The Sixers are off to a hot start Not only do they own a 6-1 record, but the wins have been dominant.
Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris have been showing their ability to become a big three, while new guys Seth Curry and Danny Green have been thriving in their new roles with the team. Head Coach Doc Rivers has shown fans stark improvements to what we saw under Brett Brown, making in game adjustments when needed. With all of this said, the Sixers look like they could be something special.
Joel Embiid is on a mission to win
Joel has said that he wants to win bot the MVP and DPOY this year and it’s shown.
He’s averaging 25/13/3 with a steal per game, while also notching just under two blocks a game. He’s really playing with a new edge. This is exactly what the Sixers needed from their franchise player. The hope is that Embiid can keep it going throughout the season and not miss too many games. He’s already complained about how “load management” is handled but, he should see that the team needs this production during the last month of the season, as well as the first.
Tobias Harris is back
Tobias Harris enjoyed his best season playing under Doc Rivers and never seemed to find his groove while playing under Brett Brown.
Harris has been nothing short of spectacular so far. 19/9/3 to go with 1.5 steals and blocks per game is good, but going 50% from the field, 49% from three, and 92% from the free-throw line just make it really amazing.
He’s playing well on both sides of the ball and the Sixers are reaping the rewards of re-signing him. Don’t expect those numbers to last for the entire season, as far as the percentages go but, the stats should stay.
Simmons doing Simmons things
While he needs to take more shots than the nine that he’s done to start the season, Simmons is averaging 13/10/7 to go along with 1.5 blocks and steals. He’s growing more comfortable in the offense that coach Doc Rivers has implemented and is playing as a true point guard should. Too many people tend to focus on his lack of shots, yet they don’t look at the total game, overlooking his rampant defense. The Sixers need Simmons if they’re going to get to the NBA Finals this year and his hot start supports this happening.
Dwight Howard is the steal of the year
Dwight Howard has had quite a career, but to see what he’s doing here in Philadelphia is nothing short of amazing. He’s a leader. He’s a veteran with experience, a title, and the accolades to be respected. But, Howard is also leading by example.
He’s taken the team, and most importantly Simmons, under his wing. He routinely has players practicing after games. He’s vocal on the floor and the bench. Howard is also contributing in minutes, saving Embiid some playing time. He’s one of the rare players that achieved success in their early career as a “superstar,” who’s been able to accept being a role player and veteran leader.
The player and person that he’s become is remarkable. He treats the game and the younger players with the utmost respect, which is an inspiration to everyone that plays the game.
Shake is ready to explode for the Sixers
Doc Rivers has a reputation for getting the best out of his sixth man. Milton seems to fall right in line with that. While his 12/3/3 line might not explode off the screen, he has the ability to put up 25 points at any given time. He’s the first one off the bench and is showing his true value to a team that needs to have a very good second unit. Shake will be in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year when this season ends.
Sixers’ coach Doc Rivers was needed
Whether it’s game planning, managing minutes, finding the hot hand, or adjusting in games, Doc has shown what the team seriously lacked under Brett Brown. If the Sixers can continue their current play throughout the season, there’s no reason that Doc couldn’t find himself in the Coach of the Year conversation. He’s just what this young group of budding stars needed.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire