Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Missing playoff experience

With the Sixers opening training camp at Penn State on Tuesday, I like the changes president/general manager Ed Stefanski has made to the roster.

Missing playoff experience

    With the Sixers opening training camp at Penn State on Tuesday, I like the changes president/general manager Ed Stefanski has made to the roster.

     Obviously, signing free-agent forward Elton Brand was the big move, but the bench is more solid with the additions of guard Kareem Rush, veteran forward Donyell Marshall and the return of center Theo Ratliff.

     I do, however, see one glaring void in the "intangibles" category - playoff experience. Top to bottom, this squad simply does not have much playoff experience and has even less playoff success. That could be an issue in May if they are involved in a tight postseason series.

    Who will the Sixers look to to provide the playoff savvy to get them over the hump? 

     Marshall leads the pack with 41 playoff games stretched over a 14-year career. He went to the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007, but two of his four playoff seasons ended in one-and-done.

    Ratliff has played in 33 playoff games in 13 seasons. He made it to the Eastern Conference finals as a member of the Detroit Pistons last season, but before then he hadn't played in the postseason since being with the Sixers in the 1999-2000 season.

     The anticipated starting lineup of Brand, Samuel Dalembert, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller and Thaddeus Young have played in a combined 61 playoff games, with 24 of those coming in last season's opening-round loss to Detroit.

     Brand, whose only playoff appearance came with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2006, is the only one who has won at least one playoff series.

    Marshall and Rush (Los Angeles Lakers in 2004)  are the only players in training camp who have been to a NBA Finals. Both lost.

     Rookie Marresse Speights, a reserve on Florida's 2007 NCAA championship team, is the only player on the roster who has won a championship since high school.

 

About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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