The Future of Philly

By Shawn Dennis

The Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday Night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. With this loss, head coach Doc Rivers has tied the record for most consecutive Game 7 losses in NBA history with four. It’s no question that this season was the best that Philly’s had in recent history. Finishing the regular season top in the East with a 49-23 record, having two players make the All-Star team (although getting haircuts kept them from playing), Doc Rivers being an All-Star coach, and Joel Embiid finishing second in the MVP race. However, this playoff series marks the question of if “The Process” that Embiid had continuously referred to in post-game press conferences, practically since the start of his NBA career, is anywhere near complete. 

Everyone wants to put the blame on one player for their team’s woes. In Philly’s predicament, the clear culprit behind this is Ben Simmons. Simmons can flat out not shoot the basketball. There’s no other explanation, theory, reason, or whatever else you want to call it. To put into perspective how bad he is at the free throw line during the playoffs, Simmons has averaged about five attempts per game while shooting 52% from the charity stripe. Whether you’re a basketball connoisseur or have never watched a game in your life, you know that Shaquille O’Neal is arguably the worst free throw shooter in NBA history. In his 216 playoff games, Shaq averaged 10.7 free throws a game and made 50% of them. According to my calculations, Simmons could take the crown of worst free throw shooter of all time if he doesn’t figure his shot out. Perhaps that may be another inclination to Shaq stating “If he was in my locker room I would’ve knocked his ass out” after hearing what Simmons had to say in the postgame interview. My only advice for Big Ben would be to switch his form and start shooting righty. 

With all jokes aside, 76ers fans should be both nervous and disappointed about their team. Having LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Steph Curry, all out of the playoffs this early for the first time in what feels like a century, this was the easiest path that they had to getting back the Larry O’Brien Trophy, which they haven’t touched since 1983. Now, with plenty of time to think about what the right moves are this offseason, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey may be busier this year than he was last. 

Although the complications in the 76ers roster were quite clear this postseason, so were the players who exceeded expectations and earned more playing time as a result. Seth Curry was shooting like his brother throughout this series and the 76ers need to do whatever it takes to keep him around as long as they can. Rookie point guard Tyrese Maxey, who didn’t play a whole lot of minutes through the Hawks series, still showed a promising future as he can be utilized on both ends of the ball. 

Doc Rivers had coached three star studded teams, to which he had point guards with entirely different styles of play. From his earlier years in Boston, coaching the Celtics with Rajon Rondo at the helm, winning a ring during the 2008 playoffs, the Chris Paul years for the Los Angeles Clippers that were the definition of disappointment, and now Ben Simmons. Although each of these players are completely different with how they utilize the ball and control the one-spot, Paul and Rondo have an attribute that’s nearly impossible to coach. Leadership. 

Instead of being held responsible for missing the shots you don’t take, Simmons did the opposite and simply didn’t take the shots. Period. With a mentality like this at the point guard position, it’s very difficult to say that he has the capabilities to be a leader and winner on any team. 

If the Sixers want to win a ring while Embiid can stay healthy and during his prime years, they need more veterans that know what it takes to win. Of course, that’s why they brought on Dwight Howard and Danny Green this offseason, but Howard’s return is questionable and Green may go to his fourth team in four-years to improve his chances at winning his fourth ring. 

Kyle Lowry was in trade discussions earlier this season with the Sixers as the Toronto Raptors may be on the move to make changes after a catastrophic season. Even if he does sign with Philly, Daryl Morey still needs to make cap space, as well as finding a new home for Simmons. That may be more difficult to pull off after what transpired this playoff series. Considering Simmons is still an All-Star caliber player at everything aside from scoring, finding equal value for him may not come from a straight up player-for-player trade. 

If the Sixers are trying to trade Simmons and fill the point guard position, they may resort back to a team they traded with last season. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who recently acquired Kemba Walker, may be an option, as the Thunder have plenty of draft picks to share, or to bring a third team along for this trade. 

Lonzo Ball is another name I think would fit the Sixers well if he decided to opt into free agency. As would true point guards like Terry Rozier, Damian Lillard or Zach LaVine that were all in trade talks since last season. Regardless of who it will be, it’s evident that Simmons is done in Philly and change is on the horizon. It’s hard to trust a process that gives you this kind of result.

