There is much to be said about first year NBA head coaches. The first thing people look at is where they came from. Are they coming from the college land? If they are, can they handle the NBA? If they’re from the NBA assistant world, who have they worked under? Are they good player development guys? Do they bring a good offensive/defensive scheme with them? Most first year head coaches are judged right away, even before they patrol the sidelines. That’s just the way it is in today’s society. I mean, let’s just say that the Sixers hired someone from the staff of Bernie Bickerstaff. I sure as hell would go running into on coming traffic. That really is a scary thought.
For example, Brad Stevens the new head coach of the Boston Celtics falls right into that “college-land” obviously. Personally, I think Stevens has a very good chance of succeeding. But there are questions surrounding him. Not questions about x’s and o’s, but about how he is going to motivate his players? In college its more like a father and son relationship. When it comes to the NBA it’s about gaining the respect from your peers. That is the challenge for Stevens.
It’s hard to keep people motivated when they know they’re in a losing situation. Stevens will have to deal with that. Brett Brown has a few different challenges, but at the end of the day, he and Stevens are basically taking on the same challenges.
Brett Brown, obviously falls under the “NBA assistant world” and was highly thought of. Working under Gregg Popovich as an assistant for the past seven seasons and being one of San Antonio’s top player development guys helps too. He was so highly thought of, that people were trying to talk him out of coming to the Sixers. That if he waited it out, a better situation would come along. Brown was even hesitant himself, and I can’t say I blame him either. Usually when a team is in the situation the Sixers are in, most of the time they have a stop-gap coach. Then the team goes out and gets the coach they want, after collecting enough talent. Well, Brown wasn’t having any of that. Brown:
“I was not going to take the job without the four years (guaranteed),” Brown said about his contract. “And I am extremely grateful to the owners where they took a step back, and I think it’s a tremendous reflection of what they truly think too. It’s going to take time. They really do have a tolerance. There is a patience. And as much as it was security for myself, I felt like they made a statement to the marketplace that they’re for real. They really do see this being a long-haul type of position. via USATodaySports
The Sixers obviously realized they had a guy they believed in and they wanted for the long haul. They believe in Brown’s philosophies, and his abilities to communicate, and motivate. Communicate and motivate are the KEY words in that sentence. There is going to be a lot of long nights coming. Players will be down on themselves. Some might think that they might not belong. That is where Brown will have to be at his best. Letting them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That it’s not about wins or loses right now. That its all about getting better as an individual and as a teammate. It’s about getting better every single day. That is where Brown’s player development comes in.
Brown has talked about his coaching philosophies, how he doesn’t have an analytical bug. He will listen to it, but he doesn’t swear buy it. That is a good thing. Leave the analytics to the GM and let the coach be the motivator. When you are a head coach in the NBA you know plenty of x’s and o’s. You understand the game. What separates the average coaches from the good coaches is the way they relate to players. Here’s hoping Brown is that motivator.
Everybody knows this season is not about the “W’s”. I have heard some people actually say that the Sixers may make another run at the worst winning percentage in NBA history. Yes, that thing they were relinquished of just a few years back (Thanks Bobcats). When it comes down to it, it’s all about the individuals for the Sixers. It’s about hoping and wishing for that “Diamond in the Rough”.
This roster is full of undrafted, castoffs, and underachievers. It’s full of players that are just trying to get one more shot to prove that they belong. It’s early…OK, fine. It’s real early, but the one guy that is standing out and catching some people’s attention is guard Tony Wroten. Who? If you don’t know who he is, you might want to find out.
The former first round pick (25th overall of last years draft) of the Memphis Grizzlies, played his college ball for the Washington Huskies. He averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the Huskies and was named to the All-Pac-12 first team in his only season of college ball (2011-12). The former Huskie has easily been one of the best players thus far in the preseason.
