PHILADUNKIA 4on4

It’s time for another edition of Philadunkia 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “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.  Included in this week’s edition are some opinions on want to do with Wright and Lavoy as well as Bynum’s “progress”.

   

1)  True or False.  Bynum will play in 20+ regular season games for the 76ers this season?

Jeff McMenamin:  True.  I’ve watched Bynum’s workouts and drills.  Although this obviously isn’t the same as playing in a game, he looks to be getting his lateral quickness back and even dunked a few times in his drills yesterday for the first time.  I think if all goes to plan in his rehab, he’ll return after the All-Star break and play in 30+ games this season easy.  I just wish he came back in time to guard Marc Gasol Monday night…

Steve Toll:  True.  Bynum will play 31 games, which is every game after the All-Star Break.  The team will win 16, 17 or 18 of those games which is about 55% like I have continuously said they would and everyone will say, “Wait til next year, this team will win 60 games, just you wait and see Steve Troll.  They won 55% of the games with Bynum in 30 games and next year they will win 75%”

C. Smith:  False.  But I hope it comes true.  The Sixers have 31 games remaining after the ASG.  I’ll start by predicting that for some unforeseen Bynum does not make his debut on Feb. 20th at Minnesota.  In addition to that item, the Sixers have 6 sets of back-to-back games left in those 31 post-ASG contests.  Included in those sets is a four games in 5 nights stretch during early March.  Bynum, his knees and fitness level will not be able to withstand that schedule, so he is going to miss some games.  Probably more then 10.         

Jake Fischer:  True.  I’m expecting Andrew Bynum to get off his anti-gravity treadmill and make his Philadelphia 76ers debut on February 23 in the Wells Fargo Center.  He’ll be around for 29 games.  It’s not unrealistic to expect Bynum will miss a few games for rest in that span, but even with that in mind, it’s not completely irrational to expect the big man to play at least 20 games.      

2)  Stay or Go.  Dorrel Wright is in the Do(u)g-house right now.  Do you move him?  Or do you keep him and give him a bigger role with the Sixers?

Jeff McMenamin:  Stay.  I really don’t know what the issue is between Wright and Collins this season.  I don’t get how he got no tick against Memphis the other night, when he dropped 28 on them in his best game of the season just last month.  With his current value, I don’t believe the Sixers could get much for him in a trade at this point.  He’s still one of the best shooters on the Sixers when he’s on the court and when Bynum returns he could play a valuable role (that is if Collins actually gives him minutes). It’s frustrating that the Sixers haven’t been able to find a reliable three-point shooter since Kyle Korver.

Steve Toll:  Stay.  The team owns Dorell’s Bird Rights.  Unless he is traded for someone on a multi-year deal, he should not be traded.  Reason being, the team won’t have any cap room to replace him with a free agent but because of those same Bird Rights the 76ers can resign Dorell even if it sends the team over the salary cap.

C. Smith:  Stay.  In addition to the fact that the Sixers own his “Bird Rights”, he’s a better overall player then Swaggy or the injury prone J-Rich.  I’m not sure what he did to get into the Do(u)g-house, but when he didn’t play against Memphis – a team he hung 28 on earlier this year – I realized he was in deep trouble.  Whatever the problem is, I hope DC gets over it and Wright starts seeing some more burn at the 2/3 because we could use outside shooting, defense and rebounding on the court.

Jake Fischer:  I wish the answer was Stay.  Dorrel Wright could potentially be the most dynamic player off the Sixers bench.  He’s got great size, speed and willingness to guard on the perimeter and is also a knock-down shooter to compliment a healthy Bynum.  Remember, he led the league in 3PT field goals made in 2010-2011.  His contract ends following this season, he would be a valuable piece to resign and play but he could be worth more in a trade. 

3)  True or False.  The “new” starting lineup is actually a viable option for a first-five until Bynum returns?

Jeff McMenamin:  True. The Sixers need offense to open games. They’ve come out very strong on the offensive end in their last two outings with Nick Young and Spencer Hawes in the first-five. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it as they say. What needs to be addressed is the best way to hold a lead once it’s established. The Spurs and Grizzlies games were unfriendly reminders of the suffering I had to endure last season. 

Steve Toll:  False.  Any lineup with SwaggyP is not a viable lineup, plain and simple. 

C. Smith:  False.  It’s a nice little move by DC to spark this team during a very winnable stretch of home games, but with 7 more contests on the schedule until Bynum’s predicted return, this lineup will get exposed.  Swaggy is a one-dimensional player and when he’s not scoring in bunches, he’s worthless.  And don’t even get me started on Hawes.  These two have long standing NBA track records that show they are not starting caliber players.  This “new” starting five will crack on DC very soon.   

Jake Fischer:  True.  When a supposedly playoff-caliber team is 17-25, there’s nothing to do but try to mix things up and infuse some new energy into the starting lineup.  Being someone who’s very cynical of Doug Collins’ coaching, I’m really impressed with the changes he made.  While it might not last for a whole season, Nick Young’s energy and Thad’s play on the block with Spencer Hawes at the high post is viable compliment to Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner’s penetration for a few weeks. 

4)   Stay or Go.  Lavoy Allen has become a practice cone and looks disinterested at times.  Do you trade him or keep him?

Jeff McMenamin:  Go.  I love my Temple Owls and as surprised and happy I was with Lavoy’s 2011-12 campaign, he’s regressed back to the player that frequently tortured me as a Temple basketball fan, “Mr. Softee”. For the Owls, Lavoy would be good for 10 boards a game with solid defense, but on offense he was always soft when it came to taking the ball up strong to the hoop.  For the Sixers this season, not only has he completely abandoned the idea of using his body to score on offense, he’s been getting completely manhandled on both the boards and on the defensive end.  At times I’ve even felt like Kwame Brown has shown me more this season than Lavoy.  It’s ashame and I wish him the best, as long as the best doesn’t come with the Sixers logo across his chest. 

Steve Toll:  Go.  Trading Lavoy is actually ok because it will free up the teams Mid-Level Exception for next season which was partially used to retain him this off-season.  A Mid Level exception is a 4-year deal with a Max starting salary of $5,000,000 that can be used on one player or broken up ($5 million spread around) and used on multiple players on deals up to 4 years.  Like Bird Rights, a team can use the Mid Level Exception to go over the salary cap.

C. Smith:  Go.  But I say that with hesitancy and in a very disappointing manner.  We literally only need this local kid to score 6-8 points and grab 10 boards a night.  If he could do that consistently, he would start every night and could own this town.  Lavoy has shown flashes of being able to do just that (12 near double-doubles this year) and I don’t understand why he can’t sustain it.  Still, I am sure Fran Dunphy asked himself the same question many, many times.  So it’s probably time to move on.   

Jake Fischer:  Why trade an excellent contract?  When in the right mental mindset and when playing with confidence, Lavoy Allen is capable of putting up 10 points and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes per game.  That type of production at just $3 million is pretty valuable if the coaching staff uses him correctly.  He has proved he can  be a valuable big off the bench in the playoffs last season vs. Boston. 

 

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