The Philadelphia 76ers are struggling in all aspects of the game of basketball, but there are five areas of the team that are major causes of concern. These five struggling points are the reason that the Sixers are currently out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
Clearly a lot of these issues can be solved with the much anticipated return of Andrew Bynum, but the Sixers need to plan for the worst. The front office cannot sit and wait for his return; they must be active in improving the team.
These five reasons are not short-term causes for concern, but rather long term problems that must be addressed. The 76ers' front office has a lot of work to do in order for the team to be a competitive team in the east, even if Bynum returns this season.
Stats accurate as of 1/15/13
Evan Turner started the season off hot, and appeared to have turned a corner in his disappointing career. However, Turner has regressed back to his previous disappointing play in the last few weeks.
During Bynum's absence the Sixers are desperate for a second scoring option to compliment Jrue Holiday, but Turner does not seem like he is up to the challenge. Everything about Turner says that he is an average NBA player, which makes drafting him with the No. 2 a huge reach.
Turner's promise is fading with every game that he plays, which is not a good sign for Sixers' fans.
Here's how the Sixers' centers ranks in different statistical categories this season courtesy of 82games.com: points: 23rd, field goal percentage: 23rd, offensive rebounds: 27th, defensive points allowed: 26th, defensive rebounds: 20th.
Those stats put the entire Sixers season into perspective. Essentially, the Sixers built their 2012-2013 team around one of the best centers in the league, but are now playing with one of the worst group of centers in the league.
Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes are simply not getting it done, so the Sixers must make a move to get a quality center.
The Sixers' bench went from one of the best in the league last season, to one of the worst in the league this season. The Sixers' bench struggles are completely the fault of the organization's front office, having failed to make quality moves this offseason.
Two of the main issues with the bench could have been avoided by keeping both Elton Brand and Lou Williams.
The front office decided to go with Nick Young to replace Williams, which has turned out to be a critical mistake. In addition, by letting Brand go it forced Thaddeus Young into the starting lineup, which was another blow to the bench.
Jrue Holiday has played at an all-star level this season for the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, he has little help around him on his team.
Often in the games Holiday forces shots late in the shot clock simply because no one else has the capability to score consistently. This not only drives down his shooting percentage, but also forces the offense to be one dimensional.
Holiday needs another scorer to help him out, otherwise teams can focus on stopping just him and not worry about any other players.
The Sixers are last in the NBA in free throw rate, which is not helping out their offensive struggles. The Sixers only get to the free throw line on 15 percent of their field goal attempts, which is last in the NBA.
Their struggle to get to the free throw line is not a new thing, which means that Doug Collins is to blame. Collins needs to begin to preach the importance of drawing contact when they drive the lane. In addition, he needs to get across to his players that long twos are the worst shots in basketball.
According to hoopdata.com, the Sixers attempt the second most shots from 16-23 feet in the league only behind the Washington Wizards. Coach Collins needs to emphasize the need to either step back for the three or drive to the lane.