Having being bounced from the playoffs earlier this summer, it seems that the Sixers have been running out of luck and are in need of a whole lot of soul searching.
But this is a new era for the Sixers. Doc Rivers is in town and fans will be hoping that the days of poor roster construction and questionable in-game adjustments are over. So what can the team learn from this summer?
Elevating Ben Simmons
The Sixers struggled mightily towards the end of last season. A position change for Ben Simmons raised more questions than answers and his injury only piled the pressure on guys like Tobias Harris, who received a $180 million dollar contract last year, setting some rather high expectations.
Moving forward, the most important thing we learned is that Ben Simmons could still be everything we hoped he would be if he’s nurtured by the right hand.
Despite all the criticisms faced, the Aussie still had a monster third season in the NBA. He nearly averaged a triple-double at 16.4 ppg, 7.8 reb, and 8.0 ast, and earned All-NBA Third Team recognition. He was selected to his second consecutive All-Star game, and received a small amount of “Defensive Player of the Year” consideration as well.
The good news is that Doc Rivers seems very intent on getting the best out of the all-stair pairing comprised of Embiid and Simmons.
“They’ve won 65% of the games they’ve played in. It clearly works when they play together. I don’t get lost in what position guys play. I don’t care how we score. My teams have always been very good offensively. We have Ben, Joel, Tobias, Shake, Josh. This team is loaded with talent. We just have to work out how to use it the best.”
We saw how much untapped potential Ben Simmons still has last season. The hype around his three-point shot remains at an all-time high. If anyone can take his game to the next level, it’s Rivers…and that has to be a priority for this team to move forward.
Issues with the roster construction
After making some terrible decisions in their roster construction since last summer, it seems that the Sixers are now almost back at square one. As the front office is in dire need of getting creative with the new planning, it’s clear that moving Horford is one of the player transactions that need to take place.
In addition, trends have identified that Tobias Harris is a good fit next to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. A fit that will only grow with the addition of a Head Coach who had previously helped Harris thrive during their time together with the Clippers.
The Sixers can’t afford to whiff on deals that will hamper them long-term if they don’t pan out, or on draft decisions that will leave them regretting the path chosen on a weekly basis. Somehow, the roster is in a position to at least contend and has a bevy of young talent. But the room for error when it comes to roster construction is marginal.
For those spectators that would like to take their chances on the current roster construction, there’s currently a wealth of ways to get involved by betting online.
Have they bitten off more than they can chew with contracts?
With a hefty $287 million tied up in some of the Sixers contracts, it seems that some of the players with the most impressive contracts are significantly underperforming. After Horford’s major deal and Tobias Harris’s $180 million contract, these players are significantly underperforming and in particular, against the Celtics. So what’s going on?
It’s time that the coaches put their heads together with the logistics of their players and make some tough decisions on who is going to lead the Sixers forward into success. With Harris shooting at just 33.7% from the field, as well as being yet to connect any of his 10 three-point attempts, it’s definitely not the results they should be seeing from a player who’s making $36 million annually.
Whilst Horford does show a lot of potential and there is hope for future success, Horford is only a great player in the right situation and needs the coaches to step up their game in order to move in the right direction.
Overall, whilst it’s been a rather disappointing season for the Sixers, there’s sure to be a lot of changes coming up which may be for the better. One things for sure, the contracts need a reshuffle and a new era of coaching has to correct the errors of yesteryear and ensure they don’t repeat.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire
Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
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