Spotlighting and Breaking Down Philadelphia 76ers' Shooting Guard Position

Zachary Arthur@Zach_ArthurSLCCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2013

Here's Philadelphia's starting shooting guard.
Here's Philadelphia's starting shooting guard.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The 76ers" target="_blank">Philadelphia 76ers don't exactly have the NBA's deepest roster, but they are especially weak at shooting guard.

Sure, there are a couple of shooting guards who will definitely be on the team's regular season roster. The problem is that the quality of those players just isn't too high.

Predicting who will and won't make the team isn't too much of a problem. Predicting how well those who make the team will do is a different story. There is just not much experience at shooting guard and Philadelphia will feel it as the season continues.

Let's break down who the Sixers shooting guards are and what they bring to the table.

James Anderson

Anderson has started in six of his 116 career NBA games. He has averaged 11.1 minutes per game in that time.

He's also slated to be Philadelphia's starting shooting guard for the 2013-14 season.'s Eliot Shorr-Parks wrote an article about Anderson having a good training camp. Here's what Brett Brown had to say about Anderson's shooting ability:

We are looking for that from him. We need to help him, continue to develop him. He's always been a scorer, since I've been with him for a little bit during my Spur days. He also did it at Oklahoma State. The three-line is going to be very important for us.

Brown hit the nail on the head.

Philadelphia will need to be able to knock down perimeter shots if they want to stay in games. Anderson is one of the Sixers' few players with the ability to occasionally knock down these long shots.

Yes, occasionally.

He'll need to improve his defensive intensity and ability to get to the rim off the dribble, but those can be accomplished in practice. Anderson has an opportunity to show that he has what it takes to survive as a starting shooting guard.

Expect him to do everything in his power to make sure he secures his spot.

Stats: 9.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 27.4 minutes.

The starting spot is Anderson's to lose.
The starting spot is Anderson's to lose.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Vander Blue

Blue propelled Marquette University into a somewhat surprising Sweet 16 berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. He went from a relatively unknown player on a good team to a potential draft pick, and it was all because of the way he carried Marquette in the tournament.

The 2013 draft came and went, but Blue failed to hear his name called. Despite the minor setback, Philadelphia signed him to a partially guaranteed camp deal. 

Blue has gotten to this point, but making it onto the final roster will be much tougher.

He'll get cut very quickly if he tries to go out and be a complete player. His smartest move is to focus solely on playing aggressive defense and not turning the ball over.

The good news is that it sounds like Blue is focusing on being a defensive nightmare.

He doesn't have the greatest shot at making it on Philadelphia's roster, but the team is relatively weak at shooting guard. Differentiating himself from the other Sixers will ultimately be what seals his fate.

Stats: 1.2 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 4.6 minutes.

Rodney Williams

If Williams manages to make Philadelphia's roster, then Sixers fans are in store for some jaw-dropping dunks.

Even if it's only in the layup lines before games.

To be honest, Williams has the smallest shot at being on Philadelphia's regular season roster when the time comes around. He has more than enough athleticism to survive in the NBA—he just doesn't possess many of the other necessary attributes.

Williams is the kind of guy who goes to Europe for a couple of years and returns with a more well-rounded game. He should look to take advantage of having the ability to play overseas for a little bit.

An eventual return to the NBA would be more successful because of it.

Stats: He won't be on the Sixers final roster.

Khalif Wyatt

At least Williams got a free trip to Spain.
At least Williams got a free trip to Spain.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Wyatt will be a fan favorite—if only because he played at Temple University. He also has the chance of being a fan favorite because of what he does on the basketball court.

The man has such a unique game.

He's not athletic enough to blow by defenders. Wyatt can't elevate over opponents and finish at the rim, either. Instead, he outthinks other players and uses his deceptively slow speed to create scoring opportunities.

The negatives involved with being slower come on the defensive end of the floor. Wyatt will have to find ways to work harder than his opponents if he wants to stay in front of them.

Overcoming defensive woes will be his first priority. He'll need to be able to successfully play defense if he wants to see the court. If he's able to find his place on defense, then look for Wyatt to be one of Philly's first players off the bench.

Don't be surprised when he ends up with a couple of buckets, too.

Stats: 5.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 13.3 minutes.

Wyatt is a below-average athlete who makes up for it with his scoring ability.
Wyatt is a below-average athlete who makes up for it with his scoring ability.Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Jason Richardson

If healthy, Richardson would be locked in as Philadelphia's starting shooting guard. Unfortunately, he's heading into his 13th NBA season and is recovering from a knee injury. It looks like he won't be available until at least January of 2014, with the potential of him missing the whole season.

Richardson isn't the same kind of player he used to be, but he is still a three-point threat, who brings a lot of veteran leadership. Missing out on such an experienced player will be hard for the extremely young Sixers squad.

Stats: Richardson is 32 years old. Recovering from a knee injury is going to take longer for a guy who spent the majority of his career on highlight films and punishing his joints. It's more likely for Richardson to sit out the whole season than for him to play at all.


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