Yes, this was the year that the Sixers were supposedly “Tanking”, as of right now? Yeah, not so much…But hey, I am cool with it. First and for most, I am a fan. I will NEVER just sit there and root for the Sixers to lose. It’s just not in my DNA. If you do root for them to lose, I am not sure how you call yourself a fan if I’m being honest. Of course I want them to get a high draft pick, so they can continue the draft process, but just maybe they’re already a step higher then we thought.
Its waaaaaay early, but maybe this team could win 30-35 games this year? I know I had them around 17-18 wins this year like most. We all thought that this team was going to struggle with every part of the game-scoring, rebounding, defense, and turnovers. This team is built with guys that are getting their last chance, rookies, underachievers, and guys fighting for their next contracts.
There are two things that usually happen when players have their “backs against the wall” or even everyday people like us for that matter. One is that they succumb to the pressure. They just go into a shell and just can’t take the pressure. The other is that they come out fighting, laying everything on the line. They’re ready to run over any obstacle that is put in front of them. No matter what the cost is. They don’t care what anyone else thinks about them. They believe in themselves and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. In the first few weeks of the NBA season that is what the Sixers are doing. They have come swinging.
It’s funny as I am watching last nights game, I realized to myself that I am seeing something that I haven’t seen in awhile around these parts. This Sixers team has some “dog” in them. There was no better evidence then these few plays where Wroten and MCW both dived on the floor for the loose ball and the Sixers came up with it, Thad coming out of nowhere and blocking the hell out of Dion Waiters, when he could have easily just let him throw it down, then of course Thad again stealing the ball from Tristan Thompson. That was a play you see all the time where the player will grab the rebound and just kinda walk it out of the lane and set the offense up again. It happens all the time. What doesn’t happen is what Thad did.
Listen, I not trying to glorify this team. Really, I am not. But there is an excitement about this team. It’s the way they play and with the energy that they play with. All that starts with Thad and Wroten. Both go full tilt. MCW doesn’t shy away from anyone, even Orton brings physicality from the bench. All of this style has rubbed off on Turner and Hawes. Turner (shooting 55%. Career 43%) is playing with a chip on his shoulder and playing his best basketball maybe ever. He has seemed to conquer his own demons (whining, sulking and disappearing), while attacking the rim and not worrying if he is going to get the call or not.
Hawes has been equally as good (10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game). Hawes has been very good with starting the break. His outlet passes have been very impressive, if there where “Hockey assists” in the NBA, Hawes might lead the league in them. He has been decent defensively as well (coming off 6 block shots performance). He also is shooting the ball well at 56% clip. And for you advance stat lovers- Hawes is at 23.42 per (21st overall).His career high is 18.19. Turner is at 22.21 per (34th overall). His career high is 12.69. So everyone is winning right now.
This whole Sixers thing could go up in flames. They could lose 17 of their next 20 games. BUT, all I know is that I am enjoying this ride while it last.
I am telling you right now I refuse to bring up the name of the one they call the “Bowler”. I refuse to say it until he actually plays, if ever. I know that the “Bowler” said if he gets good news on Dec 20th he will likely play. Whatever..That’s how I feel about that.
I have decided to give a little break down of the season so far. I figured to go with “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. Let’s begin…
Jrue makes this team go. It’s as simple as that. Jrue is having a breakout season he is leading the Sixers in scoring (18.4), assists (8.9), free-throw attempts (79) and minutes. He is also fifth in the NBA in minutes per game (38.5). Without Jrue this team would likely be a lottery team.
After struggling through the first couple of weeks of the season, Turner has finally found that consistency that we all have been looking for. Ummm, he is actually leading the team in three-point shooting at 44%. Yes, I said that right. As Zumoff would say, “Turnerville’s”.. I love the toughness that Turner and Jrue bring to this team. They are looking like a back-court the Sixers could build around. J-Rich has struggled some of late,but overall he has been solid. The dude still can knock down a jumper.