Wroten, 20, is a 6″ 6′ point guard, but he plays more like a combo guard in my eyes. Once he takes off his warm-up, he is in attack mode. The kid can flat-out get up and down the court. He looks like he eats about 30 packets of sugar, before he enters a game. The kid just has a ton of energy. There are few things that jump-out about him besides his energy level. That would be his transition game and the way he attacks the rim. Brett Brown has said that he wants the Sixers to play fast; well Tony Wroten fits that model perfectly. He easily looks to be the fastest player with ball.
The one thing that Tony looks like he needs to work on is his jumper, even though he just went 4-8 from 3-point land the other day. He has plenty of time to work on that.
Why would the Grizzlies give up on raw-talent like Wroten for just a second-round pick? That is a easy question to answer. They don’t have time to take on a project; they’re too busy trying to win a NBA title. On the flip side, the Sixers, obviously have time for that.
So the kid, who played just 272 minutes all last season and averaged 2.6 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting, will get plenty of opportunities. It’s early as hell, but he looks to be ready to take full advantage of his opportunity. Remember its all about individuals this season. We talkin individuals.
I am sitting here wondering what is the worst roster the Sixers have ever assembled. Why I am thinking that? It’s pretty DAMN obvious, why I am thinking about that. This year’s roster looks to be able to do barbaridades. Barbaridades is the Spanish word for terrible things. Yes, this roster could do some terrible things, once it is finalized. Could this roster be historically bad? Probably not, BUT…
I mean, the Bobcats (7- 59) finally took over the worst winning percentage (.106 winning percentage) in NBA history from the Sixers two seasons ago. Well, that 1972 Sixers team went 9-73 and had a winning percentage of .110. They were actually lead by Hall of Famer Hal Greer, though Greer was in the twilight of his career. With all the terrible things that are likely to happen with this year’s team, I figured to take a look at some of the worst rosters put together by the Sixers organization. I am thinking about just doing my ERA of Sixers b-ball. I say, let’s go from 1990 until now.
My search for the worst roster begins and ends in the “Dark Ages” of Sixers Ball. If you’re a Sixers fan, you know exactly what ERA I am talking about. That would be 1992-1996. For the love of all things that are good, they had some dreadful rosters back then. You had Charles Shackleford, Sharone Wright, Andrew Lang, Thomas Jordan, Billy Edwards, Greg Graham, B.J Tyler, and Sean Higgins that were involved in those rosters then. I could have kept going, but I would have given myself carpel-tunnel.
After looking up and down those rosters, I said to myself that 1995-96 team (18-64) has to be the worst roster ever assembled by the Sixers in my ERA. Here is look at that roster:
Derrick Alston– The 6″11′ forward played three season in the NBA. He some how scored 30 points in a single game. I am still not sure how he did that. He averaged 5.4 points for his NBA career.
Elmer Bennett– This guard scored a total of 48 points in four NBA seasons. Enough said.
Shawn Bradley– The “Savior” of the Sixers franchise. Yeah, not so much. He did have a decent career though. Still can’t believe that the Sixers didn’t take Penny Hardaway with that pick.
Mike Brown– Another journey-man center. If only I could have been 6″9′ or 6″10′.
Derrick Coleman– I believe that this was the infamous hurt “toe-nail” season. What a waste of talent. He was actually voted the second worst cancer ever to a team by ESPN
Greg Graham- He was a nice college player, but as a NBA player? Well…
Greg Grant– I used to love this dude. Why? Well, he was my height 5″7′. That is all he had going for him.
Sean Higgins- Well, he could actually shoot the ball at least, which was his MO back then. Though strangely enough, his shooting results never said that.
Jeff Malone– Malone had a good NBA career (17, 231 points scored). That year though, he only averaged 6. ppg and had a .394 shooting percentage for the Sixers. He retired after that season.
Tony Massenburg– This dude was a monster. He was 6″9′, 220 lbs of muscle. He ended up playing 14 seasons in the NBA. He was an OK player.
Vernon Maxwell– The dude could score, but was streaky as hell. He also was not all there in the head, hence the nickname “Mad Max”. He actually thought about trying out with the Eagles that year. That would have been fun.