Leave a Reply

Categories

Recent posts

Tags

Tags
2020 2020-21 Season Aaron Rodgers Adam Eaton AJ Preller AJ Styles Alabama Aleksander Barkov Alexis Lefreniere Alex Ovechkin Alex Pietrangelo Alex Smith Alex Verdugo Allen Robinson Andre Drummond Andrei Vasilevskiy Andrew Benentendi Andy Dalton Anthony DeAngelo Anthony Rizzo Anze Kopitar Artemi Panarin Art Ross Trophy Asuka Atlanta Braves Atlanta Hawks Austin Auston Matthews Awards Baltimore Baseball baseball betting Basketball Ben Simmons bestbets Betting Big E Bill Belichick Blake Griffin Blake Snell Blowout Boston Boston Bruins Boston Celtics Boston Red Sox Bowen Byram Bradley Beal Brad Marchand Brad Stevens Brandon Moreno Bray Wyatt Brian Hoyer Brighton Brooklyn Nets Bubble Buddy Hield Buffalo Bills Calder Trophy Cale Makar Cam Newton Carey Price Caris LeVert Carlos Rodon Carolina Hurricanes Carson Wentz Carter Hart Charlie McAvoy Charlotte Hornets Chauncey Billups Chelsea Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Chris Godwin Chris Paul Christian Wood Christmas Cincinnati Clemson Cleveland Cavaliers Cleveland Indians College Football Playoff College Sports Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Combat Sports Conference Championships Connor Hellebuyck Connor McDavid Contenders COVID-19 Cowboys Crystal Palace Dallas Mavericks Danny Ainge David Pastrnak Dax Prescott DeAndre Jordan Deiveson Figueiredo Derrick Henry Derrick Rose DeShaun Watson Detroit Pistons Detroit Tigers Doc Rivers Dominick Reyes Donovan Mitchell Don Sweeney Dougie Hamilton Draft Draft kings Drew McIntyre Dwayne Johnson Dylan Cozens Eddie Rosario England Eric Bledsoe Expansion Fan duel FanDuel Fernando Tatis Jr. Fines Florida Football Francisco Lindor Frank Lampard Frank Selke Free Agency Free Agents Fulham Futbol gambling gamblingguinea Game 1 General Manager George Springer Gerrit Cole Giannis Antokounmpo Goals Goldberg Golden State Warriors Gregg Popovich Hall of Fame Hart Memorial Head Coach Hockey Houston Rockets Houston Texans Hunter Renfroe Hurt Business Ice Shaker Igor Shesterkin Ilya Sorokin Indiana Pacers Isaiah Thomas J.T. Realmuto Jackie Bradley Jr. Jacob DeGrom Jacoby Brissett Jakub Zboril Jameis Winston James Harden James Norris Jarrett Allen Jarrett Stidham Jason Kidd Jason Robertson Javier Baez Jaylen Brown Jaylon Brown Jayson Tatum jdf sport JDF Sports JDFSports Jed Hoyer Jimmy Garoppolo Joanna Jedrzejczyk Joe Flacco Joel Embiid John Gibson JohnnyVTV Jonathan Huberdeau Jon Jones Jordan Clarkson Jose Aldo Josh Norris Jrue Holiday Julius Randle Jurickson Profar Justin Gaehtje Kansas City Kansas City Chiefs Kawhi Leonard Kemba Walker Kenny Golladay Kevin Durant Kevin Owens Kirill Kaprizov Kris Bryant Kyrie Irving LaMarcus Aldridge LaMelo Ball Lana Lance Lynn Larry Nance Jr. Las Vegas Lavar Ball Lawsuit Leadership Legal Leon Draisaitl Lions Liverpool Lonzo Ball Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers LSU Luka Doncic Mackenzie Blackwood Malcolm Brogdon Marcell Ozuna Marcus Mariota Mark Stone Matt Murray Matt Ryan Matt Stafford Max Scherzer Memories Memphis Grizzlies Miami Dolphins Miami Heat Michael Jordan Mika Zibanejad Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Wild Miro Heiskanen Mitch Trubisky MLB Moments Money Montreal Canadiens MVP Myles Turner Nashville Predators Nathan McKinnon Naughty NBA NBA Draft NCAA New Day New England Patriots New Orleans Pelicans New York Jets New York Mets New York Rangers New York Yankees NFC East NFL NHL Nia Jax Nice Nikola Jokic Nikola Vucevic Notre Dame Oakland Athletics Offseason Ohio St. Ohio State Oklahoma Oklahoma City Thunder Orlando Magic Outfield Patrice Bergeron Patrick Mahomes Paul George Payton Pritchard Petr Yan PGA Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Phillies Phillip Danault Phoenix Suns PickingWinners Pittsburgh Penguins Playoffs playsoftheday Predictions Premier League Presidents Trophy Rafael Stone Randy Orton Ravens Relegations Revenge Robbie Ray Robin Lehner Rocket Richard Roman Josi Roman Reigns Rookies Russell Wilson Ryan Fitzpatrick Ryan Kesler Ryan O'Reilly Sacramento Kings Safety Sam Cassell Sam Darnold Sammy Watkins San Antonio Spurs San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Sean Couturier Sebastian Aho Semi Ojeleye Shane Bieber Shayna Baszler Sheffield United Shohei Ohtani Sidney Crosby Slam Diego Soccer Sports sports betting sportsbetting Stanley Cup Stan Van Gundy Steal Steelers Stephen Curry Steven Adams Steven Stamkos strikeout totals Super Bowl LV Suspensions Sweep Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays Chicago White Sox Vlad Guerrero Jr Taurean Prince Texans Texas A&M Texas Rangers Thanksgiving The Rock Tim Stutzle TLC Tom Brady Tom Wilson Tony Ferguson Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Raptors Tottenham trade Trade Deadline Trades Trevor Bauer Trevor Lawrence Trevor Zegras Tuukka Rask Tyler Glasnow Ty Lue Tyrod Taylor Ty Smith UFC Underrated Vancouver Canucks Vegas Golden Knights Vezina Trophy Victor Hedman Victor Oladipo vladdy jr Wagers Washington Washington Capitals Washington Football Team Washington Nationals Washington Wizards WeeklyTaste West Brom Wild Card William Karlsson William M. Jennings Winnipeg Jets World Series WrestleMania WWE Yu Darvish Zach Werenski Zhang Weili