These 4 players must step up for the 76ers in Joel Embiid's absence

The Sixers are struggling without their perennial MVP center. These four players can keep the team afloat.

Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid
Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Ricky Council IV

Ricky Council IV, Evan Mobley
Ricky Council IV shooting a contested layup / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Ricky Council IV is an intriguing young player, an inexperienced but explosive athlete with plenty of raw talent. He would be well served by cleaning up his mechanics a bit more, and he also needs to tighten up his handle. The young guard could definitely do a better job of picking and choosing when to be aggressive and how to play within Nurse’s offensive system, but that will come with time and experience.

The Sixers have struggled to stay afloat without their stars for years now, and their lack of bench production has been a big part of those struggles. Council IV is a young player who needs time to develop, and quite frankly the team shouldn’t be relying on him to keep the second unit together this early in his career. That being said, if the young, springy guard is able to elevate his game and provide 7-10 useful minutes per game, that would go a long way toward solidifying the second unit. 

The keys to Council IV being effective are using his length and athleticism to bother opponents defensively, picking his spots wisely when attacking and using his athleticism to create opportunities at the rim, and limiting his turnovers and unnecessary fouls. If he can do those three things, he’ll be well on his way to being an asset for Philadelphia’s second unit.