By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This was going to be your run of the mill “here’s the grade I give the Sixers at the midway point of the season” post. I’d run through each player, grade their performance with a letter between A-F, and inspire some discussion about whether I’m being too easy or too hard on them.READ MORE: Trial Starts Monday For Gilbert Newton III, Philadelphia Teen Accused Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend Morgan McCaffrey
Jodie Meeks gets a B?! He’s killing us!
Iguodala an A-?! He can’t even shoot free throws!
It’d be so much fun for all of us.
But I can’t do it. I can’t do it because I don’t know what scale I’m grading them on, and that’s part of the problem with this year’s Sixers.
The mission this season was twofold: first, progress past last year and win a round in the playoffs. Second, and most importantly, this season was about developing the young players and figuring out just what we have in Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner.
I think the first goal is well within reach. In terms of giving us an exciting, winning product, the team has succeeded beyond expectations. I still think the Sixers have a good chance at winning the Atlantic division, and winning a first round playoff series. Both would be impressive accomplishments.READ MORE: Philadelphia Seniors Treated To Night Out, Musical At Walnut Street Theatre
My fear is that we’re no closer to the second goal than we were 34 games ago. So while I’d give Doug Collins and the team a high grade for winning games (the five game losing streak not withstanding), I think I’d give them a pretty poor grade in finding out the answer to the second question. And that worries me.
Maybe one goal is getting in the way of the other.
I don’t know if Jrue Holiday will be a great point guard, because it just doesn’t seem like he’s playing point guard that often. He’s shared the ball distribution duties with Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Evan Turner, and even Spencer Hawes. There’s been a lot of criticism of Holiday’s performance this year, and a lot of it is justified. Holiday settles for too many jumpers and doesn’t attack the basket enough. But I can’t tell if he’s going to be a good point guard without seeing him actually play point guard.
And Evan Turner, I don’t know what Evan Turner is. There’s a camp that’s sure he’s a dud. There’s a camp that’s sure he’d be a killer if given the minutes. The truth is that Turner’s not getting enough minutes because he’s not playing well enough to help the team win. And I’ve just got ask the question, what’s more important; helping the team win or knowing if Evan Turner is good or not?
I want to know if the #2 overall pick was worth it. I want to know if he can play.
By limiting the mistakes of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, Doug Collins is putting the Sixers in a better position to win right now. But by limiting the mistakes of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, and not allowing them to grow into whatever they may be, Doug Collins may be putting them in a worse position to win tomorrow.
PS: Grades for the vets: Iguodala (A-), Elton Brand (B-), Tony Battie (C), Andres Nocioni (come on, man).MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Gunmen After Shots Fired Near Chester High School Football Game
What do you think, are the Sixers doing the right thing for the future? Let me know in the comments.