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Is It OK To Be Concerned?

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The Sixers 93-65 loss to the Celtics last night was quite possibly the worst game of basketball I've ever seen. Granted, it was a preseason game, with a new coach, new players and the Sixers were without Iguodala and Brand. Still, every Sixer who took the court should be ashamed. As a fan, I don't see how you can't be worried.

Let's just take it one point at a time:

  • Marreese Speights is probably the best defensive option they have at the five, and it's not even close. Spencer Hawes is absolutely pitiful, and he's lazy to boot. Hawes sat out the second half with extreme laziness a lower back strain.
  • Every big on the team is in love with his jumper.
  • Jrue looked like crap.
  • As far as I could tell, they weren't running the cluster. In fact, the "offense" they were running was almost exclusively one of the bigs trying to post up, but getting pushed 20 feet away from the hoop. If they got the ball out there, they'd catch and shoot a long two with no prayer of it going in.
  • The game was sloppy on both ends. The Sixers were statistically fine on the defensive glass, but that was almost exclusively thanks to the guards. The Sixers bigs -- and I use that word loosely -- grabbed a grand total of 8 defensive rebounds in 73 minutes of action (That's Hawes, Speights, Plaisted, Brackins and Songaila. Take Speights out of the equation and the other guys grabbed 4 in 53 minutes)
  • Collins reaction was to basically say he felt sorry for his players.
  • And Evan Turner...what to say about Evan Turner..too much for one bullet.

The excuse during Summer League was that he hadn't played or really practiced in a couple of months since the NCAA tournament. He was out of shape, not unathletic. Once he got his legs under him, he wouldn't look earthbound and maybe a bit clumsy. Well, we've got training camp behind us and a couple of games under his belt and we're basically seeing the exact same player. I'm not sure what the excuse is at this point.

Turner is still rebounding very well and getting to the line. He also seems to be one of those guys who makes plays - he's in the right place at the right time. You can see the makings of a productive player in there somewhere, but there hasn't even been close to a hint of a difference-maker on the offensive side of the ball. He can't shake his man to get open, he can't get his shot off, his shot looks horrible when he does get it off. He's rushing his open looks.

I don't think Collins is coddling Turner anymore, I think Turner just can't hack it. That doesn't mean he's a bust, that doesn't mean he's never going to be good, or even great, it just means that he's nowhere near ready. If he was 19, this wouldn't be such a huge concern. The fact that he's 22, though, well, at some point someone has to start worrying. Don't they?

I'd love to have a silver lining for you guys, but this was an abortion of a game. I wish I'd never found the link to watch it online.