The Morning Extras: What Is Andre Iguodala?

The Morning Extras: What Is Andre Iguodala?

Superstar, either now or on the verge of becoming one? An All Star caliber player stuck on a crappy team? Potential supporting cast member for a contender? Simply a role player? Or, perhaps, just another guy altogether? The only thing we seem to be all in agreement over is Iguodala is no superstar. If the debate in the comments is any indication though, even Sixers fans who follow this team closely haven't been able to reach a consensus.

One thing is certain, and that is Iguodala seems to be falling out of favor around the league. ESPN's Bill Simmons released his annual Top 40 Trade Value column last week, and even with a dozen or so honorable mentions on the list, the face of the Sixers is nowhere to be found. That's only a drop in the bucket. In the newest edition of Sports Illustrated, a poll of 173 NBA players named Iguodala one of the most overrated players in the league.

If you need any more proof than fellow NBA-ers ranking him one of the most overrated players—you know, the guys who actually step on the court with Iguodala—you're probably beyond convincing. The insinuation isn't even he's a bad player, but nobody outside Ed Stefanski and a pocket of fans seem to think of him in terms of having All Star ability, as evidenced by his inability to sniff the All Star game (who the hell is David Lee?).

To be fair, the poll came up with some odd choices. The same number of people who thought Iguodala is overrated consider LeBron James overrated. It's not scientific, the condition of being overrated. The difference is LeBron is going to compete for a championship, while the Sixers are struggling to even sneak into the playoffs as the eight seed. Nobody cares what you are, as long as you win.

In my own estimations, Iguodala falls somewhere in between this spectrum. He clearly is no superstar. That much is painfully obvious by the Sixers' constant positioning below .500, but he can help a good team. Unfortunately that's not going to be here anytime soon, which once again begs the question: why do they insist upon clinging to this guy?

LINKS

• For the right amount of money, Julius Peppers can be an Eagle. Many are warning though that he takes too many plays off. That never prevented Randy Moss from greatness. [SI.com]

• Clark Judge believes hiring special teams coach Bobby April will have one of the greatest impacts of any assistant coaching hire this off-season. Imagine DeSean now... [CBS Sports]

• The bidding has ended for Joe Paterno's autographed spectacles. The glasses sold for $9,000. Very strange collectible... [ESPN]

• Brad Lidge can begin throwing off the mound. It's a new year. Let's see if he an reclaim some of his '08 magic. [Phillies Files]

• While he remains with a contender after signing with the Yankees, Chan Ho Park's gamble didn't pay off. The reliever accepted a deal worth less money when nobody stepped up to beat the Phillies offer or give him a chance to start. [Crashburn Alley]

• On the lighter side, the Phillies are up to their usual spring training antics. [The Zo Zone]

• Asking the question who should be between the pipes for the Flyers. My vote is Leighton. [Philly Burbs]

• The best take you will ever read on the Tiger Woods press conference. [SB Nation]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

ill give ed wade as much shit as the next guy (i still remember the time i sat near him at a game in DC near the end of the 2006 season when the phillies were in the hunt for the wild card and i said "ed, are we gonna make the playoffs this year?" and in the most laconic, dispassionate way replied "well, we'll see"...it was not the vote of confidence i wanted from him at the time), but he deserves credit for putting together most of the nucleus for the 2008 WFC.

still this was the guy who landed in a tree when he went skydiving...

- Poster Nutbag

Always felt the timing of Ed Wade's firing was off. Doubt they get over the hump without a general manager who could a) pull off a decent trade at the deadline, and b) identify productive contributors on the free agent/waiver garbage heap. At the same time, they only decided to part with him once things really started turning around.

Of course, it's reasonable to wonder how responsible Wade was for assembling that core, and how much of it was actually Mike Arbuckle.

THE BONUS: "BUDDY COP" MOVIES

This is in reference to the steaming pile of manure Die Hard bad-ass Bruce Willis will appear in along side Tracy Morgan beginning this Friday. By the way, who coined the phrase buddy cop movie? It's stupid. We're now taking suggestions for what these films should really be called (redundant cop movies?).

