10 KEYS TO 2012-13

Posted by: Steve Toll
10/10/12 10:37 am EST

The 2012-13 season is nearly upon us and nobody has been more critical of the moves made by the 7-6’s front office this summer than myself.  That being said, I believe that this team can certainly end up being a top 4 playoff seed at the end of the regular season.

In this post I will detail the 10 keys to maximizing the team’s success in 2012-13.  The closer these 10 things come to happening, the better chance this team has to be elite this season.  One overlooked part of the Bynum trade was how the potential minute distribution was so positively affected.  Many of the keys to the season have already been detailed on this site and some are new thoughts about a successful 2013 season.

After the jump, my 10 keys to a successful 2012-13 season for the new look 76ers…

1)  Bynum’s Health and Defense  

Production on offense is not a concern, health and defense are.  Without Bynum playing (Which according to this link could be an even longer span of time now.), the 76ers would be favorites against at most, a handful of teams on a neutral court.  Defensively, he is a downgrade from Elton Brand, which isn’t a knock on Bynum as nearly every big in the NBA would have been a defensive downgrade last season.  In 400 less minutes, Brand had 12 more steals+blocks and rated among the best in the NBA per Synergy Sports 

Effort is where Bynum is going to need to improve on D, and there is concern that being the #1 option on offense will negatively effect his effort on defense.  Most nights that won’t be a concern but as the season gets further along, it’s something to watch out for.

2)  Jrue Holiday

If you haven’t heard of Haralabos Voulgaris, google him.  Haralabos point blank said “Jrue is the 2nd most important player on the 76ers” and that’s enough for me.  Here is an article on Philadunkia about Jrue, and an ESPN article that was inspired by that Philadunkia article.  The importance of a major progression for Jrue as a player in 2012-13 can’t be understated.

3)  3pt Shooting

I had previously written an unpublished article about the fallacy of the acquisition of sharpshooters this off-season.  The gist of it is that Coach Collins has never valued 3pt shooting as a coach, and our new additions only hit 1.4 more 3s per game last year than Iggy, Lou and Meeks while shooting at a lower %.  Philly has shot 35.5% and 36.2% from 3 and been 24th and 25th in 3pt attempts the past 2 seasons.  League average is about 18 attempts per game, so this team should be stroking 20+ a game.  With Bynum entrenched in the post and often commanding a double team, this team should take the most 3s of any 76er team in history.

Quick Stat Fact of the Day, which may or may not be widely known: If you wanted to do a statistical analysis of who is the best offensive player in the NBA, the first thing to figure out would be who is double teamed the most.

4) THAD > Turner at Small Forward

Thad is 4 months older than ET but was always 1 year ahead in school.  Since at least Thad’s junior year in HS, he has been a vastly superior player and it’s all well documented.  Thad was a Top 5 high school recruit, Turner was 50th.  Thad was a lottery pick in 2007.  In 2008, Thad was well above average as a Rookie in the NBA season playing 21mpg, while Turner was an average freshman on a team that didn’t make the ’08 NCAA tournament.

Here is a link to their draftexpress.com profiles, A.K.A. Draft Combine numbers which show that these 2 are the same size and that Thad is a considerably better athlete.  Thad wasn’t even 19 years old at the time of the NBA combine and ET was 2 years 8 months older at the time of his Combine: 

Thad should be playing mid-high 20 minutes per game at the SF position, Dorell Wright should be playing the other 5-8ish minutes at SF and ET should be getting 15 minutes a night.  This article details the argument for Thad at SF. 

5)  The play of Hawes and Lavoy

Bynum will be playing about 34mpg. at the center spot and Thad should play about 8mpg at PF.  That leaves 54 minutes for Hawes and Bynum to play in the front-court on a nightly basis.  Both players were a pleasant surprise last season, injury issues or a regression in either big’s play would be a major blow to the team’s success.  An Interesting note about this duo is that Hawes has an elite pedigree (Top 5 HS Recruit, Lottery Pick) and Lavoy was a diamond in the rough (Mid 140s HS Recruit, Undrafted), yet both are equally important to the teams success this year.

6)  Dorell Wright is better than Jason Richardson and obviously, SwaggyP.

Thus, Wright should be playing most minutes of these three.  Here are the last 2 season averages from each player:

Jason Richardson – 6’4; 31 years old

32mpg, PER of 14.3 and 2 year adjusted +/- of -1.91

TS%   OREB%   DREB%   AST%   STL%   BLK%   TO%  USAGE 

.535      2.79         11.28      10.23     1.8        .66       8.13     20.45


Dorell Wright – 6’7; 26 years old

33mpg, PER of 15.0 and 2 year adjusted +/- of -.43 

TS%   OREB%   DREB%   AST%   STL%   BLK%   TO%  USAGE

.544      3.44         13.39      10.64     1.93      1.4       9.12     18.61


Nick Young – 6’5; 27 years old

30mpg, PER of 13.7 and 2 year adjusted +/- of -4.63

TS%   OREB%   DREB%   AST%   STL%   BLK%   TO%  USAGE 

 .526      1.68         7.77        6.19       1.19      .69       8.37    24.58


7)  Give ET 30mpg.  

If you have been following the site, you know my thoughts on ET.  His playing time should be split 50/50 at PG/SF.  ET deserves to get more playing time this season if only because it will keep Nick Young and to an lesser extent, Kwame on the bench. Playing ET is a necessary evil as well since he potentially takes up nearly 11% of the cap if his Team Option is picked up for 13-14.  It’s tough to project a significant improvement in ET since his most valuable attribute, defensive rebounding, is what Bynum was 2nd in the league at last season.  Defense, Distribution and shooting %’s of 44/33/75 would be a welcomed sight to 76er fans, front office, DC, and all of his teammates.

 8)  Keeping Nick Young and Kwame on the bench. 

Unless it’s a timeout and 2 for 1 situation at the end of a quarter or end game situation with fouls being issued to the other team so he can be subbed for the defensive situations, Nick Young should never play.  Kwame is the 4th best option at C, barring injuries, he and SwaggyP will be occupying Nocioni’s old spot on the bench.

