HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Boston Celtics accept reloaded with Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green. The Brooklyn Nets accept spent over $300 actor on their new starting lineup. The New York Knicks absent Jeremy Lin, but added depth. And the Toronto Raptors accept upgraded their circling with the additions of Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields and Jonas Valanciunas.
Overall, the Atlantic Division is on an upswing. But what of the Philadelphia 76ers, who were, at one point, one of the aftermost bristles teams still animate in the 2012 Playoffs?
With seven players in their circling beneath the age of 25, the Sixers could accept stood pat and kept improving. Instead, they let go of two of their better contributors, acceptance chargeless abettor Lou Williams to assurance with the Atlanta Hawks and application the absolution article to abandon Elton Brand.
In their abode are Nick Adolescent (signed to a one-year deal), Dorell Wright (acquired from Golden State) and Kwame Brown (two years).
With adolescent guards/wings Maurice Harkless, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner on board, it’s barefaced why the Sixers didn’t appetite to accomplish abiding to Williams. But Brand was on the final year of his contract, and the Sixers acutely downgraded in their frontcourt.
Now, afraid up the frontcourt wasn’t a abhorrent idea, because the starting aggregate of Brand and Spencer Hawes was appealing poor offensively.
Sixers ability by frontcourt combination, 2011-12 (including playoffs)
OffRtg = Points denticulate per 100 possessionsDefRtg = Points accustomed per 100 possessionsNetRtg = Point cogwheel per 100 possessions
Still, Brand was added able than Hawes, who was re-signed for addition two years. The botheration was the $18.2 actor he was owed in the final division of his contract. By application the absolution on Brand, the Sixers were able to add to their abyss with Adolescent and Wright. They’ve additionally regained some banking adaptability that could acquiesce them to accomplish a big move in the future.
But with a new starting frontline of Hawes and Brown, you accept to admiration if the Sixers aren’t demography a footfall backward. With the Nets acceptable to booty one of those Eastern Conference playoff spots aing season, are the Sixers affirmed a atom in the top eight?
Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes that the Sixers fabricated the appropriate moves, and that their backbone could eventually be rewarded…
To their credit, the Sixers didn’t breach out the behemothic armament cannons and aflame lights and smoke machines to acquaint Brown, Young, and Dorell Wright. As drillmaster Doug Collins fabricated actual bright in a half-hour media affair Tuesday, the aggregation has a actual astute appearance of area it stands in the NBA mural and how far it needs to go to win a title.
“We had a plan,” Collins said. “We had a plan, if we amnestied E.B., we had some guys in apperception that we anticipation we could add to our team. They weren’t necessarily activity to be home runs, but they were activity to be guys that fit absolutely what we anticipation we needed.”
The stark, commutual truths: It takes home run moves (adding LeBron James or Kevin Garnett or Jason Kidd) to actualize an burning championship contender, but the Sixers are not in a position to beat for those accurate fences aloof yet.
So anticipate of these moves – abacus Brown, Young, and Wright, re-signing Spencer Hawes, drafting Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie – as a agglomeration of singles. If the Sixers can amount the bases, they will be that abundant stronger if they do hit a home run, either with a midseason barter or, added likely, in chargeless bureau aing summer.
The abiding plan looks appealing good, as continued as Holiday, Turner and Lavoy Allen abide to develop. Short-term, it looks like the Sixers are accommodating to balloon the absolute accordance they congenital in May. And it may booty addition abundant apprenticeship job from Doug Collins to get them aback to the playoffs.
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