Tim Perry- TempleUniversity’s own.. That’s all I like to remember him for.
Ed Pinckney– “Easy” Ed was an NBA journeyman and a Villanova alumnus. He played 12 seasons in the league. That year he played for the Sixers was a forgettable one. Though 1985 will never be forgettable..
Trever Ruffin– This dude had a game for the Sixers that year where he scored 32 points. He could score, but was awful defensively. After that year he vanished from the league. Not sure what actually happen to him.
Scott Skiles– Skiles was on his last leg with the Sixers. He retired after that season.
Jerry Stackhouse– One of the few bright spots for the Sixers. I will never forget his first game with the Sixers. He dropped 27 points in a Sixers win in the opener. That was the only time the Sixers were above .500 that year. Game One…
Greg Sutton– Ummm…
LaSalle Thompson– The 6″10′ center played 15 seasons in the NBA. He was a solid player at one point. With the Sixers? Well, he averaged 1.9 ppg and 4.5 rb. He was also at the end of his career.
Rex Walters– He did have that one game where he scored 23 points, dished out 12 assists and had 6 rebounds for them. Just throwing stuff into the wind here.
Clarence Weartherspoon– Spooooon!!! He was my favorite Sixer growing up before A.I came around. Man, his top of the key and baseline jumper was nice.
Scott Williams– The “Lance Parrish” of the Sixers.
Trever Wilson– Played for four different NBA teams in his four year career. Enough said.
Sharone Wright– Well, he at least made the Second Team All-Rookie Team in the 1994-95 season for the Sixers.
You know I had to show you my “Spoon” jersey. Yes, Sir…
As we are all waiting for training camp to open, I have decided to go through some of the highlights from “Media Day”. Gotta love media day. That’s when the players and the media play “nice, nice” with each other. It really is rather cute.
–Chris Vito of the Daily Times reported that Kwame Brown (who is injured already) entered through the PCOM doors with a plate full of food in the very beginning of the day. Glad to see Kwame working hard on that new Brett Brown rule of being in top shape. Kwame being Kwame.
-Hey, guess what? Royce White is not afraid to fly after all. He said that his afraid of flying is a big misconception. He said that he will fly when he has to, drive when he can. He also said that he he will make the trip to plans to Europe. Interesting.
-Some of the media members asked Nerlens Noel about his flat-top. They asked him if he thought that his hair style would become a Sixers-wide fad. Noel’s reply, “Nah, they’re all grown men.” Shit, sounds like I am asking these questions.
-I do love me some Khalif Wyatt, but the dude already is rocking Jrue’s old number 11. Yes, I know, let it go Joe.
-We found out that Arnett Moultrie had ankle surgery yesterday. He suffered left ankle medial malleolus injury and is likely out until January. We also found out that J-Rich is likely out until January. Saw that coming.
-Evan Turner was asked about his take on the Holiday trade. Turner: “just shocked we traded Jrue” via Philly.com. Turner also said how it took guts by Sam Hinkie to pull off the trade.
-Speaking of Hinkie, he had the quote of the day. Hinkie was talking about how he thought that camp would be competitive. He talked about this: “You’ll eat what you kill”. Well, then…
– I spoke too soon. Highlight of the day? Well, that goes to Turner. Why? Take a looksie…
When you’re talking Sixers, you’re talking non-guaranteed, minimum contracts. That is basically what the Sixers have done since trading Jrue Holiday. I mean, it is smart on their part. Next year’s draft class is Exhibit A for that ( Wiggins, Parker, and Randle). I have said it before, I am not crazy about the tanking thing, but in the NBA sometimes it must be done. David Stern doesn’t like taking credit for that.
The Sixers have brought in undrafted rookies, players that haven’t found their niche yet (likely never will), and veterans desperately trying to stay in the league. That adds up to non-guaranteed contracts, partial guaranteed contracts, some guaranteed contracts and barely reaching the cap floor. That is the ultimate tanking job. Well, done Mr. Hinkie…
Training camp is upon us (opens Saturday) and with that said lets take a look at one of the most interesting Sixers rosters ever assemble. This is going to be a fun year. I say the Sixers win 17-22 games. Too much?
