The off-season should be interesting. The Sixers no longer have to determine what pieces they can fit around Allen Iverson. They have three picks in the first round of the draft - their own (likely the 11th), along with those of the Nuggets (the 21st) and the Mavericks (the 30th) - unless president and general manager Billy King wants to use one or more in a trade. Of course, they still have a shot at getting one of the top three choices in the May 22 lottery, but have less than a 1 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall selection and barely a 1 percent chance of getting to No. 3.
A week after reaching rock bottom with a loss at Memphis, the Sixers outlasted LeBron James and the host Cavaliers, 118-115, in double overtime on Jan. 24. Andre Iguodala showed for the first time that he could be the go-to guy, going 10 of 18 from the field and 12 of 12 from the line for a career high of 34 points.
The humiliating 124-74 loss to the Rockets on March 18 at the Wachovia Center was as bad as it got in a season that included a 12-game losing streak. The Sixers were horrible from the opening tip, trailing by 19 points at halftime and by 37 after three quarters, and were outscored by 54-8 in the paint.
It came on Dec. 6 in Chicago, when Allen Iverson walked off the court after the third quarter of what was to be a 121-94 rout by the Bulls. The relationship between Iverson and Billy King was beyond strained, and it was clear the team would have to cut ties with its long-term superstar. But as Iverson walked to the locker room at the United Center, no one knew it would be the last time he'd be seen in a Sixers jersey. Iverson was, in essence, kicked off the team two days later and was traded to the Nuggets on Dec. 19.
Andre Iguodala finally emerged from the huge shadow cast by Allen Iverson and became a player on track to be on several all-star lists before long. Iguodala's scoring average jumped from 12.3 points to 18.2 as he became the player coach Maurice Cheeks wanted to have the ball in key situations. From the beginning of February until the end of the season, the third-year swingman averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists.
Veteran forward Joe Smith was, for all intents and purposes, a throw-in with Andre Miller in the Allen Iverson trade, a player with a coveted expiring contract that would get the Sixers closer to the salary cap. But Smith, 31 and in his 12th NBA season, had more game than anyone thought. He averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in his final 34 games and impressed everyone with his savvy, leadership and clutch play in the fourth quarter of many games. If the price is right, he'll be back.
For the season, the Sixers were 21-21 when their bench outscored the opponent's reserves, 14-24 when their bench was outscored, and 0-2 when they equaled the bench total of the other team. The Sixers went against form in the season's final week, with their bench outscoring the opponent's in home losses to Orlando and Cleveland, and being beaten in the battle of reserves in road wins over Detroit and Toronto. In the 2005-06 season, the Sixers were outscored off the bench in 61 games and were 26-35, while going 11-7 in the 18 games their bench held the scoring advantage.
The Sixers continued their downward attendance spiral this season, averaging 14,844 fans, their lowest mark since moving from the Spectrum to the Wachovia Center for the 1996-97 season. They ranked 29th among the 30 teams in the NBA, with Memphis the only team with a lower average. By the way, the league announced yesterday a record attendance and average of 17,757 for the 2006-07 regular season.
Kyle Korver won the NBA free-throw-shooting crown, making 191 of 209 attempts for a percentage of 91.4. Korver also ranked ninth in the league in three-point shooting at 43.0 percent. The free-throw and three-point percentages moved him into second and third place, respectively, on the Sixers' single-season list.
Tayshaun Prince, Pistons, and Chris Bosh, Raptors.
Guards: Kobe Bryant, Lakers, and Vince Carter, Nets.
Center: Dwight Howard, Magic.
It was a truly interesting season, almost like four or five seasons wrapped up in one. In the final portion, that coming after the all-star break, the Sixers showed there was reason for hope and optimism next year if they could add a physical power forward who could rebound and push people around in the paint, and a good two-way wing player. And for all of you who screamed (they were e-mails, but we could hear them) that the Sixers had ruined any chance of getting Greg Oden or Kevin Durant in the draft by winning too much, remember that nothing is guaranteed and that, as John Chaney said, winning is an attitude.
Sellouts in 41 home dates at the Wachovia Center. The sellout was the March 9 meeting with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Road victories posted by the Sixers in the 2006-07 season, including the last four away games.
Years since the Sixers finished with 35 victories. The last time they did so, in 1991-92, it was Charles Barkley's last season in Philadelphia.
Starting lineups used by the Sixers, with the most often used being Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala in the backcourt, Rodney Carney and Steven Hunter at forward, and Samuel Dalembert at center. The group went 9-10.
Iguodala's NBA ranking for scoring. He averaged 18.2 points to lead the team.
Games lost to injury this season by the Sixers, led by forward Shavlik Randolph's 68 as a result of a fractured and dislocated left ankle.
Three-point baskets made by the Sixers, the fewest of any NBA team.