The Sixers are one (big) piece away

PHILADELPHIA — Hey, I like a heartwarming rags-to-riches tale like anyone else, especially when it relates to Philadelphia, a passionate and proud sports town that gets ragged on mainly because it ain’t New York. But for those who swear the Sixers are now the Next Big Thing, sorry, not seeing it.

They are not the Oklahoma City of the East. More like Denver East.

Like the Nuggets, the Sixers could use a true star, however he probably isn’t on the roster. Nothing against Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams or Evan Turner, who are intriguing young talents and by all accounts well-adjusted for their age. But just a hunch here, this experience they’re getting against the Heat will not turn them into great players, simply because they lack the greatness gene. When or if the Sixers ever challenge for a championship in the professional lifetime of these three players, they’ll be passing the ball to someone else for the last shot, despite what you saw in the final amazing seconds of Game 4.

The more you see of Holiday, the more you like. He had some guts to pull up on Dwyane Wade like that and drill the 3-pointer that began a victorious rally. And Williams, he took an even tougher shot for the eventual game-winner. Plus the Sixers stayed close thanks to Turner, who rose to the occasion and produced his best performance of the series.

However, these three play roughly the same position, the swing-guard spot with Turner also getting time at small forward. They’re a good fit at those spots, but not a great fit. Holiday, for example, can shoot with range but Andre Iguodala handles the ball as much if not more. Williams is a scoring point guard, too. As for Turner, he really doesn’t have a home, which is both good and bad, and the reason coach Doug Collins spent an entire season yanking Turner in and out of the rotation.

Turner, Holiday and Williams are all solid enough to keep the Sixers from sliding down anytime soon, which means Philly won’t be grabbing any high lottery picks (read: franchise players) anytime soon. The best way to find a Blake Griffin is by being horrible enough to draft him; otherwise, teams must either get lucky in the middle or late rounds, or find such player through free agency, or through a trade. And that’s where the Sixers will have some decisions to make soon.

Do they send one of the three packing, or stay the course and most likely continue winning 40-45 games?

Trading Williams or Holiday or Turner, or even Thaddeus Young, is really their only option in the near future because nobody wants Iguodala or Elton Brand. The team’s two highest-paid players will weigh down the cap for another two years, sapping much of Philly’s financial flexibility, assuming the cap will be lowered this summer in collective bargaining. Sometimes players are more valuable to their team as bait, and all four would be wanted men on the market.

Until they cross that bridge, the Sixers should enjoy the playoff ride, even if it ends Wednesday in Miami, and they’ll always have Game 4. But a few uplifting moments against the Heat shouldn’t conceal the obvious. The Sixers need a star in order to take the next step, and just like roughly 20 of the 30 teams are finding out, he doesn’t come easy.

49 Comments

  1. AllenIversonForLife says:

    PHILLY SHOULD GET RID OF ELTON BRAND. HE SUCKS UP MUCH MONEY. THAT MONEY COULD BE USED TO ACQUIRE BETTER TALENTS.. ELTON BRAND DONT DESERVE THE MONEY HE’S TAKING.

  2. bballer says:

    I generally agree with the tenure of the article. They need another impact player. Perhaps it will be Turner who was the 2nd pick in the draft. He was supposed to be able to put up points. If not then they may have lost their opportunity to do so in the draft, as their record now places them in the middle of the pack. They could also use a big man. Speights looked like he had potential a couple of years ago but spent a lot of time on the bench this season. Apparently Collins does not feel he is the solution.

    Trades? They are not going to be able to trade for anybody better than they have.

  3. I MAY BE WRONG BUT I DOUBT IT says:

    Philly needs outside shooting, Philly played their hardest throughout the season and couldn’t elevate their level of play in the playoffs. They need people able to make shots 18 feet and out on a regular basis that’s why the heat came back and won game one with a zone defense

  4. SYDALE says:

    I must also add… If we could steal Monta Ellis from Golden State… it’d be nice…

    Williams, Turner, Nocioni, and our 1st Round Draft Pick this year for Monta Ellis… It’s worth a shot, right?