9)  Can Moultrie or Maalik provide any kid of production?  

From a purely historical perspective, here is my assessment of Moultrie:

Since 1998-1999, 54 players have had seasons where they averaged 10+ rebounds, less than 1 block and less than 1 steal per game.  Quentin Richardson and Reggie Evans are the only 2 guys who have become NBA players.  Q-Rich was a McDonald’s All-American and C-USA player of the year as a freshman when he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Reggie Evans transferred from a JUCO school to Iowa and proceeded to average 15 pts. and 12 rebounds.  Evans led the NCAA in rebounds and free throw attempts per game (9.9) that season.  

Since 2009-2010, 82 college players averaged 35+ minutes per game and averaged under 1 block and steal per game.  Only Brandon Knight, who was the 6th ranked HS prospect in the country and 8th overall pick after his freshman season, has become an NBA player or was even a 1st round pick.  That means if we look at history, Moultrie has a 3% chance to be an effective NBA player.  So we have that going for us which is certainly better than nothing.

Malik was a highly ranked HS recruit who as every 76er fan knows, played for Larry Brown’s very college coach, Jay Wright at Villanova.  As my Uncle so succinctly put it, “Maalik was a talented player on a team with no offense and a coach who was considered a better recruiter than coach but hasn’t recruited well in years.”  

Something else to consider is that PG is the position that has yielded the most quality undrafted players.

10)  Make a run at a veteran.  

Would OKC trade Westbrook for Thad+Jrue+Lavoy?  Would Atlanta trade Josh Smith for Thad+ET?  Would Utah trade Al Jefferson for Hawes + Nick Young?   Would Denver trade Iggy for ET+Dorell Wright?  Whatever the trade, picking up a veteran who can actually contribute to this team down the stretch run of the 2012-13 season and into the playoffs would be a solid idea for DiLeo and DC to consider. 


…Assuming #10 doesn’t happen, here is what the mpg breakdown should look like this year.

PG – Jrue 33mpg, Turner 15 mpg

SG – Wright 22mpg, JRich 24mpg, Nick Young 2mpg

SF – Thad 25mpg, ET 15mpg, Wright 8mpg

PF – Thad 8mpg, Hawes/Lavoy 40mpg

C –   Bynum 34mpg, Hawes/Lavoy 14mpg

Taking a look at things, the success of the season comes down to some a few key things: Bynum’s Health, Jrue, Lavoy and Hawes progressing, shooting lots of 3s, Thad playing his natural position and keeping SwaggyP and Kwame on the bench.


37 Responses to “10 KEYS TO 2012-13”

  1. ken
    10. October 2012 at 12:12

    In my opinion id the point about thad based on what our coaches have said which is that thad is not going to play sf so why have that as a point and not a point about how productive thad can be next to bynum at the 4 or how productive hawes needs to be at the 4

  2. Doug
    10. October 2012 at 12:15

    Steve, good article. This is the first time I haven’t been morally offended by your work on this site in a while. I particularly like you MPG breakdown but suspect it won’t turn out that way. One question for you, has Dorell Wright ever played significant minutes at SG? It seems to me he might not be quick enough for the spot, and he could be a defensive liability. He also would have to get used to playing different spots on the floor on offense which may not suite his game best. I don’t think Collins has him working much at SG either.

  3. Tom
    10. October 2012 at 12:49

    Think I’ll have to disagree and go with the DC’s line-up/mind set. Who cares what kind of high school recruits ET/TY were? ET was far more effective in college, and has shown that his overall game is much better than Thad’s. Thad needs to keep coming off the bench as an athletic spark, which is is by far most effective at doing. Jason Richardson is a better ball handler and cutter, he’s also bringing a lot of great leadership to the team, so chemistry would most likely benefit with him seeing the most minutes.

  4. Mickey
    10. October 2012 at 14:03

    I have to say that all but the first 3 points of this article is complete and utter bull.. Nick Young is going to take the place of Lou Williams on the bench not Nocioni, if he turns out to be a good offensive spark off the bench I think that you shouldn’t write any more for the site… Thad will play the power forward position off the bench and lavoy will probably play the 5 along side him in that second unit. and another thing ET will probably go for most improved player this year, and D.Wright is not better than J-Rich, sorry but reading this article gave me cancer.

  5. Steve Toll
    10. October 2012 at 14:20


    This article isn’t about what is going to happen, its what should happen IMO. For every minute above 8ish that Thad plays at the 4, a minute is taken from Lavoy/Hawes and likely given to SwaggyP. From a gambling theory perspective, I wouldn’t bet on what I want the 76ers (this article) and their opponents to do on a nightly basis but what they are actually going to do.

    Dorell Wright would always be paired with Thad or ET which means that he would aways have the easier defensive assignment of the opponents SG-SF duo.

    Thad played 1 year in college, and Turner played 3. Of course, ET had a better college career and while that was going on Thad was in the NBA being an above average player. Turner has yet to even be average on a nightly basis, let alone above average. So what’s with this statement?

    “Turner has shown that his overall game is better than Thads”

    Is that for real, are you related to ET or his agent by chance? ET can pass the ball and grab uncontested defensive rebounds better than Thad, that is it. Scoring, Efficiency, Defense and Offensive rebounding are all Thad > ET

    Have you spent alot of time analyzing JRich’s cutting ability because I haven’t. I do know that DWright has averaged more shots at the rim per minute the last couple years and been a superior player by every metric. If the team wants leadership, we should sign Derek Fisher. Chemistry usually comes down to production and to a lesser extent, not overlapping talent in certain skill areas.

  6. Steve Toll
    10. October 2012 at 15:46


    This article is about maximizing the teams success, and based on my previous DC statements, you should be aware I don’t think that most of these things will happen.

    For the sake of conversation, Can you break down what is so wrong with points 4-9?

    I am especially interested in point 9, the rookies.

    How many MPG you think that Evan “MIP” Turner should be playing when I acknowledge he should get 30mpg and who will play point guard when Holiday is on the bench?

