Tuesday night, the 76ers sank to a new low in the mess that is the 2012-2013 season. Following a 14-point loss to the now 16-41 Orlando Magic, a team they had previously demolished by 17 points, the Sixers are now 22-33 overall.
What’s worst of all, is that because of tiebreakers, Doug Collins and company are now in last place in the Atlantic Division. Through this six-game losing streak it has become crytsal clear that this team needs a change in order to inject some energy into this squad and revitalize what has spiraled into a simply lifeless team.
Following the gruesome loss down at the Wells Fargo Center, Collins made headlines with his blatantly critical comments about the lack of effort and energy from his players.
“We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing a part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome,” Collins told reporters after the game. “That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any outs. That’s a fact. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer had one, I think Lavoy had two… I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play.”
The problem with Collins’ comments is that he was largely responsible, along with the front office, for making the off-season moves that gave him his current roster.
He’s complaining about guys like Hawes, Allen and Nick Young. But these are all characters that he willingly paid to be apart of this season’s Sixers story. He took shots at Turner last night as well, but didn’t Collins decide not to move ET before the recent trade deadline? Collins is not going to be fired now, nor is that likely to happen at the end of this season. DC also doesn’t have the talent to change this team’s style of play right now. So, with all that said only one option remains after last night’s loss and the ensuing ugly presser by Collins: blow up whatever this current “rotation” is for the Sixers and play the young-ins.
When you’re in the cellar of your division, in an “evaluative year” mind you, it makes absolutely zero sense to play Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and Damien Wilkins a combined 55 minutes and only give a somewhat promising rookie, Arnett Moultire, a measly 6 minutes in a game you lose to the pathetic Magic by FOURTEEN POINTS!
Next, if this organization truly took on Charles Jenkins in order to evaluate him for the future, why is Royal Ivey, a guy who has solidified his professional basketball identity as a scrub, playing 11 minutes over this kid? Why is Jrue Holiday, your All-Star and future of the franchise, playing 39 minutes in a game that you were completely and utterly outplayed in? Why is Thad Young fresh of a three week stint on the injured list and clearly not in “game shape” hauling 34 minutes?
This upcoming off-season will clearly set the tone for the Sixers’ next five seasons. But, before the organization and front office can make those crucial decisions, don’t they need to truly evaluate the pieces they have on this roster?
This season, Moultrie has attempted just 40 field goals and 16 free throws in only 170 minutes over the span of 20 games. In the three-game span, all losses, since the Sixers acquired him from the Warriors, Charles Jenkins has played just two minutes and recorded a trillion against the Magic.
Why not play Jrue and Thad just 25 minutes per game? Why not see how Evan Turner can fair off the ball with some combination of Jenkins, Jeremy Pargo and Dorell Wright on the perimeter with him? Why not give Moultrie chances to prove himself as a legitimate offensive piece down low, and at the high post, and battle with opposing bigs on defense? Why not throw your unproven pieces into the fire and see if they rise to the occasion or crash and burn?
You don’t need to be a super-analytical stat nerd to realize those are not adequate sample sizes to evaluate young talent, who clearly have potential. Jenkins is the second-leading scorer all-time in the Colonial Athletic Association and just look at this highlight video of Moultrie in college…Get them some runs!
At this point in the season, the 76ers are the 10th team in an 8-team playoff format. They’re five games out of the 8th seed with Milwaukee and Toronto holding tiebreakers over them. This team isn’t making the playoffs regardless of whether Bynum returns. Put your younger players to the test and see what happens. See what you actually have right under your noses before you blow money on useless free agents like Kwame Brown.
Nothing else DC has tried so far this season has worked, so why not give this idea a try?
Things can’t possibly get any worse for this team, right?