I am putting Thad here because he doesn’t deserve to be in that front-court mess. You have to love Thad. You know what you are getting out of him every single night. All heart and hustle. Plus, he is averaging a career high at 7.3 rebounds per game. I could write about Thad all day so let me stop right now.
This team barely gets anything from its bench. “Swaggy P” has not had that much “Swag” at all this year. Young has been mostly inconsistent with his play only averaging 9.3 ppg and shooting 38% from the field and 32% from down-town. Dorell Wright teased us in the preseason with his play. He has been a disappointment. He is shooting 32% from the field and is only averaging 6.8 ppg. By the way, the Sixers are a minus 91 when Wright is on the court. Ouch..
Hawes will have a one decent game every once in awhile. Kwame is being well, Kwame. He did have one good game though. Just saying… You will see Hawes and Kwame again. Every time Wayns gets into a game he is like screw it, let’s see how many shots I can “jack” in under minute. He does do a good job of that though.
The Sixers averaged 38.8 ppg last season which ranked them 4th in the league. This year they are ranked 24th in league in bench scoring at 26.6 points a game.
Do you remember that game against Charlotte? I know I do. The Sixers front court (Brown, Lavoy, Hawes) got man-handled by Bismack Biyombo. Who? Exactly.. Lavoy (5.2 rebounds in 23.5 minutes a game) has had his moments. His defense has been solid as well at times. I like Lavoy but he is just not consistent enough. He is a backup to me. Hawes (5.7 rebounds in 21.6 minutes a game) is a decent backup. I am trying to be nice here. He is a decent high-post player. When he tries to go into the low-post forget it. He gets pushed around like a 10 year-old. The dude also needs to cut his hair. He looks like he is straight-out of a 70′s porno flick, “Debbie Does Dallas”. Just saying..
I guess you can say that Kwame (2.6 rebounds in 12 minutes a game) has helped in a game or two. I mean, he did have a nice effect in the Dallas game. He did post 6 points and 8 rebounds in just 16 minutes. I apologies for that last sentence, it’s late as I am writing this. Forgive me. All I ask of the Sixers is to NEVER throw the ball into the post to him. EVER.
It’s pretty amazing that the Sixers record is over .500 with this bench and front-court. You can thank Holiday, Thad and Turner for that..
Contributor for editing Brian Lockett @block_TLP
When you think about how the Sixers are 11-8 it is a bit of a head scratcher. They have that record because of the play of Holiday, Thad, Turner and even J-Rich. I have talked about the front-court and how they give the Sixers basically nothing on some nights (besides Thad). Well, I should have thrown the bench in there with it. Seriously.
This team barely gets anything from its bench. “Swaggy P” has not had that much “Swag” at all this year. Young has been mostly inconsistent with his play only averaging 9.3 ppg and shooting 38% from the field and 34% from down-town. Dorell Wright has made four starts this season and is averaging 13 points in those games, BUT he is only averaging 6.4 points as a reserve going into last night’s win over Boston.
Spencer “Boogie Nights” Hawes will have a one decent game every two weeks. Kwame is being well, Kwame. He did have one good game though. Just saying… Every time Wayns gets into a game he is like “F” it, let’s see how many shots I can “jack” in under minute. He does do a good job of that though. Here is what Doug has to say about his bench…
“We sit up there every day brainstorming. We talk create a bench who plays well together, who plays well as a starter. How would he play coming off the bench, all those things,” Collins said. “There’s a lot of psychology that goes with that and understanding, and are guys willing to say that would be best for the team.” via CSN
Doug goes on talking about last years bench..
“We had two incredible guys Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young, who very easily could have been starters on our team, were guys willing to come off the bench in order to give us a chance to win,” Collins said. “I will be forever indebted to Lou for being like that and Thad because it takes special guys to do that. I will always have an incredible spot in my heart for Lou Williams for being willing to do that. He was second in sixth man, and he made us a totally different team coming off the bench, and he was one of our five best players.”
Besides the Sixers defense and toughness last year, oh wait my bad. I was told that toughness, heart and will doesn’t mean anything by another Sixers blogger. My apologies, moving on.
