Well, the unofficial (and un-midway) midway point of the NBA’s 2012-’13 season is here, and, being that we’re a sports blog, and sports blogs exist to rate and rank things, we’re going to do that. Give the people what they want. We’re nothing if not populists here. So here’s a look back at how the core Sixers performed in the season’s initial 51 games. They didn’t perform well, but I guess you knew that already.
|Lavoy Allen, PF
Though Lavoy’s been wildly inconsistent in year two (see: his following up a 22 rebound outing against the Bobcats by grabbing two in 29 minutes against the Clippers), he’s demonstrated that his strong rookie season, and stronger postseason, were no flukes. While the former second round pick’s shooting efficiency still suffers from his insistence on taking low-percentage midrange shots, he’s become, quietly, a fearsome offensive rebounder.
|Evan Turner, SFIf you’re like me, when you watch Evan Turner, you spend a lot of time reminding yourself that failure on the basketball court isn’t a consequence of a lack of character or moral fiber or will to win, but is usually just–in some form or another–bad luck. Point being: I don’t want to dislike Evan Turner, but that’s where I find myself. After beginning the year by titillating the sports-consuming public with a polished corner-3, and a newfound aggressiveness, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft has fallen flat and stayed there.|
|Spencer Hawes, CThe mullet was delightful. What isn’t: that Hawes, not exactly Moses Malone to beging with, has been worse in almost every facet of the game this year than he was a season ago. Per 48 minutes, he’s averaging 2 fewer rebounds, 1.8 fewer assists, 0.3 fewer steals, and his FG% has fallen almost three percentage points. My physician has advised me to not talk about his defense.|
|Jrue Holiday, PGWhen I was a kid, we used to tease, torture and torment a friend of mine because he once, as, I think, an eight-year-old, gestured at a bedroom wall with two posters on it and announced, “Out of all my posters, I think the Independence Day one is my favorite.” Out of all his posters, meaning, two posters. It was funny. Which brings us to Jrue, about which I can honestly say, “Out of all the Sixers having positive seasons, Jrue’s 2012-’13 has been my favorite.” His defense has been stellar, he’s scoring and meting out assists at career high rates, and while his shooting percentages and TO numbers are middle of the pack, they’re also attributable, in part, to the fact that on many nights Jrue’s the only offensive threat wearing a “Sixers” uniform. He’s definitely been our Independence Day poster.|
|Nick Young, SGAn optimist would say that Nick Young has been a ton of fun to watch on most nights, wears his hair in interesting ways, is a better-than-advertised defender, buries shots most wouldn’t even attempt, and, under the watchful eye of Doug Collins, has evolved into more of a team player than he was in his two previous stops; as he’s setting a career-high in assists and tallying his highest rebounding total since his rookie season despite a downtick in scoring. The problem is this: while Nick Young might be having a career season, it still hasn’t been a particularly good one. Swaggy’s a volume shooter who doesn’t connect at a high rate and doesn’t do anything else better than league average.|
|Arnett Moultrie, PFThe rookie has taken full advantage of Thad Young’s hamstring injury, stepping into the lineup and providing the Sixers with a bounce and spark their frontcourt had been sorely lacking.|
|Dorell Wright, SF
A 37% field goal percentage is a difficult thing to overlook 51 games into a season, especially when it’s come from a guy who’s spent so much time in his coach’s doghouse he’s hung pictures of his family around the place, but here’s the thing: Dorell Wright has been fine this season. His troublesome FG% is mitigated, in part, by his work from 3-points and the foul line, and then entirely by what he does when he’s not shooting. Wright has been very effective on the glass–grabbing nine rebounds per 48 minutes–and is a willing and able passer who doesn’t turn the ball over. There’s aren’t a lot of those.
|Doug CollinsThe grade reflects the entirety of his contribution to the team this season, not just his coaching. The problem is, while “Doug Collins: Coach” is a tremendous asset (he, for one, gets players to commit defensively to a degree that is rare), “Doug Collins the behind-the-scenes de facto GM” has been a disaster. I respect Doug Collins a great deal, but he’s accumulated too much power, and the organization is beginning to suffer for it.|