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: 24.9 minutes/game, 41% from the floor, 33% from three, 67% from the line, 2.1 reb/game, 1.5 assts/game, 0.76 steals/game, 0.05 blocks/game, 11.3 points/game.
Suggested reading: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni, Ball Hog by Hank Herman, Little Goes a Long Way by Syd Little.
Extra credit: What is Moderation? by John H. Tilden.
Suggested viewing: Men At Work.
The Rub: I spent a great deal of time this past season chronicling Willie Green’s adverse effect on the Sixers. (Click on the button above to view the Willie Watch Slide Show, if you can stomach it) Willie is a ball hog of the highest order. He’s never seen a shot he doesn’t like, and if the bad shots weren’t enough, he was a sieve on defense and a turnover waiting-to-happen on offense. There were large stretches of time when Andre Miller blatantly froze him out of the offense. Still, he was in the starting lineup, day after day after day after day.
This is obviously something the Sixers need to address in the off season. Now is the time when you’d think I’d say something like, “Willie must go.” True, I wouldn’t shed a tear if Willie Green was included in a trade, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Instead of wishing for his exit from Philly, I’m going to talk about how Garbage Time can help this team. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and yes, I think he can help this team.
Here’s the thing about Willie: He can take over games. He can get so hot no one can guard him. It happened a bunch of times this year. He’d come out hot in the first quarter, score 10 quick points, then disappear for the rest of the game. When he’s on a scoring run he can carry the team. The key is for Mo to have a short leash with Willie, and call upon him at the right time. Let’s be clear about this, if Willie Green is playing close to 25 minutes a night next year, something went horribly wrong this off season, but if he’s limited to say 10 minutes per night, it could work. If Mo Cheeks can recognize when the offense has hit a lull, and get Green in there, with fresh legs, to put some quick points on the board and get him out of there before he goes cold and submarines the offense, Willie can be a weapon. Much like Vinny “The Microwave” Johnson was a weapon for the “Bad Boys” Pistons.
So Willie, your assignment this Summer is to adjust yourself to the idea of being a short-spurt player. Have the mind set that your minutes will be limited, so when you’re in there, your job is to score, and score plenty. Too much Green is definitely a bad thing, but a little bit of Green could go a long way.
Up next: Joe Smith