What Philadelphia 76ers team will we see in the NBA’s restart?
When the NBA entered its more than three-month hiatus, one of the unanimous disappointments from the 2019-20 season was the Philadelphia 76ers. After an offseason which consisted of dumping Jimmy Butler for Josh Richardson and Al Horford (essentially), many pointed to this team as a favorite to emerge in the Eastern Conference.
However, it’s been the Milwaukee Bucks and not the Sixers that have taken the step forward in the place of the Toronto Raptors taking a bit of the step back. At 39-26, the Sixers are sitting in the 6th spot of the Eastern Conference as the NBA inches closer to its restart.
There isn’t much to say about the Sixers other than this is a team that has plenty of talent but has fallen short of expectations. I don’t think anyone would argue with that assessment. In fact, even Tobias Harris summed that up.
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“I’ll keep it real,” Harris said. “We haven’t had the best chemistry throughout the whole year. It took us a while to kind of get everyone together. We battled injuries from the start to the end.”
Philadelphia 76ers will be healthy, ready to roll
Heading into the restart, which at least timeframe-wise will be viewed as a second offseason, you can make the case that the Sixers will be the healthiest they’ve been in quite some while – and perhaps even for the first time since the season began.
However, there’s no telling if health was even the main issue with this team. You can make the case that it wasn’t. You could point to Al Horford and Joel Embiid not exactly fitting together seamlessly. Or the fact that this team doesn’t have a closer on the roster; one that could get a bucket whenever and however he can.
The whole “who takes the last shot” is often criticized as a false narrative fueler. However, who would take the last shot for the Sixers? Go ahead, look at the roster, and come back to tell me in the comment section.
The good news is that the Sixers can quiet all their naysayers once the restart begins. When the NBA resumes action, this won’t be treated as an extended all-star break. In fact, it will essentially feel like a brand new season. It will take some time for players to get back into playing shape, especially those that will be coming off injuries or those that didn’t have the luxury of working out in an NBA gym throughout the hiatus.
To say that the Philadelphia 76ers will be best suited for success after the hiatus would be unfair. I don’t think we’ll know who the hiatus favored more until we start seeing teams back in action. Though, the Sixers have the talent to look like a completely different team once basketball returns.
Question is, will they? Talent has never been an issue for this team. Unfortunately, playing up to its capabilities has been. They’ll get a chance to right the ship.