With so many big names being moved this past summer, it is easy to see how some off-season acquisitions were able to fly under the radar. Moves such as letting Andre Miller slip off to Portland and adding depth in the form of Rodney Carney and Jason Kapono didn’t necessarily make national headlines, but they were certainly of much interest to us here in Philadunkia nation, especially the addition of a much needed three-point threat in the form of Kapono.
It is no secret that the Sixers were horrendous in the three-point shooting category last season, as they haven’t had a true threat in that area since Kyle Korver left for Utah. Therefore, the addition of Kapono was a logical move, solidifying the Sixers outside shooting and providing another scorer off the bench.
However, maybe it’s the optimist in me, or maybe it is my reaction to seeing Jason so lively and excited for the season at media day, but I believe that maybe, just maybe, Jason can bring more to the Sixers’ collective table than sniper-style shooting. If used properly, Jason could work to spread the floor, thus opening up the inside for the bigs and giving the playmakers (Lou, Igoudala, Young) more space to create. This may be a lot to ask for a player with a career points per game average of 7.5, but it can’t hurt to ponder the potential upside.
“With the up-tempo style played here and the new offense under Coach Jordan I should be able to find a lot of opportunity to get looks,” Jason stated, clearly excited about the potential for clean looks courtesy of his new teammates. Jason will surely work to capitalize on those opportunities, but Jason, who has been known for his deadly shooting well before his days at UCLA, hopes to show another side of his game this season. “I worked out very hard this summer,” Jason continued. “It’s important for me to be an all-around threat for the team, and that is what I have been working for. If I can hit some shots and get some shots in transition, that will open things up for the other guys, which will help the team.”
Kapono will certainly not be relied on to carry the team offensively, but rather to knock down shots and provide a spark off the bench, a role he is comfortable with. “I’m going to look to make my shots, and open up the floor for the rest of the bigs.”
Securing a playoff seed in the ever-improving East will be no easy task for this young Sixers squad, and the addition of the hot-handed Kapono is by no means a cure all, but he adds depth and a much-needed long distance threat to an otherwise solid team. If Kapono can provide a potential spark; it will be up to the rest of the team to spread the fire.