The NBA season is indefinitely suspended and it’s becoming more and more likely that the season will be canceled. Either way, now is as good a time as any to look back on the season and evaluate the players.
We here at PSN have already tackled a good portion of the roster looking at the starters as well as some of the key bench contributors. Now it’s time to turn our attention to some of the real depth players/locker-room guys starting with the always chipper Kyle O’Quinn.
Kyle O’Quinn: 3.3PTS, 3.8 REB, 1.3AST
Kyle O’Quinn has carved out a career for himself as not only a quality backup big but as a high-character team chemistry builder. He may not be an All-Star but O’Quinn serves a real purpose in the NBA. Teams need players who can contribute even if they’re not on the court. Players that help morale, that can lift spirits when down, one that other players just like being around. Chemistry is one of the driving forces in basketball and teams just can’t have enough of it.
The addition of O’Quinn was meant to bring the Sixers a quality locker-room presence and efficiency at backup center. On the teammate front, the signing was a success. O’Quinn quickly became one of the most likable personalities on the roster. On the court, things weren’t going quite as well.
O’Quinn saw limited action for the season and rarely had an opportunity for extended minutes unless Embiid was sidelined. Even still, his performance was good, not great. O’Quinn saw a drop in his efficiency especially at the free-throw line. I don’t know what it is about Philadelphia but O’Quinn is far from the first player to forget how to shoot after joining the Sixers.
Never known as a defender, O’Quinn did his best to focus on what he does well. He is a quality rebounder and improved as a paint defender making strides to become a better defender. O’Quinn found some success on the season, he even averaged career highs in blocks and rebounds per 36 minutes.
O’Quinn began to grow understandably frustrated, even to the point of requesting to be waived. His role had shrunk between Al Horford’s move to the bench and the signing of Norvel Pelle. As the year progressed, it seemed less and less likely that he would remain a Sixer, but he did. O’Quinn was not waived and even worked his way back into the lineup for a few games.
Now O’Quinn may very well return to the Sixers next season, even if the team wants him back he may not want to stay. If he does though, O’Quinn will need to find his shooting stroke at least from the free-throw line. Without efficiency, O’Quinn will continue to lose minutes to others and we will only revisit his request to be waived.
The season started with high hopes and it’s tough for a bench player on a minimum contract to be considered a disappointment but even still its tough to feel that this experiment was a success.
O’Quinn provided some depth but he’s really meant to be a third center on an NBA roster, not the backup. In previous season when he was a more efficient shooter, O’Quinn was the kind of player every team would want to round out their roster. This season was a different story though, still the affable glue-guy, O’Quinn just couldn’t find success on the hardwood.
Again we’ve already reviewed many other Sixers so don’t forget to check out some of the other entries in our “Season in Review” series:
Mandatory Credit – © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers, Eagles, and Phillies writer for Philly Sports Network. Follow me on Twitter @ZCiavoPSN and follow the rest of our team for more quality content.
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