  5. peez says:

    All uh y’all heat haters should get a life. Y’all wont be able to move zit when Wade step into that court! #GOHEAT

  6. SYDALE says:

    I could’ve sworn that this was supposed to be about Philly… How’d it turn into a war between Heat fans and Celtic fans???

  7. Bruce says:

    Coach Doug Collins is a step slow with the development of Evan Turner. Not to be mean, but i don’t agree with the minutes he has given Turner. In my opinion, he is the most talented player on the team. For some reason, the coach doesn’t like the rookie. He’s like a stubborn old man that can’t see. Just like Michael Jordan got rid of Collins, or helped with his departure, because he was/is too stubborn. Play Turner, and you’ll get 15-22 points a night, plus 7-10 rebounds. Push his development, give him more confidence and stop yankin him every time he makes a mistake or misses a shot. He treats Evan different than all other players, especially the non-shooting Iguodala. We have no shot at winning with Meeks, however our chances quadruple with Turner on the floor.

  8. Chris says:

    Yea, but I’ve been GREEN since the early 80’s. I’ve seen FADs come and I’ve seen them go; but GREEN is still around. How could you sincerely believe that the heat can beat GREEN. First of all, your main guys have to average 30 a night AND play defense, just 2 be in the game. We have 7 to 8 that can average 10 a night easily. ” Think about it” Not to mention, PREDATOR will be back with J.O. to cloggg the middle. “That’s right, The DADDY bleeds GREEN now.”

    And, one more thing, let me ask you, did you not see KING LEONIDAS and THE 300 against new york city one and new york city two? Like I said, “we put all IMMORTALS to the test.”

    We commin’
    Celtics baby,
    Jus go GREEN

  9. pmangenesis says:

    its funny how people hate on the heat saying we cant even beat philly when the heat are the ONLY team in the east to dominate the other team.
    Bulls beat pacers- but they got physically outplayed everygame. pacers couldve easily one any of the first games.
    Cletics swept knicks- but that was a great series. i do have to give it to the celtics though, but alot of those games were tight.
    Orlando and hawks are not over yet so i cant say much as of now.
    heat and sixers- won everygame with no problem except game 4 and that little run they had in game 1 i believe it was.

    u guys cant be ignorant in trashing the heat and going for the bulls and celtics.
    sure the celtics beat the heat this year, but BEFORE the trade. the celtics are not the same team as they were. they are different and got raped by the heat when they played them with their current roster.
    and the bulls are my 2nd favorite team. but they need D.Rose TOO much, if it wasnt for him in the 4th quarter, they woulda lost all those game against the pacers.

    i understand you have favorite teams that are not the heat, but cmon, dont be ignorant.

    • HEATSUCK says:

      AHHH correction the heat didn’t dominate game 1 or 3 and then they lost game 4. The 76er’s were in all those games except game 2. so get your facts straight pmangenesis. How did they dominate in game 1 when they were only up 3 before Philly messed up. Game 3 was the same miami only led by 4 or 5 then Philly missed shots. Game 4 we all saw how dominate that was especially that dominate last shot lebum tossed up. I’m going to be real here I can care less if the heat beat Boston or Chicago but I know they can’t. All that hype is hilarious now they’re going to fall and heat fans calling everyone who’s not a heat fan a hater. We are just pointing out true facts. Miami beat Boston 1 time and beat the bulls oh they didn’t beat the Bulls. Band wagon jumpers are the worst.

  10. Heat4Life says:

    The series ends today. For all of you Heat haters, kick rocks the 2nd round will prove everything.
    You really don’t have a brain if you think the Heat suck. It’s sad, Boston fans your team is in decline, players are getting old, a few bright spots exist but not very bright. The Heat will put on quite a show, believe that we will bring some intensity for you beantown groupies. For the record I’ve been a fan since 96″ so the bandwagon I’ve never rode. Watch us give to yall soon. Enough talk see you Boston chumps in the 2nd round.

