The team has had some ups and downs, that is for sure. As for this team being superior to last year’s team, that idea we can quite honestly throw out the window, with or without Bynum. Variance is a word that I often use. This year’s team has so far outperformed its expected Win-Loss record by 3 wins.
Conversely, last year’s team underperformed on its Win-Loss record by at minimum six games. Think about that for a second. Some things have turned out for the better and some for the worse.
On the other side of the jump, will be my evaluation (of sorts) of the 76ers after 20 games in the 2012-13 season.
Thad is unquestionably the 76ers best player. He is good on both ends of the court and brings it on a nightly basis. Giving up some combination of size and strength every night is both physically and emotionally taxing. That being said, it’s going to be very tough to win a playoff series with 35 minutes of Thaddeus Young at PF. That isn’t an indictment of Thad, it’s just a reality at this point and going forward. I look forward to the day when he is allowed to start shooting 3’s again.
Rondo outplayed Jrue over the first 3 meetings of this season as did Raymond Felton, with a splash of Jason Kidd in the early back-to-back. In the first Toronto game, minus Lowry, Jose Calderon by far got the best of his match-up against Jrue. The next time Philly faced Toronto, Kyle Lowry made a surprising return to the lineup and the combo of Lowry-Calderon outpaced Jrue for most of the game. After two games against Toronto, Calderon gets the win against Jrue.
The games against Ty Lawson, Greives Vasquez, Kemba Walker were good old fashion stalemates, Lowry falls under this category as well. Jrue destroyed Dragic, Mo Williams/Randy Foye, Dominique Jones and Kirk Hinrich/Nate Robinson. The Dragic game was the best of his career, and one I certainly didn’t see coming as I predicted a polar opposite after the previous game……..
Which leads me to this point, Holiday got absolutely worked by Westbrook, Jennings, Brandon Knight, Jeremy Pargo and Ridnour-Barea. Darren Collison outdid Holiday too but not in the manner of the aforementioned players.
In the first Cleveland game, Holiday put on a masterful defensive performance. Which was seriously downgraded the next day when Kyrie Irving was diagnosed with a broken finger (from the game against Dallas the night before) and listed as out for a month.
Here is a link that helps to make my point.
If you check out WS48, Holiday is a distant 6th out of the point guards in the Atlantic Division (Jason Kidd is sporting a robust .230 WS48, and Sweet Lou has .172 WS48 which is 2x Holiday) and while it isn’t perfect, there is something to it. For instance, Holiday is producing 5/6 the WS48 of Calderon and the Raptors have only won 4 games this year. The top 6 guys in the NBA in WS48 are Durant, Lebron, CP3, Kobe, Duncan and Tyson Chandler, there is a reason they are at the top. Just like there is a reason that Holiday is where he is. When you only truly outplay 1 good player over the course of a game in 20 games, at what point will people stop deluding themselves into thinking that Jrue is elite or close to it?
Evan Turner is still not good, just less terrible as of right now. Defensively, I do trust DC and he has certainly shown that he doesn’t view ET in high esteem on that end of the floor. Offensively, Turner is shooting an absurd 48% from 10-15 feet and 45% from 3. After being a career 40% and 28% from those 2 spots coming into the season, a regression to the mean is inevitable. 48% from 10-15 is prime Nash and Dirk territory as for his 3pt shooting…… I’ll give credit where it’s due, all but 7 of his 3pt attempts (ET is 3-7 on non corner 3s) have been from the corner and more often than not it is a wide open shot and he has been sticking ‘em.
The reality is ET has a 50.5 TS%, at his apex of shooting efficiency, is maybe an average defender, doesn’t get offensive rebounds (the true test of a good rebounder) has kept his turnovers down and has shown to be adept at creating for others. He isn’t D-League, he is an 8th man but that’s under the condition his 2 hot spots, stay hot.
Jason Richardson has been the teams second best player. He has returned to form and then some from a few seasons ago. In the best interest of the franchise, I really hope he is traded to a team like Utah, Chicago or Denver, who could all really use him and just get the cap space going forward by taking in Raja Bell, Rip Hamilton or shipping $3,000,000 to Denver and J-Rich just being absorbed by their massive $13mil trade exception from the Nene-Mcgee Deal. Richardson has played admirably so far but all I see is a guy who is hurting the 76ers future title equity by lowering the teams lottery odds on a night basis.
Nick Young is EXACTLY what I said he was. Dorell Wright has been a major disappointment on the offensive end, defensively he has been fine. Kwame is all sorts of bad, I’d suggest he go play in Europeland but I doubt the guy has a passport and I don’t think any Euro team would help him get one either. At least, Dorell was free and is more than likely to bounce back to the form he has shown the past few years.
Lavoy has gotten over his early season struggles and is starting to play with confidence, why o’ why didn’t the front office give him more than a 2 year contract.
Spencer has been a major disappointment. The only redeeming factor is that he was the best player on the court in the Denver game and his other two best games, were the 76ers two wins against the Boston Celtics. That certainly won’t fly and I don’t expect it to continue. The loss of Brand and Iggy has hurt Hawes more than anyone else on the team and it shows.
Royal has been fine is in his role, gotta be happy with how he has played. Wilkins has been Wilkins. Maalik has had some nice moments here and there. Anyone think that Moultrie would put up the same numbers as Vucevic if he was on Orlando???
The team is a respectable 11-9 but that is in at least one person’s estimation, it’s a total mirage. Over the next 20 games, the 7-6 will be favorites in at most 7 games. Variance played a positive role to start the season and even if the team breaks even in that regard going forward, the days of .500 basketball will be over by Christmas.
Regardless of record, this team isn’t competing for a championship even with a healthy Bynum. The fans and front office will now play the waiting game for an All-Star big to return and lead the team to nothing except inevitable disappointment.