The Bad - Deep, but not good enough
Many in NBA circles have applauded the Sixers for their improved depth in the 2023-24 season. There’s no denying that when everyone is healthy they have ample contributors that can produce at a high level in the NBA. Their starting lineup is talented, and their bench depth gels nicely with the starters.
One of the reasons that depth is an important component of an NBA team is that the regular season is long. 82 games is a lot of basketball and a lot of things can happen over that amount of time. The Sixers have been hit with a lot of injuries and illnesses lately that have left both star players, and rotation players sidelined.
Roster depth is important at a time like this, and the Sixers have depth. However, their depth has not been able to overcome the adversity they have faced over the last few weeks. Their depth is good, but it is not good enough to make up for losing Joel Embiid for an extended period of time. Their depth is good, but it is not good enough (without Joel Embiid) to compete with the teams that sit atop the Eastern Conference standings in the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
In the span of the last two weeks, Paul Reed has had a 30-point, 13-rebound performance. Kelly Oubre Jr. has had two 25-point performances. Patrick Beverley has had 3 double-digit scoring games, including a 17-point, 11-assist performance against the Denver Nuggets to go along with 17 points from Marcus Morris. Furkan Korkmaz scored 19 points against the Warriors. Jaden Springer has looked good in the action he has seen over the last couple of weeks. Some of the role players have stepped up in major ways, yet the Sixers are just 1-6 over their last 7 games.
It is good news this team has the depth that they have. The bad news is that depth is not nearly enough to make up for the absence of Joel Embiid.