Last year, the Sixers started the season with a 3-13 mark. Not the one that Doug Collins had hoped for, but he turned the team around finishing with a 41-41 record and a matchup with the Heat in the first round. This was a little disheartening to face LeBron James and the Big 3 in the first round, but the Sixers held their own, although losing the series 4 games to 1, the Sixers showed determination and held a significant lead in most of the games. Only if LeBron and co. could have choked in the 4th quarter against us, a guy can dream right?
This year things are different, a 7-3 record in their first ten games is the best start since 2000-01, when the team went to the NBA Finals and lost to the Lakers. So this means we should all pay attention right? Yes. Now is the time to get involved with our Sixers. But you are probably thinking to yourself, "Tristan, what if I am marked as a bandwagon fan?" Don't worry about it, its you and countless others, including myself. I've always supported the Sixers, they have always been number 1 for me. Never in the last 10 years have I switched any allegiances, but the NBA just wasn't doing it for me, and with the Sixers constantly playing some mediocre ball, I was not lured to tune in to many games, and I'm willing to bet that you weren't either. First off, there are some things that you are going to have to know about this team if you want to come back to being a Sixers fan.
C #55 Spencer Hawes
Hawes has the second highest shooting percentage in the league (.618%) this year.
PF #42 Elton Brand
The team's veteran is proving to be more of a leader this season
SF #9 Andre Iguodala
Iguodala has shown to be more consistent this year, but still feels the need to attempt and fail game winning shots at the buzzer
SG #20 Jodie Meeks
Meeks has been starting but during the game sharing most of his time with Lou Williams and Evan Turner
PG #11 Jrue Holiday
Becoming a better point guard with each and every game. His skills are just overshadowed by other NBA superstars.
Key Bench Players
PG #23 Lou Williams
Williams had started shooting the lights out from beyond the arc, but recently has gone cold. He still leads the team in scoring and has proved to be a clutch performer off the bench
SG #12 Evan Turner
Now entering his sophomore season, Turner seems to be finding his comfort zone. With high expectations last year, the pressure seemed to weigh on him. Now he has been a hot hand coming off the bench, averaging over 10 points per game.
F #21 Thaddeus Young
Young is another player who averages over 10 coming off the bench.
So the Sixers are back on the radar of Philadelphia sports fans, and I'm positive Spike Eskin is thrilled about this. There are new owners, a seemingly motivated team under coach Doug Collins, and more and more people starting to pay attention to the team that was cast aside by most fans here. So as long as the Sixers keep this brand of winning basketball up, people are going to begin to notice. But no matter how well they do, it seems like ESPN and TNT will only show the same 5 or 6 teams every night. If the NBA was concerned about Americans straying from the game of basketball, maybe teams other than the Heat, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Mavs, and Knicks should be on TV. I know that its a crazy concept for TV executives, but ultimately the NBA would benefit. This 2011-12 76ers team needs us to support them, and they are showing that by winning.
Follow Tristan on Twitter @tshope122
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports