Second half expectations

 

While anxiously waiting the season to begin I vaguely remember doing a "Season Expectations" post. I had to travel deep into the archives to find it, especially since it was originally posted on my old site. The purpose of the post was to predict everything from what seed the Sixers go into the playoffs with, to best case/worst case scenarios for each player. Looking back at my predictions, I have to say I did a pretty decent job. If I had to grade myself, I'd throw myself a solid B/B-.

That brings me to now. With the Sixers not playing again until Saturday, we all have time to reflect on the roller-coaster ride it's been since last April, when we found ourselves in a playoff-battle with the Pistons, to now. With that being said, I'm going to bust out a slightly condensed 2nd half preview, much like my original one, but shorter, for the simple reason that no one enjoys reading a thousand word post when it can be done in half the words. What I'll do is, look back at my original predictions, give the player an A-F grade and make my predictions for them in the second half of the season. Off we go.

Andre Miller #7 PG

Best case stats: 15 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds

Worst case stats: 12 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds

His numbers on the season fall in between my best/worst case scenarios at 16 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. I'm not sure what I was thinking on the 10 assist prediction. Miller started very slow this season, but has been the Miller of old as of late. I'd even venture to say that he's been better in the past two months than I've ever seen him.

First half grade: B

Second half prediction: 15 points, 5.5 assists and 4 rebounds.

Louis Williams #23 PG
Best case stats: 15 points, 4 assists

Worst case stats: 11 points, 3 assists on fewer than 40% shooting
Lou's numbers this season almost equal the worst case scenario exactly. He's averaging 12 points, 3 assists on 40% shooting. Has he really played that poorly? Or did I have unrealistic expectations of him? You decide.

First half grade: C

Second half prediction: 11 points, 3 assists on 43% shooting.

Royal Ivey #11 PG

Best case: Ivey plays less than 5 minutes per game and plays them effectively.

Worst case: Ivey plays more than 5 minutes per game and plays them ineffectively, plain and simple.

Well, Royal has played 10 minutes a game this season, but I'd say he's played them semi-effectively. The 34% shooting isn't very good, but he's shot 37% from downtown and has played solid defense all season.

First half grade: B-

Second half prediction: Identical to the first half of the season.

Andre Iguodala #9 SF

Best case stats: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists

Worst case stats: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists on fewer than 45% shooting

If you look at Andre's numbers for the entire season, you'd think that he didn't even live up to the worst case scenario, but let's look past that and see what he's done over the past month. 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Boy, that looks a lot like the best case scenario. I was beginning to think I was out of my mind with that prediction. Keep in mind Iggy's numbers will likely decline once Elton returns, but that's fine as long as he plays the same level of basketball he's been for the past two months.

First half grade: B

Second half prediction: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists

Willie Green #33 SG
Best case stats: Around 15 minutes per game, less than a turnover a game, 7 points on more than 44% shooting or traded

Worst case stats: Over 20 minutes a game or starting shooting guard, more than 1.5 turnovers a game and fewer than 42% shooting
I'm not going to waste my time on Willie Green. Let's just say he's been "worst case" .

First half grade: D

Second half prediction: Continues to suck and make Sixers fans want to punch themselves in the face.

Kareem Rush #20 SG

Best case: Rush comes in a hits a few threes to spread the half court offense.

Worst case: Rush is Willie Green 2.0 (I’ve heard some things).

Kareem has barely played and when he has, he's been slightly disappointing. 

First half grade: Incomplete

Second half prediction: A lot of DNP's, barring any injuries.

Thaddeus Young #21 SF

Best case stats: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1+ steals, less than a turnover on more than 50% shooting.

Worst case stats: 8 points, 3 rebounds, less than a steal and more than a turnover per game on fewer than 50% shooting

Thad has been a pleasant surprise, at least in my eyes. I remember watching him in the Summer League and thinking, "Oh wow, Thad sucks." I expected him to stay at the level that he was at last year and remain a minimal role player. Instead, Thad's taken on the role of "player with the most superstar potential" . He's shown flashes of greatness during the season. His jumpshot is much improved, as is his confidence. His stats fall just short of the best case scenario at 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1.8 turnovers (less than a turnover a game was very unrealistic) on 49% shooting.

