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Pretty Much Screwed: Our Preview Of The 2012-13 Philadelphia 76ers

Welcome to “Pretty Much Screwed,” our 2012-13 guide to the upcoming NBA season in which SportsGrid’s acid-tongued writers identify the reason why your team should probably start looking forward to 2013-2014. Today we have the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers finished the 2011-12 season surprisingly strong, upsetting the East-leading Chicago Bulls (albeit sans Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah) in the first round of the playoffs and pushing the Boston Celtics to seven games before being eliminated. What’s the best way to capitalize on this momentum? If you’re Philadelphia, you completely reshape the foundation of your team.

This offseason, the Sixers traded All-Star, Olympian, and face-of-the-franchise Andre Iguodala for immature injury-machine Andrew Bynum, let 6th Man Of The Year candidate Lou Williams leave for Atlanta, amnestied starting power forward Elton Brand, and signed human black hole Nick Young and human punchline Kwame Brown. All in all, a pretty pathetic offseason for Philadelphia.

And it gets worse.

The Sixers are already on the hook with head coach Doug Collins this season, but rather than waiting until the year gets started before making a decision on 2013-14, they’ve already elected to sign him for an additional season. This despite the fact Doug Collins-coached teams typically do not do well in his third year of coaching, which is what he enters this season with Philadelphia. Consider his history.

As coach of the Chicago Bulls in the late ’80s, Collins was fired after his third season after the Bulls were eliminated in consecutive postseasons by the Detroit Pistons. He was replaced by Phil Jackson and the rest is history.

As coach of the Detroit Pistons in the mid ’90s, he was fired mid-way through his third season with the team after starting the year 21-24, just a year removed from a 54-28 record and two years removed from a 46-34 year. And this is all with a healthy Grant Hill.

He didn’t even get a third season with the Washington Wizards during the mid ’00s after back-to-back 37-45 seasons with Michael Jordan. Yes, that means Michael Jordan’s domination of the NBA in the ’90s is bookended by disappointing squads coached by Doug Collins.

That leads us to his stint with the 76ers, whom Collins led to a .500 record in his first season and a 35-31 record last year. But already, the teams shows signs of falling into that same old Collins third-year slump, having started last season 20-9 before finishing 15-22 to settle into their eventual eighth seed, all in the extremely-weak Eastern Conference. And that was just year 2.

Sure, they saw a little success in the playoffs against injured Bulls and Celtics squad, but there’s no question the team is worse today than they were a year ago and are led by a troubled center playing on damaged knees and a coach with history stacked against him as he enters his third year with the team.

Actual season prediction: There is almost no chance this season ends well for the Sixers. If Collins’ history doesn’t get them, Bynum’s knees will. If Bynum’s knees don’t, their complete lack of scoring punch after him will. Honestly, a .500 season is a successful season for Philadelphia, but at this point, best case scenario, I see 30 wins in their future. It’s going to be a rough one, Sixers fans. Thankfully, Allen Iverson is in NBA 2K13, so you don’t even have to watch a single game this year if you don’t want to. Just add AI to the current Sixers squad and go nuts.

  • goetz1

    seriously who writes this garbage? basing this off past 3rd year seasons? who gave you a job?

  • Anonymous

    I take it you disagree?

  • http://twitter.com/sn3ak3rguy Ryan

    I think he does disagree. He must be a sixers fan.

  • Anonymous

    who the hell is kwame browns agent???

  • sixer fan

    Wow this article is garbage. 30 wins??? Really? They’re a better team than last year…..We lost Igoudala, but got the second-best C in the league….We lost Lou Williams, but we got Nick Young, who is basically the same player only taller. We added Dorell Wright and Jason Richardson, two good shooters. We have young guys in Thadeus Young, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen, and Spencer Hawes who should all improve. We have size, shooting, defense, and playoff experience. And SOLID depth. I see the Sixers going to the ECF this year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.meltser.3 Alexander Meltser

    Is this a plea to get some people to respond to you via reverse psychology, or are you REALLY, REALLY that incompetent in understanding the game?
    I wonder…
    The team did push Celts to the end of game 7, and they did it being LAST in 3 point shooting, Free throw attempts, had no one protecting the rim, very weak rebounding, Evan Turner, at 6.7 was perhaps their best rebounder and no, you hear me, dummy, no post offense, NONE..

    They did it based on great perimeter defense, (not just Iggy) everyone, a top five defense throughout (hardly guarding the rim or protecting the paint, outside of L Allen’s D, the didn’t knock of Celt’s for this reason alone, see K Garnet at 65 years old, what he did to them); they were great at fast brake points, transition defense, the best bench in NBA, and long 2 jump shots (the least attractive shot option) !

    They added the best or second best center in the NBA, a much better offensive player than Dwight Howard, who is 5 years younger and much more accomplished around the rim offensively, who will resign, the knee is just fine, (see Germany procedure and what it did for players who had it done) 3 of the top 3 point shooters over the last 5-6 years in J Rich, D Wright, and Nick Young, btw, look up Young’s shooting % for 3 point fg, before you talk nonsense.