    • tata says:

      That was sweet. I guess you are still glowing from your visit with the Easter Bunny. Too bad it will be such a long wait for Santa after your favorite team loses AGAIN.

      • HEATSUCK says:

        @Heat4life the heat will put on quite a show??? Like game 4 what a show that was Lebum choking in the clutch yes that’s a show. Boston will win that series if the heat happen to meet the bulls then it will be the same Miami can’t beat good teams in a series. Heat4life you might not be a band wagon jumper but miami have enough of them. Good luck to Miami in game 5 if they can even close out the series. Heat suck for sure and Lebum will never get a ring

  11. moneyball says:

    That would be a waste to get billups cause it would make holiday or Williams a bench warmer. They should put them both on the court at the same time. put Williams at the 2. You sixer fans have to face the fact that Evan Turner is a draft bust. He’s no darko milic though. Young is also cold and he is better than elton brand.

  12. THE SAD TRUTH says:

    You are so stupid!They lost becouse of money!

  13. Lee says:

    they should try to get players vie trade like what ny did to land melo or sign a solid pg to provide stability in the back court and also to help the development of holiday, maybe billups if ny won’t sign him

  14. Lee D says:

    okay to sum up…

    holiday is no wade
    lou williams (who is ONLY a shooter who can create his shot) is no bibby
    igoudala is no lebron
    Thad cannot rebound
    Brand is slow

    what is the surprise? This team is .500 in the regular season — I think we all know that does not spell great.

    Even with iguodala’s fear of driving to the basket on better players (drives me crazy)…. that’s not the problem.

    The problem is the center… both the starter and back ups are well below average in the NBA. And that’s saying something. If you get a consistent rebounder (Speights) and a guy with some low post moves (Hawes) that doesnt have to constantly shoot over player 3 inches taller than himself (Brand)… then maybe the sixers have a chance to beat someone in the playoffs.

    But they dont have a true big and until they get that superstar (which they wont) or that big man (which they’ll have to pay) they are doomed to be an early dismissal every year. Outside of Jordan… who had talented rebounding and defenders… everyone needs a legit all-star in the frontcourt to win. The guys on the sixers shouldnt even be on the ballot.

    But I will tell you that you could be totally wrong about Jrue… he’s like a throwback to that Horncek/ Stockton style backcourt…. he can distribute; penetrate; score on bigger defenders and he’s a better defender than both of those guys… who many would argue at least one of them was great… if not both. So watch out for that 20 y.o. he is truly special. I still think he was the steal of the draft 2 years ago.

  15. Big Joke says:

    I think the Miami heat are a good team.
    They just need a fourth consitent scorer in the post.
    If they manage to stay in front of Ray’s face and at least slow down PP, they will win the series.

    • HEATSUCK says:

      Big Joke is that Miami will win, that’s a big joke. The only way Miami can win is if Boston don’t make it to the games. Slow down PP and stay in front of Ray’s face? Good luck with that Ray always comes off screens. They need to slow down #9. I’ll tell the truth the last game Boston played Miami the heat bench really stepped up and played well while Boston played like crap just like they had been playing prior to that game. Miami fans don’t get all excited because they beat a struggling Boston team. Boston 4-1 4-2 is the most Boston in 5

      • Usuck says:

        A Celtic fan who is real concern ha??lol Don’t worry you may get a single win in this series and it’ll make you happy.. There still next season for your old men.. Boston fan don’t make any excuses in this series lol. BOSTONSUCKS

      • Big Joke says:

        I say they need to stay in front of Ray’s face and try to slow down PP.
        That’s they key factor to winning this series.
        If you really think about it , PP is their main scorer and Ray’s job is to put the game out of a team’s reach with those 3 pointers once the lead is about seven six and up.
        That’s when teams get in trouble, by letting the celtics to accumulate a six point lead and next thing you know you’re down nine to twelve point.
        Rondo is important but if you turn him into a jump shooter with a hand on his face that might just enough to spoil his game for the day.
        So I repeat , PP and RA must and continuously be under control otherwise this could look ugly.
        Kevin Garnet and Big B. are inconsistent players and you’d better believe that.
        Here you have it Miami heat fans.