    What statistic can you show me that shows that I am wrong in my assessment of Wright>JRich>SwaagyP?

    I’d be interested in what you think should be the average MPG breakdown of all the players on the team.

    If Nick Young is a positive player for the team this year, I’ll be joining you in the cancer ward

  7. Mike
    10. October 2012 at 16:48

    “Would Denver trade Iggy for ET+Dorell Wright” <~~~ You lost ALL credibility with this Question! We just FINALLY got rid of Iggy yet you bring him up in trade scenarios???? WTF

  8. Jacob
    10. October 2012 at 16:50

    Absolutely none of those trades make any sense

  9. Steve Toll
    10. October 2012 at 17:21


    The Iggy trade was a joke, Denver would never do it


    Do the trades not make sense for Philly or the other teams?

  10. larry smith
    10. October 2012 at 19:39

    Here we go again’ with the Nick Young bull sh&t. Nick the bests man for the job. Nick Young don’t need to see the floor. When he will be running the floor. the kid can play ball. Just shut the hell up.

  11. Steve Toll
    10. October 2012 at 21:54

    Larry Smith,

    That is your opinion and that’s fine. The fact is, Nick Young has never been good (200 minutes of average playoff basketball isnt career defining) and that isnt likely to change this year. There is a specific role for him to play, on 2 for 1s at the end of quarters and end game scenarios where he can be subbed out on D.

    Between DWright, JRich, ET and Thad, who do you propose have their minutes limited so SwaggyP can play? It would also be nice to know, WHY you think that.

    If its production, please, show what you mean so that I can understand because there is nothing I have found that shows Nick Young to be a superior player thad, ET, Wright or JRich.

  12. es2300
    10. October 2012 at 21:55

    Steve, Thad Young is a liability on defense at both positions so to put him in as a starter would hurt the team, his scoring isn’t needed in the first unit plus his ball handling is horrible…so what would he be good for out there as a starter? just asking?

  13. Lennix
    11. October 2012 at 01:37

    good article, finally. not a fan of the trades in, even knowing the iggy one was a joke. I think turner could be a stud. its been said that jrue is going to get an extension so trading him isnt going to happen. Jrue IMO is the SG and ET is the point. Cant really prove that turner is a better pg besides his college game. Its funny because when we drafted jrue, he was a shooting guard in his lone season at UCLA and when we drafted turner he was a point guard. i feel we had their roles reversed last year on offense but it was more because we had to give iggy minutes. Turner is a better ball handler by far and probably would be the best rebounding pg(next to rondo)if that was his steady position.
    Im not goin off stats but by player makeup and where they succeed.
    Thad needs to start on this team. Our only glaring weakness is the pf spot which wouldve been fantastic if we had brand but his cap figure wasnt attractive. if he were a 7 mill player on this squad? we would be a top 4 team in the league…
    I say we let this team gel for a year, we still have the heat and celtics in our confrence. We can always go after jefferson and josh smith next offseason. josh smith would be ideal or any pf who can play defense night in night out.
    should be a very interesting, entertaining season.

  14. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 02:31


    While I’d like to take your word for it, I needed to look up some stuff to confirm everything you said.

    Usage is the % of offensive plays used by a player while on the court and Thad used up 21.7% of offensive possessions when he was on the court last season. He also played 27 minutes per game.

    3 times in the HISTORY of the NBA has a player had a usage of at least 21.7% and played 27mpg in a season and averaged less than 1 turnover per game.

    Thaddeus Young last season, Ryan Anderson last season and Michael Redd when he was 23

    27x in 2012 Thad took at least 12 shots in a game, he had 24 turnovers. In 2011, Thad took 12+ shots, 34x and he had 40 turnovers.

    So that is 61x shooting at least 12 shots in a game and 64 turnovers for Thad the past 2 seasons.

    Turner shot 12+ shots, 26 times in his first 2 seasons and had 52 turnovers in those games.

    The 76ers were 9.63 points better on offense with Thad in the game last year
    The 76ers were .65 points better on offense with Thad in the game last year

    If you take Thads lowest TS%, lowest Usage and highest Turnover % from his 5 seasons and combine them, this is what it looks like:
    52.3 True Shooting %, 17.4 Usage, 12.5 Turnover%

    Evan Turner last season
    47.8 True Shooting %, 20.3 Usage, 14.1 Turnover%

    Now for DEFENSE:

    The 76ers were 3.58 points better on defense when Thad Young was on the bench
    The 76ers were 4.25 points better on defense when Evan Turner was on the bench

    3.8% of possessions last season on defense ended with Thad getting a block or steal
    2.1% of possessions last season on defense ended with ET getting a block or steal

    If you google: Draft Express Thaddeus Young and Draft Express Evan Turner, you will see the statistics from each players measurements at the draft combine.

    Thad has a 3.5 inch bigger wingspan, a 2.5 inch higher standing reach, a 2.5 inch higher vertical and benched 185lbs 4 more times than Turner.

    Thad had a better 3/4 court sprint time by .08 seconds and both players had the exact same lane agility time.

    Turner was 2 years 8 months older than Thad was at his draft combine

    If Thad is a liability on defense it is either because he isn’t intelligent or doesn’t try on defense, not because he isn’t an elite athlete.

    In 2006 Thad was a Senior in HS, he lived in Memphis and was a consensus top 5 recruit in the nation, a McDonald’s All-American and Gatorade Tennessee player of the year. He had a weighted GPA of 4.3

    The Memphis Tigers finished the 06 season ranked #4 in the country and they had All-American Forward, Rodney Carney, who was drafted later that year by the 76ers, which opened up a lot of playing time at the position Thad played. The coach of that team was a guy named John Calipari.

    Thaddeus decided to attend Georgia Tech, a top 10 public university in regards to academics that just finished up a 11-17 basketball season that was 7+ hours from where he grew up.

    If Thad is a defensive liability, it must be because lack of effort…… Which means that he is the first “energy, spark, hustle” type guy in the NBA who didn’t give effort on defense.

