The Sixers have been such an odd team to follow this year, with pure dominance at home and complete incompetence on the road. The two players that have helped them succeed most are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, as expected. Joel will miss the Sixers matchup against the Knicks tonight to have his shoulder sprain evaluated.
The Sixers have two players that are paid to step up in their absence – Tobias Harris and Al Horford. Tobias has been solid this season, but for his paygrade, he needs to play at a high level consistently. On the other hand, Al Horford looks like he could have signed one of the worst deals in Sixers history. He has had an insane drop-off compared to last year and has not found a way to fit into this team the way fans hoped he could. Without Embiid, and Simmons the team lost their 7th straight road game to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The players acquired at the deadline should help this team improve, but in the short stint that Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks have been in the lineup, Brett Brown continues to send mixed messages on their role with this squad.
Robinson voiced his frustrations today to NBC Sports Philadelphia, stating:
“When you come here, and your roles not really explained, or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade – it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact. It’s a little different, so … this team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it. But it’s a business, you’ve gotta make it happen and go out and try to do your best every night.”
Judging by that statement I’m not sure anyone can step up and fix the issues this team has with around a month until the playoffs. Even if Embiid or Simmons can return, you have no idea how long it will take for them to get back to 100% for the most important stretch of the year. This team couldn’t even win road games with their top dogs, the last road win was January 23rd.
This team continues to show dysfunction in so many aspects. From the front office, to coaching, to the personnel.
When the Embiid “shush” drama hit the fan, Josh Richardson called a team meeting, not Embiid, not Simmons, not even Tobias. That alone is extremely alarming, on top of the complete mismanagement of injuries and lack of offensive creativity from coach Brown.
At this point, don’t expect the Sixers to make a deep run, even if they both return they need to play at an elite level to position this team to even compete in the eastern conference come playoffs. This team is in full-blown panic mode – you can only hope something changes in the next month, but don’t expect it to.