Everyone knows the old saying: styles make fights. In context of the hardwood, we could change that quote to: “styles fit the player”. Three games in to the league’s 75th season, early indications are that the Sixers are in need of a point guard that isn’t Ben Simmons. The fast break looks more like traffic in L.A. at rush hour.
Or any point during the day.
Meanwhile, nearly 800 miles and eleven hours away in the Midwest (an hour behind east coast time) in the Windy City, something very promising is happening with a team long removed from the glory days of the 1990’s and a decade removed from Simeon High’s finest becoming the youngest MVP in league history.
The revamped Chicago Bulls are leading the Eastern conference, and are undefeated. DeMar DeRozan looks rejuvenated, Alex Caruso is legit. Zach LaVine is a bonafide franchise player, and a guy who Sixers fans wrote off in a prior article I wrote last year, is anchoring the league’s second ranked defense (so far): Lonzo Ball.
Lonzo Ball is excelling in Chicago. Did the Sixers mess up?
Currently, Lonzo Ball is averaging 14 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, and five assists. Solid numbers, but his impact has been felt in every aspect of the game. Defensively, Chicago is giving up 94 points per game, only second to Utah’s 93.5 points per game. Those figures are sure to change throughout the year. Point is, Ball’s presence has set a tone in Chicago that was much needed. Zach LaVine’s horrid defense is overshadowed by Lonzo’s high basketball IQ.
I’d say that Chicago got it right in free agency.
I also believe that Philadelphia dropped a golden opportunity as well.
With all the hoopla currently surrounding disgruntled star Ben Simmons, it would have been nice if the Sixers managed to sign Ball, who is relatively cheaper and still gives the Sixers an excellent young piece that they could build with.
Did I mention also that Ball shoots 38 percent from 3-point land?
That alone should sell the Sixers fanbase.
Nevertheless, Lonzo has surprisingly become the missing part that has been vital to their hot start thus far. Yes, there are 79 more games to go in this year, but the Bulls’ free agency pickups have yielded solid returns.
The Sixers could’ve used a Lonzo Ball. His style of play would have meshed perfectly with Joel Embiid needing to be doubled on the post, freeing up open perimeter shots, creating more space for the big man to work down low.
It’s all a distant memory now.
Now, I’m not saying that Lonzo was the definite answer for the Sixers. But, it’s always good to have spare clips in the pocket when it’s time to reload. The East is getting better. The Sixers however, are currently in a state of uncertainty.
Sixers nation, admit it: Daryl Morey and company got it wrong.