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Archive for May, 2009

Shocking insight: Dwane Casey… sucks !!!!

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 21, 2009

caseyThis, in a nutshell, is the surprising (?) result of a quick Q & A session I did with Dave/College Wolf of TWolves blog, the site covering Minnesota of the Bloguin network. 

For your pleasure (?), here is the complete transcript, I think it should work as a warning for Ed Stefanski and all of us Sixers fans.

(S4G): Casey’s record as T’Wolves head coach in 2006/2007 was 33-49 and was 20-20 the year after, when Mc Hale fired him and put Randy Wittman in his place (Wittman went 12-30 the rest of the way…). What do you remember of that stint, other than they were surely troubled seasons in Minnesota, and that coaching Szczerbiak, Olowokandi, Ricky Davis, Marco Jaric etc surely wasn’t an easy task?

(CW): Yes, we had bad teams, but don’t forget though that we also had KG near his absolute prime. Those seasons he was one of the (arguably) Top 5 players in the league. With that said, the Casey Coaching Era (CCE) was quite a while ago, so I apologize for not being to elaborate with tons and tons of details for you and your readers. 

However, a few things stick out in my mind, and I can assure you that they were not good things. First off, Casey was nearly an epic fail at coaching X’s and O’s. At times, some of us Wolves fans wondered if he had any idea if he knew what he was doing at all. He was especially terrible coming out of timeouts. 

It might not have been as bad as I am making it sound, but our playcalling/execution coming out of timeouts was absurd and horrendous.  It seemed like we would never score, and most times it resulted in a turnover or terrible shot. 

Again, it probably wasn’t *that bad*, but the fact that it is something I’ve never forgotten about the CCE has got to mean something. Casey’s substitutions were illogical and nonsensical. We fans were pulling our hairs out because his lineups and distribution of minutes made absolutely no sense

Also, it didn’t seem like Casey had “control” of his team at all. Granted, we had a few bad apples back then, but he was far too passive and timid to be the leader of our team at that time. Now, it could have been simply that these things were factors of Casey being a rookie head coach.  I don’t know. 

Perhaps he has gotten better the past two years as a bench coach for the Dallas Mavericks.  For his sake I hope that he has learned a thing or two.

(S4G): Why did Minnesota decide to give him the team that year? Was it another “Randy Ayers case” (=lack of better options) or what?

(CW): I am not entirely sure.  Glen Taylor and McHale were doing their best to “win now”, and I think they viewed Dwane Casey as a hot-shot up and coming assistant coach, in the same mold as someone like Nate McMillan. 

It’s not that they had a lack of better options, because they went out and actively recruited Casey. It was just a complete swing and a miss, because it was obvious that Casey was in way too far over his headAt the time, I had thought he was one of the worst coaches I’d ever seen. Little did I know what to expect from the Randy (Dim)Wittman era…

(S4G): Which were Casey’s strengths as a coach, and what was he missing?

(CW): I honestly cannot remember any “strengths” besides the fact that he was a nice guy. Also, I think he did a decent job getting our players to play defense during his 20-20 second season, although the stats might say otherwise (I didn’t check). 

He was missing everything. Namely: experience, presentation, advanced game knowledge/strategy, good assistants, and good players.

(S4G): Can being fired by Kevin Mc Hale be considered a plus in a coach’s resume?

(CW): No comment 🙂

(S4G): Would you recommend the Sixers to give the helm to Casey? Why? Any other team where he would be a good fit?

(CW): No, I would not recommend him being the new head coach of your team. He just doesn’t strike me as a guy that will ever be a truly successful NBA *head coach.*  I think his ideal position is that of an assistant coach for a veteran contending team. Those players would be much more likely to listen to him and his ideals, rather than a rebuilding team full of youngsters. 

I realize that the Sixers are a veteran, contending (hopefully) team, but I wouldn’t want you guys to waste your championship window because a coach like Casey was hired.  I think you guys could do much better. 

I don’t think he would be a good fit as a head coach anywhere in the NBA.  As an assistant coach, yes. You could probably do worse with the plethora of no-name assistants that have been floating around the league for years.

Thank you for enlightening us, Dave…

Conclusion: please say “NO” to Dwane Casey !!

Next !

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Off season, Sixers4guidos | 4 Comments »

Sixers piling up interviews: Casey and Rambis last

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 20, 2009

rambisWhile I am working at the new site, Ed Stefanski is working at finding a coach for the next season.

After interviewing Eddie Jordan, setting up another chat with Tom Thibodeau (currently pending), Sixers just confirmed via Twitter that they have completed interviews with Casey and Rambis also.

My comment on all those candidates is: uhm

Avery Johnson is still my fav man for the job.

Thibodeau built himself a (deserved, I guess) reputation of being a great defensive mind: too bad no one has a clue on whether he would be a good HEAD coach, meaning there is also an offensive phase to consider.

There are tons of examples of good assistent coaches that failed miserably when given the helm: the name Iavaroni is the first one that comes to my mind.

Casey and Rambis to me are smokescreens. At least I hope so. Their resumes are far from impressive, I’m sorry, we need something better. They both would be Randy Ayers part II.

