Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Which team most impresses you in the East right now: Indiana or Philadelphia?
Steve Aschburner: Philadelphia. I like the aggressiveness that the 76ers are showing in coach Doug Collins’ second season. Ditto for their defense, at or near the top in points allowed and field-goal percentages. They’re not superstar driven – it’s hard to classify Elton Brand as one anymore – and get it done with a whole-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts approach. And the bench guys – Evan Turner, Louis Williams, Thad Young – have been slapping other teams in the face.
Fran Blinebury: C’mon, don’t tell me you expected a Sixers team that opened the season with a five-game road trip to be sniffing the same rarified air as the Heat and Bulls even two weeks into the schedule. Doug Collins has built on last season’s foundation and has Philly playing hard and with a sense of togetherness. As John Schuhmann noted in the Hang Time blog, it’s the Sixers’ bench led by Thaddeus Young that has bumped them up to the next level. With rookie Nic Vucevic capably backing up an improved Spencer Hawes, they also have legitimate size and presence in the middle. The Sixers are a fun team worth watching. If only the fans of Philly would notice.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Although I have been on the Pacers bandwagon since the start of camp, loving the postseason moves and the way the roster has filled out, Philadelphia has been more impressive so far. The 76ers have looked good on offense and defense, and have better depth. Plus, Philly just won when the teams met. (more…)