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.
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..
Something has to be up. I mean, there has to be. Collins and Thorn can spin it all they want. There is no way in hell you draft another small forward in the first round and give him Sam Young minutes. Well, Doug has done something like that before with a young player and his minutes (Evan Turner). Easy there Joe, you don’t want to go down that road again. I have written about that dumbass situation a thousand times.
The first person name that pops up in everyone’s mind for a trade is Andre Iguodala. Especially, with philly.com reporting that Iggy’s sold his house. It has a lot of fans thinking that Iggy is finally on the move. Not so fast there peeps. Iggy has not lived in that house in over three years. He supposedly sold it during the Sixers playoff run. If they did move Iggy he would be the one able to bring back the most value. Here is a tweet from Iggy about the house.
“I see a lot of questions about a sold home… Haven’t lived in the house in 3yrs”
I have a weird feeling that it will Thad who is going.I love what Thad brings to this team. He is a heart and soul type of player. He could be the odd-man out. We all know Doug infatuation with Iggy. I won’t believe they are moving him until it happens. The Sixers seem vested in Turner finally, though you never know.
That is why I say Thad. I am not sure what he would bring you back in return. Off the top of my head let’s just say Thad and Vouch for Paul Millsap. The money matches-up. Millsap is making 8.1 million this year. He is also in his last year of his contract. Thad is making 7.4 million and Vouch is making 1.6 million. The Sixers would get a relentless rebounder, who has an underrated offensive game. The Jazz would get an athletic wing player in which, they need badly. Thad is a guy who will bring them energy every single night and be crafty as hell around the basket. They would also get a young center with good touch and a solid knowledge of the game.
It really makes zero sense for the Sixers to go into the season with Harkless, Turner, Iggy and Thad. ZERO. The first of July is a day away. Moves are about to be made. The question is who will be the chosen one to go?