On the 76ers:
Liberty Ballers / Sixers 4 Guidos / Philly.com / Philadunkia
Everday struggle. At 2-10, Philadelphia owns the worst record in the East. They are better only than the 1-11 Clippers overall. They have lost five in a row.
The most recent was a 94-86 home loss to the Raptors, one of the worst teams in the league. Prior to that, they lost to the Cavaliers, a team, that while currently stands 5-5 and ahead of the Bucks, has played the easiest schedule in the NBA, and ultimately, is not a .500 team either. It was their second loss to Cleveland already. The Sixers have also lost to the Pacers and Wizards. They are losing at home (1-4), losing to bad teams, and they are in last place in the weakest division in the NBA.
Making matters worse, Andre Iguodala, the club's best player, has missed four games with a tendinitis in his right achilles, and it does not sound like he will play tonight.
Philadelphia is not exactly in form.
Better late than never. However, the 76ers are the third best team in the NBA in the fourth quarter this season, averaging a +2.8 average differential in the final quarter of games.
Offensively-challenged. Philadelphia's offense has been nearly as bad as Milwaukee's, a claim few teams can (or would want) to make. The Sixers and Bucks are 26th and 29th in offensive efficiency, respectively.
Just like the Bucks, the Sixers have five players (Brand, Holiday, Lou Williams, Iguodala) averaging in double figures, but also like the Bucks, they don't have any one player averaging even 17.0. And so like the Bucks, all of that "balance" hasn't been good for much.
The 76ers are getting the most positive production from the power forward position, where both Elton Brand (16.9 pts, 8.2 rebs, 21.2 PER) and Thaddeus Young (10.4 pts, 4.0 rebs, 17.0 PER) are off to strong starts. Other than those two, Philadelphia has received little consistent offensive production. Specifically, Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes are decent backups, not NBA starters.
At the stripe. Philadelphia also cripples themselves by allowing opponents to make an NBA-high 25.4 free throws per game. Might be time for Bogut to improve on that 2-10 form...
Fall-Stars. Since ten or twelve games is certainly enough to decide who should be considered the best players of the 2010-11 season, All-Star balloting is now open. Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Corey Maggette, Drew Gooden, and Andrew Bogut made it for Milwaukee. Feel free to vote for them. Meanwhile, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Thaddeus Young are among the many players you are encouraged to not vote for.
Center of the problem. Philadelphia is one of only three Eastern Conference teams not to have a center on the ballot. Largely, this stems from the fact that the Sixers aren't getting much from anyone playing the position so far this season.
Tony Battie is playing the best ball among their centers, which doesn't reflect well on Marreese Speights or Spencer Hawes. Battie is still a serviceable player, but he is also quite literally approaching a decade since his prime -- and it's sort of silly that we are even talking about Battie having a prime in the first place. Perhaps it's just a slow start, but Speights has seemingly regressed in a hurry (17.5 PER last season, 8.16 PER this season), and Hawes just doesn't have enough at either end of the court to start in this league.
And this is all because the Sixers shipped out longtime Andrew Bogut nemesis Samuel Dalembert, who pretty clearly outplayed Bogut head-to-head.