The NBA is still in the midst of a suspended season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. There is no timetable for a return and there are no answers as of yet for some major questions. How will the rest of the regular season be handled? Will the playoff format change? If the season is canceled what team would be the champion?
There are many questions that will likely not be answered for awhile but while we wait for the NBA to sort itself out, we turn to the Sixers’ performance so far.
Josh Richardson: 13.8PTS, 3.4REB, 3.1AST
The Sixers managed to obtain Josh Richardson when Jimmy Butler forced his way to Miami during the offseason. The Sixers were not going to retain Butler so getting something back could only be gravy. Josh Richardson was much more than gravy.
A young, athletic, versatile guard, Richardson is chock-full of potential. There were times with Miami last season where he looked like their new budding star. There was plenty of excitement, and rightfully so, as the Sixers got younger and more athletic when all they gave up was a player they weren’t going to sign anyway.
Richardson would play any combination of positions for the Sixers this year, acting as the starting shooting guard, the sixth man, and sometimes even the team’s backup point guard. He is a clear jack-of-all-trades so when the season began, much was expected.
Richardson started the season with a poor shooting October (like most of the team) but when November rolled around he hit is stride. Averaging 17.1 points per game and shooting over 42% from three, Richardson looked like an obvious steal.
One thing that has been true his entire career though is that Richardson is nothing if not streaky. Game-by-game you didn’t know what he would do. Richardson could put up 30 one night and the next night three. Since November the season has only gone downhill for Richardson. He continued to deal with injuries and his shooting percentages dropped lower and lower.
On the court Richardson was struggling, off the court so was team chemistry. Joel Embiid and Al Horford both made public comments about being dissatisfied with the team’s offense. Horford was also quoted admitting to locker room issues (though this was clearly overblown). Then you had people (Chris Broussard) who claimed that Simmons and Embiid cared more about top dog status than winning. With all this going on, in addition to chemistry issues on the court, Josh Richardson took matters into his own hands.
Richardson led a players only meeting in hope of righting the ship. It was interesting to see Richardson call the meeting as he was also one of the newest additions to the team. While it’s disappointing that it wasn’t Embiid, Simmons, Horford, or even Tobias Harris, it is encouraging to see that type of leadership from Richardson.
If there’s one thing you can never question about Richardson it’s his heart. He has more than most in the NBA. He’s passionate, fiery, a true leader, and one that should be valued heavily. Richardson also is full of fight, he is an absolute dog on the court, an agitator. On offense and defense, he just knows how to get inside the enemy’s head.
The season did not go the way Richardson or the fans would’ve hoped, but if Richardson can come out of this suspended season healthy, and hopefully a little more durable, then the Sixers will again have there jack-of-all-trades. Hopefully that’s the case but until then this season was unfortunately a disappointment.
Josh Richardson is clearly a very good talent but he just can’t find consistency. He has struggled and continues to struggle with injuries and his jump shot is questionable from the start so it’s not surprising, you’re just left wanting more. If he can ever find consistency, Richardson has star potential. It’s a big if for any NBA player but he really is that talented.
If and when the season resumes, a healthy Richardson would help them immensely on their journey to the NBA Finals.
Mandatory Credit – © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports