NBA Playoffs 2011: Power Ranking the Key Players in Philadelphia 76ers Rotation
The depth of their rotation is a key factor in why they surprised many and made the playoffs this year as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers had 12 players that averaged over 10 minutes per game during the regular season.
The Sixers continued playing with a full rotation by playing 11 players in Game 1 and 10 players in Game 2 vs. the Miami Heat.
If the Sixers have any hope of pulling off an upset or two in the first round, it will be because of their bench play.
It will be because they prove themselves to be a deeper team than Miami.
These players, in order, are the most pivotal to the 76ers rotation.
11. Tony Battie
Tony Battie rarely sees any more than 10 minutes per game.
He averaged 9.9 minutes per game for the regular season.
He usually plays when one or two of the big men get in foul trouble.
Battie is well past his prime and is just used to spell one of the two centers in front of him in the rotation.
10. Marreese Speights
Marreese Speights has been a very sporadic player for the Sixers ever since he got drafted.
The former first-round pick is always sure to bring energy to the frontcourt when he comes off the bench.
He is more used for his defensive skills than his offensive prowess.
He is statistically having the worst season of his career thus far. He is averaging career lows in minutes, rebounds and points scored.
9. Andres Nocioni
After missing time with a fractured finger, Andres Nocioni has found himself back in the 76ers rotation for the playoffs.
Nocioni is the key shooter off the bench for Philadelphia.
He is a slasher that can also shoot the three.
Doug Collins got him plenty of playing time in the tune-ups for the playoffs when he gave Nocioni 31 and 34 minutes of play in the last two games of the regular season.
8. Jodie Meeks
Even though Jodie Meeks has been a starter for most of the season, his minutes are not "starter" minutes.
He averages fewer minutes than both Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams, who both come off the bench.
Meeks seemed to have found his role on the Sixers early on in the season, though. The Sixers were toying with their starting lineup, trying to find a 2 guard for the first couple weeks of the season.
Meeks has been a pleasant surprise for Philadelphia this season.
He brings a three-point threat to the starting lineup, and his defense has improved throughout the season.
7. Evan Turner
Evan Turner had a disappointing rookie season for Philadelphia.
The No. 2 overall pick from last summer's draft was supposed to come in and start right away for the Sixers, but things did not pan out so well.
Turner has shown signs of good basketball but has also shown the opposite.
When Andre Iguodala went down for an extended period of time, Turner played really well.
He now falls into the Sixers rotation to spell Jodie Meeks and Jrue Holiday.
6. Spencer Hawes
Spencer Hawes has the same type of role as Jodie Meeks. He starts the game, but his minutes are limited from there on out.
Hawes, who was acquired for Sammy Dalembert, has provided the Sixers with a much more consistent offensive threat this season.
Hawes has tremendous range for his size and also has a number of post moves.
He is always a hard worker on the offensive boards and is only good for one or two putbacks per night.
5. Elton Brand
Finally playing a full regular season, Elton Brand provides the model of consistency for the Sixers.
Every night, it is almost guaranteed that Brand gets Philly 15 points and about eight rebounds.
Brand, although he is not the player he once was, is finally showing Sixer fans why they paid him the big bucks to come to Philadelphia.
April has been Brand's best month of the season. In the last seven games, he has averaged over 18 points and over seven boards a game.
Brand is playing his best basketball during the most important time of the year.
4. Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala is the undisclosed leader of the Philadelphia 76ers.
One may look at the stat sheet and say otherwise.
But Iggy does more than put points on the scoreboard.
He does all the little things for Doug Collins.
Iguodala is arguably having the best season of his career. His PPG are down, but he is averaging a career high in APG.
He creates for his teammates now more than he ever has, and he has developed a much more consistent jump shot.
3. Lou Williams
When news came out that Lou Williams might not return for the playoffs, Sixers fans held their breath.
Williams made a quick recovery though, and Sixer fans exhaled after he returned in time for Game 1.
Williams is the leading scorer off the bench for the Sixers. He plays starter minutes but has shown he is more comfortable coming off the bench.
He provides a spark to the Philly offense with his range and aggressive play.
The Sixers' chances of beating the Heat got a whole lot better when they found out Williams was going to be back.
2. Thaddeus Young
Thadeus Young should be in the running for this year's Sixth Man Award.
He has been a consistent scorer off the bench for the Sixers all season long.
Young provides the frontcourt with a spark every night. He has a motor that never stops and never quits playing no matter what the score may be.
However, sometimes he takes too many bad shots for Philadelphia, and Doug Collins lets him know it.
For the most part, he has been one of the best sixth men in the league.
If Young has a good game and provides a spark off the bench, that means the Sixers have a very good chance at winning that game.
1. Jrue Holiday
The future is now for the 76ers. Jrue Holiday is a budding star in the NBA.
In his second year, Holiday has broken out and is averaging six more points and three more assists than in his rookie year.
Holiday has turned into more of a scoring threat in his second year.
This season, he doubled the number of shots taken from his rookie year.
The Sixers now count on Holiday for leadership and scoring, making him the most important player in their rotation.