Posted tagged ‘Lou Williams’

76ers Draft Jrue Holiday

June 26, 2009
Jrue Holiday at UCLA

Jrue Holiday at UCLA

Not quite sure how I feel about this pick.  Based on all of the analysis and rankings prepared by so-called college and pro basketball experts, Jrue Holiday was the right selection.  Drafting at 17, you need to select the best available player.  Holiday, apparently, was the best available player.  However, wouldn’t it have made sense to take a proven point guard, specifically, an Eric Maynor or Ty Lawson?  Those guys would have helped the Sixers now, maybe not from a superstar perspective, but from a depth standpoint.  Look, Holiday might turn out to be solid, but he isn’t a sure thing.  Based on information I read and have heard, Holiday is a true point guard, he just was stuck playing out of position at UCLA and has abilities as a floor leader with defensive capabilities.  The one time I watched UCLA this year was in the NCAA tournament against Villanova and I barely recall Holiday touching the ball – makes me a little uncomfortable that a top pick in a tournament game didn’t have an impact. (I know, it’s just one game).

The drafting of Holiday leads me to believe that rankings and analysis are flawed.  It appears that the rankings are based on the POTENTIAL of being a good NBA player, not on whether you would be a good NBA player NOW.  First round picks should be used on players that can contribute now.  Drafting potential is dangerous, especially when the salary is guaranteed.  A few years back, the Sixers drafted Lou Williams out of high school in the second round when they could afford for him to learn, develop and craft his potential.  His salary wasn’t guaranteed and there was no risk to the pick.  By selecting Holiday and passing on true point guards Maynor and Lawson, this pick will be continuously scrutinized.

I’m going to hold judgment on Holiday until he shows up for training camp.  I hope he works out, but realistically he might just be another Andre Turner.

Editor’s Notes:  Overall, this was a weak draft.  My favorite parts of the draft were the Ricky Rubio interview, the Knicks fans reacting to the selection of Jordan Hill and Commissioner Stern standing in front of Hasheem Thabeet.  Ricky Rubio is going to be a solid NBA player, he has all of the skills and vision needed to play the point, but in all of the highlights I have seen (even the Olympics) he appears to be a little slow.  It might just be because his teammates are slower or the style of play is designed to be more developing than the teams that run and gun in the NBA.  Regardless, Rubio will find a way to overcome his slowness, if he even is slow. 

Reading a few other Philadelphia related blog posts, I was rather surprised to see so much outrage about Dionte Christmas of Temple not getting drafting.  I was a little disappointed, but the knocks on Christmas outweighed his strengths.  I see him ending up in a training camp and having a solid career in Europe.


We Like Kapono

June 10, 2009
Jason Kapano - 3 Point Contest

Jason Kapano - 3 Point Contest

Reggie Evans for Jason Kapono straight up is a solid deal.  Evans is your standard lunch-pail guy the 76ers have employed consistently over the last 10 years.  He brought a little rebounding, defense and leadership, but lacked that elite quality to put him the normal rotation.  This past year Theo Ratliff (a Philatude favorite) took a lot of his minutes.  Also, Evans had a large contract for a bench guy.  However, that large contract helped the Sixers acquire another “specialist” with a similar and even larger contract.  Kapono brings the best active three-point shooting percentage in the league.  The Sixers finished last in the league in three-point shooting, so anything is an upgrade.  But, Kapono is more than an upgrade – he can consistently drain the three ball.  Even though this trade requires the 76ers to take on an additional 2 million of salary, it’s worth it to have a three-point threat.  Kapono will fit in to the Philadelphia team and area without a problem and I bet he is pumped to leave Toronto.

As I see it now, the 76ers will start the rookie point guard they draft, along with Kapono, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Elton Brand.  Dalembert is a waste and needs to be moved or benched.  Lou Williams would be a solid 6th man.

Of course, the team is still being coached by Eddie Jordan, who isn’t taking this team anywhere.  Let’s hope I am wrong.

76ers Armchair Basketball Coach

May 1, 2009

Old School Logo

Coaching in the NBA probably isn’t the easiest job around.  Depending on your talent, front office and determination, you could have an excellent career or be a one season wonder.  Tony DiLeo, the 76ers interim coach after Maurice Cheeks was fired, held the team together, but didn’t get the team forward.  DiLeo coached a team without Elton Brand, the star off-season acquisition, and a team lacking a true crunch time player.  He got the Sixers to .500 for the season and gave them a decent shot at winning their first round series against the Orlando Magic.  Aside from Dwight Howard, I don’t see the Magic as being a real threat to anyone.  They can shoot from the outside and if a few streaky shooters get hot, they could do some damage.  The Magic aren’t a playoff team that can go far.  Too many holes.  The Sixers, with plenty of holes themselves, had an excellent chance at beating the Magic in the first round.  I think DiLeo blew it. 

In game two, Dwight Howard was battling significant foul problems and was on the bench for long stretches.  Yet, DiLeo kept with Theo Ratliff in the middle, when the Sixers could have easily driven the lane against a Howard-less middle.  Sixers should have gone with Miller, Iguodala, Young, Williams and Marshall.  Similarly, in game six with the Magic playing without Howard, the Sixers barely got in the paint.  I don’t even think this was in the game plan.  The Sixers took too many outside shots and didn’t rebound well.  It was a joke.  Potentially, DiLeo didn’t really motivate the team or prevent them from playing down to the Howard-less Magic.  Regardless, the 76ers could have easily won this series if not for a few poor coaching decisions.  I don’t think DiLeo will be the coach next year, at least, let’s hope not.

Sixers = Disappointing, but Predictable

May 1, 2009

Andre Miller,

Andre Miller,

I haven’t spent much time digesting and discussing the 76ers, but now that their season is over, here are some of my random thoughts:

  1. I am surprised that Theo Ratliff can still run the court, play mediocre defense and throw down a slam.
  2. The Sixers look like a team with no direction, too many individual players and no big energy/emotion player.
  3. When the season started, I didn’t understand Cheeks’ rotation with Brand, didn’t understand his rotation without Brand and still can’t figure out what DiLeo was doing.
  4. Andre Iguodala is a player, but never gets any league wide recognition.
  5. Lou Williams is a great player off the bench, but you would think he would play with more emotion and energy.
  6. I hate the Willie Green era.
  7. Ed Stefanski should consider bringing back Andre Miller, but also acquire a young point guard to back him up and develop.
  8. Thaddeus Young is too inconsistent and enigmatic.
  9. Samuel Dalembert looks lazy, clueless and lost.  Frustrating from a player who makes over 10 million a season and who is under contract for another two years.  Classic Billy King contract.
  10. The Sixers just don’t have the “buzz.”

Here are some quick thoughts on how to fix the Sixers:

  1. A new coach that can develop young players, provide an up tempo style of game and can utilize his bench accurately.
  2. Get rid of Dalembert anyway you can.
  3. Find a young PG, middle clogging big man (can be a cheap veteran) or give more minutes to Marreese Speights and a legitimate outside scoring threat.
  4. A healthy Elton Brand (obviously).
  5. Play real defense.

More to come on the Sixers as the off-season unfolds.  It’s a shame Andrew Toney isn’t available.

Additional thought: As a big time Sixers fan, it constantly bothers me that former Sixers bench warmers go to other teams and play tremendously. Raja Bell, Tim Thomas, John Salmons, Bruce Bowen and Matt Barnes are a few. Who else? Players always come to the Sixers and play worse. Anybody think of a Sixers player in recent years that came from another team and stepped up their game in Philadelphia? I can’t.