Which number will be higher: the volumes of the Liberty Ballers mailbag, or the Sixers win total? Definitely looking like it will be the mailbag. As always, you can catch up on previous installments here. Let's get started.
Hubert (via email): It's annoying when Stauskas is missing open looks but I still think he has the potential to be our starting SG of the future and he should stay in the starting five despite his struggles. Is Brett Brown patience for him ending? Should we anticipate a lineup change?
I think a lineup change is pretty inevitable at this point. Last night he shot 0-4 from the field (0-2 from beyond the arc), making him 0-10 over the past two games. He didn't see any action against Dallas past the 8:42 mark of the 3rd quarter on Monday. There's no real explanation for why Stauskas is playing horribly, at least from an offensive standpoint. According to NBA.com, Stauskas's most frequently takes shots when defenders are 4-6 feet away, and he's shooting just 23.3% from three-point range. That's the sign of a guy with a shattered confidence. At this point, I'm not sure Brett Brown can continue to let him try and fight through his shooting woes (although it looks like they'll let him), because the Sixers first unit desperately needs somebody who can knock down an open three. Hollis Thompson has struggled in his starts this season, but Philadelphia really has no choice but to throw him in there while Stauskas tries to re-discover his game. Thompson is shooting 47.2% from the field and 54.2% from three over the past five games; might as well try to ride the hot hand.
Overall, I think the outlook for Stauskas's career is still bright. His shot form looks fine, and there's no real good reason a guy who shot 44.1% from beyond the arc during his two seasons at Michigan should be missing open looks on a consistent basis. For his sake, I hope he breaks out of his shooting funk soon. The Sixers are much more fun when he's playing well.
Benjamin C. (via email): With Dario Saric coming over next year, is this the year we draft starting caliber guards so we can possibly compete for at least the 8th seed in the 16-17 season?
It's still not guaranteed Saric comes over next season (although he has made it seem that way), but Philadelphia needs to find some backcourt help regardless. The chances that the starting point guard and shooting guard of the future are on this roster currently. T.J. McConnell has turned out to be a nice find for the Sixers coaching staff and should eventually fit into a cozy reserve role, but they desperately need a lead guard that can score consistently and efficiently from the outside (not Isaiah Canaan). That talent is arguably there at the top of the draft. Kentucky's Jamal Murray is about as pure of a scorer as there is, and the Sixers could desperately use his help. He's a little undersized for today's NBA two guard, but that's the role he'll be playing most at Kentucky. He'd instantly be their most well rounded offensive player not named Jahlil Okafor. Kris Dunn from Providence is much more of a true point guard with a decent mid-range game, but adding a three-point shot will be key for his development. He put up 32 points against Harvard in his season debut.