Will Sixers Season Have A Fast Start Or Fast Close?


Will Sixers Have A Fast Start Or Fast Close To Season?

The Philadelphia 76ers 2015-2016 roster is a work in process, and as such reflects the kaleidoscope of available talent who possess either large upside or fit the model of basketball team that the brainchild of general manager Sam Hinkie and head coach Brett Brown.

It’s that kaleidoscope that gives one pause in the “How will they do?” phase of training camp. How can you tell whether this team will come out hot and fast, winning some games by surprising their opponents? Or will the mix of new faces on the team complicate matters sufficiently to delay any real progress?

In short, which will it be? Will the Sixers season have a fast start or a fast close?

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It’s a tough call.

Perhaps the best way to gauge how the Philadelphia 76ers will thrive is to examine the experiences of our football sister: the Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2015, head coach Chip Kelly assumed the general manager responsibility of the Philadelphia Eagles. In weeks, the Eagles had parted ways from their top running back, their top wide receiver, and their quarterback. In their place, the team had loaded up on new veteran and rookie talent at all of these positions.

Despite the call for a fast start from the preseason showing, the Eagles are currently 1-2 and the offense of the team, once a strength, is now the weak link of the team.

Team sports are not individual talent based alone. It’s a delicate balance of individual raw talent, application (training and practice), and chemistry. Of the three elements, chemistry is oftentimes most important.

How can I say that?

Teams that can anticipate, know the actions of teammates, can flow as a group. It’s that bond that places teams like the Seattle Seahawks in the championship mix each season. Individually, there may be teams with more “talent”, but none surround newcomers to the team with more veteran support than the Seahawks. Each veteran is individually tasked with paying it forward – teaching the guy behind them the ropes.

Now flip that knowledge onto the roster of the Philadelphia 76ers.  With a roster that has a majority of players with three or fewer years in the NBA, and even fewer years on the 76ers, there is a lack of “showing the ropes” personnel.

Without that history of “how we do it”, the team is developing what that will be.  And with a season beginning in a month, there is not a lot of time to gel, to build trust and anticipation.

In the real world, that translates into a slow start.   We may hit magic in several games, but the beginning of the season will likely catch Sixer fans where it hurts most – games where we struggle to compete with better teams.

We may even have a historically tragic loss.

But hang in there.   Adversity is the best teacher of chemistry.  As the team, and individuals, circle the wagons, they build a brotherhood that supersedes box scores and off court dramatics.  Eventually, the team will begin to coagulate, bond, and will begin to show close.  In this upcoming season, look for the team to finish strongly.

If the team begins hot, it’s a plus.  But if I had to bet the mortgage, I would bet that the team improves as the season progresses.

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