It seems as though time is slowly winding down towards a long awaited NBA regular season. Now the focus has begun to turn towards the importance behind training camp and what teams have or haven’t done to be prepared for it. This small interval of time is the perfect opportunity for the Philadelphia 76ers and all other teams in the NBA to figure out issues dealing with inner-team matters (chemistry, rotation, roster, etc.). These are five questions the 76ers have going into the off-season:
Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Loss: The Sixers have a huge task to face going into the regular season. Right now it is whether they will fall or go higher than the place where they lost at the end of their postseason last May. After pushing the Boston Celtics to all seven games of the semi-finals, it would be completely remiss of them to not seek for a higher position and prove why they acquired so many players this off-season. The acquisition of Andrew Bynum will prove to be the difference maker, and may push them into the Eastern Conference Finals this season.
Arnett Moultrie & Maalik Wayns: The 76ers have acquired a couple of rookies in the off-season and they coaching staff needs to figure out how they can fit properly into the roster. Looking at Moultrie, he’s a force in the paint. 6’11”, 235 lbs and the reigning rebound king from the SEC, he can look to be welcomed promptly in a new Sixers frontcourt.
Then there’s Wayns. Wayns will be more of a difficult fit than Moultrie on paper. Lacking proper offensive vision and a smaller guard than the NBA average, he will have a more difficult time adjusting to professional basketball and he’ll most likely be splitting time with Jrue Holiday. If Wayns can progress properly he can be a good backup guard for a few years.
Rotation/2nd Unit Issues: As seen in previous seasons, the Sixers have a small lineup numbers wise. With a 13-man roster, you have to assume that every member of the team will be contributing on a weekly basis, which leaves the issue of how they all fall into the rotation properly. Removing the starters for the moment, the second unit will be the biggest point of concern on this roster. Looking at players like Evan Turner, he will most likely be the primary force for the second unit off the bench. Depending on the progress of Wayns, as mentioned above, Turner will need to step up and prove his play as the sixth man instead of starting, since he only averaged 9.4 points per game in 26 minutes last season. Makes sense.
Starting At Shooting Guard: Looking at the shooting guard and small forward positions, there is still some confusion about where specific players could fall in the rotation. Starting with the guard spot, it’s either going to come down to the veteran guard Jason Richardson or the young shooting spectacle, Nick Young. With purely identical playing abilities, it’s possible for both of them to start on this roster and give the Sixers a shooting presence they haven’t had in nearly a decade in their starting lineup, or Richardson might edge out ‘Swaggy P’ only for defensive reasons.
Starting at Small Forward: At small forward there is also multiple issues developing between playing time. With the recent acquisition of forward Dorell Wright, there will be a battle in camp for the starting three position on the court. Forward Thaddeus Young was rumored in a recent interview with Dei Lynam from CSN Philly to say that he badly wants to start this season. A battle will then ensue between the two. However, specific stats have appeared that show Turner as a capable forward as well in the absence of Andre Iguodala. During camp, all will be resolved.
Moving forward into camp, the Liberty Ballers have numerous questions to answer. Regardless of the outcome of each, the Sixers have the potential to make it back to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this season and also have the potential to prove why they are a force in the East this season. The Sixers will have numerous shooters to play with rotation wise, good enough rookies, and a dependable bench that will propel them to and through the playoffs. As they say on South Broad, “show ya luv”.
Tyler R. Tynes is the Featured Columnist for the Philadelphia 76ers with Rant Sports, Lead Writer covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Buzz On Broad, Radio Host of “#SixersTalk” on Buzz On Broad Radio and the NBA Insider for “4 for 4 Sports Talk with Goddess and Hurka”
Follow him on Twitter @RealTylerTynes for all Sixers and NBA sports updates. And also follow him on Instagram @TheRealTylerTynes.
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