Dei-mails: Who will start for the Sixers?

Dei-mails: Who will start for the Sixers?
September 11, 2013, 8:30 pm

Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner celebrate a win last season. Will they be part of new coach Brett Brown's starting five this year? (USA Today Images)

The Eagles are in the spotlight with Chip Kelly and company getting that first victory Monday night against a division rival.

Still, the Sixers' training camp is closing in and I thought I would answer some e-mail and Twitter questions people have recently sent about the team. Who will play? Will anyone stand out and what are some expectations for the season?. Let's take a look.

Q. Who will be the Sixers' starting five?

-@crazyg

A. That is an excellent question. Who Brett Brown starts in the preseason may not be the same five we see on opening night. With a new coach and a very different roster then that of last year, a feeling-out process is to be expected. Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, I believe, are three guarantees to be in the lineup for the opening tip provided no further moves are made. Young has started at the power forward spot the last few seasons, but earlier in the summer he said he was working on his jump shot because shooting the three-pointer was going to be part of the plan for Brown’s Sixers and moving to the small forward spot was a possibility.

If Young plays the small forward position, the Sixers' perimeter will need to greatly improve its shooting. Young has shot 51 percent for his six-year career -- 53.1 percent last year -- but over his last three seasons he has attempted 34 total three-pointers and made just seven. It was not part of his repertoire.

Turner shot a career-best from behind the arc last season (36.5), but he had a 17-game stretch where he was 3 for 22. And MCW shot 29 percent from the college three last season at Syracuse. An outside threat is necessary to keep defenses honest.

Vying for two frontcourt spots will be Lavoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie, Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown. Nerlens Noel stays out of the conversation until he is deemed healthy to play. Hawes will win one of the two spots. For fans who say 'no, not again,' consider that Hawes averaged 11 points and 7.2 rebounds in 27 minutes last season. Would he be a great back-up center? Yes. Is he an adequate starter? Yes.

Q. I think Evan Turner is set to have a much-improved year. Consistency is an issue but him having the ball more will distort that and more shots should equal more points. MCW will start but featured as the point-two-guard. Turner is a triple threat. Check game logs 9-28 from last year. He had two other 10-game stretches of a “B” level, triple-threat player.

–Comcast.net user bnada

A. That was a good 20-game stretch for Turner last season. He shot the ball extremely well, especially from three. He had worked hard last summer on making the corner three and it showed during those 20 games. He scored double figures in 19 of the 20 games and averaged 17.2 points. He averaged 6.4 rebounds in that stretch, as well. As far as his assists, for the season he averaged 3.1, but in 36 of his 82 appearances he had five or more in a game.

It is a big year for Turner not just because it is a contract year, but what were perceived as road blocks to his success in the early part of his NBA career are all gone. First it was Andre Iguodala. The second season it was Doug Collins for not starting him, and last year it was Jrue Holiday having the ball in his hands 90 percent of the time.