Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Your 2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers (!!!): Detailed Scouting Reports and Obligatory Predictions

The Philadelphia 76ers are back and the Pizza Project went in depth to offer a detailed scouting report on every player on the roster, even the ones who won't be able to find the court without a GPS.

Lavoy Allen
This guy was drafted because he went to Temple. Basically, they are throwing the guy a bone. He will watch the game in a suit and bang up against Elton Brand in practice. For this, he will be able to buy his Mom a mansion in the Riviera or Zurich or whatever vacation spot tickles her fancy. Not a bad gig.

Tony Battie
Won't contribute much. He is old and decrepit as hell. How do I know this? He was born in the same year as I was.

Craig Brackins

If he plays 100 minutes the entire season, I'll go see the next five movies Adam Sandler puts out. Or go to a Turkish bath with Jerry Sandusky.

Elton Brand
Not the player we thought he was (read: this guy's contract is basically the reason the NBA went on lockout), but he will ball hard, pull down a bunch of rebounds, and stick the open 15-footer with consistency. Here's hoping he doesn't end up tearing an ACL attempting to jump over a phone book. The man is to "athleticism" as Bernie Madoff is to "trusted financial advisor."

Spencer Hawes

One night, this gargantuan white dude will pull down 10 boards, hand out seven assists, and get you 15 points by hitting the mid-range jump shot. The next night, he will be fouling out faster than it takes you to buy a $15 Miller Lite at the Wells Fargo Center. You never know.

Jrue Holiday

A tall, lengthy point guard, Holiday often shows flashes of greatness. He finishes difficult shots at the rim with either hand. He knocks down the jumper out to the three-point line. He is a willing passer and gets inside to scrap for boards. The only question is whether he can ever fully thrive while basically sharing the point guard spot with gunner Lou Williams. This year would be the perfect year to receive the answer "Yes" to that question. (OK, that's not the only question. The other question is whether "Drew" will ever learn how to spell his own name. The J version can't be accurate, right?)

Andre Iguodala

If there is one thing for sure about Andre Iguodala, it is that he will continue to be a stud in fantasy basketball. He's going to give you 17-18 points. He is a monster athlete, so he will grab about 7 boards nightly. His quickness will net you two steals per game and at least one block. He can be a nifty passer and will get his teammates open buckets at a very decent clip. Of course, if there are two things for sure about Iguodala, it would be that he will continue to get the ball in crunch time and he will fail. Every time. (See the first game of 2011-2012 season for Exhibit A.)

Jodie Meeks

Don't get me wrong. Every team needs at least one guy who can stick it from the three-point line. However, if that guy can do pretty much nothing else...and he is starting? That is not a championship-contending team.

Andres Nocioni

He's still on the team? If youda told me he was dead, I would have believed you.

Marreese Speights

Might as well be paying rent for the use of Doug Collins’ doghouse. Never watched a basketball game before in your life? Imagine a 6’10” guy who doesn’t want to play any defense and would be more than happy standing out by the three-point line all night firing off-the-mark parabolas. That’s Speights.

Evan Turner

I’m starting to warm up a little bit to Turner’s talents. He can handle the ball well. He stays within his game, preferring to shoot the mid-range jumpers that he excels at hitting instead of looking to stretch it to the three-point line. He gets inside to help the big men on the glass. He seems to want the ball in the big moments, even if, at this point, he isn’t quite ready to take a leadership role. He doesn’t shrink from the spotlight. I honestly expect him to improve over a rookie season where he showed flashes and maybe by next year he will be ready to be a solid starter in this league. And all this better happen. Because they drafted him second in 2010. If he doesn’t turn out, it will send the franchise even further into oblivion than they have already ventured.

Nikola Vucevic

Haven’t seen much of this guy. All I know is he is tall and his name sounds European. Until proven otherwise, I will simply assume that he is softer than Philip Seymour Hoffman’s midsection.

Lou Williams

So there is this guy in the league right now that everybody is excited about. Name is Ricky Rubio. The guy has a ridiculous arsenal of passes. He throws bounce passes with English on the run. He throws them behind the back. He throws them without looking. He throws them length of the floor. He heads into the lane and throws them out for wide open jumpers. Meanwhile, every pass is on the money. Not behind the intended target. Not at the guy’s ankles. Not into the guy in the first row’s nachos. Basically, this guy lives for the assist. His main goal is to make his teammates look better. Why am I telling you so much about this skinny Spanish dude who plays for the Minnesota Who Gives a Sh*ts? Because now that you have an idea about him, just think of the total f*cking opposite and you have Lou Williams. He’s never met a shot he didn’t like or a teammate he couldn’t dump the orange to with two seconds on the shot clock. Then again, while he racks up shots like hookers rack up communicable diseases, at least he doesn’t consistently come up small in the clutch (hi, Andre Iguodala).

Thaddeus Young

I actually love Thaddeus Young’s game. Gets out on the floor. Makes nifty shots with lefty delivery. Has refined post moves. Sticks the open jumper. Lethal first step. A long-armed, quick defender. He could really put up some numbers if he didn’t have to share the floor with the 18 other guys who play the same position for the Sixers.

Fearless Predictions

A 35-31 record.

A first-round matchup with the New York Knickerbockers.

They will lose that series in six games.

Doug Collins’ shirts will consistently be soaked with sweat after games. Seriously, the man is disgusting at those press conferences.

The mascot will be better than Hip-Hop was, even if the Sixers' overlords decide on dressing an alcoholic up in an armadillo outfit and having him molest the hottest ladies in the audience on a nightly basis.

The team will play hard. No joke here. The team definitely gives maximum effort. Which is nice.

Despite reduced ticket prices, the team will continue to play to half-empty houses because Philly fans really just don’t give a f*ck right now. All of their teams seem to have come together in a collective effort to shove a seeming jail shiv into the backs of their hopeful expectations. (Wow, that is more like a blended metaphor than a mixed one!)

Andre Iguodala will fail every time he is asked to do something cluth in the last 15 seconds of the game. That is simply what he does.

Tony Battie will die on the bench. Not because he is old, but because he will enter into shock when he sees Lou Williams cycle the ball around the perimeter to an open teammate.

New television color commentator Malik Rose will be bounced after one year when the team determines that a) he is not ready for the gig and b) they might be better off hiring someone who may not be an ex-player, yet knows how to do more than simply rage about how the officials have it out for the Sixers.

Sixers fans will take to Nikola Vucevic like white on rice because like rice Vucevic is white, and Sixers fans love themselves some token whites. (See Korver, Kyle; MacCulloch, Todd, et al.)

The Pizza Project
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