Thursday, October 11, 2007

You don't say....

In an article talking about the battle for spots in the Sixers starting line-up and rotation, Phil Jasner drops this gem:
Carney could challenge if he upgrades his perimeter defense and rebounding and his perimeter shooting.
And if I grew two feet, became more athletic, and learned to swish all my shots from mid-court, then I could compete for a starting spot as well. I mean, based on this comment, what part of Rodney Carney's game does Jasner think doesn't need to be improved?

More troubling, if someone who needs to upgrade his defense, rebounding, and shooting might be competing for a starting spot, then I don't want to know what the other people competing for spots on the bench need to work on...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Noooooo!!!!! Don't start him!!!!

On the heels of yesterday's post about the damage Willie Green does to the Sixers chances of making the playoffs, I came across this snippet:

Now the key is to get the starters playing well together. The starting lineup Monday could be the one that opens the season Oct. 31 at Toronto.

Andre Miller and Willie Green, the latter of whom had 10 points and an impressive driving dunk, were the guards, with Samuel Dalembert at center, and Evans and Iguodala at forward.

Well, there goes any hope that he's going to be pushed out of the rotation this year. Fantastic.

There were also some other gems in the same article.

First came the news that Cheeks is going to stress conditioning in the wake of the Sixers game against the Knicks. So you're telling me that after a week of training camp, the Sixers are just recognizing the importance of conditioning....? Again, Fantastic.

Finally, I really enjoyed this line from the same article:
Swingman Andre Iguodala, one of the better-conditioned athletes in the NBA, agreed with Cheeks' assessment of the team's physical condition against the Knicks.
Factual assertions like this one drive me crazy. Igoudala is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA? Really? It might very well be true, but what's the evidence for it? Someone told the reporter this "fact" one day? Or did he just decide it on his own? And if so, based on what? I'm sure I have (and will again) made unsupported statements about players, but normally I at least preface it with some variation of "I think" or "in my opinion." In my day job (as a lawyer--well, I'm not technically a lawyer until I pass the bar exam, and I don't get my results until next month), this sort of assertion would be described as a "conclusory statement without any support." If the court says that about something you argued in a brief...let's just say it isn't a good thing. The court is probably about to say that you've lost that argument.

Say Igoudala's in good-condition. Say he does intensive cardio workouts. But if you're going to say he's one of the best-conditioned athletes in the league, please give us a reason to believe it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wages of Wins on Mean Willie Green

Over at the Wages of Wins, they have a post up on "bad" players in the NBA. And the poster child for this post? It's no other than the Sixers' Willie Green.

I've never been a Willie Green fan, so I wasn't surprised to find out that someone else thinks he isn't a good player. On the other hand, I was astounded at how bad he is when evaluated by the Wins Produced metric. The short version: If the Sixers replaced him with an average shooting guard for the minutes he played last season (1,842 minutes), they would have won 8.4 more games. Put another way (as they do): Willie Green is as far below the average as Kobe Bryant is above it. Ouch!

The good news from all this: The post focused on Willie Green because the Wages of Wins was working on a post reviewing the 2006-07 Sixers and this information cropped up, so a full preview of the Sixers will be up at some point in the near future.

The other good news from all this: In response to a comment I left, Berri said that he didn't think the Sixers would be as bad as Hollinger's projection. I'll count that as good news, although he didn't indicate how much better he though the Sixers would be than that projection.

I'll be interested to see his preview.

Monday, October 8, 2007

He's only 27?

Great to hear that Reggie Evans is becoming a vocal presence on the team. I think the fact that Andre Miller asked him to say something was a good sign--they played in Denver together, so I can't imagine Miller would have asked Evans to speak out if he didn't think that Evans could do it well.

I was shocked to see that Reggie Evans is only 27 years old. I feel like he's been around for ever. Maybe it's just because I remember him from the Sonics playoff series against the Spurs a few years ago when the Sonics just kept putting big bodies on Duncan. I thought that all the players the Sonics were using were established veterans, so I must have just classified Evans that way in my mind. The fact that he's actually still relatively young (although he's a grizzled veteran compared to many of the Sixers) is a nice bonus--if he does fit in well with the Sixers, we can hold onto him for a number of years.