Philadelphia 76ers: Does the team have what it takes to salvage the season in the bubble?

Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Will the Philadelphia 76ers salvage their season?

The Philadelphia 76ers, this season, have had the expectations of a warm chocolate chip cookie, but the reality of being an oatmeal raisin. We all held high expectations prior to the start of the season but have been left disappointed all year long.

When the season entered a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sixers sat as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a good-not-great 39-26 record. Joel Embiid has played as inconsistent as you could have an all-star play, Ben Simmons was on the mend, and the Al Horford project was a bust. When you add a lack of depth and poor 3-point shooting, a first-round playoff exit was all but certain.

With a near five-month layoff before the real finish to the season resumes and we head into the postseason, it would be the hope that Brett Brown and his staff looked at the best ways to make sure this team does not continue their poor play and have Brown look for a new coaching gig next season.

An answer for the Philadelphia 76ers?

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Well, we can start with the makeup of the roster. Simmons and Embiid are your cornerstones. Horford is the $100 million man with all the intangibles. Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris are your supposed deep threats.

However, let’s talk about the potential x-factor for this team, shooting guard newcomer Shake Milton. He has been nothing but the model of consistency in the 32 games he has played prior to the shutdown, including a 39-point outburst in a loss to the Clippers back in March.

The 6-foot-3 sharpshooter could be the answer to the shooting woes of the 76ers if he is inserted into the starting lineup as the lead shooting guard and move Richardson to the sixth man.

Suppose the 76ers wanted Milton and Richardson in the same lineup, that would only leave one option: moving Ben Simmons to the power forward position.

The practicality of it just makes sense. Simmons is a great point guard who is nearly untouchable when attacking the basket. However, his lack of a jump shot is incredibly obvious, and watching the defense sag off in the paint to dare him to shoot the ball is embarrassing.

Sure the lack of depth is still a question, but every playoff team shortens their rotations anyway, so it would be best for the 76ers to just use the parts they assembled to the best of their ability.

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A Richardson-Milton-Harris-Simmons-Embiid lineup could be the answer to dusting off the disappointment and positioning Philadelphia for NBA bubble glory.