Here is an early breakdown of what each Sixer must improve on their game in order for the Sixers to be successful this season.
Louis Amundson: Must show CONSISTENCY. Amundson has showed he has the heart, size, hustle and skill set to be a very good role player in the NBA. What he lacks is consistency. He's shown he can be that hustle player off the bench that can block shots, shoot a high percentage, rebound the ball and get the crowd involved. Just one problem, he has never played more than 10 games in one regular season. I firmly believe he's a lock to make this roster and he'll be counted on to be a key figure coming off the bench. If he can bring that all around game he's shown in the Summer Leagues he'll be that impact player off the bench we've lacked for a long time.
Derrick Byars: Must show ROLE. There's no doubt the kid can play, as evident by being the SEC player of the year and projected by many a first round pick in one of the deepest drafts of all time. Although he was hampered by an injury during the majority of the Summer League, we all know he has skills to make this youthful roster. The only problem is what are those skills? We know he has range to hit the three, play defense, good athleticism, make that extra pass and has all the intangibles in the world that makes him an excellent leader in the club house. But what separates him from the rest? Byars must show what role he can excel in in order to make the roster.
Rodney Carney: Must show PASSING. Carney has a sweet sweet stroke with range, world class athleticism and an excellent ability to finish around the hoop. The only problem is that's all he's got going for him. We all know he can score the ball and his the available three from downtown, but unfortunitely what we do know is that he brings nothing on the court other than scoring. Averaging a horrible 0.4 assists per game, those numbers must improve if Carney wants to be a part of this spread offense., especially as a starter.
Samuel Dalembert: Must show EXPERIENCE. Everyone knows Samuel Dalembert is one of the top athletic centers in the game of basketball, but unfortunitely everyone knows Sammy D is one of the dumbest centers as well. The man simply cannot grasp the game of basketball, evident by inconsistent play, rotating off the wrong man on defense and making ridiculous fouls keeping him out of the game. Sammy finally showed his potential last season averaged over 10 and 8 and starting in all 82 regular season games. In order for the Sixers to be successful next year, he must improve in those stats. I'm looking for Dalembert to go from young, center pro to proven vet this season. 12 and 9 and 2 blocks a game should be about right with Miller and Iggy all improving this year.
Willie Green: Must show ALL AROUND GAME: Willie Green is a great scorer. Duh. He's just not anything else, similar to Carney. In my opinion he's the key guy to get traded or cut from the team prior to the start of the regular season due to this. Green shows nothing in terms of passing the ball and rebounding for him to be a starter in this league. Guys like Willie Green are a dime a dozen.
Herbert Hill: Must show REBOUNDING: It's as simple as that. On a team that features zero physical players that can rebound the ball both on the offensive and defensive side, the second round pick Herbert Hill finds himself in a surprisingly excellent spot to make this roster. To boot, he's even showed he has excellent hands to finish in the paint. I believe Herbert Hill is a lock to make the final roster on a team that lacks exactly what he can bring: a guy that can make the big rebound and finish around the hoop. How badly did we get beaten rebounding in the offensive and defensive paint last year?
Steven Hunter: Must show WORTH. Steven Hunter filled in admirably as the Sixers starting power forward late last year. He played good defense, could rebound the ball somewhat on the defensive end and could finish a bit on offense. Too bad he's a center fooling himself as a power forward in the NBA. All he brought last year was a good shot blocking power forward. Although it was an improvement over a miserable performance by Chris Webber last year, his skill set only shouts shot blocking. Even though he did pretty well starting, he's still considered a bench player at best and not a starter in this league. Can Hunter improve in his starting role as a power forward on this team or is he the same old 2nd round draft pick trade bait that's plagued his career?
Andre Iguodala: Must show DEPENDABILITY: We all know Iggy is on the verge of becoming an Allstar. He's a premiere defender, passer, rebounder and leader for such a young player like himself. What he lacks is that dependability factor, but only for the reason that he's not played at the level he performed after the AI trade. After AI was traded, he averaged over 20 and 6 and 6 for the rest of the season. Can he do it again? With a bad back? Iggy will be counted on not only to improve on last years numbers but become the superstar we all think he can be. This is the year he makes himself a house hold name.
Bobby Jones: Must show UNIQUE ABILITY. Bobby Jones was drafted on his defensive skills alone coming out of Washington. On a team that is built with depth in SGs and SFs, Bobby Jones finds himself in a struggle to compete. Jones must show he has obtained a reliable jump shot and can do all the little things that makes guys like him successful in this league. Think of Bruce Bowen. Jones must make one ability unique, whether that's shooting, passing or rebounding that separates him from the rest of the SFs on this roster. Will he get playing time? That's the key factor keeping him from making this roster.
Kyle Korver: Must show DEFENSIVE RELIABILITY: Kyle Korver showed great improvement in his ability to extend his offensive game, including a reliable turn around jump shot. Korver has a great stroke, duh. What he must prove this year is that he can step it up on the defensive end. What sucks about this is that this is probably as good as it gets for Kyle Korver. Physically speaking Korver just cannot play on the same court with upper tier athletic players. Can Korver improve his offensive game enough to prove that he belongs on the court?
Andre Miller: Must show VETEREN LEADERSHIP: With Miller and Hendersen being the only vets on this squad, Andre Miller must continue to show why he's the best point guard the Sixers have seen in a long long time. Miller will be counted on to lead a roster full of youngsters. His offensive game could show some improvement but lets face it, the guy is clutch. Not much else to say. If only Andre Miller was 3 or 4 years younger......
Shavlick Randolph: Must show OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING: Lets face it, the only reason Shav was on this team was due the lack of depth in the paint and his ability to get offensive boards. After a season of disappearance, Shav must show that he can do exactly what he showed two years ago that made him a fan favorite. Shav is battling Jason Smith and Louis Amundson for second on the depth chart at starting power forward and it will be this ability that puts him over the top.
Jason Smith: Must show KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME: Jason Smith has proved he has the ability to rebound, block shots, hit the open shot, dribble a bit and run the court. What he hasn't shown is that he has the intangibles to start in this league. Jason Smith needs to gain that moxy that'll make him the starting power forward on this team, which is yet to be seen. He's shown flashes as a power forward that can spread the floor off the dribble and shown that he has a reliable mid range game, but I do not believe that is his strength. After watching the Summer League games, he has extreme hops and is a much better defensive rebounder than I thought. If Jason Smith can show those hops on a consistent basis and reliable hands in the paint, he should be starting in no time. I'm very impressed by his ability to finish and his soft touch around the hoop.
Louis Williams: Must show CONTROL: We all know Louis Williams has the ability to average over 13 points per game as starter in this league, what we don't know is his ability to lead a team as the starting point guard. If only Lou Will was a few inches taller. Since he's so short, he must be a point guard. Louis Williams has extreme natural scoring ability, he just needs to prove that he's not as turnover prone as his age denounces.
Thaddeus Young: Must show BALL CONTROL: I really think this kid has it all. Shooting, rebounding, hustle, intangibles, leadership, passing, reputation.... What Thaddeus Young lacks is his right hand lol. The lefty simply cannot dribble with his right hand. Thaddeus Young has the smarts that will make him a star in this league, but will they translate this season? I'm not so sure about that. I believe Thaddeus Young will show incredible flashes this season, but those exact weaknesses will display themselves often.
Current Starting Lineup in October (very subject to change)
Andre Miller/Louis Williams
Rodney Carney/ Willie Green/ Derrick Byars
Andre Iguodala/ Kyle Korver
Steven Hunter/ Louis Amundson/ Shav
Samuel Dalembert/ Jason Smith/ Herbert Hill