Posted by: Philadunkia
09/20/13 2:04 pm EST

76erscrystalballIt’s time to take your mind off last night’s Eagles debacle for a minute and read the latest edition of Philadunkia 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5”.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that uses?”

Well, as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

After the jump four Philadunkia scribes will address four timely 76ers topics.


1)  MCW1 or Tony Wroten — coming out of camp, who wins the starting PG job for the Sixers?

Jeff McMenamin:  Neither.  I believe that Evan Turner should be the starting PG on this team.  This is a contract year for Turner.  If the Sixers want to get anything for him at the trade deadline, then he has to increase his averages.  If it works out, the Sixers can hopefully trade him for extra picks in next year’s draft or a young piece to develop. If not, the Sixers will likely lose anyway so there’s no harm done. MCW and Wroten have plenty of time to develop.

Steve Toll:  Tony Wroten.  This is a slam dunk.  Wroten is 18 months younger than MCW and has more upside.  Any optimism about MCW rightly disappated at Summer League.  Wroten will take his lumps but a true genius, like Sam Hinkie, is fully aware of how unimportant the Point Guard position is.  Hinkie and BB are going to put the better basketball player on the court.

C. Smith:  Wroten.  I believe the Sixers staff will give Carter-Williams every opportunity to win the starting PG job, but he won’t be able to grab it and take command, because he’s not ready to be a starter in theis League.  So Wroten will end up as the starting lead guard on opening night.  And I’m okay with that for now.  I really like Wroten’s size, skill set and athleticism.  Additionally he has some NBA experience and that will be beneficial as things on offense break down early and often every game for this team.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain:  Michael Carter-Williams.  You have to think that our own 2013 lottery pick will be given starter status, especially considering the circumstances of the season.  It would be worth the organization’s while to see what the kid can do playing with and against other NBA starters.  If his poor play contributes to lots of losses, they can move on in a different direction, and hey, loosing is part of the plan this season anyway.  Wroten was a great addition in the fact that he will be able to challenge MC-W every day in practice.  The two players are extremely similar in size and skill set at this point, and both players will benefit from going head-to-head on a daily basis.  In a throwaway season, expect them both to see some major minutes, but Carter-Williams will likely be introduced as a starter on opening night.


2)  Dana O’Neil of Tweeted last week that Villanova assistant coach Billy Lange is likely joining to the Sixers coaching staff.  Good move or bad move?

Jeff McMenamin:  I don’t know much about Lange, but being that he’s a somewhat local guy (South Jersey) who’s coached with some of Philly’s finest college coaches (Herb McGee, Speedy Morris and Jay Wright), I’m a fan. The Sixers need a local guy on the team that can guide some of the fresh faces through the roots of Philly basketball and the passion the city holds for the sport. Jay Wright was once quoted stating, “Billy Lange is one of the great young basketball coaches in the country.” As an assistant, that’s all I can ask for.

Steve Toll:  Insignificant until proven otherwise.   Villanova hasn’t had a player overachieve in a long time.  More often than not, they’ve had guys disappoint after coming in highly regarded.  How much, if any blame should be assigned to the new 76ers hire?  Probably not much but it’s all we really have to go off of.

C. Smith:  Okay move.  Everyone says he is a very good college coach and the NBA types respect his work.  Additionally, the Rockets franchise was enamored with him in the past.  All of those facts tell me he must being doing something right.  The Sixers will basically be a well paid college team next year, so why not bring in someone who has spent the last 9 years on campus and can relate to these youngsters.  However Villanova and the has produced ZERO NBA Draft picks since 2009.  How much of that is Lange’s fault (He came back to Nova in 2011.) is debatable, but it still raises a red flag for me.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain:  Good move.   By all accounts, the signing of Billy Lange would be a good move for the organization.  Lange has in-depth experience coaching at the collegiate level, and will be able to relate well to the incoming crop of young players the Sixers will be inevitably dealing with for the foreseeable future.  Credited by Jay Wright as being one of the best young coaches in the country, Lange has been able to garner respect from his players and peers alike and seems poised to take the next step in his coaching career.  While he could assist with the player development aspect, his collegiate coaching experience, both at the head and assistant coach level, could make him a valuable confidant to first-time NBA head coach Brett Brown.


3)  In this piece by Hangtime’s Jeff Caplan, it is mentioned that Roy Hibbert of the Pacers is giving Nerlens Noel low post tips. What is one low block move you want to see Noel develop ASAP? 

