Last year, the Philadelphia 76ers were the number one team in the Eastern Conference but were bounced out in the second round of the playoffs in surprising fashion. The flaws on this roster became clear during that playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
The duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid just don’t work, especially when Simmons appears to be afraid to be aggressive enough to create contact on offense. It’s been no secrete that the franchise is trying to move on from him, but they aren’t just going to give him up for nothing.
With that in mind, the roster could look fairly similar to what it did last year, and with other teams improving or getting healthier, fans shouldn’t have high expectations of the Sixers making a deep playoff run. At least not until a Simmons trade occurs and then the expectation surrounding the team could change.
Lower your expectation for the Sixers this season.
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Let’s first look at the roster for this team. Assuming that Simmons doesn’t hold out and does not show up for training camp and the start of the regular season, then the Sixers still have the same starting five as of last year, which was pretty good. Simmons, Seth Curry, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, and Embiid can do damage in any playoff match.
Then the bench did an upgrade this offseason as the front office switched out Dwight Howard and Mike Scott for Andre Drummond and Georges Niang. Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and Furkan Korkmaz all have another year under their belts so hopefully, they come in improved as well.
However, without any major improvements, this group won’t get it done against the East’s best teams in the postseason. The Brooklyn Nets figure to be the favorites as long as their health holds up and the Milwaukee Bucks still figure to be in the mix considering they just won the title and still have most of their core returning.
Teams like the Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat need to be taken seriously as well. This could all change if the 76ers could flip Simmons and other pieces for a guy like Damian Lillard, but until that occurs, fans shouldn’t expect a super deep playoff run. The duo of Simmons and Embiid can secure a second round playoff run, but not much more.
Unless a Simmons trade happens, Philadelphia 76ers fans should temper expectations for next season. A run to the conference finals is more of a pipe dream than an expectation at this point with how the roster is currently constructed.