76ers: 2020-2021 thread

terrynever

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As we all know, the 76ers are a great tease. If you root for them, they will break your heart, or perhaps just kill you with immaturity and lack of professionalism.

Having said that, and having given up on last year’s crew in February, I now present Celtics fans the latest representative of Philly in the NBA. There are a few changes this year beginning with the head coach and CEO. Doc Rivers has got his team’s attention. He has pressed the right buttons so far. Daryl Morey traded Horford and Richardson, replacing them with Seth Curry and Danny Green. Suddenly there is balance and spacing in the offense. And the defense is pretty good. Ben Simmons usually shadows the opposition’s best scorer. Joel Embiid has been a monster on both sides of the court so far.

What could go wrong? Embiid could get hurt. That’s always No. 1 with these guys. Tobias Harris will revert back to mediocre after the opening buzz wears off. This seems likely, but he sure has looked good in the last two games.

And Brett Brown is gone. Coaching mismatches are less likely.

The league would be a lot less interesting without the 76ers.
 

benhogan

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1. A GM that knows what they are doing
2. a respected coach with Championship pedigree
3. added a top 5 3pt shooter
4. added a crafty, veteran shooter
5. unloaded Al's contract
6. added an efficient bench BIG in Dwight

All great moves by the 76ers this off-season. Simmons is even draining 3s.

BUT I look forward to seeing how it gets all screwed up.
 

bankshot1

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Morey knows what he's doing and Doc brings some credibility and weight, and might be hard to blow off. I'm still not sold on Embiid's dedication to his craft. He seems to check-out far too often.

For a team I've hated longer than any other, I've generally had an affinity for their unis. PHILA works in bolded block or script.
 

terrynever

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Morey knows what he's doing and Doc brings some credibility and weight, and might be hard to blow off. I'm still not sold on Embiid's dedication to his craft. He seems to check-out far too often.

For a team I've hated longer than any other, I've generally had an affinity for their unis. PHILA works in bolded block or script.
Great team song that plays in their home court. This video is wonderful.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLVmqix8EKM
 

Euclis20

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Having more competent management makes the Sixers a bit scarier by default, but until Simmons expands his game they aren't a title contender. That said, one of my favorite moments every year is when Ben Simmons hits a 3 pointer. The Sixers players and fans (and the announcers) just go crazy, and it's really sweet. Reminds me of those videos of high school games when the 5 foot tall 110 pound team manager gets put in the game at the end of the year, he hits a shot and everyone just loses it.

He's now up to 3 career 3PM, equal to the number that Giannis had in his 4th game as a rookie. Simmons has been a pro for over 4.5 years. He'll always be tall Rondo, if Rondo were a far worse shooter.
 

128

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Having more competent management makes the Sixers a bit scarier by default, but until Simmons expands his game they aren't a title contender. That said, one of my favorite moments every year is when Ben Simmons hits a 3 pointer. The Sixers players and fans (and the announcers) just go crazy, and it's really sweet. Reminds me of those videos of high school games when the 5 foot tall 110 pound team manager gets put in the game at the end of the year, he hits a shot and everyone just loses it.

He's now up to 3 career 3PM, equal to the number that Giannis had in his 4th game as a rookie. Simmons has been a pro for over 4.5 years. He'll always be tall Rondo, if Rondo were a far worse shooter.
Rondo has two rings, no?
 

BigSoxFan

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Rondo has two rings, no?
...yes? He’s also never been a top 2-3 player on a title team, which I think is Euclis’ point. Simmons is a very good player but it’s perfectly valid to wonder whether he can be the 2nd best player on a title team given his shooting limitations.
 

128

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...yes? He’s also never been a top 2-3 player on a title team, which I think is Euclis’ point. Simmons is a very good player but it’s perfectly valid to wonder whether he can be the 2nd best player on a title team given his shooting limitations.
I get that, but I also think the Sixers' roster has been poorly constructed, at least until this season, which accentuated Simmons' limitations. Put enough shooting around him, and maybe those limitations aren't such a big deal.
 

