Philadelphia exposes their flaws as Sixers fall short, 101-96
The Sixers lost tonight to fall back to just one game above .500 at 15-14, and it just confirms what I feel about them:
This iteration of the sixers is a team in limbo, with flaws too big to climb well over .500 but too much talent to make them bad. What removes them from that limbo is the shot creating guard that Ben Simmons would presumably be traded for, which would fill what's been the teams biggest need for about 5 (?) years running.
It's the flaws that make this team so frustrating. Tobias Harris could be much more effective if he stopped trading wide open threes for contested twos. A Matisse Thybulle sporting a three point jumper would be a kind of player basketball has never seen. A coach that knows how to rotate players and adjust would be a welcome change. A defense that's good enough to stop Gabe Vincent would also be preferred.
But even with their flaws and incompleteness, Philly can still play with anyone like we saw in their recent win against the best team in the NBA. Joel Embiid is Joel Embiid. Tyrese Maxey is still learning the NBA game but is electric when he's playing like he was tonight. Depending on how the Simmons situation goes they could add a much needed All-Star or Superstar level shot creator.
But until it happens, Philly will probably continue to be what they are. They're trying to climb the mountaintop and are desperately waiting for the boost that everyone knows it coming, it's just about when. The fan inside me wants to overreact, but whatever rational part of my brain is left has already accepted the fact that until that boost comes in, it's time to start monitoring the play in race.