    There is one other possibility, Thad was the smallest player in the NBA to log regular minutes at PF.

    Thad doesn’t necessarily need to be the starter as long as he plays in the mid-high 20s a game at SF.

  15. Jacob
    11. October 2012 at 07:06

    @steve, for the other teams

  16. NickYOungLOL
    11. October 2012 at 07:50


  17. the super villain
    11. October 2012 at 08:55

    es2300 – saying Thad Young is a defensive liability makes me think:

    a) you are under 13 years of age

    b) you’ve never watched a full NBA game

    c) you are a generally delusional person

  18. Eric
    11. October 2012 at 11:25

    Steve, please hear me out.

    Every time you write an article, I cringe in disgust and anguish because I know exactly what’s going to happen. You will make me upset at least 3 times an article and make me want to punch my computer screen. I am very scared for the sake of my beloved Sixers because I heard that they might have hired you as a consultant to DiLeo. I will tell you why I don’t enjoy your articles.


    You are a great stat person and I commend you for taking the time to look up all of the stats that you post on here. Partly because no normal person has the time to look that stuff up anyway. But basketball is not played by the numbers, it is played on the court. Let me go into detail now from this one article.

    I don’t understand why you are so critical of the moves we made this offseason. Is Bynum not a superior upgrade over Andre Iguodala? Would you rather have an inept offensive player who can’t dribble or shoot or would you rather have one of the best (if not the best) centers in the game today who is only 24 years old? Are J-Rich, D-Wright, and Nick Young not EXACTLY what we need? For many years the Sixers have had horrible shooting teams but we finally get not 1, not 2, but 3 good shooters and you still complain? Are you just mad because the Sixers did the right thing and traded that bum Iggy?

    4.) Why would we start Thad over Turner at the 3? If we did that then we are taking away one of our best kept secrets: a strong, energetic scoring punch at the 4 who creates mismatches every single night. Have you seen Thad shoot threes? Have you seen him defend the perimeter? Thad is a very unique and special talent that should be used just like he’s always been used, off the bench.

    6.) What is with your hatred of Nick Young? Yeah I understand that he is a gunner but that gives you no right to disrespect his talent. Dorell Wright is better than J-Rich and Nick Young STATISTICALLY. Do you remember his magical 1st year in Golden State? What happened after that? Exactly, he fell COMPLETELY off the map. J-Rich gives you consistency, a nice 3 point stroke, and maturity. Nick Young gives you a crazy scoring punch. Dorell Wright gives you a taller Jodie Meeks and that’s that.

    9.) Your stat-heavy analysis is really getting old at this point. Your stats are obviously bad omens for Moultrie but have you seen him play? You probably haven’t noticed his athletic ability, shooting stroke, rebounding, and super effective spin move that he does at the top of the free throw line. I bet you’ve never seen him play.

    10.) This part is just plain nasty and repulsive. Why would the Thunder trade a top 10 player who is only 23 for Jrue, Thad, and Lavoy? Why on God’s green earth would the Jazz trade a top 4 center for that stiff spencer hawes and nick young (WHO YOU COMPLETELY BLASTED EARLIER. WAY TO RAISE HIS TRADE VALUE STEVE). Why would Denver give up their prized acquisition Iggy????? They just pried him off our hands!!!!! Again, you have to stop this love affair with Iggy. WE SPENT 8 YEARS TRYING TO GET RID OF HIM AND NOW YOU WANT HIM BACK????

    Steve, please listen to me. Stop writing articles for this site because you are making us Philly fans look stupid.

  19. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 14:49


    If stats don’t matter in basketball, tell me who is the best player in the NBA without using any statistics, ok???

    Thad shot 34.4% from 3 on 300+ attempts in the two seasons prior to Doug Collins’ arrival. Please read my comments to ES2300 about Thad vs Turner at SF

    Nick Young is terrible. The reason Dorell Wright played less in 2012 had everything to do with the drafting of Klay Thompson and the quality of play from Brandon Rush, which was elite, go look it up on basketball reference or thenbageek.

    Jodie Meeks is superior to Nick Young, so calling DWright a taller version of Nick Young helps to make my point.

    In regards to Arnett Moultrie you had me at “have you seen his spin move he does at the top of the free throw line?”, are you aware the free throw line is 15 feet away from the basket? Regardless of that, with an effective spin move he should be an All-Star.

    The first and last trades were a joke, the middle 2 were more serious. If Al Jefferson is a top 4 Center, please tell me which of this group he is better than and why: Howard, Bynum, Chandler, Noah, Garnett, Monroe, Gortat, Cousins, Bosh, Horford and I believe me, I can list more guys.

    Al Jefferson is an elite offensive PF, who gets annihilated on defense at the 5. Hawes fits well with Millsap, Favors, Kanter and is relatively cheap. Nick Young is a gunner on an expiring contract. It’s not a particularly good deal for the 76ers in the long run but it is for this season.

  20. freezer
    11. October 2012 at 15:45

    I like the roation I think you gave way to many minutes to spencer and lavoy. lavoys prob gettin like ten a game and spence is prob on his way out hell prob get 18-20 mins per game, with thad playing the 4 alot more then you would like.
    The hatred you have for thad at the 4 is alittle perplexing, for me its quite simple that doug collins has figured out that thad gets pretty much all his points in the open floor. Thats why he plays there and thats why collins thinks him and bynum will be successful. I think the weakness the team showed last year with thad at the 4 wasnt necessarily his fault hes not an interior defender and never will be. Now with bynum in the equation collins is probably thinking i have a monster shot blocker rebounder who can overpower any big in the league, now i dont have to worry about guys like brandon bass looking like shaq and thad can just beat his man down the floor everytime.

  21. es2300
    11. October 2012 at 16:40

    Steve, the super villan

    Im a fan that watches the games, did you see what taj gibson did to thad in the playoffs or maybe a few years back when turk and rlewis took turns cutting our hearts out with thad as the defender…look I understand that you like thad over et but he’s a liability in the starting lineup he’s an undersized 4 and a not so athletic 3….his game is what it is, he’s better suited for the second team.