I figure to begin with the players that actually are guaranteed to make this roster, unless Hinkie decides to say no, and just trades everyone. It could happen.
PG- Michael Carter-Williams – The 6-6 point guard is one of the youngsters that Hinkie is relying on to be part of the future. The kid has good vision and can get to the rack. He struggles with his jumper and turning the ball over.
C- Nerlens Noel – The Kentucky product should just sit out until he is fully healthy from his ACL injury. Even if that means the entire season.
PF/SF- Thaddeus Young – The heart and soul of the Sixers. A good guy to have around for youngsters to learn from.
PF/C- Spencer Hawes – Can you say traded by the deadline? Yes, Sixers fans. He does have some value. As much as he drives us insane, he does have skills for a big-man.
PF- Arnett Moultrie – If he wants to stay in the NBA, there is no better time than now to prove it.
PF- Lavoy Allen– Remember that time when we thought that Lavoy maybe could be a starter in this league? He is a decent backup.
SG- Jason Richardson– I did read a report that the Sixers may ask him to sit out the year. Hinkie is a funny dude…
G/SF- Evan Turner– The Sixers “whipping-boy”. Some thought that he would have been gone already. Does Hinkie actually like Turner? Or does he not know what value Turner has in the trade market. I sure as hell have no clue.
PG- Tony Wroten– This dude is intriguing as hell. He has size (6-6) and is very athletic. He sees the floor well, BUT the guy can’t shoot. That is a recurring thing on this team.
C-Kwame Brown- Giving this guy a guaranteed contact is the ultimate “tanking” move. Just start him at center every game.
Partial Guaranteed Contracts
PG- Khalif Wyatt- I love me some Wyatt. If Wyatt wants to make this team or stay in this league, he should be watching Andre Miller game tape’s .
PG-Darius Morris– Well, he did play for the Lakers at least.
C-Tim Ohlbrecht- Who? The center appeared in just 3 NBA games for the Houston Rockets. The 25 year-old is a German professional basketball. Hooray, for the Deutschland!!
PF- Royce White– Actually, I have no clue where to put this dude at. I guess, I can say that he is a partially guaranteed contact. He is expected to be in camp. I really don’t even know where to start with this talented, but trouble dude.
Non- Guaranteed Contracts
SF/PF- Arsalan Kazemi – Reportedly, signed a contract overseas in Iran. I would love to see him stay. Love his grit.
SG-James Anderson– The former first round pick by the Spurs (20th overall), has played three seasons in the NBA. He has played for the Spurs and Rockets
G-Vander Blue– The former Marquette guard, is an outstanding athlete. His name is awesome.
SF- Hollis Thompson- The 6-8 swing-man out of Georgetown, He spent last year with the Thunder’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers.
The Sixers may go up to 20 guys on the training camp roster. As of now, 19 where it stands and this is where the journey for Wiggins begins…
The National Media is starting to catch on to the “Winless for Wiggins” movement that the Sixers began many months ago. The Sixers are just putting the finishing touches on their movement by signing players (Vander Blue to name one) to partial guaranteed contracts, to fill out the remaining roster spots. Signing players to partial guaranteed contracts? Man, if that is not tanking I don’t know what is.
So David Stern was hanging out last week at the Beyond Sports Summit, when someone decided to ask him about what he thought about the Sixers movement. Well, he didn’t seem very pleased with this “Hinkie” revolution going on in South Philly. Stern:
That is so… small,” said Stern. “I hope they have a great season & don’t have the chance for the No. 1 pick.” via ProBasketBallTalk
David, David, David… I hate to break it too you, but the Sixers actually do have a chance at the number one pick. That would be 25 percent chance that is. They also have set themselves up very nicely for that chance too.