  16. Chris Morgan says:

    There is no-way philly can beat miami. First of all, they can’t shoot. Second of all, they look scared and unorganized just like the pacers and the hornets. Listen most of these GARBAGE teams play off emotion and as soon as reality sets in, they start to fold. Join the ranks philly, you’re next. But don’t worry, help is on the way. Someone is coming to put all IMMORTALS to the test. You’ll know them by their color, its, its, its GREEEENNNN. (RUN FOR YOUR LIVES)

    GREEN, what a color. GREEN put all immortals to the test.

    I can’t wait!

    Celtics baby,
    Jus go GREEN

  17. RC says:

    I think they really need a legitimate go – to – guy now. Lou can be a clutch player, but not always. Iggy should be their go – to -guy, but he’s their defensive man, and he’s energy is to guard other teams’ offensive threat. Holiday and Young are complimentary players, but they can be legitimate players for the franchise.Turner has his ups and downs this season. Brand should be their post player, but he hasn’t delivered yet like his career year with the Clipps. I think Speights and Hawes should be improved more. They are good guys but with raw skills. So, for me, the pieces are enough. Improvement and more chemistry within the team will put this team as legit contenders in the East.

  18. Heatseeker says:

    .. the heat haters should shut up and watch how the dynasty unfolds .. this is the new making of the era of the heat and there mission is not only beat the boston but have multiple championship ….

    • HEATSUCK says:

      @heatseeker your just as dumb as the rest of the band wagon jumpers. Heat are done 2nd round this year and multiple titles is a stretch as well. NY & Bulls are going to be better than these losers in the years to come.

    • tata says:

      I can’t wait for the excuses after the “3 Men and a Bibby” get knocked out.

  19. The Heater says:

    Im so sick of hearing all this garbage from bosten you guys won the NY series great for you. You swept a team with 2 of its best players hurt would you like a cookie. Your team is as old as dirt you better hope shaq comes and bails you out or your in for a reality check. I have alot of respect for KG and RA and PP but sry you guys are getting old and slow and im sry your GM got rid of Perkins he just screwed your season. Have fun watching your team limp to their graves. GO HEAT dont hate bosten fans.

    • tata says:

      The Celtics didn’t hurt the Knicks players. The bottom line is they swept the team they played. Nobody else in the playoffs did that. So being an old veteran team they knew they could use the extra rest and limit chances for more injuries.

  20. 787 says:

    they need a center, lol. Unless hawes can get better, they need a center. e turner would help.

  21. b will says:

    You would have to be a dummy to think the Heat will get upset by the sixers. Boston can beat them, but it depends on which Boston team shows up. The winner of Boston/Heat series, wins the NBA Title

    • jj says:

      and that’ll be Heat. Oh baby

      • Heat Suck says:

        @jj your delusional the Heat can barely beat Philly

      • HEATSUCK says:

        Heat can barely beat Philly get real IDIOT @b will dumb azz the longer the series go the better chance Philly has.. Miami can’t close games they suck!!!!

      • NBAHeatWade says:

        they lost one game, how is that barely beating the sixers? the sixers has made surges in all the other games true but miami has swatted away their attempts by the 4th quarter. they play great D and have three dynamic scorers. they are definitely a good team are on of the top 5 teams in the NBA. I’m not saying they are going to win in all this year because they still have plenty of room to grow. Also people keep whining about bandwagon Heat fans, but i am actually seeing more bandwagon heat haters nowadays..

