NBA Scout: The Sixers Are Worse Than They Were Last Year

image from mobilwi.typepad.comPhoto: Sixers

Thanks to reader Adam, who once pooped out a Phillies logo that he claimed was solely the work of nature and not, say, a shish-kabob stick, for passing this along: One NBA scout wrote a Sixers preview for Sports Illustrated and, surprise!, he doesn’t think much of your Philadelphia 76ers. And this is all assuming Bynum is healthy!

Let’s delve: 

I think they're worse than they were last year. At the same time, I understand why they traded Andre Iguodala's contract to get Andrew Bynum [who has missed the entire preseason with knee pain]. They'd gone as far as they could playing to the style they played last year.

Now that they've rebuilt the team around Bynum at center, they're going to need to have the floor spread out with guys who have to be guarded so that you won't be able to double on Bynum. The Magic got to the NBA Finals [in 2009] behind a young low-post center in Dwight Howard, but they did it with three great shooters around him. To do it in today's NBA, you have to have three guys on the perimeter to keep help defenders away from the post and put pressure on the defense. Here's what the 76ers have: Dorell Wright can shoot threes, Nick Young can, Jason Richardson can and Jrue Holiday sometimes can. But they're missing a stretch 4 or another guy who can stop you from doubling Bynum and turning him into a passer.


Basically, the Bynum trade was a good one (agreed). But that doesn’t mean the Sixers got any better. There’s not enough legitimate talent around Bynum, especially at the power forward position, to prevent teams from double teaming Afroman.

There was more.

Bynum's health and maturity would be my two big concerns if I were building my franchise around him. You're teased by the fact that he's 24 and has played on great teams, but he has never been the focal point. He's definitely one of the best young centers, but his maturity level at times makes you wonder if you'd want to make that move to depend on him. He has great size, he scores around the basket, he has a decent shot from 15 feet and he will rebound. He can affect the game defensively, but I think you can get him in foul trouble and attack him.

He wants to be the focal point and that's what the 76ers want him to be. But I don't think he's ready for it mentally. He's going to realize that those guys in L.A. made his life a lot easier because he was the third guy on the Lakers you had to worry about. The defenses he faces will be a lot tougher. You have more defensive-minded coaches and teams in the East. Bynum has never faced as many double teams as he'll see this season, and right now he's nothing more than an adequate passer out of the post. When he caught the ball in L.A., it was like he realized if I don't shoot it I'm not going to touch it again for a while. So the decisions he faced with the Lakers were a lot easier than the decisions he'll have to make with the ball in Philadelphia.


Those are absolutely the Sixers’ biggest concerns– Bynum’s health and maturity. The unnamed scout went on to compliment most of the rest of the team (more on that in a second), but all those things won't matter if there isn’t a healthy, effective Bynum.

One guy who did not receive a compliment was Swaggy P, Nick Young. Here’s what the scout wrote:

I am not a believer in Nick Young. He jacks up bad shots, and he's all about Nick Young. He will tease you. That said, he's important for them because they need him to score. So he needs to be a consistent player and a three-point threat. 


About that perceived scoring thing… recently, Deadspin has been running an “NBA Shit List,” in which they call out players who, basically, suck. Young received his own entry. A highlight:

To confirm my anecdotal sense of his game, I've spent the past three seasons carefully documenting every single one of Young's touches, for the Wizards and also for the Clippers. It turns out that on a shocking 62.3 percent of his touches, he forced (and bricked) a contested pull-up 20-footer early in the shot-clock. On another 20.4 percent of his touches, he forced (and bricked) a contested pull-up 20-footer early in the shot-clock. And on the remaining 17.3 percent of his touches, he turned and pegged the ball through the television screen, directly into my face.

And yet, Nick Young begins the 2012-13 season on the third NBA team (the Philadelphia 76ers this time) to have deliberately chosen to employ him.

This, ultimately, is what makes Nick Young so loathsome: that he is an affront to the entire notion that basketball, the NBA, and the world are governed by any discernible sense or order. A scorer who stinks at scoring; a professional who plays his sublimely team-based sport utterly by himself; a living, breathing human being whose upper body, when he runs, trails behind the rest of him like floppy dead weight, like a raggedy old corpse riding a rollercoaster. His career is made out of nothing more than his own utterly misbegotten certainty that he is a good basketball player, and the willingness of a depressing succession of professional talent evaluators to take his smirk for it.


I’ll caution you that those are not my words, but that I mostly agree with what’s written about both Bynum and Young. It was the first line from the scout that was most telling, however: I think they're worse than they were last year. Couple that with league GMs who pegged the Sixers for third in their division… and you have the opposite of a sunshiny outlook.

Aren’t you glad we’re talking Sixers?


