Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Beyond Turner, the bench trio of Wright, Hawes and Young has come up surprisingly short.
Last year, one of the main reasons the Sixers were able to creep back into basketball relevance was due to the stellar play of their bench, dubbed the “Night Shift” by their play-by-play man, Mark Zumoff.
This year, the Night Shift needs to do a better job.
True, several pieces have changed—for one, Thad Young traded places with Spencer Hawes in the starting lineup—but the new pieces were expected to add to the depth and, so far, that’s questionable.
Nick Young, with his unique hairstyle and even more original nickname (Swagy P), seems to have lost just that since his arrival to Philly: his swag. Brought in to take over the role of former sixth man Lou Williams, Young was supposed to provide instant offense and energy, but instead was shooting a paltry .341 from the field heading into Sunday’s game.
Dorell Wright, also brought in for his shooting touch, was hitting shots at an even more anemic 33 percent clip and, in turn, has seen his minutes gradually diminish.
Before getting injured last season, Hawes and his grizzly beard seemed to have turned the corner. This season, his beard has dissolved into a mustache and his game has dissolved as well. When (if?) Bynum returns, Hawes, who plays extremely small for a guy who stands 7’1’’, can get away with his finesse style by playing the four, as Coach Doug Collins had intended. Until then, well, he can’t.
Meanwhile, heading into the season, not many people expected career journeyman Royal Ivey to play in nearly every game and average close to 15 minutes per contest as Holiday’s primary backup. However, that’s exactly what he’s doing, perhaps more as an indictment of the flat-lined progress of promising rookie Maalik Wayns, fresh off an impressive preseason.