Ricky from the Philadelphia 76ers blog Sixers4Guidos was nice enough to stop by for a Q and A in preparation for tonights Cavaliers - Sixers game, which tips off at 7pm. If you're wondering about the name, its pronouced g-w-ee-dos...you know, like Tony Soprano's buddies? My questions, and Ricky's answers, are below:
1. What's the problem with the Sixers...a playoff team from a year ago...how much longer do you give Eddie Jordan to turn this thing around?
I think there are several reasons for Sixers' poor record. It's a combination of:
1) poor coaching
2) poor coaching
3) injuries. No excuses here but Speights and Williams went down when they were playing some really good basketball.
4) poor coaching.
5) nonsensical (? assuming this is a word) decision by the front office.
I have to explain the "poor coaching" thing.
Jordan has done an HORRIBLE so far, with his own bad combination of poor rotations, with guys passing from DNP CDs to the starting line up, or from 20-25 minutes per game to 3-5, key players/leaders benched (Brand), zero/few attention to defense and rebounding (Sixers were solid in both categories last year), extremely poor "locker room management", calling out a former all star like Brand, or making jokes about him, or refusing to take any responsaibility for the losing streak (it took him like 10 straight losses to come up with something like "at a point it's also up to me"...).
To sum it up so far we've seen a bad Xs and O's coach with ZERO psychological skills. His pre game/post game quotes are a rare collection of BS: "Brand is no more a 40 min guy" (start of the season, when he was trying to recover full efficiency after having basically missed the whole year...), "Probably it was (Brand) to tell Green to get Holiday injured (in praccice)" (= so that Brand could be put again into the starting lineup...), "I'll leave Iverson the choice when to pull himself out of the game" (?? I thought coaches were getting paid to do this..) etc etc.
Front office didn't help him much either, signing Iverson, the anti-Princeton offense, 20 games into the season, when Sixers were (slowly...) starting to learn a new system that requires some time to adjust.
But anyway I don't think Jordan's job is at serious risk, he was signed for 3 years and firing him after 25 games would mean the GM admitting a major failure. Remember last year Cheeks was fired and got replaced by Di Leo, so Jordan's successor would be the 4th coach in 2 years. Highly unlikely, to me, but then again so it was Iverson's return...
2. What's your take on the AI situation?
I loved the guy and still love him but I didn't want him back. I would have been ok with Jrue Holiday at the helm, even after Lou Williams broke his jaw. I think Iverson take minutes from players we need to develop or whose value we have to see (Holiday, Lou Williams when he'll be back, but also Carney at SG). I would have preferred that some contending team would have signed Iverson (Cleveland?), to give him a shot at a title, ala Gary Payton in Miami. But of course, for the final chapter of his career it's better in Philly than in Memphis, or at home....
But again, not much passionate about these talks.4. How good is Andre Igoudala? Watching him everyday is he under-rated? Is he a top 15 player in your opinion, top 30?
I am an Iguodala fan but this doens't prevent me from seeing his flaws.
I think he's a little bit underrated, especially by many Sixers fans, but he's still not at All star level. More Top 30 than top 15, say.
The good thing is that he's still improving and became very consistent through the years, you can expect his stat sheet to be filled every night. Beside his obvious, impressive athletic abilities, that also put him among the best defenders, he does many, many things extremely well that no one talks about, such as rebounding and passing. Surely outside shot is not great, "streaky", say, same for free throw shooting, and after a bunch of last shots missed (some pretty "easy") you could also start to question his clutchness. But overall he's a very good player.
5. What's your opinon of LeBron? Do you like him, not like him? Is he the best player in the NBA, 2nd, 3rd?
I am a LBJ fan.
But, once more, not a "Kobe vs LBJ" type of debate-fan, you could put him at 1st, 2nd or 3rd position, I don't care much
I like his passing ability the most and think that his greatness is measured by the amount of games that his team would win without him: few. In this sense, there is no comparison between Lakers w/o Kobe or C's/Pierce or even Magic/Howard, the supporting cast in Cle is WAY worse then those of the other contenders.
This said, his behaviours are often irritating, but I think it's not entirley his fault. I blame more the people surrounding him (coach, team, sponsors, League etc) that allow him to be such a jerk sometimes and don't have the balls to address issues like they should. Not shaking hands after a loss is unacceptable, same for the Nike video fiasco, the dances, the "I am a bad guy" faces for the cameras aftter a good play etc etc: someone has to explain that to him, in his interest. I think "he's better than that" (LOL) it's just that he got used to bad habits and they allowed him that.
Anyway I would like that Cavs win a title with him, I was desperately rooting for Cle in the past two years, because I hate the Celtics (2 yrs ago) and I knew Orlando wouldn't have had a chance vs lakers (last year), and I will do the same this year. But to me, Orlando is a better team if everyone is healthy, Cavs are still a top SG and/or a top PF away from a title.For more from Ricky, check out Sixers for Guidos, here.
For my answers to Ricky's questions, click here.