COMMENTARY | Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.
Asked if the Philadelphia 76ers will or will not make the playoffs this season sure is one hilarious joke.
So, Sixers fans, stop now. Laugh. Laugh louder. Think good thoughts then proceed.
After the 2013-2014 season is over, your basketball team will have plenty of ping pong balls in the spinner on lottery night and a legit shot at the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Think Andrew Wiggins. Think Jabari Parker. Think Julius Randle.
For now, here are 10 reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers will not make the postseason this year:
New coach, staff
New head coach Brett Brown, a former San Antonio Spurs assistant, could smell the stench in Texas of how bad the Sixers stunk before he was hired last month. Brown will need time, plenty of it, to implement his system and reverse the losing culture in Philadelphia.
Training camp hasn't even started, and two Sixers won't play in the opener. Oft-injured veteran Jason Richardson is recovering from knee surgery and may not play this year. Also, fans won't be seeing top rookie Nerlens Noel, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last year at Kentucky, anytime soon.
No inside presence
How bad are things inside for the Sixers this season? Kwame Brown is still on the roster. Thaddeus Young, who led the team in rebounding (7.5) in 2012-13, is their only hope down low. Look, however, for Young to be dealt this year because of his potential value to other squads.
No outside threat
With no inside presence, you would expect a team to have some shooters, right? Nope. The Sixers miss here, too. Both Evan Turner and rookie Michael Carter-Williams will have to drastically improve their shooting touch for defenders to have any kind of fear of them.
No defensive stopper/s
Since Philadelphia will have big problems scoring, expect some 60 and 70-point nights, which will place a heavy burden on its defense to keep them in games. Good luck there. Power forward Arsalan Kazemi and center Tim Ohlbrecht aren't former Sixer Dikembe Mutombo.
You need at least a Big 3 to compete for a championship. You need at least a Big 1 to get to the playoffs. The Sixers? They have a Big None. Evan Turner has shown flashes of why he was selected No. 2 overall in 2010. Hopefully, he'll shine this season, but don't hold your breath.
Pencil in the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks already, which leaves just two playoff slots left in the East Conference. Are the 76ers better the Toronto Raptors? No. Detroit Pistons? No. Milwaukee Bucks? No. …
While Philadelphia might potentially have one of the worst starting lineups in the league, it might potentially also have one of the worst benches. Undrafted free agent Khalif Wyatt could be a bright spot, though. A big-time scorer at Temple University, Wyatt averaged 20.5 points as a senior.
The Sixers organization meant business when it tore things down and decided to rebuild after last season. Check these numbers from the roster: three guys with no years, four guys with one year, two guys with two years, and two guys with three years of NBA experience.
Everybody on the planet wants Wiggins, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Philadelphia, fortunately, will have a legit chance to get him if things fall in place. Despite what ownership and the league say, the Sixers will do their best tanking job to not let him, Parker or Randle slip away.
Dwayne C. Nelson lives in Philadelphia and has been a Sixers follower since the days of Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones. Follow him on twitter at dcntweets.
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- Andrew Wiggins