We've had more optimism in the game threads than any 0-3 team I can think of, but being winless through three games isn't exactly ideal for anybody save for the missionWTF'ers (which should be changed to missionJBK - Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes, Enes Kanter, pending the start of college basketball season). Evan Turner has played well in two of the three games, flashing his tremendous potential on the boards as a 2-guard. Elton Brand seems to have regained some life in his legs, coming down with 9 rebounds per game thus far. Louis Williams, Andres Nocioni and Thaddeus Young have been solid off the bench. So what's gone wrong?
Spencer Hawes and Marreese Speights have looked miserable. I'll give Spence a pass since he's been injured and is still getting his legs back, but Speights was boasting improved defense and commitment to working out, and we just haven't seen anything from him. Granted it's been in limited time, but Mo needs to show something to warrant any consideration for a long term option. Jrue Holiday has also been less than mediocre through three games. He's not controlling the offense and setting up teammates and he's not hitting shots at a decent clip. More importantly though, he's not playing good defense. We need him to play better basketball so we can get a glimpse of the future with he and Turner at the two guard spots. Doug Collins isn't happy with how things are going, but is he to blame for this? He's a new coach and should be given some definite slack after the better part of the decade away from the bench, but as someone who is a veteran and not Eddie Jordan, I expected a bit more off the bat. So who is to blame?
As of now, I think it's just a case of a new coach (the fourth in three years) and offseason rust. This team is missing Samuel Dalembert, sure, but they aren't as bad as they were against Indiana. Things will come together and we'll see some bright spots, I promise. But for those campaigning for a playoff season and otherworldly expectations, please temper them for the next year while everybody figures out their role. This is a lottery team that will surely benefit from another high-upside player, preferably a big man. It's not time to jump ship and trade everyone yet, though I'm certainly not balking at some hard-fought losses. Either way, it's still more enjoyable than last year with EJ at the helm.