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Different But The Same: Are These Last Year's Sixers?

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Hot start, solid defense, Spencer Hawes. Sounds similar.

Streeter Lecka

The Sixers massively overhauled their team in the offseason. Only five players remain from the 2011-12 Sixers that beat Derrick Rose's ACL in last year's playoffs. One of those players happens to be Spencer Hawes. With a healthy Andrew Bynum, this is unquestionably a better team now and in the future. But since REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED for the foreseeable future, is the team as currently constructed does share an awful lot with the previous iteration.

Our good friend Andrew Unterberger has a piece at The 700 Level about the differences between now and then. He takes a non-Hawesian approach to the topic.

2. They don't fast break anymore. Whether a conscious strategic decision by Coach Collins or a matter of changes in personnel—the departed Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams were two of the team's best fast-breakers and most aggressive playmakers—the team doesn't really run anymore. After finishing in the top five in the league in fast-break scoring each of the last five years (except for last year, when they finished eighth), the team ranks only 19th this season, with about 13 points a game.

Obviously we know about being set up for the future in addition to having capable shooter. But this one I found the most interesting. It's really nice to have some semblance of a halfcourt set, but it's not like the Sixers are without athletes or ball-handlers. To me, it seems like Collins is keeping them in the halfcourt in preparation for an offense with Bynum. But if the big guy isn't going to be around for a while, it seems prudent to try to improve the offense by getting some quick points on the fastbreak.

I know we've discussed it periodically before, but now that we have a better sense of what this team is (WEIRD), do you find the 2012-13 Sixers to be a better team than the one that lost to the Celtics? Obviously you have to consider the improvements of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Thaddeus Young as well as the steps back taken by Lavoy Allen and our pal Spencer.

Also consider the mullet.

Debate!