2015-16 NBA Previews – 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have been in tank mode for years now. And just when it seemed they might be primed to make a push out of the basement of the already-watered-down Eastern Conference, Joel Embiid, the team’s prized acquisition from the 2014 draft, required season-ending foot surgery before the 2015-16 NBA campaign even began.
Philadelphia 76ers Season Preview
Head Coach: Brett Brown
2014 Record: 18-64
Sixers Odds to NBA Title: +25000
Sixers Odds to Win Conference: +12500
The Philadelphia 76ers are in Year 3 of their ever-lasting rebuild. For that reason, it’s tough to find too many things to be optimistic about.
But like all franchises in the Association, these are professional ball players we’re talking about, meaning there’s got to be something going in their favor.
For starters, the addition of Jahlil Okafor is going to create a scary-good tandem in the paint with Nerlens Noel.
Okafor has the skill set and footwork on the offensive side of a veteran scoring big man; Noel has the defensive presence of, well, a veteran defensive big man (the team has 12th in terms of defensive production last season).
The Sixers were hoping that Ohio State product D’Agelo Russell would fall intro their laps with the third pick, potentially solving their question mark in the backcourt.
But when Okafor dropped to them instead, they couldn’t resist the opportunity to put him alongside another dominant big man, who quite frankly will complement him nicely.
The other strength this group has — if you can call it that — is that it has the “luxury” of not worrying about wins. Why is this a good thing? It gives the organization a chance to truly test what it has on its roster.
Virtually every player on this team is expendable, meaning management has little reason not to evaluate.
That could result in a few wins throughout the year that a “veteran” squad may have missed out on, as a young, hungry group is often just foolish (and reckless) enough to believe a comeback is possible and make it happen.
Any squad that wins just 18 games clearly has a decent amount of weaknesses. They were a decent (and sometimes solid) defensive unit a year ago, but putting the ball in the basket was a serious concern.
Dead last in offense, Philly put up just 93 points per 100 possessions in 2014-15. The addition of Okafor on the block will certainly help, as the offense will be a bit more dynamic, but shooting must improve if the team is going to get the big man looks without a double-team now and again.
Rebounding is also a major concern for the Sixers. This group had the second-worst rebounding a year ago, and that’s even more embarrassing than it sounds at first when you consider how many more opportunities this group had for boards consider it’s horrible shooting.
More than anything else, a lack of veteran experience could be considered this group’s No. 1 concern.
Having a plethora of young players sounds like a good problem to have, but the honest truth is that this particular group of young players features a number of hoopers at the end of the bench that simply wouldn’t make any other roster at this point in their professional careers.
Sixers 2015 Betting Prediction:
The big question with this group is: When will they return to competitiveness?
The obvious answer: Not this season.
Philadelphia is going to challenge once again for worst record in the NBA, and that’s saying something considering the fact that it is going up against other Eastern Conference foes that are going to struggle as well.
If this group can simply improve upon its 18-win record and develop its youngsters, it will be considered a successful season.
Although many fans will consider the former to be a failure, as the Philly faithful are probably hoping for another high lottery pick with the playoffs a pipe dream in 2015-16.
Sixers Key Personnel Losses:
Although nobody from last year’s losses had a huge impact on the season (a given considering they won just 18 games), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Thomas Robinson represent the losses with the most potential.
Jason Richardson has also left the organization and officially retired after two years with the Sixers, but he wasn’t exactly the slam dunk champion anymore than his name is still associated with — not a huge loss.
Sixers Top Newcomers:
The obvious top addition to this roster is No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor. Many thought he would be the No. 2 pick to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he now has a chance to be part of the rebuild in Philly that will focus on the big men dominating out East.
Along with Okafor, Philadelphia has added big man Carl Landry, guard point guard Kendall Marshall and shooting guard Nik Stauskas. Marshall and Stauskas are the ones to watch this season, as both are looking to prove their value following inconsistent starts to their respective careers.
The 2015 NBA futures betting season is here in full force! If you like to bet on NBA football, you are in the best possible place for online betting. CappersPicks.com has NBA odds a ton of futures posted including NBA basketball lines up for division and conference futures as well.
Check out our Updated Daily NBA Odds.