    Why improve your bench with 3 point shooters, when you have a Bynam, you kick out to them, when Bynam is doubled for an open 3, with A Moultry, M Wayns, who will both contribute this year (watch minutes Wayns will get and what he’ll do) Lavoy Allen, in addition to Thad Young, Evan Turner, Jrue Holliday, Spence Hawes, yes, a back up K Brown, who if nothing else will protect the rim and paint 10 min a game, when Bynam’s resting, something they did not have, at all last year, they had EB, at 6.8 and at end of his career playing center many of times at end of games at money time.

    They are just as lethal in transition and on perimeter defensively, they are 100% better in the paint defensively, they finally have a post game on offense, the have outside shooters to shoot the 3, they will get to the foul line more, they are a young team who will have fresh legs, and again this year, the best bench in the NBA, they are a much bigger, much better rebounding team, they can play half court offense now, they could not last year, need I go on…
    Please don’t quit your day job, or find one if you are relying on your basketball knowledge!

  • Anonymous

    Having the second best center in the league doesn’t mean anything when there’s only one other good center in the league. Bynum is good, but he was surrounded by Kobe and Gasol last season and the Lakers couldn’t get it done. How does being surrounded by Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner sound better?

    Don’t fool yourself about Dorell Wright, Jason Richardson, and Nick Young. They’re all terrible. There’s a reason why their old teams didn’t want them. The Clippers gave up next to nothing to get Nick Young and still didn’t want to keep him for this season even though their only other rotation guards are Chauncey Billups and Eric Bledsoe.

    Keep dreaming about the ECF. Barring injuries to everyone else, that’s not happening.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll tell you what I told “sixer fan” below.

    1. Bynum is good, but being the “second best center in the NBA” doesn’t mean anything when there’s only one other good center in the NBA.

    2. Don’t fool yourself about Nick Young, Jason Richardson, and Dorell Wright. They are all terrible players who put up numbers on bad teams. Notice how much Nick Young’s production dropped off from playing on the horrible Wizards to the playoff-bound Clippers? Notice how the Clippers didn’t bring him back this year?

    3. Don’t get too excited about last year’s playoffs. Good for them for taking the Celtics 7 games, but the Celtics were also injury-plagued. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were both playing hurt, Avery Bradley was hurt, Jermaine O’Neal was hurt. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the Sixers at full strength? Anyway, let’s not pretend the Bulls wouldn’t have swept Philly in the first round if they were down their 2 best players, anyway. The Sixers were lucky to get where they were.

    4. I’m not even going to address this idea that the Sixers are going to be locking everyone down on defense and getting out and running like the Showtime Lakers.

    Philly is a .500 team at best. Throw in your annual Bynum injury with a sprinkle of “the team quits on Doug Collins, because that’s what always happens,” and this is going to be a rough year.

  • rondo

    Joe Levine have you ever played organize sports? Did ever play on a basketball team?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, why?

  • dougie

    this article is trash. go write for the heat or the knicks einstein.

  • dougie

    Sixers have two things they didn’t last year. 3 shooters and a post game. 3-4th seed in east. boston and ny are old dog teams and Brooklyn’s front court doesn’t play d. Sixers will be near the top of the standings and you will eat your foolish words “joe”

  • sixer fan

    Wright, Richardson, and Nick Young are not terrible, they had down years.
    Having a good center gives your team a HUGE advantage when there aren’t many in the league at all. Yes, the Lakers didn’t win the championship, I know. But Bynum averaged 18PPG on a team with Kobe and Gasol; I see him having a higher scoring average on our team, where he is more of a focus on offense. Question, who do you see playing Miami in the ECF? I see only the Pacers and Celtics challenging Philly for that spot.

  • Anonymous

    These Eastern teams are better than Philly, in my opinion (in no particular order): Miami, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago (with Rose), Atlanta. After Bynum goes down with an injury (it’s already happening: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8509775/andrew-bynum-philadelphia-76ers-set-another-injection-knee), add Milwaukee and Cleveland to that list.

    Bynum does have the potential to go beast mode this year, but I think it’s more likely that his knees betray him, because that’s what they’ve done every year besides last year.

  • Anonymous

    The Heat or Knicks? Two teams I don’t like?

  • Anonymous

    Bynum is a definite upgrade in the post, but Richardson+Young+Wright are not an improvement over Iggy+Williams+Meeks. Plus, now they are counting on Evan Turner to make the leap. I’m not buying it. And I really won’t be buying it when Bynum’s knees give out.

  • sixer fan

    NY is’nt going to do anything; they’ve had talent for years but can
    never put it together. Chicago has gotten worse and Rose will not be
    100% this year. I don’t see Atlanta being good. Philly is better than
    Milwaukee and Cleveland, with or without Bynum. I think the SIxers are
    better than last year even without Bynum, and they finished at .500. We
    have shooting and a post presence, two of our biggest weaknesses over
    the past few years. We lost D with Igoudala, but we gained ALOT more offense. We actually have a half-court game now.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t necessarily think the Knicks will do anything, but they’re better than Philly. I mean, they did finish last season 18-6. That’s nothing to scoff at.

