Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers


Season preview: Philadelphia 76ers

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STAYING: Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Amir Johnson, Demetrius Jackson, Furkan Korkmaz, TJ McConnell, JJ Redick, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons.

ADDED: Jonah Bolden (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Anthony Brown (Minnesota), Wilson Chandler (Denver), Shake Milton (Southern Methodist), Mike Muscala (Atlanta), Emeka Okafor (New Orleans), Norvel Pelle (Torino), Landry Shamet (Wichita State) and Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech).

GONE: Justin Anderson (Atlanta), Marco Belinelli (San Antonio), Richaun Holmes (Phoenix), Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee) and Timothe Luwawu (Oklahoma City).

STRENGTHS: Physically imposing squad with top-notch size and athleticism … Plenty of matchup nightmares for opponents thanks to a point guard with power forward size and a giant, super mobile center who shoots threes … Ben Simmons was one of the best rookies in recent NBA history and will more than likely become an All-Star this year … Joel Embiid might be the most dominant center in the game … He flat out bullies rivals on both ends of the court … Can get it done with strength, athleticism or finesse … Supporting cast is quite impressive with a dead-eye shooter like JJ Redick, an impact 3-and-D guy like Robert Covington, the do-it-all Dario Saric, gritty TJ McConnell and more … Philly was the best rebounding team by far last season and could continue to be this year … Elite defensive squad … With Brett Brown, they have run a very modern offense.

WEAKNESSES: Health? … The injury history of the team’s top players is well known … Embiid has been terrific in limited playing time … Would it be sustainable to play him more? … Simmons is awesome without a three-point shot, but would be even more so if they had to respect his jumper … Not the case right now … Not by a long shot (pun intended) … Sixers have led the league in turnovers two years in a row … Free-throw shooting is not their thing.

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


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