Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers


Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers

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STAYING: Justin Anderson, Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes, Timothe Luwawu, TJ McConnell, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Nik Stauskas.

ADDED: Amir Johnson (Boston), Markelle Fultz (University of Washington), Furkan Korkmaz (Banvit), James Michael McAdoo (Golden State) and JJ Redick (LA Clippers).

GONE: Gerald Henderson, Shawn Long (Houston), Alex Poythress (Indiana), Sergio Rodriguez (CSKA Moscow) and Tiago Splitter.

STRENGTHS: They have the best collection of young talent in the NBA … Super quick, athletic and versatile bunch … Lots of matchup nightmares … They will play at a high pace … Should be fun to watch … If Joel Embiid stays healthy, he’s an obvious All-Star candidate … The inside-outside threat he displayed in 31 games last season was something special … Point guard Markelle Fultz and point forward Ben Simmons will compete for Rookie of the Year honors … The multi-talented Dario Saric should build on a strong first season … Sixers management added two solid veteran pieces in dead-eye shooter JJ Redick and glue guy Amir Johnson … Philly has had many issues lately, but defensive effort has not been one of them.

WEAKNESSES: Health? … Embiid has barely played since he entered the draft in 2014 … Can he be counted upon on a nightly basis? … Simmons comes off an injury that sidelined for the 2016-17 season … There will be a lot of growing pains with such a young squad … They should struggle to close out games … Subpar three-point shooting team … It’s been a while since the Sixers last ran an efficient offense … They have actually been last in offensive rating four years in a row … In all likelihood, shot selection will not be pretty … Not clear what Jahlil Okafor‘s role is here … Could be a difficult rotation to handle for Brett Brown, who might be on thin ice if Philadelphia is off to a slow start.

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern Conference.


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