The best part of last year’s team was their bench aka “The Night Shift”. I will be the first one to tell you that I wanted Lou-Will gone. I still stand by that statement. It wasn’t because of his play it was more towards to giving the “KEYS” of this team to Holiday and Turner.
So is it as simple as putting J-Rich on the bench and putting Wright back in the starting rotation? It could be. I think J-Rich could handle being a “6th”man. As for the front-court, there is someone there that could fix that and I refuse to mention his name anymore….
The Sixers are 10-6. Yes I am stating the obvious but with this Front-Court it’s pretty amazing. I knew the front court would struggle without Bynum, but the Sixers go into every game not knowing what the hell they are getting out of their Big-Men. Well, Charlotte’s Front-Court made them look even worse. If only Bynum were healthy this team… I have to stop with this Bynum shit. Get over it Joseph. OK, moving on…
The Sixers front court (Brown, Lavoy, Hawes) were getting man-handled by Bismack Biyombo. Who? Exactly.. I guess I should throw in Thad but to me Thad is a man without a position. He does not have the handle to be a “3” or the size to be a “4”. BUT you have to have Thad out there, especially with this Big-Man rotation. I still think Thad would be better off the bench as a match-up problem. You have to love Thad though. You know what you are getting out of him every single night. All heart and hustle. Plus, he is averaging a career high at 7.8 rebounds per game. I could write about Thad all day so let me stop right now.
Lavoy (4.4 rebounds in 22.4 a game) has had his moments. He had solid game last night posting a double-double (10 and 10). His defense has been solid as well at times. I like Lavoy but he is just not consistent enough. He is a backup to me. Hawes (5.2 rebounds in 20 minutes a game) is a decent backup. I am trying to be nice here. He is a solid high-post player. When he tries to go into the low-post forget it. He gets pushed around like a 10 year-old. The dude also needs to cut his hair. He looks like he is straight-out of a 70’s porno flick, “Debbie Does Dallas”. Just saying..
I guess you can say that Kwame (2.7 rebounds in 12 minutes a game) has helped in a game or two. I mean, he did have a nice effect in the Dallas game. He did post 6 points and 8 rebounds in just 16 minutes. I do have a hard time giving him credit though. It just does not feel right. All I ask of the Sixers is to NEVER throw the ball into the post to him. EVER.
The Sixers just keep winning despite this Front-Court. Thanks in large part to Holiday, J-Rich, Turner and Thad. It would be nice for one of the ‘Big-Men’ to some kind of consistency. I doubt it will happen. They are backups. By the way, the Sixers are a plus 88 when Thad Young is on the floor. They are a minus 69 when Dorell Wright is on the court. So that’s why Wright’s minutes have disappeared..
Well, after a rough back to back (the Knicks bullied, bitched slapped, bent the Sixers over their knees), the Sixers start their first road trip of the year tonight against the Hornets. I was pumped up to watch Anthony “The Brow” Davis but he is out with minor concussion. Davis has looked good in the early going even though he has only played 2 games so far. Davis is averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. The kid can play..
I know its only 3 games in but I figured to give some breakdown of some players just because I feel like writing something about the Sixers. No, I am not John Mitchell and his trends after just one game. So leave me alone. Here is some numbers and a little break down of some players..
Evan Turner… He is shooting 28% from the floor and is leading the team in rebounding with 8.7 rebounds a game. It’s not looking good for my “man-crush” early on. His body language is awful and he looks completely lost. Stop bitching Evan, play some DAMN ball…
Jrue Holiday… He is averaging 19.3 ppg and averaging 8.7 assists. He is shooting 53% from 3-point land. Jrue is playing at a high-level; unfortunately he is the only one.