David, my man, I know that you were taking the high road with that answer, but if you really don’t like the tanking thing, you only have yourself to blame for that. That is the way you have the league setup. You reap what you sow there David…
The honeymoon is over already? Please… People have to have real expectations about the Birds this year. This really is a TRANSITIONAL year. I know some thought that the Birds would go 10-6 and surprise people while others thought they could make a playoff run. Well, maybe that could still happen, but I doubt it. There is just too much of a learning curve for this team. I also seen John Gonzalez, of CSN Philly, say that Chip is now under the microscope after the loss to the Chiefs. Ummm, this is Philadelphia so he was under the microscope the minute he was hired by the Birds. That dude is the worst.
Like I said before, it’s all about learning curves people – a new offense, new defense, and a plethora of new coaches. Some of the media and fans love to write people off as quick as possible. For example, ESPN First Take asked if Kelly’s offense has been exposed after the Birds put up 511 yards on the Chargers. Huh?
I do understand that patience is not a virtue for Birds fans (I can include myself in there at times), but I think we need to learn this virtue, especially when it comes to Chip Kelly. I should throw in the new 3-4 defensive scheme as well. We are three games into the season and for once I am willing to have patience with the Birds.
Chip Kelly... Give the guy time to see how the NFL game works. Let him learn time management better and that you really don’t need a two-point conversion, unless the situation calls for it. Let him learn what is the best ratio for run to pass plays during an NFL game. Let him learn to push the pace and when not too offensively. Let him learn what tricks will work and what won’t. The BIGGEST thing will be to give him time to make adjustments.
Offensive Line…Give them time to gel. Give Lane Johnson time to learn the NFL game. Give time to Jason Peters (two torn Achilles) to get back in rhythm. As a whole, give them time to learn the offensive scheme as one.
Defense… Try to give Billy Davis the benefit of the doubt. I know he doesn’t have the greatest track record, but neither did the late “great” Jim Johnson, until he came to the Birds. Understand that they don’t have the right personnel for the 3-4 scheme. That some players have never played in that scheme before. That it will take a little bit of time to get the right players for this system.
To some this is a lot to ask of. I do understand that to a point. We as a fan base are tired of not having a Super Bowl ring, and that every other team in our division has more than one. We are tired of hearing that (I know am). We are also tired of being held accountable as the only fan base to ever boo anyone (Santa Claus). OK, fine…We also throw snowballs at him. He deserved it though. Trust me…
We proved a lot of the National Media wrong when we gave Andy Reid and McNabb great ovations. Now we can even surprise our selves by giving Chip and the Birds some time…
To sign “Doc” or not to sign “Doc”? That is the question. Well, actually the Phils have many questions to be answered heading into the off-season. Hernandez or Revere for CF? Or do they look outside the organization? Is Asche the future 3B? If so, what do they do with Franco? Do they make a run at Brian McCann (FA to be) or do they bring back Chooch. Has Ruf done enough to win the job in right-field? Or do they make a run at Nelson Cruz, who they can likely get cheap now. Has Rosenberg and Diekman earned a spot in the pen next season?
I mean, I could keep going here. There is just a ton of questions that need to be answered over the next few weeks of this season and the off-season. You could say that the Phils have a plethora.
To go back to my main point, should the Phils bring back Doc next season? That might be the hardest question for Amaro to answer. The Phils have Hamels, Lee, newly acquired Gonzales as their likely top three in next’s year’s rotation. The last two spots are wide open. Kendrick seemed to have one of those spots locked up in the first half of the season, but now? Not so much… I like to call him Mr. “Non-Tender”.
Jonathan Pettibone was decent, until he had shoulder issues. Ethan Martin looks to be better suited for the pen. I mean, I would think that the Phills would like to go with one veteran and one kid in those 4th and 5th spots. Let’s just say that Phils give Jessie Biddle the 5th spot for the fun of it. That is where the veteran comes into play. I know some might like another kid in that spot, but Amaro is always looking to reload and make another run. You might not agree with it, but that’s Amaro.
