The Sixers performed the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday night time and received completely blown off the flooring. Since every thing I’ve to say about that recreation can be a repeat of columns previous — the bench stinks, please shoot threes Ben, and so on. — we will have slightly extra enjoyable on New Year’s Eve and dish out some resolutions.
Philadelphia might use an entire lot of assist throughout the roster (and excessive atop the entrance workplace), so listed here are a couple of objectives to aspire to as we ring in 2019.
Decision: Discover at the very least one two-way participant for the rotation
Model’s selections to go away the 15th roster spot open for so long as he has is puzzling on the floor. The Sixers are virtually impossibly skinny in comparison with the groups they should compete towards for the Japanese Convention crown, they usually might have simply shuttled in a participant or two for a glance earlier than buyout season approaches.
As an alternative, we have been left to observe the staff flounder every time one of their prime guys wants relaxation, is in foul hassle, or is in any other case having a troublesome night time. This staff ought to be lively round the commerce deadline, and at the very least Model has an enormous summer time forward of him.
Decision: Put Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid in additional pick-and-rolls
There are lots of complaints from the fanbase about Brown at this level, however the one which rings true for me is that he’s too inflexible together with his rotations. The Sixers play the groupings they all the time do every recreation, and whereas that helps construct continuity, it additionally limits the totally different mixtures they will go to every night time.
We do not see quite a bit of Butler-Embiid pick-and-rolls as a result of Brown is not an enormous advocate for the play normally, but in addition as a result of Ben Simmons’ presence makes it more durable to get plus-value out of operating one. Brown must decide to getting extra minutes with simply Butler and Embiid on the flooring to allow them to see what these two are succesful of.
Decision: Win Defensive Participant of the Yr
There’s so much of time left to make up floor, however I feel will probably be robust for Embiid to garner critical consideration for MVP if issues stay regular in Philadelphia. Their document is not fairly ok with the eye-popping numbers gamers are placing up elsewhere, and none of the different candidates have needed to accommodate one other main piece mid-stream as Embiid has for Butler.
However I feel he ought to be proper there with anybody in the dialogue for Defensive Participant of the Yr. The Sixers have slipped on that finish with a porous bench, however Embiid stays one of the league’s greatest rim protectors and Philadelphia is elite with him on the flooring. As the rotation round him adjusts to their defensive tweaks, Embiid is primed for an enormous second half.
Decision: “New year, new me!”
This one is much less about basketball. Butler has flamed out in spectacular trend at his final two stops, and is on the verge of signing an enormous contract extension in the summer time. If he needs to be half of a championship staff in Philadelphia, he must decide to being the dependable veteran he must be at 29. With potential clashes of ego on the horizon for the franchise’s younger stars, they want Butler to assist them understand they’re all higher off in the event that they stick collectively.
Decision: For the love of god, begin capturing
You already knew this was coming. A lot is driving on Simmons’ jumper.
Decision: Make extra photographs from the proper nook.
As Redick himself has acknowledged, his lack of success from the proper nook this season has been completely unbelievable. He’s 5/24 from that spot on the season, good for a paltry 20.eight %. A lot of these appears are rattling good ones and ones you’d anticipate an elite shooter to make in his sleep.
I might suspect some enchancment is coming. Redick shot 45.5 % from the proper nook final season and 35.9 % there throughout his final season in Los Angeles, so at the very least I might guess on him shifting towards common capturing there. It’s going to assist a bunch.
Decision: Play much less minutes
A lot of Chandler’s success comes right down to being in an applicable position. We noticed on Christmas Day that Chandler is greater than succesful of leaping into the wayback machine from time to time, providing strong contributions on each ends of the flooring. At his age, consistency is the largest challenge.
That may be helped by merely asking him to do much less. It is on Model to fill out the rotation in order that Chandler does not should be the fifth starter and a crunch-time participant, as a result of I consider he can nonetheless be useful so long as he is not overextended.
Decision: Lock in on protection
It is robust to get on Shamet an excessive amount of for something he is doing on offense. He has had wild swings forwards and backwards on the pendulum as a shooter (there are some actual clunkers to his credit score this yr), however finally he has settled in as a dependable weapon off the bench and one of the good surprises of his draft class.
The Sixers badly want him to progress as a defender. It’s going to take time as a result of he wants so as to add some power and agility that does not typically are available the center of a season. If they will flip him into no less than a reliable defender, the Sixers may have a helpful position participant on their palms.
Decision: Make extra open threes
This isn’t a misprint — 56.9 % of Muscala’s photographs this season have been threes which are thought-about “wide open” by the NBA’s monitoring requirements. That may be a staggering quantity in comparison with some of his teammates. Redick, for instance, has solely had about 20 % of his makes an attempt this yr come on wide-open threes.