Thad Young… He is shooting 52% from the field and is averaging 14.3 ppg. Thad has played well so far. He will always bring that energy. The bad thing is that he has only been to the “charity strip” just 6 times so far. Thad my man, please stop shooting “fade-aways”. Please…
Nick “Swaggy P”… He is shooting 26% from the floor and is shooting 30% from “down-town”. Ummm, this dude just loves to shoot the DAMN ball. I mean from anywhere…
Spencer Hawes… He is averaging 8.7 ppg, 8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. After the opener where he looked like the new fan-favorite he has not done much. Also after the opener I saw someone write about the “six things to love about Hawes”. Yup, someone really wrote that..
As a Team…
Shooting- (93-250) 37% Opp- (111-249) 44%
Three-point land- (23-64) 35% Opp- (28-77) 36%
Foul shooting- (47-57) 82% Opp- (35-48) 72%
Never a good sign when you are taking more three-ball’s then free throws..
There are two positions up for grabs on this team shooting-guard and power-forward. Some might think that there are three positions up for grabs. Sorry, my “Man Crush’ Evan Turner will be the starting small-forward. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. So there’s that.
With that said, I figure to give the pros and cons of each of the players that are vying for that spot next to ‘Sir’ Bynum. Yes, Bynum is knight now. Well, he is my knight in shining armor. The players that I would be referring to are Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and Thad Young. So first up is Spencer Hawes..
When it comes down to it Spencer actually has the best skill set to play next to Bynum. I hate even saying this but Hawes is a solid high-post player. When the Sixers half-court offense was at it’s best last year it was because of Spencer. They would run the offense through him having players run back-door cuts off of him, making good use of his passing skills. He was also decent with the pick and roll. He does have a solid jumper for a big-man. And with Bynum around he is only going to get better looks. Bynum controlling the low-post and Hawes controlling the high-post. Something about Spencer controlling anything does not seem right. I feel dirty just saying that.
Well, how can say this nicely? Hawes is “Mr. Softy’. I do love the vanilla cone dipped in chocolate that he carries. He gets pushed around to easily down-low. After that 20 game mirage he put up in the early part of last year he came back down to earth. I never seen any other seven-footer try to shoot “floaters” so much. At least try to dunk it, Spence. I don’t care if you miss it; just go strong at the rim. The biggest concern is on the defensive side. Most power-forwards now a days are very athletic and have a small-forwards skill set. One of the better examples is Josh Smith. Do you want Hawes guarding Smith? No thank you to that.
Chances of starting?
I would say hell no. Obviously, it is not up to me and Doug thinks Hawes can be more like Pau Gasol. He funny..It seems that Hawes has the inside track as of now.
Until next time, you stay classy Philadelphia..
Everyone was having fun with their family and friends. Eating and drinking on this Fourth of July. Then I hear that the Sixers have made a move. Could it be some real fireworks? They announce that they resigned Spencer Hawes. Buzz-kill.. You have to be shitting me. That is definitely not what I was ready for.
Mr. Softy? I just got done buying my daughter an ice cream cone from him. This screams mediocrity from the Sixers. We are seeing teams reload in the Atlantic division. The Nets with Joe Johnson and resigning D-Will. The Celtics signing Jason Terry and maybe resigning Ray Allen.(though they just keep getting older) The Knicks might be getting Nash or Toronto might be. The Sixers big move so far? Spencer Hawes. I will give the Sixers a little break, Hawes at 2 years 13 million is not an awful contract.
This whole thing really caught me off guard. I could have sworn that Doug wanted to punch him in the face a few times during the playoffs. Hawes got exposed during them. Maybe, they signed him for a sign and trade move. Joe, keep wishing bro.
Hawes is the “king of the 7 footers’, who try to lay the ball up instead of dunking the DAMN thing. I will give him a tad of credit. When he was at his best he did make the Sixers half-court offense better. His ability to pass the ball in the half-court offense was a key at times for the Sixers. He was also able to spread the floor with his jumper. Problem was that he was too inconsistent.
I was ready to move on from him, obviously not the Sixers. Like I said before, I was not ready for this to be the Sixers first move in the off-season. Thanks, for surprising us Thorn..
P.S. As I got done writing this post Nash was traded to the Lakers.. Knicks fans have to be pissed off. I love it..