As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5”. Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.
Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?”
Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.
After the jump four Philadunkia scribes will look at four hot button 76ers topics as 2013-14 season opener looms.
1) What is your win total prediction for the 2013-14 76ers?
Jeff McMenamin: I believe the Sixers will go 15-67 this season, good for worst in the entire league. If Evan Turner gets traded before the deadline then that number will be even lower. The main reasons for such a poor season are a starting (and mediocre) rookie point guard in MCW, an extreme lack of size in the paint and absolutely no bench outside of Tony Wroten. It’s the recipe for a disaster in a big way, which is great for the #WinlessforWiggins campaign.
C. Smith: I predict the Sixers will run up a 12-70 record this season. There’s are six players on this roster who have hauled major minutes in the D-League and I don’t care what David Stern and Adam Silver say, that’s not a good thing. IMO there’s only five NBA caliber players on this roster. The problem is 12 wins won’t be a good enough tank job to earn the title of “odds on favorite to land the No. 1 pick in the 2014 Draft”. On paper, the Suns have out-tanked our Sixers, which means this franchise can’t even get losing right.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: 15 games: This team will be bad, but not historically bad. I don’t expect them to break their own record of nine total wins in an 82-game season. The team has some talent, especially between Young/Turner/Hawes, but the lack of experience and superstar play (both crucial aspects to late-game success) will end up costing them a lot of wins. This season will be used to evaluate talent, and wins will be few and far between. Hopefully this strategy will land the team in prime lottery position next summer.
Alex Gorge: 19 wins. That isn’t a guess, its basketball science. The 76ers will play semi-beatable teams about 25 times this season. The beatable teams for 7-6 this year include Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix, Toronto, Washington and Cleveland (Washington and Cleveland are a stretch). From those games we’ll take away about 15 wins. Then add in four random wins that we have no explanation for and that gets us up to a grand total of 19.
2) When the losses start piling up, which Sixers player will be the first to snap and give the media a great rant?
Jeff McMenamin: If you look at the Sixers’ roster, there’s really only one player in the position to speak out without consequence — Evan Turner. It won’t be that harsh of a rant, but it will say something along the lines of, ‘I get no help on this team,’ and it will rub some of the players on the team the wrong way. He’s the one who stated before the year that he had no plans of tanking, so at some point he’s going to snap when the losses start to mount.
C. Smith: Evan Turner — no doubt. He gave DC a ton of lip last year during games and he made some questionable comments to the media in 2012-13 as well. His recent comments about ‘getting his money, regardless’ are just a preview of what’s to come from “The Enigma”. Somehow ET has become the anointed leader of this team — on and off the court. He’ll be jacking shots from all over the floor, while hitting for 16+ ppg. and grabbing 8.0 rpg. The local media will be hanging on his every word. It’s only a matter of time before the L’s send him over the edge and he talks his way out of town.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: Evan Turner is my bet to give a great mid-season rant. He has been known to make questionable comments when given a mic (see: his media day slip-up, and his recent comments about ‘getting his money regardless’), and he seems to lack that part of you that is supposed to stop you from saying something stupid. Turner has been frustrated throughout his tenure in Philadelphia, and I could certainly see him letting out a YouTube-quality soundbite when the team is in the midst of a 15-game losing streak. Turner hasn’t been portrayed too favorably in Philadelphia media as of late, and with his potential permanent trip out of town coming at the trade deadline or in the offseason, he may take this opportunity to do some venting.
Alex Gorge: Alright, let’s say the season goes as predicted and the 7-6 start out something like 5-20, one of three things could happen. Evan Turner could finally snap after the constant questions about his shooting percentage and either throw something or proclaim he can’t wait to leave the team; Kwame Brown could fall into a deep depression and say something like “I miss the good ole days back in Brunswick, Georgia”; Nerlens Noel could also act as if he is above all of this losing from a distance and make a Ryan Kalil type guarantee of reaching the Finals next year. Please Nerlens, we don’t need that pressure.
