From all of us here at The Sixer Sense: Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoy the special day with special people. Naturally, the Sixers aren’t in action tonight. With Philadelphia sports temporarily on hold, it’s a great time to reflect on what we’re grateful for.
No team is more persistently frustrating than the Philadelphia 76ers. And yet, those who engage with this site almost exclusively love them. It has been a long and arduous journey to reach this point — playing .500 ball more than midway through November — but despite the copious trials and tribulations, it’s hard not to have affection for the House that Joel Embiid Built.
What we’re thankful for with every Sixers player
- Joel Embiid: His undying commitment
There have been plenty of opportunities for Embiid to express his displeasure with the Sixers organization and consequently force his way to a new, perhaps better-run franchise. The Colangelo-Twitter fiasco, the bungled Jimmy Butler decision, the years and years of second-round exits. But Embiid stayed through it all, steadfast in his commitment to bringing a championship back to Philadelphia.
- James Harden: His strength
James Harden has transformed his game. Not quite the spry and explosive athlete who dominated in Houston, Harden has instead learned to weaponize his unique physicality to make up for his lack of burst. He has long been the strongest guard in the NBA, but now Harden is using that strength constantly to compromise defenders and carve out space inside the arc.
- Tyrese Maxey: His smile
Is there anything better than Tyrese Maxey’s smile? The effervescent joy he plays with is a new sensation, one we haven’t really felt since Embiid’s early days with the team. It makes Maxey fun to root for, but more importantly, it rubs off on the rest of the team.
- Tobias Harris: His leadership
There are plenty of valid critiques of Tobias Harris on the court, but off the court he might be the most important person on the team. His efforts to bring players together and provide accountability in the locker room have been essential.
- P.J. Tucker: His dog mentality
P.J. Tucker’s offensive exploits have been few and far between since arriving in Philadelphia, but he’s still a masterful defender whose unyielding effort can swing the momentum of games for the Sixers.
- De’Anthony Melton: His pickpocket skills
The Sixers have been blessed with a new deflections magnet. De’Anthony Melton does not allow passes to advance further than he deems appropriate.
- Georges Niang: His spunk
Who cares if he’s athletic enough? Georges Niang plays with too much flare and self-confidence for arbitrary attributes like “athleticism” to enter the equation.
- Danuel House Jr.: His well-roundedness
In Danuel House Jr., the Sixers have a wing who can shoot, dribble under pressure, make crisp connective passes, and defend… that’s never happened before?
- Paul Reed: His ability to get out the mud
He’s out the mud. You know what I mean.
- Shake Milton: His readiness
Shake Milton opened the season glued to the bench. Now, he’s spot-starting and giving the Sixers 20+ points per game while operating as lead facilitator. He stayed ready. That’s the benefit of good depth.
- Montrezl Harrell: His goofball toughness
I’m not sure I agree with Montrezl Harrell’s treatment of Giannis Antetokounmpo post-game after Philly’s win over Milwaukee, but I do appreciate the commitment to the bit. He’s going to annoy the ever-living you-know-what out of opposing players.
- Matisse Thybulle: His effort level
Despite limited minutes and waning opportunity, Matisse Thybulle has never given less than 100 percent effort when on the floor.
- Furkan Korkmaz: That preseason hype video
You remember that time Furkan Korkmaz released a preseason hype video set to the soundtrack of a spaghetti western? I sure do.
- Jaden Springer: My island real estate
A lot of people have given up on Jaden Springer. My real estate investment on Jaden Springer Island has grown accordingly. You all have my thanks.
- Saben Lee: His ability to dribble
For a moment there, the Sixers were running desperately short on players who can dribble. Welcome to the club, Saben Lee!
- Julian Champagnie: His versatility
The Sixers have long struggled to find big wings who can shoot, defend, pass — just do a little bit of everything. I’m tired of one-way players too. Thanks Julian Champagnie, for endeavoring to be more than one-dimensional.