Thursday, January 15, 2009

At Center Court with Jordan Sams

Tonight's game against the 76ers scares me a little---the 76ers are one of the most athletic teams in the league, which, of course, gives the greyheaded Spurs fits. Nevertheless, I press on. Jordan Sams (JSams) of Liberty Ballers holds my hand through a few Philly questions.

TV
: Andre Iguodala is a difficult cover. According to 82games, his adjusted plus/minus is one of the best in the league. Still I see him as a borderline All-Star talent. What are the most salient weaknesses of his game? What must he do to take it to the next level?

JS: His biggest weaknesses are his jumpshot, the inability to perform in the clutch and the desire to make SportsCenter's Top 10 every time he touches the ball. The jumpshot has been falling as of late, but it's still too inconsistent to be considered good, or even average. He always comes up lame in the clutch, whether it be a missed shot or a stupid turnover, but in my opinion that's not his fault, because he's not the player who should have the ball in clutch situations. That's the coaches fault. And the whole "Top 10" comment was because he often attempts spectacular passes, shots or dunks when a simple one would get the job done, and as you can imagine, I wouldn't be mentioning this if he didn't miss or turn it over every time he tries something spectacular.

To take it to the next level he needs to improve his jumpshot. That's the only true basketball skill he needs a lot of work on.

If he ever plays with someone like Kobe, LeBron or legitimate superstar, he can flourish as the second banana. Think a Scottie Pippen-type player if he ever reaches his full potential.
TV: How does the back half of the season set up for Philly? Can they make a push?
JS: Without even looking at the schedule, I will personally guarantee they make the playoffs in the East. They can be anywhere from the 4-8 seed, but they'll make the playoffs. I don't know what they'll do when they get there; we'll have to wait and see what they look like when Brand returns.
TV: Looking at your current roster, I don't see a top tier superstar. Do you think Brand will recover form and become that player? If not, Philly is in a difficult position of having ideal "B" and "C" players without a lead dog. Should they package some of their talent for that kind of player?
JS: No, I don't think Brand can be that player. I didn't see anything from him before he got hurt to lead me to believe he'd be a superstar for us. Given, he was playing under the horrible coaching of Maurice Cheeks, that might change when he returns, but I doubt it.

Thad's our best chance of having a superstar. He's going to take at least a couple years to develop though.

And no, they shouldn't trade any of their core players. They'll be a force if Brand returns and DiLeo is able to integrate him into the offense. The roster move they must make is to add shooters. Moving Green and/or Dalembert for shooters is the best case scenario.
TV: Related to the third question, as the trade deadline approaches, do you expect the 76ers to deal Andre Miller?
JS: I don't see it happening unless they're completely out of it in the east, which I don't see happening either. The question is will he be extended, or will they let him walk in the summer?
Check in at Liberty Ballers for a proper game preview. It seems like they are recovering well from the last 76ers-Spurs contest.