76ers' Dalembert returns from ...
Dalembert returns from trip to...
Trail Blazers 98, 76ers 90...
Trail Blazers-76ers, Box...
Blazers' Roy leaves with hamst...
Kings G Evans letting reps dea...
Wolves' Love, Thunder's Collis...
Trail Blazers' Miller says Six...
NBA Roundup: Friday's action...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
Sixers to sign Donyell Marshal...
Sixers sign Donyell Marshall...
Sixers hire Jeff Ruland as ass...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Jason Smith medical update...
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » Inside the Sixers: Work in progress keeps to time line

Inside the Sixers: Work in progress keeps to time line

Inside the Sixers: Work in progress keeps to time line With a coy smile, 76ers coach Eddie Jordan said it would take months - at least until Thanksgiving - before you'd see some rhythm within his systems.

In those late-summer exchanges, weeks before training camp had even begun, it was difficult to tell if Jordan was offering the worst-case scenario or if he truly believed his timeline.

Now that turkey and pumpkin pie are around the corner, and with the Sixers chilling around .500 with most of their wins against the NBA's worst, it's become darn clear that Jordan was never yanking our chains: We should have believed his timeline.

Why didn't we?

There are a few reasons. Because the Sixers , excluding point guard Andre Miller, returned their "young nucleus" and nearly the entirety of their roster. Because the heart of the roster was a handful of talented, athletic guys who score bunches of points in transition, without needing an offensive system, and without worrying about rhythm. And - and here's where it's OK to blame the coach at least a little - Jordan spent the entire month of October saying his team was absorbing his new read-and-react offense quicker than any group he'd ever coached.

They were listening to Jordan back in those days, internalizing his Princeton offense like microchips.

An eighth of the way through this season and that's obviously not true. Jordan's positivity - and, of course, he's going to be positive - raised expectations that we wouldn't endure the growing pains, that his team had busted through the learning curve, and that we'd see some stellar offense from season's tip.

This thing will take some time. And that's OK.

Right now, the only thing seemingly set on this team is that Jordan has anointed Andre Iguodala as its star. Everything else is about as fluid as Gatorade: who the No. 2 is, what the rotation is, where Elton Brand fits, who the first guard off the bench is.

Considering the mediocrity of this team's early-season play, it's a relief nothing is solidified. If it were solidified, everything decided, so too would be the team's identity as mediocre.

Jordan is still looking for his first guard off the bench: veteran Willie Green, athletic Rodney Carney, reliable Royal Ivey, or rookie Jrue Holiday. Each game, a different guy is the first on the court. When that player emerges, it'll be another constant.

Last year, Tony DiLeo - then the team's head coach, now its assistant general manager - had a locked-down substitution pattern that might not have been creative, and certainly became predictable, but also bred understanding of roles.

When Jordan discovers his, consistency in play will likely emerge.

Through these first two weeks, we've also learned Jordan doesn't care who, on paper, should be playing. He cares who's performing.

Right now, the team is in a holding pattern with Brand, who was brought in to be the No. 1 guy, but seems in the process of being rebranded. Few players are more professional than Brand, so you know very soon his situation will be settled - perhaps for less production than his $80 million contract - but it will provide stability nonetheless.

With Iguodala clearly as the team's go-to guy, who's second in line? You'd think Thaddeus Young, coming off a strong sophomore season. You'd think Brand, who should be providing those types of numbers. You'd consider point guard Lou Williams, whose scoring ability is, at times, brilliant.

Lately, though, it's been second-year big man Marreese Speights, who's scoring like the rim is wider than a bathtub. Speights' production is quite a contribution, but considering his youth, you tend to worry if it will extend all 82 games consistently enough to emerge as the second option.

Maybe it will.

But it seems the Sixers should hedge their bets, accept that Speights is still young, still learning, and find one of their more veteran guys to provide steady scoring behind Iguodala.

Nearing Thanksgiving, the Sixers are unpredictable and little of what Jordan does, within a game, was exactly what you thought he'd do.

And until it gets to that point, it's tough to label this team as bad, so-so, decent, good or - realistically - anything else.

Inside the Sixers :

Read Kate Fagan's 76ers blog, Deep Sixer , at http://go.philly.com/sports.

Blog response of the week

Posted by: JonKap on Monday at 9:53 p.m.

Subject: It's gonna be a long season.

The Sixers players know what we know . . . only 6-7 NBA teams, teams with the top stars, have a chance to win big, play on national TV, go for a title. Or teams at the bottom in a year a superstar is in the draft have hope. Teams like the Sixers punch the clock and play ball, any annoyance like a dumb offensive system just leads to more frustration. Not one player on the Sixers really thinks they can win anything now or in the near future. Some guys will gut it out for pride, some will go through the motions, some will pray for a trade. In the NBA when you have a no-name coach, a no-name GM, and no superstar what do you expect?

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 16, 2009


Copyright © SixersDaily.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2019.