Philadelphia 76ers: Midseason Review

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The Sixers have played almost half of their games and sit just outside of playoff positioning at ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They have an even .500 win percentage with 19 wins and 19 losses.

The Good

  • Joel Embiid, after a streak of injury setbacks, is off to a terrific start. He’s played in 29 of a possible 38 games, with per game averages of 23.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and two blocks. It’s scary to think he only has 60 NBA games to his name. It’s difficult not to get excited about his future as he continues to learn and gain experience. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a force to reckon with for years to come.
  • Rookie sensation Ben Simmons has been just that: sensational. Drafted first overall by the Sixers in the 2016 draft, he is definitely living up to the hype. Only missing one game so far, the prolific point guard’s per game averages are 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.5 assists. Similar to Embiid, there is still so much room for growth as he plays more games and gains that critical experience. He already has the physical gifts and talent.
  • Second on the team in scoring is newly-signed sharpshooter J.J. Redick. He is shooting from the beyond the arc at a 40% clip while averaging just over 17 points per game. Besides the ever-significant shooting from long range, he also brings sorely needed veteran experience, having played in 88 playoff games as well. Fellow shooter Robert Covington is shooting at a career-high 39% from three-point land.

The Bad

  • With the first overall pick in last year’s draft, the 76ers traded up to select point guard Markelle Fultz. In his first regular season game, Fultz posted 10 points, three rebounds and one assist coming off the bench. However, a shoulder injury, deemed a scapular muscle imbalance, impaired Fultz’s shooting. After playing just four games, the 76ers elected to sit him until he recovers. He is now listed as day-to-day.
  • Although their youth is certainly a strength, the resulting inexperience is a weakness. Embiid and Simmons, their two best players, have played in a combined total of just 97 games. The Sixers organization and fan-base must continue to Trust the Process.

It’s unlikely they’ll win a championship this year, but it might be the first time they make the playoffs since 2012, and that’s a good start. The future is awfully bright for this talented, young squad.

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