New Season New Challenges


What a way to start Doug Collins second year of his regime, the NBA showed no sympathy for the young 76ers this season when scheduling the 66 game season. The Sixers will begin their season with a five-game road trip starting tonight against the Portland Trailblazers and their rowdy Rose Garden crowd. The road trip will not end until Jan.4 against the new look Hornets. Doug Collins knows that this road trip can ultimately decide the season for the Sixers. If they start out fast they will gain confidence and build chemistry with one another, also build on their momentum and take advantage of playing at home for 13 of their next 16 games. However a rough start could lead to a trade involving their franchise player Andre Iguodala and lead to another “rebuilding” or “reloading” project.

The Sixers will face a Portland team that has undergone immense change. Their franchise player Brandon Roy was forced to retire because of terrible injuries to both of his knees. Former number one pick Greg Oden will miss another season with injury. On the bright side the Blazers got younger at point guard by trading former Sixer Andre Miller for former division rival Raymond Felton and added an excellent sixth man in Jamal Crawford. Also LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off a season where he was one of three players to rank in the top 15 in points and rebounding.

Something to look out for is how Jrue Holiday will run the team in his third year out of UCLA. And if he can take the next step and become an elite point guard. Another thing to look out for is how aggressively Andre Iguodala will play coming off one of his worse seasons (scoring wise) as a Sixer. He has had extra time during the lockout to heal and will have no excuse to not play at an all-star level. Finally, can Evan Turner be more involved more in the offense? Turner has worked on his jump shot with legendary coach Herb Magee and with an improved jump shot he should be a better fit in the 76ers offense.

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