Philadelphia 76ers Struggles Continue with Elton Brand As New Centerpiece

Jenise RolleContributor INovember 12, 2008

So far, the Philadelphia 76ers have not lived up to their preseason expectations with the addition of their new power forward, Elton Brand.  The two time All—Star has been averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds in his start with the Sixers so far.  But, let’s not make Brand the No. 1 reason why the team has fallen to 2-5 at the start of the season.

For the past year, Philadelphia has been known as a fast—breaking team that likes to run the floor and force an up—tempo style of basketball.  But, so far this season, their fast—break points have been limited.  Teams who have played against the 76ers this season are playing a half court, slowed down offensive and defensive game.

Last night, the Sixers lost 93-80 to the Utah Jazz (6-1) at home.  The team ended up with 17 turnovers, 38 percent from the field, and the team’s third straight lost of the season.  Thaddeus Young, who has been one of the Sixers top scorers, was limited to only nine points and 11 rebounds in last night’s game.                      

Although the Sixers had a 20-4 run against Utah during the third quarter and erased a 12—point deficit from the half, the team’s biggest struggle seemed to be defense and careless turnovers.  Utah scored 16 points off of Philadelphia’s 17 turnovers, and Carlos Boozer ended the game with 19 points and 16 rebounds.  After the game, Brand talked about his team’s defensive struggles, “The defense is how you win games...and we have to step it up."

Even though the Sixers are off to a bad start, fans should not see the 76ers season as near over.  As if the addition of a true power forward in Brand wasn’t hard enough, the Sixers are learning how to play a half court style of basketball, which has contributed to their losing.  Once they understand how to play half court basketball, they will be a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.