That’s how many games remain in this very disappointing year for the 76ers.
Tonight’s game down at the Wells Fargo Center against Boston tips off the final stretch of the 2012-13 season. Barring one of the biggest miracle runs in the history of the League, the Sixers will miss the playoffs and are bound for the 2013 NBA Lottery.
Now the question becomes what do the Sixers do with the upcoming games they have to play in March and April? Many in Philadunkia nation support the notion of tanking. Others want to play it out in a competitive nature and hope for the best. Still others have some their own ideas for how the remainder of the 7-6’s season should go. No matter what idea you support, you need a plan — hopefully a good one — to reach your goals for the last 24 contests.
So that is the challenge we gave to several of the Philadunkia scribes. If you were in charge of the Sixers, provide us with your detailed plan for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
If I’m running the Philadelphia 76ers organization, I do three things right now. 1) I have Andrew Bynum come out publicly and officially shut it down for the entire season. At this point, there is absolutely no reason for him to play IF guys like Bynum and Tony DiLeo are discussing a possible surgery for him. With that, I make him go to a specialist TODAY and determine if needs surgery TOMORROW. From there, I start working on contract negotiations with him that would offer a short-term deal with options and incentives for the future if he remains healthy.
2) I tell Doug Collins to make a statement before tonight’s game vs. Boston saying he will retire and return to broadcasting following this season. That way, it looks like Doug is going out on his own terms, when really a high school varsity player who runs a standard flex-motion offense could design a better offensive scheme than Collins.
3) Lastly, I start Jrue Holiday, Charles Jenkins, Evan Turner, Thad Young and Arnett Moultrie. Give these young guys some freaking time together on the court and see what you have. Truly assess the untapped talent o your roster before going out and wasting $3 million on another Kwame Brown this summer. Oh, and did I mention I’m really excited for Kwame and Spencer “I Slip Every Screen For A Jumper” Hawes to become expiring contracts with some actual trade value next season?
With the 76ers season headed towards the lottery, it’s time to explore the talents of certain players.
The lineup that I would run the most is ET at PG, Jrue at SG, Thad at SF, Moultrie at PF, Hawes at C. It’s time to see if ET can run the point with a viable offense around him. Let Jrue shoot the ball 20x a game while doing some creating and limiting turnovers. Thad is Small Forward, that hasn’t changed and will always be true. Give him a chance. Run Moultrie with the first unit and see what he can do. Try to play that lineup about 24mpg per game together. Split everything else between Wright, Lavoy, Jenkins, Pargo, Swaggy, Kwame and anyone else who I may have forgotten.
As for Andrew Bynum, one of two things. Either get him medically cleared and put him on the court or Cut Him. If he is cleared and refuses to play, the team can file a grievance with the NBA to recoup future paychecks and donate them to charity. Cutting him is the other option, at this point, it’s time to put the clown shoes on Bynum one way or the other.
If I was in charge of the 76ers for the last 24 games of the season here is what I would do…First, I would sit Doug Collins down and explain to him that it’s time to change of few of his player rotations. Hawes and Allen (currently a combined 49 mins. per night) are now to receive no more than 32 mins. of run per night COMBINED. Divide their tick up how you want DC, but that’s the rule for the bigs rotation. Give the extra minutes to Moultrie as we need to learn if this kid can actually contribute for an NBA team. Next tell Royal Ivey to have a seat. No disrespect to Ivey as he has done nothing wrong, but we know what his ceiling is in the NBA. Give Ivey’s minutes to Pargo for the rest of the season. I need to see if Pargo can be a viable option at back-up PG for this team in 2013-14. After that, I tell Nick Young to take the rest of the season off and Pargo/D-Wright will divide all of his minutes. Wright has shown glimpses of being able to help this team in the long run. I want to discover what happens if I give him extended minutes each night at the SF/SG.
We’re also going to pick up the pace of play for this team — push the rock and attack the rim. If we are going to lose, we are going to do so in an exciting and attacking fashion. This ultra-conservative, avoid the dreaded “live-ball” turnover and hit the long two-pointer offense is history here in Philly. So I might as well use the remainder of this lost season to find out if the parts on this roster which will be back next year can excel in a more aggressive offense.
Lastly, I am secretly working very, very hard behind the scenes to put the ground work down that will bring free agent Dwight Howard to Philly this summer.
At this point in the season, the best thing the organization can do is figure out what pieces fit into the equation for next season. The best way to do that is to evaluate that talent through extended minutes. These are the Arnett Moultrie, Nick Young, Dorell Wright, Jeremy Pargo and Charles Jenkins’s of the team.
If the Sixers plan to extend Andrew Bynum, which Tony Dileo pointed out is still the plan ‘A’ for the team, then the Sixers won’t have much wiggle room in FA to grab too many other pieces for this roster. It doesn’t make any sense that Moultrie isn’t getting 25 minutes every night. The Sixers are basically playing for the lottery now and the best thing for Moultrie is for him to get comfortable playing with Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young for next season. Young, Wright, Pargo and Jenkins are all on one-year deals and Keeping two of the four or at least one of the four would be a good idea for the team moving forward. The only way to decide which of the four deserves a deal is through more playing time.
The main thing the Sixers need to do is to lose enough to get a guy like Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlins Noel or Victor Oladipo in the NBA draft, otherwise this season will be even more of a failure.