With the Bynum situation so...tenuous...I'd like to get a feel for where fans here think the Sixers are, in the scheme of things.
I mean, obviously, this team was ultimately designed to work around him. Inside out... Some guys who could get him the ball down low, guys who could knock down 10 footers when he became doubled, outside threats to really stretch things, yada yada yada. But it doesn't so much matter what we DON'T have; what DO we have now?
For starters, and to kick things off, I'd like to compare us to something tangible: last year's team. I contend that while we didn't have superstars on last year's squad...Doug got them to play "the right way". We defended well...rebounded...ran...all those good things. We were a MUCH MUCH better "team" last year.
Indeed, we are lacking in certain areas this year. Among them:
Last year this may have been our biggest Ace in the Hole. Our bench was very, very good. Fourth in the league in scoring in fact. And when Evan was on the bench our rebounding was solid and defense better than average. This year our bench ranks 24th. Once Evan and Thad were promoted, and replaced on the pine with very average role players, we lost that edge. Take away our Sixth Man of the Year candidate (leading scorer on the team and one of the league's most proficient in the 4th quarter) - guess what? Pffffft!
Remove Iggy (lethal)...remove Lou (automatic to the charity stripe)...remove Brand (rebounds)...and our FastBreak, once FEARED in the league, slips from 8th last year to EIGHTEENTH this year. Yuck.
The aforementioned board game. Last year we overachieved (imo) with a relatively small squad and came in 7th in the league. This year we got bigger (Kwame), wiser (Lavoy) and yet we have fallen to twentieth. What gives?
We have none. Last year our defense was crazy aggressive (thanks to Iggy setting the tone), as was our offense (thanks to our Little Warrior) and our front court competed hard (Brand). Each great examples of how to play tough every night. All gone. Replaced with an underachieving giant (Kwame), a pouting weirdo (Evan), and an energetic but non-effective JRich and what do you have? No identity. Thi team is flat as a pancake.
And so the ingredients which make-up a good non-superstar team are all missing: ball control (boards), mismatches (bench) and super-high percentage opportunities (break). Add it all together...throw in no character whatsoever...guess what you got?