March 19, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard forward Evan Turner (12) drives past Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (15) during the game at Time Warner Cable Arena Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

One More Time

Welp folks, this is it. One more time. I’m going to ramble about this team’s flaws and needs one more time. This post will consist of all of my previous posts that have to do with what improvements need to be made. But it will be combined here. Don’t worry, there won’t be intensive reading. It won’t be specific. I was thinking about making it into a series but went against it. For the rest of the season, just refer to this post if you want to hear from me again about the foolishness the Sixers bring every night. So many tweet rants talk about all that is in this post. Shoot, some of the things I say in here are direct quotes of my tweets. But, now, it’s come down to this.  Let’s begin in order of the posts that I wrote.

Sixers Have Clutch Problems (part 1 & part 2)

No kidding. Here’s a quote from both posts.

We can talk about how wonderful the balanced scoring is. But, as bad as the Nets are, they have someone who can put this team on his back. With the Sixers, everybody feels like they can do it because all game they are sharing and caring. Everybody wants to be the hero. It’s not a problem to have the balanced attack. But, at this point, Sixers need to give the ball to someone who will do the right thing. Lou Williams right? Ha. Lou wants to chuck up contested far away 3 pointers all day every day. And it only gets worse when Collins says to do it in clutch situations. I do not trust Lou. Andre Iguodala? I don’t want him shooting. Period.

Now when people say “they need a go-to guy”, people will interpret that as “we need a superstar”. Just stop. Sixers’ balanced attack is wonderful. I like it a lot. But we’ve seen time and time again that “riding the hot hand” isn’t always the best answer. Now, we have to ask ourselves if Sixers have a true go-to guy. Evan Turner? He’s the only Sixers player that consistently attacks the rim. He’s able to draw the defense. Why is this important? He’s such a good passer he can kick the ball out to a shooter like Meeks or Lou, or if the defense doesn’t collapse on Turner, he can draw a foul or just finish. You saw that with Iverson all the time. He’d get to the rim and either finish or pass it to an open guy. Not saying Turner is Iverson.

So now a go-to guy doesn’t have to be the best scorer. He needs to be a good set up man. Let me clarify that statement. Sixers probably shouldn’t count on Iso plays anymore. Just give the ball to Turner. I know it’s only his second year. But we know the Iguodala result. We know the Williams result. Perhaps it’s time to start something new. We don’t know how well Turner functions in the clutch. It’s not like he could do a whole lot worse than what we’re doing now. And I’m still on the whole “play for the future” thing. If Turner is a big part of the future, it’s probably wise to get him in clutch situations early so that later in his career he’s got a good understanding of what to do. Kobe Bryant has missed some big shots late in games so you know Turner is missing some shots too.

This post was in January. So I’ve been looking for this for some time. And finally Evan Turner is getting a chance to do what he does best. I’d rather just give the ball to Turner and be done with it. That was a quote from the player’s angle. Here’s coach:

We saw this last season. Players looked lost out there. Not sure what to do. Who to pass the ball to. Then, everybody decides they will be the hero so now team ball is lost. You get to see one player dribble the ball around before jacking up a shot. This isn’t Woodson’s Atlanta Hawks’ offense. Like I said with the players, Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday could be the guys running the show. I’m thinking about the team’s future. But Collins isn’t. And that’s fine. But, if there is enough time, you need to draw up a play Collins. You can’t Lou your way to victory. Times like these really come down to coaching. Collins needs to understand what he has. At this point, just call the timeout. Sure the defense has a chance to set up but your players are not organized right now. As time goes by, then you can put your team out there and not have to call timeouts. The players can run it on their own. But you don’t have that yet Collins. You just don’t. Lou Williams jacking up those long 3-pointers isn’t the best way to deal with it. Andre Iguodala iso’s make me cry. So Collins really needs to play the same way the rest of the game is played. There are no iso players on this team. But no, Doug wants Lou to just be Lou. If you’re counting on long 3-pointers as your only chance you’re doomed to fail.

