Now at the midpoint of their season, the Philadelphia 76ers have shown fans that they are still able to win games offensively, but the lack of a solid defense has kept them from being a consistent winner.
Under the leadership of former NBA and Philadelphia point-guard, Maurice Cheeks, the Sixers now have an 18-19 record midway through the season.
However, although the team can rack up points offensively next to any other team in the league, the team’s defense, if improved, would guarantee more wins for Philadelphia.
Allen Iverson, the star of the team, has improved greatly as both a player and a person.
His shooting percentage is at a career best of forty-five percent, while his turnovers have also gone down, with help of new teammate Chris Webber.
AI has also received the most votes for the 2006 All-Star game among the Eastern Conference, while also being named the Eastern Conference Player of the week for games played Dec. 5th through Dec. 11th.
All in all, Iverson’s outstanding performance is now the news, rather than his personal life and trouble with teammates.
Chris Webber has also played an essential role for the Sixers this season.
Besides giving Philadelphia their first solid double-double player (rebounding and points) in years, Webber’s approach of looking to pass the ball as much as shoot it, has brought a sense of unselfishness to the offense.
Samuel Dalembert has also had a good season thus far, but his lack of playing time in college still seems to overshadow his efforts, mainly in his timing defensively and his positioning on defense and rebounding.
Andre Iguodala has also had a fair season, and his defense is an obvious contribution to the team, although his aggressiveness on offense could be improved if he received the ball more.
Unfortunately, teams in the NBA cannot win games consistently unless they rebound and defend.
At one time, the Sixers were 13-0 when they out-rebounded a team.
If they made some defensive stops towards the end of a game, there’s a very good chance that opposing teams would not have a last-minute chance for a comeback of points.
With no concrete changes being made, the 76ers will probably make it no further than a sixth or seventh seed in the playoffs. This would most likely place them up against Detroit, Miami, or Indiana; three difficult teams to beat, especially without home-court advantage.
Despite their defensive woes, there is hope that the Philadelphia 76ers will eventually unite as a team under the leadership of new coach Maurice Cheeks.