|2011-12 Team Rating|
|8th Overall||1st Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
Elton Brand isn't shooting as well as he did last season, but the center trio of Spencer Hawes, Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen has been a pleasant surprise all around.
Jrue Holiday continues to progress as a floor leader, Jodie Meeks continues to provide much-needed perimeter shooting, and Andre Iguodala is one of the best two-way players in the league.
Without an interior presence, the Sixers lead the league in defensive efficiency. They have a number of strong individual defenders, but are No. 1 because they play smart and together.
The Sixers have been at their best offensively when reserves Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young have been in the game. No team has better scoring depth.
For the second straight season, Doug Collins is getting the most, both offensively and defensively, out of a roster lacking star power. He's the mid-season favorite to win Coach of Year honors.
The Sixers have picked up where they left off last season, when they rebounded from a 3-13 start to grab a playoff spot. Their continuity (only Nikola Vucevic was added to the initial rotation) allowed them to hit the ground running after a short training camp. And their depth has kept them fresh in a condensed season.
Though they boast the best defense in the league, the bigger surprise in Philly has been the Sixers' offense, which ranked 17th last season. No team takes care of the ball better, and they're the second-most improved team (behind Atlanta) from 3-point range.
The Sixers have a ceiling, of course. And two blowouts at the hands of the Miami Heat have made it clear that Philly stands a step below the East's true title contenders. But with wins over several other playoff teams, the Sixers have responded to claims that their hot start was a result of an easy schedule.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|