NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers: Five Players Who Must Step Up In 2013-14

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5 Players Who Must Step up for Philadelphia 76ers

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There does not seem to be a question about whether or not the Philadelphia 76ers’ will be bad this year. The only question seems to be the degree of ineptitude.

The team figures to be so bad, it might flirt with new records in futility. ESPN analysts Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons agree on one thing, and that’s the fact that the team might win 10 games. Others disagree, but only slightly.

What appears to be certain is that the team is trying to build for the future, and that’s being kind. In fact, the new slogan for the Sixers was unveiled earlier this week, addressing that, with the words: “Together We Build.”

If that sounds like “Bear With Us While We Stink for Awhile,” then so be it. This team is positioned for the future, and it might be the far future with two first-round draft picks next season, but it does figure to get better down the road. One of their first-round picks this year, Nerlens Noel, is injured and probably won’t be ready until the all-star break. It will be hard to believe that the team is actually trying to lose when the new point guard, first-round pick Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse, shot 27.1 percent in the summer league and he’s already penciled into the starting lineup.

That’s right, 27.1 percent. It’s hard to imagine anyone shooting that low a percentage, but that’s a hard-to-take number from a first-round draft pick. If the Sixers get that kind of shooting from Carter-Williams during the regular season, his role as a starter could be jeopardized. That is, if the Sixers are not tanking this season, and we all know they would not do that. (Wink, wink).

Here are the five Sixers who have to step up this season if they are going to maximize their win total.

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5. Spencer Hawes

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The 7-foot-1 center has been a model of inconsistency all season. One night, he will score 22 points and grab 19 rebounds, and maybe the next three he will post two points and six rebounds. That's got to be a more consistent 14-and-10 than those wild swings.

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4. Lavoy Allen

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Allen will need to step up his play, as this team will be vertically challenged until first-round choice Nerlens Noel can break into the lineup midway through the season. Allen is 6-foot-9 and tends to disappear for long stretches.

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3. Khalif Wyatt

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Wyatt was a former teammate of Lavoy Allen at Temple, and Owl fans will tell you that Wyatt is a scoring machine. Wyatt was unquestionably the star of the team's summer league squad, and his point production will be critical if veterans such as Jason Richardson are unable to score from the perimeter.

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2. Evan Turner

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Turner, the former National Player of the Year at Ohio State, has not played like even the South Philadelphia Player of the Year in his short time playing at the Wells Fargo Center. He's going to have to at least show flashes of his brilliant college career for the Sixers to do anything.

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1. Darius Morris

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Morris, a point guard, had his moments while working as a complementary player with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. If first-round draft choice Michael Carter-Williams shoots 27.1 percent like he did in the summer league, the Sixers are going to have to lean on this backup point guard to play a more primary role.