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2012 NBA Playoff Wrap-Up: Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers went farther than anybody expected. They took the Boston Celtics to seven games before finally bowing out of the postseason. Jordan Sams (@samsjordan) from Liberty Ballers, who wanted to trade pieces away from this squad before the playoffs started, might have a different impression now, right? Let's check!

You thought the Celtics were winning in 5 before the series started... then they took it to 7. At what point did you think that the Sixers were going to win the series... and did you think that, in the long-term, that would've been good for Philly since, well, most of us thought Miami was going to cream them in the Conference Finals.

I was very impressed with how tough the Sixers played Boston in the first game, although they predictably lost a close one. I was even more impressed when they came back two days later and WON a close game on the road. After Game Two, I began to believe they'd have a shot.

Of course, it would've been good for the Sixers! More basketball is almost always a positive. I would've loved to see Jrue, Turner and company play at least four games against a semi-vulnerable Heat team, without Bosh. And hey, who knows, with the way the Sixers Playoff run went, anything could have happened. Dwyane Wade dislocating both his knees eating Honey Combs wouldn't have been completely out of the question.

Plus, I wanted the Sixers to give everyone complaining a big, proverbial middle finger. Forcing the world to watch them for at least four more games would've been delightful.

Which Sixers stock rose in the postseason?

Jrue Holiday and Lavoy Allen are the only consensus risers. Personally, I was pleased with Evan Turner (which I wrote about here), and it was good to see Andre Iguodala finally get some of the national recognition he deserves. Expect to see a lot more of AI9, casual NBA fans. I think he'll be playing for a legitimate contender this time next season.

Okay. So now what for the Sixers? They weren't supposed to go this far and we talked about changes with this team.

I'm about 90 percent sure at least two of the following players will be playing for another team to start next season: Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Louis Williams and Spencer Hawes. Elton is the most likely to return, followed by Lou. Iguodala and Hawes are essentially as good as gone.

Who the hell knows what Rod Thorn, Doug Collins and new ownership group has up their sleeve. I'm not the biggest fan of Thorn and Collins as talent evaluators and team builders – they're mired with stupid cliches like "killer instinct" and "can't teach height". They'll probably attempt some sort of quick fix. Iguodala will be traded for a big man in the mold of Pau Gasol, and the Sixers will top out as a team who falls just short of the Conference Finals for the next few years. Then, Thorn and Collins will be jettisoned, and we can FINALLY commit to rebuilding.

My ideal off-season is: trade Iguodala for a YOUNG big and/or a top 10 pick, let Hawes and Lou walk, and draft an athletic big to play with Jrue and Evan.

If Spencer Hawes is back, I'll personally Stone Cold Stun everyone. Every single person.

Blake Lively or Leighton Meester?

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I've been with both. Twice. I'm much more interested in Marko Jaric's wife these days.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Dineen/Getty Images

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