Well, three games into the preseason, and the Sixers are 0-3. Not a great way to start, but the preseason means little to nothing. Last night, I got a chance to catch the '07-08 Sixers in action against the Wizards. There were some positive signs, some troubling signs and one potentially disastrous sign.
Andre Iguodala seemed content to take easy in this game, he wasn't driving to the hole, instead using his 29 minutes to work his three-ball (he was 3/4 from downtown), and distribute the ball (he finished with 6 assists). I'm not worried about Iguodala at all. He's conserving his energy for the regular season, exactly what they need him to do. He's going to be shouldering a ton of responsibility for this young team.
Lou Williams continues to assert himself on the offensive side of the ball, and he's really making a push for serious playing time (and Kevin Ollie's departure from Philly). Lou finished with 13 points, on the heels of a 33-point explosion against the Nets in the second game. He also chipped in with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
Thad Young and Jason Smith, the Sixers' two first round picks were unimpressive with their final lines, but you can see the talent there from both guys. Smith looks polished, and I have to believe he's going to see serious minutes. He's much more agile than I thought he'd be, very active on defensive, and aggressive on the boards. His shot wasn't falling, but you're going to have nights like that. Thad Young is raw, very raw. I don't know how much playing time he's going to see this year, but he's a physical wonder. Huge wingspan, explosive quickness and he can jump through the roof. If his outside game develops he could turn into a special player. The other rookie to see action was Herbert Hill, and I was very impressed with his performance. He's a banger, and much more agile than I thought. It was fun to watch Williams, Hill, Thad, Smith and Carney out there, they got up and down the floor and finished with a couple monstrous dunks.
Speaking of Carney, it looks like he did a little work in the off season. His rebounding was much improved, but his jumper still looks hurried and awkward (he was 0-4 from distance). He did fill the lane, and finish with authority on a couple of occasions, but that part of his game was never really in question.
Kyle Korver looked like Kyle Korver. Insanely quick release, deadly jumper, great hustle. He also looks like he was in better shape, possibly an off season workout regimen will pay dividends.
In the bad column you can put Calvin Booth. This guy is just garbage, and if Dalembert is healthy, I just don't see how he fits on the roster. Obviously, this means he'll make the team, and probably find his way onto the floor for 10-15 minutes/game.
Dalembert missed his second consecutive game
with residual pain from a stress fracture he suffered playing for the Canadian national team. According to his article, he plans on being ready for the season, let's hope he's right because this front court really needs the Haitian Sensation.
Reggie Evans looked like a hard-working rebounding machine with no offensive game. Exactly what we thought he was. His toughness down low will be an asset to this team.
The funniest thing about the game were the new haridos sported by Louis Amundson (pony tail) and Andre Miller (geometric corn rows). The good news is that it looks like Andre showed up for camp in game shape. Last year, he was overweight and it took him months to round into form. Amundson left the game after only 4 minutes of action with a hip pointer, I doubt it'll keep him out for long.
Shav Randolph was a scratch as well, still recovering from his gruesome ankle injury.
The Sixers travel to Utah to take on the Jazz for their fourth preseason game on Wednesday. Hopefully, they'll be able to scratch out one win before they start to count.