NBA 2013-14 Season Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers have been up-and-down for the last five years or so.  Since they reached the Finals in 2001, they’ve managed to be no more than a competitive playoff team.  Circumstances changed after trading Andre Iguodala and Nikola Vucevic in the 2012 offseason.  They received an injury-ridden Andrew Bynum who didn’t once put on a Sixer uniform.  Now, they are at rock bottom.  Let’s take a look at Philly’s 2013-14 season preview:

Guards (C-): Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, Tony Wroten, Darius Morris, James Anderson

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Philly GM Sam Hinkie declared a rebuilding process the moment he decided to trade All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans.  They replaced him with rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams, who many raise questions about.  He has a poor shooting ability but has the potential to be a very good playmaker, similar to Andre Miller when he played with Philly.  Evan Turner has a good chance to be the star for this Sixer team and make himself stand out.  Turner contributes in many ways as he’s an improved scorer as well as a good passer, rebounder, and defender.

Forwards (C): Thaddeus Young, LaVoy Allen, Royce White, Arsalan Kazemi, Jason Richardson (IR), Arnett Moultrie (IR)

Thaddeus Young and LaVoy Allen are youthful, hungry players who make the team decent at the forward spots.  However, they have minimal talent behind them as Jason Richardson is out until January or February.  Therefore, Young and Allen will be asked to carry a lot of weight.  Both have good size and are adept at attacking the boards.  Young has clearly shown all-star potential in his last two seasons.  This could be the year he takes his game to a new level.

Centers (C+): Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown, Daniel Orton, Nerlens Noel (IR)

The Sixers flipped Holiday for two lottery draft picks, one in which they chose highly-coveted big man Nerlens Noel.  With Noel came a risk as he still isn’t fully recovered from the ACL injury he suffered in college.  Spencer Hawes isn’t a bad player, but he’s just borderline starter material.  Philly will just have to wing it at center this season in hopes of Noel being it’s future man-in-the-middle.

Photo courtesy of thirdage.com

Defense (B): Philly’s competitive defense may be one of it’s strongest points this season.  Carter-Williams and Turner provide good size in the backcourt, unlike many teams who are undersized in that area.  Young is already a very good defensive player, averaging 2 steals and 2.9 fouls per 40 minutes in 2012-13.  Allen is a rebounding specialist as he is very aggressive on the boards.  Although Hawes isn’t a particularly mobile big man, he has the size and length to disrupt shots in the paint.  On top of all that, the Sixers defense will have to work extra hard to make up for their lack of offensive talent.

Shooting (D): Philly’s shooting is basically M.I.A.  Outside of an injured J-Rich, very few of them can efficiently shoot the three-point shot.  Their best active outside shooter is probably James Anderson, a guard off the bench who will have an opportunity to see good playing time this season.

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Experience (C-): Since Philly is in a rebuilding process, they are in the early stages of building up experience.

Standing – 15th East: For all you Sixers fans: kick back, relax, and enjoy the show.  There are some young ball players on this team who could turn it into a good franchise someday.  It just isn’t the Philadelphia 76ers’ time right now.

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