08/23/11 8:30 am EST
As you may or may not know, Zach Lowe at SI.com’s basketball blog “The Point Forward” produced a pretty interesting series of posts where he ranked the Top 100 players in the NBA. The way it worked is that Zach didn’t consider salary or age or anything outside of how good a basketball player the cats in the NBA are currently.
Over at ESPN.com they are ranking all NBA players from #500 – #1 on skills alone as well.
It seems the lockout is producing a lot of lists.
So here at Philadunkia decided we should do something similar for the Sixers. The Philadunkia scribes were charged with ranking the twelve relevant members of the 76ers 2010-11 roster from worst to first on basketball skills alone. We also included one or two lines of witty writing with each player’s ranking.
Rankings after the jump.
Not a whole lot to say here. Obviously.
After putting Tony Baloney at number 362 in ESPN’s ranking of the top 400 players in the NBA, Dash Deshloovere tweeted Tony Battie was drafted 5th overall in 1997. Is it possible to call someone who’s played in the NBA for 13 years a bust?
So, yeah, that’s Tony Battie for you.
Marreese “Mo’ Cheese” Speights is arguably one of the 500 best basketball players on the planet, which is a pretty incredible accomplishment. The fact that it’s arguable is sort of an issue though.
Spencer Hawes had the best season of his young career last year, earning the trust of his coach and the patience of the fan base. Unfortunately, he also produced 0.8 wins–which is roughly what Dwight Howard does every two games.
Andres 3000 is the best of the crop of useless players that populate the back end of the Sixers’ bench. We see a pretty sharp uptick in quality from here on.
Sweet Lou had a bad year last year that, with the benefit of hindsight, doesn’t look quite as bad as it seemed at the time. His assist and rebound numbers regressed, but only in relation to his dip in minutes, and while his FG% tumbled, he still shot the three well and crushed it from the foul line. Lou Williams isn’t somebody you can build a winner around, but at 24, he’s definitely someone you can build a winner with.
Jodie Meeks is a nice guy to have around. Jodie Meeks is not a guy who should be playing 28 minutes a night.
ET is another guy whose ’10-’11 looks a lot better through the rear view mirror. While he wasn’t quite as dynamic as expected on the offensive end, he also wasn’t nearly as bad as some of those hating haters have suggested: he shot 42.5 percent from the floor (same as Jodie Meeks), was at 80 percent from the line, and rebounded as well as any SG in the NBA. The moral: all that glitters isn’t gold, and all that stinks isn’t sh*t.
(That analogy is already looking a lot worse through the rear view mirror.)
It was an absolute joy to see Elton Brand–a hardworking and deeply decent guy whose failure to live up to his contract is the fault of his legs and not his character — have such a nice bounce back season. Now, for the love of god, let’s trade him.
After getting a reduction in playing time, Thad thrived last season. Like pop music and cocaine, he’s best in small doses.
The future of the team became the present last season. We’re all looking forward to what comes next. Whenever that is.
1.) Andre Iguodala
Philadelphia sports fans don’t appreciate Andre Iguodala. This is our bad. Iggy produced the 14th most wins in the NBA the last five years. Which is, you know, pretty good.
12) Tony Battie
My mom watched about 12 minutes of Philadelphia basketball with me this past year. Within those 12 minutes she noticed three things: Iguodala has big ears, Doug Collins is “scary when he screams,” and Tony Battie “isn’t the best looking guy.” It was odd enough, that Battie was actually on the floor when she happened to tune in; considering he played about 12 minutes all season.
11) Craig Brackins
His game is about as useful as his blog. Excuse me, did I say useful? I meant useless.
10) Marreese Speights
If I had a nickel for every time Mo Speights didn’t box out, I’d be a gazillionaire.
9) Andres Nocioni
Look at the guys on our current roster, Nocioni is the only foreigner on the Sixers. Good thing we drafted Nikola Vučević, becuase Dirk just won a ring, we need more of these guys! I’m only kidding, well, sort of. This whole notion that foreign born players can lead a team to a championship now that Dirk has done it is absurd. Just because one player did it, doesn’t mean the league should be terrified of Andrea Bargnani eventually becoming a terrorizing force.