Euclis20

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I don't really mean it as a negative on either player, just that it puts a cap on both him and the Sixers. Prime Rondo was an all-NBA defender (1st team twice, 2nd team twice), all star (4x), assist champ (lead the league 3x) and had/has a well deserved reputation of someone who plays his best on the brightest stage, for better or worse. Take that same guy and add 9 inches and 50 pounds, and you get a terrific player. Ben Simmons with a league average jump shot would be an MVP candidate. Ben Simmons with a bad jump shot (like Rondo, or Giannis) would be a top ten player. Ben Simmons without any sort of jump shot at all (current version) tops out as an all-star and occasional 3rd team all-nba guy with little room to get much better. Without a shot he'll always be a liability in a half court offense against good defenses deep in the playoffs (SSS, but in 12 2nd round playoff games, he's averaging just under 13 ppg). This puts a cap on how good this Sixers team can be, and his refusal to even take 3s in real games (despite his coach basically begging him to do so, in public) is beyond bizarre.
 

BigSoxFan

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I get that, but I also think the Sixers' roster has been poorly constructed, at least until this season, which accentuated Simmons' limitations. Put enough shooting around him, and maybe those limitations aren't such a big deal.
No argument on the roster construction. This year should give us a valuable datapoint on this argument. The Sixers finally have a stable front office, a good coach, and more shooting around Simmons in Curry/Green. I think they look improved from the last couple of years but we won’t really know much until we see them in a playoff series.
 

terrynever

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Sixers top most early-season defensive stats. They headed into Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets as the league leaders in defensive rating, opponents’ field-goal percentage, and blocks per game. They dominated Charlotte 127-112, leading by 15 after one quarter and maintaining that margin most of the way. Simmons had a triple-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists. Team shot 59 percent from the field and 45 from beyond the arc.
 

terrynever

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Let us not forget that the 2019/2020 Sixers started the year 5-0
76ers haven’t played any real contenders yet. They face the Nets on Thursday in the second half of a back-to-back. Nuggets, Hawks and Heat up next. Celtics on Jan. 20 and 22. Nobody’s making any judgments until then. Morey would like to add another shooter for the second unit.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yes, and they were a different team last year compared to the previous year. All I am saying, is we don't know squat about any team yet
I mean, sure. We’re just discussing initial impressions at this point.
 

Devizier

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The Sixers look great this year. Seth Curry might be the signing of the offseason, and I wish I were joking about that.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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PHI about to play BRK, DEN, ATL, MIA (twice), MEM, OKC, and BOS (twice). Will be interested to see how they hold up. It will be a little different than their opening schedule: CHA (twice), WAS (twice), NYK, CLE, TOR, and ORL (without Fournier).

I am particularly interested in seeing whether their defense can hold up.
 

radsoxfan

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I hate to break it to Sixers fans, but Simmons is just not that good.

His D is still very good but he has stalled out/regressed offensively significantly.

Starting to really think they should get what they can for him before it gets even uglier.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I hate to break it to Sixers fans, but Simmons is just not that good.

His D is still very good but he has stalled out/regressed offensively significantly.

Starting to really think they should get what they can for him before it gets even uglier.
You have to build such a particular type of roster around him. Good lesson in not just assuming guys will fix their flaws. More or less the same very good but not elite player that he stepped into the league as.

I’m sure Morey won’t be shy about it. And I’m sure there is some team out there who would be willing, although the right team would actually probably be one that would play him as more of a rim-running point center than as any kind of lead ball-handler.
 

radsoxfan

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He needs the right team, agree on that. But ignoring his fit, he just had not gotten any better in 3+ years in the league.

Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and assume this year's slow start is mostly small sample size, he just doesn't look like the budding superstar many thought he was.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He needs the right team, agree on that. But ignoring his fit, he just had not gotten any better in 3+ years in the league.

Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and assume this year's slow start is mostly small sample size, he just doesn't look like the budding superstar many thought he was.
Do you feel he’s not a Top-20 player in this league? Top-30?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sixers adding shooting around BS/JE was smart (and obvious).

picking nits, but I think they traded JRich for Curry
They also needed a different voice and Doc has historically been phenomenal in his first year with a new team. Embiid really seems to be taking to Doc at the helm.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I don't think he stalled because he came in so good. People who come in so good at his age tend to get better.

For whatever reason, he hasn't.
Hey, at least he's hitting 50% on 3Ps this year!

I didn't see the game but I see that last night Simmons took two shots in an OT game. And according to the Athletic, he is having a career high usage in PnR situations, which doesn't seem optional for someone of his profile (as defenders can just go under screens). Finally, Simmons has missed at least one game with soreness to his knee.

All of which is saying, he might not have gotten better since he came into the league but he's an idiosyncratic piece who (as we've discussed elsewhere) would probably thrive somewhere else. Given Harden's comments yesterday, I'm guessing talks between HOU and PHI are heating up. Seems like a natural fit.
 

