The Philadelphia Sixers have been as frustrating as can be this season. What started off as a potential break out year for this newly constructed roster has turned into an underwhelming experience.
Likely locked into the 5th or 6th seed in the East come Playoff time, there isn’t a ton of confidence surrounding this team. Moving forward, as we sit and wait to see what happens in the bubble, many fans already have directed their attention to next season in hopes of some off-season retooling.
So with that in mind, what exactly is wrong with this team? A lot of people have their opinions on what’s holding them back. Below are some of my key reasons.
Health or Lack Thereof
Ever since “The Process” started with drafting an already injured Nerlens Noel, the Sixers franchise seems to be constantly riddled with injuries. Whether it’s Embiid, Simmons or other key contributors, there’s always something up.
Last night’s game is a key example of what Philadelphia has been enduring in this era of Sixers basketball.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Tobias Harris and Al Horford today vs the Phoenix Suns. Philly previously ruled out Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson as well.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 11, 2020
Players not being healthy throughout the season affects playoff seeding, team chemistry and individual growth for that particular player.
Whether it’s the medical/training staff or just pure bad luck, it can’t continue to happen if this team has championship aspirations in the near future.
Games Missed with Philadelphia:
Joel Embiid – 277
Ben Simmons – 100
Third “Star” Contributions
If you look around the league, there aren’t many more talented duos than Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The two have played together for just about 3yrs now and have seen decent success for such a young duo. A factor that seems to be preventing them in getting over the next hump though, is the lack of a third “star.”
Jimmy Butler probably filled the role the best, and in his lone season with Philadelphia, the Sixers were a game and heart wrenching buzzer beater away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
It seems that the team has now turned to Tobias Harris to fit that mold but his lack of consistency as a volume scorer is an issue.
It doesn’t matter how they find their 3rd “star.” Whether it’s Tobias stepping up his game when it counts or they look elsewhere. But it’s an absolute must to fill this role effectively if this team is serious about bringing a title back home to Philadelphia.
Brett Brown came to Philadelphia in the beginning of a rebuild, so he was automatically given time until a formidable team was put in place. Since the 2017-18 season, Brown has been given a roster that can surely compete with the best of them.
With a better roster, comes higher expectations and with year 3 coming to a close, you have to wonder if a coaching change is needed.
Coaching changes work. You look at Golden State’s hire of Kerr in 2014. The Warriors lose in the 1st round the year prior and win a championship the next. The Toronto Raptors fire Dwane Casey in 2018, and win a championship with Nick Nurse in 2019.
With such an underachieving season, it’s something the Sixers should not only think about but act upon before their championship window closes.
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.