Now that multiple 76ers players have joined Andrew Bynum on the team’s injured list, head coach Doug Collins has started to suggest his depleted roster is the reason this team is struggling through a down season.
Well coach, injuries are part of the game and until this past week, you only had one key player from your lineup miss significant time. Thus it’s hard to justify the injury excuse as the reason behind the Sixers disappointing season.
So let’s stop making excuses and find a way to win because you’re being paid millions of dollars to lead this NBA team to victories not to whine about the suddenly injury plagued roster that you helped build.
If you look at the Sixers’ Atlantic Division rival, the Boston Celtics, one would find evidence that clearly teams in the NBA can win a few games here and there even without their star player. In fact, the Celtics are now 6-0 in their games since Rajon Rondo tore his ACL against the Atlanta Hawks on January 25. The reason for their recent success? Boston has incredible depth at the guard spot ever since they brought in Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa this offseason.
The Sixers on the other hand have very limited depth on their roster and now that injuries have become a factor, this glaring fact is killing the team.
When the organization shipped Andre Iguodala out for Andrew Bynum (basically), they added an All-Star center to a lineup of three-point shooters and, penetrating guards and Thaddeus Young. However, when bringing in a dynamic yet injury prone center, the Sixers front office – or Collins depending on who you believe is in charge of personnel moves – did not bring in an appropriate back-up for Bynum. Nor did they assemble a backup plan in the event that the injury prone Bynum was to unexpectedly miss significant time in 2012-13.
Without Bynum, the 76ers roster consists solely Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, the frustrating Evan Turner, a string of streaky three-point shooters and the inconsistent Lavoy Allen, as well as two overpaid and uncoordinated bigs in Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown. That roster clearly is not good enough to win a championship. Many would argue that it is not even built to compete at a .500 level in the Association
While Jrue Holiday is an All-Star and it’s well-deserved, he’s needed a backup for two years now. This year the 76ers decided to back him up with Royal Ivey, Evan Turner and a string of 10-Day contracts. With limited depth and talent at the point guard position, Collins has no choice but to play Jrue 35+ minutes night in and night out. Eventually Jrue is going to run out of gas.
Next let’s look at the three-point shooters on the Sixers. Nick Young, Dorrell Wright and Jason Richardson, are streaky shooters at best and very suspect on the defensive end. It would have made sense to bring in a relatively competent defensive stopper on the wing. Preferably one that’s better offensively than Damien Wilkins. The Sixers chose not to add that type of player to the roster this past summer.
The front-court is a disgrace and it’s become painfully obvious that Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown are not worthy of the almost $20 million they are receiving collectively over two years. So Collins & Co. failed on these interior roster moves last summer as well.
When the Sixers put together their roster this season, they chose not to add depth. That’s incredibly irresponsible for a team who’s major move in the off-season brought them an injury prone franchise center and an aging shooting guard with balky knees. Thus, Collins needs to stop complaining about the Sixers’ string of injuries this week and look at the roster he and the front office assembled this past summer.
That’s where the blame for the miserable 2012-13 season the Sixers are experiencing belongs.