A cloud of uncertainty covers the city of Brotherly love. The forecast of the 76ers calls for a stormy conditions. With this storm, you do not exactly know what you are going to get. New Head Coach Brett Brown comes from a San Antonio team who fell short to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Brown is no stranger to success by playing under the tutelage of Rick Pitino at Boston University and coaching along side Greg Popovich for the last six years.
Last season: The 76ers finished with a 34-48 record, good for 9th overall in the Eastern Conference.
New Additions: Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Michael Carter-Williams, (Syracuse), Hollis Thompson (Georgetown), Tony Wroten Jr. (Memphis/Washington) James Anderson (San Antonio/Ok State), Vander Blue (Marquette), Darius Morris (LAL/Michigan), Royce White (Houston/Iowa State)
Key Losses: Jrue Holiday (to New Orleans) Nick Young (to LAL)
Projected lineup: PG: Michael Carter-Williams, SG: Evan Turner, SF: Thaddeus Young, PF: Lavoy Allen, C: Spencer Hawes
It is hard to fathom this team being competitive with the loss of Jrue Holiday and a depleted bench. Beyond the 17.7 points and 8.0 assists per game, this team lacks leadership *Paging Michael Carter-Williams. He was drafted to facilitate and lead this youth movement. Then plan for rebuilding is not very clear at this point. MCW has a lot of work to put in for silencing the critics. His offensive game is average, but his shooting is putrid. Defense is always a question for former Syracuse players due to only playing a 2-3 zone as opposed to man-to-man. We may not see the best of Carter-Williams until the Sixers put more talent around him. It is not in his personality to shoulder the scoring. 12 points and five assists is what you can look for in his first year.
Nerlens Noel was slated to be the unanimous number one pick in the draft before the knee injury. He will not be ready for the start of the season, but may provide a defensive spark when he comes back. Noel can be one of the premier shot blockers in the game. His offensive skills are a work in progress. Luckily for him, offense can be taught and improved. Nerlens must bulk up and add strength if he expects to compete with the PF/C in the East.
The backup point guard position will be something to watch closely. Tony Wroten Jr. was once rated #1 in his high school class before a knee injury sidelined him for his entire junior season. Tone was rated above Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Brad Beal. Physically he posses all the characteristics of the next great point guard. Standing 6’6 he will have the height advantage over most pgs. His Elite athleticism and quickness will be deadly once he figures out how to use all his tools. If you don’t believe me, watch this video at the 1:38 mark Tony Wroten Jr in Seattle Basketball ProAm. Controlling turnovers must be a priority if he wants to stay on the floor, or the association. Oh yeah, the jump shot still needs work. It looked much improved in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am Wroten Jr. will have every opportunity to showcase this toolbox, which once rated him the next prodigy out of Seattle.
Former 2nd overall draft pick Evan Turner is the best player on this team. This may be his one and only chance to prove him as number two worthy. He will have full control of the offense. The 13.3points per game must improve. Like at Ohio State, Turner will be counted on the make the right play and takeover the game when necessary. We know he has a killer instinct, but it has been absent since leaving Columbus. Big players step up in big situations. Let’s see what ET the Kid is made of.
Philadelphia better gear up for another youth movement. If this were an NCAA roster, it would be almost as good as Calipari’s Kentucky teams. Not even Rocky Balboa can push this team into competitiveness. I do see potential for a very bright future. Going with a youth movement will always have trials and tribulations. Realistic expectations will be more geared towards foundation development. Best-case scenario the 76ers win a few upset games and end up 22-60. Or the latter consensus is a historically bad record of 14-68.
The Optimism: Next year two first round picks lie in their back pocket. The 2014 Draft is rumored to be reminiscent to the 2003 draft that featured by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane, Wade. Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins would be a great addition at the SF if Philly was to end up with a top two pick. This is a marathon, not a race. If Brown can set the tone in year one, this team will be someone to reckon with in 2-3 years.
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