Fizer's Take: Philadelphia 76ers
Another year and another playoff appearance for the revamped Sixers squad. Yes, for the second straight year, the Sixers have squeaked inside the 6th seed in the East thanks to awesome performances from Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Lou Williams, and of course, the rising stud, Thad Young. These core of players were able to prove right away that they can make a big impact in an improving Eastern Conference. So many ups and downs happened for the Sixers last season... Let's start with the down... They signed Elton Brand to a huge $80 Million contract only to have him end his season at 29 games..(Yikes!) They fired Mo Cheeks who have been ineffective in last season's tenure... They bid goodbye for the last time to The Spectrum, home of Dr. J's Sixers. It was a season to remember still since they also have the ups. They made it to the playoffs again and made big noises by ALMOST stunning the Magic (a repeat that happened last 2008 when they faced the Pistons)... They had a group of young studs making it big... ahem to (Iggy and Thaddy)... They won their last game at the Spectrum in fashion... No one can forget that season and it's definitely another challenge for a young team in the hopes of trying to go deeper in this coming season.
The 2009 NBA Draft left the Sixers with only one draft pick and that was in the 1st round at 17. Normally in a less-talented draft, you couldn't find a lick at 17 but the Sixers were lucky enough to land point guard prospect Jrue Holiday in their lap. A steal perhaps since Jrue was and is considered to be a lottery talent. But concerns about his shoulder injury had lots of teams facing him in questions and as Jrue realizes on draft night, his stock plummeted quickly. Still, the Sixers took their chances with his capability and went with him at 17 which isn't a bad case since they got loads of talent with questions lingering at the point guard spot. Jrue is a good athlete with a nice wingspan for his 6'4 frame and is a Delonte West type that can be a pest on D if he seeks to work on it. It's a roll of dice considering NBA-Ready prospects like Eric Maynor and Ty Lawson still at the board but you can't deny the potential this kid has in store for the City of Brotherly Love...
The offseason wasn't that great for the Sixers but it wasn't that bad either. It was more of a so-so type of offseason for them. They did bid goodbye to Andre Miller after the team refused to give the veteran a contract extension but they did however welcome back Elton Brand who vows to make up for last season's shortcomings. With the loss of Miller, Lou Williams is expected to grow under Miller's shoes which is definitely going to be hard since Miller has always been known as a pass-first point guard while Lou is more known to be a scoring point guard. Still, with hard work and the willingness to learn, Lou is going to try and fill in the void left by Andre. A lot of players still need to step up though like Samuel Dalembert who has had a subpar season and has never been a threat on the offensive end. Then there was the acquisition of Jason Kapono which could make the Sixers offense spread a little bit with Kapono lending a hand. They only gave up Reggie Evans for him. The coaching change was also eye catching as the Sixers signed in Eddie Jordan and his Princeton Offense to help the team in the hunt for the playoffs. A Miller-less Sixers doesn't sound playoffs to me but when you got talented guys like Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Marreesse Speights and Lou Williams aching to prove their worth. Nobody and I mean nobody can count them out. Will they be able to get deeper into the playoffs this coming year? Can Andre Iguodala finally have his All-Star moment? Will Thaddeus Young retain his amazing form? And of course, will Elton Brand be able to sustain a system that needs a lot of adjustment from him? With this questions answered as the season goes along, the Sixers are about to experience another Twilight Zone...
NBA Draft Grade: A-
NBA Offseason Grade: C
Predicted W-L: 41-41
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone care to comment, I am open for it^^
i was a little excited last year when philly signed elton brand, i thought he was going to bring them that moses malone type player philly management wanted. I hope elton turns this year around and plays that moses malone ball.
You and me both my friend..I'm ready for Brand to show what he showed all his career before Philly, which is 20-10 and 2. While providing toughness on the block..
he just dont seem to fit in there system/wit there players as far as being a force like he usually was before comming to philly..before he got hurt it just didnt seem to to be working out...