This isn't something I put deep thought into as much as trying to stimulate conversation in a different direction, finding things that have gone right for the sixers this year. Going into the season, I was one of few (probably) who didn't believe the playoffs were achievable, but at the same time I didn't think it mattered, what matters was smaller things, things that could go 'right' regardless of the teams record. Haven't seen all my hopes come true but I have seen some.
- Jrue Holiday - whether you wanted him or you wanted Ty Lawson you have to admit that overall he's a strong defensive presence and has some good court vision and is a 'point guard' in the way the sixers really haven't had since Eric Snow (in my opiion). Yeah his shot selection (and shot in general) leave something to be desired, but he's only 19, he's the youngest player in the league, even the most avid Lawson now supporters have to see what he contributes when he's on the floor and what he can be as he improves
- Mareese Speights - his offensive game is even stronger and more apparent than last year. How long has it been since the sixers REALLY had a low post presence that would draw a double team. Does it need work? Sure it does, but if he didn't need work Speights would have been a top 10 pick. He still needs to work on his passing, and his defense while improving still needs aa lot of work, but he's already a great bench threat when you need some scoring, and also still young, and hopefully willing to work to improve where he needs to improve. If he can develop his weaknesses to say 75% of his smooth shooting stroke, he'll be an amazing PF in this league and a steal in the draft.
- Elton Brand - he's healthy (come on - two years straight - some people expected him to break down I'm sure), he's accepted coming off the bench (whether or not this is the right decision is a different argument) and contributes solidly from the bench most games. Is he what the sixers hoped when they signed him, probably not (and whether or not the expectations when he was signed were realistic is also another discussion) and maybe his contract is killing the sixers, but based on his past 2 seasons you have to be happy with how Brand has performed and accepted his demotion
- Sam Dalembert - his recent play (which for some reason coincides with Iverson but I don't get why, regardless of what I've read) has been quite good. Part of that is that Jordan seems to have realized that he gets 6 fouls a game - not four, and while this might just be the yearly 'month' in which Sam plays up to his level, maybe he's turned that corner...who knows.
- Allen Iverson - oh how i hated this signing for so many reasons that everyone knows, but motivations aside, wins/losses aside, he hasn't been the 'iverson of old' that I would have expected, the guy who stifled Iguodala and shot 20+ shots a game regardless of whether he's hot or cold. He's been a solid player, and honestly, if he would agree to come off the bench I think it would be even better for him (long term) and the sixers. He's playing within himself maybe to impress teams but he has to make that 'bench' if he's looking to play past this year.
I guess when the team is 12-26 you can't expect to be happy about too much - but who knew I'd only come up with four when I started writing this.
So - what do you think has gone right with the sixers this year?