Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

Looking forward(s)

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on August 7, 2007

100_2900.jpgYeah, it’s off season and few things happen, unless you think that Celtics signing Scott Pollard is breaking news.

So before leaving for vacation (in the picture, Ricky engaged in the main activity he will do for the next three weeks) I thought it could be interesting to take a look at our roster NOW and try to imagine how the 2007-2008 Sixers might look like.

My take is that we have two STARTING spots to cover, small forward and power forward, assuming that Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Sam Dalembert are almost a lock to start at PG, SG* and C.

[*= Yes, I consider Iguodala more a SG than a SF (“a shooting guard that can’t shoot”, according to a poster of the Sixers board, which is pretty funny but not accurate), if you don’t it’s ok, but find me a nicer headline for this post, then.]

So here is my breakdown, split into “hopes” and “realistic thoughts”.

The overall introduction is that Sixers clearly have a log jam at the 2-3 positions, with seven players (Iguodala, Willie Green, Kyle Korver, Rodney Carney, Thaddeus Young and even rookie Derrick Byars – and I am not considering Bobby Jones) to split minutes at SG and SF.

SMALL FORWARD

Whether you consider Iggy a SG or a SF, it doesn’t change the fact that he will play his usual 36-38 minutes per game (last year it was more than 40… what about cutting them a little bit, Mo ??) : that leaves six players to fight for the remaining 55-60 minutes (!).

Of these six players one, Kyle Korver, is perhaps the finest three point shooter in the NBA, for sure the best free throw shooter, one of the best 6th men, constantly improving, a fans -  not to mention Sixers4guidos – favourite. Last year he played 31 minutes per game and I honestly cannot see a good reason to reduce his minutes next year.

So it’s 38 Iguodala + 30 Korver = 68 minutes for those two = 28 minutes to divide between Green, Carney, Thaddeus Young (+ Byars) !!!

See a locker room storm coming ?? Some personnel management issues ??? Personally this scares me, also considering who is our coach (in case you don’t know, I am NOT a Cheeks fan). And this because – and I am going on with my analysis:

a) Rodney Carney is a guy we spent a 1st pick on only twelve months ago, and a player worth taking a deeper look at. To me he’s the typical case of guy who would probably blossom if traded to another team (= Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, Matt Barnes etc part II)… a very good Summer League showed what I was simply feeling: this kid can play. I hope we keep him and give him the chance(s) that last year didn’t have.

b) Thaddeus Young is our rookie. A 12th pick in one of the deepest drafts ever, the 19 y/o wonder, the next Tayshaun Prince, the next Lamar Odom, the cornerstone for the Sixers future bla bla bla (add more Sixers propaganda here…)… would it be smart to leave his young ass on the bench in a season when Sixers will have basically NOTHING to play for and no other goal than “developing young players” ??? No, right?

c) Willie Green, as much as I dislike him, proved he’s a decent scorer off the bench, and a player that many teams looking for instant offense could use properly (just throwing out some random names: Cleveland, Miami, New Jersey etc). 11 PPG in 25 minutes is not bad, mostly considering his resume (a second round pick) and the bad injuries he had to pass through. This means he earned his minutes and will expect to play more. (Yes, I am showing some respect for the Detroit Mercy product. Finally ?).

d) Derrick Byars is… well, I honestly have no idea. I just hope he takes Green’s spot.

You see, a lot of open questions here. To sum it up:

SIXERS4GUIDOS HOPE:

Carney starts at SF, with Thad Young growing fastly as months pass and stealing him the starting spot, after Green gets traded.

Byars becomes the next Willie Green - minus the hate by Sixers bloggers.

REALISTIC PREDICTION: 

This is pretty tough.

Cheeks might actually continue mismanaging Carney, going with Young immediately. Green has probably (and sadly) a shot of starting at SG, with Iguodala playing some SF-point forward.

If Mo doesn’t give up on the “small ball” bullshit, Young plays even some PF (shaking my head).

POWER FORWARD

This is way easier: Sixers have currently four players to fight for this spot: Steven Hunter, Jason Smith, Shavlik Randolph, Herbert Hill (I am PURPOSELY forgetting bum Louis Amundson).

Ok, if we wanto to be accurate, and I do want it, Steven Hunter is actually a center, having no PF skills at all. Last last year he had to start because we simply run out of big men, but in ‘normal’ days he’s always been and always will be a BACK UP center. Pairing him with Dalembert would assure the Sixers another dubious record: the worst rebounding seven footers combo in the history of the NBA.

