The absence of Joe Smith will hurt the Sixers more than anyone thinks. Sure he didn't put up Allstar caliber numbers, but his presence will be sorely missed. For one, especially in the second half of last year, Smith was THE leader/vet in the lockeroom that reached most of the young guys. Not only that, Joe Smith literally won us about 5 or 6 games last year in the remaining seconds of each contest. Take out Joe Smith last year and we would have had a top 6 lottery pick guranteed.
Second, 0ur young players will not have a guy like Joe Smith to depend on this year, which will lead to much more inconsistencies and struggles compared to last year.
With Smith out of the way, guys like Jason Smith, Shavlick Randolph and maybe Amundsen are gonna have to step up considerably. Bottomline, I see the same weaknesses on this years team that harmed the season prior - rebounding. Our perimeter defense may be a bit improved, but that won't stop opposing teams from getting consistent offensive rebounds, which killed our season last year. Offensively it'll be the same story. Sure the chemistry may be a bit improved, but the Sixers were a poor offensive team last year. There are lots of question marks surrounding Rodney Carney, like his dribbling, passing and rebounding, who must step up if the Sixers want to make the playoffs. Unfortunitely our most natural born scorer, Lou Will, is only 20 years old and will get extremely limited minutes this year (10 per).
I see this team as worse as last year. Inabilities to rebound and stop teams from rebounding on the offensive end will haunt this squad the entire season. Gone are proven vets that provide leadership and limit rookie mistakes. Our rookies will show flashes, but expect the 07 Sixers to lead the league in turnovers.
Due to this team being so young, (no pun intended), there is hope. This is the year the Sixers, as we all hoped last year, will have their rebuilding season. Because of their limitations, the Sixers will have the ability to get a quality player in the high lottery next season. I fully expect a top 5 draft pick for the team next year. I anticipate no more than 25-28 wins for them as I see a ton of growing pains in the upcoming season.