Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Season's Report Card - Starters

Okay, before we get too overwhelmed with the coaching changes, the NBA finals, the NBA draft or most importantly the collective bargaining agreement; let's take an objective look at the 2004-05 season. First the starters;
Name: Allen Iverson

Grade: A

Comments: This was arguabley on of the best seasons ever for AI. He answered the bell when many doubted that a man of his size would be the same after the number of days lost to injury the previous season. This years accomplishments include; Eastern conference player of the week or player of the month countless times. His 4th NBA scoring title. His 2nd NBA All-Star game MVP award, a 60 point game and couple of 50 point games. Always talkin' about team. I am sure there are some of you out there in neverland that thinks this one player could have done more, but not I. The reality of it all is that it's still a team game. AI gets that. It's reality that it takes more than one player (not matter the might of his will) to win consistently in the NBA.

Name: Chris Webber

Grade: Incomplete

Comments: Given how late he was acquired and the Sixers inability to use his strengths, I don't think its far to judge C.Webb. Don't get me wrong. I like what he brings to the team. I think many are expecting too much of him. He's not gonna be the final piece to the puzzle to get us over the top (that was Moses Malone, some of you may be old enough to remember that ). But he can be a vital cog in the wheel. The one that makes things go. Others just don't like the man. For whatever reason ... the fab five attitude ... his infamous perjury case ... his failings in Sacramento ... what ever. Yo! the man's got skills ... wait 'til next year.

Name: Samuel Dalmbert

Grade: C-

Comments: The wunderkind. Sammy continues to play below his potential. I would have ventured to say the he slipped this year, but for his awakening in the playoffs. We all saw it ... that glimpse of talent about to bloom, then the total mental breakdown of all common basketball sense. Sammy is a restricted free agent this year, which means someone has to pay a lotta dough for the Sixers not to match it. As I always say, being tall and the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time is a skillset in the NBA. There are plenty of teams willing to take the chance that he will blossom, but not at any price. Bigs can take 4-5 years to really develop in the NBA. He'll be back with the Sixers, but next year is critical to his career. If he doesn't get it, he never will.

Name: Andre Iguodala

Grade: B

Comments: Iggy is the most exciting Sixers rookie to come along in years, bar none! The defense, good by veteran standards, but tremendous for a rookie. The Igoudala slam dunk ... worth the price of admission. Countless times this season I turned to the person next to me to say 'Did you Cee That!' He has a great attitude and professional demeanor. So why only a 'B'. Its the offensive part of his game. While the assists where good to see, he needed to be more aggressive about scoring. He passed up too many shots. He needed to drive more and he needs to work on the mid-range jumper. All these things can be fixed.

Name: Kyle Korver

Grade: C

Comments:It was a roller coaster season for K² more that anyone on the team. To his credit, he began to assert himself at the 3 point line. More surprisingly his hustle, his passing and team defense were superb! But (ya know there'sa but when the guy gets a 'C') he struggled with one-on-one match-ups. Opposing coach's would go after 'em (usually with a more physical player) and Kyle failed to make his challenger pay. His game became small when it mattered. Yes, he did hit a game winner early in the season, but he became a liability at crunch time as the season went on. In the 4th period, Kyle would have mental lapses, turn overs, and he stopped looking for his shot. He let himself be defined as a 3 point specialist. He needs to take that step inside the 3 and bury it. As much as I like 'em, I am on the fence about Kyle's future with the 76ers. By the 3rd year, guards will show you what to expect for the remainder of their career. The Sixers need a point guard. Kyle could be fodder for a trade ...But K² would be back next year if it were up to me.

So there you have it; A,B,C,C- and an incomplete. Better than average, but just barely. The starters must improve next year, but the starters are not the weakest link. We'll look at the bench score card soon.

No comments: