1. What are some of the few things we learned from the Sixers’ playoff run?
We learned how far the mere youth and athleticism of this group can take them. Philadelphia took full advantage of the injured Chicago Bulls, and tangled with the Boston Celtics just enough to create a memorable campaign behind coach Doug Collins. With their two oldest players being in their mid-30’s (Elton Brand and Tony Battie), the future is bright for this team for seasons to come.
2. Which player has improved during the post season?
Without a doubt, Jrue Holiday exposed himself as a reliable leader for years to come. Before I sound like a true homer, I’ll take into account his weaknesses during the playoffs, which were some poor shooting percentages and turnover-filled nights against both the Bulls and Celtics. To his credit, Jrue averaged 18.2 points and 4.7 assists during the Chicago series.
During the series against Boston, Holiday averaged 13.9 points and 5.6 dimes a night. Holiday tenaciously covered off-ball scorers such as Richard Hamilton and Ray Allen efficiently, limiting their scoring while averaging nearly two steals a night. It’s also important to take note, he’s only 21.
3. Should the Sixers seek a pivotal trade or keep this young nucleus together?
New owners Joshua Harris and Adam Aron are proud of how far this team has come this season after living in mediocrity for the past several years. It won’t be a surprise if general manager, Rod Thorn pulls the trigger on a beneficial deal to bring home a scorer during the offseason. The Sixers don’t only need a scorer, they need another big-man that can clog up the paint. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing this team give up offensive rebounds and second-chance buckets.
4. Which players should the Sixers consider resigning?
Spencer Hawes is worth resigning at a respectable price. While being a seven-footer, he’s showed his range as a shooter during the season. He’s only 24, and centers are hard to come across in this league. Players such as Jodie Meeks, Sam Young, Tony Battie, Francisco Elson and Xavier Silas are all replaceable.
5. What can be said about Doug Collins’ second tenure as Sixers’ head coach?
It’s hard to see this group of young players excel the way they did without the mentoring of coach Collins. Two years ago, before Collins took reigns as head coach, fans witnessed Eddie Jordan’s “Princeton offense,” and the team’s first 50-loss season since 1998. Through passion and descriptive detail, Collins makes the most out of this young team. It’s only a wonder what the Sixers would look like with an experienced mega-talented player, something that most teams in this league possess.
6. Lastly, what’s to say about the evolution of our current star, Andre Iguodala?
Iguodala faces the heat every year for Philadelphia, from television networks to sports radio. There are reasons for all of this: he’s a fourth quarter blunder, can’t score reliably, doesn’t drive the ball into the paint as much as he should and gets paid tremendously. During the playoffs, he was knocking down the three-ball while being a menace on defense.
Iguodala is one of the Sixers’ best pieces to trade away, but is also one of the best players to have alongside another superstar because of his all-around game. It’s hard to see the Sixers deal away Iguodala, but it’d also be a treasure to have him around once the team has an established weapon on offense that’s not named Louis Williams.