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Spike Eskin: Sixers Final Grades

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By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Sixers won 34 games during the 2012-13 NBA season, just one less game than they won during the 2011-12 NBA season. The big problem here is they only played 66 games last season, and played 82 this year (even though it seemed like easily three times as many).

As we all know, this season did not go according to plan for the Sixers.

Andrew Bynum never played (perhaps you’ve heard), Kwame Brown got paid $2.5 million to play only slightly more than Bynum, Spencer Hawes played way too much, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen didn’t progress as we hoped, Jason Richardson got hurt, and Doug Collins lost his mind.

I think we’re all pretty glad it’s over. With that, the final grades for our Sixers this year:

Doug Collins – C-

To put the failure of this season entirely at the feet of Collins would be making a mistake. That said, he didn’t seem to handle it very well, and the players stopped reacting to him. It’s cliche at this point to say Collins lost the team, but it’s true. The season isn’t Collins’ fault, but he didn’t do too much to make it much better. Of all the people who are relieved that this season is over, Collins probably tops the list.

Here’s the problem with Collins this year: ask yourself what he did well, and let me know if you come up with anything.

Tony DiLeo – INC

I’m not sure what Tony DiLeo did or didn’t do. I know he’s a well respected basketball guy, but I also believe part of why he got the job is because Collins wanted the sort of control that would make prospective GMs apprehensive about coming to Philadelphia. If DiLeo keeps the job, we’ll see what he’s made of soon enough.

Rod Thorn – ?

Is Rod still here? Napping somewhere? Thanks for the memories brother.

Jrue Holiday – B

Given the challenges of the season, I think Holiday performed about as well as we could have hoped. He made his first All-Star team, and is pretty clearly the jewel in the coal that is the Sixers franchise. He turned the ball over too much, but I do think that’s a bit overstated. I don’t think the offense they ran did him many favors, nor did his teammates. As well, the players with the most turnovers in the NBA this year are as follows: James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving. It’s not a bad list to be a part of, and basically indicates that guys who handle the ball a lot, and are asked to do a lot with it, are apt to turn the ball over.

Thaddeus Young – A-

Young’s defense improved tenfold, going from being at best an average defender to a plus defender in the last two years. He busted it this year, rarely settling on offense or defense. I’d love to see him develop his handle at least a little, and work on a corner three point shot. He might be more valuable to a better team, as he’s still a complimentary player rather than a building block, but I won’t complain if he’s here.

Jason Richardson – C-

He was alright when he was healthy, which was rarely.

Spencer Hawes – D

Do not let those two weeks during meaningless basketball games where he put up numbers fool you, Spencer Hawes should not be playing meaningful minutes on a good basketball team. He defends poorly, he sets maybe the worst screens I’ve seen a big man set, and I swear I’ve never seen a guy give up more and-ones. He’s got a soft jumper, seems to see the floor pretty well and is probably a nice guy, but knowing that the Sixers are paying him $6.5 million while Omer Asik makes just $8 million makes me sick.

Lavoy Allen – D+

Allen didn’t progress as anyone had hoped after his great series against the Celtics last year. Maybe it was the disaster of the situation, as Allen said he learned “nothing” this year. I’m hoping it’s not that he got a paycheck and got satisfied, but I’m willing to see what he’s got next year.

Evan Turner – D +

Turner set a team record for the number of games shooting below 40%, breaking the mark set by Vernon Maxwell. He started strong, but continued to get worse as the season went on. His relationship with Collins is well-known to be not great, but it’s not an excuse for how he played. I think Evan Turner can be an effective basketball player in the NBA, but not until he has a better sense of who he is. Turner thinks he’s a point guard, and thinks he’s better than he is. Until that changes, he’ll be a guy who can put up numbers on a bad team, or a guy who is unhappy and sits on a good one. No one questions his desire to win or to be good, but I do question how he’s gone about it.

Dorrell Wright – C

Collins should have played him more, and when he was given consistent minutes, he played well. If they can sign him to another one year deal at a reasonable number, I’d be all for keeping Wright around.

Nick Young – A+

In a year that just made me mad most of the time, Nick Young kept it entertaining. Even when he was doing something that should make me mad, it made me laugh. Thanks for the memories, Swaggy.

Jeremy Pargo – A+

Why not?

Kwame Brown – F

The Brown signing didn’t bother me, as I felt like he was probably going to take the role of Tony Battie as the guy who would come in and eat up some big man minutes when everyone else was in foul trouble. Somehow, he wasn’t even able to make that happen. The guy missed more practices due to “illness” than I’ve ever heard of. Thank goodness he’s got a player option for next year!

Damien Wilkins – B

Wilkins played hard, and better than I would have expected. I wish him the best, but if the Sixers sign him for anything more than one year I’ll have a heart attack.

Royal Ivey – C+

We saw way too much of him, but it’s the fact that he’s playing so much that offends me, not how he plays, and that’s on Collins.

Charles Jenkins – INC

He was on the team? They wanted to get a free look at him, how’d that go?

Arnett Moultrie – C+

Moultrie became the poster child for “what is Collins doing?” this year. When it became clear that the season was lost, and he still wasn’t playing consistent minutes, it was puzzling. Not because he looks particularly promising, but they spent a first round pick on him and it’s worth finding out if he’s any good. As well, everyone playing in front of him stinks.

Andrew Bynum – QGXLOL

I’m not sure what grade to give Bynum, so I’m giving him a grade that doesn’t make any sense. I can’t blame the guy for having arthritis, he didn’t choose that. He did choose to bowl, which I will maintain was pretty irresponsible. I know it’s projecting, but it just didn’t seem like he was that bothered by any of it. The hair stuff was funny, and at least he gave us something to talk about. I hope to never speak or write his name ever again after this. I can’t take it anymore.

Malik Rose, Marc Zumoff, Molly Sullivan, Tom Moore, Bob Cooney, Jordan Raanan, Chris Vito, John Gonzalez, Dei Lynam, all of my friends at Liberty Ballers, they all get an A+ for surviving this year. I’m not sure how you did it. John Mitchell too, you get an A+ too.

We made it. Top of the world, ma.

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