It’s been an unbelievably brutal season for the 76ers and their fans this year. It seems like forever ago I was sitting directly behind Iguadala on opening day as the Nuggets came to town for our season opener. Those were wonderful times. There was so much promise and hope for the season. I remember seeing Andrew Bynum that night, feeling anxious and uncertain about his future here. There was a bit more excitement back then, but the uncertainty and confusion is about the exact same.
Now that the All-Star break is over, things look completely different, and I’m trying to figure out what’s going to happen next year. Some players worked out, some players didn’t. It already seems like the season is over, so let’s get to figuring out who’s worth keeping…
10. No question that Jrue has been filling the role of a starting point guard. Earning his first All-Star appearance (which was awesome by the way), Holiday’s numbers have been way up and he’s transitioned into the ‘leader’ of this team quite nicely. I had questions of how well Jrue could manage the game, and although there were some shaky moments in the first leg of the season, he’s been quietly carrying the load throughout the season. Almost too quietly, if you ask me.
10. There’s no doubt that Turner has been more efficient in scoring this season. He’s averaging over 4 more points a game, a higher shooting percentage, a higher 3-point percentage, free throw attempts, rebounds-per-game, steals, blocks, assists, the list goes on. It seems as though the chemistry between him and Jrue are great, so breaking up this young core (ala trade rumors) would probably be a mistake. There is no question, at this point in the season, however, that Jrue is the leading man.
10. Lavoy has been consistent, averaging almost identical numbers from last season, even with the transition from power forward to center. Just as quietly as he switched roles, Lavoy managed to bring his rebound average almost a full 2 points this season, along with points per game. Allen set his career high for rebounds this year in a loss, but it was nice to see the young man assert himself so well.
10. If 10 points a game and 4 rebounds makes you an MVP (as Philly fans have been guilty of cheering), then Spencer Hawes would be the 5 year reigning champion. Problem is, it doesn’t. I would probably love having Spencer Hawes as our back-up center, but with the way things are right now, he’s getting a majority of the minutes and I’m not satisfied with the production. Nikola Vučević is doing what he’s doing, with less minutes and worse teammates. It’s not Spencer’s fault that he’s been forced to be our big man full-time this season, but for once, young man, can you just box out under the glass??
10. Bleh. If this is Lou Williams 2.0, I’ll take Lou Williams, thank you very much. Many arguments have been made about how Nick Young has been an improvement off the bench. The 700 Level even wrote that “And that’s because as much of a reputation as Young might have as a gunner or a ballhog, he never really steps out of line. He doesn’t demand the ball and jack up contested threes in crunch time. He might take some less-than-great shots, but you never really go “What the hell was he thinking?“” Ummmm…. the exactly what I’m saying 90% of the time this man gets the ball. He is a ball hog and he takes shots that have me scratching me head constantly. A wasted possession if you ask me.
10. This man is an absolute waste of space and everyone fretted him joining the roster since day one. Not only did was waste $6 million on this waffle-handed wash-up, but rumors have it that he is a pretty difficult teammate as well. He clogs up no lanes, and may God have mercy on your soul.
10. Maybe I should do negative numbers? What a disaster this entire season has been, but the icing on the cake will be when Bynum plays the last 10 games of the season when all of the results are futile, simply to audition for another team. We gobbled up this man’s contract, but as the 700 level so correctly suggests, maybe the Magic weren’t so crazy for giving up Howard in this 3-team trade for almost nothing in return. Maybe they knew something that we simply didn’t. Bynum updates have almost gotten so redundant that there is not much point in listening to them. Oh, he’s day-to-day you say? Could practice in a couple of weeks? Looking and feeling a lot better? Great… all of that does me no good until I see Bynum at Wells Fargo Center WEARING a Sixers jersey. In the meantime, I don’t care about his hair. Who gives a shit? Bynum would be wise to tread lightly going forward, as the tide is turning in the city of Philadephia.
Not mentioned, but Thaddeus Young and Jeremy Pargo are interesting highlights in the season as well. Jason Richardson, however…. is another story.
There doesn’t look to be much light at the end of the tunnel for the 2012-13 season. Hopefully, our young core of Holiday, Turner, and Young can continue to grow and carry the load. Plus, you know, the Flyers are doing a lot better…
I leave you with Jrue Holiday stealing the show at the All-Star game by singing Rihanna…