Sizing up the 76ers midway through the season

Sixers coach Doug Collins has been unable to overcome a roster with may shortcomings this season. His team is 17-25, with 40 games to play.
Sixers coach Doug Collins has been unable to overcome a roster with may shortcomings this season. His team is 17-25, with 40 games to play. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 25, 2013

What a difference a year, an injury, and a full season have made for the 76ers.

The Sixers reached the numerical midpoint of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season seven games above .500 (20-13) and atop the Atlantic Division. A year later, the Sixers, who have played 42 of their 82 games, are eight games below .500 (17-25), in fourth place in the Atlantic, and hoping that the eventual debut of injured center Andrew Bynum (maybe in late February) will be enough to get them back into the playoffs.

Below is a summation of how each of the 2012-13 Sixers has fared:

Lavoy Allen: The second-year center has struggled as a starter, no doubt a result of the Sixers' asking more of him than would have been required had he been allowed to come off the bench. He needs to be more assertive around the basket and rely less on the elbow jumper.

Kwame Brown: The former top pick in the draft has been his own worst enemy, unable to get his weight down and his conditioning up enough to be a factor. He's 10 to 12 pounds away from being the regular starter, even though he is the most capable post defender on the team not named Andrew Bynum.

Andrew Bynum: His absence magnifies every shortcoming on this roster. The Sixers hope he will make his debut with the team after the all-star break. Had he been as healthy as he was in Los Angeles last season, the Sixers would have 10-12 more wins.

Spencer Hawes: Maligned for not being a bruiser, Hawes is actually one of the Sixers whose game is on the upswing. It took him a while, but Hawes has finally gotten used to his role off the bench. He had his best game (21 points, 12 rebounds) against Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Jrue Holiday: Averaging 19 points and 9.0 rebounds, Holiday is having his best season as a pro. He walks a delicate line, having to discern when to take games over and when to get his teammates more involved. He leads the league in turnovers (4.0 a game) and must get that number down.

Royal Ivey: Nagging injuries prevented Ivey from contributing early on. He's not a long-term answer as the backup to Holiday, but he has demonstrated that he has value in spurts. If the Sixers are going to make a run, Ivey will have to be more reliable spelling Holiday.

Shelvin Mack: The point guard signed to a 10-day deal is just trying to catch on.

Arnett Moultrie: Coach Doug Collins has been reluctant to use him. He came to camp woefully out of shape because of a sprained ankle that healed very slowly last summer. As mediocre as the big men have been, it is disconcerting that the rookie has been unable to get on the floor.

Jason Richardson: He has never been fully healthy this season and is struggling to fit in. Defensively, he's been spotty. He is one of the best three-point shooters in the league over the last decade, and the Sixers need him to provide more firepower in the second half of the season.

Evan Turner: He has had some very good moments this season and at times he has looked detached. He's clearly better on the ball and, as long as Holiday is here, he'll get to do that only in spurts. As much as Collins harps on the team's lack of defense, the Sixers need Turner to show the offensive ability he flashed more frequently earlier this season.

Damien Wilkins: Collins has turned to Wilkins more in recent games because the guys expected to play ahead of him aren't getting the job done. When Wilkins is on the floor, it's an indication that Collins is dissatisfied with those players.

Dorell Wright: Considering the way he played two seasons ago with Golden State, Wright is probably the biggest disappointment of the new faces. In his defense, he never seems to know when he is going to be used.

Nick Young: He has proved to be the most pleasant surprise among the nine new players. He has no conscience when it comes to hoisting shots, but then the Sixers have gotten progressively worse at the offensive end. Somebody has to score.

Thaddeus Young: Coming into the season hoping to start at small forward, Young now finds himself battling - rather well - players typically three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier every night. He is without question the hardest-working player on the roster.


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @jmitchinquirer.

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