  22. Eric
    11. October 2012 at 17:30


    Let me tell you something about statistics. Statistics are a great way to back up what you see on the court, but they should not be in the front of your arguments. If I think LeBron James is the best player in the NBA then is should be because I watch him play, then i should find stats to back me up, but they are sometimes misleading. Just because Stephon Marbury averaged 9 assists per game one season, does that make him a willing passer? No it doesn’t. You use statistics for the SOLE ARGUMENT. You should actually have an opinion first, and then back it up with stats. You look at Andre Iguodala’s PER and all of that crap and have an orgy about it calling him a “future HOF”. Please, don’t disrespect MJ, Magic, and Bird.

    The average 3pt% in the NBA is 35%. If Thad shoots 34.4% then he is below average. And what was Thad’s 3pt% during Collins’ reign as coach? I don’t care about what Thad did before Doug was here, I want to know what he is doing now.

    Now I know you don’t watch basketball based on your comments about Dorell Wright. LOLOLOLOL. If you saw what transpired in Golden State, Mark Jackson played Thompson and Rush more because Wright sucked so badly. The first year in GS, Wright looked so amazing for two reasons: ANYBODY that plays 38 mpg on a fast-paced team like the Warriors is bound to have a career year. And secondly, the Warriors sucked that year, like always.


    Now you are a very disrespectful and naive person. A player can make a spin more anywhere they want on the court. It is called a spin jumper if performed at mid range, genius. Kobe Bryant is the master at using the spin jumper. Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade both have signature spin jumpers as well. But spin jumpers don’t show up in the stat sheet, so you probably don’t know anything about how these players play. Again, this proves that you put too much stock into stats rather than watching people play.

    The reason why you say the 2 trades were a joke because you realized too late that they were dumb.

    My centers list:
    1. Dwight Howard (elite defender, rebounder, and athlete)
    2. Andrew Bynum (unstoppable offensively and solid D)
    3. Marc Gasol (cagey passer, terrific glue guy, great D)
    4. Tyson Chandler (defensive anchor, high % shooter)
    5. Al Jefferson (second best offensive center in the NBA)
    KG & Bosh are not true centers. Joakim Noah is too injury prone to be taken seriously. Monroe & Cousins are below Jefferson. Horford is not better than Jefferson. Let me tell you why Al Jefferson is 5th best. When you have a player as unstoppable on the block as Big Al, you have gold right there. There are virtually no other players like him except for Bynum and Brook Lopez. Did you see how Zach Randolph absolutely demolished the Spurs 2 years ago without Rudy Gay? If you have an unstoppable force on the low block, everything else will fall into place easier.

    Remember a basic rule Steve, if you offer a team a trade that you wouldn’t accept yourself, then don’t even bother. If I were the Jazz, why would I trade a beast like Jefferson for a stiff like Hawes and a “horrible player” like Nick Young? How will my team get any better? You have to think about both sides of the deal not just yourself.

    I remember a senseless article you wrote not too long ago where you basically said Ersan Ilyasova was more valuable than Andrew Bynum. You lost all credibility in the basketball blogging world at that very moment. You see, you think too much about cap space and value and stats and yadda yadda yadda. Bynum gives us a chance to win NOW at the best position to have a superstar in. Will Ilyasova or Varejao ever get us to a conference finals if we swapped Bynum for them? I don’t think so. It is impossible to get good players for reasonable prices nowadays. People like James Harden are about to make the max next season because that’s how the NBA works. Sorry fella, but you’re not getting a superstar player for 50 cents on the dollar. Even for a player like the caliber of Eric Gordon, you better be paying the max if you want to see him in your team uniform next season.

    So Steve again I beg you to stop writing articles on here. Philly already has a bad reputation as fans in this country. Please don’t help the stereotype by spreading your nonsense with us. I consider myself I realist and a basketball purist. Just watch a basketball game dude. Basketball is not like baseball where moneyball GM tactics are perfect because baseball is an individualistic and stat-driven sport. Do you see baseball diehards go crazy over hit totals and ERA? Basketball is the complete opposite, where you have to watch the games in order to truly understand how it works. You should write for baseball, not basketball.

  23. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 17:54


    Brand was superior to Bynum on defense last season, so I don’t understand your point about the defense and “protecting” Thad, the smallest player in the NBA to play regular minutes at PF.

    Hawes played 25 mpg in the regular season last year, same as the playoffs. Lavoy played 15mpg in the regular season and 19 in the playoffs.

    By your approximation, they will play 30mpg total this season after averaging 40mpg in the regular season and 44’mpg in the playoffs last year.

    Basketball is about getting your best guys on the court, under your scenario, Nick Young will be playing 25+ minutes per game that could be going to Hawes and Lavoy. That would be a terrible outcome for the team, agree or disagree?

  24. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 18:16


    I think that you’re spot on about ET at Point and Jrue at the 2 as I’ve made mention of that before as a realistic scenario.

    Turner is going to take a major drop in defensive rebounds this season, as Bynum is a truly dominant defensive rebounder. ET is a underdog to have 4 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes this season after averaging 5.4 DREBs in 26 mpg last year

    ET was among the worst offensive rebounders in the NBA last season, with 27 in 1700 minutes.

    I’m not going to elaborate but if you watched a lot of 76er games, ET grabbed uncontested defensive rebounds like his life depended on it

  25. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 20:20


    You referred to Thad as a “not so athletic 3”, so what do you think of Turner who considerably less athletic than Thad? Or do you want to disregard the draft combine numbers where Thad completely outperforms ET, is physically bigger and 32 months younger at the time of his measurements.

    Other than, Lebron and Durant, Rudy Gay is one of the most athletic SFs in the NBA. If you read http://philadunkia.com/?p=6972
    You will find a comparison between Thad and Rudy Gay on athleticism and Thad stands up pretty well against one of the most athletic and highest performing SFs in the NBA

  26. Steve Toll
    11. October 2012 at 20:30


    You still didnt answer my question. Explain to me that Lebton (or whoever you think) is the best player in the NBA without using stats.

