We can all be as negative and cynical as we want to be, but we all know anything is possible in sports. Didn't Butler make it to the NCAA final two years in a row? Didn't the Red Sox come back from the Goliath Yankees team after trailing 3-0? Didn't the Monstars still supposed NBA talent from Shawn Bradley?
My point is we have to watch the Sixers no matter what they do. But the NBA is set up so differently now. We should get used to seeing about 6 or 8 really good teams, 3 or 4 young, rising teams and about 20 lousy teams that have no shot. Teams are going to stockpile on talent while others are just going to clear cap space in order to acquire lottery picks and make some moves during the next free agency period.
Here are a few things outside of a championship we can watch for during the upcoming season.
The Development of Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday- Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner will be better pros than most people here think but not as good as I think they will be. Jrue Holiday is a score first point guard that doesn't shoot the ball as well as he should. Evan Turner is a long and athletic 2 guard who doesn't shoot the ball well and is far too skinny. Both of these players need to get stronger and develop a better jump shot. These aren't impossible feats.
I will be curious to see how much they improve this season. If neither of these players get any better from what they are now, then this team is about 10 years away at the soonest from being a contender. If they both reach their potentials, then this team could be just one more year away. Either way it will be exciting to see what they can do this season.
The Rooks- I loved the draft day trade to acquire Arnette Moultrie from the Heat for basically two second round picks. Moe Harkless on the other hand, I am skeptical. I havn't seen enough of him to know if he really can be a true small forward or if he is a hybird forward who doesn't have a position except on the bench. Players like that, hyrbids, can never be anything more than a decent spark off the bench.
I think Moultrie can be a really good power forward in this league. I'm not going to say what player he will never be, because we don't know what kind of player he will be yet. He could be nothing in the NBA or he could be a star. Why not? Let's wait and see what he can do this season. Same thing with Harkless. He wasn't my first choice, but he has potential.
Spencer Hawes, Seriously- I swear I saw Hawes looking like a good offensive center at times last season. Not all the time, but every now and then. He isn't as good as Collins probably thinks he is but I don't think he is quite as bad as we all think he is. He can't be. We talk like he will set this franchise back 10 years with his poor play. Nobody is that bad with that type of contract. Maybe he improves greatly this season. Maybe Eric Snow gets inducted into the Hall of Fame.