The Philadelphia 76ers poor identity and why it can be re-branded

Furkan Korkmaz, Al Horford, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Furkan Korkmaz, Al Horford, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

First and foremost, during this time of crisis, make sure you stay safe. A lot of us are stuck with time in our very washed hands. This also includes the Philadelphia 76ers, believe it or not, who are human, just like us.

The Philadelphia 76ers‘ tumultuous season has come to a pause amid the COVID-19 situation, which continues to get worse. The NBA is expected to resume in June or July, which is almost the length of a regular offseason. We’ll hope for the best and pretend that the NBA does indeed resume in June for the purpose of this article. So how does a mid-season “offseason” fare for the Sixers? Let’s get into it.

Many teams in the NBA have an identity to them. The Bucks have their Giannis drive and kick. The Lakers have their defense. The Raptors have their insane depth and are never afraid to try new things. Meanwhile, the Sixers identify themselves as a team of misfits who can only win at home — which we’ll get into later.

The Sixers supposed identity coming into the year was always going to be defense. Yet, the Sixers don’t seem to ever actually try on defense unless it’s the Boston Celtics. Elton Brand made it his mission to make sure the team had the best defensive lineup in the league this summer when he acquired Josh Richardson, Al Horford and Matisse Thybulle, at the expense of J.J. Redick.

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The Sixers rank sixth in defensive rating (107.6), which by all means is not bad at all. But given how the team was built, it seems rather low. They had expectations of being the best defensive team in the league. The effort and ugly basketball was never instilled in their system, besides the first five games of the season.

It’s hard to envision them giving their 100 percent on defense like they should’ve been doing if the season were to continue as regularly advertised. It’ll be nice to see if a mid-season “offseason” changes the way they play on defense — on the road especially…

We know about the Sixers road struggles (10-27) already and how the Knicks have a better road record than the Sixers — yes, the Knicks. Let’s see how the Sixers doing against winning teams in general.

  • Sixers on the road against teams 500 and above: 1-16
  • Sixers at home against teams 500 and above: 11-2

The Sixers know how to play a winning brand of basketball, beating all the top teams in the east and west. This of course only happens if it is at the Well Fargo Center, and no other place. If they had home court advantage, it feels as if they can beat anyone in a seven-game series. The sad reality is they won’t have that advantage, and they will need to produce winning basketball on the road too.

Hopefully, the Sixers can come into June with real ambition. They must be engaged at all times on defense, no matter who the opposition is. The Sixers need to play a gritty and ugly type of basketball that we all signed up for last July, whether it’s at home or ON THE ROAD.

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They stressed the importance of defense before the beginning of the season, and it’s time they play to the standards they set out. Perhaps, the suspension serves as the mental break needed for the team, and they come into the NBA with fresh minds, clean hands and a new identity.