Blogtable: Impressive In The East

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Which team most impresses you in the East right now: Indiana or Philadelphia?


Steve Aschburner: Philadelphia. I like the aggressiveness that the 76ers are showing in coach Doug Collins’ second season. Ditto for their defense, at or near the top in points allowed and field-goal percentages. They’re not superstar driven – it’s hard to classify Elton Brand as one anymore – and get it done with a whole-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts approach. And the bench guys – Evan Turner, Louis Williams, Thad Young – have been slapping other teams in the face.

Fran Blinebury: C’mon, don’t tell me you expected a Sixers team that opened the season with a five-game road trip to be sniffing the same rarified air as the Heat and Bulls even two weeks into the schedule.  Doug Collins has built on last season’s foundation and has Philly playing hard and with a sense of togetherness.  As John Schuhmann noted in the Hang Time blog, it’s the Sixers’ bench led by Thaddeus Young that has bumped them up to the next level.  With rookie Nic Vucevic capably backing up an improved Spencer Hawes, they also have legitimate size and presence in the middle.  The Sixers are a fun team worth watching. If only the fans of Philly would notice.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Although I have been on the Pacers bandwagon since the start of camp, loving the postseason moves and the way the roster has filled out, Philadelphia has been more impressive so far. The 76ers have looked good on offense and defense, and have better depth. Plus, Philly just won when the teams met.

Shaun Powell: The Sixers haven’t even maxed the talent on their roster yet and they’re winning anyway. The system used by Doug Collins is designed to spread the wealth, which makes Philly unpredictable in close games. Not sure how this will play out in the postseason (assuming the Sixers make it), where the stars ultimately win games. But so far everyone is buying into the “share” philosophy, which is rare; young teams are usually filled with players who “gotta get mine.” Even Andre Iguodala looks happy.

John Schuhmann: Since the Sixers rank No. 1 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, I have to go with Philly. They’ve proven the value of continuity when you have only two weeks for training camp, as well as the value of scoring depth when you’re playing a condensed season. I don’t think they’re going to remain in the top five offensively, but they are stronger on that end than Indiana because they do a great job of taking care of the ball  (No. 2 in turnover rate) and turning stops into quick and easy buckets (No. 5 in fast-break points per possession).

Sekou Smith: Indiana is playing good basketball for a team that I expected to play well this season. But the 76ers are doing things I did not see this coming. Six straight wins, and the way they’ve collected those wins, makes it clear that the work Doug Collins started with this team last season is paying off handsomely now. I’m still not sure what the key is for this team. But I do know that it starts with a fantastic coach, the right point guard (Jrue Holiday) and a solid cast of characters that could make this team a difficult out come playoff time. That said, the level of competition cranks up for them in the coming days. But I’m buying the 76ers.

23 Comments

  1. Antoine says:

    Stifling defense, an excellent motivator for a coach, a bench that actually has starters and the ability to run and gun if necessary has the SIXERS on the cusp of greatness.

    Far too many teams have players who think ME FIRST, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in Cheesesteak Country.

    I’ve been a fan since Doug was the one of the starting guard and JULIUS was performing surgery. So it’s a relief to see the going back to the fundamental principles that so many teams have abandoned.

    DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.

    Are they there yet? No, but they are so much farther along than they were two years ago.

    HALLELUJAH !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. dave says:

    Sixers are. Much more impressive and have much more depth it not even s comparison as long as they have have that bench every team will have to exacute effientally to beat them bottom line

  3. Julian Makarechi says:

    sixers! we bosses!

  4. Luis says:

    Pacers fans, this is not about the best team, its about the most impressive/surprising… Indiana was already expected to do good. Philly was expected to be just ok, and they are playing great! And its about two/three weeks, not about the whole season!!!!

  5. Brandon says:

    Okay guys this is one game. Settle down.

  6. Badgers says:

    I’m liking both teams at the moment, hoping they stay as 4th and 5th seeds so they meet each other in the playoffs, would be a great matchup.

  7. Aaron says:

    Also don’t forget…the Pacers aren’t at their peak yet either. If you don’t count their 8th and 9th rotation players (D. Jones and Foster)…the Pacers actually ALL have equal or LESS experience than their 76er counterpart. Then you factor in that the Pacers also regularly use their 10th and 11th men, who have 1 year and 2 years of experience respectively.

    Take a closer look at the teams…it’s actually a little bit ridiculous how closely these 2 teams compare.

  8. ethan says:

    Come on guys. the pacers are the more impressive team. they have talent from all 13 players. 13! and you can only have 12 active. sure the 76ers beat them but the pacers where without two of there top players in Danny Granger and George Hill.

