Would anyone who had the Philadelphia 76ers as one of the five or ten best teams in the league and doesn’t live in the City of Brotherly Love please stand up?
I have no issues with Philadelphia’s basketball team. None at all, just getting that out there.
At this rate the Sixers probably won’t be like their football brethren in a flopping sense, the reason being that they are built for a short season. They are athletic, they can score and they can throw down ridiculous dunks.
But can it last? The 76ers can easily tear it up in the regular season and win some games against your San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics of the world due to those teams resting their aging nucleuses. The Sixers are also good enough to beat teams they should beat. And they have shown it early too by beating the Suns, Warriors, Hornets, Pistons and Raptors by an average of 22 points.
Let’s say Philly runs the table and ends up with the number three seed (completely plausible if you think about it). They would get Orlando (pending Dwight Howard) or Boston in the first round. If Orlando loses Howard, that’s a different story. But if it is Orlando or Boston, here are the main concerns. First, they aren’t very deep up front. Spencer Hawes is putting up solid numbers, yes. Elton Brand could have a random career rejuvenation after driving by a Burger King. Who knows? But outside of them and maybe Thaddeus Young (who by the way is more of a 3-4 type than a 4-5) the cupboard is bare. Nikola Vucevic is still a rookie, Craig Brackens has played 44 more minutes in the NBA than you have and Tony Battie is on the downspin of his career.
If you’re keeping track at home, yes I just listed the 76ers post players. There is no obscure Tim Duncan or Blake Griffin acquisition coming. The group of players listed above is probably what Doug Collins will roll out come playoff time.
Which brings us to problem numero dos, this team is going to have some trouble with teams with size down low. Dwight Howard would have an absolute field day on both ends of the court with the Sixers. If he gets on a tear the old “hack a Shaq” technique might be used. Which can be effective, but only if you have depth in the frontcourt. And that is exactly Philadelphia’s issue, no depth in the frontcourt.
Issue number three: playoff opponents (to some extent). It might end disastrously if the Magic are the opposing team in round one for Philly. But another killer for them could be the Boston Celtics. Think about this. If this season were normally scheduled and there wasn’t a lockout, would you take a the Celtics or the Sixers in a seven game playoff series. Sorry Philly, but most unbiased people will take Boston. Now take this season and say that Boston does indeed rest its players a lot and get into the playoffs as a low seed and play an over achieving team like the 76ers in the first round. Are you going to take a rested Celtics team or a Philadelphia squad who has been paying all year without abnormally resting guys? Again Philly, sorry, but I got Boston.
Now this is all hypothetical, and we are only 9-10 games into the season and a lot things could change. The Sixers might even be dubbed as the Eagles 2.0 and miss the second season all together. But if a playoff bid is in Doug Collin’s team’s future, there could be some problems.