Last year's record? 27-55, missed playoffs
Projected record, as predicted three months ago in time to publish in Yahoo! Sports' NBA Preview Magazine? 37-45
Why I think that sounds about right?
Doug Collins. The man will wear on you, but before he wears on you, he'll win with you.
This team has burgeoning talent. As mismatched as it is, you can't get away from all the parts this squad has. And though Collins' slow-down style (and trust me, if history is any indication, the Sixers will be one of the slowest teams in the NBA despite their athletic talent) doesn't seem to match the hand he's been dealt, he is a good enough tactician to win in spite of himself.
Let's not think of this upstart roster as chopped liver, either. Jrue Holiday(notes) shows incredible promise. Lou Williams has settled down into a very good hybrid guard, the team's forwards at best fill the holes in one head with the bumps in another, and Andre Iguodala(notes) is just the sort of ball-dominating point forward sort that Collins seems to thrive with.
Why I think I could be terribly, terribly wrong?
As mentioned above, the roster doesn't really seem to be full of parts that complement each other, and Doug Collins is a bit of a worry.
Doug is hardly amenable to change, nor to acclimating to the roster he has in place. Because it's early and it remains to be seen whether or not this sort of roster is suited for someone like Collins, we're going glass half-full. But if it isn't? It won't matter to the new Sixers coach, he'll press on, and games won't be won.
Especially if his personnel choices reek. As soon as it was announced that the Kings had dumped Nocioni's salary on the 76ers, anyone familiar with both Noc and Collins let out a troubled "uh oh." Not that Andres isn't a good player sometimes, but he's the sort of guy that will make you forget the five bad things he did that led up to the one fantastic move he pulled off. Collins has that sort of memory with certain players, and it's rarely conducive to winning.
And with someone like Anthony Bowie? The memory never goes away.
Dan Devine's Corner Three
Mark Eaton rhymes ...
Made-up limericks about "going for it" in the NBA and in life, from the 7-foot-4 former Utah Jazz center and current celebrity motivational speaker.
Injuries have waylaid Brand's career,
Yet like '90s shirts, he shows No Fear.
Though his numbers are down,
He still eyes a rebound.
He just can't get up to grab the sphere.
Let's take a closer look at Spencer Hawes
This has been a closer look at Spencer Hawes.
We'll be missing you
That's Samuel Dalembert, speaking at a press conference during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's 2010 induction weekend, back in August. (BDL was there; surely, you remember.) The Sixers traded Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings this summer for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni.
There's logic to a move that saves the franchise about $3.6 million in salary this season and gives it a two-year look at a younger, more offensively gifted potential solution at the five. On the court, though, Sixers fans are likely to miss Dalembert's rebounding (he grabbed 21.8 percent of available rebounds last season, third-best in the league behind Marcus Camby(notes) and Dwight Howard(notes)) and shot-blocking (he averaged 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes in 2009-10, compared to 1.6 for Hawes).
But they might miss him more off the court, because dude's a special, difficult-to-replace-or-replicate kind of good. Back to the picture: Dalembert was at this year's enshrinement festivities as one of three recipients of the Mannie Jackson Basketball's Human Spirit Award, which is "presented annually to individuals who have honored the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments," according to a HoF statement. The Seton Hall product earned recognition for his efforts as a UNICEF national ambassador for his native Haiti, donating more than $125,000 to assist relief efforts after a catastrophic earthquake rocked the country in January.