Optimism and Realism

Looking at the Sixers this year I am optimistic but realism keeps me grounded. I look at the team wanting to find the Superstars like Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston but can’t find a single player I would classify as a superstar. I see lot’s of youth and unrealized potential. Quite frankly I see the Sacramento Kings. When was the last time they struck fear into their opponents?

I am optimistic about Jrue Holiday at the point. He started to figure things out half way through year last year and had a very good summer. I would like to think he is the long term answer at point guard. Realistically, it’s too early to tell. I wish I could see a dozen points and at least six assists a game to calm my fears. Last years stat sheet doesn’t provide that kind of assurance. If Jrue goes down, I don’t see Louis Williams as being a reliable back-up. To me he is more of an undersized shooting guard.

At shooting guard I am optimistic that Evan Turner may be our solution for the future. I don’t hold a lot of weight in how players perform during the summer leagues. I am beating my brain trying to remember the last time we had a quality shooting guard who could actually defend an opposing shooting guard. So that leaves Allen Iverson out. At least we didn’t draft another player out of Detroit Mercy this year.

Feel free to argue with me about the value of Andre Iguodala. I do think Iggy is a very good player. Although, I don’t think we decrease our win total if he is out for any length of time. I want my wing to provide excitement, athleticism, game changing plays and final minute heroics. Iguadala is a nice piece. He would be a great addition to any team that is close to competing for a title. He is no superstar though. I would rather see us move Iguodala if possible. He is paid superstar money which severely handcuffs the ability to bring in a true superstar. As long as he is on the team, Thaddeus Young doesn’t get the minutes he needs to develop. I actually liked bringing Andres Nocioni to town. Small forward should be a strong point for the team this year.

I wish I had some optimism for the Power Forward position this year. I loved watching Elton Brand play at Duke. I totally agreed with him being picked first in the draft and thought he was a beast out West for the Clippers. I applauded when the Sixers brought him to Philly even though his contract seemed bloated for a player coming off an injury. I do think Elton is giving us his best but his body has seen too many trips up and down the court. A combination of Brand, Smith, Speights and Young won’t be listed a one of the best front courts in the game.

I have to give my personal thanks to Ed Stefanski for ridding us of Samuel Dalembert. When Sammy was drafted 26th back in 2001 I almost threw my drink at the TV. It was obvious to me that whichever talent evaluator convinced the Sixers to draft Dalembert never watched any Big East basketball games. He was so raw at Seton Hall I didn’t think any team would waste a draft pick. When it was the Sixers and it was a first round pick it was too unbelievable to be anything but fantasy.

I will look forward to watching to see if Jrue can continue to develop. I will look forward to Evan Turner turning into a future all star. And I will look forward to the NBA draft next June. There should be plenty of power forwards to help us wind down from the Elton Brand years.

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