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A Memo to Doug Collins: Give Arnett Moultrie More Playing Time

Dear Doug Collins,

You’ve already made Sixers management think a talented, first-round big man is worse than he is. Please don’t do that again.

Vucevic has 33 rebounds in two games against the Sixers this year.

Last year the Sixers selected Nikola Vucevic with the 16th overall pick. Vucevic is a 6’10” center out of USC who is playing like a top 5 center on the Orlando Magic this year. Doug Collins, who is a firm believer in limiting rookie’s minutes, barely played Vucevic last year. Nik only played appeared in 1 of the Sixers playoff games and he only averaged 15 minutes a game. At the time I thought Vucevic was only a solid role player because I never saw him get quality minutes. I, along with most Sixers fans and Sixers management, was completely wrong.

When the Sixers acquired Andrew Bynum one of the pieces they gave away was Vucevic, who was traded to the Magic. The Orlando Magic are a team full of young players and the team is not yet competing for a title. Orlando’s coach Jacque Vaughn saw Nik’s potential and put him right into the starting lineup with nothing to lose. On the Magic Nik’s minutes doubled from when he was a Sixer. His numbers have doubled too; he is averaging 12 points and 11 boards a game. In just two games against the Sixers, he has 23 points and 33 rebounds. By comparison, Hawes and Allen have combined for just 41 points and 25 rebounds in twice as many minutes.

Doug Collins needs to expand his thinking and let rookies show what they can do. If he does not, the Sixers are at risk of trading away a another star and not building the franchise with young players.

Arnett Moultrie, a rookie 6-10 power forward, looks just as promising as Nik Vucevic did, but Arnett’s minutes are just not there. Doug is only giving Arnett 9 minutes a game, which is completely unacceptable because the Sixers need to be using this lost season to develop their young players. Arnett actually looks like the best Sixers big man on the floor not including Thad Young. Arnett rolls to the basket, sets strong screens, and he has a decent jump shot. His game looks eerily like Vucevic’s did.

It’s time to see what Moultrie can do.

Moultrie’s stats also back up his play. His PER is 17.9, which is a very impressive, in comparison to other big men he is in good company. Notable big men with a PER of around 18 is Nikola Pekovic, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Garnett who are all terrific big men. If Arnett played 36 minutes a game, he would average 12 points and 9 rebounds a game.

Lastly, Arnett is a force on the offensive glass; he grabs 16 percent of all shots that go up on the offensive end. The Sixers desperately need a force in the paint. Arnett Moultrie has the potential and game to fill that role. At the moment Moultrie only averages 3 points and 2 rebound a game but if he were to receive quality minutes those numbers could quadruple.

Let’s be honest: the Sixers season is over, its time to start rebuilding for the future. The Sixers current big men are horrific in Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes. Both big men set terrible screens, have poor shot selection, and are terrible rebounders. Spencer and Lavoy combine for 49 minutes a night; that number needs to go down to 30-35 minutes combined. Both players’ ceilings are low and playing them big minutes is getting the team nowhere. Arnett needs to start and receive at least 30 minutes a night to see what he can do.

Doug Collins needs to plan for the future and see what his future starters are capable of.

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Categories: 76ers, Editorial

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