My personal favorite: Starsky and Hutch. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are great together. Throw in a dash of Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, plus Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, and you've got yourself a classic. This never really seemed to catch on all that much, but on the topic of overrated versus underrated, this is a very under-appreciated film. It's on AMC with a fair degree of frequency, so check it out.

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Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Being immersed in the team is important for Nerlens Noel, and so is continuing his rehab. 

While the Sixers are on the road for three days to play the Grizzlies and Pelicans, Noel will remain in Philadelphia to work out at the training complex in Camden, New Jersey. The team is not scheduled to practice in between games, so staying back allows Noel another day to get on the court.

“[I want him to] just start playing more and have a ball in his hands, get hit, physical, feel people, play one-on-one,” head coach Brett Brown said.

Noel has yet to play this season because of elective arthroscopic left knee surgery in October. He rejoined the Sixers after completing the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Alabama. There still is no timetable for his return. 

Brown has said there is a “classroom” element to Noel’s return. He has to learn a roster with new players and schemes. 

The on-the-court side of it is a reacclimation to the intensity of the league. Regardless of how many games Noel already has played in the NBA, there is an adjustment period getting back into the grind of the competition. Brown believes the time in the gym this week will help Noel prepare for the level of intensity he will face in his return. 

“It’s such fool’s gold to think somebody’s going to jump back into NBA basketball after you haven’t played for so long. I don’t care how athletic he is,” Brown said. “It’s a man’s world, this league, and there’s a physicality and there’s a real-time reaction you have to have to play in the game. You can’t make that up in practice, you can’t make that up playing one-on-one, but you can better position him instead of just going out to get shots. I want him to feel a body, get hit, hit back, play one-on-one, those types of things.”

Noel had been assigned to the Sixers’ Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, to get in practice time when the Sixers had a game. The Sixers may forego another assignment and keep Noel at their facility as the Sevens also have two games in the next three days. 

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

Joel Embiid has been making the NBA look easy. Rookie of the Month honors, five double-doubles in 13 games, seven performances of 20 points or more … all having missed the last two years rehabbing from foot injuries.

Embiid, though, still is a player learning the league. Night’s like Monday’s lackluster showing are going to happen, even if it seemed unexpected against the struggling Denver Nuggets. 

“We’ve been used to seeing Jo have superhuman nights,” Brett Brown said after the Sixers’ 106-98 loss (see Instant Replay). “I thought Joel was down tonight.” 

Embiid tallied a total 16 points (5 for 15 from the field, 1 for 3 from three, 5 for 6 from the line) with four rebounds, one assist, a career-high five blocks, three turnovers and three fouls in 25:32. 

He had a quiet first half with six points (2 for 5 from the field) and one rebound in 9:21. The biggest struggle came in the third quarter. Embiid scored a single point off a free throw and shot 0 for 6 from the floor. By the end of three, he was shooting 18.2 percent. 

The big man said he needed to be better at passing out of the double team. He committed two turnovers in the third. 

“I wasn’t getting to my spot and I wasn’t getting what I’m used to getting,” Embiid said of the first three quarters. “I’m going to go back and watch the tape and see what I did wrong.” 

Embiid bounced back for another Embiid-like offensive effort in the fourth. He dropped nine points off an efficient 3 for 4 shooting in 7:31. Still, it wasn’t enough. 

“I made a couple shots,” Embiid said. “It didn’t help us win, so I don’t think it matters.”

Brown noticed Embiid rushing his game. He also thought Embiid’s balance was off, something the big man has been dealing with all season as he continues to find his legs. 

Embiid will not play in Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies. It is part of his workload management in which he does not play both games of a back-to-back. Expect him to hone in on game film until his next matchup, and get back on the roller coaster that can be a first year in the NBA. 

“It's just part of a young man's growth,” Brown said. “It just happens. I don't think we need to read too deeply into it. I think, in many ways, to expect from time to time not as good of a performance as we have been used to is fair enough.”