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NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers: 5 Observations From Week 3 Of Preseason

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5 Observations from Preseason Week 3

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

Just like that, the Philadelphia 76ers are finished with their preseason tune-up games and are just four days away from the regular season tip-off on Wednesday night against the defending champion Miami Heat. After starting the preseason strong by playing very well in three games and going 2-1, the Sixers lost four straight to finish the preseason 2-5.

The third and final week of the preseason consisted of two games: a 104-93 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 125-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Evan Turner’s homecoming to the campus of Ohio State University, the place where he became one of the best players in college basketball, was not a pleasant one. He shot 4-of-13 and scored 14 points. He followed that up with an even bigger clunker on Wednesday: 11 points on 2-15 shooting against the Wolves. After a very strong start to the preseason, Turner fell back down to Earth and shot only 38 percent during the preseason. He did get to the free throw line almost eight times a game, which is great, but he needs to shoot more effectively.

The best player in both of the preseason games this week was actually James Anderson. He averaged 20 points and hit 6-for-12 from three in the two games, and should now be considered a lock to start the season as the team’s starting shooting guard.

Rookie Michael Carter-Williams also struggled this week in shooting, but he has done a good job on defense so he should be ready to be the starting point guard.

We learned a lot by watching these two games and now that preseason is complete, here are five observations from the final week of the preseason.

Zach Slotter is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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5. The Heat are Going to Demolish the Sixers

Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports

Okay, we didn’t really need another two preseason games to figure this out, but the Sixers shot 35 percent against Cleveland and Minnesota. When they face a team like the Heat, that number could dip into the 20s if the Heat are on their game. The Sixers just do not have anyone that can create their own shot, and I’m just hoping they go out there and play tough with a chip on their shoulder in 2013, rather than tanking like their GM is most likely hoping for.

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4. Spencer Hawes Has to Provide Consistency

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

The Sixers badly need Hawes to be a consistent scorer this season, but that has not been the case so far, including this week. He poured in 17 points and 12 rebounds on Monday, and followed that up with 10 and five boards on Wednesday. The Sixers need more from Hawes than the just under 11 points he averaged per game during the preseason.

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3. Daniel Orton is Better Than Lavoy Allen

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

Orton hasn’t been here very long, but he is already outperforming Lavoy Allen because he is in shape and works hard. This week, Orton pulled down 14 rebounds in 38 minutes. Allen saw only eight minutes in one game and did not play in the other. Orton looks like he will easily be able to take a chunk of Allen’s minutes if he can contribute something offensively.

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2. Roster is Nearly Set

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

The Sixers made some roster moves on Thursday, releasing Royce White, Khalif Wyatt, Vander Blue and Mac Koshwal. The roster is now at 16 and with three spots already going to long-term injuries (Nerlens Noel, Arnett Moultrie and Jason Richardson), the last guy to get cut will likely come down to Kwame Brown, Rodney Williams or Hollis Thompson.

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1. No Defense

Howard Smith - USA Today Sports

The Sixers gave up 104 and 125 points in their two games this week, and that continued a trend where they allowed at least 100 points in six of seven games during the preseason. If they are going to struggle to score, they certainly can’t give up this many points.