Philadelphia 76ers: First impressions of the trade deadline acquisitions

How have the Philadelphia 76ers’ new additions from the NBA Trade Deadline looked thus far

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a roller coaster of a year so far. Many labeled the team preseason favorites to win the Eastern Conference after the additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson, but something just hasn’t been clicking.

Whether you believe it’s the front office for not surrounding the team with the correct pieces or the head coach Brett Brown for not finding a way to make those pieces fit, there’s no question that the team needed some kind of spark if it was going to get back into contention.

Help came in the form of Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III who were acquired the night before the trade deadline from the Golden State Warriors for three second-round picks. Burks and Robinson will have a vastly different role with Philly than in Golden State where they were pretty much playing with house money knowing winning wasn’t a priority and they were featured more due to the injuries of the Warriors stars.

Philadelphia fans have long awaited for bench pieces that could provide a jolt when the starters have to take a seat. The Sixers currently rank 27th in the league in bench scoring at 29.7 points per game. Burks and Robinson provide much-needed spacing and shot-making the Sixers bench hasn’t seen in quite some time.

While Robinson made his debut Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, Burks made his debut Tuesday against the LA Clippers and we got a small sample size of what they bring to this team.

Robinson has averaged eight points in the two games so far with his new team. It should be no surprise that things won’t be perfect as they are just getting acclimated to their new team and the system. Nonetheless, Robinson has shown the ability to find open spots and make himself available when a teammate is drawing defenders. He’s running the floor, playing with energy and showing great awareness cutting to the basket.

Robinson, a 40 percent 3-point shooter in Golden State has yet to knock down a 3-point shot (0-2) but it’s the threat of being able to that already makes the Sixers bench more formidable.

Alec Burks scored just two points against the Clippers in 14 minutes of action. While it wasn’t the greatest of starts, he could be the key addition to this team that helps them make a deep playoff run. Burks averaged 16.1 points with the Warriors. He had the ball in his hands a lot and that obviously won’t be the case in Philadelphia but his skill-set is one Philly will need.

Burks has the handle and creativity to score off the dribble or out of pick and rolls. He was also able to make a few nice passes out the pick and roll, setting up teammates for open shots. As Burks gets more comfortable with the offense and his new teammates, he could be a go-to scorer and playmaker off the bench for a team that hasn’t had a player of that caliber in the second unit in this era of Sixers basketball.

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The Sixers head into the All-Star break on a high note with a three-game winning streak. There are still a ways to go before we see if these moves put Philadelphia back into Eastern Conference contention but for now, there is no denying the 76ers bench has more firepower now than it did before the deadline.

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