• August 14, 2022

Can The Sixers Win A Championship Without A Superstar?

Can this be done? Can a team win a championship without a legit superstar? The only team at least in my generation that won without a legit superstar was the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons. Though they had very good players, such as, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Prince and Rasheed Wallace. Rasheed was the closest to a superstar. He had the skills to do it but he always played more in the flow of the offense then trying to take over a game.
As I research more, I honestly could not find another team that won without a superstar. That Pistons team went back to the finals the year after winning it, but they ended up losing in 7 games to the Spurs. As I found out, it is rare to win without a superstar. There are 2 teams in the East that are trying to prove that theory wrong: the Pacers and our very own Sixers.The Sixers and Pacers are very similar. The Pacers have solid, young, talented kids like Hibbert, Collison, George and Pyshco “T”. Mixed in with some season vets in David West and Danny Granger.The Pacers have 5 guys scoring in double figures and they also have 7 guys averaging more than 9 points a game. The Sixers have 6 guys averaging double figures and have eight guys averaging more than 8 points a game. We already know about the Sixers kids in Turner, Holiday and Thad. Also their mix of vets in Iggy, Lou and Brand.

Neither team has a 20 point scorer. Granger leads them scoring at 18 a game. Lou is leading the Sixers at 16 a game. Granger and Iggy are the closest thing to a superstar for their teams, but they are just good players. Granger brings more offense and Iggy brings more defense. Both teams rely on their depth and defense.

The Pacers are ranked 9th in opponents scoring at 92.5 a game and they are 4th in rebounding. The Sixers are first in opponents’ scoring at 87.5 a game and are 3rd in opponents’ field goal percentage at 41%. They both beat up on bad teams. The Pacers are 16-4 against teams that are below .500. The Sixers are 15-3 against teams that are below .500. The Pacers have faired better against winning teams going 6-8. The Sixers have gone 6-11.

Another thing the Pacers have on the Sixers is in close games. In games decided by 7 points or less the Sixers are 2-9 and the Pacers are 9-5. The Sixers won the only matchup against the Pacers 96-86 at home on Jan 9th, though Granger did not play.

The Bulls and the Heat are the best teams in the East. Those are the teams that the Pacers and the Sixers are gunning for. So can a team win without superstar? In today’s NBA, probably not. This is a star driven league and you even see that with the refs coddling of the stars. The Pacers and the Sixers have some similarities to that 03-04 Pistons team. They are young though and are hoping their player’s continue to develop. If either team wanted to make a splash for a superstar they both have the young talent to trade. For now, they are trying to prove everyone wrong.

Joe Hickman Jr.

Bleed Philly Sports! 84 ounces of Coffee a day because that is what I do! Utley's hair has nothing on me! Father of the craziest little girl in the world! Born and raised in Darby, PA! By the way, my Grammar Sucks! You can follow on twitter @phillytugger.

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  • No, they can’t. Plain & simple. Especially this team. They don’t have anything close to a superstar. Iggy is in his own mind, that is about it. But again, no.

  • No, They will be lucky to win 1 Playoff GAmes in the 1st Series they way they’ve had been playing lately.. They are still a good 2 Years and 2 Good BB players away from compteting with the big boys in NBA..

  • Paulman and DCar thanks for reading fellas. Today’s NBA it might be impossible to win without a Superstar. Like I said in the article especially with all the star treatments you get for having a superstar on your team. Thanks again fellas!

  • Your doing a good job with the 76er articles Joe, keep it up,
    I live down in NC so I don’t get much 76er coverage outside of your articles..
    Who would have though they would miss Steven HAwes as much as they have but Turner & Holliday have seemd to hit a wall here lately, hopefully they will be refreshed and recharged for the 2nd half of the season and get back to playing agressive, attacking upbeat 76er basetball that they were playing for the 1st 2 months of the Season.. I thought with the compressed scheduling, that this would give a younger, hungrier team an advantage, but maybe the lack of prep time, practices is hurting the younger players more that we would have thought…

  • Joe, good article….but no. These Sixers are young and damn good but when the bright lights are on and they need crucial plays to be made, they can’t/won’t be able to do it.

    I strongly believe the Sixers have the worst front office out of the big four in Philly. They are absolutely putrid when it comes to their personnel moves and it dates back to the Iverson era.

    They should have traded Iguodala a long time ago. They should have never signed Elton Brand to such a large contract. The bad decisions list goes on and on.

    Although I do like some of the young talent that we have (Jrue, Thaddeus), I just don’t think we have enough to compete with the upper echelon in the game.

    But just like my opinion of Evan Turner…..I would love to be proven wrong about this team — but I doubt I will.

