2010 NBA Preview: Why the 76ers Will Make the Playoffs

Jeff KerrContributor IOctober 1, 2010

2010 NBA Preview: Why the 76ers Will Make the Playoffs

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    Last season was an absolute disaster for the Philadelphia 76ers.

    After back-to-back playoff campaigns in 2008 and 2009, the franchise hired Eddie Jordan to take the Sixers to the next level.

    Instead, he took them a step backward.

    The Sixers finished 27-55 last season, which was their worst record since 1997.  Many players looked lost in Jordan’s Princeton offense.  Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Marreese Speights did not improve from the previous season. 

    As a result, Jordan was fired.

    How could the Sixers possibly make the playoffs this season after last season’s debacle?

    Here are a few reasons why:

Doug Collins

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    Collins is the perfect coach to lead this young team. 

    He is a players’ coach that will do anything to help his team succeed.  

    Doug is a “we, not I” type of coach, which goes a long way into helping a young team fulfill its potential. 

    Collins has rebuilt and improved teams in his coaching career (see the Bulls and Pistons). 

    The Philadelphia 76ers are his hometown team, so he will be extra motivated to lead them to victory.

Evan Turner

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    What makes Turner so valuable is that he can play PG, SG, and SF for the Sixers and has the potential to dominate at these positions.

    He is the most NBA-ready prospect from this year’s draft class and will put up big numbers in the court.  Turner and Iguodala on the floor create matchup nightmares for defenses, which will improve the offensive attack. 

    Turner also is a difference maker on defense.  His presence can catapult the Sixers into the postseason.

Rod Thorn

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    Thorn became the Sixers new president last month and has a reputation for turning losing franchises into winners. 

    Thorn traded away veteran Willie Green to New Orleans for 2010 first-round pick Craig Brackins and veteran Darius Songaila. 

    Brackins is a balanced basketball player and will contribute off the bench during his rookie season.  Songaila is an excellent leader to this young team and is one of the better bench players in the league. 

    Thorn also can make big trades at any given time.  He brought Vince Carter to the Nets for a few role players.

    Rod will be a key factor if the Sixers can land Carmelo Anthony.

Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni

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    The Sixers were finally able to trade Samuel Dalembert over the offseason for Hawes and Nocioni. 

     At 7’ 1”, Hawes will be the tallest player on the Sixers roster this season and will compete for the starting center position with Elton Brand and Marreese Speights. 

    The former lottery pick can play excellent defense, but still has yet to find his offensive game from college.  With the number of offensive weapons the Sixers have, Hawes will not be double-teamed as he was in Sacramento. 

    He has the opportunity to play one-on-one in the paint, which will lead to a half-court offense for the Sixers. 

    Nocioni is one of the best role players in the NBA and can start for the team whenever needed. He is a solid NBA player.

The Core Four

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    If Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights, and Jrue Holiday have a solid season; the Sixers will make the playoffs. 

    If they have a spectacular season; the Sixers could possibly contend for the Eastern Conference title. 

    These players are the key to the Sixers’ success. 

    Iguodala has to build from his team USA experience over the summer and become a superstar. 

    Young has to overcome adversity after a disappointing year and prove to the Sixers he is ready to become a star. 

    Holiday and Speights need to improve on a strong 2009-2010 season.  The future is now for these players.

    If the Sixers do not have a good season, expect these players to be dealt in February or in the offseason.