Here we are in New Orleans, waiting for tonight's game between the 76ers (17-31) and Hornets (26-23). Tonight, for the fifth time this season, the Sixers have a chance to win three games in a row.
First, if anyone has a minute and they want to listen to this interview between Mike Missanelli and Tim Legler, it's interesting: www.975thefanatic.com/teams/sixers/blogentry.aspx. Legler talks about Sixers coach Eddie Jordan and GM Ed Stefanski.
Here are some other quotes I've been waiting to use. The first is from Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, from about three days ago, talking about this season's struggles: "It’s a mystery basically, almost. You look at the team itself, you look at the individuals we have on this team and there’s no way we shouldn’t be winning. Sometimes that happens with the best of the best, it’s not the coaches, it’s us on the floor. We have to find a way, with each other, to play. I know sometimes it’s difficult – to defend all of us – we don’t know who we’re going to be with sometimes on the floor. Depending, we might not play with somebody for 5 games, 10 games, 15 games, and then suddenly he’s on the floor with you. You have to adjust to it, that’s something we know we’re going to have to realize and try to be professional about it and quick to adapt with each other on the floor."
And the second is from Jordan, talking about how difficult it was to take Lou Williams out of the starting lineup: "It was really hard to take him out, it really was. It was a discussion that had been going on for a couple of weeks. And I didn’t want to do it, didn’t want to do it. As much as people thought the backcourt of Allen and Lou was a defensive detriment, it wasn’t … it really didn’t hurt us defensively, but it got to a point where we wanted a little bit more and that’s why we thought Jrue would be better defensively."
So here's what we have, as the trading deadline approaches: We have, basically, a question of ideology.
The Sixers have made it clear they don't want expiring contracts and they aren't looking for financial relief. Ok. Here's the question -- and Legler made his position very clear in that radio interview -- is the Sixers nucleus actually going anywhere? Does it make sense for the franchise to say they are holding firm to the plan as is? That they are willing to take back players -- not expiring contracts -- to add to a plan they believe will take them somewhere?
This ideology says that other factors are contributing to this poor season, that you still believe in the talent level on this team, and don't think it should be blown up just yet.
Have they been treading water for too long? Have they been chilling in mediocrity and low-level playoff berths and mid-round draft picks for so long they aren't giving themselves a chance to hit rock bottom and truly rebuild with a top 5 lottery pick and the right pieces?