Jason Smith seems to be a very nice player, perhaps even a steal. He’s the only real power forward in that mix, and he looks like the best fit for the position. The question is: is the Colorado State rookie ready to start at the upper level ? None of us knows it.

The main problem with Shavlik Randolph is that he will come off a surgery. Another problem is that he wasn’t that good even before, when 100% healthy. Is he a PF? or a C? I honestly don’t care much. Love the guy, love his hustle, love the attitude, wish him all the best etc. etc. but you won’t go too far in the NBA if one of your big men is Shavlik Randolph. Don’t kidd ourselves fellas. 

Similar things could be said about Herbert Hill. I watched four Summer League games and he looked ok. Good hands, soft touch, size, rebounding, high %. The problem is: will he make the team? We are talking about a 55th pick. No disrespect, just being realistic. If he becomes the next Ben Wallace, I will be happy for having missed another prediction.

SIXERS4GUIDOS HOPE:

Jason Smith starts and slowly shows he’s an NBA player, making many draft “experts” and skeptic/negative Sixers fans eat their words/shut up.

Hunter goes back to what his role should be (Dalembert’s back up), Shavlik Randolph crosses the Atlantic Ocean and becomes MVP of the Italian League, where he wins the title and starts a long, healthy, wealthy career.

REALISTIC PREDICTION:

Cheeks goes the old way and starts Hunter. After being outrebounded in 48 out of the first 50 games, and by an average of 15 boards per game, he realizes that the team has rebounding issues and tries with Smith.

To make a long (too long, sorry) story short this would be my Sixers 2007-2008 starting line up:

PG Andre Miller – SG Andre Iguodala – SF Rodney Carney – PF Jason Smith – C Sam Dalembert

Before you start dissing me and these five guys, I will tell you that I am aware that this is a 31-33 W line up. But I don’t care FOR THIS SEASON, as long as Celtics and Lakers don’t win the ring.

We’ll see who will be better in 2-3 years. Tell me your thoughts, I will be back around the 28th August. 

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13 Responses to “Looking forward(s)”

  1. BG restorani said

    Man, a pink shirt? Heavy.

    Anyway, the Sixers should start Young at sf. He displayed some of his talent in Vegas (no, not that talent) and no way Illadelph’s gonna play a prolonged season. So, why not play some of its’ youngsters? Of course, Mo’ll still play Iguodala at sf and slide Green into the starting lineup at off-guard. At pf, it’s pick your poison. I still can’t believe how the Sixers’ played their cards in the offseason, letting all the seasoned forwards slip away.

  2. I really like Jason Smith, I hope he breaks the 8-man rotation. He’s almost ready the NBA, he just needs a year to get some seasoning, and then expect a David Lee-like breakout next season (yr. 2).

    31-33 wins sound about right. Oh, and Derrick Byars won’t make it off the bench most likely, but I think he’s a deadly shooter if I remember correctly.

    You’re on vacation? Enjoy!

  3. BG restorani, hvala (thanks). Yes, a pink jersey, LOL. You have a point with the “no post season” thing and that’s why I think Thad will NOT play as much as he could/should… But this is only a feeling

    SML, I do hope you are right. Jason Smith = David Lee (+ the outside shot?), that would be excellent !

    I am leaving tomorrow

  4. Zach said

    I like your line-up. Give the young guys more playing time this year. There’s nothing to play for this year, but at least it will pay dividends in the future. Carney should definitely start at SF, while Iguodala is at SG. Smith should get a lot of playing time at PF. I’m all for Lou Will to get the majority of minutes at PG – he’s going to be sick some day – this should be his break-out year. After you focus on those players, work Thaddeus Young in the mix. If he makes a bunch of mistakes this year, hopefully that will mean less mistake in the future; no doubt about it, he’ll be a player.

    - All Philadelphia Sports

  5. Eric said

    1st/3rd quarter:
    PG: Miller (9 mins) / Williams (3)
    SG: Iguodala (12)
    SF: Carney (8) / Korver (4)
    PF: Smith (6) / Young (6)
    C: Dalembert (10) / Hunter (2)

    2nd/4th quarter:
    PG: Williams (6) / Miller (6)
    SG: Carney (5) / Iguodala (7)
    SF: Korver (4) / Young (4) / Korver (4)
    PF: Young (2) / Smith (6) / Hunter (4)
    C: Hunter (4) / Dalembert (8)

    Total minutes:

    Iguodala: 38
    Dalembert: 36
    Miller: 30
    Carney: 26
    Smith: 24
    Korver: 24
    Young: 24
    Hunter: 20
    Williams: 18

    When Miller gets traded this depth chart would obviously look different. I have no plans for Green, and I would like to see him traded for a pick. Hill, Byars should go to NBDL, although Byars may be useful when Miller gets traded as a backup point guard.

