Philadelphia 76ers may have a slow start to begin the season

Brett Brown, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Brett Brown, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

It’s not completely impossible for the Philadelphia 76ers to have a rough start to next season based on all of their offseason moves.

It’s been a busy offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers. The club’s added new talent via the draft, trades and free agency. Despite all the talent that the Sixers have added this summer, it may actually cause them to begin the season slow before they get into proper title contending form.

Roster continuity is big thing in the NBA when it comes to competing for titles. Its unlikely the Sixers will break the mold in that regard. The roster turnover they went through this summer may end up causing the team to have a slow start to begin the season.

Only nine players from last year are returning and with 17 possible roster spots, including two two-way contracts, that’s basically half of the roster. Only three starters are return in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. Only Embiid and Simmons were on the roster from the beginning of last season out of the starting five.

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The Sixers are incorporating two big pieces in Al Horford and Josh Richardson. Horford and Harris will have to adjust to playing to new positions, which won’t be easy. Richardson has a lot of pressure on him to fill the roles of Jimmy Butler on defense and J.J. Redick on offense, neither is an easy task. Richardson will go from a focal point on offense to being a complimentary piece this season, which could prove to be difficult.

The bench returns: James Ennis, Mike Scott, Jonah Bolden, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz and Zhaire Smith. Only Ennis and Scott were a part of the regular rotation last year after the trade deadline. Smith appears to ready to join Scott and Ennis in the rotation next season, but that’s still two bench rotational spots that will need to be filled by the new players.

The new bench includes: Trey Burke, Raul Neto, Marial Shayok, Matisse Thybulle, Kyle O’Quinn and Norvel Pelle. Burke and Neto will probably be battling for minutes early on, which could cause the team to struggle at times. Like Smith and Ennis, Thybulle should be in the mix for minutes on the perimeter as well. O’Quinn should get minutes at center to help preserve Embiid and Horford for the playoffs. Head coach Brett Brown could have a hard time managing rotations to begin with.

Recently, I wrote about how Philly could have a 12-man rotation to begin the season. It’s due to the team’s new depth which was just highlighted in the paragraphs above. This could cause issues with consistency which could result with a few losses. That’s not including a new coaching staff after losing assistants like Monty Williams, Billy Lange and Lindsey Harding. The team brought in assistant coaches Ime Udoka and Joseph Blair to fill out Brown’s staff.

Incorporating all of these new pieces could cause chemistry issues on the court, which in turn could result in some surprise loses early in the season. Having a win percentage around 50.0 percent five or 10 games into the season may totally be in the realm of possibility.

If this does happen, fans shouldn’t be in panic mode. The 76ers have the veterans to overcome this in the long haul. Brown is use to roster turnover as he basically coached three difference teams due to all the trades the Sixers made last year. A slow start shouldn’t be worrisome, as long as the team shows signs of better play and cohesion by 15-20 games into the season.

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As good as the Philadelphia 76ers look on paper this year, it’s not inconceivable that they could struggle in the first handful of games to be the season. If that happens, then the fan base shouldn’t panic, because the Sixers have the veterans and coaches to turn it around.