“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 key questions that are currently facing our 76ers and some answers from four Philadunkia scribes.
1) Fact or Fiction: Wright should be moved into the starting line-up for the foreseeable future?
Jeff McMenamin: Fiction. Dorell Wright doesn’t have the size or consistency in my mind to deserve the starting role. Don’t get me wrong, I’m high on Wright and think he’s a key player on this roster, but I’ve seen him disappear in games more frequently then he’s showed up this season. A lot of this has to do with him being placed in the Do(u)g-house, but in the month of November for example he shot just 33 percent from the field compared to December where he’s shooting 43 percent while receiving just over one more minute a game. It’s easy to start a love affair for a guy after his best performance of the season against the Grizzlies, I just don’t see him producing better than Turner or Richardson on a nightly basis. More minutes, yes. Starter minutes, no.
Tom Sunnergren: Fact. Any lineup adjustment that results in Dorell Wright getting more playing time, and Nick Young getting less, is one that will benefit the Sixers. (That is unless we decide to start tanking to improve our lottery standing, in which case playing Dorell over Swaggy will hurt us. I think I need to sit down.)
Steve Toll: Fact: D-Wright is in his prime, is currently the best of the 3 new sharpshooters and has been the past couple seasons.
C. Smith: Fact. As long as the foreseeable future means that I can change my mind and go back to J-Rich the moment I feel that Wright’s current hot streak is totally over. I am a firm believer in riding the hot hand and right now, Wright is playing very well at both ends of the floor. Nothing against J-Rich here, as I felt he was the best man for the job in the early going this year, but right now I’d like to see how much Wright’s increased minutes and improved play can help this team.
2) Should the 76ers make an inquiry call to the Kings regarding Cousins and discuss what it would take to pry him out of Sacto?
Jeff McMenamin: Despite his piss-poor attitude and work ethic, there’s no denying the talent of Cousins. As much as I’d hate to see a player like Lavoy Allen leave, the Kings at this point are more than willing to make a trade work with suitors around the NBA. In order for the trade to work, the Sixers would have to give up a combo of Allen, a defensive piece for Sacto’s 27th ranked defense, a young player or a future draft pick. The organization has invested too much in Evan Turner at this point for him to leave, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they offered Dorell Wright, Nick Young, Arnett Moultrie or a future draft pick along with Allen in order to make a deal work. The Kings are fed up with Cousins and I think Doug Collins, Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Jason Richardson would be great guys to surround Cousins with to improve his attitude. As for Andrew Bynum? Not so much.
Tom Sunnergren: He’s worth a look — the list of guys who can own the glass like he can is a short one — but the inefficient scoring coupled with the whole “team cancer” thing makes me weary of Boogie. That said, he dominated in college at a level few do and I guess it’s possible that a strong dose of Doug Collins discipline will get him on the right track. Okay, I’ve talked myself into it.
Steve Toll: There is no player on the 76ers who is a better asset going forward than DMC. It’s that simple. Garcia has a team option which won’t get picked up, plus we send over $3,000,000 because the Kings need cash and our next available 1st rd pick. If Bynum can’t be salvaged, the 76ers would have $20,000,000 in cap space this off-season. If Bynum is healthy…. Imagine the possibilities.
C. Smith: There’s no harm in having DC and Dileo make the call to Sacto to find out what the asking price would be right now. The thought of a mentally stable Cousins in a Sixers uniform makes me giddy. However, we all know he is not mentally stable and I am not sure that even a well respected veteran coach like DC has the cure for what is wrong between DMC’s ears. Still if the asking price was cheap, and I mean cheap, I could be talked into rolling the dice here.
3) Fact or Fiction: The Sixers have an issue at back-up point guard?
Jeff McMenamin: Fact. The Sixers went 0-4 in the absence of Jrue Holiday. Evan Turner is not a point guard, he is a distributor and that was evident during those games as well. If Holiday goes down again or gets in foul trouble late in a game, the Sixers need someone who can run the offense while also penetrating and drawing defenses off-balance. Maalik Wayns and Royal Ivey haven’t showed they’re capable of doing so. With the Jazz not knowing whether or not to give minutes to Jamaal Tinsley or Earl Watson to spell Randy Foye, could the Sixers possibly make a run at one to fill the void? Each are averaging over four assists a game in just under 20 minutes. With the Jazz now lacking in height with Derrick Favors’ ailing foot injury, maybe sending over Moultrie is all it would take to pry one of them away from the Jazz.
Tom Sunnergren: Fact, but so does everybody else. There are only so many Eric Bledsoe’s floating around the Association. Plus, with all that’s gone (and is going) wrong with this team, fixating on our problems at the point would be like looking at the federal budget and pitching a fit about janitorial fees at the Lincoln Memorial.
Steve Toll: Fiction: ET is a fine backup PG especially for only 10mpg. Delonte West would also be a nice addition. Otherwise, there isn’t anything to be done about that spot.
C. Smith: Fact. I’ve been saying this for two years now and people keep telling me that the Sixers have it under control and can use Turner at that spot if necessary. Well, when Holiday was out, the Turner at PG experiment did not go as well as I (or anyone for that matter) had hoped/planned. I am not saying it was all Turner’s fault. There are system and personnel issues that also factored into how stagnant the offense became during the 0-4 stretch while Holiday was out. But regardless of Holiday’s health I think this team needs to add a back-up point man and there are a slew of options available right now.
4) In two NBDL games Moultrie is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds per night on 25 mpg. How long do you keep him in Sioux Falls?
Jeff McMenamin: You keep him in Sioux Falls until he gets his feet wet. At first I wasn’t big on sending Moultrie down to the D-League, but now I’m actually happy with the decision. Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen have seemed to have woken up and are playing their best basketball of the season right now. The best thing for Moultrie right now is to get comfortable playing extended minutes in the D-League until he proves to have improved dramatically. I just wish the Sixers never passed on Terrence Jones in the first place…
Tom Sunnergren: As long as it takes him to find a flight out of there. Since it’s pretty clear we’re not going to contend this year, either scenario that would result from bringing him up now (he blossoms, and we have another good big man going forward; or he falters and we maybe earn a few more ping pong balls in the lottery) is one that I can live with.
Steve Toll: Moultrie is the 4th best healthy big on the 76ers and is currently of no use. Let him play in the D-League this year or until injuries dictate he is needed.
C. Smith: How fast can he get to the airport? Look, I’m not saying Moultrie is going to carry us to an NBA title or even the 2nd round of the playoffs. But who on this active roster would do that for the 7-6? This team is not winning the NBA title any time soon and we know what Brown, Hawes and Allen are capable of doing on a nightly basis. So let’s find out if this kid (who we gave up a 1st round pick to acquire) can play at the NBA level and if he helps win a game or two along the way, that’s a bonus.