25 games would have been a better number, but after the loss last night in Toronto, the 76ers clearly showed some of the negatives that juxtaposed the majority of positives that they have had throughout the first part of the season. The Sixers sit in a decent spot right now, but have areas to improve to turn a decent spot into the top spot.
The Jimmy Butler Trade was a win (for now): Jimmy Buckets has hit clutch shot after clutch shot for this team through his first 11 games in the City of Brotherly Love. Butler has averaged 19.9 points, while shooting 47.2% from three and 88% from the foul line. The “for now” part is due to the fact that Butler will be a free agent after this season, however he seems to have developed fantastic chemistry with Ben Simmons and TJ McConnell with signs pointing that he will return.
Turnovers Still Haunt This Team: For a team with such a good record, they could be even better if they took better care of the ball. The 76ers (a team who is 17-9) commits the 4th most turnovers in the NBA behind Dallas, Phoenix and Atlanta. To beat the best teams, you can’t give them extra shots, and thats what the Sixers have done this season.
Landry Shamet is Legit: According to the “experts” one of the biggest “reaches” was the 76ers taking Landry Shamet at the 26th pick who was projected to go mid 2nd round. However, Shamet has been balling out, shooting an extremely respectable 37.8% from three and getting 21 minutes per game on a team that has three superstars. He has carved out some space in the rotation, and with Markelle Fultz out for an extended period, Shamet should continue to play meaningful minutes.
Ben Simmons’ Flaws are Showing:
Ben Simmons will again be a borderline all-star player in this league, so obviously he has a bunch of strong qualities. However, his nearly four turnovers per game and still extremely below average 60% free throw numbers are concerning. Simmons is so good at getting to the line in late game situations, but we’ve seen a couple empty trips from which have made games closer than they’ve had to be.
Home Court Dominance: The 76ers are 13-1 at home which is the best home winning percentage in the NBA. They haven’t had the toughest competition in these home games but going out and beating up on lesser teams on your home court is what good teams do. The 76ers clearly fall under that category and look to continue to do that.
Can They Beat The Big Guys?: The 76ers are 0-2 against the Raptors, 0-1 against the Celtics, and 0-1 against the Bucks. Despite all four of these games being on the road, they haven’t been able to steal one of these games against their Eastern Conference competition. When these teams come to the Wells Fargo Center, expect the 76ers to take care of business.
Top 5 in Assists and Rebounds: The 76ers currently rank in the top five in the NBA (along with New Orleans and Milwaukee) in both assists and rebounds per game. This shows that the overall energy of this team is extremely high, and hopefully they can keep it going throughout the lengthy campaign.