Sixers Player Season Grades: The Starting 5

Instead of doing each and every player on the team per post, I figure I’d split the roster down into 3 parts: The Starting 5, The Night Shift, and The Bench Warmers. Now, the starting 5 have had some changes over the course of the season. We’re going to go with the players that have the most starts for the season. Those 5 players are: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Spencer Hawes.

Apr 25, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) dunks during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Jrue Holiday: I think I was okay with Jrue’s season. If there was one area I really wanted him to improve on was the turnovers. He also needed to attack the rim more as well as actually looking for contact. Another thing is that some people were kinda expecting Jrue to take more of a leadership role. I wasn’t looking for that yet. Overall, Jrue showed flashes of what he could become but still looked like a 21 year old. It was his 3rd year but his rookie year was hell and sometimes I actually ignore player’s performances from that season. This is one of those times.

Jrue definitely showed that he can be a scorer that we need. Not quite the consistent scorer but a scorer. He’s saved the team quite a few times with some big shots. I’ve already been said this but I’m fine with Jrue being the PG of the future championship winning team. And his defense was wonderful; although there were times when he wasn’t so wonderful. The next major step for Jrue is to become a leader. This off-season is looking like both/either Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand won’t be around next season.

He made a better impact during the playoffs, especially offensively. There was a time vs the Bulls that Evan Turner and Jrue basically were carrying the team. Would I say he’s untouchable in trade talks? I think I would although I may put him in a deal that gets a star on this team. Otherwise, I’m keeping Jrue around.

Season Grade: B-

Apr 07, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks (20) shoots a jump shot during the first quarter against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center. The Magic defeated the Sixers 88-82. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Jodie Meeks: Jodie did not have a great shooting season. His role on the team is to hit 3-balls though; otherwise he’s useless. The Sixers were starting him to start the season but even in the Sixers’ great start, Jodie was still having problems hitting the 3. For the season he did hit 37% of his 3-balls on 40% shooting from the entire field. Okay, fine. But then we were all hoping he would break out of his shooting slump for the playoffs. He ended up shooting 23%. Twenty-Three Percent. Now remember, the only real skill keeping him in the rotation is his shooting. That would explain why he played 7.8 minutes per game for the playoffs. He played 24.9 minutes per game during the regular season. It’s been rough for Jodie.

Season Grade: C-

Mar 23, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala (9) dunks over Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Andre Iguodala: And then there’s Andre Iguodala. The best player on this team; no contest. Finally made his first all-star game. One thing that made me mad was he was not voted on either defensive team, despite finishing 7th in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Give me a break. And continues to be under appreciated by everyone for what he brings to the table. I guess points or nothing, huh?

That may be the only negative thing about Andre’s seas-oh wait the free throws. Oh dear Lord those free throws. I mean the whole team was terrible but Andre’s been just…have mercy. He shot 74% his rookie year and got slightly better with 75% the next year. In his 3rd year, he was at 82%. It went down hill from there. For the next two seasons, he went back down to 72%. Then he hopped back to 73%. At this point, I’m okay with these percentages. I wish they were better but we’ll take them. But then last season he shot 69%. Uh…okay fine. This season: 62%. No, completely unacceptable. In the playoffs he shot even worse. Yup, 59%. I could’ve sworn he got better in the playoffs though. At some point during the season, I had said this (and some of my Twitter followers may remember): I give up on Andre Iguodala making his FT’s. I now expect a miss just because. There is no and-1 with Andre. Brick-odala.

A whole paragraph on free throws. We talkin’ bout free throws. But they are serious; especially in late game situations. Anyway, Andre did his thing on defense and I don’t care how many votes he got, he’s the best wing defender in the NBA. Challenge me on this. Even though his FT% went down, this was his best 3 point shooting year. He shot 39% and his previous high was 35%. I will never figure out Andre Iguodala and his shooting. Never. His passing was tops. He hit a career milestone by getting his 1,000th steal. He ended the season with 1076(ers). He rebounds well too. I mean, he’s like the perfect second or third player on a contender. Let’s not forget his get-out-of-your-chair or make-an-ugly-face dunks. Those things were nasty at times.

And yet, this may have been the last time we see him in a Sixers uniform. I hope it is but don’t get me wrong: the Sixers will not be able to get anything like Andre Iguodala. This team will miss him big time. The team that gets him will be lucky (especially if they’re close to a contender). But, in the long term, it may be best for both him and the team. So, whether he stays or goes, thank you Andre for being you.

Season Grade: A-

Mar 16, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young (21) and forward Elton Brand (42) go for a loose ball with Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Heat defeated the Sixers 84-78. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Elton Brand: Elton had a nice season I guess. One thing about Elton was that he rarely quit. There have been games where Elton was the only one trying. Him and Thad Young. He’s saved the team many times during the season too. But he’s the 10th highest player in the league right now. He’s higher than the Miami Heat’s big 3. People knock on Iguodala for the money he’s making but he’s making less than Brand and doing more than Brand. And the contract just keeps nagging at me. I would like Elton on this team but he’s got to go because of that contract. Nothing personal. He’s been a professional his whole time here. He’s worked hard to get back from his injuries to still be a solid big man. He did a nice job of using his long arms to defend the bigs but the big men of the Sixers as a whole needs serious improvement on all sides of the ball.

Still, Elton had a very nice season. If the Sixers don’t amnesty him though, I’ll have a big problem with that.

Season Grade: B-

May 6, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes (00) celebrates making a three point shot late in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls during game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Spencer Hawes: I don’t hate Hawes (there is a player on this team I hate though), but I just don’t understand how Hawes can be so terrible. When you compare his stats and actually watch him play, you’ll be confused. An example would be that I was at my uncle’s house during a playoff game (I think it was vs the Celtics). I was telling my dear uncle (who is 7 years older than me. I’m 20) how much I wanted Hawes and Lou off the team. He was like, “what do you mean?” and started rattling off stats and highlights he saw and stuff. He’s a Lakers fan, by the way. He doesn’t watch Sixers games so he wouldn’t understand why I was so hard on them. But after watching the whole game, my uncle agreed with me that Lou and Spencer were not as good as their respective stats may show. Indeed, Spencer is one of those players you definitely can’t go by stats alone. You need the eye test too.

Hawes’ is 7 feet tall. At least 7 feet tall. But he plays like he’s Andre Iguodala’s height; maybe shorter than that. Does he dunk? He’s always looking for a nice little finger roll or something. What’s worse is he blows open layups (including one that my uncle was watching). I don’t understand it. He gets the rebounds he gets because he’s the only one there at times. Otherwise, much shorter players will indeed out rebound him. Imagine if Ben Wallace was as tall as Hawes. My God. Anyway, Hawes has a nice little jumper that helps spread the floor and open lanes for players to drive and then kick to an open Hawes. That may be the only positive I can draw from Hawes. He had a unbelievable start to the season but what happened? He’s just terrible and I want him gone. I do grade ignoring my personal feeling though; don’t worry.

Season Grade: D

Topics: 2011-2012 Grades, 76ers, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes

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