The Philadelphia 76ers came out to start the 2013-2014 by beating the Miami Heat, shocking everyone including Sixers fans. They then went on to take their next two games against the Washington Wizards away, and then the Chicago Bulls at home. Last night, the Sixers were brought back to Earth after the Golden State Warriors clobbered them 110-90. The question is, what should Sixers fans, the Sixers themselves, and the public make about this spectacular and puzzling start? In my opinion, it is quite simple: teams in the NBA will pick up their fare share of wins if they play hard and hustle, no matter the talent level. Now, as we saw last night, at times the talent will take over and the Sixers will not be able to get anything going, no matter how hard they play, or how hard they hustle. Sam Hinkie, the Sixers general manager, is in a win-win situation this year. If the Sixers win, he looks like a genius, and if they lose, he looks like a genius.
Michael Carter-Williams has been playing out of his mind throughout the first three games of the season, and he played well in last night’s loss against Golden State. Carter-Williams outplayed LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and John Wall en route to leading the Sixers to their first three wins in their first three games. What has been so great about his play so far is his phenomenal defense, and his ability to orchestrate the offense. If you were Sam Hinkie, you would be watching this young man play and think that you have your future point guard. Carter-Williams has been shooting the ball relatively well, considering his jump shot was the biggest question mark heading into the season. Shooting has not even been the best part of the Sixers and Carter-Williams’ offensive game so far. The Sixers have been getting to the basket, which leads to higher percentage shots, explaining why the Sixers are seventh in the NBA in points per game, something unheard of the past couple of years. I do not know if it is Brett Brown or the players, but the Sixers are scoring, and Michael Carter-Williams has been the main factor in the Sixers success.
Although Sam Hinkie is a win-win situation, he must in a strange mindset right now. Do I want the team to win and risk not getting a high coveted pick, or do I root for the team to lose so I get that high draft pick, possibly getting Andrew Wiggins? The answer for him is both. This year for the Sixers, winning and losing are both good. Winning would show the fans and Hinkie that there is a young core that can play the game. Losing would give Hinkie and the Sixers a higher percent chance of obtaining a high draft pick, making Sam Hinkie happy no matter what happens.
The Philadelphia 76ers are young team with little talent that plays hard. In the NBA, that formula can get you wins. Even though I am shocked at the Sixers start, I can see them not necessarily winning three out of four games every time, but rather winning more often thenthey were predicted to. Regardless the Sixers look like a team with a bright future, led by point guard Michael Carter-Williams. As a Sixers fan, I hope that the team continues to play hard and whether they win or lose, it will be exciting to watch Carter-Williams grow and mature as a player, while veterans Thad Young, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes continue to play hard and give everything they have to the Sixers franchise.
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