    I’d like to see Young at PF for stretches, I think he could do a lot of damage at that position. Remember he’s still growing.

  6. Alex said

    I like your blog…

    I have one at: http://boederbucks.blogspot.com/

    Would you be interested in linking to each other’s blogs? Let me know… adboeder@uwm.edu

    -Alex

  7. Ohio said

    Interesting… very interesting. I almost completely agree with your assessment of the small forward situation, but I couldn’t disagree more with your assessment of the power forward situation. I don’t think Jason Smith is a power forward at all. He’s way too soft, especially for a team full of softies (read: Hunter and Dalembert). The problem, then, is that we really don’t have the prototypical bruising power forward this team so desparately needs. Though you practically dismiss him in your write up, Shavlik Randolph is easily the closest thing to a power forward we have right now. I’m not suggesting he starts, but he should definitely see some significant minutes… to be given the chance to prove himself. I’m also blown away by your baseless dismissal of Louis Amundson. The guy’s all hustle and he can jump out of the gym! He needs his chance as well. So where do we stand here? At least early on, Steven Hunter starts alongside Dalembert. Randolph and Amundson back him up, with the better of the two eventually taking his place as the starter. Jason Smith backs up Dalembert at center. Herbert Hill probably doesn’t even make the team.

  8. 76BigShot said

    Why are they trading Andre Miller? He good…

  9. (I am back after vacation… yes, we have a lot of days off, ehehehe)

    Thanks everybody for the nice contributions

    Zach: we are on the same page 100%.

    Eric: like your rotations, especially the 18 minutes for Louis Williams. My doubt: can Dalemebert cut his fouls to play 36 minutes (that I would like). He showed progresses last year also in this, let’s hope he just goes on. Byars as back up PG? Interesting.

    Alex: thanks for the proposal, we will definitely exchange links. You’ll get an email soon. A Bucks blog, wow !!

    Ohio: thanks for the props. I already explained why I think Sixers DON’T need Amundson in a specifil post. If “Shavlik Randolph is easily the closest thing to a power forward we have right now” we are in deep troubles – but we all already knew it, right?
    Interesting your theory that Jason Smith is a C, I think you are the first one I hear that from, let’s see if u r right. Again I don’t follow college bball so I tend to rely on what I hear from knowledgeable guys there, and you seem to be one. Let’s keep in touch.

    76BigShot, where did u read that ??? I couldn’t find any news reguarding this, I’ll search better in the next days. Again, I wish we keep Andre Miller until his contract expires, I like him a lot

    Later

  10. Yo Ricky! Welcome back. Brian and I missed you.

    I mentioned you in this entry. One of the girls I surveyed said she “dates guidos”!

    Anyway, good to have you back.

  11. Ohio said

    Hey Ricky,

    Thanks for the response. Yeah, this team is definitely in trouble… too many key players with the same build and basically the same skill set (e.g. Iguodala, Carney, Young). Sorry for my uninformed comment on your dismissal of Louis Amundsen… can you give me a link to that post? I actually have fairly high hopes for Shavlik, mostly due to his unlimited energy and his willingness to get physical when necessary. Heck, he’s the only banger we’ve got. Clearly, his offensive game needs some work, but he’s an above average rebounder (some would say great) and he knows this is his chance (maybe last chance) to show people what he’s got. I’m really crossing my fingers for him… and I hope that ankle injury is all cleared up by October!

  12. Thanks for returning here Ohio. I will try to wrote more often now that I am back

    The link to the Amundson post is this:

    http://sixers4guidos.wordpress.com/2007/07/16/you-know-your-team-sucks-when/

    I wrote it more than a month ago but I stay with the same opinion.

    I can say I share your same HOPES about Shavlik Randolph, the main concern is that he has to be at 100% in order to contribute.

    He showed some flashes before getting injured but we’re talking about a back up player for an average-to-bad team in the best case scenario, so realistically I would say that he won’t be a great factor anyway. I mean, he’s no Ben Wallace and he’s no Tyrone Hill either !

    Again, I do hope he can prove me wrong :-)

  13. [...] and I don’t think I’ll miss him either. We simply had a logjam at the SG/SF position, like I already explained, so there are still many options left there, and we’re loaded with [...]

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