By Saul Stokes

I know I’m in the minority but I am happy the NBA is back. Christmas aint Christmas without hoops. I’ll be enjoying the prime rib and watching all the games.

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What do I expect from the Sixers this season? Hopefully another trip to the playoffs and getting past the 1st round of the playoffs but that, I think, is asking too much?

The roster is pretty much the same as last year, except the addition of the 2 rookies, Nic Vucevic and LaVoy Allen, and I don’t expect much from them because of the shortened training camp and crazy schedule. If we can get anything from them is a bonus.

I think the man to watch this season is Evan Turner. He struggled with his jump shot as times last season and had a hard time playing together with Andre Iguodala. Evan spent the summer with the shot doctor, Herb Magee. If Evan can consistently hit his jumper, it will create all kinds of problems for teams to defend. Plus it gives the Sixers another option at the end of games, instead of watching Iguodala trying to nail a game winning shot and coming up short.

I think Jrue Holiday will blossom into a great point guard this season, if he does and Evan can hit the J consistently, the Sixers will have a backcourt for the 1st time since the days of Johnny Dawkins and Hersey Hawkins.

I’m not going to compare them to Mo Cheeks and Andrew Toney. I saw them play together and I wouldn’t do that to Jrue and Evan.

I know some people are going to say what ‘about Iverson and Eric Snow?’ A.I is Hall Of Fame, but Eric Snow is the guard who couldn’t shoot at all.

Iverson and Stackhouse. Like oil and water, they didn’t mix on the court and off it. Hopefully Jrue and Evan will play in harmony.

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It looks like they will resign Thad Young. That’s a big help. I like his game and hustle. He could also work on his perimeter game.

Andre Iguodala will do what he has done since he’s been here. Fill up a stat sheet but come up clutch in the big moment.

Elton Brand is no longer a 20 and 10 guy. If you get 15 and 8 from him that’s gravy. His better days are behind him and nobody will trade for him.

Even with Doug Collins coaching, my prediction is the Sixers will be a couple of games above 500 and once again bow out in the 1st round. It will be an small improvement, but you gotta take baby steps before you can run.

Then they will have some more money to spend next season and get a real superstar on the team. That’s the only way you win in the NBA. You gotta have Batman, the sixers have a roster full of Robin’s.

Now about the mascots. They are the worst trio ever put together. I wouldn’t vote for any of them. The new owners should focus on the product on the court. A winning team will get people to come. Not some sorry mascot.

That’s it for now.

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