Jeff McMenamin:  Right now, Noel is way too skinny to be posting up anyone in this League. I think what Nerlens needs to work on is a solid jump hook. If he can find a way to use both hands then great, but right now his strong hand works for me. He just doesn’t have the physicality yet to be backing down opponents and using his body.

Steve Toll:  Sky Hook.  There is a reason that move is basically extinct and it’s because it’s nearly impossible to become proficient at.  If Noel managed to learn that near mythical move, and avoids injuries….. All-Star, All-NBA, NBA Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, Hall of Fame will be part of the life of Nerlens Noel.

C. Smith:  A Jump hook.  Noel is going toe a limited offensive asset for a long time, so he needs a go-to-move that can help him deliver 6-8 points a night in the half-court offense.  With his size, quickness and athleticism, the jump hook should be easy for Noel to learn and it could become a nice offensive weapon for the flat-top.  However, thanks to his rail thin frame, establishing position on the blocks that will allow him to put up a jump hook will be a huge challenge for Noel.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain:  Back-to-the-basket baby hook.  As far as Nerlens Noel is concerned, there is nothing I would love to see more than for him to develop some sort of post presence.  He may be a beast on the defensive end, but his overall value will be limited if he can’t contribute offensively. Namely, I would love to see Noel develop a back-to-the-basket baby hook.  If executed properly, the move is almost unstoppable; at least unblockable.  This was one of Shaq’s go-to moves during his days of domination, and a move that even Andrew Bynum is able to execute well (when he plays).  Adding this move to his repertoire would make Noel more of a viable option on the offensive end.


4) is currently running their #NBArank series and as we all know 5 Sixers were in the bottom 100 — Anderson, Brown, Kazemi, Ohlbrecht and of course “Mr. 500”, Royce White.  So who will be the highest ranked Sixers and where will his ranking fall?

Jeff McMenamin:  The highest ranked Sixers will likely be Thaddeus Young, Nerlens Noel and Evan Turner. I believe Young and Noel will break the top 150. Turner will be somewhere between 250-200.

Steve Toll:  Thad.  The undisputed best player on the 76ers will hit home at #66 on ESPN’s list, which is a solid 15 places too low.  Thad is an incredibly underrated player, which is why he is still in a 76er uniform.  Only a few months past 25th birthday when the season starts, he is the only thing standing in the way from this team being the undisputed Worst of All Time

C. Smith:  Thad.  Is there any doubt who the best player on this roster is right now?  I believe the ‘experts” involved with #NBArank will have him somewhere in the #50-55 range and to be honest that’s disrespectful.  Young is a very, very good player and the lack of attention he receives on the national scene is a joke.  He was the main reason (sorry Jrue) the Sixers were remotely competitive last year during DC’s meltdown season.  The problem in 2013-14 will be that Thad is the only Sixer opposing defenses will have to focus on.  Thus we may witness a decrease in his production because of the extra attention he will receive.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain:  Thaddeus Young.  In a year of two the honor may belong to Nerlens Noel, or some other franchise-saving lottery selection, but as currently constructed, Thaddeus Young will likely chart the highest on ESPN’s #NBARank.  The Worldwide Leader can’t rank Noel too high before he plays in a single NBA game, especially considering his injury issues. It is difficult to imagine that Evan Turner’s 2013-14 upside landed him too high of a spot on the list either, leaving Young as the Sixers only realistic candidate to land in the top 100.  Young is valued and versatile, and will likely be the statistical leader for the Sixers in several categories this season.  I would expect his rank to fall somewhere around 80th overall.


18 Responses to “PHILADUNKIA 4on4”

  1. Adam
    21. September 2013 at 02:18

    thad is def the best player on the team… but hes not one of the 60 best players in the league…. hes not underrated, everyone knows exactly what he is… and hes simply overrated by some philadelphians.

  2. Steven Toll
    22. September 2013 at 17:46


    Is it safe to assume that you think Jrue>Thad?

  3. Adam
    23. September 2013 at 11:52

    Toll, yes.

    Jrue has significantly more skills and could potentially be a 3rd best player on a title team. Jrue can create his own shot, defend a little and shoot with range.

    That is ONLY a high energy role player who can’t make plays with the ball. He’s barely a starter on a title team, and that’s only if he is the 4th or 5th option….

    Yeah, he’s more efficient than jrue, but he’s not as good, and can’t play at the same level. If Thad had the same level of responsibility that jrue had, he would fold, cause he doesn’t have the skills.

