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Better Know an Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers

A Q&A with Liberty Ballers

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Once again I was able to badger a writer from a sister SB Nation website into answering the random questions I have in my head. This time, though, I got questions from other MMB writers since, as you might be able to tell from my preview, I think the sky is falling in Dallas. Michael Levin from Liberty Ballers took some time out of his schedule to talk with us. Be sure to follow him on twitter and be sure to visit Liberty Ballers!

1. With Jrue Holiday hurt, the Sixers have opted to not start a traditional point guard. Why is that and how has it worked out?

The Sixers without Andrew Bynum are mediocre. The Sixers without Jrue Holiday aren't even a basketball team. Evan Turner and, strangely enough, Dorell Wright have been handling the ball and not doing terribly, but it really doesn't matter. Like, they have no chance against a decent team without Jrue and Drew. The only actual point guards available are Royal Ivey, who's had a slew of injuries and sicknesses of late, and Maalik Wayns (we call him Sheep), who Doug doesn't trust at all. Things are great!

2. Where do you feel Jrue Holiday ranks among today's point guards?

Without doing a ton of research or exercising many brain muscles, I'd say he's top 10 at this point. Defensively, he's capable of being one of the best and he's taken real strides on the offensive end. If you asked me who I'd move him for straight up, there's only a few names I'd come up with -- CP3, Deron, Kyrie... I think he's right in with the guys in the tier after them.

3. The 76ers have gone 3-6 since they beat Dallas on November 27th. What's been the problem these last 9 games?

Bluntly: they aren't very good. They have almost no big man production, Jrue's been hurt, and when they aren't shooting lights out (and they haven't been), they can't score enough to surpass their now-terrible defense. It's amazing how quickly they've fallen off the cliff on D.

4. Doug Collins has a history of wearing thin on his teams around the third year or so. How's he been this season and do you see the Sixers sticking with him moving forward?

Lots of rumors coming out of camp last year that he had lost them already. That was due to a lot of friction between Doug and Iguodala. I'm sure a big reason only 5 players returned from last year's team was because of how quickly Doug wore on them. The new batch of guys seem to be responding fine so far, but without Brand/Andre/Lou, they're unquestionably a worse team even with the improvements from Jrue, Evan, and Thad. Once Bynum gets back - *SOB* - that's a different story.

5. Any Sixers on the trade block?

Hawes, hopefully. Rumors abound that they're trying to move Bynum but I call bullshit on that one. They need a big if they're trying to win now, but since winning now doesn't matter/make logical sense, I'd rather them wait it out for Bynum, depending on what this Thursday's news brings. Great time to be a Sixers fan, Kirk.

Hope springs eternal or some other such shenanigans. Thanks Michael! Visit Liberty Ballers

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