Can Philadelphia 76ers Harness Isaiah Canaan?

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Dec 10, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Isaiah Canaan (0) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward

Thaddeus Young

(30) and forward

Willie Reed

(33) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

I Did It My Way

At 6’0″, Canaan is too small to mix it up with shooting forwards, power forwards and centers on the front court. So he plays the game his style, his way. Like a cannonball, he just aims and shoots. Like a loose cannon… er… Canaan. You get the picture. So what’s a guy like that doing on a team like Philadelphia? He’s the long range artillery.  He’s filling the role the team had hoped to find with the arrival of Nik Stauskas.  He is that guy who starts pumping and hitting treys and suddenly the Philadelphia 76ers are in the lead or have closed the gap.  He’s that guy. When he shoots poorly, it’s not a pleasant sight.   He shot one for five Monday night against the Chicago Bulls and ended up scoring a mere four points.   He returned to the court Wednesday night to face the Atlanta Hawks, and shot seven for twelve, including six for eight from three-pointerville, to lead the Sixers in scoring 24 points.  

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Overall, It’s been that kind of season for the team, and that kind of season for Isaiah: up and down, oscillating, tears and fears and cheers and jeers.  A true rollercoaster ride. But over time, the trend is improving. This is just a sample of what Isaiah Canaan can do. Nobody can feign in the NBA. You either are or you are not.  You can train, improve, learn and grow.  But you cannot be something you are not.  That is the challenge of harnessing Canaan.  He’s not set up to play a traditional role on a team.  So he is wedged into the class of NBA hybrid guards.  But before we look at comparatives, lets see how Isaiah Canaan is developing under the guidance of head coach Brett Brown.

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