NBA Philadelphia 76ers 2020 Season Analysis

NBA Philadelphia 76ers 2020 Season Analysis

Written by on March 18, 2020

No team was more schizophrenic this NBA season than Philadelphia as the Sixers were almost invincible at home and one of the league’s worst teams on the road. The 76ers were 39-26 before the NBA season was postponed. Here’s an overview of the Philadelphia 76ers 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.

NBA Philadelphia 76ers 2020 Season Analysis

Philadelphia 76ers Team Analysis

The Sixers entered 2019-20 as Eastern Conference co-favorites with the Bucks, but preseason concerns related to the offensive makeup of their roster bubbled to the surface almost immediately. The Sixers currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference and are facing an uncertain offseason likely to be marred with significant changes. Considering the remaining schedule and the team’s road record, the chances of earning a top-four seed are slim. If playoffs started today, the 76ers would face the third-seed Boston Celtics.

The break came at a good time for Philly because its two best players, All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, were hurt. Simmons might have been done for the regular season with a back issue. Simmons suffered a nerve impingement in his back in the first quarter of Philadelphia’s loss on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 22 and tried to play through it for a while. Simmons didn’t rule out the possibility of surgery, when asked if rehabilitation would be enough to solve the problem, or if he would eventually need to have surgery to fix it.

“There’s no timeline on it. So whenever I’m back, I’m back. Whenever I’m 100 percent, I’m coming back. I’m not here to just sit out and wait. But when I’m healthy, I’ll be playing,” said Simmons, who is averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists this season. He is likely to be evaluated again early next month.

Embiid had missed several games with a shoulder injury but did return in Philly’s final game before the NBA shut down, a 124-106 win over Detroit. Embiid looked great with 30 points and 14 rebounds. He had been out since Feb. 26 with that injury and also had missed a handful of other games this year with a variety of issues.

There have been plenty of times the past few years and this when the fit between Embiid and Simmons also has been questioned. Their skill sets, style of play and personalities don’t have a natural synergy.

Philadelphia 76ers Key Numbers & Key Players

The Sixers’ starting lineup of Simmons, Embiid, Al Horford, Josh Richardson, and Tobias Harris runs a half-court offense 79.7% of the time. That group, which has logged 88 more minutes together than any other Sixers lineup, scores just 91.9 points per 100 plays in the half court.

However, the Sixers play much faster when Simmons is on the court and Embiid isn’t. The difference in Philly’s pace with Embiid on the court (99.99 possessions per game) compared to on the bench (101.91 possessions per game) is the difference between being the league’s ninth-fastest team and its 17th fastest. The Sixers also post a higher 3-point-attempt rate with Embiid off the floor.

Though he had his moments of greatness, Embiid’s lack of foot speed continues to be a challenge. With Simmons and others looking to play fast, the Sixers are naturally slowed offensively whenever Embiid is available.

While Simmons is now for his passing an ability to post a triple-double in any game, the 6-foot-10, 230-pounder former Rookie of the Year has become a fantastic defender who can defend multiple positions given his unique mix of size and speed. Simmons made a commitment to become the best version of himself on the defensive end. This season, that by leading the NBA in steals, averaging 2.1 per game.

Shake Milton had been playing great since he started filling in for Simmons in the starting lineup. Over his last five games, Milton has averaged 20.8 points per game, shooting 61.4% from the field, and 60.8% from long range.

Milton, a former G-League player who rarely saw court time during the first half of the season due to depth at the wing position, has now established himself as a key cog in the offensive game plan and is on a very cheap contract. In addition, Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III have been terrific trade acquisitions from the Golden State Warriors.

This roster is talented enough to win a title, and if the Sixers flame out in the playoffs expect Coach Brett Brown to be fired.

Philadelphia 76ers Playoffs panorama and Championship Odds

If the playoffs started today, the Philadelphia 76ers would be the East’s No. 6 seed, and they are +2800 at Mybookie to win the franchise’s first title since 1983.