As the decade comes to a close, we decided to do something completely unoriginal and come out with the best lineup of the decade. To copy off The Good Phight, the only rule is that the player must have been in Philly for at least a year in this decade. So no Keith Van Horn or Glenn Robinson, sadly.
Upon reflection, this was an odd decade for the 76ers because for the first 6 years, we were really just Iverson and some other guys playing around Iverson. Then, he was gone and we had a couple decent contributors try to pick up the pieces. A couple tough decisions, but I'm pretty confident with what we came up with.
Point Guard: Eric Snow - 2000-04
This was hard because of Andre Miller's play the past few years fresh in my mind, but I'd give the nod to Snow because he played here for longer and got us to a championship. He was a tough defender, often forced to man up on bigger 2-guards (he's just 6'3) when AI "defended" the point guard. E-Snow didn't have much of an offensive game, but had similar crafty moves of Andre Miller, and a pretty decent 15 foot jumper from the top of the key that always seemed to fall. His worth was shown when Iverson went down for the first few games of the 03-04 season and Snow played a bigger role. Overall his best year was 02-03 when he averaged just under 13 per game, shooting 45% from the field, 86% from the line, 6.6 assists, and 3.7 rebounds. He may not have been the most multi-dimensional guy, but he did what we asked of him for the first half of the decade.
- Runner Up: Andre Miller
More after the jump...
Shooting Guard: Allen Iverson - 2000-06, 2009
There is nothing I could say that you don't already know. Here's the best year:
33 points, 7.4 dimes, 3.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals, on just under 45% shooting, 32% from beyond, getting to the line 11.5 times per game, with 3.4 TO's (not that much considering how much he handled the ball. you know this.)
- Runner Up: Not even close.
Small Forward: Andre Iguodala - 2004-09
Another no doubt about it at the 3, AI the second has had phenomenal second half of the decade. Selected by Billy King and the Sixers at the 9th pick in the 2004 NBA draft (behind Shaun Livingston and Rafael Araujo), Iguodala has played in and started all but 6 games out of the past 441. Averaging 38 minutes per game, he's harnessed his raw athletic ability to become a legitimate star at the wing. While his jump shot isn't spectacular, it has improved year to year, to the tune of a 33% career percentage beyond the arc. His ball-handling is impressive, highlighted by single-handedly breaking down a defense on the fast break. He finishes at the rim, and often makes good decisions to set up his teammates. 'Dre filled up the stat sheet in his first 5 years here, meriting a fat contract this past offseason that some feel was undeserved. It was not. Courtesy of Depressedfan, Iguodala is 20th in win shares the past 4 seasons, and the only guy to average 19 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds in that time period. While he may not be a savior of a franchise, he can be a tremendous #2 scoring option on the team, and a do-it-all guy invaluable to a franchise. Thad's development as a consistent scorer would lighten the scoring load on Andre, and make him even better. While he gets overlooked by most of the nation, he's one of the league's best players, and a stud for us this decade. As a side note, I listed him at the 3 because that's what position he played for most of his career, despite the fact that he is wonderful at the 2.
- Runner Up: Aaron McKie
Power Forward: Kenny Thomas (2002-05)
I know. Like, I know. Webber averaged more points and rebounds here, but he played in 53 less games, and to be honest was a complete disappointment. Call it what you want, but I'm going with ol' reliable Kenny Thomas here. He averaged a double-double in '03-04 despite not having tremendous talent. Over his few years here, getting the most consistent minutes of his career, he developed a nice faceup jump shot that extended out to 18 feet. Kenny was undersized but rebounded very well, also taking slower opponents to the basket and running the court well. On a good basketball team, he would have been a valuable 6th man, but due to slim frontcourt options, he was thrust into the starting role, and performed admirably, shooting a high percentage from the field and the line. Hopefully the new decade brings a better candidate at the 4, but for these ten years, I'll take Kenny.
- Runner Up: Chris Webber
Center: Dikembe Mutombo (2001-02)
While most people don't associate the Big Finger's career with his time in Philadelphia, he held court in the lane at the First Union Center (FU!) two years. Traded from Atlanta for Theo Ratliff, Deke gave Iverson a formidable big man to go up against Shaq (in game 1....not much after that), and came close to taking away a title. Had Mutombo been here for a number of years in his prime, I suspect we would've gotten more shots at a championship. Unfortunately, '02 was his last successful year in the NBA as his playing time slipped considerably on teams like New Jersey, New York, and Houston. But when he was here, he averaged a double-double, and displayed some post moves (I use that term liberally), and even threw in a finger wag or two. That's why he's our center of the decade.
- Runner Up: Samuel Dalembert
SO?! Agree? Disagree? Like it? Hate it? Did this decade suck or just blow? Let's hear what you, the customer, think. Don't be afraid to comment -- I promise most of us won't bite (John will bark a bit). Happy New Year err'body. Enjoy the festivities. As for me, I'll be crackin' bottles with Koy Detmer, Charles Barkley, and Harold Ramis. Should be an interesting night.