Philly Sports Talk

First Quarter: Where Are We Now?

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The Sixers (6-12) have lost four consecutive games and 10 of their last 12. They are 3-12 since they won the first three games of the season. The goal was Andrew Wiggins, and then they went 3-0. Fans began to wonder if this team was really serious or were they just having an adrenaline rush based on the play of their astounding rookie. With Nerlens Noel on the mend, two first round draft picks in two and cap space that should attract a few free agents that are looking to win, no one is really concerned about the fact that the team has doubled their losses as opposed to the games they have in the win column.

In this young season, almost a quarter of the way through, this team is still only 1 game out of first place in the division and sits in third place behind the Boston Celtics and the division leading Toronto Raptors. Could the Sixers actually win the division and make the playoffs this year? How would that affect their chances in the lottery even if they make the playoffs and have a first round exit? These are questions that will be a little clearer by the time the All-Star break rolls around.

Speaking of All-Star, the Sixers currently have three players on the All-Star ballot this year in Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes. They also have a potential early rookie of the year candidate in Michael Carter-Williams. This does not seem like the team we have come to expect to lose now in order to win later. Brett brown has this bunch playing with heart, resiliency and with a scrappy nature that keeps them in some games and puts them in position to win others. Evan Turner is playing like a first round draft pick and a crafty veteran. Will he be back next season? Will we have a Nerlens Noel sighting this season? Will the Sixers trade Thaddeus Young?

All of these questions are looming as Sixers GM Sam Hinkie begins to see exactly who and what he has on the court night in and night out while he continues to search around the league and in the college ranks to see what potential players can come in and help this team develop into a contender. The Sixers are coming off of a 115-100 loss to the Detroit Pistons where they were pounded heavily in the paint and on the glass in this game. The only true big men the Sixers had to stand up against the towers in Detroit are Daniel Orton and Spencer Hawes. While Lavoy Allen plays down low, he was no match for the like of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Add versatile and agile forward Josh Smith to the frontcourt and the afternoon was a very long one for the Sixers.

The Sixers are back in action on Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic home at the Wells Fargo Center where hopefully they can win game number 7 on the season and begin to look at least respectable in the conference and give fans something to talk about rather sooner than later. Hinkie has to have a lot of sleepless nights with so much being unknown of this team. It’s easy to say the team is rebuilding and accept it as such, but it’s something else to watch the transformation process knowing what this team once was just a few years ago in beating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs and taking the Boston Celtics to 7 games in pursuit of an unexpected Easter Conference show down with the Miami Heat to represent the Eastern Conference Finals. As easy as it was to go from hat would appear to be first to worse, we can only hope that within the next few years, we can reverse this curse.

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