Muscala is capturing 34.6 % on these photographs. That quantity needs to be larger, finish of dialogue.
Decision: Discover a solution to survive on protection
McConnell’s status has lengthy been of a man who competes his butt off on protection, however he hasn’t been in any respect impactful on that finish this season. The Sixers have been a number of factors worse with him on the flooring than off, with pressured switches leaving him helpless towards the greater wings which have flooded the league in recent times.
With Markelle Fultz at present battling Lavos the destroyer of worlds, banished to the shadow realm, okay perhaps he is simply doing bodily remedy, the Sixers want McConnell to have the ability to grasp on protection in order that issues do not fall off a cliff. He has turned himself into a fairly competent participant on offense, warts and all.
Decision: Go get that paper
I feel this has been stated roughly 100,000 occasions by members of Sixers Twitter this season, however it’s fairly baffling that Korkmaz’s extraordinarily low cost choice wasn’t picked up. Go receives a commission and pop some corks this summer time, my man.
Decision: Quicken the three-point launch
By the time an Amir Johnson three goes down or rims out, the Sixers have launched one other three-week timetable for one of their injured gamers. If it goes down I assume it does not actually matter, however yeesh.
Decision: Discover a approach to contribute on offense
The Sixers have been extraordinarily good on protection with Bolden on the flooring. Numbers match the eye check right here, the place we have seen Bolden trigger chaos together with his size and athleticism round the rim.
The subsequent step for him is just discovering a strategy to become involved on offense with out mucking issues up for everyone else. I feel this may need to return from enjoying minutes as the backup middle and the solely massive on the flooring, the place he can probably be a lob goal and a finisher on passes from any quantity of their different gamers. That’ll put extra strain on him defensively, however the capturing is ghastly at this level, so I do not know if they will survive with him enjoying prolonged minutes as a 4.
Decision: Crack the rotation earlier than your first season ends
It’s going to be a tall process for the Texas Tech product to seek out his footing (no pun meant) earlier than the 2018-19 season ends. He will be robust to play on offense if he is not flattening photographs, and given the whole lot he has needed to overcome this yr, it will be a pleasant achievement for him to even get on the flooring, on this author’s opinion.
However the Sixers desperately want what he brings to the desk as a defensive weapon, even when that influence shall be minimal for a rookie wing whose place just isn’t completely clear. Getting him some developmental reps this yr can be a great kickstart for subsequent yr, which can hopefully be his first full and regular season as a professional.
Additionally, keep away from sesame.
Decision: Drive the Sixers to make use of an actual roster spot on you
I have been an enormous fan of the Shake Milton expertise to date, from the Frosty Freeze Out towel-waving to his performances in garbage-time minutes. He has been killing groups in the G-League, averaging 24 factors, 5.2 rebounds, and three.9 assists per recreation on higher than 47 % capturing for the Delaware Blue Coats.
The important thing shall be turning that into competence in actual minutes for Philly. He seemed a tad misplaced on protection when he was given an opportunity towards critical competitors lately, and he’ll must be greater than a garbage-time hero to graduate from a two-way deal.
Decision: Discover a new house
I’ve nothing towards Jackson personally, however he is the fourth level guard on a workforce that used two No. 1 picks on gamers they think about level guards. His two-way spot ought to be used on somebody with any two-way upside as a wing, or at the least an individual who can shoot or defend and stands taller than 6-foot-Four.
Decision: Get wholesome and keep wholesome
It is exhausting to know what Patton can convey to the desk if he is by no means wholesome sufficient to point out it. Concentrate on the rehab and hold progressing. The staff might definitely use one other athlete on the again finish.
Decision: Get proper, it doesn’t matter what it takes
I’ve in all probability written as a lot or greater than anybody has about Mr. Fultz since he arrived in Philadelphia, which has led some to consider I’ve some type of vendetta towards him. The other might be extra correct — there’s nothing I want to see greater than a younger, hard-working child with the ability to reside out his dream, and there’s nothing that would enhance the Sixers extra internally than Fultz returning to one thing resembling his school type.
It is simply inconceivable to say whether or not bodily remedy goes to be the magic bullet that solves all his points. We’ve not seen the actual Fultz since he was enjoying Summer time League basketball in Utah, pulling up from anyplace and in all places and flashing the potential that made him a No. 1 general decide. I do not know if that child is ever coming again, as a result of we’ve not seen him a lot as try a 3 since earlier than Halloween.
Is it a change of surroundings he wants, a removing of poisonous individuals round him, or one thing else we’ve not thought-about but that may flip the mild bulb on? I can not say for positive. However I can say that I’m pulling for him as an individual, and I hope that he finds no matter it’s that he must get again on monitor.
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