Can Sixers’ Iguodala and Turner form a broke man’s Pippen and Jordan?
Philly poured a bit over $68 million to field a 2010-2011 team that will not make the playoffs. They will be ranked number eleven among 30 teams in total salary committed for that season. They are ahead of notable playoff teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Oklahoma City Thunder. In short – that’s terrible.
Philly fans do not overreact about Evan Turner. Yes, he had a terrible summer league where he even admitted that his play was a steaming pile. Let’s appreciate the kid’s brutal honesty – not many can admit to that. Derrick Rose had a horrible summer league outing once while Michael Beasley looked fantastic. Rose went on to get the Rookie of the Year award. Beasley struggled. Case in point, summer league is not a great way to determine a player’s performance against true NBA competition.
To rank near the top ten in payroll while not producing an above .500 playoff team is a bigger offense. Management, and fans alike, has to question if a tandem of Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner will work. One has to see the duo in action before making any judgment.
Both players are all around players. They rebound, defend, and score. Iggy and Turner can switch off between guard and small forward just like Jordan and Pippen. Each can average at least 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Sixers would love to see these studs become a dangerous pair. They appear to complement each other, but there are three problems that does not balance everything out.
The Sixers were 27-55 in the Atlantic Division, which is the weakest in the East. The squad will slightly improve on the record considering that a new coaching staff is in place spearheaded by Doug Collins. The addition of Evan Turner should also improve the team since his play style is similar to Brandon Roy, who is a stud out in Portland. That does not necessarily mean his skills will translate well so we'll have to see.
The addition of Spencer Hawes definitely replaces Samuel Dalembert’s skills. The team needed more from the center position than just rebounds and blocks. He is a solid big man defender, but Hawes offers more. In Sacramento, people questioned his desire to get better. It wasn’t a lack of heart. The truth is he became content. Some fans only remember him as the awkward white center who can shoot threes yet can’t rebound or the poor man’s version of Brad Miller. Hawes averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds last season. He just needs to get it together, stay consistent, and not look awkward at times. “The Passion of Argentina” Andres Nocioni is on the decline and will hardly cause any impact.
Do the Sixers have a shot at making the playoffs? Yes.
Final verdict: 30 wins. 3rd in Atlantic Division. Jrue Holiday has a lot to learn. Elton Brand is still not a huge difference maker. Doug Collins helps with the learning. Unless Evan Turner is like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, or even Michael Jordan in his rookie year, the Sixers will not make the playoffs. Not all is lost – they will improve.