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The Philadelphia 76ers End of Season Grades: Point Guard
- Updated: April 14, 2017
The Philadelphia 76ers finished the 2016-2017 season with a 28-54 record, an 18-win improvement from what they finished the year before. It was a season of ups and downs for Philadelphia, and the team showed many bright signs of the future. With the season having ended Wednesday night, Corner Pub Sports writer Matt Gregan gives you his end-of-season grades for each position group for the Sixers, starting with point guard.
Things changed drastically for the point guard position of the Sixers before the season even began. During the final day of training camp for the team, rookie, number one overall pick Ben Simmons broke a bone in his foot ultimately shelving him for the year. Simmons, standing at 6’10, had the abilities of a point guard while having the height of a power forward, and the team was most likely going to use him as a point guard or point forward.
However, that never happened and as a result, the Sixers had to use a variety of other players to fill in the starting point guard spot, and they eventually settled on TJ McConnell as the starting point guard.
81 games, 26.3 minutes per game, 6.9 points, 6.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 46.1 FG%, 20 3P% and 81.1 FT%
TJ McConnell began the season as a role player coming off the bench, and he ended it as the team’s starting point guard. McConnell fought and played his way into becoming the team’s starting point guard midway through the season.
Don’t let his overall season stats fool you, they are skewed from his time coming off the bench. In 30 games coming off the bench, McConnell played 19.3 minutes per game and averaged 4.0 points, 4.5 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. In 51 games as a starter, he played 30.5 minutes and averaged 8.6 points, 7.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.
McConnell clearly stepped up his game as the season went on, and he earned his way into becoming the team’s full-time starter at the point guard position.
Also, McConnell might not have the talent and skill set that other point guards in the NBA have, but he makes up for it with his heart and hustle that he plays with on a daily basis.
68 games, 22.3 minutes per game, 7.8 points, 5.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 39.2 FG%, 36.5 3P% and 66.7 FT%
Sergio Rodriguez was the Sixers opening day starter at the point guard position, and he played very well for the first couple months of the season. In the 30 games that he started at the point guard position, Rodriguez averaged 27.4 minutes, 9.7 points, 6.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. Those numbers are not bad, but they are nothing special either.
Rodriguez started off the season well, and he was even outperforming expectations, but he tailed off in both his production and his health. Eventually, he lost the starting job to TJ McConnell and he never got it back.
One of the many things that Rodriguez didn’t do well was his daily dose of poor shot selection, and combined with the fact that he shot the ball like he was Stephen Curry, made Sixers fans begin to dislike the Spanish native.
3 games, 23.7 minutes per game, 11.0 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 34.4 FG%, 40.0 3P% and 90.0 FT%
Jerryd Bayless, one of general manager Bryan Colangelo’s offseason signings, never panned out for the Sixers this season. Bayless hurt his left wrist before the season began, and he missed 13 games before coming back and making his debut in a Sixers uniform.
He didn’t look bad in his brief time being healthy in the 2016-2017 season, but he was only able to play three games before he re-injured his wrist. He eventually had surgery and was pronounced to be out for the remainder of the season.
Bayless, currently signed to a three year, $27 million contract (spotrac.com), is still a member of the 76ers and hopefully will be healthy when it comes time for the 2017-2018 season to begin.
The Sixers point guards did not play as bad as many people thought they would once Ben Simmons got hurt. Some production occurred, and TJ McConnell developed into an NBA player. Granted, the Sixers didn’t get very much production at all from the point guard position, and the defense coming from the position was dreadful, but the Sixers point guards were able to survive and live for another day.