First half grade: B+

Second half prediction: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1.5 turnovers on 47% shooting.

Elton Brand #42 PF

Best case stats: 24 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks

Worst case stats: 18 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block and less than 70 games played

I guess I should have watched Elton play before making my predictions. It's fair to say that his stint in Philly has been almost identical to the worst case scenario. Most would say 16 points, 10 boards, 1 block and 18 DNP's is much worse than anyone expected. It's unfair to label him a complete bust yet, because everybody, and I mean everybody sucked under Cheeks, with the minor exception of Thaddeus Young, so we'll have to wait on his return under DiLeo. Just for kicks, here was what I had to say regarding Elton's worst case scenario.

Worst case: Elton is just a mere image of his former self, is injury plagued throughout the season and makes Sixers fans think, "Is this really the first year of a five year deal?" Although the best and worst case scenarios are so much different, both are realistic.

First half grade: C-

Second half prediction: 17 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Reggie Evans #30 PF

Best case: Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! Best case is Reggie does exactly what he did last year; provide energy, swagger and rebounding to a young team. He definitely won’t play as much as he did last year with the acquisition of Brand, but oddly enough Reggie is the player I’m least worried about. He’s been a stud role player his whole career. He might even steal the show from Brand’s return to LA by reuniting with his old friend, Chris Kaman. 

Worst case: Gains weight, gets out of shape and lets the big playoff shot get to his head, provoking him to shoot fade away jumpers.

Reggie has done exactly what was expected of him. I can't complain.

First half grade: B+

Second half prediction: More of the same.

Marreese Speights #16 PF

Best case: Speights plays anything like he did in the Summer League and steps into the hole left by Jason Smith. I could see Speights playing the role Thad did last season. As the season goes on, his minutes could slightly increase and be a nice rotation player. 

Worst case: I really can’t see a worst case for Speights. The only thing I could think of is a serious injury because even if he doesn’t play at all or plays in the D-League he’ll still develop nicely and be ready to blossom into the next Amare down the road.

Speights has done exactly what I expected him to do as well. It's fairly safe to say that the Summer League isn't the best indicator for how a player will translate to the NBA, with Thad being a perfect example, but I saw something special in M16 from the first time I watched him. I expect nothing less than a great career for Mr. Speights.

First half grade: A

Second half prediction: The 2007-2008 Thaddeus Young. I expect him to play a big role in the second half run and the playoffs, assuming we get there.

Samuel Dalembert #1 C

Best case stats: 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. I don't see his numbers improving that much, especially with Brand taking some of his scoring away, along with some rebounds. 

Worst case stats: 9 points, 8 rebounds and fewer than 2 blocks per game.

Sammy has sucked balls. There's no other way I can put it. He's underachieved tremendously and wins the award for "Player most often caused the urge to throw my remote through the TV" award. He's averaging 5 points, 8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, so he's basically hit the worst case scenario on the head, minus four point a game.

First half grade: D

Second half prediction: 4 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Or traded. Hopefully traded.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:

Best case: Best case is obviously a championship. It's not very likely, especially with this being their first year together and Elton coming off a serious injury. That doesn't mean it isn't possible though. The Sixers basically have to have EVERYTHING go right for them, but I'll put it like my boy JP from Angels in the Outfield would, "It could happen!" 

Worst case: Unless some serious injuries occurr or a trade of Andre Miller, I don't see this team missing the playoffs in the East. I say worst case scenario is 7th or 8th seed, as long as they stay healthy.

The worst case scenario looks likely. Obviously the Sixers have underachieved, but the past 10 games have lead me to believe that they'll be making another second half run, much like last year.

First half grade: C-

Second half expectations: 25-16 

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