Somehow, someway, despite everything that’s happened this offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers are winning games. In fact they’re winning a bunch of games, and some have been against really good teams. Last night’s victory against a red hot Chicago Bulls squad brought the Sixers to 6-2, and they’re currently sitting at second in the East.
Sure, they’ve lost Tobias Harris to the health and safety protocols, Danny Green to a hamstring injury, and Ben Simmons to, well, whatever Ben Simmons is doing, but Philadelphia doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. On the contrary, they’re actually playing some of the most efficient basketball they’ve ever played under Doc Rivers. So how can a team missing almost $80 million on the court right now be playing so well?
This Sixers team is extremely deep
For what feels like an eternity, the Sixers have had an issue with depth. At times it’s been almost comical how bad the team is without Joel Embiid on the floor, and watching players like Mike Scott and Raul Neto play meaningful playoff minutes made you want to throw your TV through the window.
However, something is different this year. Everyone was shocked this week when Philly was able to beat Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers despite missing Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris (and Danny Green didn’t finish the game). In the past, the 76ers never would’ve even been in this game, but this time they gritted it out and won by double digits.
This is partially a testament to how well coached this team is, and Doc Rivers deserves a ton of credit despite the criticism he receives on a nightly basis. However, even more impactful is the improved versatility and depth of the bench.
Here’s an incredible stat: every single member of the 76ers rotation has a positive plus/minus right now. All of them. Just chew on that for a second. There have been 12 players that have played significant minutes for this team, and every single one has had a positive impact on the court. That’s the kind of luxury most teams only dream of.
Now let’s get into the specifics.