Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Did You know Philadelphia has a Pro Basketball Team?

I bet you didn’t. Or you forgot. Or you've been suppressing the memories of a terrible 2009 campaign deep into the recesses of your mind. But check it, this year’s team really can’t be any worse – or more importantly – any more frustrating to watch as the Eddie Jordan-led Sixers.

Yesterday Sixers training camp began and Kate Fagan wrote a great article on Using her words as inspiration, we've taken a few of the best parts from the article and added a little of TheWizWit commentary you've become accustomed to.  After the jump, we touch on a few players, a little philosophy, and cap it off with a very telling quote by world-renowned scholar and philanthropist Marreese Speights.

All of Kate Fagan's words (and quote's she received) are in bold.  Our uninformed commentary follows.

Collins was running through some 5-on-0 drills and he initially used a "starting" lineup of PG Jrue Holiday, SG Iguodala, SF Thaddeus Young, PF Elton Brand, and C Spencer Hawes. His second unit was PG Lou Williams, SG Evan Turner, SF Jodie Meeks, PF Trent Plaisted, C Marreese Speights.
Only surprise here is that Turner wasn’t running with the starters. Don’t get too upset though, I seriously doubt this will be the starting 5 in January. Oh, and no way Trent Plaisted makes this team.
"You can talk a lot of basketball with him, which is a lot of fun. I had a conversation with him about how the defense will be playing me and how he can make certain passes from the elbow. He has a lot of input so we can relate a whole lot, we can adjust. He's kind of like Peyton Manning. He's able to do some of the same things as far as being a big man who can deliver passes ... really had a great practice with Spencer and I can tell we're going to be connecting a whole lot." -Andre Iguodala on new Center Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes = Peyton Manning? Probably the worst comparison ever. But don’t be too hard on Iggy -- TheWizWit’s very own Maurice has confirmed that this is probably just black people code for “white athlete that doesn't play defense”. Either way this is good news because Sammy D couldn’t do any of the things Iguodala mentioned in the quote.
Collins feels Young and Nocioni are two of the team's better players, he said it wouldn't make sense for the team to have both players on the bench at the start of the game.

“I hope [Nocioni] becomes a 20-minute a night guy for us," Collins said. "I told him today, 'We’re building.'
Well this makes me sad. If this team is ‘building’ wouldn’t you play more of the younger guys? I don’t really want to see Nocioni on the court very much. If he’s getting chunks of minutes, then Collins is trying to squeeze out wins now. That’s fine if that is what he wants to do, but the team would be better served growing slowly with the core group of young guys that will be here for a while.  Collins wants to win games, he just has to make sure he's not impeding the teams' progression to do so.
“Darius [Songaila] is very hard-nosed player," Collins said.
This is coach speak for “offers no real, tangible contributions to a basketball team”. Also see: gritty, tough, David Eckstein.
"He’s a facilitator, right now. He’s a guy who loves to get other guys involved. And that’s what I want him to be right now. And as he goes along, I want him and Jrue and Dre and those guys to play together and all of a sudden he gets more of a scoring mentality." -Doug Collins on Evan Turner
Makes sense. Collins will build Turner’s confidence in a facilitator role with the second team of guys (LouWill, Speights, Nocioni, etc) and that should lead to a natural progression of him more comfortably moving into a scorer’s role. Again, even if Turner isn’t starting when the 2010 season begins, he’s going to get big minutes and will be on the court with Jrue and Iggy Dre plenty. Which reminds me – I really wish Iguodala would embrace the Iggy nickname but he insists he be called Dre. Can you really give yourself a nickname? This did not work well for George Costanza and T-Bone. Just sayin'.
"Nobody had a role out there last year. We were just out there playing Princeton. It was a disaster last year, so we’re not going to talk about that." -Marreese Speights
This one line couldn’t sum up the 2009 Sixers any better. They were a turd sandwich wrapped in a poopy diaper.  And that diaper was probably made of recycled poopy diapers.  Just a fantastic quote by Speights. Here’s to changing the culture and making strides towards putting a competitive squad on the floor.

Go Sixers.

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