Another week in the NBA has come and gone and the Sixers found themselves in the headlines quite a bit, both for good and bad reasons. While we’ve found out much about the makeup of this team, we’ve also been left with many more questions. With this young squad trying to find their identity, the past week has provided a lot to reflect on. Let’s dive into the biggest points from the past seven days of 76ers hoops.
1. BEN SIMMONS IS THE REAL DEAL – Sixers fans have been raving about the young forward for a year, but the critics have finally been silenced. Even though Ben sat out the entire season last year he hasn’t skipped a beat. He is fully healthy and going at teams like a man possessed in the first weeks of his NBA career. As I write this he is already averaging 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists a game. He has been nothing short of breathtaking thus far, and we need to realize this guy is really going to do wonders for our team. As he continues to progress, it will be scary for the rest of the league to see what the limit of his potential is. If he can make sure to keep working on his jump shot he will be unstoppable as that seems to be the biggest problem in his game at this point. One thing is for sure, Philadelphia is looking forward to what Simmons can bring to this city.
2. WHAT IS UP WITH FULTZ? – Brian Colangelo once again has meddled with the medical staff and for some reason, Fultz went from healthy, to out three weeks, to now out indefinitely. If he is hurt we understand, but why did this situation again have to come out like this? The Sixers have been notorious to be very unclear with their medical staff and young picks, hopefully fans will get to see Fultz this season unlike earlier picks Embiid and Simmons. No matter what happens with our rookie, hopefully he recovers fully, and soon. He is a gifted player and he will have an impact on the team when he is finally back out there 100%.
3. BRETT BROWN IN CRUNCH TIME – The long-tenured 76ers coach has been receiving some criticism for his end of game coaching with the win on the line. They have been in mostly close games despite only being 2-4 thus far. No matter, I would say I’ve been impressed by our squad. The Houston loss at home hurt, but the fact alone that we’re competing with such a team with so many stars says volumes to me. Look, Brett Brown needs to address what we should be doing at the end of close games. However this process has been long, and the players we have finally need a bit of time to gel together. They will learn from these aggravating finishes, and I believe Brett Brown is still the guy to coach this team.
4. TJ MCCONNELL IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF THIS TEAM – Tj had quite the week off the bench. He was someone the city fell in love with last year, and now coming off the bench his energy gives them a boost whenever he is called on He really went through a lot and worked hard to get to where he is today, and his attitude is the type that people in Philadelphia love to see on their home team. Everyone in the league needs to have a player like him, not only the ability on the court but the hardworking attitude that rubs off on everyone. Look for him to have a productive year embracing his new bench role.
5. Once again Okafor is on the trade block – Jah has been trying to improve his game, and many think he at least deserves bench time. Since last year we have been trying to move him and Colangelo has seemed to mismanage this entire situation. At this point, we should just see what he can do at the very least to see what other teams could be interested. I know it’s easy to criticize Jah because he was not the guy we wanted him to be but sometimes that is how it goes. Hopefully, the Sixers wake up and give him some time so we can start to actually figure out the situation, rather than keep it at a standstill.