It’s been a rough two weeks for the 76ers as they entered All-Star break on a five game losing streak, losing in a variety of ways. The Sixers blew a lead against Dallas, were robbed by the referees in Minnesota, were outplayed and out-hustled by Memphis, hung close in a nail-biter against Houston, and looked dreadful against the Magic.
I knew this would be a rough stretch for the Sixers after they came out flat against Charlotte about two weeks ago. Ever since that game they’ve had issues on offense and closing games defensively, which has fueled their issues. The injury bug hasn’t been to kind as well, as the Sixers are still without Spencer Hawes, and now Elton Brand with a thumb injury.
After the Memphis game, I probably hit my personal low point for this season. It appeared that the Sixers played with no fire, and settled for far too many jumpers. They were slow defensively, and sloppy with fouls. I had to settle back into a rational zone to be able to realize that the Sixers are out-doing expectations, and are year two into a new regime. Keeping that in mind helps alleviate some of the issues I have with this team (they are young and undersized) but there is a lot to like about this team as well.
The Sixers are still a defensive force, are capable of getting scoring from anybody on any given night, and continue to play hard each and every game.
With that said, the Sixers resume their season tomorrow night in a road contest against Detroit. This looks to be a great opportunity to get a win and resume their winning ways. Things will get markedly tougher the next night, as the team will take on west leading Oklahoma City Wednesday night at WFC.
The Sixers have some issues this season. Every team in the NBA has their own problems, and the Sixers are no different. If anything, this last stretch finally settled my thoughts and made me realize this team is good, but not elite, and will not be able to compete with Chicago or Miami in the playoffs. 3rd in the East isn’t bad considering the talented teams vying for playoff position.
Regarding trade moves, the Sixers should stay put and play the season out. There really isn’t a reason to go big during a shortened campaign, while the team is having it’s best season in eleven years. If the Sixers can finish the season strong, it might be able to attract a marquee Free Agent (I’m assuming Brand will be amnestied, and Nocioni will be off the books) which will bolster an already deep team.
With that being said, there is one change I would implement right away, and that is putting Turner into the starting lineup as the 1 and move Holiday to the 2. Meeks has been virtually useless over the past two weeks, and is unable to help the team start games and halves strong.
The Sixers are 20-14, #1 in the Atlantic, #4 in the East (due to being a division leader), and are still 3 games up on New York. There’s no reason to panic. I just with I would be reminded this after each loss.