  • There is little doubt that Sixers Front Offce has made many poor decisions over the years, but with the New Ownership, and Collins & Co, they are finally moving in the right direction and simply put, it takes 2-3 Season to re-do all the mistakes of the last 10-15 years of GM Billy King and others have left this franchise in… One thing for sure about the NBA more so than other team.. only having a roster of 12-13 players, you make a few poor decisions with Contracts and with the Draft, it really sets you back and makes it hard to dig out of… I think by next Season, the Sixers should finally able to have some $$$ to add some quality pieces.. These guaranteed contracts in the NBA are ridiculous as they are in baseball.. As a GM, I would never sign any player to more than a 3 Year Deal (Same would be true in any other sport for too many bad things can happen to effect that players performance in future years..)

  • the Sixers have shown no ability to stop the Miami Heat — they are too small — so without a top 5 rebounder/ shot blocker they are doomed against the Heat which are a great big strong basketball team

  • eagles0, they are small, soft as cotton & have ZERO go to guys also. When & if they get to the playoffs, & are forced to play half court offense & defense, they will be one & done. Plain & simple.
    BTW, interesting article Joe, as always.

  • In regard to the article…No, they don’t have a shot at all. I feel like the FO and DC think this team can be like that Pistons team that won (like you mentioned) but lets be real all those players were much better at their positions than everyone we have here. They were a all basically lower level allstar players in the league at their position. We barely have one of those in Iggy.

    Paulman, yes you are right the team misses Hawes greatly… you can make a case that Spencer Hawes is the NBA MVP lol

  • Geez the sixers are prolly the worst team ever in crunch time

  • No they cannot.

    I would trader Elton Brand, Evan Turner, and a future #1, or two future #1’s, and try to get Kevin Love, and try to sign JaVale McGee in the off-season.

  • The year of the Point Guard the Sixers were lucky to get Jrue Holliday but the year of the Big man the Sixers blow it — Maurice Speights was selected and 5 starting Centers were available after — Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Pecovic, and DeAndre Jordan

  • Gmcliff– thats not gonna happen. There is no way the twolves would trade there center piece for a Old veteran in EB and a first round pick that cant see the floor more than 5 minutes (Anyway the twolves just gave Kevin Love a new deal 4 years 62 million)… If anything they have to take a shot at signing Dwight Howard in the off season… If they cannot then they need to make a trade for a power forward or another center. We ll all agree that EB is a goner after this year, he will be amnestied, iggy may get traded maybe not before the deadline but it may take until the off season since alot of teams are already set with there rosters and dont want to take any chances on mixing up there rosters in this shortened season.. But i dont want him to be since hes such a great defender..

    Now on to what happen last night against the bulls.. earlier in the year the sixers would have won that game. They had plenty of opportunities to take control of the game but they couldnt buy a basket.. There defense has glimpses of greatness but there lack of a defender downlow continues to haunt them. Spencer hawes’s injury has hurt this team so much, if they never loss hawes they would still be in the top 3 in the east. Hawes helps them on offense and defense.. Its just been a huge loss and it hurts watching them lose these games by small margins when they have proven they can beat these teams… Iggy’s shot last night in the last few minutes of the game angered me so much. It was an ill-advised 3point shot that was unnecessary since they were down by 2 points. He didnt even set his feet, some guys shoot to win others shoot to shoot, he shot that ball with zero confidence, his defense was stellar but him shooting that ball like that really hurt them.. Another question, where the heck was Jrue Holiday late? Doug didnt even have him on the floor in the last few minutes of the game nor did they draw up a play for him.. he was scoring well and they should have given him the ball… Lou has slowed down dramatically i think hes running out of gas from them relying on him so much on the offensive endof the court,iggy should take it upon himself to take some of the load off him but obviously he hasnt even considered it… That leads me to evan turner, a guy who was the 2nd overall pick 2 years ago, hes young and can do anything on the court well. Hes a good all around player, but it may be time to trade him and get some value for him.. I say this because Doug Collins is not giving him enough burn. When hes on the court hes productive. But its not for a long stretch. How do you expect guys to grow if your not going to give him the minutes? There better off trying to trade Evan and get equal or greater value for him.. Hes not meant to be a bench player, hes supposed to be a starter.. I believe Doug doesnt like Evans attitude nor do they have a good working relationship.. If evan makes any mistake doug pulls him right away. Thats not how you teach a young guy whos confidence isnt very high already and in a season where there arent many team practices where the coach can perform drill and teaching lesson etc etc.. So it may be time they begin fielding offers for Evan turner and that may be the guy they get the most back for… But in my opinion if they get Spencer Hawes back then they will begin winning again.. Doug just has to do a better job at drawing up these plays and being more creative in designing them, and the player that call themselves “go to guys” Iggy, Lou and Jrue need to start knocking down shots and in iggys case take some more shots! He refuses to shoot more than 10 shots a game and its crippling this team..

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