The talking heads at ESPN have released their updated predictions for the Eastern Conference. Only five of the ten polled have the Sixers making the playoffs.
The highest predicted finish comes from John Hollinger - 2nd in the Atlantic, 5th in the East.
Don't look at who left, but rather at who's left. Andre Miller may be gone, but Elton Brand returns to join several young studs -- Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Louis Williams, Marreese Speights -- on the East's most underrated squad.
And the lowest comes from Chad Ford - 3rd in the Atlantic, 11th in the East.
Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams give the Sixers youth and athleticism, but a rusty and aging Elton Brand combined with the loss of veteran point guard Andre Miller means that the Sixers will slip in the East.
The overwhelming theme is that the Sixers just won't be able to compete without Andre Miller. No one mentioned a thing about improved defense in Miller's absence, but that's neither here nor there. For the record, Ford has Indiana, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit and Washington leaping over the Sixers in the standings. He actually has Washington finishing 5th, which I find laughable.