Links: Princeton Offense and Sammy D

Kate Fagan gives her CliffNotes version of the Princeton Offense, emphasizing the importance of a pure shooter at the two-guard.

Miller, with his ability to read backdoor cuts and deliver pinpoint passes, would effectively run this offense if his starting shooting guard can actually shoot. If the Sixers retain Miller and again place Green beside him, this offense, which is predicated on drawing out the defense and quickly changing direction, will become a little too cozy inside the paint.

No defense will deny Green the basketball.

This prompts an interesting question. Let's say Miller re-signs and a pure shooter like, let's say -- Anthony Parker is brought in to play the two. What happens to the starting lineup? Does Iguodala start at the three and Thad comes off the bench? Does Thad start at the four, moving Elton to the five?

It seems like a lose-lose situation given the current pieces. The Sixers can go one of three different ways with the starting lineup:

#1 (Point Guard), Iguodala, Thad, Brand, (Center) -- which means they would have zero pure shooters on the floor.

#2 (Point Guard), (Shooter), Iguodala, Brand, (Center) -- which means Thad would have to come off the bench.

#3 (Point Guard), (Shooter), Iguodala, Thad, Brand -- which leaves them with a 6'8'' center.

So maybe it's not a lose-lose after all. After thinking aloud and going through all the different scenarios, I think option #2 jumps out as the obvious choice. You have your point guard, you have your pure shooter, you have a significant size and rebounding advantage with Brand at the four AND you have Thaddeus Young coming off the bench in a Lamar Odom-type role.

It's not perfect, but reality is, Iguodala and Thad play the same position. It's not out of the question that you could play them at either the 2-3 or the 3-4, but I feel the negatives out-weigh the positives in both scenarios.

I suppose you could play Iguodala at the two and rely on him to be the primary ball-handler while the pure-shooter plays point guard, but I still prefer option #2.

Give me your ideal starting lineup next year, along with the 6th man. Go!

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Two more links via Bob Ford. The first one is much like Fagan's, but instead of focusing on the guards, Ford focuses on how the front court players fit into the Princeton Offense.

One of the ideas on the blackboard was using Brand as a high-post center, which takes advantage of his exceptional passing ability and his short-range jump shot, and also allows him a 10-foot head start on getting back on defense.

That would clear out the lane for the athletic slashers on the roster and, at least in theory, help create the quick, high-movement offense Stefanski and Jordan are seeking.

That is one possibility, but as stated above, wouldn't a 6'8'' center not only hurt the inside defense, but also the rebounding?

The title of Ford's second article says it all: Why Sammy Can't Play. No question, the player affected most by the Eddie Jordan hiring is Sam Dalembert. I still think he could provide valuable minutes off the bench, but he's shown year-in and year-out that he's not down with limited minutes. Therefore; Stefanski is going to have to find a way to get rid of the Haitian Sensation, and it looks like it will be harder than I originally thought.

Dalembert is owed $23.5 million over the two seasons remaining on his contract. That's bad enough, but he was also given a "trade kicker" clause that calls for a 15 percent increase in that salary if he is traded.

Yikes.

 

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