    Until then, I feel a rebuttal would be premature.

  27. Eric
    11. October 2012 at 21:42

    Hello, Steve?

    Did you think you could escape me? You didn’t respond to me even though I was the last person to address you.

    If that’s your way to admit defeat then you don’t have to answer me then. I already embarrassed you enough in front of everybody.

  28. Mickey
    11. October 2012 at 22:16

    Booooy were you right about Nick Young… This article lost all its credibility after the first preseason game.

  29. Lennix
    11. October 2012 at 23:20

    i believe he will have more rebounds this year with bynum in the paint. Bynum will always have a body on him when the ball is in the air, always. What player on our team was good on the offensive boards? we were in the bottom half of the league in that aspect. if you’re going to use stats, even collecting those uncontested rebounds count. you cant ultimately use to stats as accurate projections that often, especially when a team like ours made a big change. it’s not fair. Turner has a nose for the ball and finds his way to them. he didnt avg 9 in college because the ball was just landing in his hands. He had an up and down year with minutes so its hard to use stats for a player like turner. Im not sold on him quite yet until i actually am able to see this team play on tv or at wells fargo. I think if anything his number of boards will stay the same or go up. Im not so sure about starting thad or giving him 6th man yet either. There is a philosophy that we will have to approach once the team chemistry goes up and its still wayy too early to tell what statistical projections will occur. this team has a special case as it basically is all new starters and bench so its hard to give any outlook. you couldve easily predicted igoudala having a year that he had last year, i think he’ll have the same year statistically with a maybe a little bump. The nuggets are definitely legit and will win the season opener against us and you know why? they added igoudala without losing anyone and the team chemistry is there already. they just added a team player and filled a void at the wing position. The sixers have a complete blank slate compared to the nuggets. we have one returning starter in jrue and im not counting hawes because he is playing a position he’s never played before. I know there will be speculation coming. I dont want to hear about stats unless they are absolutely needed. Its like, mike miller and shane battier in the finals last season. They probably weren’t high in per or whatever but they made shots when it counted, due to team chemistry (and well LeBron being a beast at everything including finding an open man). point is, i believe this team has something special and its always great when you can add three above average three point shooters and a big man that can command double teams. was it you that said that you can tell the best players in the league that can command double teams? well we have one now and 3 new floor spreaders. their per wont be high but they are going to be there when we need a 3, i think that should count for something

  30. Lennix
    11. October 2012 at 23:34

    and i’d liek to also say that its easy to just watch lebron play and see he is the best in the game. Yeah his stats are filthy, hence the historical year last season. The guy is a freak, top 10 athlete int he whole world. He has that,”oh shit he has the ball” factor. you dont need a calculator to see he is a gifted player/athlete. overall stats can be misleading as well however. Rondo, I feel, is a potential MVP candidate this year. only 11 ppg but does that really matter? he does everything amazingly well besides shoot. He wins ball games for the most part. again what im trying to say is that its not hard to tell by stats if there is a great player. if numbers didnt exist, you could easily tell those two players alone that they are high quality. Also, in basketball if youre the type to count your stats youre not a team player. the stat thing can get a little out of hand, not that i dont disagree. like i said ive read moneyball once or twice. I understand that importance of stats but that doesnt mean they cant be misleading. take some stats with a grain of salt or take talent for what it is worth.

  31. Steve Toll
    12. October 2012 at 01:52


    Rondo hasn’t been a very good defensive player last 2 seasons, the team was better on defense when he was on then bench and he can’t shoot and he is an assist diva. Having 3 all time great shooters has ridiculously inflated his perception to the masses. Abusing Jeff Teague, Mario Chalmers and Holiday also added to the hype.

    Bynum averaged 8.8 defensive rebounds a game next season. We can safely assume that there will be 35 defensive rebounds available next season per game, there is obviously a nonzero chance that ET duplicates his rebounding numbers from last season but I’d safely give 100:1 odds on ET having a equal or better rebound rate this season compared to last season


    You still didnt answer my question. Explain to me that Lebton (or whoever you think) is the best player in the NBA without using stats.

    Until then, I feel a rebuttal would be premature, but I will give you a preview: YOU ACTUALLY SAID “Bynum, Brook Lopez and Al Jefferson are the 3 most unstoppable offensive Centers in the NBA.”

    Seriously, If I made that statement, it would be considered by everyone to be the most ridiculous thing that I have ever written about basketball in their opinion. That wasn’t even the most idiotic thing that you wrote.

    Please answer my question and Ill prepare my Chewbacca defense

  32. Lennix
    12. October 2012 at 21:59

    assist diva is a thing?please give me better details on that. ive heard a lot of things but someone who is willing to pass the ball is a diva? that doesnt make much sense to me and you forgot jeremy lin too. first off,if jason kidd says he is the best point guard in the game, i think ill go with that opinion. second, the celtics were one of the best defensive teams in the league so i dont know why thats even brought up. he’s a pretty good defender, if not great. Lebron had great shooters around him too. thats how you win,by knowing where the shooters are on your team. All my argument was that you dont necessarily need stats to know who is great on the floor, those were just two examples. chris paul, kevin durant, derrick rose? no brainers that they have talent if youre watching a game. ill watch with girls that have no clue as to what basketball is but they do point out players like that. its just obvious. you need stats for a player like igoudala, yeah he fills up the stat sheet but lets be honest it tends to go unnoticed for a reason. hence why philly didnt like him, which is dumb but it comes with philly fan territory; you dont drop 20 points but do the little things to fill up the stat sheet making that money? you go unnoticed. people dont buy tickets to see a man play defense! nonbandwagon fans do and appreciate an iggy but the average fan wants a superstar. its just how it is.
    Turner will be fine on the boards. I did watch about 90% of the games last year and of those games turner was one of our best rebounders hands down, i mean when he ws in. youre prob just a turner hater i guess. he got that average as a bench player,so now hes a starter his average will dip? im not too sure about that. just because you say it doesnt mean its true haha

  33. Lennix
    12. October 2012 at 22:58

    oh yeah turner had 349 defensive boards in 1700+ minutes at the guard/small forward position. the only player to have more was lebron james with 398 and 600 more minutes. so yeah. im starting to think you dont watch..

