2009-10 Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview
Over the past few seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers (41- 41) have seen a parade of head coaches come and go. Now President and GM Ed Stefanski welcomes Eddie Jordan. Jordan, who is known for resurrecting teams, has coached in over 500 NBA games. He brings an active motion offense to Philly that’s designed to keep the ball moving and the points coming. Stefanski and Jordan worked in New Jersey together. The move to Jordan came after another rocky season for the team in the City of Brotherly love. There were numerous problems. Elton Brand, the $85 million free agent, came to Philly but missed 53 games due to a shoulder injury. Even when Brand played, he was so out of shape and hampered that he proved to be ineffective. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired and GM Tony DiLeo stepped in. The Sixers couldn’t shoot and they had a tough time pulling down rebounds. It was basically a bad season.
Much of this team’s success depends upon a full recovery by veteran forward Elton Brand (13.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.3 APG). Brand has missed most of the last two seasons due to injury. A decade of play in the NBA has taken its toll on him. However, it’s expected that the star frontcourt player will be healthy and ready to go. There are two other questions regarding the frontcourt and they concern the play of center Samuel Dalembert (6.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 0.2 APG) and forward Thaddeus Young (15.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.1 APG). With Dalembert, the question is whether the veteran, who was unhappy in Philly last season, will be content this year? For Young, who is in his third season, the question regards his ability to continue to improve. He’s done well in his first two seasons but needs to do even better. Forward Jason Smith, who missed his first NBA season last year due to injury, could be an important part of the frontcourt off the bench.
The guard spots are tenuous. There are a few guys who can play the shooting position but are any of them starters? Swing Andre Iguodala (18.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.3 APG) will most likely get the nod at first. At point with veteran Andre Miller gone, the task looks to go to the young Lou Williams (12.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.0 APG). Can Williams effectively run Jordan’s up-tempo offense? Someone has to and it looks like he gets a shot at it.
This Philadelphia club has plenty of speed and they will use it. But the big question is do they have a good enough point man to run the offense with the dependable Miller gone? The team is weak on perimeter scoring so look for them to drive to the basket and post up. That’s how this team will score points.
There’s a lot of good news in Philadelphia. There are some solid vets and talented young guys on the team. In the front, Brand and Smith are both healthy. Jordon looks to be the right choice as coach too. He possesses an excellent offensive mind and should get the team churning down the court. True, they won’t be fully armed on the shooting front and they are weak at the point, but the Sixers should make it back to the post-season after taking second in the division and ending up fifth in the Eastern Conference.