5 Players with a Chance to Shine During Philadelphia 76ers' Stretch Run
Philadelphia is currently drawing the ideal blueprint for being in tank mode, and it doesn't look like anything will be getting better anytime soon. When an organization is as bad as the Sixers are, the focus becomes much less on how the team is doing and much more on what players are able to make an impact going forward.
Impact is a strong word for most of Philly's roster, which means there are only a handful of players with the potential to really play well in the Sixers' final games of the season.
Let's take a look at who those players are and why they might succeed.
Seeing Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes moved at the trade deadline was really no surprise. It sounded like Philadelphia was looking to move some of their bigger names, but one person who was also rumored to potentially be sent somewhere else remained.
That man was Thaddeus Young.
Philly.com's Bob Cooney heard from Young following the trade deadline, and it appeared as though Young might have felt left out. Here's what the power forward had to say:
Certain things don't always happen in your favor or it doesn't happen the way everybody else thinks it should play out. It's been a very tough year so far, but you try to make the best of the situation.
Well, if Young's game since the deadline is what making the best of the situation is, then it's been an absolute pleasure to see.
He has averaged 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 4.5 steals and is shooting 46.2 percent from the field. You don't have to look twice to see how ridiculous those numbers are.
Young is easily the best and most talented player on the Sixers roster. The lack of depth is going to allow him to be the No. 1 guy and essentially do whatever he wants on the court. He probably won't continue to average exactly what he has since the trade deadline, but it wouldn't be surprising at all to see them remain pretty close.
Young is a great player in a bad situation. It's the perfect recipe for big numbers.
Eric Maynor's name wasn't much of a highlight as the trade deadline came and went. People were much more focused on who the Sixers got rid of instead of who they brought in. The beautiful thing when it comes to Maynor, though, is that Philadelphia didn't give anything up to get him. They simply took on his contract.
Maynor's had a bit of a tough road in the NBA thus far. He's played on five different teams in five years, and never really found a place that could use him as the type of player he is. On top of that, he tore his ACL two years ago and hasn't had the chance to get much playing time since.
Score first, pass second point guards don't have the highest demand because there are so many other scorers in the league, but it's the kind of player Maynor is. He's an excellent shooter from out deep with a 35.1 career three-point field goal percentage, and he's able to get to the rim off the dribble.
If his early time with the Sixers is any indication, then it appears as though he'll be given the chance to prove what he can do before his player option at the end of the season. He's averaging 17.3 minutes per game in his first three contests for Philadelphia and has scored 13 points twice.
The Sixers aren't in a good place as a team, but it's the right opportunity for Maynor to showcase his talents for the remainder of the season.
It's not often that the sixth man can be looked at to be one of the team's top three scorers, but that's exactly who Tony Wroten has the ability to be. As one of three members of the Sixers averaging over 10 points per game, Wroten is vital toward the second unit's production.
The trade deadline saw Philly let go of some very productive players, and Wroten has done an exceptional job of stepping in and taking their place. In the four games since the deadline, Wroten has averaged 18.5 points and 8.75 free-throw attempts per game. He's also shooting a solid 48 percent from the floor.
The final stretch of the season will be the perfect platform for him to prove his worth as Philadelphia's first man off the bench. This team won't be terrible forever, and it would be great to have someone like Wroten as a scoring threat in the future.
Arnett Moultrie never seemed to get a fair shot at proving his worth during his rookie year under Doug Collins during the 2012-13 season. It seemed as though Moultrie would finally get his chance when Brett Brown was hired, but an ankle injury kept him out of play until February of 2014.
The 2013-14 season has now become short, but it's time for Moultrie to show what he's capable of. There's only one problem, though.
He's played absolutely awful basketball in his limited time.
Moultrie's averages of 2.9 points and 3.6 rebounds already aren't too good. They're made much worse when you look at the fact that he's also averaging a respectable 19.1 minutes per game.
It's important to remember that the Sixers are averaging 100.3 points per game. Moultrie needs to be contributing more than 2.9 points toward that total.
"Chance" is the key word in the title of this article. Will Moultrie shine for the rest of the season? Early indications would point to no. Still though, he's definitely going to get the chance to.
It's in his best interest to take advantage of that chance.
Prior to joining the Sixers, Henry Sims had played in a total of 22 games with zero starts over the course of his two years in the NBA. Since then, he's started in two of his three games while playing in Philadelphia. The point here is that Sims is getting an opportunity that he has yet to have.
Sims had played 20 minutes or more in only two games of his career, but has hit that mark in all three of his games as a Sixer. He's averaging 7 points and 5 rebounds per game, which are higher than his career averages of 2.6 points and 3.0 rebounds.
The fact that Sims could get traded to Philadelphia and be put into the starting lineup after one game means that he's both capable of starting and has a good chance of continuing to start as the season continues.
It's unclear if Sims has a future as anything more than a role player. He's a starter for now, though, and he's already proven that he can be productive in that role.
This is his chance to show that he has what it takes to succeed in this league.