Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Note to Ed Stefanski ... stop tinkering already

The Sixers signed Donyell Marshall yesterday. I thought Ed Stefanski was done after the inevitable signing of Andre Igoudala. You can say what you will about Iggy, but everybody knows the Sixers would re-sign 'em. Perhaps they did pay too much as a result, but that's just the way the NBA is nowadays.
Then the Sixers brought back Theo Ratliff. Undoubtedly to compensate for the loss of Jason Smith for the season. Okay I said to myself. Its the NBA minimum. We know what Theo is. Rebounding ... shot blocking ... maybe he can run the floor with the young bucks in spurts.

But now the Marshall signing is just tinkering. Stefanski is in danger of becoming the mad scientist. Unable to constrain himself in his quest to construct the perfect team. Marshall does not fit the identity the Sixers created last year. Sure he adds perimeter shooting ... but at what cost. He is not really known for his hustle or his open court play or his rebounding or his defense (gulp).

Now the Sixers are tossing around cliches like "consummate veteran" to mentor the young bucks. That should be a warning sign Eddie. Those cliche's lead to the dark side. You start telling yourself how much smarter you are then the rest of us. You start to develop blind spots.

My argument for re-signing Iggy had much more to do about chemistry than it did about his skills. The Sixers bloomed last year because the same core group of guys returned from the previous season. They grew up together ... they became a team ... Chemistry 101. But now the 76ers have 13 players under contract and they are tapped out in the salary department. The addition of Brand can't be questioned at this point. Adding Rush & Ivey has to be a wait and see, but admirable. At least they fit the mold and address some weaknesses. Swap in Theo for Smith ... okay. But Marshall ... he makes them old and slow and soft. That's the wrong direction. When you add in the rookie Speights you have turned over more than 40% of the squad. I just hope the chemistry doesn't suffer.

Please Ed ... stop tinkering. I liked what I say last season. I am truly excited about next season. But I got to keep a grip on reality. I am enthusiastic about the upcoming season ... albeit nervous enthusiasm. Is it just me or is anyone else feeling this?

1 comment:

Dannie said...

Can't disagree with you more. Marshall signing was a good one. He is a good rebounder 10.2/40M throughout his career. He is a decent three point shooter with size. And can play SF which is good depth at the position which was needed. The Sixers are still a fairly young team and getting younger would be going in the wrong direction if they are trying to win now. Young teams rarely win championships, history bares that out.

Also, Stefanski has built a rare team. In that we are really deep with guys that can play (no Calvin Booths or Louis Amundsons). If someone gets hurt or isn't playing particularly well we have guys on the current roster that can fill in, saving the need to go out and find someone.

Remember, not all these guys are going to play heavy minutes. They are just higher quality veteran minimum players. In fact one player on the current roster isn't even going to dress since by league rules only 12 players can suit up each game and we currently have 13. The core of the team is intact therefore chemistry will only be about incorporating Brand and making sure Thad is ready for the full-time SF job.