The last week: 1-3
A look at last week
Sixers 85, Wizards 84, last Friday.
The Sixers won despite being 0 for 14 from beyond the arc.
Nets 94, Sixers 92 (OT), Saturday.
The Sixers lost their second straight Saturday overtime contest after squandering an 18-point third-quarter lead.
Hawks 88, Sixers 79, Monday.
Rookie center Al Horford had a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks.
Celtics 113, Sixers 103, Wednesday.
Boston made 23 free throws, while the Sixers attempted just 16 (making 11).
After a slow start, point guard
has come on strong on the offensive end. In the last four games, he has averaged 19 points while shooting 31 for 63 (49.2 percent). He also has averaged 8.25 assists and 2.25 turnovers.
In his last four games,
has shot 14 for 42 from the field (33 percent) and 1 for 15 from beyond the arc (6.7 percent). Not known as a defensive stopper, Korver must shoot well to keep earning minutes.
Up and down
is looked at as the future at point guard, but needs more consistency. Other than one four-game stretch in which he averaged 19.2 points, he has usually had one good game followed by an off-night. Williams' last four games: six points, on 0-for-5 shooting, against Washington; 13 points, on 3-for-11 shooting, against New Jersey; three points, on 1-for-8 shooting, against Atlanta; and 18 points, on 8-for-13 shooting, against Boston.
Opponent of the week
had 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four blocked shots in the win over the Sixers. As our colleague
suggested, wouldn't Smith look good in a Sixers uniform?
Non-opponent of the week
New Jersey starting center
had this incredible line in 20 minutes, 33 seconds: no points, no field-goal attempts, no blocked shots, one rebound, one turnover, and two personal fouls.
Tonight vs. New York (6-11), 7 o'clock.
Don't look now, but the Knicks have won four of their last six games.
Tomorrow at New York (6-11), 7:30 p.m.
has averaged 23 points and eight rebounds in his last three games.
Monday vs. Houston (10-9), 7 p.m.
, averaging 25.4 points per game, and
, averaging 22.2, are the only Rockets in double figures in scoring.
Wednesday vs. Minnesota (2-15), 7 p.m.
Former Villanova star
has yet to play, because of a stress reaction in his left knee.
News of the week
wasn't activated for any of the four games. (Only kidding.)
Of course, it was the hiring of
as president and general manager.
Stefanski was smart in not tipping his hand, saying he would make evaluations as he went forward.
While he won't make moves just for the sake of doing something, expect Stefanski to be active quickly in his attempt to reshape the team.
Preliminary checklist for Stefanski
Find a power forward who can score.
Get a player who can cover opposing point guards.
Assess the trade value of
and determine whether
can play in the NBA.
The most telling quote in the last few days came from Sixers chairman
when he talked about the team's 17-9 finish last season.
"We may have been delusional at the end of last season," Snider said. "The experts in the game weren't delusional, but maybe I was because I thought we really showed great promise."
Many of the Sixers' opponents at the end of last year were not playing with the utmost intensity since either their playoff chances were secure or had been foiled. In the beginning of the season, every team plays hard, which is what the Sixers have discovered this year.
The end of last season may have led to unrealistic expectations from Snider, and ultimately it cost King his job.
The Sixers keep losing games, but coach
hasn't lost the team. The players have continued to play hard. If this continues, we wonder whether it will have any impact as Stefanski evaluates Cheeks' future.
The final word
The fans' reaction to Ed Stefanski's hiring has been overwhelmingly positive, and rightly so. Stefanski is known as a shrewd evaluator of talent, and he'll need to put that skill to work.
The best way for the Sixers to improve is to make a one-sided trade similar to the three-for-one deal on draft night that brought
to New Jersey while Stefanski was there.
One of Billy King's good traits as a person and downfalls as a general manager was his loyalty to players, whom he often overpaid (i.e.
, who will make an average of more than $10.9 million in the next four years, including this season).
Such players as
were favorites of King's.
Stefanski doesn't have the loyalty, which means that any player on the roster is available for a trade.
Of course, the task won't be easy because there won't be a big demand for the Sixers' players.
Still, it would be a surprise if Stefanski doesn't make a big move by the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
At his opening news conference, Stefanski talked about how he wasn't averse to taking risks or making changes. He will need to do both to get this struggling franchise back on its feet.