This season was meant to be more. Depending on who you ask, much more, but even the doubters thought the Sixers would best last season's 40-42 record and climb the ladder in the East to some degree.
So far, that hasn't been the case. As the holidays (and a game in Boston) loom, I thought this would be a good time to look back at where the 2007-2008 Sixers stood on this date.
On December 23rd, 2007, the Sixers stood at 11-16. They had fired GM Billy King
, they hadn't traded Kyle Korver just yet
, and they were coming off a thrilling win in Memphis. You remember it, Andre Iguodala hit the game-winner over Mike Miller
Those were simpler times as a Sixers' fan. There were no expectations, there were no dreams of titles. There was only a young roster with no identity and a couple of potential bright spots. It's funny how much things can change in one year. This year, on the same date, they have a 12-15 record. One game better, but the outlook seems so much more bleak.
Let's take a look at the numbers through 27 games, we'll use the four factors (see explanation here
|Free Throw Rate||0.2253||0.2241|
|Opp. Shooting (eFG)||0.4890||0.4912|
|Opp. Turnover Rate||0.1425||0.1424|
|Opp. Reb (DRB%)||0.7236||0.7381|
|Opp. Free Throw Rate||0.2149||0.2110|
One thing jumps out at me here, the Sixers have been a better team on the glass on both ends of the floor this season, even though Reggie Evans' minutes have been cut from 25 per game all the way down to 10 and Sammy playing 7 fewer minutes per game.
The eFG has dropped by almost a full percent (which could be partially explained by Kyle Korver's absence), but the opponent's eFG has gone up, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Every other factor is trending up for this season.
Here's the problem, though. Around this time last season there was a big change for the better. When Kyle Korver was traded away, Thad Young started getting more minutes and the team began to run. They came together as a team and you know the rest.
This year, they're heading into their 28th game with Elton Brand on the shelf and a big question as to whether they can return to the style of play that made them so successful last season.
On top of that, they have a unbelievably tough stretch of games coming up. So while the numbers aren't that ugly, as compared to last season at this time, and they do have one more win to this point, the road from here is going to be difficult.
Who knows, maybe Speights will be this year's Thad. Maybe by the time Brand gets back the team will be running on all cylinders and he'll be easily incorporated into the team's style, rather than trying to force-feed Brand's supposed style to the rest of the roster.
The 2007-2008 Sixers finished the season 29-26 from Dec. 22 on. Will this year's version be able to come close to that? What do you guys think?