2008 NBA Preview: #8 Philadelphia 76ers

Offseason Movement: The Sixers probably had the biggest “get” of the offseason when they signed Elton Brand to a long-term deal. So the same team that gave the Pistons a good run in the playoffs is now adding an All-Star caliber player who, along with Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh, might be the best power forward in the East.
Keep Your Eye On: Thaddeus Young
At just 19 and largely ignored, Young had the highest PER of any rookie in the league who played at least 1,000 minutes. He only saw limited minutes in the first two months of the season, but by February, he was seeing 29 minutes a game and was posting an average of 11.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting a stellar 56% from the field. He has an improving long-range jumper and, simply stated, Young has “future star” written all over him.
The Big Question: Can Brand (and Andre Iguodala) lead this team to the Finals?
The Brand signing was a coup for the Sixers, and now that they’ve locked up both Brand and AI2 to big, long-term contracts, one wonders if they hitched their wagon to the right pair of horses. Both guys are very good NBA players, but neither guy has proven that he can be “The Man” on a championship-caliber team. The next two or three seasons will be each player’s best chance to win a title, and it’s going to be interesting to see how this young team develops over this span.
Outlook: Upbeat. While the Brand acquisition looks great on paper, it’s tough to add such a big name and expect everything to go smoothly from the get-go. Brand is coming off a nasty Achilles injury, and while he played well in limited action last season, there’s no guarantee that he’s back to 100%. Still, if they are able to gel, they look like a legitimate contender in the East. They have a strong starting five (including Young, Andre Miller and Samuel Dalembert) and a good bench, and even without Brand, they proved they could compete with the Pistons in the playoffs. All signs point to a nice year.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts