The Philadelphia 76ers currently sit at 2-2 in the early stages of their shortened 66 game schedule. A record that could have very well been 4-0 if it weren't for some mental lapses late in the two losses.
It's still early, but the Sixers are in 1st place in the Atlantic division, a place where they would like to stay for the remainder of the season.
Sure it is a bit of a long shot, but it is far from imaginative thinking from the Sixers themselves.
One reason why the club to off to a good start this season is their balance and chemistry with each other. Everyone knows Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday by now, but who are the lesser known guys that make this team go?
You'd be surprised what "stars" are on this list.
Sure he is not flashy, nor is he the most athletic guy in the league, but the former All-American Kentucky star is finding a way to contribute in the NBA.
It was two seasons ago that the Sixers took a chance on Jodie Meeks after they were desperate to find depth at the guard position. He was getting mop up minutes late in games, trying to show off he can score the basketball in the NBA.
Flash forward to this year and he has basically started every game for the club since the second month of last season.
Meeks has found his role in this league, and on this team. He may not be one of the five best players on this team, but he finds a way to contribute somehow, some way.
For all the scoring he did in college though, he would not be where he is today without his above average defense.
I've stated this before in previous articles and will again now. Spencer Hawes is a very underrated 76er.
All the talk this summer was Thaddeus Young this, Thaddeus Young that. Now, while Thaddeus is just as important, I think Hawes really got forgotten about this offseason.
If the Sixers had not re-signed Hawes, there would have been a huge void to fill in their lineup, especially their offense.
Hawes plays an immense role on offense and can contribute in many ways because of his versatility. He's already shown that he can carry the team on some nights. Heck if he keeps up his current numbers, he will have his best season by far.
Currently averaging 12 and 12, Hawes is certainly no slouch or some guy they got in a trade a few years back.
Lou Williams is sometimes the seventh or eighth man off the bench for the Sixers, and yet, when it comes down to the last seconds of the game, the Sixers feel most comfortable with the ball in his hands.
Lou has a knack for that kind of stuff. He's another player that knows his role on the team. He provides the scoring and the extra spark off the bench.
It's the one-two punch of Jrue Holiday and Williams that gives opposing teams' nightmares. Laugh all you want but I guarantee you that Lou and Jrue are seen as one of the best point guard/combo guard duos off the bench.
With a bench that is led by Lou and Thaddeus Young, it is no wonder that the Sixers have one of the best benches in the entire league.
It continues to amaze what Doug Collins can do with this group of players. They were young, immature, naive players before he came.
Now Collins has rounded out this team into a young, mature bunch that keeps a level head and works 110 percent for all that they do.
If you look at this Sixers roster, the whole team combined is an under-the-radar type of team that no one seems to care about around the league.
It's because of Collins' coaching and his leadership and his relationship with the players that makes him one of the best coaches in the NBA.