Sure if there are only a couple seconds left, you gotta get up a shot. But, if time permits, work the ball around. I mean, it’s so predictable. Defenses have a field day because Sixers are going to take the long 2’s and Lou Williams with long 3’s. And we all know how much hate I have for Lou and those stupid shots. To be clear, Lou seems like a great person. My beef is on the court. That’s all.

Sixers Are Better; But Not Close To Contender

Ah, one of my favorite posts. And when you look at the Sixers now, it looks like I was right. Let’s look at the 3 points I made in that post to claim why Sixers were not contending material: I said the team needed to get upgrades over Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes. One point I made was that I really though Elton’s last productive season would be last year. And that was before the lockout. and by productive, I meant in comparison to his contract and and if he could be traded. Nobody is going to take Elton’s contract back. Another thing I mentioned was that Sixers in the half court set was not very productive. One thing I didn’t mention at the time was that Iso’s would take over the offense too much. Players don’t attack the rim enough. Too many jumpers. And it also explains the lack of free throw attempts. And the last point I made was that Sixers need a closer. Remember, this is not to be mistaken for superstar. Just somebody that will put himself, or others in the best position to win the game. And we recently had a string of close losses. So yeah, as you can see, Sixers still have things to sort out and my 3 points are the main holes. Boom.

Long Jumpers Will Doom the Sixers

We all know about this. Sixers can’t rely on long 2’s and 3’s. And yet, we see this happen all the time. And I see it as a coaching thing. Here’s what I said in the post:

  • Collins approves jumpers over attacking the rim
  • Collins doesn’t want turnovers.
  • Turnovers happen more likely while attacking the rim
  • Holiday doesn’t want to turn ball over because he knows he’ll be benched.
  • Remember, Collins approves jumpers
  • So Holiday takes jumpers

The reason why it’s Jrue Holiday in the example is that this bullet list is from a Jrue Holiday focused post. I had talked about why I was not ready to give up on Holiday just because he was struggling (at the time of post). That list shows why Holiday, and really anybody takes jumpers instead of attacking the rim. At this point, Collins will have to make thing change happen. I say it’s more of coaching philosophy than player decision.

Balanced Act

And finally, I put my opinion in there to see what the Sixers should do to build a contender. And I think this balanced scoring thing works. There are no stars on this team. Oh Andre Iguodala is a star but his style of play is not scoring star type. With the HIT squad (Holiday-Iguodala-Turner) working the perimeter scoring and passing to initiate the offense, all the Sixers need is a solid big man that can rebound, score, and defend. Or at least 2 of those 3 things. I target PF over C because there are not many Centers that can pass like Hawes can. And Hawes can score too. Get a PF that is above average in defending and rebounding and can score, and this team should see great improvement. But you don’t need superstar quality. Unless you can get this superstar without gutting the roster, I say go for player that is maybe just below star level. In all honesty, Elton Brand 5 or 6 years ago would be perfect. He could score, decent rebounding, and good defender. But that’s what NBA 2K12 is for: Combing past and present players for the ultimate fantasy team.

All in all, I just would like to see the balanced attack continue. I’m not saying let’s get the next Pistons in here, but, this team has shown that you don’t need to have a superstar to hang with the big boys.

So that’s it. My last shot. I don’t know how Sixers will be able to get that big guy. Not many to pick from. I would have mentioned the poor free throw percentage but Sixers have actually shown signs of improvement. I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements from this team in the future. But, as of now, I just don’t feel like talking about the issues of this team anymore. It’s getting old and frustrating.

Oh and one more thing. The picture I used for this post. What do you think Gerald Henderson is saying to Evan Turner? Or maybe a kiss goodbye? Help me out here folks…

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Tags: 76ers Andre Iguodala Elton Brand Evan Turner Jrue Holiday Lou Williams Spencer Hawes

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