If you ask the Sixers, they’ll say that the first half of their season deserves an “incomplete” grade. But, but, but we never had our full team! We never got to see our vision on the court! Wahhhhh.
The problem with this argument is that the Sixers (22-29) should have known. Andrew Bynum’s entire career has been littered with immaturity and knee woes. Jason Richardson’s knee issues appeared chronic long before he arrived in Philadelphia. Evan Turner hasn’t been hurt, but half the time the Sixers would be better off if he was sidelined. This has been obvious for three years now.
No one in the NBA is going to feel sorry for the Sixers, and the fans won’t either. Attendance and energy in the Wells Fargo center has sunk back down to laughable levels. There hasn’t been a moment all season that has registered a blip on the national — or even local — radar.
As a team, the Sixers get a D. The only reason it’s not an F is because Jrue Holiday has almost single-handedly kept them in the playoff race.
Grading the starters
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Jrue Holiday, A+: Before the season, Holiday signed a four-year, $41 million contract. That’s turned out to be a bargain. Ty Lawson got a four-year, $48 million deal and Steph Curry got 4/$44 million. Holiday has taken a leap to All-Star levels this year and is a strong candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award. A true building block.
Nick Young, C+: One of the highlights of the season is hearing Doug Collins call Young “Swaggy P.” Young started off ice cold, but has caught fire since Jason Richardson went down. And he’s doing it with Swag.
Evan Turner, C: Turner was actually making jumpers to start the year, but that was just random luck. Even a dead watch is going to have the right time twice a day. Now that Turner’s jumper has predictably gone in the tank, his entire game is affected again. The Sixers should have “sold high” early on and dealt him.
Thaddeus Young, A: The only reason Young doesn’t get an A+ is because of a hamstring pull that’s keeping him sidelined for three weeks. Before that, he was a picture of consistency, bringing energy every night despite playing against bigger players. Another building block.
Andrew Bynum, F: No incomplete grade from me. When you’re getting paid $16.4 million and not playing ball, no one wants to party with you at strip clubs, bowl with you, or play pop-a-shot against you. Bynum still hasn’t participated in a full practice.
Grading the bench
Spencer Hawes, C: When Hawes is engaged, he’s a serviceable 7-footer on a good team. That’s why his name is popping up in trade rumors.
Lavoy Allen, C-: Did he improve at all after last season’s eye-opening rookie year?
Jason Richardson, D: Was supposed to be a leader for a young team. Haven’t seen it.
Dorell Wright, D-: Defense has been nothing short of pitiful, offense has been mechanical.