The failed Montrezl Harrell experiment
Dissecting the 2022 season, Doc Rivers and the front office made the backup for Embiid a top priority. Cashing on to the greatest possible option in free agency, Sixers signed Montrezl Harrell. The player had won the sixth man of the year award a couple of seasons ago. He played under Doc’s coaching for three seasons, so the transition was expected to be smooth.
But fans saw a very different player when he dawned Philly colours. Once leading the league with the most double-doubles, Harrell struggled to post a single point. He averages 5.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for the Sixers, his lowest since his Rookie season.
The 76ers’ other options in the front court could be more productive too. Clocking around 12 minutes in the game, the supporting frontcourt averages just about 6 points and 4 rebounds per game. The blocking and assists aspect is nearly non-existent for them, putting a lot of pressure on starting forwards to deliver daily.
During the All-star break, the Sixers were expected to push for a reliable forward, bringing in Hornet’s Jalen McDaniels. With no playoff experience, Jalen is not an ideal buy for the Philadelphia 76ers – who intend to win it all this season. But that’s what was affordable given the pocket size available with the office. And now, after 11 outings with the new franchise, McDaniels has 6 points, and a 4 rebound average, a bit better than the rest of the bench forwards.
The Sixers’ top three opponents, the Celtics, the Bucks, and the Nuggets, are stacked at the frontcourt. They can not only dominate the paint but limit Joel’s production too. That is not a good sign at all.