October 29 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bob Cooney:
“If you are a fan, there certainly aren’t a lot of bright spots right now concerning the 76ers. In fact, things are looking about as dark and scary as a haunted house.
There is no real go-to stud, their inside players are better on the perimeter offensively but aren’t very good defensively inside or outside the paint. Their lack of outside shooting is as glaring as the empty seats that will certainly outnumber the people occupying the stands at many home games this season at the Wells Fargo Center.
For now, the subs seem to be as good as, if not better, than the starters, and coach Doug Collins hasn’t even really settled on a starting lineup yet. The backcourt, which many envisioned as being Jrue Holiday at the point and rookie Evan Turner as the shooter, will take time to materialize.
Certainly, problems abound.
Here’s what seems to have changed, however.
The attitude from the Sixers‘ brass. Their strategy seems to have changed from “we can win with this group” to “we want to see what we have and make changes.” They, meaning president Rod Thorn to general manager Ed Stefanski and on down through the front-office guys to Collins, all realize that this is not a team that they are going to try and tweak to make the playoffs. It appears they believe that a player added here or there really isn’t going to make a difference.
In essence, the group of players here now is just auditioning to see if they have a future with the team when big moves simply have to be made. Additionally, they are also auditioning for other teams.
Fans will complain that Andre Iguodala is not the type of player who can lead a team. Correct. Nothing against Iguodala, as we’ve said many times, he’s a terrific complimentary player, the best on a team that seems filled with them.
The brass and the coach know this and have said so.
Elton Brand is not the type of player fans were hoping for when he signed to that $80 million, 5-year contract in the summer of 2008. He was a 20-10 guy before then, but two serious injuries and a 31st birthday in March naturally has dwindled those numbers.
The brass and the coach know this and admit it.
Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights, Spencer Hawes, Andreas Nocioni and Jason Kapono are among the many fill-in pieces, and they all can do an admirable job for the team at certain times. But on a club that needs so much more, again, they are just Band-Aids trying to plug bigger holes.
I leave out Lou Williams because I think he is perfectly suited for his role as a scorer off the bench, even on this team.
Which brings us to Turner and Holiday. Taking Turner with the No. 2 pick couldn’t be labeled a no-brainer, because few things in sports are, especially when you’re talking about draft picks. But it seemed to be the safest pick, and teaming him in the backcourt with Holiday could be a part of the foundation for when moves are made.
Only problem was, it quickly became clear that Turner liked the point-guard spot much more than the off-guard spot. And of the few things Collins was sure about after taking the job in late May, one was that Holiday would be his point guard on the court for “36 minutes” a game.”
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