ManicCompression

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Russillo did a pod last week where he compared Jaylen Brown and Ben Simmons through the eyes of three scouts that he knew. FWIW, one of the scouts mentioned that Simmons pretty famously does not work hard on his game, which is why he's stalled as a player. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something along the lines of "Don't believe those social media videos of him working hard on his shot." Two of the three scouts preferred Jaylen because of his improvement since he came in the league and versatility offensively (I also think one may have liked Brown's defense over Simmons as well).

I've said it before, but it really depends on what you want. If you want to rack up regular season wins, Simmons will help you to that goal. But he's so inconsistent in the playoffs that he can't be a top-2 player on a team that's competing for a Championship. They got closest when Butler was that 1-2 with Embiid. When it gets into crunch time against a really good team, what can Philly rely on besides an Embiid post up? Certainly Simmons can't create in that situation.

I'm not sure where that puts him as a player, but I wouldn't be too stoked on paying him the max if my goal was to really compete for the title.
 

BigSoxFan

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Russillo did a pod last week where he compared Jaylen Brown and Ben Simmons through the eyes of three scouts that he knew. FWIW, one of the scouts mentioned that Simmons pretty famously does not work hard on his game, which is why he's stalled as a player. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something along the lines of "Don't believe those social media videos of him working hard on his shot." Two of the three scouts preferred Jaylen because of his improvement since he came in the league and versatility offensively (I also think one may have liked Brown's defense over Simmons as well).

I've said it before, but it really depends on what you want. If you want to rack up regular season wins, Simmons will help you to that goal. But he's so inconsistent in the playoffs that he can't be a top-2 player on a team that's competing for a Championship. They got closest when Butler was that 1-2 with Embiid. When it gets into crunch time against a really good team, what can Philly rely on besides an Embiid post up? Certainly Simmons can't create in that situation.

I'm not sure where that puts him as a player, but I wouldn't be too stoked on paying him the max if my goal was to really compete for the title.
I'd be curious to know if there's anyone on this board who would trade Jaylen straight up for Simmons? I sure wouldn't. I know when the Harden stuff started, everyone was saying that Simmons is the better trade chip...but is he? If this version of Jaylen is here to stay, he's more valuable than Simmons. Through 10 games, albeit a SSS, Jaylen is sitting at 1.3 WS compared to 0.7 for Simmons. And they are roughly the same age. Simmons was undoubtedly better prior to this season but it seems like Jaylen has not only caught up but surged past him.
 

ManicCompression

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I wouldn't based on injury alone. Simmons is frequently banged up with lower body and back issues while Jaylen has (knock on wood) no injury history. I'd be intrigued to see Simmons as the 5 with Tatum, but prefer Brown's shooting over any of Simmons' qualities. Additionally, Jaylen seems like the way better locker room presence as Simmons seemed to be the guy who frustrated Butler most (I know... but Butler hasn't had those issues in Miami).

Plust Brown's contract is much, much better.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I'd be curious to know if there's anyone on this board who would trade Jaylen straight up for Simmons? I sure wouldn't. I know when the Harden stuff started, everyone was saying that Simmons is the better trade chip...but is he? If this version of Jaylen is here to stay, he's more valuable than Simmons. Through 10 games, albeit a SSS, Jaylen is sitting at 1.3 WS compared to 0.7 for Simmons. And they are roughly the same age. Simmons was undoubtedly better prior to this season but it seems like Jaylen has not only caught up but surged past him.
To me the deal was sealed by Jaylen's ability to create his own offense in the half court this year, which is a tool that Simmons simply doesn't have. Simmons is deadly in transition but his lack of shoot really limits what he can do otherwise.
 

BigSoxFan

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To me the deal was sealed by Jaylen's ability to create his own offense in the half court this year, which is a tool that Simmons simply doesn't have. Simmons is deadly in transition but his lack of shoot really limits what he can do otherwise.
Agreed. Yesterday Simmons took 2 shots in 31 minutes in a 137-134 over a depleted Miami team. 2 shots. 12 assists are great but they came at the expense of 6 turnovers. He's also stabilized as about a 60% FT shooter whereas Jaylen appears to be trending up into the 75% range and I wouldn't put it past him to get close to 80% when all is said and done given his work ethic. Simmons can't/won't shoot 3's while Jaylen is over 42% on good volume. Simmons is the better defender and has better size/defensive versatility but Jaylen is pretty solid in that department as well.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hey, at least he's hitting 50% on 3Ps this year!

