Mar 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward Amar

It's Not All Bad

So in recent games we’ve been pounding our heads on any kind of flat surface. These Sixers in the 4th quarter is a problem. I don’t have to talk about it because you already know. Plus, this isn’t what this post is about. We’re looking at some of the bright spots of this team. Yeah, it’s easy to think that this season is really bad. But, I’m going to really, really, really, really, really, find the good things that this team has done compared to previous seasons.

I mean c’mon now, this team is better than last year. The biggest reason why it hasn’t shown up on the win column is because the Sixers have been blowing winnable games in the end. They are 0-8 in games decided by 5 points or less. They are 2-14 in games decided by 7 points or less. Clearly, close games are a problem. Ignoring the last few minutes of a game, I will point out why the Sixers are actually a better team than what we’ve seen in the end.

For one thing, team ball has been great. There is a lot of passing and everybody is getting involved. Iguodala is able to play his game better because he’s not called to be the scorer that we need. Don’t get me wrong, this team needs a scorer. But, with all of the balance, Iguodala can focus on the assists and rebounds and steals. It’s almost a triple double watch each game. For a moment it looked like Turner would grow into the consistent scorer that the team needs but Collins has gone away from that. Don’t ask me why Collins doesn’t play anymore even after his recent explosion. I have no clue.

This team is amazing on defense. I will not lie, I still can’t believe it. I don’t see how it’s possible without a solid defensive big guy down there. And for a team that loves to run, it’s even more special that they defend. The Suns of 3 years ago loved to run and score but never defended and that’s why they could never quite get to the top. As long as Sixers keep defending, and getting out on the break, they should be a good team. Of course, their great D sparks the chance to get on the break so if they can’t defend, they can’t get easy buckets. And when you think about it, because they don’t have a consistent scorer for half court situations, they need to score in any way they can.

You have to admit that this team is fun to watch. Remember, we’re ignoring the last few minutes of a game here. Some of the most entertaining plays have come on the break with this team. In a league full of big egos, it’s nice to see a team willing to pass the ball and make the easy play instead of trying to be the hero. I like that they take care of the ball too. For a young team that passes a lot, this is pretty impressive. Of course, there is a negative reason behind it too. They take less risks with the ball than most teams. They only take jumpers most of the time. When attacking the rim, there is a higher chance of losing the ball. You can tell this team doesn’t do a lot of driving since they are dead last in the league at getting to the line. In the beginning of the season, this team really couldn’t make their free throws. They have improved slightly recently (give me a break, I’m trying to find anything positive about this team).

And let’s look at the future. they have young pieces to build around. I think they are closer to contending than it would appear. Clutch and big man are the top two reasons why this team has lost more than half of their games. They do everything else pretty well. Soon they’ll have some cap room to do something to take this team to the next level. I’m not in dream land here, I’m just trying to put a positive spin on things.

These close losses hurt. They are painful to watch. I would be perfectly fine if Sixers were doing the best they could and still lost. But, in my eyes they are not exhausting all options so it’s frustrating. It seems like more and more fans see the problem, but the coaching staff refuses to fix it. At this point, I wouldn’t blame any fan if they quit watching this team. But, there are some positives to look at with this team and it’s enough for now to keep me interested.

Ah, the life of a 76ers fan.

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Tags: Andre Iguodala Doug Collins Evan Turner Sixers

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