The phrase that's being tossed around is "out for the foreseeable future". That's always a confusing line because how far can they see into the future? I can't see very far otherwise I wouldn't have had an allergic reaction yesterday that almost required a hospital visit and put me to bed before the news that Antonio Daniels was a Sixer broke. But someone like Galadriel can see into the future, or at least what the future could become, so how can "the foreseeable future" be a unifying term between her and me?
If I had to guess, I'd say Louis Williams sits the rest of the season and will try to give it a go in the playoffs. All signs are pointing to the strained right hamstring injury to be more serious than was originally thought, and I'm going to assume he won't risk further injury in the first round matchup against the Celtics/Heat. Is there a bias at hand here? Probably -- look who is writing this. But hamstrings are a really tricky injury and if that's holding him back, there's literally nothing he can do on the basketball court that won't be affected by that hammy.
Operating under the assumption that Lou is out for the playoffs, where does Doug Collins go from here?
My first choice would obviously be Evan Turner. Actually, my first choice would be benching Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand for at least the next 4 games because they are meaningless. Doug playing them despite their lingering injuries is just asking for trouble. It's a very poorly thought out decision under the umbrella of the all-ignorant-encompassing "WE WANT TO WIN GAMES". Sure ya do, Doug. Only thing is, you're running your best players into the ground and one of them (players, that is -- not best) just got injured in a loss to the Bucks. So get off your high horse and get your guys ready for the playoffs before Jrue Holiday's legs fall off. They're either facing the Celtics or the Heat regardless of whether they finish 6th or 7th.
So let's assume that Lou is out and Doug has decided to mercifully sit Andre and Elton for a few games, with Jrue getting limited minutes. What happens then? Here's the proposed lineup for the next 4 games. I'm not including the last game against Detroit because they should get at least a few minutes in that game to shake off any pre-playoff rust.
PG: Jrue Holiday/Antonio Daniels
SG: Jodie Meeks/Jason Kapono
SF: Evan Turner/Andres Nocioni
PF: Thaddeus Young/Craig Brackins/Darius Songaila
C: Spencer Hawes/Marreese Speights
With the D-League season over for non-playoff teams, Brackins is a candidate to come back and run with the big boys for a few games to top off his rookie season. But that's the lineup. It's significantly worse without Andre and Elton but if Turner and Speights and even Daniels can show something to Doug leading up to the playoffs, that's worth a loss or two in there.
Now to the Daniels signing. Read Scott Schroeder's diddy on him if you haven't already. I probably would have rather had Cedric Jackson or Chris Kramer simply because of their age and slight possibility of upside (of the ridiculous variety), but the Sixers bringing a guy over from the D-League is good news in and of itself. He shoots the ball efficiently, posting 45/43/87 shooting percentages, and he doesn't turn the ball over much for how often he handles it. In his 10+ years in the NBA he's got about 3 assists for every turnover. That's a nice ratio over a long period of time. He will be the first actual point guard to back up Jrue.
Does it spell bad news for Evan Turner? I don't think so. I'm thinking this injury has scared Collins into resting his players, and that means Jrue as well. If they want to see Evan play off the ball more, they've got to have someone else running point and that guy wasn't on the roster yet. If Daniels plays over Evan while Iguodala doesn't sit, then it'll be bad news for me, you, and Doug Collins because I've got a 200 mile loogey coming in his direction. This is another chance for Evan to play meaningful basketball. Hopefully he takes advantage.
If Lou does come back healthy for the playoffs, it remains to be seen what kind of rotation Collins would go with. If he sticks with the extremely exhausted 8-man group he's been going with, expect no more than five games to enjoy the postseason before they're ousted. The strength of this team is in their youth, quickness, athleticism, and hustle. They're not going to out-execute a team over a 7-game series. So they need to be lemony fresh for the playoffs.
It's Doug's job to make sure they're rested for it.