“Should old statistics be forgot, and never brought to mind?”
Those (mostly accurate) lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne” may have been rhetorical (yes, the question mark actually exists in the song) but, if posed to the Sixers at this time, the answer may be a resounding “hell, yes.”
But like the song—traditionally, drunkenly and annually belted out around this time — the new year lends itself to new hope and renewed expectations.
Because a 14-15 record heading into the final couple of games of 2012 is probably not what the Sixers, nor its fanbase, expected fresh off a summer of considerable change. But when factoring in injuries to centerpiece players such as Andrew Bynum and, to a lesser degree, Jrue Holiday, plus early-season struggles by other key components adjusting to new roles, we’re left with the reality that smacks us in the face as well as in the standings.
Considering the aforementioned, it is reasonable to expect at least several members of the team to take their game to another level. For some, it’s a level that reflects how they have produced for much of their careers. For others, it may be a level indicative of recent trends.
But for all involved, it matters less how the following players will step it up as opposed to if they will. For these five in the slides ahead, they have the best chance to raise their game as we raise our glasses to celebrate the coming of 2013.
(Note: All statistics are updated as of Dec. 27)