3) What is one thing you are looking forward to watching with the 2013-14 Sixers?
Jeff McMenamin: This is kind of a funny question to me, because I’m more excited about the head-scratching milestones the team will reach than I am about the actual positives the team could show on the court. Outside of the development of Tony Wroten and the possibility of seeing Nerlens Noel getting his first NBA action, there’s really nothing positive I’m looking forward to this season. I want to see things like the Sixers’ rebounding numbers compared to the rest of the league, fans buying up whole rows of seats to games for less than a dollar again and seeing if this team can break the 1972-73 Sixers’ records of 20 consecutive losses on the way to a franchise-low 9-73 record. I’m ready for this team to stink it up.
C. Smith: I am looking forward to watching a new, more exciting and efficient offensive system. Doug’s conservative, avoid the live-ball turnover at all costs-offense is gone — thank goodness. In its place will be an uptempo offense that stresses fast breaks, 3PAs and driving to the tin (for a bucket or FTs). In short it will be modern-day NBA basketball. They may lose a ton of games this year, but the Sixers will not be boring to watch.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: I am looking forward to watching the development of some of the young guys and seeing if the have a place with the franchise going forward. The Sixers have a lot of untapped young talent on the team and will be using this season to evaluate them. Players like Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten will have plenty of opportunities to display their talents, and I will be interested to see how such players perform and develop throughout the season. Is Michael Carter-Williams going to get better and develop into a legitimate NBA-caliber point guard? Situations like these are what I will enjoy watching unfold throughout the season.
Alex Gorge: The evolution of Thad Young will be interesting to watch. Young will be put in an alpha dog-type role with this team getting every shot he wants. If the rumors are true about Young becoming a better three-point threat then he may be in for a career-year stat-wise. The other interesting thing to watch this year will obviously be ticket sales at the Wells Fargo Center.
4) What will be the state of this team after 30 games — and we’re not talking about just wins and L’s?
Jeff McMenamin: I see this team being very careless and demoralized after 30 games. Outside of Thaddeus Young, there’s really no leader to keep them in check and keep their spirits high. The majority will be finding more success playing as themselves in NBA 2K14 then on the court for the 7-6. Looking at their schedule, I seriously believe at best they can finish 6-24 through the first 30 games. Brett Brown will keep the team conditioned and learning, but even with their best efforts, it’s not going to translate to wins on the court.
C. Smith: The state of this team after 30 games is going to be train wreck-ish. Forget about the idea that the Sixers could be 3-27 at that point in the season, but I think that the team will also be filled with drama. MCW1 will struggle and lose his starting job to Tony Wroten. The bloom will have come off the preseason rose that is James Anderson, so we’ll also need to find a starting SG. Daniel Orton will be starting for an injured Spencer Hawes. Plus, trade rumors around Thad, Turner and Hawes will kick into high gear. At the 30 game pole of the 2013-14 season it will not be pretty for this rebuilding team.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: The team will be in rough shape after 30 games, as they will likely only have a handful of wins by that point. This team has a lot of new players and lacks clearly defined roles, so there is high potential for things to get ugly. It will be important for the veteran guys like Thad, Evan, and Spencer to keep the team together through tough times and what is sure to be lots of losses. Some players don’t handle losing well, especially those that are unaccustomed to it, so the team really needs to bond and build together, as the slogan suggests, or this struggle of a season could get even uglier.
Alex Gorge: This is a tanking season and everyone associated with the Sixers knows that. That’s why I think, even though public perception of the team may be horrendous, inside the franchise everyone will follow the long-term process and constantly be evaluating future plans. The team itself will of course be frustrated if they start out something like 5-25. This is irrelevant due to the simple fact that a good third of this team won’t be around season. The most important thing is that Brett Brown finds out who the key players are who he will move forward with.
Jeff McMenamin is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @Sixersblog.
Alex Gorge is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @apg3000.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.
You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.