The current starting lineup of Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Hollis Thompson, Evan Turner and Michael Carter-Williams is obviously not working. The biggest issue is Thompson. He hasn’t fit in since being plugged into the starting lineup.
He and Young have similar styles of play. The difference is that the Philadelphia 76ers play much better with Young putting up better numbers. Thompson is better coming off the bench, where he would be a backup for Young or Turner at small forward.
The Sixers should start James Anderson again. Anderson was a big part of the Sixers’ early success, plus he takes minutes away from fellow shooting guard and sixth man Tony Wroten. The Sixers lack a clear scorer off the bench, with both players taking each other’s minutes.
The Sixers played better with Anderson, who strictly provided outside shooting and a few rebounds. The Sixers could allow Turner to move to his natural small forward role. Turner was able to grab rebounds, play defense and create better shots at that position.
Turner can also penetrate the opponent’s defense during those wins with Anderson open outside. Thompson is shooting a higher field goal and 3-point percentage, but he’s not putting better numbers than Anderson and he doesn’t fit in well as a starter. Anderson is averaging 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.79 blocks and 0.36 steals per game this season. Thompson averages six points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.46 steals and 0.15 blocks per game.
The Sixers have also won six games with Anderson in the lineup, while they have won by the skin of their teeth in OT for the two wins with Thompson starting. Anderson is averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.16 steals and 0.33 blocks in comparison to Thompson’s 8.5 points, five rebounds, one assist, zero steals and 0.5 blocks per game for each start in the Sixers’ victories.
Those numbers alone show how much more efficient Anderson is in the starting lineup.