11/02/10 9:06 am EST
His backup, Marreese Speights, who is defensively challenged and suddenly injury prone has found himself warming the bench for the majority of Philadelphia’s first three games (an average of five minutes per game). Since Hawes and Speights have been unable to handle the center duties, Elton Brand has spent significant time at the 5-spot over the first three games and done an admirable job. However Brand is not the answer for 2010-11 nor the long haul. The old-timer Tony Battie got some playing time at center in the 76ers contests against the Hawks and Pacers and was serviceable. Battie has seen 19 total minutes on the floor and tallied three points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks, but again the Sixers can not rely on him to start and see major minutes each night.
It’s clear the 76ers need to look elsewhere at the five position. A low-post presence is key to compete in the East against the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and the O’Neal’s in Boston. Even taller average players like Roy Hibbert will be able to have their ways offensively against Philly on the interior. The 76ers missed out on numerous opportunities this summer to sign a big and it’s killing this team right now. So whether it’s through free agency or via a trade, the 76ers will have to start making phone calls for a player who can bang in the post and fix this problem now.
Lets take another look at some of the players available in free agency and potentially through trade who can plug the hole in the middle for the 7-6.