With the start of the 2013-14 NBA season rapidly approaching, we thought it only fair to share what makes each team so exciting. Ontologically speaking, all 30 teams deserve our eyeballs this season. Even disastrous lineups still present oodles of plays, personalities, highlights and headaches. Here are five things to keep in mind for each team before flipping the channel.
Next up, the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers
[5 Reasons To Watch: Kings, Lakers, Knicks, 76ers, Bobcats, Cavs, Magic, Warriors, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Clippers, Clippers, Rockets, Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Nets, Pacers, Wizards, Thunder, Heat, Mavericks, Celtics, Raptors Hawks, Spurs, Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, Suns, Jazz]
The Philadelphia 76ers are entering the 2013-2014 season with something they have not had in a while: a clear direction. The Sixers have stripped the roster of All-Star PG Jrue Holiday and much maligned and injured center Andrew Bynum. In come two lottery picks: Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, a roster filled with stop-gaps for the 2013-2014 season and dreams of Andrew Wiggins. This season might not result in the most wins, but Philadelphia has a roster full of young, hungry, and energized talent that can result in some fun times in the City of Brotherly Love.
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The Affect of Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown
Sam Hinkie is best known as being the No. 2 guy in Houston next to GM Daryl Morey who has constructed a Houston Rockets team that includes superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard. Actually, Hinkie might be best known in Philadelphia for stopping everyone’s heart when he traded much loved All-Star PG Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans (still weird) for Nerlens Noel and a lottery-pick in the 2014 NBA draft. It was clear on that night that Hinkie had a direction for the team that includes not many sunny days for the next few seasons, but with a light at the end of the tunnel. Hinkie is considered an analytical genius by many, and fans in Philadelphia should feel safe about the future with Hinkie in power.
Next, we have the man on the bench, Brett Brown. The Sixers went over 100 days without a coach after Doug Collins resigned. False rumors ensued that possibly Kwame Brown could wind up coaching the team, or a coach would not be hired to ensure this team wins as few games as possible. There was even a report on draft night that Brett Brown was hired as coach, but those reports were shot down. A few months later, Brett Brown was hired to become the coach of the Sixers. Brown comes from the Gregg Popovich brain trust in San Antonio, something fans in Philadelphia should be thrilled about. Brown is a mastermind in the player development area, something that Philadelphia’s roster will need a lot of in order to be successful in the future. Even if this season doesn’t produce many wins, the cornerstones of the future in Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams should take huge leaps forward under the tutelage of Brett Brown. Brett Brown won’t try signing Kwame Brown to a four-year extension (COUGH, Doug Collins) when this year is over, and all the young talent should grown extensively with Brown on the bench.
The Royce White Experience
Royce White may be one of the most talked about players in the NBA, even though he’s never played a minute in a regular season NBA game. White is a talented player, which is why the Rockets took him with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, White suffers from severe anxiety that includes fear of flying, a necessity in the NBA grind. This led to White not playing a single regular season game in 2012 and eventually being traded to the Sixers in July for virtually nothing. White missed the Sixers trip to Spain and England a few weeks ago to play preseason games, even though White said he would fly with the team. However, White made his Philadelphia 76ers preseason debut on Friday against the Boston Celtics and recorded five points, three rebounds, and five personal fouls in less than 10 minutes on the floor. Not anything to be excited about, but it’s a start.
The 76ers acquired a first round talent for virtually nothing. If White produces anything, it will be a good thing for the team. If he doesn’t, then no harm was done. Nonetheless, White will be an entertaining story to follow this year for sure. White has the opportunity to make an impact on this team if he can play. All eyes should be kept on Royce White in Philadelphia, because he can be talented if he actually gets on the court.
The Future of Nerlens Noel
Fans might have been headed to the Wells Fargo Center to burn it down when Jrue Holiday was traded, but I bet a lot of them turned around when it was announced that they received Nerlens Noel in exchange. Noel was considered by many to be worthy of the No. 1 pick. Although he slid down to No. 6 because of his torn ACL, the Sixers received a player worthy of the No. 1 overall selection. During his one season at the University of Kentucky with coach John Calipari, Noel averaged 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and an impressive 4.4 BPG. Noel’s offensive game isn’t very polished just yet, but he has the ability to completely impact the outcome of a game with his outstanding ability on defense. His 7-4 wingspan makes it impossible for almost any player in the NBA to get a shot over him. Rest assured for anyone that attempts to shoot over Noel, Philadelphia will be enjoying many block parties in the future.
Nerlens Noel might not appear on-court for the Sixers until Christmas time, but it will be a present worth waiting for in Philadelphia. Noel is the type of player that Philadelphia will embrace, and that goes past his buying of a “Sidney Crosby sucks” t-shirt. Filled with explosive energy, Noel will hustle every play and block shots as his stylish flat-top winds through the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center. Nerlens Noels is primed to be the centerpiece of the Sixers future domination of the league, and he’ll be entrenched as a rim protector for years to come.
Thaddeus Young Hustle Plays
If there was an award for most underrated and best hustle player in the NBA, Thaddeus Young would win it every year. While I spent some time with Thaddeus Young at his basketball camp this summer, I witnessed him move an entire backboard off a dunk; the man is powerful. He’s adored in Philadelphia for his hustle. Thad Young will chase down a player for a block, he will dive into the stands for a ball, he will play without his shoe; basically, he’ll do whatever it takes to help his team win. Young’s spirited play over his 6-year career has led him to average about 5 win shares per year, which is impressive. Even though Young is a player that rarely has a play ran for him, that tenacity still has earned him 15.9 PPG over his career. He’s always the player diving into the stands for a loose ball or making the crowd go insane after he chases down a block. Philadelphia might not have many bright spots this season, but Thaddeus Young and his stridency on the hardwood will definitely create some highlight reel plays, and he’ll set a good example for the youngsters on the roster with his hard work.
The Entertaining World of Evan Turner
Turner receives a lot of criticism in Philadelphia because of his No. 2 overall selection in the 2010 Draft and his inability to live up to the high expectations Philadelphia set for him. While things might get dark in Philadelphia this season, Evan Turner will be there to brighten things up a little bit. Whether it’s cursing on a livestream during media day, shoving Kevin Durant, or poking fun at Kevin Garnett, Turner has done it all. I mean, Turner even entertained an ask.fm account this offseason that still makes me giggle. Can’t you just imagine Evan Turner laying on his bed after a tough loss and answering the most random questions from the most random people ever? Seriously, scroll through it and you’ll have a night full of laughs.
While it’s never anything too menacing, Turner always seems to be the guy that gets involved in the most random occurrences. Seriously, Kevin Durant appears to be one of the nicest people that God ever put on this earth, so how in the world does one get in a shoving match with him? The mind of Evan Turner shall never be understood, but it’s entertaining to watch. From shoving matches with NBA stars to arguing with refs over a call while his team is playing a man down on defense, Evan Turner will create some guaranteed awful fun for Philadelphia this year. All three of these clips are gold and describe what Philadelphia fans go through with Evan Turner on the roster:
What do you think?
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