It is no secret that being inexperienced and undersized are the two biggest weaknesses for the Philadelphia 76ers. Unlike the experience, which will come naturally over time, their lack of size is something they have to act upon.
The 76ers will soon break the record for most three-pointers allowed in season. Opponents have consistently exposed the Sixers’ inability to cover the ark. The 76ers’ defensive strategy has been to fill the paint with bodies in order to make up for lack of size, and the result is open looks for three.
The Sixers recently added Dewayne Dedmon on a 10-day contract Tuesday, making him the first player signed by the franchise since it waived Dan Orton on Jan. 7.
A center, Dedmon was called up from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, in which he averaged 15.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocked shots.
The former Southern Cal player practiced with the Sixers (12-25) on Tuesday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He might play against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
First-year coach Brett Brown knows the importance of having big-man support in order to mold his team around an athletic power-forward or four-man, position.
“You’re seeing far more elusive-type four-men, four-men that can shoot 3s, and I think that’s the emergence of the game,” said Brown. “I think the Ryan Anderson-type four-man, the Thaddeus Young-type four-man are featuring more and more. And that’s just one tiny layer up from blatant small ball where you have Carmelo (Anthony) at a four or LeBron (James) at a four. I think that’s what the United States did to change their fortunes on the world stage, they went small and shot a lot of 3s.”
The change in style of play of the big man was evident this past Monday night when the Sixers hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While the Sixers are using the new style of power forward with a 6-foot-8, athletic Young — even throw in a 7-foot-1 center who likes to play from the perimeter in Spencer Hawes — the Timberwolves use a more old school approach.
At 6-foot-11 and 285 pounds, Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic is your typical, old-school banger of a center. And while Kevin Love likes to shoot the 3 from his four-spot, you can usually find him fighting down low for the rebound where he averages 13.2 per game.
Dedmon comes in at the right time. With Brown’s player development being such an influence, Sixers fans should be confident in the future of the big-man stance.
Dedmon played for the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas Summer League. He had a brief stint with the Golden State Warriors, playing a total of six minutes in four games.
He looks at the Sixers as another opportunity to show that he’s NBA worthy.
“Every time I get a chance or get a call-up or anything like that, it’s always an opportunity,” Dedmon said. “Whenever my name is called, I have to be ready to produce.”
Hopefully the Sixers will begin making defensive adjustments now.
Read more 76ers rumors, news and opinion on our Philadelphia 76ers page