76ers: Who Stays, Who Goes?76ers, BREAKING NEWS, News Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Well it was fun while it lasted. This team has its flaws, but they had the heart and grit to push the Boston Celtics to Game 7, and had a realistic shot at winning it. When I saw Paul Pierce foul out on an offensive foul with about four and a half minutes left in the game with the Sixers where just down five I thought to myself , ‘Man, we can do this.”
Then Rajon Rondo decided to take over, outscoring the Sixers by himself 10-2 down the stretch. I have finally moved on from that, and decided who stays/who goes. There are likely no untouchables on this team, with the possible exceptions of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. I say that with a big maybe, But let’s play with the roster anyway.
Jrue Holiday: Jrue had an up and down regular season. He would start a game fast, then fade second half. That had more to do with Doug Collins going to Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala a lot during fourth quarters earlier in the season. Holiday had a very good playoff run, He led the Sixers scoring, and was more aggressive going to the hoop, displaying an ability to finish with either hand. In these playoffs we learned that Jrue is not afraid or fazed by any situation. He is 21, and it seems like he will be here for a long time.
Evan Turner: Nobody had more of a roller coaster season than him. We were ready to see that back-court of Jrue/Evan grow together from the beginning, but it took a little longer than expected. Early on ET was stuck behind Collins’ love-child Jodie Meeks for some odd reason. All jokes aside Doug held Evan back. Turner had a tendency to mope at times, though he made great strides in the playoffs. He seemed to enjoy being Public Enemy #1 in Chicago, and was unfazed by the boos he received. Like Jrue, he seemed not to be scared of any situation. Still needs to work on that jumper. He and Jrue should be the back-court for a long time one would think.
Thaddeus Young: He is the heart and soul of this team. He always sacrifices his body to help the cause. Overall, Thad had very good season. His mid-range jumper got better, which enabled him to get to the lane more. His jumper did seem to disappear late in the season and playoffs because of fatigue. Constantly going up against the bigger, stronger power forwards finally wore him down. Thad really does not have a position. He doesn’t have good enough handle to be a starting small forward, and isn’t strong enough to be a starting at the four. When Thad is going, he is matchup nightmare for opposing teams. Like Doug said, he needs to add about ten pounds of muscle, and improve his jumper even more.
Nikola Vucevic/Lavoy Allen – I will start with Vuch. He showed that he has soft hands, and a nice little jumper. He was willing to bang with the big-men down low, but he would get pushed around at times. He needs to get stronger. Collins lost confidence in him when he hit the “rookie wall”. I would have played him through it.
Lavoy my man, where did you come from? He had a couple decent showings in the regular season, but who knew this was coming. Allen showed that he can be a force offensively and defensively as well. He made Kevin Garnett work for every inch on the court. What remains to be seen is if he can do it consistently. If he does, the Sixers have found a diamond in the rough. The Sixers have made a qualifying offer to Lavoy for $900,000. They will likely have to pay more than that.
Elton Brand: I love the way he plays. He showed his true toughness in the postseason by basically playing with one shoulder. To me at least, it seemed like he took Lavoy under his wing. Brand didn’t have much left, but what ever he had left he gave to the Sixers. True professional. Sixers will most likely amnesty him. He is going into his last year of his contract at $18 million. Interesting thought here, the Sixers could hold on to him until the trade deadline if they don’t like the way the offseason is shaking out. We all know how the NBA loves their expiring contracts. Who knows if the owners are willing to eat his contract.
Lou Williams: He finished second in the 6th man voting. He had solid year, but his style of play hurt the Sixers as much as he helped them. He was a one trick pony. If he wasn’t scoring he did nothing else. Doug is to be blamed a little for this as well for thinking Lou was the only option at the end of games. That act got old real quick. Lou struggles creating for others. He has a player option for next year at $ 6 million. Everyone seems to think he will opt out. I am hoping he does just that.
Spencer Hawes: Hawes teased the team with a number of double-doubles early in the season. He spent most of the year trying to get healthy, and then was hit or miss in the playoffs. He’s a soft defensive presence, and the Sixers will let someone else pay him big money.
Jodie Meeks: Yes, when Jodie is on he can really make an impact on a game. Though such impacts would happen only once a month or so. He probably was Doug’s favorite player on this team. All honestly, maybe he could fit on this team as a 8th or 9th man coming of the bench. Though he is not consistent enough with his jumper. He seems unlikely to return.
Craig Brackins/Sam Young/Tony Battie - Well, Brack at least you have a nice Fo-Hawk. Later.
Sam I actually like your game. I saw what you brought to Memphis last year when Gay got hurt. He didn’t get a chance here and it seems like he will be gone.
Tony, can we name you an assistant coach already?
Stuck in the Middle
Andre Iguodala: He had his best overall year in his Sixers career. He has become a top-three wing defensive player. It still is a flat-out joke that he didn’t even make second team all defensive. He has become the player he has always should have been: defense first, offense second. Iggy is a good all-around player. He even developed a solid three-point shot when he is set. He was clutch in the playoffs too. He has changed some people’s minds about him with his play. He might be the piece that could help the Sixers get a big-man. If they are able to get that for him I am all for it. I wouldn’t move just to move him.
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