Sixers 2011-12 Season: What's Wrong with Realism?

Things have gotten rather heated in the comments section lately, mostly in regards to the 2011-12 Philadelphia 76ers season previews Jordan and I posted this past week. Jordan went company man and waxed about the intrigue of the coming season, keeping a very grounded approach as to what he was expecting. I, meanwhile, brought the Existential Angst Hammer (TM) down on the coming seasons without remorse and got a few people riled up in the comments section.

The discussion will last us at least the rest of the season and possibly a lifetime so I wanted to continue it here rather than back in the archives. There are a number of facts that all of us can agree on and some that seem to be philosophical differences in the way we think about basketball than how we assess the current team. I'd like to lay those out quickly here, after the jump.

Truths
  1. The Sixers are going to make the playoffs this season.
  2. The Sixers could potentially win a playoff series, but nothing more.
  3. Currently, the roster does not have an offensive superstar or a dominant big man.
  4. Because of Truth #3, the team has a hard time scoring in the half court.

Now here's where it gets fuzzy.

Points of Contention

  1. The Realists believe that #3 means they have no chance at winning a championship with this roster so finishing with a record slightly above .500 (as all of us generally predict) just means they'll continue to be mediocre. Meanwhile, the Optimists cherish every win and see that as an indicator that they are improving and will eventually contend for a title because of those improvements.
  2. As a young team, the Optimists think some of the players (Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young) will become superstars and attract free agents to sign here. The Realists, on the other hand, see the team still in the hands of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand as the cheap early primes of the young guard are wasted in cap inflexibility.
  3. The Realists see every win as an indicator that the team will happily (dumbly) continue to re-sign their players to retain mediocrity while the Optimists see wins as value boosters to Iguodala and Brand as assets that make them more moveable on the open market.
  4. The intention of each NBA team should be to win a championship. Realists see that to mean everything short of that is failure and teams should therefore always be building to that. Optimists enjoy making the playoffs and as long as the team is competitive, they are happy.
  5. The Realists enjoy basketball. The Optimists don't think the Realists enjoy basketball.

Have I covered most of it? Let's get a reasonable discussion going that addresses the cap inflexibility, the lack of a superstar here, and whether or not teams should be going championship or bust. There's a lot to cover and we'll be butting heads on the most basic of competitive fandom, but I think it'll be a good exercise in defending your point and understanding where the other side is coming from.

Or it'll create a Liberty Ballers Civil War, in which case I have dibs on being General Sherman.

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