Obviously we all know that head coaches in the NBA want to win every game and thus one could confidently state that head coaches in the League hate losing.  We know that’s not rocket science we’re unleashing on you, it’s just a common sense item that hoop heads take as a given.  But we wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page, because you wouldn’t come to that conclusion about our head coach Eddie Jordan if you watched the 76ers last night. 

Down in Atlanta on Wednesday evening, the Sixers suffer through yet another embarrassing loss and dropped to 16 games below .500 (22-38).  However, we bet today in that twisted basketball world of his, Eddie Jordan is probably smiling ear to ear.  See even though the Sixers lost and lost bad, Jordan ran the team his way last night and not in the style that had been directed from the front office back in January.  The style of play which had racked up a 7-5 record between January 31st and February 23rd, which for the 2009-10 Sixers was a tremendous feat.

Here’s what we are talking about…

With Allen Iverson gone and Elton Brand out of the line up because of injury, Jordan’s much acclaimed version of the Princeton offense made its official return last night.  Multiple players were even quoted as saying that the Sixers had returned to working on the P’ton-O in practice. “It looks like we’re definitely going to go back into the Princeton sets,” said Thaddeus Young, “but Coach is still going out there and saying, ‘OK, let’s get out in transition and then use the Princeton offense.’ So it’s our second weapon.”  This is the same offense that helped us lose 12 straight games earlier this season, but going back to it last night seemed like a good idea to Jordan.  Well it backfired on him as the deep and talented Hawks lit up the scoreboard like it was the 4th of July and the Sixers in their Princeton offense could not keep pace.

Defense went out the window completely last night.  The Hawks did whatever they wanted against the Sixers on both the interior and the perimeter.  As for preventing the Hawks from driving through the lane, well, an 8th grade CYO team would have done a better job.  And you can forget about the Sixers stopping the pick-n-roll, that’s not going to happen 2009-10.  Look at the following vital defensive numbers.  The Sixers gave up 56 points in the paint; got crushed on the boards, 47-32; allowed the Hawks to shoot 50% from the field and 40% on 3PA.  Additionally, the Hawks placed 8 players in the scoring column by half-time.  That’s right, BY HALF-TIME.  They ended up with 5 players in double figures.  Basically, the Sixers provided no resistance what so ever against the Hawks offense last night.

You can see that Eddie Jordan had no regard for defense lat night and was intent on out scoring the Hawks through two pieces of evidence.  The first was the knuckle headed distribution of minutes handed out by Jordan last night.  Jordan’s favorite guys and two of the worst defenders on the team received major tick last night.  Louis Williams (38+ mins. and 30 pts.) and Willie Green (32+ mins.) rewarded Jordan for playing their extended minutes by hitting for 47 points combined.  Of course combined the two of them probably gave up somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 points, so that didn’t work out very well.  Meanwhile Jordan limited two of the Sixers starters who play great defense — Samuel Dalembert (29 mins) and Jrue Holiday (21+ mins.) – to under 30 mins. each.

The second piece of evidence that Jordan can’t spell defense is based in the insane lineup combinations he trotted out on the floor last night.  With 2:27 remaining in the 1st quarter and the Sixers down 6, Jordan sent Green into the game for Holiday.  Less then a minute later he sent Mo Speights into the game for Dalembert, so the Sixers closed the 1st Q with a lineup of Green, Speights, Williams, Young and Iguodala.  AI9 should have called a TO right away and asked Jordan, ‘Uhh, coach, who the hell was going to help me on the defensive end of the floor?’  Luckily the Hawks lead only swelled to 10 before the end of the 1st.  Then two minutes into the 2nd quarter, Jordan took Iguodala out and replaced him with Carney.  C’mon no one in that five has a clue on the defensive end.  At least pretend that you have a concern for that end of the floor, by leaving a single player who can defend on the court.  To top things off, Jordan used the same rotation in the second half, starting at the 5:40 mark of the 3rd when he again pulled Holiday for Green. 

So, the Sixers got blown out again last night, but the Princeton offense is back, so is the ole’ defense from the first 25 games of the season and Eddie’s guy Louis Williams scored a bunch of buckets.  That unique style of basketball should make for a fun and interesting ending to this brutal season.  Well at least for Eddie Jordan.

Philadunkia Notes:

It’s obvious that Jordan has lost this team and that the Sixers are on the verge of not caring at all anymore. 

  • Louis was openly smiling and yucking it up in front of the hometown crowd with the Sixers down 20 or more.  He also fired away on offense at will and again showed no effort at all on defense as he knew Jordan was not going to pull him.
  • Iguodala is in a complete funk on both ends of the court and may have even mailed it in already.  When compared to his usual high standards, his defense has beeen terrible and on offense he is exclusively setteling for jumpers and threes. 
  • Thaddeus Young looks slow and suddenly has lost his hops.  He had a dunk blocked by Marvin Williams last night that would have been a certified flush last year.  Thad has missed so many bunnies and dunks lately that we have lost count.  We don’t ever remember Young Smoove looking this bad. 
  •  As a team the Sixers turned the ball over 18 times and showed little regard for safe guarding the rock.   

Even though the Sixers were down 10 points at the end of the 1st quarter and never got closer then 6 during the rest of the game, the decding moments of this one really came in the 3rd quarter, which the Hawks won 26-17.  Atlanta’s defense went into lockdown mode after giving up 19 fast break points in the first half and the Hawks did not allow the Sixers any fast-break points in the 3rd.  Additionally, the Hawks held Philadunkia’s home team to 7-of-19 shooting and forced five turnovers, leading to 10 points for ATL during the 3rd.

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