  4. Steve Toll
    23. September 2013 at 18:59
    RAPM: Jrue +.7, Thad +3.02
    Synergy Sports also rates Thad as a superior defender

    Think what you’d like and say what you’d like, but every bit of publicly available data says you are wrong

  5. Jon in LA
    23. September 2013 at 19:25

    Well this will be the year to see if Thad can be the best player on a team since it’s essentially the same team minus Jrue. Curious to see how he plays being the number one guy.

  6. Adam
    24. September 2013 at 01:24

    when was the last time thad made a play with the ball? when was the last time thad created his own shot? hes short and weak for a pf… and his jumper hasnt been remotely legit since a short stretch in his 2nd year in the league.

    thad was better at his role as an energy player than jrue was as the best player on a terrible team…. but overall jrue is the better basketball player.

  7. Rob h
    24. September 2013 at 03:26

    Thad’s efficiency ratings are in for a long ride this year. Now that jrue as gone he will get exactly what jrue got last year, keyed in on. A rude awakening for toll.

  8. Steve Toll
    24. September 2013 at 13:32

    Jon in LA,

    So you are choosing to disregard Dorell Wright: and J-Rich’s contributions for the first 17 games of the year, when the 76ers went 9-8 over 12H/5A?

    Your thoughts alone on this are proof enough you can’t judge basketball talent


    That is your opinion and probably right….. considering how much I’ve failed this past year

  9. Jon in LA
    24. September 2013 at 17:22


    I don’t get your point. Are you saying that losing Dorell Wright and J-Rich will impact how Thad plays this year?

  10. Adam
    24. September 2013 at 18:46

    Toll, non of those highlights were impressive, and in all his scoring plays, he was the recipient, he didn’t make the play for himself.

  11. Joe
    25. September 2013 at 08:44

    Glad we’re back to the age-old debate of whether Thad > Jrue or vice versa. I really don’t think this has been discussed nearly enough on this blog. Steve Toll could you just remind me of your arguments again please? They’re fascinating, original and really not repetitive at all.

  12. Steve Toll
    25. September 2013 at 14:20

    Jon in La,

    “Well this will be the year to see if Thad can be the best player on a team since it’s essentially the same team minus Jrue”

    When you inevitably point out the 76ers W-L record next year, and say “it’s essentially the same team”, you’ll know that your FOS because DWright’s season contributions and J-Rich’s early season contributions count for MUCH more than you give credit for.

    I do expect Thad to have some trouble this year inside on offense, and having the worst outside shooting team in the league will have much to do with that


    haaaaaaa That is your opinion

  13. Adam
    25. September 2013 at 17:18

    Thad just isn’t a guy u can count on for scoring. Especially in a half court offense… His ball handling is piss poor, and his jump shot is shaky on its best day. He keeps defenses honest when they aren’t focusing on him, but if he’s a teams best player, he will struggle and look for his efficiency numbers to take a hard dive.

  14. Joe
    25. September 2013 at 17:50

    Steve Toll,

    JRich had a PER of 12.6 and a WS48 of 0.07 last season. Hardly what anyone would call much of a contribution is it?

  15. Jon in LA
    25. September 2013 at 19:16


    It sounds like you are making excuses already.

    “DWright’s season contributions and J-Rich’s early season contributions count for MUCH more than you give credit for.”

    DWright only started 8 games and averaged only 22 mins. JRich played 33 games total. So losing a bench player (albeit a solid one) and a guy that only played a third of the season, is pretty much the same team. And why did you selectively chose the first 17 games? Any how do you know how much credit I gave to those guys before accusing me of not giving them any?

    I’m just saying, I’m curious to see how he does being our main guy this year. I like Thad a lot. It’s his team now. I hope he can get even better.

  16. Steve Toll
    27. September 2013 at 00:24


    Check out J-Rich’s splits the first 17 gameswhen the 76er went 9-8 and then get back to me.

    Jon in LA,

    I’m talking about overall W-L record.

  17. Joe
    27. September 2013 at 12:55

    Steve Toll,

    Okay, so that would be from the point in the season when Jrue’s contribution to the team was greater than JRich’s, right?

  18. Adam
    28. September 2013 at 10:03

    Jrich was hitting shots at an unsustainable level. Which leveled out as the season went on….

    He was a nothing more than an inefficient shot jacker for most of the season before he got hurt.

    And he can’t defend anybody.

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