The record is 0-6. There have been games when this team has competed and others where they have fallen flat on their face. Despite it being very early in the season, there are some storylines to take away from the start of the 76ers’ 2016 campaign, both positive and negative.
Joel Embiid is the real deal: After two years on the shelf, Joel “The Process” Embiid has been nothing short of outstanding in the first six games of his NBA career. On a 24 minute restriction, Embiid is averaging 17.6 points per game along with 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. His inside and outside games have been pure occasionally hitting threes including a 4/4 showing from downtown against the Cavaliers. Speaking of the Cavs, Lebron James spoke about Embiid’s impact on the franchise.
“It’s great to just see him healthy on the floor. But I don’t know, I’m no GM … I’m not a GM. They picked him for a reason. He’s a huge body, can shoot the three, great footwork. It’s just good to see him out on the floor for the 76ers’ franchise,” said James.
Guard Play is extremely weak: Despite newcomer Sergio Rodriguez, this team’s that they bring out on a nightly basis just aren’t NBA caliber players. TJ McConnell has regressed, Gerald Henderson is on the decline and Nik Stauskas is off to a “good” start for him, shooting 31% from deep. They will hopefully address this at the trade deadline.
Brett Brown has made some extremely questionable calls: We have had Brett’s back due to the state of his franchise and going through this entire rebuild and still standing upright. Unfortunately, a couple of his calls this year have been rough. Isolation Gerald Henderson with the game on the line twice, calling a timeout down by 1 with 7 seconds left letting the Cavaliers substitute Tristan Thompson back into the game. People are beginning to question whether he is the right coach for this team.
Ben Simmons is the piece this team is missing: One of the issues with this team is spacing. With a guy like Ben Simmons, he could attract double teams and be able to space the floor in a much more efficient way. Luckily, his rehab is going well, and a January return is looking more and more likely.
Ersan Ilyasova has been a solid addition: The 76ers made a move early in the season, treading Jerami Grant to the Thunder for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected first round pick. Ilyasova has made an immediate impact, shooting 41% from deep on the season and sacrificing his body on the defensive end. He’s the 2nd leading scorer on the team averaging 15 points per game and should be a decent veteran to have on this team for the future.