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Initial Report Card Grades for Every Key Philadelphia 76ers Player

Zachary ArthurCorrespondent IINovember 29, 2013

Initial Report Card Grades for Every Key Philadelphia 76ers Player

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    The Philadelphia 76ers have some players who are having career years.
    The Philadelphia 76ers have some players who are having career years.Glenn James/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia 76ers have finally begun to cool off, but it doesn't mean they don't have players who are playing great basketball.

    In fact, the team's hot start has given many of its players the opportunity to shine.

    Almost everybody has taken advantage of it.

    Remember, the Sixers were a team who multiple people projected finishing as the NBA's worst team. Some even thought they had the potential of finishing with the league's all-time worst record. Philly has proved that youth and an uptempo strategy can go a long way.

    Before we jump into the grades, though, let's take a look at the grading system:

    • A: An "A" represents outstanding play. The player isn't only playing great basketball, but he is also overachieving and doing more than people expected him to do. This grade is given to a player at the top of his game.
    • B: Securing a "B" grade means that the guy is playing well. Sure, he might not be doing everything perfectly, but he's still competing at a high level. This grade is given to a player who's doing slightly better than how people projected him to do.
    • C: Grabbing a "C" means they're right where we thought they'd be. An equal mixture of positive and negative play will warrant this grade. It's the definition of average.
    • D: If someone gets a "D", then people expected more out of him. There is such a thing as a bad day, but securing this grade means that it's become a trend. You definitely want to stay out of this spot.
    • F: Most people know of this grade as an "F", but I like to think of it as a "Kwame Brown." All jokes aside, this grade is reserved for the worst of the worst. It's difficult to fall down to here, but consistently awful play is definitely a good start.

    With that said, let's take a look at the initial report cards of the Philadelphia 76ers key players.

     

    All statistics in this article are accurate as of games played through Nov. 28.

Brandon Davies

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    Davies is doing what a role player is supposed to do. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Davies is doing what a role player is supposed to do. Nothing more, nothing less.Fernando Medina/Getty Images
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     11.52.3 2.2  0.50.3 0.2 0.7 

    Brandon Davies was brought in at the start of the NBA season as an undrafted free agent and made his way into Philadelphia's rotation. No, he isn't getting starter-like minutes, but averaging more than 10 per game is a lot more than most undrafted rookies can ask for.

    Davies is brought in as one of the Sixers' hustle guys. His 20 total fouls are almost as many as his 30 total points, but that's his role.

    He's looked at to give energy off the bench.

    The Sixers should be getting Arnett Moultrie back from injury around January of 2014, so Davies could see a drop in playing time when that comes around. Still though, he's doing well with what he's being given.

    Can't really complain about that.

    Grade: C

Daniel Orton

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    Orton is having his best season as a professional and has proved why the Sixers brought him in.
    Orton is having his best season as a professional and has proved why the Sixers brought him in.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     14.83.8 3.5  0.6 0.3 0.8 1.3

    Daniel Orton was taken with the No. 29 pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft almost purely on potential. He averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while playing for the Kentucky Wildcats and left for the NBA after his freshman year.

    Prior to his time with the Sixers, Orton's best season in the league saw him averaging 11.7 minutes, 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He might have struggled in his first two years, but he's beginning to come into his own.

    Philly is light on big men as Moultrie and Nerlens Noel are sidelined, so Orton has taken advantage of the playing time available. It'll be interesting to see if he gets better as the season goes on or if he has already plateaued.

    Grade: B- 

Hollis Thompson

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    Keeping Thompson on board was a pretty good idea.
    Keeping Thompson on board was a pretty good idea.Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
    14.44.4  2.40.6 0.3 0.1 0.6 

    The Georgetown University product didn't have to go far to find a spot on the Sixers. Hollis Thompson is one of Philadelphia's five rookies, and happens to be the second-most productive.

    He's struggled to get his three-point shot going as he's only shooting 29.4 percent from out deep, but he's made up for it by being effective inside the arc. His 46.9 field-goal percentage is boosted by being able to slash to the basket and get easy buckets.

    It would be nice to see his defensive production get a little better, as he isn't making too many plays on that end of the floor. Creating offensive opportunities out of defensive chances will help both Thompson and the Sixers' numbers.

    Grade: C+

Lavoy Allen

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    Allen is doing what he does best. Coasting on by.
    Allen is doing what he does best. Coasting on by.Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     20.85.3 5.5  1.10.4 0.7 1.1 

    Before we jump into Lavoy Allen's performance during the 2013-14 season, let's take a look back at something he said about his progression during last year.

    Allen told Christopher Vito of delcotimes.com about how he was doing in his second season. The answer wasn't too promising:

    What have I learned? I mean, what have I learned? That’s a good question. Uhh, nothing really. I didn’t have to do any rookie duties this year, so that’s good, I guess.

    Considering that his 2013-14 statistics are similar to his 2012-13 numbers of 5.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he hasn't progressed much more.

    Allen is about as unmemorable as it gets. He plays his 20.8 minutes per game, and it's easy to look back and forget about anything he did while on the court. He's not unproductive by any means, but is also far from putting up numbers around where you'd want a third-year player who's still on the team who drafted him.

    It would be surprising to see Allen get much better from this point on.

    Grade: C-

James Anderson

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    Anderson looks like he might have been a bit of a steal.
    Anderson looks like he might have been a bit of a steal.Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     34.310.0 3.9  2.31.2 0.5 1.4 

    So much for having never been a starter. James Anderson is proving that the Sixers have a shooting guard worth keeping around.

    His numbers don't pop out at first glance, but it's his effectiveness while playing that makes him such a valuable player.