8) Spencer Hawes
Is there a goofier looking player in the NBA than Hawes? I can’t think of one off the top of my head and don’t know if one will ever come to mind. I wonder how this translates to his love life? I know the NBA has a strong groupie following, but I have a feeling it excludes Hawes.
7) Jodie Meeks
I’m a big fan of Meeks. Probably because I was a liability on the floor just like him, unless, similar to Meeks, I was shooting the ball. And I just realized that I compared my pedestrian JV basketball skills to a guy who scored 54 points in a college game. I promise, I’m sober.
6) Lou Williams: Similar to Iverson, Lou-Will has been tagged a ball hog throughout his career. Unlike Iverson, Lou-Will doesn’t defend, isn’t nearly as quick and couldn’t lead children to Chuck E Cheese. Iverson’s antics were always justifiable due to his talent. Lou-Will’s are not.
5) Evan Turner
I’m curious to see how he does next season, ET could easily climb this order with a stout sophomore year. For now, Turner is a polished player who defends well and wants the ball in his hands. Let’s see how he progresses…
3b) Thaddeus Young
3a) Jrue Holiday
I couldn’t choose between Thad and Jrue, both are vital pieces for the Sixers. I think Jrue has the brighter future, but Thad’s versatility makes him valuable. It was a tough decision, so I left them tied. Also, if we did a Who Sucks On Twitter blog post, they’d be tied for the lead! Not a fan of either of them on Twitter.
2) Elton Brand
Since last July, LeBron has become the villain of the NBA, Dirk and the Mavericks finally didn’t choke in the postseason and Elton Brand had an unforeseeable career resurgence. Unfortunately, casual NBA fans are aware of the first two unexpected things, but probably couldn’t confirm that Brand is still in the League.
1) Andre Iguodala
I won’t undervalue or under appreciate AI9 like one of my colleagues (cough, cough: Kevin Jones), but Iguodala is the best player. Because he doesn’t do one thing great — besides defend (boring) — people ignore his offensive prowess. Iguodala scores, rebounds and passes well, is good in transition, and a freakish athlete; yet, Sixers fans don’t appreciate his ability because he doesn’t score enough. We expect too much from AI9, he’s a quality player, just not special.
12) Craig Brackins
I love that assistant coach Aaron McKie was working out with Brackins on a regular basis before the lockout started. And who knows, they may even still be working out secretly. What? You think David Stern has spies following players and coaches around? Wait… actually….
11) Tony Battie
His play doesn’t even warrant a full senten…
10) Andres Nocioni
Él toca la peor defensiva de la liga. Debemos tener lo cambiaron principios de la temporada pasada. (He’s as lost on defense as you are trying to read this).
9) Mo Speights
20 total minutes in five playoff games. Also a career low in points and rebounds. Speights may have a new uniform once the season begins. For some reason, the Iowa Energy makes sense to me.
8) Spencer Hawes
Hawes only had memorable moments when shooting the basketball from outside. Newsflash bro: you’re a center not a European small forward. Learn to foul, defend and to not get your haircuts in the dark.
7) Evan Turner
April 5, 2011. It was a date in which the 7-6 played the Celtics, and a win meant playing the aging squad in the first round, a team the Sixers played tough against all season. A loss meant a trip down to South Beach. Brand, AI9 and Holiday combined to go 12-for-37 (32 percent) while Evan Turner was 9-for-14 with a game high 21 points. A few weeks later Turner found himself in the lineup during crunch time in the playoffs. Like an NFL cornerback, Turner doesn’t need to dwell on the ill-wills that happened prior to April 5, 2011.
6) Jodie Meeks
I can argue that Meeks’ offense was way more valuable than Iguodala’s. The thing about Jodie is that he single-handily won a few games. He did against Charlotte in December, his coming out party. He did against the Bulls in January, going 8-for-11. Look at how productive he was in March too.
5) Thaddeus Young
Thad’s burst off the bench was supposed to be an extremely favorable matchup against the Miami Heat in the postseason. Then Young did his best ‘Space Jam’ impersonation by mentally checking out when Doug Collins needed him the most, posting four points in the critical game three and two points in game four. I can’t ignore that. He showed improvement in his shot selection this past season though, hitting 54 percent of his buckets.
