First things first, let's hope Doug gets back to full strength after missing the second half of last night's Pacers game with vertigo from his earlier concussion. While the team now sits at 1-4, the general consensus is that the Sixers have been playing pretty good basketball. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a better outcome after five games. Elton Brand is playing great, thus boosting his value on the trade market, but the team is still losing, so nobody is falling in love with the idea of a playoff berth. I doubt this was Collins' plan, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Hit the jump for how Doug is using each player thus far.
Jrue Holiday - Not playing his best basketball, but Doug is sticking with him in the starting role. If he dumps him too quickly for Lou, this blog will have an uprising. Let the kid work through his problems. 32 minutes per night.
Andre Iguodala - His shot attempts are down, his three point attempts are down, and his free throw attempts are down. One of those things is bad, but it's clear that Doug is getting to Andre about shot selection. Andre's passing the ball much more, and should be a 15, 6 and 6 guy from here on out. He is also playing himself into being traded to a contender.
Elton Brand - For everyone who has hated Elton since we've gotten him, maybe take a step back and realize this is the first time he's been healthy. In a good system, he can still be very effective, and Doug is absolutely letting him play to his strengths. 18 and 10 in the early going, with an uptick in assists, blocks and steals as well. He's everywhere, which hopefully means he'll be somewhere else soon for cap relief and picks.
Spencer Hawes - Had a nice first quarter yesterday but only logged 14 minutes. He's still getting his legs back and I'm really not as down on him as everybody else is. Once he's back to full strength, we may see something worth keeping, though not as a starting center.
Andres Nocioni - He's been a pleasant surprise for the Noce contingent here, and with only one more year left on his contract, Noce could be dealt to a contender by the deadline. Hopefully we don't lose NoceOne to another blog <3.
Louis Williams - Here's a guy who knows his role and is excelling in it. I wish he'd ease up on the fadeaway threes, but he's hitting at a 47% clip so I guess I'm stupid. Also getting to the line over 7 times per game off the bench is definitely opening up some trade possibilities for him. He's Ben Gordon lite at this point, so hopefully there's a GM out there who overvalues him. Good for Doug to give him a concrete role.
Thaddeus Young - Same as Lou. He's a nice player off the bench, but in a year where he'll be a restricted free agent, are we going to want to pay him $5 mil for one season not starting? I hope he's a sweetener in an Elton Brand deal. Though to his credit, he's shooting the ball at an incredible 60% clip and being very judicious with his jumpers. He has been rebounding and defending a bit better in limited time as well.
Evan Turner - I still don't agree with keeping him on the bench, but I can't argue with 26 minutes a night to get his feet wet. His rebounding has been spectacular and overall he's been a very efficient player. When Andre goes, ET will be ready to assume a bigger role. I don't expect him to succeed right away, but he has shut up some of his summer league doubters. Can't wait to watch him develop.
Jason Kapono - The JK starting experiment has come to an abrupt end and I wouldn't be surprised if he's bought out or traded. He only has value to us as an expiring contract. His game aside from his jump shot is so non-existent that Doug Collins couldn't afford to keep him on the floor for any long period of time.
Marreese Speights - Michael Curry said it best in regards to Mo. He won't see the court if he doesn't concentrate on defense and rebounding. Simply chucking up shots isn't going to cut it. He had 11 boards in 13 minutes last night. That's a great start. Keep it up and he could be starting by season's end.
Tony Battie - He still shouldn't be here, but he's playing fine in very limited time. Maybe a throw-in in a deadline deal. He can still rebound, which is nice.
Darius Songaila - DNPCD
Jodie Meeks - He hasn't been active. I'm not sure why Dongaila is, but his role is being occupied by Lou. Once Lou/Andre/Thad get traded, Jodie will have a space, but as of now he's pretty redundant with how well Lou is playing. I liked his defense in the summer league though.
Craig Brackins - Again, he hasn't been active. Once the D-League season opens up in two weeks, Brackins could find himself on the Springfield Armor. I'd much rather he be playing than Battie or Songaila though. At this point the Willie Green/Jason Smith trade is the most "addition by subtraction" trade I've ever heard of. I want to see this kid develop.
We'll be checking back in with the roles Doug Collins is giving his players over the course of the season. Again, this isn't a championship team, so losing and development should be the goals. If Brand/Thad/Lou continue to play well, they could bring back a pretty penny in return that would benefit us down the road. The difference between winning 25 and 35 games this season is nothing. May as well build for the future.
#MissionBJ *Perry* *Harrison*