Today with exchange some questions and answers with Carey Smith, from the TrueHoop Sixers site, Philadunkia.
NAS: A depleted Nets team was able to take the Sixers down to the final possession Friday night and then Philly followed-up with a loss to Detroit. Do you have any early-season concerns about the Sixers?
Smith: I don’t wanted to sound like the stereotypical “Negadelphia” fan but my list of early season concerns with the Sixers is very long, so lets just concentrate on the Sixers biggest issue so far in 2009-10. That issue is defense and everything that has to do with defense. Hell even spelling the word defense may be an issue for Eddie Jordan’s team. The Sixers are a horrible defensive unit – they can not guard the three; they can not pressure the ball; they can’t keep the ball out of the lane; they help way too much; they don’t take care of the defensive glass – and I do not see it getting better any time soon.
NAS: Elton Brand has scored in single digits his last few games. Any clue on why he hasn’t been able to regain his all-star form? What about the drop-off for Thaddeus Young?
Smith: It’s hard to regain your All-Star form when you are either on the bench or when you’re on the floor, no one cares to pass you the rock, no matter how bad of a miss match you have going that night. When he gets some tick and his teammates start passing him the ball, you’ll see a big improvement in Brand’s numbers, but I don’t know if he’ll ever get back to AS form with the Sixers. Thad’s drop off at the start of 2009-10 is just a shooting thing and he seems close to getting it straightened out – 5-10 for 15 points vs. PHX Wednesday night.
NAS: Are the Sixers wise to be shopping Samuel Dalembert?
Smith: Other then the rumors I heard this summer which I prayed were true, I am not sure they are shopping Dalembert. They should be, but I have not heard anything since the Sixers went to training camp on this front. Did you hear something, please tell me you have. I spoke with one Eastern Conference front office person who said that the Sixers did not find major interest in Sammy this summer and they may be stuck with him for a while. Although, I have this dream in which Ed Stefanski tricks Joe Dumars into trading Rip Hamilton to the Sixers for Dalembert. Believe it or not, the salaries work out. That’s crazy to think about, right?
NAS: Where would the Sixers be without PG Lou Williams right now?
Smith: The Sixers would be better, possibly even 5-2 right now without Louis Williams. I’m sure to those who simply see box scores and do not follow the Sixers closely on a nightly basis it looks like Louis is having a break out season. He is offensively, no doubt. However the Sixers defensive woes start with Louis and his inability to keep opposing point men in front of him, pressure the ball at all or guard the three point line. Once he’s beaten, which happens very often, the Sixers defense becomes a scrambling mess of switches and help defense and they are rarely ever able to recover in time. Until he gets better at defense or they put rookie Jrue Holiday in for major minutes the Sixers will continue to be awful defensively. Personally I don’t understand how a kid as quick as Louis can be so bad at defense every night, but it’s true, he horrible. After last night’s effort against the Suns in which Louis was taken to school by Nash (20 points & 20 dimes), several of us here at Philadunkia.com are asking for a switch to Jrue Holiday as the starting point guard. Holiday is a hound on defense thanks to playing for Ben Howland at UCLA and we’ll live with the growing pains at the other end because our fear is that if Iguodala doesn’t get some help on the defensive end soon, we’ll loose AI9 mentally for the season.