Philly has a particularly hard season to predict because of how new and random the team is. Sure, we know it won't be a good year, but pinpointing an exact win-loss record is pretty difficult.
We have to look at the team's strengths, weaknesses and competition in order to come up with an accurate guess. With that being said, here's a look at an early win-loss prediction for Philadelphia during the 2013-14 season.
Also, please leave your predictions in the comments if you agree or disagree. It's always fun to debate wins and losses.
It's no secret that Philadelphia's team is full of more holes than Swiss cheese. Instead of focusing on what's missing, though, let's take a moment at look at the team's strengths—the rest of the cheese. (I promise that was the last comment regarding cheese.)
Philadelphia is lucky enough to have multiple young players with loads of talent. In fact, there is a chance that every player in Philly's starting lineup will be 25 years or younger once everybody gets healthy.
Michael Carter-Williams is a 21-year-old point guard with an exceptional ability to find players in scoring position. He doesn't take care of the ball as well as you'd want a point guard to, but that's expected with his age and lack of professional experience.
Even with his issues, he has the talent level to overcome his decision-making problems and thrive as an NBA player.
Nerlens Noel has the most potential, seeing as how he is only 19 years old, but he carries a significant amount of risk as well. It's rare for any player to be able to come into the league and immediately be a force on defense. Noel has this kind of ability.
The only things holding him back are a lack of weight and his left ACL.
Noel faces the challenge of coming back from a torn ACL, and he needs to make his return at the right time. He also needs to put in an unbelievable amount of work on gaining weight so that he doesn't disappear every time he turns sideways. Coming back as both a stronger and healthier player will spell trouble for opposing offenses.
Arnett Moultrie is a 22-year-old second-year power forward who should get the opportunity to see the court much more than he did in his rookie season.
Moultrie managed to find success the few times he did end up playing during the 2012-13 season. His offensive game is much more refined than people might have originally thought. He can go over either shoulder in the post and has a jumper that can extend out to 15 feet. Moultrie could be a big contributor in the future.
Last but not least are Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, who are 24 and 25 years old. These two round out the potential starting five and provide the veteran feel to a young starting lineup. The fact that both of these players will be considered as veterans before they've even hit their late 20s is a great sign for the future of the organization.
Especially if everybody remains in Philly.
Having a young team is great and all, but there is a major problem associated with it. A team full of youth tends to lack players with experience.
The term "growing pains" is well known for a reason. It's because younger players have to take their bumps and get beat up a bit before they are completely ready for the NBA. Philly isn't short on these guys.
The 'Sixers only have four players who are in their 30s. There just isn't any kind of veteran presence who will have the age and experience to keep the guys fighting when things get hard.
Some teams are able to overcome age issues by turning to their coaching staffs and finding motivation through them. There are those coaches who are able to inspire and get the most out of the players by only talking.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia can't turn to its head coach, Brett Brown, because he doesn't have enough experience. This season will be Brown's first as a head coach. Now, there's a chance of him eventually turning into quite a good coach.
It'll just take some time.
Something that won't help Brown's transition into the captain seat is the loss of Jrue Holiday. Trading him helped the 'Sixers gain assets for the future, but it also sent the team toward a pretty rough 2013-14 year. Holiday's passing and scoring ability will be missed, but it will be his leadership that will take time to replace.
If you didn't notice, there are plenty more weaknesses than strengths, which will end up being what puts the 'Sixers in such a tough spot all year.
Competing in the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference will definitely be on the challenging side of things. The division could have two—maybe three—teams make the playoffs.
And in case you were wondering, no, Philadelphia is not one of them.
The New York Knicks will be similar to who they have been the last couple of seasons. Expect them to score more points than their opponent in the majority of the games they play in. There's pretty much no chance of the Knicks missing the playoffs. The 'Sixers just don't match up well against these guys.
Don't be surprised if the Brooklyn Nets end up being one of the NBA's most watched teams this coming season. They essentially traded rosters with the Boston Celtics and managed to keep Deron Williams while doing so. This is a much better team than Philadelphia, and the 'Sixers will most likely get swept by the Nets.
The Toronto Raptors are the third team which could sneak into the playoffs. Maybe even as the No. 8 seed. They began to find their rhythm after trading for Rudy Gay during the 2012-13 season, and it'll be interesting to see what having him around all year does for the team.Philly might be able to steal a game away from the Raptors, but nothing more than one.
Philadelphia won't be making the postseason, but playing against the Celtics should give the games a loser's-bracket type of feel. This will be ugly basketball, as both teams are rebuilding for their futures. The basketball might be bad, but there's a chance of some fun games coming out of these two teams.
The bottom line is that the 'Sixers are going to be playing against some of the NBA's top competition in the Atlantic Division. There will be some games around the league that will certainly be winnable, but they'll come few and far between.
Philadelphia's road to the future is still being built, so expect some bumpy spots.
They should be ironed out sooner than later, though.
Win-Loss Prediction: 18-64
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