I didn't see the game but I see that last night Simmons took two shots in an OT game. And according to the Athletic, he is having a career high usage in PnR situations, which doesn't seem optional for someone of his profile (as defenders can just go under screens). Finally, Simmons has missed at least one game with soreness to his knee.

All of which is saying, he might not have gotten better since he came into the league but he's an idiosyncratic piece who (as we've discussed elsewhere) would probably thrive somewhere else. Given Harden's comments yesterday, I'm guessing talks between HOU and PHI are heating up. Seems like a natural fit.
I don’t know how to gauge between “getting better or getting worse when it seems like Simmons is struggling between his own aggressiveness and distributing to teammates. It’s affecting his finishing as he isn’t getting into the paint looking to finish so the shot he is taking aren’t with a scorers mentality.

He didn’t get worse physicallly at the game of basketball at 24. It’s the mental aspect and fitting with Embiid which is holding him back from his elite superstardom potential.
 

Euclis20

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I have Simmons as a top 20 guy (all NBA level defense and a tripe double threat every time he steps on the court) but not top 10. Why is that a problem? Because as noted above to unlock his full potential (the version with 0 range outside of 10 feet), you need to build a team around him. Do you build a team around a player who isn't top 10? No.

His range has gotten even smaller, if that's possible. His first two years, about 15% of his shots were from more than 10 feet out. Since the start of last year, it's down to about 4%. I'm not worried too much about his regression this year in just 10 games, but I've seen nothing that says he's ever going to make meaningful progress on offense. This isn't a situation where he's a big shooting 75% from the FT line who might all of a sudden start hitting 3s ten years into his career. He's just not that guy.

*edit - he's not a bad fit with Embiid. It's not about Embiid at all. He's a bad fit with any other star who isn't an A+ 3 point shooter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I have Simmons as a top 20 guy (all NBA level defense and a tripe double threat every time he steps on the court) but not top 10. Why is that a problem? Because as noted above to unlock his full potential (the version with 0 range outside of 10 feet), you need to build a team around him. Do you build a team around a player who isn't top 10? No.

His range has gotten even smaller, if that's possible. His first two years, about 15% of his shots were from more than 10 feet out. Since the start of last year, it's down to about 4%. I'm not worried too much about his regression this year in just 10 games, but I've seen nothing that says he's ever going to make meaningful progress on offense. This isn't a situation where he's a big shooting 75% from the FT line who might all of a sudden start hitting 3s ten years into his career. He's just not that guy.

*edit - he's not a bad fit with Embiid. It's not about Embiid at all. He's a bad fit with any other star who isn't an A+ 3 point shooter.
Bu definition doesn’t this agree with him and Embiid being a poor fit together?
 

terrynever

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I’m not judging anything about this season until things settle down. But Jaylen Brown is obviously a more well-rounded offensive player than Ben. Doc Rivers wants Simmons to push the ball hard up court and distribute. That worked pretty well until Ben started to get swelling in his surgically repaired left knee. He has been playing more cautiously ever since, passing off instead of finishing at the rim, which he ain’t great at unless he can dunk it. The guy spins a lot of layups off the rim. You guys talk about no outside shot but Ben misses a lot of layups.

No way I want to see Harden on the 76ers. He’s heading down the hill, IMO.
 

radsoxfan

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Any good comps for players that start in the NBA this good right away, stalled out for 3+ seasons, then their game took off on the trajectory it looked like from the start? Genuinely curious. I can imagine some due to major injuries, but Simmons' injuries have mostly just been relatively minor stuff so far (as far as I know).

He is only 24 so I dont think making a leap is out of the question, but we're beyond small sample size now. 227 games of basically the same production (including a 10 game dip to start this season). Seems pretty weird. I have him outside my top 20 right now.

And I wouldn't trade Jaylen for Simmons, regardless of contract. Something I never would have considered saying 2 years ago.
 

terrynever

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Any good comps for players that start in the NBA this good right away, stalled out for 3+ seasons, then their game took off on the trajectory it looked like from the start? Genuinely curious. I can imagine some due to major injuries, but Simmons' injuries have mostly just been relatively minor stuff so far (as far as I know).

He is only 24 so I dont think making a leap is out of the question, but we're beyond small sample size now. 227 games of basically the same production (including a 10 game dip to start this season). Seems pretty weird. I have him outside my top 20 right now.