    Anderson's 36-point breakout performance in an overtime win against the Houston Rockets showed how he tends to make the shots that matter. He went 6-of-8 from three-point range and only missed four shots over the course of 44 minutes.

    The next step in his progression will be with his shot selection. 4.8 of his 8.9 shots per game are three-pointers, and that's not the best thing in the world when he's making 32.9 percent of them. There are obvious issues with his game, but let's not forget that this is his first time being a starter.

    He's doing a pretty amazing job when you take that into consideration.

    Grade: B-

Tony Wroten

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    Wroten has to be laughing at the Memphis Grizzlies for not wanting to keep him.
    Wroten has to be laughing at the Memphis Grizzlies for not wanting to keep him.Glenn James/Getty Images
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     25.612.6 3.2  3.41.0 0.2 2.2 

    We just talked about Anderson's 36-point performance against the Rockets, but the real star of the show was a man by the name of Tony Wroten.

    Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine wrote an article about how Wroten made history. Here's a glimpse into what Wroten did:

    In his first NBA start, Wroten tied his career-high in points and set new personal bests for rebounds and assists, putting up 18, 10 and 11 in 41-plus minutes. Not only did that mark the first triple-double of the 20-year-old's 44-game career, but it also made NBA history.

    What was the history you ask? Well, Wroten was the first player in NBA history to have a triple-double in his first career start.

    Wroten hasn't been close to efficient as he's only shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc. Those numbers might even make you cringe a bit, but some of his performances have shown that the foundation is at least there.

    The Houston game was a great example.

    Grade: B-

Thaddeus Young

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    C'mon, Vince Carter! We're trying to play basketball here.
    C'mon, Vince Carter! We're trying to play basketball here.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     32.115.2 6.6  1.51.50.4 1.8 

    Thaddeus Young has gone from being known as Philadelphia's most reliable player to not even being thought of when people talk about the Sixers.

    In many ways he is the same player as he's been in the past. He is still that reliable guy who's able to affect a basketball game without having plays drawn up for him. It's why a lot of Sixers fans love him. He just does his job with no questions asked.

    The difference between this season and last year is that Young's supporting cast has suddenly turned into the team's leaders. Players like Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner have just played too well for people to really think about Young much.

    None of this is Young's fault, it's just unfortunate that he still can't get the credit that he deserves. He's playing very well this year and has been a crucial aspect toward Philadelphia's early-season success.

    Hopefully he has some kind of game that gets him recognized, though.

    Grade: B

Spencer Hawes

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    Hawes has every reason to be smiling. He is having a career year.
    Hawes has every reason to be smiling. He is having a career year.Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     33.616.8 10.3  3.10.5 1.6  2.4

    Spencer Hawes, everybody!

    I have always given Hawes credit for giving his all in every game he plays in. His numbers aren't anything to write home about, but he's done an incredible job despite his limited physical abilities.

    The 2013-14 season has proved that everybody (including myself) has underestimated how good Hawes can really be. He's averaging 5.4 more points and 3.0 more rebounds than he ever has during his seven-year career. If that's not good enough, Hawes is also shooting over 50.0 percent from the field for the first time in his career.

    Oh yeah, his 49.1 three-point percentage is also absolutely jaw-dropping considering that he's shooting 3.8 of them per game and is 7'1".

    Can he keep this up? I don't want to count him out at this point. He's significantly exceeded expectations and has been one of the Sixers' best players.

    Grade: A

Michael Carter-Williams

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    Carter-Williams for Rookie of the Year, anyone?
    Carter-Williams for Rookie of the Year, anyone?Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     36.517.8 5.67.0  3.1 0.93.3 

    Michael Carter-Williams has exceeded most people's expectations and is at the top of most rookie lists. In fact, here's an example from Bleacher Report's rookie stock watch written by Grant Hughes. The article has Carter-Williams at No. 1 on the list and comes with some incredibly strong words:

    At this point, it's probably time to stop wondering whether he'll be the top talent from the 2013 draft. That seems like a foregone conclusion at this point. Instead, we might want to devote our attention to figuring out how many All-Star games he's going to make in his career.

    I'll set the over-under at five, just to get the discussion started.

    Now, I personally feel like it might be a bit early to say that Carter-Williams will definitely be the top talent from the 2013 draft.

    It's not a stretch to say that he currently is, though.

    Coming out with 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals against the Miami Heat in his first career NBA game was one of the best debuts you'll ever see. His shooting and decision-making has looked much more refined than it ever did in college, and he's proved that he's already a true professional.

    He could play at the level of the rest of the other rookies for the rest of the season and still walk away with the Rookie of the Year award.

    Grade: B+

Evan Turner

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    Turner is playing for a big contract.
    Turner is playing for a big contract.Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
    Minutes Per GamePoints Per GameRebounds Per GameAssists Per GameSteals Per GameBlocks Per GameTurnovers Per Game
     37.321.4  7.13.8  0.90.0 3.7 

    Evan Turner is doing everything in his power to force the Sixers to seriously reconsider where he falls in the team's future plans.

    Turner is putting up career highs in points, rebounds and field-goal and free-throw percentages. His 21.4 points per game are 8.1 points higher than his previous career-high, and he's only playing in 2.0 more minutes per game. It's proof of how much more productive Turner has become over the course of one season.

    All of his numbers aren't perfect, as he's only shooting 16.3 percent from three-point range and is averaging a career-worst 3.7 turnovers per game. Those numbers don't sound too great, but being asked to be the team's main producer on the offensive end of the floor comes with these kind of problems.

    It's taken nearly four years, but Turner is turning into the player that Philadelphia hoped they were drafting with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft. It's clear that he's turned the corner and is playing up to his potential

    Unfortunately, what's less clear is if he has a future with the Sixers. It would be nice to know the answer sooner rather than later.

    Grade: A-

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