think L.Will. in a tear or so may have a chance as a one. Tom, do you get to see any practices, I would love to know how different from Mo!s they are.

  99. Tom Moore says:

    Deepsixersuede, we typically get to see the last 20 minutes of practice. DiLeo is very organized, with typed-up itineraries for each day’s workout (Randy Ayers was the only other Sixers coach who’s done that in my 20 years covering the team). They don’t seem too different than when Cheeks was in charge. Like Cheeks, the first team wears black jerseys and the second team is in white. The first team tends to get the benefit of the doubt during scrimmages.

    Donyell Marshall wears these old 1980s-style heavy sweat pants that he cuts off at mid-calf. Dalembert typically wears black sweat pants and everybody else has on regular practice gear.

  100. Tom Moore says:

    Hey Dannie, let me know where you’re sitting tonight (if you want to) and I’ll try to stop by and say hello.

  101. deepsixersuede says:

    Tom, thanks for the insight. S.F.W., Wafer had another big game and Redick has had 4 in a row, hopefully E.S. has a guy in mind. I watched Wes Mathews kid the other day and W.Warren is an interesting player but if there is another R.Fernandez in Europe I hope he finds him.

  102. tk76 says:

    Another quick question about practice…  It has been said that Lou has better chemistry with Speights because the y both run with the second team in practice.  I notices similar good chemistry between Lou and Smith last year.

    If there is any hope of Lou improving his PG skills (I’m not suggesting he will ever be a full time PG)- Lou needs time practicing with the  the core players to build that same level of chemistry.  Given Iguodala, Thad, Brand and Speights are going to be the main offensive pieces moving forward, does the team mix it up in practice so diffesent combos get work together?

    You’d think Lou and Brand’s skill set would complement each other in a pick and roll/pop setting.  Lou’s defender can’t cheat under the screen like Miller’s defender does.  How much do Brand and Lou get to work on these things in practice?

  103. deepsixersuede says:

    tk76, Good point about him and J.Smith last year. I wonder if he gets any run at p.g. in practice since Ivey became part of the rotation, except for the few times Ivey and A.Miller slide to the wing.

  104. Tom Moore says:

    Tk, that’s a good point — Williams and Brand aren’t on the same team very often at practice. Williams is paired with Evans more than Brand. If Miller is out, Williams would run with the first group, but Miller rarely cannot scrimmage. I do like the idea of Williams and Brand in a pick and roll/pop setting. I prefer it to all those dreadful clear-outs at the ends of quarters. Young, Williams and Speights are on the same group, so that helps.

  105. Tom Moore says:

    Ivey and Williams are together on the second group in practice. They seem interchangeable at the 1 and the 2, with each getting a chance off the ball.

  106. tk76 says:

    I guess its a catch-22.  Practice time in the NBA is limited- especially when you are trying to integrate in a major new piece like Brand.  But it still would be good to get the young core of 24 and under players to mesh.  That was a big part of their late season success last year, and is key moving forward.  Especially key for Lou, who is weak on innate PG skills.  He could help compensate by building a good comfort level by playing more with the “1′s.”

  107. Rob says:

    The original plan with Brand is when double teamed, shooters will be open for better opportunities.  Will this be true once Brand gets a couple of games to shake off the rust?  I think so, but don’t expect a dramatic improvement due to the guys who are currently shooting the ball.  I like though that DiLeo still has confidence in them and encourages them to keep shooting the threes even though we are last in the NBA.  Now, if the Sixers keep shooting the three this well, our TRUE shooters (Rush & Marshall) better get some good minutes, perhaps toward the end of quarters (1-3, maybe 4th depending on the situation.)  This is to put the opposing teams in scramble mode defensively while we create  chaos on the offensive end!!  That is what we really envisioned with this Sixers team and it is unfortunate, yet necessary that Mo had to be relieved of his duties!  Plus, I, as well as Stefanski, need to see the TRUE shooters and their efficiency in a certain number of minutes.  Shooters need a rhythm and a proper role when they are in a game.  DiLeo has given roles to everyone else and have worked very well to their limits, but we need to see our true shooters get a consistent, yet proper role–three point decoys and insurance, as well as being the guys set for specific plays.  Otherwise, why do we have them for this year?  The trade deadline is coming up, but why waste their shooting talents?  Of course, it depends on what they are doing in practice?  Marshall right now has a knee injury.  But, hey in Stefanski and DiLeo we trust!!  GO SIXERS!!!

  108. deepsixersuede says:

    Rob,  It is just hard to find minutes for everybody. With defense the first priority Rush just must not be an option though I do agree with Dannie on Donell possibly being used at the end of halves or quarters as a Horry type guy. The only way we add shooters in the next year or so is if they can REPLACE a guy with the other parts of what he is giving the team; for example, if Jason can replace Reggies energy and be an effective dfender at the 4 than his shooting ability can be added but they just don!t seem to want a guy that just shoots out there now.

  109. jjg says:

    Sixers 1st 11 players (excluding Marshall & Rush) represent 60 completed NBA seasons, only 133 playoff games and only 54 playoff wins (.380 %).  Average age:  26.6 

    The ballyhooed Big 3 – Miller, Brand & Iguodala – represent 22 completed seasons, only 44 playoff games, and a mere 15 playoff wins (.340 %).  Average age:  28.6

    This Sixers team is a mosaic of level B and C players.  Extended playoff prospects will rise when an A or 2 is acquired and/or more than 1 of present roster elevates to A level performance (far from a certainty).  Hoping team will evolve by adding time, like water to a Chia pet, is not the tried-and-true route of championship organizations.  Front office has to continue to be proactive with regard to player personnel and change.        


  110. tk76 says:

    Hoping team will evolve by adding time, like water to a Chia pet, is not the tried-and-true route of championship organizations.

    No one can guarantee a championship, but Thad is 20, Speights 21, Lou 22 and Iguodala is 24.  I think some time and patience will pay off to some degree.  Impatience and willingness to trade away youth and picks is what got LB/BK in trouble.

  111. jjg says:

    tk76  All that glitters isn’t gold.  3 of the 4 you mentioned play subpar defense.  Young or old, that gets you beat.   


  112. jjg says:

    tk76  Like all coaches, LB gets in trouble when he doesn’t have enough 
    quality players (i.e., Knicks), or when players and co-workers chafe at his constipated, “I invented this wheel” pace and perfectionistic approach.  Give him time and resources and he’ll build you a playoff team … then again, a lot of good coaches will.

    BK got in trouble by doling out truckloads of money to guys like Glenn Robinson, Derrick Coleman, Chris Webber and Sam Dalembert. 

  113. Tom Moore says:

    Part of the problem with the idea of Brand passing out of double-teams to open shooters is that opposing clubs have usually been able to single-cover him. Combine that with some subpar perimeter shooters and you can see why the half-court offense wasn’t too effective.


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