The Philadelphia 76ers have once again given hope to the city of Philadelphia. In a dark time for the Phillies and the Eagles, The Sixers have been a joy to watch 12 games into the season. How did we get here in just one year and what must we do to propel us even further towards our championship hopes?
- Darryl Morey- Morey has made a great relationship with not only the roster as it seems, but most importantly the fans.
Morey has helped turn what looked like one of the more poorly run organizations into one of the best rosters in the NBA. Morey put shooters and players that fit well into an offense ran by Simmons and Embiid. I myself am very excited to see what he does with this roster going into the trade deadline and in the future.
2. Doc Rivers- Doc has gotten the best out of almost every player on the roster. This season is Embiid’s best looking so far. Doc has found a way to maximize Embiid’s potential in a way Brett Brown never could. He puts his faith in every player on the court and I believe that is a big factor in why Maxey has looked like the steal of the draft to date. His confidence he puts in guys like Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey gives them confidence to play the way they like to. He has also brought out the best version of Tobias Harris Sixers fans have seen.
3. Joel Embiid- Has he ever looked better to start a season? He looks dedicated and quite possibly the best shape he has ever been in. The NBA season is only 12 games in, but he is the early leader in my opinion of the MVP race. He has taken over late in games and hasn’t been gassing out at the end of games. It shouldn’t have taken 3 years to run an offense around him, but Doc Rivers has rescued us from watching him hang around the three point line 60% of the game. He has gotten on the block and has looked unstoppable in all facets of the game. His fade-away jumper and his ability to create his own shot has never looked better and his defense has eclipsed what it once was.
4. Seth Curry- The stats pretty much speak for themselves here. Seth Curry is having a career year with the Philadelphia 76ers with a PPG of 17 with shooting splits of 60/59/1000. Seth has been an instant upgrade over Josh Richardson and a great secondary ball handler.
5. The Bench- The Sixers bench stats have taken a dip these past 3 games dealing with COVID-19 . Nonetheless the bench before this debacle had looked very good. Shake Milton has taken a huge leap all around as a player and Tyrese Maxey has proven to be a fantastic ball handler off the bench. Add in a veteran leader like Dwight Howard to the mix and you have a really fun, defensive minded second squad out there. Now we await the sharpshooting Furkan Korkmaz to get healthy and we may be looking at one of the best second units in the game. The bench may only get better once buyout season begins. With Tyrese Maxey’s continued development this season, the second unit can only go up from here.
What do the Sixers need to do to continue this success or catapult them into championship potential?
- Is a Ben Simmons trade necessary?- I don’t believe you have to trade Simmons to make a championship run. He is one of the best playmakers in the league and an All Defensive 1st Team caliber player. His defensive prowess is a skillset few in the league have. When your two best players are among the best defenders in their respective position, you’re in a good spot. That being said I do believe a trade maximizes our championship potential with Joel Embiid. I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities an offense around Bradley Beal/James Harden and Embiid would have. While there would be a lot to desire on the defensive side of the court, their offensive skills immediately makes the Sixers the top team in the East. A trade for Harden may have the Sixers looking almost identical to the Lakers.
2. Continuing to unleash Tyrese Maxey- Maxey over the past three games has been very impressive. He dropped 39 points against the Nuggets (their defense is one of the worst in the league) and had two very impressive games against the Hawks and the Heat. As I said earlier, Maxey looks like the early candidate for the “steal of the draft”. Many speculated that if the NCAA tournament happened last year, he could have been a lottery pick.
3. Letting Morey continue to drive the franchise- If the Sixers are going to continue to be in the mix for a championship they have to let Morey continue to do his thing. As long as Morey has the keys to this ride, I’m all over this roller coaster. What he has done in just months has turned around years of bad mistakes by Colangelo, Brown, and Brand.
4. DO NOT TRADE TOO MUCH FOR HARDEN- I can not overstate this enough. With the recent news of Harden being traded, the only package I would give up is Simmons and picks. If the deal involves Maxey and Shake, (and i can not stress this enough) I AM OUT.