The Sixers are currently riding high! A five game winning streak, tied for their most this season, and are playing like they did in late October/early November. It’s been 32 games since our first report card so let’s see how the fellas are doing.
Note the grade in (*) is the player’s grade given to them on December 6th
Justin Anderson: B (C)
He’s worked his way up into the rotation and has been seeing regular minutes since the new year. His want for playing time has shown up as tenacity on the court. Add to that he’s shooting a career best 35% from three-point land.
Jerryd Bayless: C (B-)
Talk about a guy riding out his contract. He’s found himself clearly behind McConnell, Anderson and TLC on the depth chart. Bayless has contributed very little towards any victories during this period and his constant sullen expression his reflective of this.
Marco Belinelli: N/A
I really like this signing. A wily veteran who’s played in almost 50 playoff games and as we’ve seen in his debut, the ability to get hot from behind the arc. Look for him to send Bayless into street clothes.
Trevor Booker: B (N/A)
He is simply doing his job. Active on defense and constantly hustling, Booker has brought a tenacious veteran presence to a young club. It also doesn’t hurt that he is shooting a career best 84% from the line in his first 30 games with the Sixers.
Robert Covington: B- (A)
Saying RoCo has been bad lately is an understatement. His shooting % has dropped 5 percentage points since his “A” rating and his lock-down defense hasn’t been up to snuff. Add to that numerous moments on offense looking completely uninterested, several airballs and showing only a minimum amount of court awareness. Surprisingly, his plus-minus is still third among small forwards. That brought him from a C to his current grade.
Joel Embiid: A+ (A)
Second among centers in real plus-minus, to only the injured Boogie Cousins, “The Process” is having a fantastic season. Averaging 24 points per game, 6th in the league in rebounds and blocks, Embiid is showing why he is the cornerstone of this franchise. Averaging over 31 minutes in 44 games so far and fans can rest a little easier knowing he’s ready for the long haul.
Markelle Fultz: N/A
Back on December 6th I said “Yes he was dreadful in those 4 early games, but I’m not going to condemn him with a low grade until he is playing healthy.” When the first overall pick can’t shoot and has turned to virtual reality for assistance, it’s not looking good.
Richaun Holmes: B (B-)
The Richaun Holmes/Amir Johnson debate continues. They are both averaging 15 minutes per game. The big disparity is that Johnson has appeared in almost every game and Holmes in only half. Holmes is more versatile and has the speed to cover smaller players when switching on defense. I’d like to see him at 20 minutes per night.
Amir Johnson: B (C)
Speak of the devil! Johnson has filled in admirably when needed for Embiid and is more of a grinder than Holmes. But in today’s NBA, teams often need 4-5 defenders who can patrol the perimeter and Johnson is simply too slow to do so.
Timothe Luwawau-Cabarrot: B- (C+)
TLC did yeoman’s work filling in for JJ Reddik in January. In six starts, he averaged almost 30 minutes,12 PPG and shot 47% from behind the arc. His 37% field goal percentage for the season needs a boost and at the current time, he is behind Justin Anderson on the shooting guard depth chart.
T.J. McConnell: A (B)
From a production standpoint, only Embiid has matched McConnell when it comes to consistency this season. arely does he under-perform two games in a row and regardless of his unexpected success, it hasn’t gone to his head. His emotions are genuine and contagious. Aside from sporting the best assist to turnover ratio on roster, he recently pulled off the rare feet of a triple-double coming off the bench.
JJ Redick: A (B+)
Definitely worth every penny. Sure he’s had a few bad shooting performances, but for the most part, Redick has been a stone cold sniper from the field. When he is on, Redick is clearly the Sixers’ best option for points from distance. Not only is he leading the NBA in free throw percentage (94%), at age 33 he’s having his best statistical year as a pro.
Dario Saric: A (B+)
“The Homey” has been lights out over the past month! Not only is he now amongst the top ten foul shooters in the NBA, Saric has improved in every shooting category from last season – FG% 41 to 45, 3P% 31 to 39, and FT% 78 to 90. Despite handling the ball less with Simmons healthy this season, Saric has also increased his assists per game and lowered his turnovers. He is developing into the player they projected him to be.
Ben Simmons: A (A)
He continues to lead all rookies in almost every major category but has been surpassed by Utah’s Donovan Mitchell in PPG and is legitimately threatened for rookie of the year. Simmons’ assist -to-turnover ratio is still slightly less than 2-1 but it has improved as of late, with a 2.3 A/T ratio since January 1. His FT% is nothing to write home about but he has improved, shooting over 60% over the last two months. After being criticized for not being aggressive enough during a three game stretch in which he played 100 minutes without attempting a single foul shot, Ben Simmons has flipped a switch and is making everyone in his path hoping he shows mercy.
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports