Sixers open up to little fanfareby Eric Schwartz
It is not often a season-opener goes unnoticed, but that’s exactly what is happening for the Sixers as they prepare for the start of the season today.
With the Phillies set to face the Yankees tonight, basketball is set deeply in the background Philly fans. There is also the notion that the Sixers will be nothing more than mediocre this season. The Phillies are a series away from bringing the city another championship, the Eagles are in the thick of things in the NFC East and the Flyers are one of the favorites to win the Cup. No one is picking the Sixers to go anywhere.
That wasn’t the case last year when many pendants predicted the Sixers to be a top four team in the Eastern Conference. But the Sixers struggled to fit Elton Brand into their offense, playing much of the season bellow .500. An injury erased the second half of Brands season and the Sixers actually got better during that time, grabbing the sixth playoff spot in a top-heavy Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia returns mostly the same team, minus point guard Andre Miller. Lou Williams will slide into a starting role with Andre Iguodala starting as the team’s shooting guard. Third year player Thaddeus Young will team with Brand in the front-court, with Samuel Dalembert. The bench is also solid with outside threat Jason Kapono expected go get big minutes and Willie Green, Rodney Carney and Marreesse Speights resuming the roles their same roles from last year.
The Sixers are still a young team and taking with another year of experience under the players’ belts the team should finish a little better than their 41-41 mark last season.
The problem is, then what? Likely the Sixers make the playoffs and get knocked out by the Celtics, Magic, or Cavaliers.
The NBA has become a star-driven league and the Sixers don’t have stars. They have good players, not great. Iguodala is the leader of the team and he has never been an All-Star.
This team could be fun to watch this year, but they hardly have the chance to captivate the city like the other three major sports teams can.
The Sixers will be mediocre – and they have been there for too long.