By Michael Donovan
Okay, the Sixers have lost 50 of their first 58 games this sorry season, but chairman of basketball operation Jerry Colangelo is taking the long view on his young team.
“It would be inappropriate to come to any conclusions,” he told CSNPhilly.com Friday before the Sixers’ 103-94 loss to the Wizards. “First of all, you’ve got a bunch of young guys, number one. They all need playing time. The more minutes they get, the more you see. So we’ve got to just observe these last 25 [games] and be better prepared to make those decisions when we make those decisions.”
When Colangelo was hired, the team had one win. They acquired Ish Smith in December, winning six of their first 15 games with the point guard. But they have been struggling once again as of late, losing six straight and nine of their last 10.
“We had a nice little run after Ish came and won some games and [it] was more competitive and was a little bit more exciting, and we kind of leveled off a little bit,” Colangelo said. “So we’re a little out of kilter right now, I would think.”
Most recently, coach Brett Brown decided to play Jahlil Okafor at the power forward and Nerlens Noel at center the remainder of the season.
“People do concentrate on the three bigs [including Joel Embiid], you hear all that all the time,” he said. “But that will take care of itself, to some degree. There are a number of options with bigs, but you need to look at the one, the two, the three. Those are positions that we’re giving a lot of thought to.
“I didn’t think we had many, really, many options in terms of trades to speak of. Again, it’s just too early. There are times I’ve been very excited about certain dates, deadlines, drafts and free agencies. We’re moving in that direction. That’s the best thing I can say.”
Each game left this season will be an opportunity for Colangelo to gather more insight into the team.
“The important thing is, and this is what we’re talking about, what can we get out of the last 25 games?” he said. “Find out as much as we can about what we have before we talk about what we’re going to be doing. If there’s any questions about what we have with our present personnel, let’s learn a few more things, that’s all. So that’s been part of the discussion and it’s all part of preparation moving forward.”