One of the few players that the Phils can maybe look at would be Phil Hughes (former 18 game and 16 game winner), He is just 28 years-old and leaving the AL could be recipe for success for him. Phils could get him for around 5-6 million I would think. I am not really crazy about him, but he is an option.
Another guy they could look at could be Ubaldo Jimenez (likely to void the last year of his contract). The 30 year-old has been very good of late for the Indians, showing the flashes of when he was dominant for the Rockies. His problem over the past few years has been control issues. He has averaged around 4 BB/per 9 innings over the past 4 seasons. Well, actually he has average 4.1 BB/per 9 innings for his career. Amaro loves taking chances on those “low-risks, high-reward” type of players. Or is it ‘high-risk, low-reward”? Whatever…
There are others out there. There is Paul Maholm, Jason Vargas, and Bronson Arroyo. All those fit that 4th starter types. Now, that leaves us with “Doc”.
The two-time CY Young Award winner has an ERA of 5.07 in four games back from shoulder surgery. Overall, he is 3-4 with 7.28 ERA. In his last outing, he couldn’t escape the fifth inning after walking four consecutive batters for the first time in his career. His fastball is topping out at 87 mph, though Doc has never been labeled as power-pitcher anyway. His best year was in 2008, when his fastball average in-between 92-93 mph, according Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News.
His main issue is his control. The dude has no clue where the hell the ball is going. Doc himself, and us fans are not used to seeing anything like this from him. That is likely why Doc looked ready to have aneurysm on the mound the other day. Obviously, the main reason for his control issue is the shoulder surgery (still amazing how quick he returned from it). In 2006 through 2012, he only averaged 36.8 BB a year. This year has he 31 BB in just 11 starts. His control issues can be straightened out by the more he gets comfortable and finds his arm slot again.
By next spring training, Doc should be throwing around 90 mph again. To be honest, it’s not like he getting knocked around out there. Overall he has only given up 51 hits in 55 innings, and since returning from the DL, he as given up 18 hits in 21.1 innings. Like I said before, he just doesn’t know where the ball is going right now.
I might be in the minority here, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Doc back in a Phils uniform again. I know, I am not getting the “old” Doc, but I believe that guy still knows how to pitch. The Phils would not be asking him to be a number 1 anymore. They would be asking him to be a 4th starter.
The Sixers and Brett Brown are finally rounding out their coaching staff. Get excited people… This new staff is loaded with player development pedigree. Maybe, all this development stuff can help out Evan Tur….Sorry, it was worth a try. Let’s take a look at the new coaching staff
Foster played 13 years in the NBA (ended in 2003). He played for the Washington Bullets, Hawks, Bucks, Jazz, Supersonics, Lakers and the Raptors. Foster was coaching at UTEP the past few years. He started as an graduate assistant under Tim Floyd (he was a lovely NBA coach) in the 2010-2011 season. He then became an assistant coach the following year. He was known for he solid recruiting skills. He got skillzzz… This was first reported by Anthony Salom of SBNation.
Iske comes to the Sixers with a great reputation for player development. That goes right with Brett Brown. As we all know, its all about the development in the Sixers world. Iske was a part of the Denver Nuggets’ organization for the past 13 seasons. Though the last five years he has been an assistant coach under George Karl. Funny thing about Iske. He never played basketball in the NBA or college. He once was a volunteer for an high-school team. Now, this dude is in the NBA. Nice story there. Of course, Wojo broke the news of this hiring a few weeks back.
Lloyd was Brown’s first hire. He actually was rumored to be a candidate for the Sixers head coach spot early in the off-season. Lloyd has been with the Grizzles the past few years as a player development guy. This is Lloyd’s fourth NBA assistant-coaching job. He was with the Warriors and he also was with the Cavaliers as a player-development coordinator for three seasons. Marc Spears of Yahoo! was the first one to report about this hire a few weeks ago.
So when does the 2014-15 season start again?