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May 20 2013

5-on-5: Lottery lucky charms

1. ___ should represent the Sixers at the lottery.

Eric Goldwein: The big guy on the right.big guy at sixers game

Tom Sunnergren: Doug Collins. He did more than anyone in the organization to position the Sixers to draft outside the top ten. He deserves the credit for this. All of it.

Charles Baron: Sam Hinkie. Put the new face of the franchise front and center. He won’t have the moral conundrum that most GMs/Presidents have about smiling at the lottery, as he isn’t culpable for the team’s current condition.

Wesley Share: Jrue Holiday. He represented the Sixers at the Draft Lottery in 2010 when they received the second overall pick and should be used as a good luck charm.

Anthony CalabroSam Hinkie should represent the Sixers at the lottery. With no head coach in place, Hinkie is the face of the organization.

2. Where were you when the Sixers “won” the no. 2 pick in the 2010 draft?

Goldwein: In the Promised Land on a Birthright trip. I woke up to a text message saying the Flyers beat the Habs 3-0 and the Sixers got the no. 2 pick. I was heated about the roaming charges.

Sunnergren: In the living room of my mom’s house, sitting with my brother. Granted, we weren’t sitting for long. When the 76ers won the No. 2 pick we were jubilant, even more so than we would have if they’d snagged No. 1. We wanted Evan Turner that badly. Ah, the folly of youth.

Baron: At Wesleyan, celebrating the end of the school year and helping outgoing seniors enjoy their last week as college students. Or something like that. Getting the text message (yes, I’m guilty of skipping that year’s lottery) that the Sixers lucked out was certainly the most memorable part of the night.

Share: I was emphatically celebrating at home with my brother and my father. We were unspeakably excited to draft a surefire star player in Evan Turner who would lift the Sixers from the deep depths of atrocity. We were also very naive.

CalabroI was in my parents’ basement in Doylestown, Pa. Getting Turner was a big deal. I thought he could really play. I was so young and innocent back then.

3. Should Sam Hinkie blow it up to get in on the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes?

Goldwein: No. There are two benefits to starting over: getting rid of bad contracts and bringing in a star through the lottery. The Sixeres are already in good cap shape and I don’t think they can get bad enough to pull off the tank. I say go with the Jrue-Thad core and aim for a Rockets-like rebuild. *My answer changes if they played in the Western Conference.

Sunnergren: Yes. I think there’s something to the argument that Eric made the other day — that the Sixers were, effectively, a .500 team last season that simply had terrible shot selection, and could consequently turn it around pretty fast with more 3s/layups–but even if we accept that, it’s still worth taking apart a mediocre (at best) team for a shot at a young fella who could prove to be a transcendent talent.

Baron: Nope. He should follow the path that his Rockets followed: acquire assets and sell off pieces as they reach their peak value, as opposed to the more traditional ‘sell everything and hope for a stud or two in the draft.’ The Bobcats and Kings are prime examples of how losing can beget more losing.

Share: Yes. The Sixers don’t have the pieces necessary to orchestrate a trade for a star player and next year’s draft is expected to be loaded with star caliber players. There are also several other high-level prospects aside from Wiggins who could land anywhere in the top five.

Calabro: Yes. Wiggins is the ultimate prize, but tanking for Jabari Parker or even Marcus Smart is probably a good idea, too.

4. Spurs or Grizzlies?

Goldwein: Spurs in 7. I wouldn’t read too much into the Game 1 blowout, but given two teams of equal ability, I’ll take the one that’s up 1-0 and has the home-court advantage.

Sunnergren: Despite the 1-0 lead Hollinger’s boys have spotted the Spurs, I’ll take Memphis in 7. While the Spurs were a considerably better team in the regular season–don’t be fooled by the narrow 58-56 win advantage San Antonio enjoys, the Spurs outscored opponents by 6.4 ppg in 2012-13 while the Grizz boasted a more modest 4.1 ppg margin–Memphis looked flat ferocious in their dispatching of the Westbrook-less Thunder. It swayed me. Also: Memphis is a tremendous defensive team, and superlative defense is more predictive of postseason success than similarly top-shelf offense. (I can’t find a link to back this up at the moment, but it’s a thing.) Ed. Note: I don’t buy that.

Baron: Spurs in 6. In Game 1 the Spurs reminded the world that they had the second best record in the West. Plus, they have enough quality players in the front court to deal with the Grizzlies’ beasts down low.

Share: San Antonio in 7. There’s no chance a Gregg Popovich squad is ousted by the same team twice in three years.

CalabroSpurs in 6. Pop coached circles around Lionel Hollins in game 1. The Grizz better find a way to get Randolph going in game 2 or this series could be a short one.

5. Heat or Pacers?

Goldwein: If any team is equipped to defend Miami, it’s the Pacers. Plus, Dwyane Wade isn’t anywhere near 100 percent. (What’s new?) But, LeBron. Heat in 5.

Sunnergren: Miami in 5. LeBron gonna LeBron.

Baron: Heat in 5. The Pacers probably have the best personnel in the league to guard the Big 3 without sending double teams, but as has been the case for the past few years, their lack of depth and offensive power will prevent them from challenging a healthy Heat squad.

Share: Heat in 6. Like last year, the Pacers will fight and claw their way to a couple of victories and provoke questions regarding whether they can be the team to beat the Heat. But, as long as Wade is healthy, the Heat will prove too much for Indiana’s balanced attack.

Calabro: Heat in 6. The Heat will win, but I think this is the series that will make Paul George a household name. Love his game.