  9. Berto says:

    Indiana is not a complete team if they struggle with one of their superstars on the bench the other players have to step up what if danny granger gets in foul trouble in the playoffs whats going to happen?

  10. fembot says:

    i hate wen pple say things wudnt have happened if someone wasnt there….we clearly saw that that doesnt always matter as the hawks beat miami with the lebron and wade playing and lost without theml…..cut it out…u dont know who wud win till u see the game…pple forget that just bcuz u bring two double digit scorers back into a game doesnt mean u can automatically tag their ppg on to the final score of a game without them…basketball is more complex than that…involves ball movement….changes in defensive schemes….i like the pacers alot…darren collison being an understudy of my favorite pg cp3 but i wud have to give it to the 76ers do to how young the players are…the guys who are puttin them in the position to win are the young guys and that shows alot of maturity…the pacers are good but i mean they have veterans…great start for them but most impressive start to me goes to 76ers

    • Ryan says:

      I agree and disagree with you. While basketball is much more complex than just tacking a players averages on to the box score, you have to consider the fact with Indiana playing without Danny it changes everything for every other player on the court. While Danny hasn’t started the season out very well percentage wise he is still Indiana’s best player and when he is on the floor it opens up and makes everything MUCH easier for the players around him. Using Miami as a measuring stick for how Indiana should perform without its best player is hardly relevant….sure Wade and Lebron sat but they stall had Bosh who is an All-Star as well. Not the same. I am not saying that Indiana would have blown Phily out had those 2 played…..or even won….but it certainly would have been much closer……and in my opinion Indiana probably does win the game with its 1st and 4th best player.

  11. Liam says:

    I do believe that the Pacers over the season will be the better team and i see them making the 2nd round of the playoffs at least. they have depth at nearly every position i believe an extra shooting guard with a bit more size would balance them out very very well. west and hill have been great additions to work with collison, granger and hibbert. hansbrough has been lights out of the bench and they are a fun basketball team to watch. they will be the bigger threat

  12. robbay2 says:

    Philly

  13. kkkkkkkk says:

    PHILLYS BOSS

  14. Zzoe says:

    After watching the stats on Elton Brand, it seems if he keeps putting up double-doubles, the sixers win–when he has average nights, they don’t. However, they have a deep bench and gnarly D–that’s going to get you a lot more as far as wins. Also, with no main roster changes, the guys have had a chance to gell and become tight–that may make the difference right there.

  15. ATL Made says:

    Indy and Philly are two teams I am want to do good this year. To me the better team would probably going to be up to the bigs. Between Hawes and Hibbert…These two are the ex factor for the teams. Both teams have great backcourts and a great bench. But the improvement of the bigs is going to tip one of the teams to be better. Both Hawes and Hibbert have played good this season. So we will see. I wish people knew how good my man Lou Will is. I use to play against him in high school and he was a complete beast. There is a reason philly hasnt traded him or let him be a FA all these years. They seen him at his best and know its not something you give up. If they both played in playoffs, I truly dont know which would win.

  16. daniel21 says:

    the sixer wouldnt of won that game if we had granger and hill. 2 DOUBLE DIGIT SCORERS.

  17. yo says:

    awwwwyeaaah sixerrrs yeaaaah!

  18. Michael says:

    when is someone gonna point out the the pacers are 7-3! that’s 57 wins in a regular season! considering that’s a huge improvement on last year (which i was also impressed with), i’m annoyed that they’re not generating more buzz. we added key players in hill and west, and generally made good free agent moves, but i definitely didn’t expect this roster to do this well! In beating the celts and hawks, pacers have proved that they can beat the bigger teams. i expect them to keep up this momentum, and in further seasons improve upon it with a young and developing roster

  19. Blll says:

    Everyone points out that Philly beat Indy in their one meeting thus far. Just an FYI, but Indy was without Danny Granger (food poisoning) and George Hill (sore back). That’s their top scoring option and their 6th man (top scoring off the bench). I think we should wait to judge which one of these two teams is better. Indy should take longer to gel considering they are still integrating two of their top 6 players into things while the Sixers are for the most part a core group that has been together. That said, Philly really impressed me when I watched them play, as do the Pacers. I think both will overtake Atlanta and Orlando and be in a race for the 3,4,5 spots in the East when it’s all said and done.

  20. zielonygrzyb says:

    If the Sixers stay hot (and I hope so), Doug Collins is the main candidate for CotY.

    • jgmri says:

      no, also vinny del negro . go Clipps!!!!

      • Ravi says:

        No way! Clippers have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, 2 All-Star players. The 76ers have regular players that can play as a team, and that’s all thanks to Doug Collins. Andre Iguodala is not an All-Star player yet!