    The Bulls have gotten worse, but I still think they’ll be better than Philly when Rose comes back, even if he’s only 85-90%.

    I don’t see how you can think Philly is better than last year even without Bynum. They lost Iggy, Lous Williams, Brand, and Jodie Meeks. They added Richardson, Wright, and Young. Those are all downgrades, in my opinion.

    Adding Bynum does add a lot, I’m not denying that. But I don’t think he’s as good as you are making him out to be, and I definitely don’t think he’ll stay healthy. Philly is looking a lot like Andrew Bogut-era Milwaukee to me, really.

  • sixer fan

    I like your points. But a couple I don’t; Jodie Meeks was not a good player for us. He could hit the 3, but he lacked consistency. And he couldn’t do much else. Brand is aging; I’m alright with him gone. He was a good player for us but not a valuable piece.
    I liked getting the ball out of Lou Williams’ and Igoudala’s hands in favor of more ballhandling by Holiday and Turner. We need to see what we have in them; I think both have good potential (I’m high on Holiday though, he could be an All-Star someday). Turner and Igoudala could not play together, so I want us to evaluate a #2 pick in favor of the win-now mentality with a group that had an established ceiling.
    I still think Nick Young take the role of Williams, only with better shooting efficiency. We will make alot more 3′s this year thanks to the additions you mentioned. I think this will help make up for the loss in defense from the Brand and Igoudala departures. But I’ve watched the Sixers play, and they play tough team defense. They are also a very tall team now.

  • sixer fan

    Wording of the last sentence of the second paragraph is incorrect, my mistake. I was trying to say that I was ok with us evaluating Turner rather than trying to win with a team that had a clear ceiling.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are way over-estimating how good Nick Young is. The guy is a chucker. There are so few true, tall shooting guards, and he’s one of them, and he still can’t catch on with a legit team or even field an offer for a starting job. Young barely shoots 40% and does not add anything else other than getting shots up; doesn’t pass, doesn’t rebound, doesn’t play defense. He’s not good.

    I won’t deny that it was probably Brand’s time to go because of his age/salary, but you can’t deny that he’s a quality big, and a true post player. Sure, Bynum is an upgrade, but I’m not sold on Hawes filling Brand’s void at all.

    I think losing Iggy is going to hurt more than you think. Iggy is probably a top 3 perimeter defender in the league, and definitely the kind of player you don’t appreciate until he’s gone. Not a very good offensive player by any means, but he does all the little things and would have been a great Pippen-type if Philly could have gotten a #1 scorer to play with him. How many other players in the league can play great defense, run an offense, rebound, and score a little bit? Total glue guy, and I definitely wouldn’t choose Evan Turner over him. I don’t think Turner’s ceiling is very high at all.

  • sixer fan

    Your description of Nick Young sounds exactly like a description of Lou Williams, minus the height.
    I appreciated Brand. He was a real stand-up guy who gave it his all every night. Hawes at PF is a question mark, sure, but we already have a young guy who has the defensive post presence of Brand; Lavoy Allen (the guy who did a good job on KG in the playoffs). Collins wants Hawes to a have a Pau Gasol-type role.
    I know that Dre is talented. I also appreciated him during his time in Philly (he was my favorite Sixer). But Dre is a complementary player, and the only way we could get a star was by trading Dre. It’s really tough to win without a star; I’ve been watching the Sixers. We’ve had to grind out so many games the past two years, winning because of defensive intensity and the fast-break. Now we have shooting and a half-court offense. On Turner, I think he has a higher potential on offense than Igoudala, but obviously less on defense. He’s a great rebounder.

    We are still very young and our goal is to be a real contender in the long-run. Dre is in his prime, and I didn’t want his ENTIRE career wasted here. We have a young core with a star, and even though my eyes are down the road, I still think we have enough talent and depth to get to the ECF this year.
    I really did like number 9 and number 42 when they were here. We needed a change of the guard. Our X Factor is the young guys stepping up (Holiday, others).

  • Anonymous

    You are in for a rude awakening about Nick Young, my friend. Lou Williams at least averaged 3-4 assists per game. Nick Young’s BEST assist average in a single season is 1.2(!). His career average is 0.9. The man does not pass the ball. You are going to lose your mind watching him chuck to his heart’s content.

    I can see what you’re saying about going young and trying to build the young guy’s up. I do agree that they have potential to be a legit team in maybe 1-3 years depending on if Turner develops and Young finally takes the next step (always been a fan of him, but he can’t seem to get over the hump). But barring Bynum going nuts and averaging 30-15, not to mention staying healthy, I still think this is going to be a rough year for the Sixers.

  • Anonymous


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