And I wouldn't trade Jaylen for Simmons, regardless of contract. Something I never would have considered saying 2 years ago.
One Simmons asset not mentioned here too often is he often is assigned to shut down the opposing team’s top scorer. It could be a guard or forward. Ben’s defensive versatility is something Doc will utilize whenever possible, and appropriate. If the 76ers ever play Boston, Ben might spend time covering both of Boston’s big guns. He could also cover Marcus Smart.
 

radsoxfan

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One Simmons asset not mentioned here too often is he often is assigned to shut down the opposing team’s top scorer. It could be a guard or forward. Ben’s defensive versatility is something Doc will utilize whenever possible, and appropriate. If the 76ers ever play Boston, Ben might spend time covering both of Boston’s big guns. He could also cover Marcus Smart.
I think his D generally gets a lot of praise, so I kind of assume that value. It's not like they are going to waste that skill having him shut down Semi.

I am still curious who has had Simmons' 3+ year start and then had a delayed jump to superstardom. I'm sure it's probably happened but it's definitely not typical.
 

terrynever

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I think his D generally gets a lot of praise, so I kind of assume that value. It's not like they are going to waste that skill having him shut down Semi.

I am still curious who has had Simmons' 3+ year start and then had a delayed jump to superstardom. I'm sure it's probably happened but it's definitely not typical.
How do you define superstardom? And what is the fixation we have with this concept?

The Sixers have one superstar. They need complementary pieces around him. Prior to Seth Curry testing positive, Tobias Harris was on a good run. Simmons, to me, is a complementary piece. After Curry went out, the 76ers got to see Tyrese Maxey showing his offensive game. He can shoot. They also may have found another shooter in Isaiah Joe, a late first-round pick from Arkansas who launched 11 3s a game in college. Curry’s absence gave Joe a chance. He made 4 of 10 threes last night. Kind of skinny, just 21, but he has a chance to develop over the next couple seasons.
 

BigSoxFan

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How do you define superstardom? And what is the fixation we have with this concept?

The Sixers have one superstar. They need complementary pieces around him. Prior to Seth Curry testing positive, Tobias Harris was on a good run. Simmons, to me, is a complementary piece. After Curry went out, the 76ers got to see Tyrese Maxey showing his offensive game. He can shoot. They also may have found another shooter in Isaiah Joe, a late first-round pick from Arkansas who launched 11 3s a game in college. Curry’s absence gave Joe a chance. He made 4 of 10 threes last night. Kind of skinny, just 21, but he has a chance to develop over the next couple seasons.
Maxey was a steal. Philly hasn't had a guy like him since Lou Williams. Real nice pick.
 

radsoxfan

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How do you define superstardom? And what is the fixation we have with this concept?

The Sixers have one superstar. They need complementary pieces around him. Prior to Seth Curry testing positive, Tobias Harris was on a good run. Simmons, to me, is a complementary piece.
Superstardom obviously could have different meanings, just using it as short hand for top 5-10 player, perennial 1st/2nd team all nba, at least occasional MVP talk.

This seemed to be Simmons’ trajectory after his first year, now we’re taking about him as a good defender and complementary piece.

The Sixers can still be good with this version of Simmons, but his career to this point has been atypical and disappointing.

Maybe he will turn it around and still make a leap, who knows. I wonder how many people in his position have.
 

Cellar-Door

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Superstardom obviously could have different meanings, just using it as short hand for top 5-10 player, perennial 1st/2nd team all nba, at least occasional MVP talk.

This seemed to be Simmons’ trajectory after his first year, now we’re taking about him as a good defender and complementary piece.

The Sixers can still be good with this version of Simmons, but his career to this point has been atypical and disappointing.

Maybe he will turn it around and still make a leap, who knows. I wonder how many people in his position have.
I think there is a decent case for Simmons as the best player over the next 5 years of anyone on that roster. He and Embiid are a terrible fit, but there are definitely people who think on his own team he's the guy you pick between the two.
 

nighthob

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I'd be curious to know if there's anyone on this board who would trade Jaylen straight up for Simmons? I sure wouldn't. I know when the Harden stuff started, everyone was saying that Simmons is the better trade chip...but is he? If this version of Jaylen is here to stay, he's more valuable than Simmons. Through 10 games, albeit a SSS, Jaylen is sitting at 1.3 WS compared to 0.7 for Simmons. And they are roughly the same age. Simmons was undoubtedly better prior to this season but it seems like Jaylen has not only caught up but surged past him.
If I were Houston? I'd be routing Simmons to OKC for a bundle of firsts, including a return of the '21 #1 so that I finished the season with a top 5 pick.