Philadelphia 76ers Stock Watch: Risers and Fallers Near Halfway Point
The Philadelphia 76ers are almost at the midway point of their 2012-13 season, so it's time to evaluate how some of their key players are performing as of late. This list is not a stock report for the entire season, but rather a report on the last few weeks.
The Sixers' stock as a team is falling rapidly, as they seem to have lost their early season mojo. The team has fallen below .500 and out of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers had a very easy schedule to begin the season, and ever since they started playing tougher teams on a more consistent basis, they have proven to be just an average ballclub.
The 76ers seem to be stalling for Andrew Bynum's return, which is not going to earn them any wins. Management cannot afford to wait for Bynum to recover, so they need to make a move for a legitimate center to keep the Sixers in the playoff hunt.
Rising: Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday's stock has been rising all year long, and his play could earn him most improved honors. However, Holiday has been even better in his last six games than he was before his injury.
Holiday is averaging 18.6 points per game, but over his last six games he has outperformed his average by putting up 20.7 points per game. In addition, Holiday showed his potential to get to the free-throw line more often by attempting seven free throws in the team's loss at Golden State.
Jrue has easily been the Sixers' best player all season, and his stock is still rising. Philadelphia fans are still waiting to see how Andrew Bynum and Holiday will play together—hopefully Bynum will come back in time for the front office to make a good decision on the center's future with the team.
Rising: Dorell Wright
Dorell Wright has benefited from increased minutes over his last 10 games. Wright stepped in for the injured Jason Richardson and played incredibly well at times in his place.
There are clearly some inconsistencies in Wright's points totals in each of his last seven games (25, 20, 7, 8, 28, 8, 2). Nonetheless, he has been fantastic for the Sixers recently. If Wright is hot from beyond the arc, he is close to unstoppable. However, the problem with Wright's game has been his inability to score when he isn't hot from outside.
Wright's stock has been rising recently for the Sixers, but Jason Richardson's return could force him into a smaller role once again.
Rising: Nick Young
Nick Young's stock has been rising over the past 10 games, simply because his stock couldn't have been any lower than where it was 10 games ago. Young is still not performing at an acceptable level, but he is progressing in the right direction.
Young has boosted his averages in all three of the major stat categories, but what he has really improved is his shooting percentage. Young is shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor this season, but he has been slightly better as of late (42.9 percent).
The 76ers' front office decided to go with Nick Young to replace Louis Williams as the team's sixth man. However, while he is improving, Young has proved to be a major downgrade from Williams.
Falling: Evan Turner
Evan Turner's season has had its ups and downs. Right now, he is in one of his funks. Turner is looking more like a role player than a potential star, which is disappointing considering he was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Turner's stats over the last 10 games have been just under his season averages, but he has simply disappeared in too many contests. In Turner's last six games, he has scored under seven points on three occasions.
The Sixers simply cannot afford Turner to have nights where he doesn't score at least eight points. Turner should be the team's second leading scorer. Unfortunately, he has been way too passive so far this season.
Falling: Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson started the season hot for the Sixers, but has regressed as of late. The Sixers need Richardson to pick up his play if they would like to get back in the playoff picture.
Richardson's shooting has been abysmal recently, as he is shooting just 36.5 percent from the field in his last eight games. In addition, his points have dropped from 11 to eight points per game.
Richardson is a savvy veteran, so he will likely make the improvements needed in his game going forward.