Head Coach Doug Collins has molded a group of "above average" players into a legitimate playoff team. Collins has his team playing hard on both ends of the court while playing team basketball. Defense is the strength of the team as they have managed to out work opponents while creating turnovers. The turnovers spark the offensive game as the players are able to consistently finish in transition. The team also has the luxury of having players like Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young come off their bench. The aforementioned players arguably mean more to the team than the guys who start the games. The Sixers currently have a winning record of 20 - 14 and are first place in their division.
With the positivity out of the way, I would like to share some negative issues with the team. First, the Sixers went into the all-star break on a five game losing streak. The losing streak left fans scratching their heads and questioning the great start to the season. The team would tell you that they are struggling without the services of starting center Spencer Hawes and starting power forward Elton Brand. Hawes(back injury) has missed the last 15 games and is still not scheduled to be back for two weeks. Brand has been out nursing a hand injury but is expected back tonight when the team plays the Detroit Pistons.
The problem I see with the team is none of the players have evolved into a Superstar. Andre Iguodala made his first all-star game this year but no one would consider him a "Superstar." Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young are good pieces and strive in their roles but aren't true "go to guys." I believe that Jrue Holiday or Evan Turner have the ability to take their games to the next level. Holiday who is in his third season has progressed each year and has shown the ability to take over games. Turner, has the pedigree of the 2nd pick in last years draft, but has yet to gain the confidence of the coaches to be a starter. Turner possesses the ability to be the best player on the team, but must display consistency and confidence to be a starter. It is also important for coach Collins to identify who his best player is and allow him to have control when the game is on the line.
The all-star break is over and teams are ready to make a push for a spot in the playoffs. The Sixers need to continue to play inspired basketball and determine who will become the true "go to guy." Overall the team has done some good things but must make the next step in their pursuit of a championship. The Philly fans will be watching closely and won't hesitate to boo poor play or lack of effort.