Finding Peace In The Sixers Point Guard Race


Point guards are the talk of the town when it comes to the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason, especially as we approach training camp. Much of the starting lineup is finalized. Jahlil Okafor will look for his bid to become one of the NBA’s classic big men. Nerlens Noel will be looking to have another stunning defensive season and improve offensively. Robert Covington is almost a sure start at the small forward position (although that can be debated).

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When we get to the backcourt, that’s where things get uncertain and dicey. Nik Stauskas — brought in by a trade with the Sacramento Kings — seems to be the favorite to get the start, but I wouldn’t be stunned if he was outdone by someone in training camp.

Stauskas has done well in FIBA Americas, after a poor showing at the Tuto Marchand tournament. Despite the fact that Stauskas isn’t a sure start at shooting guard, things are even crazier at the point guard position.

Ask any group of Sixers fans who they thought the starting point guard would have been a month ago, and you probably would have gotten a decent showing of three different answers. Today, you could probably get four. The uncertainty around the position is baffling.

The Sixers have no shortage of options going into training camp in just a few weeks. Our very own Dalton Lanoza ranked them as a look ahead to the season. While some — I would argue Scottie Wilbekin, Isaiah Canaan — may not even make the team, it does give the Sixers the power of choice.

Bringing in all of these guards definitely has its upside, but for fans — particularly fans of the underdog — there is some downside to having options.

Fans who fall in love with the idea of a Wilbekin or a Canaan leading the team could easily get disappointed with training camp’s outcome.

Additionally, those who love Pierre Jackson — better known as Pappy Jack — were distraught when the player they thought was a front runner to win the starting job was quickly bumped from being the ‘favorite’ by the signing of Kendall Marshall. Of course, Sixers fans have the best interest of the team, and not individual players, but it’s tough to not start liking some of these guys, especially with the work ethic they put into their careers.

Despite any negatives that can be taken from the large sum of point guards looking to claim the starting role, the obvious positive is the variety that the Sixers have. They can choose from plenty of different skill sets, and player types. While most of the crowd is traditionally younger players, they have different things they bring to the table. The Sixers can choose the players that fit bet with their offensive plan, and likely, the players that fit best working with Jahlil Okafor (I think Marshall fits really well, especially with his experience dishing the ball to Pau).

Fans can find peace in the fact that the numerous options will give the Sixers plenty of chances to make the right choice. The uncertainty about who the starter will be is unsettling, don’t get me wrong. But the solitude of the point guard position is in the variety.

Look for the best option to come forth throughout training camp. The competition will force the best to step forward. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Next: Will Jah Be A Classic Big Man?

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