Alright Doug sit back and take some notes from the “young guns”.
Earlier this month, Coach Doug Collins announced his potential starting 5 for the Philadelphia 76ers to the media. Even though many Philadelphians alike love Collins his starting 5 wasn’t what most of us would classify as “wanted” for a city lusting for some hardware. Collins claims that his starting 5 will consist of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Spencer Hawes, and Kwame Brown in that order. I think we can do a little better than that.
Point Guard Position
For the point guard position Collins pretty much had it right. There is no other guard on the 76ers roster that can match the pure talent at point guard next to Jrue Holiday. Holiday averaged 15.8 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 1.5 steals per game,and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 41% from 3 point land and 86.4% from the line in 38 minutes per game in the post season. No need to replace Holiday.
Shooting Guard Position
Now this is where it get’s a little tricky. Coach Collins has the former Buckeye star, Evan Turner, starting a shooting guard, but that doesn’t seem too reasonable given the talent on the roster. Turner, to me, is still a little too immature to fully take the helm at the 2-guard position, especially now given the more competitive atmosphere around the Atlantic division and the Sixers camp. Especially not after scoring a measly 9.4 points per game in 26.4 minutes per contest. I’ll pass and let Turner play great minutes off the bench.
A better selection for starting shooting guard would be Nick Young. Young has almost triple the experience Turner has in the NBA being a now 6-year vet and has double the skill. Young averaged 52% from the 3, 89% from the line, and 43% from the field in postseason play this past year. During the season he averaged 14.2 points per game in 27.2 minutes per game, that’s an extra minute than Turner and produces 5 extra points in the box score, I’ll let the numbers do the talking here.
Small Forward Position
Moving on to the frontcourt, even though it’s the most populated area on the depth chart, it might be one of the easiest spots on the roster to understand. Andre Iguodala is the starter and the “star” player on the team whether the fans accept that fact or not. Iggy won’t be traded this year or really any time soon. The main concern at this position is who will be his backup.
For this position there are two apt players who can take the helm. Maurice Harkless, one of the new rookies on the team, is a great asset to have backing Iguodala. The former Big East Rookie of the Year was the 76ers 1st round pick and is looked on to contribute immediately. However there also is Dorell Wright who was acquired in a recent trade with Golden State. Wright will most likely see more time than Harkless since he’s a hybrid forward and can play multiple positions on the floor. Either scenario works out fine.
Power Forward Position
Now this is a hard task to navigate as far as a “minute per game” breakdown is to be looked at. Coach Collins has expressed that Spencer Hawes has obtained the starting job. I’ll contain my laughter.
That doesn’t seem to be the best decision in terms of offensive break down and crashing the boards. With the departure of the “Old Chevy”, Elton Brand, the 76ers lack a force in the post. Currently they have Arnett Moultrie, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen all looking to take the starting job at the 4 spot on the floor.
Since Thad has produced heavily off the bench in years past (12.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 51% from the field, 77% from the line) we’ll just keep him there to be a leader for the second unit off the bench. Looking at the starter, I would put some faith in the youth and line up Moultrie for the job.
Moultrie is an outstanding big man prospect and the Sixers would be foolish to not give him the time he deserves. He led the SEC in rebounding in the past season and averaged double-double numbers for the season (16.4 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 44% from 3, 55% from mid range, 78% from the line in 36 minutes of play). He is an athletic freak, with a max vertical leap of 37.5 and a wingspan over 7′ and will be a feared post presence if given the opportunity to contribute.
Ending the list, Collins listed Kwame Brown as his potential starter for the 5 spot on the floor. As laughable as this selection is, it’s also very unpredictable. We all know Doug Collins to be someone who can turn player trash into player gold. He’s done so with Lavoy Allen and is looking to do the same with Kwame Brown.
The 76ers coaching staff has all worked with or played against Kwame Brown since his start in the league in 2001. Collins has coached the once young Brown during their stints in Washington, so Brown is most likely the dark horse on this roster because only Doug can see the potential that he can bring to the table.
On the surface, Brown is a big body in the paint. He will grab you, at a minimum, 6 rebounds per game and contribute with the same number offensively. He’s a bruiser. An untapped well of defensive prowess that can be manipulated to make greatness. Let’s just stay optimistic.
All-in-All, Coach Doug Collins has some pretty interesting pieces to play with this off-season. The Philadelphia 76ers have the potential to turn into a young powerhouse with the depth and skill set to get into the Conference Finals in the East. This will only come with proper coaching and a great game plan, which if you know Philadelphia basketball, you know that anything is possible in a season.
Worse comes to worse we re-sign Allen Iverson.
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