6 Things Every Fan Needs to Know About the Philadelphia 76ers for 2013-14 Season
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Before you write them off as unwatchable, there are some things that Philadelphia fans need to know about the organization before the 2013-14 season begins.
Philly's two biggest names from the 2012-13 season in Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday are no longer with the team. There comes a time when franchises lose key members, but they also tend to rebuild in those moments.
The Sixers just happen to be taking their sweet time with the rebuilding part.
Let's take a look at some key factors that will surely contribute to such a bad year for Philadelphia.
6. Jrue Holiday's Absence Will Lead to Sloppy Play
You probably noticed that isn't a Sixers jersey.
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Holiday averaged 8.0 assists and 3.7 turnovers per game during his 2012-13 season with the Sixers. His turnover numbers are quite high, but they don't tell the story about how he managed the game.
There were certainly a number of bad games for Philly last season. Games that should have either been won or a lead was blown took place too frequently for the team.
Holiday can't be blamed for some of the failures too much, though.
He found a way to lead Philadelphia in only his fourth NBA season. He managed the game and did his best to keep it under control, even when it began to get out of hand. If there's anything the Sixers will miss most about the young point guard during the 2013-14 season, it would be his on-court control.
Fast-forward to now, and out goes Holiday and in comes Michael Carter-Williams.
Carter-Williams averaged 7.3 assists and 3.4 turnovers per game for Syracuse University last year. Those numbers look pretty similar to Holiday's don't they?
The difference will be that Carter-Williams has no NBA experience. He doesn't know how to run a team who has guys significantly older than him all wanting to be a part of the action.
Making this transition usually takes multiple years for a point guard. Expect quite a bit of sloppy play as Philadelphia takes the court during the 2013-14 season.
It'll continue to be sloppy until Carter-Williams learns to calm his playing style down and take control.
5. Nerlens Noel Might Not Return Until the All-Star Break
Noel still needs to rehab his left ACL.
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Nerlens Noel tore his left ACL in February of 2013, so those hoping or thinking that they'll see him in a Sixers jersey on opening night still have some time to wait out.
A full ACL tear usually takes around 12 months to fully recover from. There is certainly a lot of wiggle room with that time frame, though. The majority of people will be physically healthy enough to play before the full year, but they struggle with being mentally ready.
It's really all up to the person.
Noel has come out saying he hopes to return around Christmas, but the All-Star break seems like a more realistic time when you look at when he suffered the injury. This is Noel's career we're talking about, and rushing to get back onto the floor two months early when it could mean another knee injury is downright dumb.
It's good that he wants to play. There's a fire that comes with wanting to return, and it's always a positive thing to see.
The problem is he won't be ready by then. Risking a second ACL tear before the age of 20 is just not worth it, even if he feels like he is ready.
Christmas is optimistic, but there's a good chance of his return stretching into the All-Star break.
4. It Could Take Brett Brown Some Time to Gain Control of This Team
Brown came to the Sixers late.
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Every NBA offseason seems like it drags on for years. Fans want the game back just as much as the players, but it always seems to take forever until the new season arrives.
That's only a three-month-and-eight-day offseason.
Sure, there are teams who never made the playoffs whose offseasons begin sooner, but the point is that there isn't any time to waste because the offseason really isn't too long.
Philadelphia hired Brett Brown to take over as the new head coach on August 12, 2013. Philly was easily the last team to hire a new head coach, and the time wasted on selecting one only hurts the team.
Brown is just now getting his feet under him. He didn't have the whole summer to plan for being Philadelphia's head coach. This delay will force the Sixers to look even more unorganized than they are destined to already look.
It'll be like this until Brown gets control of the team.
3. There Is Virtually No Bench Depth
Solid action shot of Kwame Brown going to work.
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We have to start this one out by saying yes, Kwame Brown is still on the Sixers.
When I say there's no bench depth, we're clearly not talking about the unbelievably talented Brown.
Wait a second, I must have gotten him mixed up with the guy Michael Jordan saw when he selected him at No. 1, because he is exactly what I'm talking about when saying Philadelphia has no depth on its bench.
Arnett Moultrie, Lavoy Allen, James Anderson and Tim Ohlbrecht are some of the other names of Philly's bench players. The Sixers are also bringing in Darius Morris for some help as the backup point guard.
You don't have to read the names of those guys more than once to understand that there's not much help waiting on Philadelphia's sidelines.
The Sixers' second and third units will be rough. There's no other way around it.
2. The Sixers Are Trying to Lose
Andrew Wiggins is the prized prospect in the 2014 NBA draft class.
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If you haven't figured out by now, the Sixers are trying to lose as many games as they can during the 2013-14 season.
Having the worst record in the NBA would give them a 25 percent shot at getting the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft. The beautiful part is that Philadelphia is more than capable of having the worst record in the league.
But you don't play to lose. You play to win, right?
The answer is yes, unless you have the 2014 draft class waiting for you if you do have a bad year.
Get ready to be sick of hearing about Andrew Wiggins, because he will be the talk of both college basketball and the NBA draft for months to come. The attention he's getting is more than warranted, though. He is beyond explosive, has shooting range out to the three-point line and can handle the ball like a point guard at 6' 8".
One of the 30 NBA franchises will be lucky enough to get this kid; Philadelphia is hoping it's them.
Still though, the Sixers aren't in bad shape if they don't land Wiggins. Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Dante Exum are three of a handful of other players who have star potential.
We also can't forget that Philly gets the New Orleans Pelicans' first-round draft pick as long as the Pelicans don't get a top-six pick in the draft.
The potential to have two high lottery picks in a draft with as much talent as the upcoming one is reason enough for the Sixers to tank away the 2013-14 year.
It could really pay off.
1. Sam Hinkie Has a Plan
Sam Hinkie is the man behind the magic.
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New general manager Sam Hinkie knows what he is doing.
Do you see all of the success the Houston Rockets are having right now? It's the result of moves Hinkie made when he was a part of their organization.
Hinkie is responsible for getting rid of Holiday, not looking to re-sign Bynum and hiring a coach late. He made every one of these moves on purpose.
It's all about the big picture for him.
Who cares if Philadelphia is the laughing stock of the NBA for one season? People might laugh now, but they are going to envy both the organization and its management in the future if his plans work out.
His goal was to have a poor year, and it looks like the Sixers are slated to do just that.
So far Hinkie is right on track.