Philadelphia 76ers 2009-2010 NBA Season Outlook
The 76ers are looking to build upon their surprising '08-'09 season, where injuries struck early and often. Due to the low contention in the east last season and the fact that they had a all star PG in Andre Miller and young stars in Iguodala and Young they were able to finish sixth in the conference.
Things have changed dramatically for the team as they lost Andre Miller to free agency and have a new Head Coach in Eddie Jordan (who will implement the “Princeton offense”) and a returning Elton Brand (missed all but 29 games with a shoulder injury) who will look to bounce back after a terrible season in which he averaged career low’s in Points (13.8) and Field Goal percentage (45%).
The bright side is that the team is very young and highly athletic and will look to run and run hard. Louis Williams is entering his fourth season and this will be his first at PG and many expect up and downs in terms of production from him.
Thad Young and Marreese Speights will look to build upon both of their successful seasons and the 76ers will surely need it if they are going to repeat last season’s playoff berth.
Jrue Holliday will enter the mix as a rookie out of UCLA and will battle with Williams for minutes at the point guard position as he struggled with his transition to the NBA during the summer league and will need time to work on his offense.
Jason Kapono traded for in hopes that he can continue his league leading three-pt shooting touch and help the lowly franchise rise from one of the worst outside shooting teams last season.
Expectations are often low for the 76ers year after year but they somehow find a way to sneak in the playoffs and only time will tell if they have what it takes to get them back to the top in the eastern conference.
Projected Starting Lineup
PG – Louis Williams – Louis will not be anywhere close to Andre Miller as a passer but will be able to produce much more offensively. He will look to lead the team in his first season at full time PG (His first since high school in 2005)and will have help with a Healthy Brand and Dalembert along with young studs in Iguodala and Young.
Question Marks surround his ability to involve the offense instead of looking for his own shot first, but he will look to prove doubters wrong and will be able to stretch defenses with his improving offensive numbers 12.7ppg and will look to build the team’s success with his ability to use his quickness to set up teammates and get to the free throw line.
SG – Andre Iguodala – Andre is on the brink of becoming a first time all star if he can build upon his outstanding playoff numbers this past season (21.5ppg,6.3rpg,6.7apg and 39% from three-pt land.
Andre will be the leader on offense, capable of using his strong athletic skills to gain entry inside and create for his teammates but must look to become more aggressive for his self in order for the 76ers to compete for a legitimate playoff spot.
SF – Thaddeus Young – Thad improved in almost every category last season (15ppg, 5rpg,1.3spg and 34.3mpg) all the while playing PF as he is more of a SF who can fill in at PF in stretches when the team plays small ball.
He is also a very good mid range shooter, who has improved his three-pt percentage each season (34%). He will look to embark closer to 20ppg as the third option behind Iguodala and Brand.
PF – Elton Brand – Brand will look to prove his worth this season (played in only 29 games due to Shoulder Surgery) as a once promising all-star PF who averaged 20ppg and 10rpg. He experienced career lows in points and rebounding last season as he struggled to fit in with the 76ers running attack on offense.
He will have plenty of chances to prove himself as Eddie Jordan will look to run quite a few plays for him and will look for him to slide over to Center when running small ball.
C – Samuel Dalembert – A limited offensive center who is an athletic force when given the chance to come from the weak side on defense. He was subject to Mo Cheeks and Tony DiLeo’s doghouse last season, even publicly demanded a trade due to his limited role on the team.
Dalembert will gain a second chance with Eddie Jordan taking over as head coach but is a huge question mark in his Princeton offense.
F – Jason Kapono - Two Time and current three-pt contest winner, who will look to bring exceptional three-pt shooting (45% on 3pt %) to the team. He will play a key role as a back up to Iguodala and Young and will stretch the defense easily when the double teams come for Brand and Iguodala.
Jason struggles on Defense and will have to improve upon that to stay out there for long stretches when his shot is off. He will battle Willie Green in Camp for the sixth-man role this season
F – Marreese Speights – Marreese Will look to gain a major role in the rotation this year as he fared exceptionally well during Summer League play and will be a strong scorer down low and can complement the team as a lead scorer off the bench along Kapono and Green.
Must improve his conditioning and foul tendency and if he does that he will be a starter in no time. Shows good skills scoring the ball (7.7ppg in 16mpg) and runs the floor well and can fill up the stat sheet with easy transition dunks.
C – Jason Smith – Jason was injured last season (Torn ACL) and will look to regain the potential he had during his rookie season. He is a long term project who looks to shoot more than post up but can be effective in spurts.
Did not have a strong summer league this year as he looked sluggish and didn’t show the ability to take on major minutes quite yet which will more than likely allow him to showcase the ability to do so in the D-League.
C – Primoz Brezec – A 7’1" big man who returns to the NBA after being in an Italian league this past season. Primoz is skilled at hitting the mid range shot and is effective in the post but does not rebound very well for a player his size. He is still limited on defense and will provide spot minutes when needed.
G – Jrue Holiday – Jrue is an exciting and quick PG out of UCLA who will spend his rookie campaign learning how to run the offense in the anticipation of being the PG of the future. Displays quick decision making but must limit his turnovers and improve his aggressiveness to be a real factor this season.
He must improve his jump shot as he struggles mightily with it as evident in summer league play.
G – Willie Green – Willie will look to be a main contributor off the bench this season as he spent last season as a starter. Green’s Numbers were down last season but they should thrive this season as he is not going to be counted on a much offensively. He is a Limited defender and often looks for his own offense before a pass but should be given a solid chance to lock down the sixth man role behind Williams and Iguodala.
G – Royal Ivey – Ivey Resigned with the team after learning Andre Miller went to the Blazers. He will provide the Sixers with a mix of intense Defense and quality insurance if Williams doesn’t work out at the PG position.
Projected finish: 40-42 ninth in the eastern conference