Monday, January 09, 2006

Let's Talk about the 'M' word

About a month ago the venerable Steven A. Smith wrote an article proclaiming the Sixers a Mediocre team. I thought it was to harsh at the time. Much too early to tell what Mo's squad really looks like. The Sixers annual left coast road trip was a true test of character, I argued. Some of Larry Brown's teams gelled on the 7 game grind, other teams have tanked. We learned a little bit more about all of them. So what happened to the 05-06 team ....
12/23/05 L 111-108 @ AtlantaSixers gave in to a young squad that gave them plenty of chance to win. Sure they had won 5 in a row, but its the Atlanta Hawks dude!
12/27/05 W 108-106 @ Denver They could have easily lost this one. Carmello posted 45, but Iverson's jumper with 4.2 seconds left wins it.
12/28/05 L 95-91 @ Portland Back to Back game. Denver to Portland is no Sunday drive. The Sixers commit a season high 19 turn-overs. KK's 24 points is wasted in a loss to another young losing team.
12/31/05 L 108-102 @ Utah Gordan Girickek scored a season-high 23. Yea, that's what I Gordon who? The Sixers are winning this one, but can't hold one. Sound familiar?
01/03/06 W 111-98 @ Sacramento Sixers win inspite of a Brad Miller's banner day. The sharp shooting big man exposed the Sixers for 36 points. Webber had a healthy 20 pts and 16 Rebs, but it was Bibby's poor shooting that lost it for the kings
01/04/06 L 105-85 @ Phoenix Another back to back game. Another loss. The 76ers collapse in the 3rd period. They are our scored 35-16.
01/06/06 L 119-93 @ L.A. Lakers Unlike the game in philly, Bryant tourches the 76ers for 48. The Lakers were 13-20 from the 3 point line.
So the Sixers are not road warriors this year. A great team could have won all 7. A good team would have won at least 4. A bad team might have won 2. But a mediocre team could win or loss on any given nite. You might expect 3 or 4 wins on trip like this. The schedule was rough, but the opponents were not (mostly young and struggling).

I am now ready to concede to Steven A.'s prognosis. If nothing changes, this year's model will be mediocre. Destined to make the playoff in the bottom half of the bracket. Destined to be bounced by a conference championship finalist. Destined for a poor draft spot. At the end of it all Billy King will say "We weren't that bad of a team", and nothing will change. In a word "Mediocre".

That's not to say they are not worth watching. AI is burning through the record books this year. His final tally will be worthy of the hall of fame. The question is ... will Billy King every surround him with the players to win the prize.

No comments: