Bad news for Lou Williams broke earlier today. He had surgery on his fractured jaw and will miss eight weeks, his jaw is currently wired shut. Horrible news for Lou in his first season as a start, but a silver lining for the team, in my eyes.
First, here's last night's rotation chart, as promised.
Alright, now, let's look forward. I'm going to take the positive point-of-view on this injury for a couple of reasons, the largest being Jrue Holiday's development. The way things were going, there's a very good chance we would've gone this entire season without seeing Jrue Holiday play 30 minutes in a single game. If Lou is out 8 full weeks, we're talking about 30 games for Jrue to see significant time. 30 games without arbitrary DNPCDs. 30 games where Eddie Jordan really has no choice but to play the kid regular minutes. 30 games where Jrue will get to play with the starters, instead of the second unit. If you're thinking long-term, and you believe Jrue is the future of this team at the point, well, you've got a reason to watch for the next two months. This opportunity could mean the difference between a lost rookie season and accelerated development.
From a win/loss perspective, things obviously just got even harder. The Sixers have dug a 5-game hole and I fear it's going to get deeper before they start digging their way out. But there's also a certain advantage to having a thin roster, especially when there's been such upheaval early in the season. Think of it this way, Eddie Jordan is going to have fewer decisions to make. Meaning, roles should be defined very quickly, and very clearly, as they try to piece things together. The players will still have a new system to comprehend, and the uncertainty that goes along with that, but they should have fewer concerns about when they're going to be on the floor, who they're going to be on the floor with, and what their roles are when they're on the floor.
I hate to call any injury a blessing in disguise, and honestly if everything I've written above comes to fruition, it's going to mean a rough transition when Speights and Lou come back. This could just be a temporary boost for the team if Jordan is again whimsical with his rotations when the team is back to full strength, but there's also a chance that he'll know exactly who and what his players are by the time Williams and Marreese return.
I know this for sure, I look forward to every single Sixers game. I cherish the opportunity to see them play, always have, but this injury and the opportunity to see how the team reacts to the situation has just renewed my fervor. I can't wait to see the Sixers play tomorrow because for the time being, we're going to be able to witness some roster development and hopefully every game won't be about head-scratching moves by the coach, whether he deserves the criticism or not. Instead it'll be about the strides Jrue is making, Iguodala's ability to really step up and carry the team, Brand's return to form, the offense's efficiency when better understood by the players and hopefully, a newly reclaimed urgency to run.
There will be ugly nights, in fact, I expect most nights will be ugly on the boards depending how much small ball we see, but hopefully, it'll be exciting. Hopefully, we're going to see fewer open threes because Jrue will be on the ball and the helping and over-helping won't be needed. Hopefully, we'll see the team start to care about defense, even if their coach doesn't.
No one knows for sure, and it may not make a lick of difference in the standings, but here on Thanksgiving night, I'm excited to see the team play. More excited than I've been since opening night, and that's a good thing.
One a personal note, I just wanted to express my thanks to all you guys for reading and taking part in the discussion here. You make it all worthwhile.