We are 12 games into the season and the Sixers are currently the 7th seed in the east with a 6-6 record. With awesome games like the 97-86 win over the Pistons and the devastating one-point loss against the Sacramento Kings, the Sixers have played with heart. With that being said, some Sixers have shined while some have underperformed. Let’s see where each player stands 12 games into the season. (Must have played in at least 6 games).
Joel Embiid has played in 10 out of 12 games so far this season. He sat out against the Raptors because it was the second game of a back to back and against the Jazz due to “load management”. He is averaging 19.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks. Not bad through 12 games. The only reason he doesn’t garner an A is because he’s averaging a massive 4.7 turnovers per game. His 8.1 turnovers per 100 possessions places him first among players that have played at least 75 minutes.
Another small reason as to why he isn’t given an A is because of the shape he is in. You can tell by just watching him run up and down the court that he isn’t quite in game shape yet. This was very evident in the game against the Warriors, who play at a very fast pace. If Joel Embiid can cut down his turnovers and get in better shape, I will gladly give him the A next time around.
Ben Simmons has been better than anyone could have predicted. He is only the second player in NBA history to average at least 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists through his first 12 games. The other man to do it is the legendary Oscar Robertson. Simmons is averaging 17.4 points, 9 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.8 steals. There shouldn’t be any more questions about him being a point guard or point forward. It is clear he is the 76ers point guard of the future. Without Simmons, I’m not sure this team would be would be 6-6 right now.
Robert Covington is a living testament of what pure hard work and determination can get you. He went from being an undrafted forward to being one of the best 3-and-D players in the league. He is averaging a career high 15.7 points and shooting a career best 48.9% from deep. That makes him the 10th best 3 point shooter in the league at the moment. Covington’s hot shooting and strong defensive instincts have been crucial for the team as well as Simmons’ and Embiid’s development.
Redick is providing the team with some much needed floor spacing. He’s putting up 15.6 points per game while shooting 41.5% from deep. Not to mention he’s playing a career high 32.5 minutes per game at 33 years old. Having Redick on the perimeter ready to catch and shoot at any time is an awesome weapon to have. It has been one that Simmons and the team have taken advantage of early on.
T.J. has provided the team with a spark off the bench. He plays hard on defense every night and scraps his way through the game. He is putting up 6.4 points and 5.4 assists per game. He plays well alongside Ben Simmons and is called upon to play some tough minutes every night by Brett Brown. T.J.’s energy and playmaking has been a big part of the team’s early success.
Despite struggling early on, Saric has finally found his groove since being inserted into the starting lineup. He’s averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 41.1% from deep. His jumper, which looked a bit flat at times last year, looks like it has a bit more of an arc now. He has had a double double in 2 of the last 3 games. The only reason I don’t give him an A is because he is still playing subpar defense.
Amir Johnson is averaging 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting a measly 12.5% from deep (1 of 8) and a career low 46% from the field and 50% from the free throw line. He isn’t doing much besides grabbing a few rebounds and putting the ball back up. That’s something that Richaun Holmes can do. Holmes is also a better rim protector and shooter compared to Johnson. He’s a good veteran but with Richaun Holmes back in mix, the secondary big man minutes should be given to him over Johnson.
Jerryd Bayless has been very good early on. He is shooting 42.2% from deep and averaging 11 points per game. His ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc has been huge for the team. He is a crafty veteran who has greatly helped a young Sixers team.
Justin Anderson is good for a few quality minutes off the bench. He’s shooting a career best 39.1% from deep, largely due to a smoother looking jumper. He is extremely supportive off the bench and clearly a great teammate. Although he doesn’t bring much to the table besides the occasional 3 pointer and his hustle-n-grind attitude, he is definitely the type of player you always want to have on your team and the Sixers are glad to have him.
TLC is shooting 42.9% from 3 point range and averaging 6.8 points per game. His jumper looks much better than last year. He still looks a bit uncomfortable putting the ball on the floor and his defense hasn’t been the greatest. TLC must earn his minutes this season since he is behind T.J McConnell, Jerryd Bayless, J.J. Redick and when he returns, Markelle Fultz, on the depth chart.
The Sixers must continue to get better as the season continues. They have to get healthy (I’m looking at you Markelle) and continue to build chemistry. The early season has treated the Sixers nicely, but they have a long way to go if they want to make some noise when it comes playoff time.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports