When people look around the NBA, one of the most exciting teams to watch these days is the Philadelphia 76ers.
For years now Philadelphia fans have bought into a process presented by (our Lord and Savior) Sam Hinkie. We watched year after year as the team barely produced anything close to NBA talent. Often times it felt like we were watching the 87ers (The now G-League Affiliate of the Sixers.)
This year the chips finally fell into place and people in Philadelphia thought we had a team that could compete. And there was some great hope that finally this was the year the Sixers were not not going to be in the lottery. However, a dreadful run this past month has dampened the mood on the process and have left some people wondering. Do we still Trust it? I think there is every reason to still trust the process, it just needs to be tinkered with and completed.
Here is a step by step guide in which the Sixers could become the beast in the East.
His potential is crazy. Actually its insane to even think about what he could accomplish when fully healthy and playing big time minuets (35 plus per game). He already has dominated some of the premier big man in the league, Remember when he waved Andre Drummond goodbye?
The thing for Embiid going forward is he has to find a way to stay healthy and last in the league. The reason why LBJ and Kobe were so talented and so revered is the fact they somehow found a way to stay out of injury trouble. (until the torn achilles for Kobe). If Embiid is able to stay healthy the Process really begins to work. He is the face of the organization and he makes the Sixers go. He is fully bought into the Process and will do anything he can in order to make sure that he not only brings a championship to Philly, but he ultimately becomes the best big man in the game.
So Ben has had a rough few weeks; believe it or not, he is still shooting 51.1 percent from the field. That is actually something that shocks me considering he refuses to take a shot from anywhere outside of 10ft, and those shots he does take, he misses.
What Ben Simmons has though is sheer athleticism; he can get to the basket at will. His shot will develop and he will eventually become the perennial all-star all of Philadelphia expects him to be. What needs to happen is he needs to take over games. This actually scared me when watching him at LSU. The only game he really took over was the Kentucky game and other than that he looked lackluster at best. I know he did not want to be in Baton Rouge. However, the same can be said in his NBA game. He often times looks for other options at the end of games. He needs to realize that when Embiid is out it is his team and he takes over the games.
We talk about it all the time, do people have the clutch gene. So far Ben Simmons shows no sign of that. I hope he proves me wrong, but in the few years of watching him blossom into a talent he has not shown that ability to take over and put the team on his back. The 1-2 punch of Embiid, Simmons will scare a lot of teams for the next decade.
Think of it as a concert and the Sixers are the opener. Some people think the Opener is a must watch, however most people want to see the Main Attraction, and as long as LBJ resides in the East the Cavs will be that main attraction.
The Supporting Cast
The Sixers main problem in the Process not being Trusted right now is that their supporting cast is the biggest misfits in this league.
Richaun Holmes may have an uglier Jump Shot than Lonzo Ball. And that is being Generous. Robert Covington gets a lot of praise but when he goes 4-21 from the field and 3-15 from 3 against an OKC team that was beatable, that raises questions. I know ROCO has had the hot hand this season. So he can shoot, but when he shoots the Sixers out of games it kills Sixers fans and their belief of a Process.
The rest of the supporting cast is average, expect for Dario Saric who shows signs of being that third guy in the process. Do not even get me started on Markelle Fultz. Right now is looking like a Sam Bowie, Greg Oden type bust and has not even played a game yet.
Every great dynasty has a player who comes off the bench to provide that spark for teams. Look for this player to be T.J McConnell. Yes people will probably think I am insane. However T.J is a fan favorite, and is exactly like Philly blue collard player who had no shot to make it to the league and has stuck around. Everyone loves an underdog and T.J. will hopefully play that role to perfection for years to come with the Sixers.
The other thing that needs to stop for the Sixers is the idea that shooting the ball early in the shot clock is okay. It is not. They think that going down and shooting a three ASAP is a good idea. That is the worst decision and often times leads to fast break points for opponents.
I have full faith that the Process will work, it will just take a little more time, something Philadelphia fans are used to. Expect this Process to full come to life in 2019-2020 and have a run of success much like those great dynasties in the NBA. But until that happens, TTP (Trust the Process).