  34. Steve Toll
    12. October 2012 at 23:20


    I like a lot of your comments, and that was a super strong finish by you. Respect.

    Rondo spent his career surrounded by elite jump shooters, like all time elite. How often do you see Rondo attack the rim and pass up a layup to kick it out for a 15ft jumper? If Holiday did that, people would go crazyyyyyy.

    There is no debating that he is a good player but out him on a team without all time great players creating ridiculous space, and he isn’t nearly as effective.

    Bass and Garnett shot 48% from 16-23 feet last season on 11 attempts per game, that is absurd.

    Rondo hasn’t been better than ~average on defense for 2 seasons.

    Now To dispute your point, I think Bosh is the 2nd best player in the NBA because Miami almost lost when he got hurt and won the Championship when he played, also he is paid the same as Lebron and he is bigger, Wade is probably better than Lebron cause he won more rings and Lebron came to him. If Lebron was better Wade would of went to Cleveland.

    Tyson Chandler is the best player in the NBA because Dallas won 2 seasons agoand C in the most important position, he left and Dallas didn’t win.

    Please tell me how I am wrong without using stats

  35. Lennix
    13. October 2012 at 01:12

    Maybe i should assess that doc rivers is a top 3 coach in the league and Rondo is great at being a coach on the court. That is fair to say about rondo if he doesnt have a team around him but it’s also not ever going to happen. Celtics know what theyre doing in the FO. I think celtics are a top 5 team in the east and if they finish in the top 2, rondo will be the reason and will be a mvp canidate. What would this celtics team been able to do had they not traded for rondo? I assure you their success would not have been as great. They still wouldve been amazing but Rondo is a perfect peice for that puzzle. He’s just straight up great and this is coming from a sixers fan who hates the celtics. All i need to say is that Rondo is what you want in a point guard; pass first, shoot second mentality, do whatever it takes to win, get the whole team involved, find the open man(bass plus he and garnett perfected the pick and pop). also when you have a DPOY in garnett guarding the rim, it can be easy to let your defender go by for a contested shot. If rondo wasnt playing defense, Doc wouldnt be playing him. Im done with that lol
    I dont know if jrue is there just yet. Once jrue learns how to distribute the ball i believe he would be a gary payton type and i think thats an excellent comparison. I think jrue doesnt get enough credit for his defense. He’s not fast like payton either but i like the comparison, ive been saying it since his rookie season.

    Nobody in their right mind would go to cleveland as a free agent (Wade, Bosh) when Miami is clearly a more favorable destination. I look at it this way, LeBron never went to college. in my mind he shouldve somehow convinced melo to stay another year at syracuse, win a championship. he still would be #1 pick even if he were to get hurt. James, I feel, went to miami because he never was able to get away from his hometown. This could be an excuse but it could be true. Who really knows? When your hometown football team is the color of shit i think it aptly describes the city. PLus, no state taxes in florida! LeBron had every opportunity to take a max contract(bosh and wade did too) but decided to be part of a 3 headed monster. do we all hate them for it? yeah of course. sacrifice some money to put yourself in history books bywinning a championship? be remembered forever? Priceless. When your shoe is selling for $300, money is not an issue. I dont believe that LeBron was happy in cleveland, its not like he was able to choose the spot he wanted to be drafted by. I dont like lebron and could care less how he feels but it seemed like Cleveland was getting on his nerves. Like he was trapped in an invisible box.
    Bosh was drafted before Wade and James before both of them(obviously) There is two reasons i hate sixer front office; Elton Brand and not drafting Cousins. Elton Brand money could have been saved for a rainy day or used on Josh Smith. I wanted to keep Andre Miller that year also because smith fit in perfect with his type of style but that was a pipe dream. I remember the day we signed Brand. I remember for a whole year i was convinced we were going to go after Jsmooth. It wouldve been a whole lot easier than prying Elton away from the clippers and giving him 80 mill. imagine if we signed smith instead? id gladly give him that money we amnestied elton, no problem, but we would be in totally diff scenarios and i really would bet we wouldve kept iggy. Ive written 10 page papers to the sixers about how they fucked that one up. Anyway, that money for a rainy day couldve been stashed for a bit and who knows that money couldve been Bosh money. Had that happened, yes i would say in our system and yes with igoudala and the rest of our past sixers still around Bosh wouldve been the second best big man in the league. Hes a pure scorer, plays way above avg defense. Number one option on just about every team in this league. He’s a great fit in miami because you cant win in this league without a big man, we know this. LeBron knows how to utilize just about anything given to him. Put him on the suns? PLayoff team. Put him on the bobcats? playoff team. LeBron James is just that good. IMO the sixers should do whatever they can to keep bynum, keep him healthy, let everyone walk, and give a max contract to him when his is done in Miami. Use the rest of that money for shooters and role players. blah blah, pipe dream but i can dream cant i? I think when he signed that contract i came up with the new sixer formula for winning. The 5 year plan: Wait for Lebrons contract to expire. ha. Back to the bosh idea, bosh cannot carry a team, if he could the raptors wouldve been relavent regardless the team surrounding him. LeBron took the cavs to the finals with role players and veterans. Look what happened when they left! Number one pick in the next draft. Kyrie Irving is the real deal btw. If they got bynum? cavs would be relevant again. Bosh is now a product of james and Wade. The Heat will win the finals this year, if they dont i owe you a coke.