I would like to remind all of Sixers fans that last summer Elton Brand was signed after EVERYONE thought that Sixers would have picked Josh Smith for the PF spot.

So stay tuned, don’t complain (yet) and expect our GM to make a move with no hurry.

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Off season | 3 Comments »

Tony DiLeo is a class act and a real asset

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 13, 2009

86012991FM102_Sixers_MagicHe might not be the greatest coach alive but I take my hat off to him as a professional, basketball guy and person.

I’m glad he will remain in the franchise, he adds a lot to this organization.

Check the 20 minute-video just released by the Sixers and tell me if I’m wrong.

Now please get Anthony Johnson (or that Thibodeau guy) here and leave Jordan & mainly Collins doing what they are doing

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Playoffs 2009, Tony Di Leo | 2 Comments »

DiLeo back to the desk, good move

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 12, 2009

86012989JM009_ORLANDO_MAGIC(Back to blogging after a much needed break…)

No disrespect for DiLeo, rather the opposite.

Tony was ax excellent front office guy, he did a lot of good things in that key position (= leading to all Sixers’ smart drafting over the last years) and I am happy the franchise will have him back at that desk after he decided not to come back as a coach

Of course there is NO ONE in the world that believes in the official version of the “personal reasons” behind DiLeo’s call. Not coincidentially the initials of those two words are PR… anyway it doesn’t matter now, as long as he stays in the organization and continues to contribute in making the Sixers a better team.

The 32-27 record he compiled, after the 9-14 start with Cheeks, says he did a good job on the bench as well. Especially considering that the last year he coached Berlin was still split in two…

So I think we have to thank Tony DiLeo, a ‘rookie’ coach, for taking a team that was going nowhere to the playoffs, providing many exciting games and even some fun. The biggest problems came at the end, with that awful Game 6, the statements by Ratliff etc.

More, I think DiLeo wasn’t the right coach if we think in the medium-long term. He’s not the coach that can take you to the upper level. In my opinion these young Sixers need a hard-nosed, experienced coach: my ideal candidate would be Jerry Sloan, to give you a rough idea.

I don’t like the two names I read (Doug Collins IMO is done, while Eddie Jordan’s resume isn’t exactly appealing), that’s why I hope that Avery Johnson will come. He is the right mix between experience (as both player and coach), freshness (still young but not rookie) and charisma.

I know AJ has a reputation of being tough, very demanding, authoritative, maybe even annoying, and getting into players’ minds too much, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, given Sixers’ rosters and the personalities of our guys. Another players’ coach won’t work in Sixerland, I’m afraid. JVG would be a ok coach also.

The ball is in Stefanski’s field now, but the first move of the offseason is a good one.

Thank you for everything, Tony.

(S4G update: some changes will be made in the blog soon, stay tuned)

Posted in Ed Stefanski, Management, Maurice Cheeks, Off season, Sixers4guidos, Tony Di Leo | 2 Comments »

Sixers season ends in embarassment

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 1, 2009

fans-booingOk, first let’s take the hat off to the Orlando Magic.

They played a great t-e-a-m game despite all the absences, won 89-114, and deservedly advanced to the second round, 4-2. End of the story.

Now let’s talk about the Sixers’ game. Horrible. Awful. Atrocious. Embarassing. I don’t know what to say.

We simply weren’t ready to play, we didn’t come out to play. Not “play hard”, play. We didn’t show up.

I won’t waste time recapping the game, analyzing this and that, breaking down individual performances. Sixers were outplayed, outrebounded, outhustled, outfucked by the Orlando Magic’s reserves in a 48 minute-butt whipping.

Forget the stats, while Bulls and Celtics were making history (third overtime just started as I’m typing this), Sixers pulled out a memorable choking act, losing all of the four periods, giving up 62 points and 57% from the field (23/40, including 6/9 from three) in the first half and trailing constantly in double digit until the final buzzer, with margins from eleven to the final twentyfive. 

I could mention at least four embarassing plays for each Sixer that was put on the floor: turnovers, airballs, dunks on, shots blocked etc. I won’t go on details as it could be very painful.

Gortat = a polish David Robinson. JJ Redick = Ray Allen part II. Rafer Alston = the new Dennis Johnson. It was that kind of night.

The truth is Sixers are far from being a good playoffs team, and many things have to be re-evaluated this summer, taking this crappy game into consideration.

The sad end of course doesn’t take anything from the good things that were done before, including the two wins versus Orlando, a team that was supposed to blow us, but it’s a clear sign that something is still lacking, especially in the players’ minds.

2008/2009 Sixers improved of only one game from the previous regular season (from 40 to 41 wins) and repeated the exact sequence of last year’s playoffs series, winning the first game on the road and going up 2-1, only to see the season end with three straight losses.

The season perhaps didn’t, but the final game surely deserved all the boos that the crowd rained on the team. A shameful finish indeed.

Let’s leave the main stage to the grown folks, we still have a lot of homework to do.

Posted in Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Donyell Marshall, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights, Reggie Evans, Royal Ivey, Sam Dalembert, Sixers, Sixers4guidos, Thaddeus Young, Theo Ratliff, Tony Di Leo, Willie Green | 4 Comments »