Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Expect little, and you’ll be pleased

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

So, fellow Philly fans, here’s what we’re up against right now:

It’s too soon to tell if and how the Phillies will mutilate the offseason as they hunt for 2008’s answer to Adam Eaton.

It’s also too soon to tell if the Flyers are that drunken tease at the party making you think you’re going to get lucky later only to go home with another guy, or if they’re that hot girl you’ll actually score with.

Meanwhile, the Eagles season – at the halfway point – might literally be over with a loss this weekend to the hated Cowboys.

Which leaves us the Sixers…kind of by default.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 Autumn of Local Sports: Feel the excitement!

Not many people are drinking the Kool-Aid that Billy King and friends were trying to sell upon finishing last season - post-A.I., post-Webber, post-hope - at 17-9. The Sixers’ division improved markedly, as did the conference, while, at least on paper, they did not. Sure, chemistry is great – especially if you’re in high school and it comes right before study hall.

Regardless, for the first time in nearly a decade, it will be nearly impossible for this team to play below our expectations for them this year. Yet, how the season plays out will be quite telling for the long-term future of this squad. Therefore, I’ve come up with seven questions and six predictions for the season ahead (Get it? 7, 6? Tough crowd).

Such as:

- Will Mo Cheeks be allowed to see this rebuilding project to fruition?

- Will there even be a “fruition” with Reverse Midas Billy King running the show?

- Will Andre Iguadala take the necessary leap to the next level or remain at “almost” status, similar to past underachievers like Larry Hughes and Clarence Weatherspoon, et al?

- Is there even a leap left in Samuel Dalembert, or is this all we’re ever going to get?

- Is Andre Miller part of the future, or just trade bait waiting to happen?

- Could Lou Williams’s progression have some to do with Miller’s departure?

- Will they be in any position to attract a big-name free agent next summer, when oodles of dead money come off the books?

And now the predictions:

- Reggie Evans will make us forget all about Steven Hunter (Wait, you already have? Never mind.). Overall, the high-energy Evans will become a fan favorite and, if he plays even more than 20 minutes per game, he’ll average close to ten rebounds.

- This team will win around 30 games – and yet will be more fun to watch than the Iverson-and-four-spectators teams that won 40-45.

- Jason Smith will be the most impressive rookie. The still-green Thaddeus Young will be the least impressive. When Herbert Hill returns, he’ll be somewhere in the middle.

- Iguadala will fall a hair short of making the All-Star team, while lone attendee Kyle Korver will finally win the three-point contest.

- Division winners: Nets, Pistons, Magic in East. Mavericks, Nuggets, Suns in West. Conference Finals: Pistons over Bulls. Suns over Spurs.

- Champ: The Sun(s) will finally rise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clarence Weatherspoon an underachiever? You're kidding right? The guy averaged 16 and 8 in his five years in Philly on some very bad teams. He kept them in games some nights! Shawn Bradley, Sharone Wright and BJ Tyler were all lottery picks the years following Spoon, now those guys underachieved. Double check the facts because Spoon was a player.