    in 2010 i wanted to trade dalembert, even elton brand to the bobcats for Tyson Chandler. I believed everyone let him fly under the radar where i saw him as an elite defender, even though he was hurt. Brand was hurt as well so it didnt matter to me. I still believe that not having dalembert last season killed any hopes of us winning in the playoffs. I was adamant on this site about signing dalembert again. I know he wouldnt have but its worth a try i felt. I say this because i felt our team last year had everything but a shot blocker in the middle that could slow down, i repeat SLOW down players like garnett and howard granted we face them in the playoffs. This of course assuming we make the playoffs. Dalembert guarding the middle and collecting boards is exactly what we were missing, brand wouldve been great next to him too. last year was a fluke and we all know it. I didnt even want to make the playoffs bc becoming a lottery team seemed more legit than losing to the bulls, but rose got hurt and all of a sudden we have hope. total fluke. Yes i wouldve rather taking a .000-1300 chance of getting anthony davis than playoffs. thats how mad i was at this team. A player like sammy wouldve made us a top 5 team i feel, esp with the shortened season. Now the mavs made a trade i couldnt believe for chandler because i know offering brand or sammy was more than whatever the mavs gave up. matt carrol and najera were involved? seriously. Not to say that the mavs and last years sixers were similar but watching the two teams play, they were somewhat similar in make up. Dirk is just a sixer killer by trait. lets say iggy to marion is like Dirk to lou williams. get the idea? You add a shot blocker to these two teams, you have something special.

    Side note i still want this team *sammy-jsmooth, thad, iggy andre mlller – Lou off the bench tell me thats not not an ideal lineup for defensive efficiency with miller leading the way on offense. smh

  36. Fu
    13. October 2012 at 22:53


    I enjoyed your article, thanks.

    I have a few questions for you:

    1. If the only way to assert who is the best player in the league is refering to stats, why do we hold a MVP vote each year? Shouldn’t it be a computer naming the MVP based purely on statsheets? I also wonder why the MVP never gets unanymous votes.

    2. We all agree that stats only tend to show by numbers what the performance on the court was, right? It does not show future perf, nor can it be exhaustive as to past performance. Does that suffice to say that relying ONLY on stats seems limited, as clearly demonstrated by Lennix with some examples above?

    3. Lastly – and sorry for my ignorance – how do stats take into account the synergy among players, coach, etc.? I am sure there should be something for you being so asssertive sometimes, but obviously I m not a stat expert as you and I would appreciate your guidance. So you understand my question, it is always very difficult to anticipate how two or more players will connect in the next season or how the coahch will be able to use a player’s full potential. For instance the new-look Lakers, but also last year with the Amare-Carmelo duo who was not as succesful as predicted. How do stats can help anticipate that? And how can one judge a player based on his current stats (given his current team, coach and teamates) in an absolute way? Would Leblond be the unanimous no1 if he had stay in Cleveland and somehow did not find a way to capture a NBA title yet?

    Thanks for your thoughts on that. Cheers.

  37. Steve Toll
    14. October 2012 at 14:31


    1. The MVP, All-NBA, All-Defensive team are done quite horribly. Most Improved Player is usually so bad, that it’s almost unbelievable.

    The MVP was Lebron, and he was the Defensive Player of the Year. Tyson Chanlder won DPOY and the argument could be made for Noah>Chandler.

    Shaquille O’Neal won 1 MVP

    Kobe, who was essentially a negative player this season, was 4th in MVP voting and Derrick Rose, who missed tons of games was 11th in voting.

    The Chicago Bulls were the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, had the best defense in NBA.

    Luol Deng played 54 games, he was named All-NBA defense and was 9th in DPOY voting. Joakim Noah played 64 games and didn’t receive 1 DPOY vote, he didn’t make All-NBA or All-Defense

    Iguodala played 63 games for the 3rd ranked defense, he got 2x the points that Deng did in DPOY voting and wasn’t on the All-Defensive team.

    Here what the all NBA team should have looked like:
    CP3, Nash, Lawson were the all NBA PGs

    Wade, Harden, Lebron, Durant, Iggy were the All NBA wings

    Love, Griffin, Noah, Chandler, Howard, RAnderson, Bynum, Gortat were the All NBA bigs

    The Most Improved Player should havebeen Nik Pekovic, he went from not good to very good in 1 year. The MIP is often “what good player has been underplayed but now gets the right amount of playing time”

    Kenneth Faried will win Most Improved Player this season, the NBA might as well give him the award today.

    2. I don’t think Lennix made any points that I can’t absolutely refute.

    Lets pretend that you are not allowed to watch basketball this season or highlights and have 0 knowledge on what happened at all with NBA basketball. Everyday you are given a list of who is playing. There are no match ups and only healthy players are listed. You need to pick 1 player each game day as your pick for who will have the best game.

    Is it safe to assume that at the end of the season your list will be almost exclusively: Lebron, Durant, CP3, Love and Dwight Howard????

    If that is the case, you have your answer for number 2.

    3. That is a very long and complicated answer. In short, Coaches are more likely to screw things up than to be a positive or neutral. Talent has a huge influence on the view of a coach.

    For example, Scotty Brooks essentially handed the NBA title to Lebron by playing Perkins so much in the series and he is considered an elite coach. Brooks finally had to make an adjustment in the most important series of his career but he let Hubris get in the way.

    A healthy Lakers team will absolutely be the best team in the NBA, assuming that Kobe doesn’t shoot 30x a game in the playoffs and knows his role which is as the 4th best player on the team.

    At this point in their careers Melo > Amare at Power Forward and Melo at PF > Melo at SF. The Knicks would be better off if Amare played 10 minutes a game, with Camby, Brewer, Kidd, and Novak/a healthy Shumpert on the court with him.

    The better a player is the easier it is for him to become part of a team. There is more adjustment necessary when there is an overlap in certain skills aka Lebron+Wade.

    In reality, the biggest difference between 11′ and 12, was Lebron playing more PF (a great decision by Spoelstra) and recognizing that the Heat were his team and not defer to DWade. Regardless, they were still the best team in the NBA the past 2 seasons.

    There is a way to judge relative value and Yes, Lebron would be considered the best player in the NBA if he played on any team.

    How long do you think it will take for Dwight, Bynum and Iguodala to look like they have been on their new teams for years? The answer is probably from the moment they step on the court. The reason is because there 3 are awesome basketball players.

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