38 Responses

    /cliffnotes of the messages below

  2. I love the fact that they don’t realize that Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are going to be all stars at some point in their career, and Evan Turner will be this year. The Extraterrestrials need some love. This isn’t Bynum’s team. This is Evan Turner/Jrue Holiday’s team.

  3. If this, if that, if “Scout” with a whiffle ball bat. Shut up and let’s just start the season without hearing from anymore talking head blowhards. After screaming for a BIGMAN for YEARS, WE FINALLY GOT ONE.

  4. Thats an awful column..did he scout any of the games in the 76ers Preseason. Basically all we lost was Igoudala

  5. I don’t pay attention to what SI has to say concerning basketball (or any sport for that matter). They say things to sell magazines. I just read that SI thinks the New York Knicks will finish as #3 in the conference and the Indiana Pacers will be #2. That is absolutely crazy talk.
    Therefore, I don’t care what they or their “scouts” have to say.
    Here is a POSITIVE note on the Sixers. And it comes from Vegas. The Sixers over/under for wins is at 47.5.Obviously, Vegas thinks the Sixers are a better team than last year.

  6. “I’m a Philly guy, but for some reason despise the sixers. I don’t want to talk about them, and why should I? Why should I be bothered with that swine when we have such lovely and caring organizations such as the Eagles to cover? I only have the best blog in Philly voted by you pesky readers, who for some reason, want to actually talk about the sixers..ya know..a Philly team. Why bother?
    But since you annoying readers seem to want to talk about them, I’ll do so begrudgingly. And instead of at least trying to sound like I care, or talk about any number of promising things about the team as well, I’m just going to harp on the same talking points about our flaws again, and again, and again, sprinkled with sarcastic jabs at you. Just to spite all you annoying fans out there.
    Instead of trying to cater to some of my readers, I’m just going to prove some random point about why you shouldnt like or pay attention to the sixers when they’re bad (or in this case, good and exciting but not championship worthy yet), while simultaenously perpetuating the negative air that still surrounds this team, and has for years.
    Now I’m going to go write a post about how Nationals fans are the worst scum on earth for not supporting their team. K Bye”
    Yours Truely,

  7. Kyle, read closer, they picked us as 4th, Brooklyn & Knicks tied for 2nd.
    Which team will win the Atlantic Division?
    1. Boston — 66.7%
    2. Brooklyn and New York — 13.3%
    4. Philadelphia — 6.7%

  8. I know little about the NBA, but even I can tell you the 76ers are better this year, with or without Bynum.

  9. Well we all know that Kyle did not have these scouts come to him, he went searching for negative stuff to talk about the sixers just to piss off all the people he pissed all before because he is a stubborn asshole. thats one scout. there was also “scouts” who picked the eagles to win the supoerbowl.

  10. Huge Sixers fan here, but I hate when Kyle posts about Sixers. He knows little to nothing about pro basketball. You’re better off ripping Harper or Sandusky. This site has gone to shit.

  11. I disagree with the scout’s assessment. I think Thad Young is a stretch 4 and I think you will see a breakout season from him. Make a note of this Kyle. I would like to point out that since Kyle moved into his new house the posts have been a lot more gloomier…..

    The sixers are great so far as we can see in the pre-season. All their starters are playing very well. Bynum has not even gotten in yet and they are still winning. Let me say that again – BYNUM HAS NOT PLAYED YET AND THEY ARE STILL WINNING!. Yea who ever this scout is, he knows nothing and should jump off the walt whitman.

  13. Seriously, this team is better than last year’s edition even if Bynum never steps on the court.

  14. Enough already with this sarcastic “talking Sixers bullsit” and your doom and gloom towards a team with enormous potential. Remove the bug from your ass, Kyle.

  15. So wait a sec…Lou Williams wasn’t all about Lou WIlliams?? Stop it. Please admit that you were a whiney bitch when they finish top 4 in the East.

  16. Hey Kyle,
    Assuming there wasn’t a NHL lockout, what do the scouts think about the Flyers this year versus last year? Did they get better?

  17. umm Tim Sheckler summed it up very well seriously how do u think they didn’t get n e better, fuck this scout who said this fucking moron

  18. Kyle – been a reader for a little over a year now and I don’t get your Sixers’ coverage at all. It’s like you’re angry that they exist. Do you hate basketball in general? Just the Sixers? Or just readers who ask what the fuck’s up with your Sixers’ coverage??

  19. Our pool have to be fed with the help of those photopages that you consider value becoming part of the “Best Brief review Collection”. Think it as a journal or simply a magazine involving general interest for everyone to go through. Funny, witty, controversial, entertaining, useful, acerbic, thoughtful, serious, curious, unexpected comebacks tend to be welcome.

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