How do Sixers have No. 1 offense without Ben Simmons?

Furkan Korkmaz, Seth Curry, Georges Niang, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Furkan Korkmaz, Seth Curry, Georges Niang, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Sixers’ internal improvements without Ben Simmons

It’s no secret that the Sixers were coming into this season with their lead guard situation in a bit of a flux.  Outside of drafting Jaden Springer, no new guards were brought into the fold, so the fate of this team was going to be determined from in house.  Thankfully the combination of Tyrese Maxey, Seth Curry, Shake Milton, and even Furkan Korkmaz have provided enough semblance of perimeter decision making to get the offense into rhythm.

The biggest and most anticipated jump has obviously been Tyrese Maxey, who has seen just about every mark of his stat line go up compared to his rookie year.  While the counting stat improvements were expected with more minutes, he’s also been impressively more efficient, with his field goal (.462 to .519), 2-point (.512 to .571), 3-point (.301 to .333), and effective field goal (.498 to .556) all taking a sizeable leap as well.  As mentioned before, he’s becoming a reliable play finisher, something that was more so anticipated and debatably more important than him becoming the main offensive initiator.  Having Embiid as your main offensive hub is going to have the ball in his hands more often than not so having perimeter creators who can seize the advantages Joel creates is extremely important, and something Maxey is quickly improving in.

Not entirely sure if you can call it “improvement” considering he got out to a similar start last year but Seth Curry has been nothing short of a human flame torch so far this season.  While the emphasis before the season started was for Curry to take more 3’s per game (only attempted 4.9 per game last year), the improvement has come from inside the arc, where Seth is making an out of this world 69 percent of his 2-point attempts.  While the question of sustainability obviously comes back up, one must appreciate his ridiculous level of tough shot making during this stretch.  He’s one of the best shooters in the NBA and he’s absolutely playing like it, something that Philly will desperately need as the season pushes on.

The last player that feels necessary to highlight is Furkan Korkmaz, who has continued to make strides across so many aspects of his game.  Furkan is excelling in every offensive metric, as he’s shooting 42.6 percent from deep, has nearly doubled his assist per game total from last year (1.5 to 2.8) all while carrying the 3rd highest usage (22.3 percent) on the No. 1 team in the conference.

Growing from a primarily catch and shoot threat to someone who can self create if called upon both at the rim and on the perimeter is a ridiculous testament to how hard he’s worked and how he’s earned the ability to be put into situations to succeed.  His shoot first ask questions later mentality to incredibly important for a team whose main form of offensive is a big man and whose secondary scorers (Tobias Harris and Seth Curry) both have a knack for passing up more 3’s than they should.

While Doc and company have received some fair criticism in regards to other aspects of coaching, credit is well earned when it comes to getting the absolute most out of non-star players, as we wouldn’t be in the position we are without it.