      • Apple6114 says:

        What do u mean they barely beat the 76ers I mean really I’m a Boston fan all day but I like Heat. And Heat crushed 76ers why ya’ll ain’t saying nothing about chicago Pacers won 1 game to. they didn’t sweep I’m tired of people talk cramp about Heat. They are a good time naw they are a great team and most teams can’t beat them 76ers had a coupld of lucky yes lucky shots at the end of that game now all of a sudden MIA ain’t sweet no more.

  22. bean town says:

    yeah the heat are thinking about boston instead of putting this series away oops. dont worry about thinking about chicago heat fans your not making it that far boston is going to pull out the broom again bye bye.

    • HEATSUCK says:

      I have to agree @ Bean Town…. Philly really don’t need a superstar just a couple of good scorers that can step in and play good minutes when the starters are resting. If they got someone like CP3 or Dwight they could be very dangerous

  23. Nick says:

    Evan Turner will become the premier scorer that the Sixers lack. With Holiday and Thad Young coming into their primes also…once they get a legit big man, it’s over.

  24. erick002 says:

    he have a good point,but all they need is a good scoring center like brook lopez who is also a defensive center

  25. seewhatyouwanttosee says:

    you’re right bigboy11. He said it himself, (lou williams), he would have to live with the regret of missing…they were playing loose and Miami was tense, and for a group of veterans they need to calm things down and execute. i am happy they lost they needed an extra game to come out with the right mindset if they ever want to beat the celts. I don’t believe they were ready and i don’t think it is healthy for you to sweep any team it doesn’t present any challenge and you will find your backs against the wall if ever a problem like this evolves in later rounds…Put in the work Miami only 13 more wins and fewer mistakes left to be made (11 losses is all you can afford) if, at all, you want to shut up the critics. Notice Michael Jordan was the greatest but almost all of the playoffs went more than 4 games. He never swept you sometimes need those games to build on and bron i know this isnt what you asked for but winning cures all you have to make everyone commit including your self and wade you have to lead by example fun and games aside play ball btw nice going Mr. Bosh.

  26. HEATSUCK says:

    The Heat should be thinking about game 5 and trying to close a series before they get upset. How were they thinking about Boston if they played before Boston the weak heat lost before Boston started. Heat fans have so many excuses. Philly mite make this a series by taking game 5 forcing a 6th game. HEATSUCK and they’re season is over in the 2nd round. I said it all year they will get knocked out in the 2nd round. Watch it’s going to happen

    • doctor 'k' says:

      YOUSUCK you lame hater get a life.Wade & James will make sure they win it all they are to good to lose to anybody in a 7 game series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • HEATSUCK says:

        I beg to differ they’re to good?? Give me a break 2 people can’t beat whole teams idiot. Yet another band wagon heat fan. Answer this question will they close the series tonight? For your sake Philly don’t stay close cause if they do I say Miami can’t pull it off especially if they give Lebum the choker the ball. Boston will kill them and I’m not a Boston fan it’s just that 2 or 3 people can’t beat a complete team. Boston & Chicago are good teams they don’t have just a few people that can hurt you they have a TEAM. The Heat SUCK!!!!!

  27. bigboy11 says:

    THEY HAD NOTHING TO LOSE HE HAD TO TRY THAT SHOT D WADE WAS ALL OVER HIM AND HE STILL MADE OF IT IF HE HAD TO DO THAT SHOT 5 MORE TIMES DOUBT IF HE COULD HIT IT SOME OF IT WAS LUCK THOSE GUYS WERE PLAYING FOR THEIR SEASON WHILE THE HEAT WAS THINKING ABOUT BOSTON

    • tata says:

      True, the Heat are unfocused and egotistical. I guess they will be looking ahead to the conference finals (or Ernie Johnson’s fishing trip) when Boston is sweeping them.

  28. Lucas says:

    I don’t think they’ll NEED a star to get on a championship run. They need some players with more experience and they’ll need to grow as a players, like they did from last year. Just remember: Their roster just got 2 different players from last season, and 1 is a rookie, and last year Low Willams, Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks and Thad Young even together get 30 points per game, now they got almost 50, Don’t underrated them like you did with other excelent players.