Summer Reading is a series on what each Philadelphia Seventy-Sixer needs to do this off season in order to bring the Sixers back to the playoffs in ‘07–08. Each member of the Sixers will get a reading list, we’ll start with Bobby Jones, and end with Andre Iguodala (Least minutes per game to most).
Vital stats: 37.6 minutes/game, 46% from the field, 5% from three, 81% from the line, 4.4 reb/game, 7.3 assts/game, 1.3 steals/game, 0.1 blocks/game, 13.6 points/game.
Suggested reading: Dishing with Style by Rori Trovato, High-Performance Sports Conditioning by Bill Foran, Glue by Irvine Welsh.
Extra credit: The Tao of the Jump Shot by John Fitzsimmons Mahony and Bill Walton.
Suggested viewing: Cool Hand Luke.
The Rub: Andre Miller’s arrival in Philadelphia raised the level of play of every other member of the team (with the exception of Kevin Ollie, who quickly found his way to the end of the bench). His floor-vision, passing, ballhandling and under-rated defensive skills gave the Sixers a flow on both sides of the court.
The Sixers need Andre to be Andre, nothing more, nothing less. If he can duplicate his performance from last year, they have a great chance at making the playoffs. My list of off season improvements for Miller are cautionary, and frivolous. First, Andre needs to come into camp in shape. Last year, he showed up overweight in Denver. He has to be ready to play 35 minutes a night from the opening tap next year.
My last suggestion for Andre, and this is frivolous request, is that he please, for the love of God, change his mechanics on his jumper. It’s not that his shot isn’t effective, it’s just that it’s so damned ugly. He gets about an inch off the ground and puts absolutely no arc on his shot. When he’s on, they go in and who cares what it looks like, when he’s off, well the ugly shot looks even more ugly.
Andre is going to have at least one more offensive weapon this season, I expect his assist numbers to be close to double digits as he leads this team to the playoffs. He isn’t the Sixers’ best player, but he may be the most important on the offensive side of the ball. He’s the glue that holds the offense together and he makes everyone better by getting them the ball in position to convert.
Up next: Andre Iguodala