10 Keys to a Successful 2012-13 Campaign for the Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of talent and potential entering this season.
With a revamped squad and another year of experience under their belt, it's hard to say if there was any other season in recent history more highly anticipated.
The Sixers have a lot of qualities that will help them achieve a successful season, some that have worked consistently in the past and others that are new attributes being brought to the table.
I'll start by pointing out the obvious and making it short and sweet (as much as we are all excited for the new big man, he has become the sole subject of Sixers news).
Bynum provides a legit post-presence that the Sixers haven't seen since Moses Malone. There's no doubt he will be the most dominant force down low in the Eastern Conference.
Not only will Bynum provide a physical presence, but he also takes the pressure off of the younger guys and three-point shooters by attracting defenders.
Good Training Camp
This is a small but necessary key to this season.
As we know, there are some new faces to the squad this year. Although it's a great thing they have added new talent to the squad, it's critical that they have a strong training camp.
Sure, they still have a majority of their core, but everyone as a whole needs to develop chemistry in order to mesh well on the court.
On top of this, they need to work on a more organized half-court offense (especially considering their new weapons) because last year they relied too heavily on the transition game at times.
Before this season, the Sixers never had consistent three-point shooters. Sure, they had guys like Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks who were capable three-point shooters, but Lou did more and Meeks didn't see a lot of playing time.
But this year is different.
With the additions of Jason Richardson, Nick Young and Dorell Wright, the Sixers' three-point shooting woes were filled, to say the least. Because the defense will load on Bynum, they should be able to find open three-point attempts very frequently.
All of those guys together combine for a career three-point shooting percentage of 37.2 percent. I think that says enough. Moving on...
As long as the Sixers remain young, youth will always give them an advantage in many aspects of the game.
The transition game in particular is where they flourish. This team is filled with young and athletic guys. Young and athletic guys love running in the open court and outhustling older teams.
And even at a young age, they also have experience and a core that has developed chemistry that you generally don't find in a young team.
Don't Lose Their Drive
This goes hand-in-hand with the last key because this characteristic comes from their youth.
Philadelphia is known as a team of young guys who never give up and just play the game of basketball. They play like they don't care and will never think twice about an opponent.
Whether they are up against the Miami Heat or the Charlotte Bobcats (never heard them in the same sentence have you?), it doesn't matter. They enter every matchup with the same mentality of taking it seriously and knowing they have the ability to win.
The Sixers must maintain the same drive throughout this season.
Big Year from Jrue Holiday
If the Sixers really want to separate themselves from the middle-tier of playoff teams, Jrue Holiday needs to step up this season.
Holiday definitely has the ability to play like a top point guard in the game. We've seen him establish leadership in big games and efficiently distribute the ball.
Over the last two seasons, Holiday has averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 assists per game. Not necessarily flashy, but he has definitely gotten the job done at the position.
Plus, there's a reason behind why he didn't produce more. Unfortunately, when Andre Iguodala was involved, Holiday didn't have full responsibilities of distributing the ball, so his production was limited.
But with Iguodala out of the picture, Holiday should flourish distributing the ball, similarly to the way Iggy did himself.
The talent and potential is all there, it's just a matter of following through with it on a consistent basis.
Defense is something that has always been an emphasized aspect of the game head coach Doug Collins and the Sixers play.
In seasons past, the Sixers were good but definitely lacked the star power and talent level that some other teams had. Because of this, they needed to focus heavily on the defensive side of the game because they simply did not have the scorers to win it for them offensively.
Plus, they use their defense to spark fastbreaks and score in transition. Believe it or not, a big part of their offense comes from their defense.
Considering over the last two years they moved up from the 12th best defensive team to the third best, it has definitely contributed to their improvement and should continue to remain that way.
This is yet another thing that has always worked for the Sixers. In fact, they have finished as the fourth most productive bench over the last two years.
They are arguably the deepest team in the league. What makes this even better is that a good portion of their bench are capable starters for an NBA team. Quantity and quality.
The idea that their second-best defensive big man, Lavoy Allen, will be coming off the bench along with one of the most consistent sixth men, Thaddeus Young (would love to hear your thoughts on him starting), with all of their wings is scary. It's almost like they could serve as their own starting lineup.
Not only will the depth show its advantages in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well. In sports, you never know which way luck will turn, and if an injury strikes a team, it's vital they have serviceable backups.
The Sixers don't have much to worry about here, and don't be surprised when the bench saves them a game, because anyone from the bench can very easily change the pace of a game.
How could I leave the great Doug Collins off this list? He is the true mentor in all of this and a huge reason why success has come to the 76ers.
It's hard to return to the days under Eddie Jordan where they were 27-55 because when Collins came along, he totally changed the environment of the team.
Regardless of talent level, he is always in the win-now mode. Although it may a little frustrating not seeing rookies play because of it, you have to respect his will to win as a coach.
Big Year from Evan Turner
Evan Turner finds him a similar situation to Holiday.
He also has the capabilities and has proved so throughout the past. The only difference is that Turner was restricted even more prior to this season.
Last year in the playoffs, where Turner saw 34.5 minutes per game, he averaged 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, respectively. Keep in mind that's still playing next to Iguodala.
This season, Turner has even more weapons to work with, so when he drives to the basket he will always have the option to kick it out to a shooter or feed it to Bynum. In fact, he'll feed off Bynum too because when Bynum gets double-teamed, Turner will most likely be his first option.
Turner should take advantage of the long-awaited role as a primary option offensively on a consistent basis. In order for this team to play at their peak, Turner needs to fulfill this role.