Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on August 7, 2007
So before leaving for vacation (in the picture, Ricky engaged in the main activity he will do for the next three weeks) I thought it could be interesting to take a look at our roster NOW and try to imagine how the 2007-2008 Sixers might look like.
My take is that we have two STARTING spots to cover, small forward and power forward, assuming that Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Sam Dalembert are almost a lock to start at PG, SG* and C.
[*= Yes, I consider Iguodala more a SG than a SF (“a shooting guard that can’t shoot”, according to a poster of the Sixers board, which is pretty funny but not accurate), if you don’t it’s ok, but find me a nicer headline for this post, then.]
So here is my breakdown, split into “hopes” and “realistic thoughts”.
The overall introduction is that Sixers clearly have a log jam at the 2-3 positions, with seven players (Iguodala, Willie Green, Kyle Korver, Rodney Carney, Thaddeus Young and even rookie Derrick Byars – and I am not considering Bobby Jones) to split minutes at SG and SF.
Whether you consider Iggy a SG or a SF, it doesn’t change the fact that he will play his usual 36-38 minutes per game (last year it was more than 40… what about cutting them a little bit, Mo ??) : that leaves six players to fight for the remaining 55-60 minutes (!).
Of these six players one, Kyle Korver, is perhaps the finest three point shooter in the NBA, for sure the best free throw shooter, one of the best 6th men, constantly improving, a fans - not to mention Sixers4guidos – favourite. Last year he played 31 minutes per game and I honestly cannot see a good reason to reduce his minutes next year.
So it’s 38 Iguodala + 30 Korver = 68 minutes for those two = 28 minutes to divide between Green, Carney, Thaddeus Young (+ Byars) !!!
See a locker room storm coming ?? Some personnel management issues ??? Personally this scares me, also considering who is our coach (in case you don’t know, I am NOT a Cheeks fan). And this because – and I am going on with my analysis:
a) Rodney Carney is a guy we spent a 1st pick on only twelve months ago, and a player worth taking a deeper look at. To me he’s the typical case of guy who would probably blossom if traded to another team (= Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, Matt Barnes etc part II)… a very good Summer League showed what I was simply feeling: this kid can play. I hope we keep him and give him the chance(s) that last year didn’t have.
b) Thaddeus Young is our rookie. A 12th pick in one of the deepest drafts ever, the 19 y/o wonder, the next Tayshaun Prince, the next Lamar Odom, the cornerstone for the Sixers future bla bla bla (add more Sixers propaganda here…)… would it be smart to leave his young ass on the bench in a season when Sixers will have basically NOTHING to play for and no other goal than “developing young players” ??? No, right?
c) Willie Green, as much as I dislike him, proved he’s a decent scorer off the bench, and a player that many teams looking for instant offense could use properly (just throwing out some random names: Cleveland, Miami, New Jersey etc). 11 PPG in 25 minutes is not bad, mostly considering his resume (a second round pick) and the bad injuries he had to pass through. This means he earned his minutes and will expect to play more. (Yes, I am showing some respect for the Detroit Mercy product. Finally ?).
d) Derrick Byars is… well, I honestly have no idea. I just hope he takes Green’s spot.
You see, a lot of open questions here. To sum it up:
Carney starts at SF, with Thad Young growing fastly as months pass and stealing him the starting spot, after Green gets traded.
Byars becomes the next Willie Green - minus the hate by Sixers bloggers.
This is pretty tough.
Cheeks might actually continue mismanaging Carney, going with Young immediately. Green has probably (and sadly) a shot of starting at SG, with Iguodala playing some SF-point forward.
If Mo doesn’t give up on the “small ball” bullshit, Young plays even some PF (shaking my head).
This is way easier: Sixers have currently four players to fight for this spot: Steven Hunter, Jason Smith, Shavlik Randolph, Herbert Hill (I am PURPOSELY forgetting bum Louis Amundson).
Ok, if we wanto to be accurate, and I do want it, Steven Hunter is actually a center, having no PF skills at all. Last last year he had to start because we simply run out of big men, but in ‘normal’ days he’s always been and always will be a BACK UP center. Pairing him with Dalembert would assure the Sixers another dubious record: the worst rebounding seven footers combo in the history of the NBA.
Jason Smith seems to be a very nice player, perhaps even a steal. He’s the only real power forward in that mix, and he looks like the best fit for the position. The question is: is the Colorado State rookie ready to start at the upper level ? None of us knows it.
The main problem with Shavlik Randolph is that he will come off a surgery. Another problem is that he wasn’t that good even before, when 100% healthy. Is he a PF? or a C? I honestly don’t care much. Love the guy, love his hustle, love the attitude, wish him all the best etc. etc. but you won’t go too far in the NBA if one of your big men is Shavlik Randolph. Don’t kidd ourselves fellas.
Similar things could be said about Herbert Hill. I watched four Summer League games and he looked ok. Good hands, soft touch, size, rebounding, high %. The problem is: will he make the team? We are talking about a 55th pick. No disrespect, just being realistic. If he becomes the next Ben Wallace, I will be happy for having missed another prediction.
Jason Smith starts and slowly shows he’s an NBA player, making many draft “experts” and skeptic/negative Sixers fans eat their words/shut up.
Hunter goes back to what his role should be (Dalembert’s back up), Shavlik Randolph crosses the Atlantic Ocean and becomes MVP of the Italian League, where he wins the title and starts a long, healthy, wealthy career.
Cheeks goes the old way and starts Hunter. After being outrebounded in 48 out of the first 50 games, and by an average of 15 boards per game, he realizes that the team has rebounding issues and tries with Smith.
To make a long (too long, sorry) story short this would be my Sixers 2007-2008 starting line up:
PG Andre Miller – SG Andre Iguodala – SF Rodney Carney – PF Jason Smith – C Sam Dalembert
Before you start dissing me and these five guys, I will tell you that I am aware that this is a 31-33 W line up. But I don’t care FOR THIS SEASON, as long as Celtics and Lakers don’t win the ring.
We’ll see who will be better in 2-3 years. Tell me your thoughts, I will be back around the 28th August.