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Philadelphia 76ers: Improvements Each Player in Rotation Must Make for Next Year

Alec BeckmanContributor IIIJuly 25, 2011

Philadelphia 76ers: Improvements Each Player in Rotation Must Make for Next Year

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    The Philadelphia 76ers made major strides in improvement last year, but every player can always do something better.  Doug Collins will not be able to contact his players due to the lockout, so the players must take it upon themselves to enhance their play.

    This will break down what each 76ers player did well last year, and what they can work on this offseason to maximize their potential at this stage of their careers.  

Jrue Holliday

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    Jrue Holliday came into his own last year, proving that he can play.  He gave 100 percent of his energy all the time, and was arguably the Sixers most valuable player.  

    What he did well:

    Holliday is a natural point guard, and was one of the best true point guards in the league last year.  He excelled at defense, passing, averaging 6.5 assists per game, and free throws, shooting 82 percent from the charity stripe.  His best qualities are his vision, and his ability to use his body on defense.  

    His three point percentage wasn't too shabby either, shooting 36.5 percent from behind the arc.  

    What he must work on:

    Jrue Holliday was a very efficient scorer, but only averaged 14 points per game.  For a team that lacks a real scorer, with their leading scorer averaging 15.6 points per game in Elton Brand, Holliday must gain the confidence to take more shots.  Holliday took 12.2 shots per game, and shot 44 percent from the floor.  He must take more shots and command a leadership role, especially with Andre Iguodala occupying the point forward role.

     

    Overall, Jrue Holliday is the brightest part about this team.  The 76ers will revolve around him for years to come, and deservedly so.


Jodie Meeks

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    What he did well:

    Jodie Meeks showed why the Sixers got a bargain when they acquired him at the deadline in 2010.  He shot a miraculous 89 percent from the free throw line, and 40 percent from three.  He is the definition of a "shooter" in the NBA.  He showed some other solid traits as well.  He played good defense for his size, being 6-4 for a shooting guard.  He was usually much smaller than the opposition.  He also displayed good athleticism, especially on the fast break.

    What he must improve upon:

    Jodie Meeks must add some bulk to his frame.  He is small, so he must make up for that in strength.  Also, it would not hurt to improve defense, quickness, ball handling, and positioning on rebounds.  He is a sound player, and should be for time to come in the NBA.  The Sixers got a steal in this player by virtually trading nothing.

Evan Turner

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    What he did well:

    Last year's second overall pick in the draft was expected to come in and be the savior of the franchise.  He was supposed to carry the team through the playoffs, but all in all, you can't depend on a rookie to do a ton.  He showed flashes of the player he could be in the future, in the limited time he had to play.  There were some plays that made you turn your head and say, did I just see that?  Of course, he wasn't constantly impressing everyone.  He did rebound the ball well, and shot free throws well, which are two important qualities that players must have on this team.

    What he must improve on:

    Turner must learn to play the two guard position in the NBA.  He was used to playing point guard in college.  He has taken some good steps this offseason by learning to shoot the ball with the "shot doctor" and hall of fame coach, Herb Magee.  If Turner can learn to shoot and improve upon his sub-par 42 percent from the field stat, then he should find more success in the 2011-12 season.

Andre Iguodala

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    What he did well:

    Who knows whether Iguodala will be back next year?  If the Sixers trade him away, they will be losing a top 10 defender in this league, a leader, and a good passer.  He had the best assist to turnover ratio of any forward in the league, at 2.25 assists per every one turnover.  Iguodala has been on the team for seven years, and has been criticized constantly.  He is the ideal third best player on a championship team. 

    What he must improve on:

    Iguodala must learn to do the same thing as Evan Turner, and it is how to shoot the basketball.  Iguodala has a high basketball I.Q. and is solid at every other point of his game, but his shooting percentage from three is very low at 33 percent, and an abysmal 21 percent in the post-season.

Lou Williams

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    What he did well:

    Lou Williams was instant offense off the bench last year averaging 13.7 points per game, while only playing 23 minutes per game.  Talk about an efficient scorer!  Williams is a fan favorite, and has been called upon to be a starter, but he doesn't play defense well enough, is too small, and is too good off the bench to risk starting.  He also added three assists per game last year.

    What he must improve on:

    To take his game to the next level, Lou Williams must get bigger, stronger, and better at defense.  He was too much of a liability for the Sixers last year when it came to the defensive side of the ball.  He could also improve his basketball I.Q. and get better at passing.

Thaddeus Young

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    What he did well:

    Thaddeus Young, another fan favorite, does so many things well.  He is tremendously versatile, being able to play the 3 and the 4.  When he plays small forward, he creates mismatches by being able to beat the defender in the post.  When he plays the power forward position, he steps back, and beats the player by being more athletic and quicker.  Thaddeus Young is another high energy guy off the bench, and has developed into a terrific player.  He averaged 12.7 points per game last year, while averaging 5.3 rebounds per game last year.  He adds a ton to the team, especially with his versatility.  

    What he can improve on:

    Being only 23 years old, Young has a long and great career ahead of him.  To really make the most of his game, he must do two things.  He must add muscle so he can add a punch to his low post game, and to improve his rebounding.  This would make him better when playing the four spot.  To really perfect his game however, he must learn to shoot a consistent jump shot.  If he could learn to become a threat from the outside, then every team in the league will fear this player.  

Elton Brand

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    What he did well:

    Jodie Meeks showed why the Sixers got a bargain when they acquired him at the deadline in 2010.  He shot a miraculous 89 percent from the free throw line, and 40 percent from three.  He is the definition of a "shooter" in the NBA.  He showed some other solid traits as well.  He played good defense for his size, being 6-4 for a shooting guard.  He was usually much smaller than the opposition.  He also displayed good athleticism, especially on the fast break.

    What he must improve upon:

    Jodie Meeks must add some bulk to his frame.  He is small, so he must make up for that in strength.  Also, it would not hurt to improve defense, quickness, ball handling, and positioning on rebounds.  He is a sound player, and should be for time to come in the NBA.  The Sixers got a steal in this player by virtually trading nothing.

Spencer Hawes

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    What he did well:

    Spencer Hawes did not do much well.  He averaged 7.2 points per game and 5.2 rebound per game.  Not the numbers you want your starting center to average.  He may not be back next year with Nikola Vucevic coming in from the draft, and him being a restricted free agents.  

    What he can improve on:

    While Hawes can improve on many things, he must develop a post game, on defense and offense.  He must add strength so he can bang it inside.  He also must learn positioning on rebunding.  You can't coach height, but he was given height, so he might as well be coached on everything else.

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