FIRST-FIVE…WHO YA GOT ??

Now that the excitement from the Andrew Bynum trade and the chaotic introductory press conference that followed has died down a little, it’s time to ponder the starting lineup options Doug Collins will have to choose from in 2012-13.  To say there are a number of different ways Collins could go with his first-five is an understatement.

It’s a stone-cold-lock that Jrue Holiday and Andrew Bynum will hear their names called on a nightly basis when the Sixers are introduced prior to tip off.  However after those two, the three remaining starting spots are wide open.  Will Collins go with shooter heavy starting five that includes J-Rich and Dorell Wright?  Will Evan Turner finally get a real opportunity to prove he is a starter in this League?  Will Collins stand behind the statement he made in July and run Hawes out as the Sixers starting power forward?  Does Collins think Lavoy is more then just a role player on this team? 

Really, only Doug knows right now, but after the jump the Philadunkia scribes try to predict who will take the floor in DC’s starting line up on opening night. 

 

Michael Kaskey-Blomain

PG – Jrue Holiday

SG – Evan Turner

SF –  Dorell Wright 

PF –  Lavoy Allen

C –  Andrew Bynum

The Sixers’ promising young point guard will return to his role as the team’s starting floor general.  The Sixers are now stacked at SG, and realistically any of them (Turner, Richardson, Young) could start in the right system, but now seems to be Turner’s time.  His three point shooting needs to improve, especially playing with a kick-out big like Bynum, but his athleticism and ability to get to the rim will be crucial to the Sixers this season.  With Dre gone, his defense will also be key as he will often be asked to guard the other team’s best perimeter player. 

Not the most obvious choice here at SF, but Wright is a three point threat with almost unlimited range, meaning that defenders can’t leave Dorell to double down on Bynum.  Although slightly undersized, Lavoy has a big body, enjoys contact, and can rebound. With Bynum dominating the block, Lavoy won’t need to be much of a scoring option, but rather a hard-nosed player who earns his time on the defensive end and on the glass.  Also his consistent mid-range shot will provide another outlet for Bynum on the pass out.  Obviously Bynum is a starter as he gives the Sixers a dimension they haven’t had in decades as a legitimate low-post threat and suddenly Hawes doesn’t sound so bad as a back-up.  My 6th man is Thad.  With the roster as it is currently constructed, Young still fits better in a bench role.  His minutes should still increase slightly as his versatility will allow him to be the first guy off the bench at either of the forward spots. 

Matthew Swiman

PG- Jrue Holiday

SG- Jason Richardson

SF- Evan Turner

PF- Spencer Hawes

C – Andrew Bynum

Holiday will start and after these past playoffs where he averaged 16 points 4.7 rebounds and 5 assists I am betting Jrue can produce similar numbers in the future.  Richardson will start at SG and will play not a substantial amount but he will help with his last season averages of 11 points and 37% from beyond the arc.  Last year Evan Turner showed success playing either the 1 or the 3 as his jump shot is still very weak.  That is why Turner, who is destined for a break out year will start at the SF position for the 7-6 next season.  Turner must bring great perimeter defense and help replace the Dre’s defensive presence. 

At the PF position Hawes gets the call.  Spencer must take advantage of the fact that he will have a constant height advantage over other power forwards and with Bynum being consistently double teamed he must be able to hit his 12-17 foot jumper consistently in order for him (and the team) to be successful.  Bynum rounds the lineup out for the 7-6 at the center position.  As Bynum is the number one option for the Sixers on offense I expect him to at least average 20 points and 10 rebounds.  Thaddeus Young will be the first guy off the bench and this year.  With Iguodala and Harkless are out of the spectrum Thad could see some serious minutes at the small forward position where he needs to use his athleticism to get by defenders.  After that on the depth chart I see Nick Young playing a similar role to what Lou did last year for the 7-6 and Dorrell Wright to play a role similar to Meeks, but see more minutes off the bench.

Jeff McMenamin

PG- Jrue Holiday

SG- Jason Richardson

SF- Evan Turner

PF- Thaddeus Young

C – Andrew Bynum

This lineup is based solely on two factors.  The first factor is that Turner works extremely hard in the off-season on his jumper to the point where it is very reliable.  I’m not talking about being able to hit from downtown.  He needs to be a guy that can not only create his own shot, but move without the ball and knock down open mid-range looks as well.

The second factor is based on the idea that Thad actually fulfills coach Doug Collins’ mission for him this summer and adds on an extra 20 pounds of muscle.  An extra 20 pounds will give Young the size to bang down low with other bigs both offensively and defensively, where before that had to rely more on his speed and quick hands.  It also wouldn’t hurt for him to revisit his shooting mechanics as well.

If both of these men can accomplish these missions then they deserve to be in my starting five.  If not then I think the SF position goes to Dorell Wright and PF position goes to Spencer Hawes.

Holiday and Bynum were no-brainers, and I think Richardson deserves to man the helm at SG because for one, since 2004, Ray Allen is the only player with more 3-pointers.  Another reason is that he’s now one of the lone veterans on the team who has a good deal of postseason experience.  When Bynum gets doubled, tripled, and quadrupled; Richardson will be there for the wide open three just like he did for Dwight Howard on the Magic.

I picked Nick Young for my sixth man because more than anybody that’s left on the Sixers bench, I believe Young is the best at creating his own shot and drawing fouls which is exactly what Lou Williams was relied upon to do in years past.  The difference between is that Young has a sizeable six inches and 35 more pounds on him then Lou.  Dorrell Wright will be used for shooting, Lavoy and Hawes will be used for rebounding and defensive purposes, and who knows? Maybe even Arnett Moultrie or Kwame Brown will turn out to play a larger role then people imagine.

C. Smith

PG – Jrue Holiday

SG – Jason Richardson

SF –  Evan Turner 

PF –  Spencer Hawes*

C –  Andrew Bynum

Holiday and Bynum are obvious and need no explanation.  I think Richardson will rebound from a down 2011-12 season by having a great training camp and earn the starting nod.  He’ll bring a veteran presence and much needed sweet shooting touch to the starting group.  Plus he’s a hell of an athlete and can run the floor with Jrue and Co.  We all know Collins loves defense and with Dre gone, Turner is now the second best defender on the team.  With “The Jruth” handling the opposition’s PG, Turner will be assigned to the others team’s best offensive weapon on a nightly basis.  He’s also a stellar rebounding guard who will help Bynum on the glass. Hopefully TheKidET can also score the ball a little.  

I think Collins follows through on his statement from last month and goes with Hawes at PF on opening night.  However (notice the asterisk next to Hawes), I predict that by Christmas Hawes will be replaced in the first-five by Arnett Moultrie.  Moultrie is a bouncy (37 inch vert), athletic and long (7-2 wingspan) kid who really impressed a number of scouts I spoke with prior to the Draft and I believe he will force his way into the lineup.  His ability to cover the weak side on defense when Bynum has lapses and gets out of position will really impress Collins.  He is also tenacious on the offensive glass and has the unique ability to put the ball back in the hoop quickly.  An explosive interior forward is something this team has not had in a long time.  Moultrie is here to fill that void and Collins will not be able to keep him on the bench. 

Thad will be the Sixers 6th man in 2011-13 and Wright (a SG disguised as a SF) will be the first “shooter” to come in off the bench.   

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