4) Lou Williams
January was the make or break month for the 76ers. The team entered the New Year 13-20 and looked lottery bound. Enter the Sixers most clutch scorer and rapping sensation Lou-Will. Williams averaged 15.9 during a month in which the Sixers were 8-6 including wins over the Bulls, Jazz, Suns and the Carmelo Nuggets. Without a few of those victories, a playoff spot may have slipped away.
3) Jrue Holiday
Holiday scores only 14 points per game, because that’s all Doug Collins will allow him too (please check out the chart I made). It is time for Holiday to become the go-to scorer, a poor-mans Russell Westbrook if you will. Holiday needs to average closer to 16 shots a game rather than 12. His three point ability – 37.5 percent – is almost as dangerous as his left hand is off the pick-n-roll.
2) Andre Iguodala
If his on-court attitude and shot selection were different, he would flirt with the number one spot. Evan Turner told me his mentor on the team was Lou Williams, as did Jrue Holiday. Iguodala’s style of play is as unselfish as its gets. His passing and defending skills rival LeBron James. Still there are reasons the 76er front office has been rumored to trade him 31 times. His inconsistencies on offense, smelly foul shooting and lack of clutch ability with the ball will always interfere how he’s viewed around the NBA.
1) Elton Brand
Without him there’s a zero percent chance of playoffs. Without Iguodala who knows? Brand was the team leader in points, rebounds, blocks and fouls – yes fouls. He actually sacrifices his body, while Hawes and the others sometimes seem like ghosts. And he managed to stay healthy! No one seems to get as fired up as Brand on the court.
I’m still angry he was on the team in 2010-11. ‘Nuff said.
I was a little shocked this decently skilled big didn’t get more of an opportunity with the 7-6 last year…
…especially with this one-dimensional dog sitting on the bench.
A streaky 3-point shooter who plays ole’ defense and can’t handle the rock does not rank very high on my list
Spence can pass and shoot, which is a nice set of skills to have for a perimeter player. Of course Hawes is a 7-foot center who doesn’t care to rebound, play defense or bang down low and it makes me want to cry.
Louis scores in buckets, can be your primary ball handler for stretches and is money from the FT line. On some nights he is actually electrifying to watch. However, he couldn’t spell “pass” if you spotted him the P-A-S and his defense is suspect at best. Louis also doesn’t seem to care about improving either of those elements of his game.
As a Sixer “Noc” has shown quick flashes of the 5-tool player and legit three-point threat who once averaged 14 ppg. for the Bulls. The problem is those flashes are sandwhiched between long stretches of D-League level play.
If and when Turner gets his broke jumper fixed, he has a chance to be a very good player in the League for a long time.
EB is a very skilled and fundamentally sound basketball player. If only he was a little faster, jumped higher and could passs the ball out of the post.
We all know Thad can score and that he is a fantastic athlete with a great motor. We also all know that Thad needs to improve his defensive fundamentals and rebound a little better. Still, I’m really excited about Thad’s potential. I believe that under Doug Collins’ guidance he could develop into a great player for the Sixers.
There is no doubt that Iguodala is a very solid, athletic, 5-tool player. But that’s it. If I was an opponent, there is no one element of his game blows me away or scares me in the least. There is nothing wrong with the player that Iguodala is — most guys would kill to have his career — and I believe he gets a raw deal in this town. Still, his overall “very solid” game puts him at #2 in my Sixers rankings.
Let the reader comments fly, but Holiday is at the top of my Sixers list. Jrue has better handles then Iguodala, distributes the pill better and he certainly shoots the rock from the outside better then AI9 as well. His defense is rock solid (as is Iguodala’s) and he rebounds very well for a guard. His basketball IQ is off the charts and he appears to have the killer instinct that ‘Dre lacks. My suspicions that Jrue is the best player on the Sixers were confirmed during the 2011 NBA Playoffs when Dwyane Wade commented that the Heat’s scouting report for the Sixers “began and ended” with Holiday.