8/14/14

Why Even Look At The Menu?

Have you ever been to a Chinese restaurant and read through every available item on the menu and just ended up ordering the lemon chicken and sweet and sour pork? From now on, I'll be calling this the "Doing a Joey Wright".

The Sixers coach travelled to Vegas in the winter to watch some NBA summer league and try out some players. In the end he settled on a couple of Americans who have been right in his backyard. While both players seem to be solid additions, the Sixers have perhaps fallen behind the pack due to an inability to find a true superstar.

The first signing was Jamar Wilson, almost a veteran of the league. Wilson has had a solid NBL career, coming close to an MVP and adjusting nicely to being a sixth man last year. You know what you're getting with Jamar.

The second pick-up (although not "official") is Daequon Montreal, who has been playing in the SEABL for the last three years. He's averaged over 23 ppg for the last two years and hopefully makes the step up to NBL level.

With a pretty talented roster, these two may just be enough to see Adelaide go from runner-up to champion in 2015. That logic is fine until you see what else the other NBL teams have been doing, especially on the import front.

PERTH- Bring back "Dollar" Beal, who I'm expecting will take his game up another notch this year. Running mate James Ennis is gone but stepping in is an even more credentialed player, drafted higher and from a better program. Deandre Daniels is fresh off a national championship for UConn and is keen to do enough to land an NBA spot next season. He's athletic with three-point range and should be a star.

MELBOURNE- Finally get Stephen Dennis in uniform. If he's fully recovered expect him to be a Top 5 import. No word yet on import 2. They have landed a marquee player though in Daniel Kickert, as well as bringing back David Barlow. Should be very strong.

CAIRNS- Torrey Craig is their lone signing so far. He played 4 years for USC Upstate. Athletic but not a renowned outside shooter. Promising but one of the bigger unknowns so far.

NEW ZEALAND- Have brought back Ced-Jax which also brings back the Breakers as a legit contender. Still have one import spot left but this Breakers team will be nothing like last year's rabble.

SYDNEY- Continued their love affair with small point guards by signing 6"0 Kendrick Perry. He's another livewire but seems a little more "ready" than some of his predecessors. Should be a fan favourite. Joining Perry is Josh Childress, one of the more experienced NBA players the league has ever seen. Childress isn't going to be like the  player some NBA fans may remember from his Hawks days but should thrive here.

TOWNSVILLE- Bring back Brian Conklin for another season and have added former NBA big Mickell Gladness. The former Raptor/Heatite(?)/Warrior is "offensively challenged" but hopes to make up for that with his rim protection. He could be the best shot blocker we've seen since Willie Simmons...... and the worst free-throw shooter since Jarrid Frye.

WOLLONGONG- The Hawks settled on former point guard Gary Ervin, who was at his best under Gordie McLeod. The team still has one spot to fill but have a pretty decent record of finding imports. They'll need to find a super-duper star to make this team a finals chance.

The Sixers signings are good but will they be enough to lock in a playoffs spot, let alone get a crack at another Grand Finals series?  It ain't gonna be easy.




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