76ers

The NBA is back … and so are the Sixers’ problems

BILL STREICHER | USA TODAY SPORTS

All had been quiet at the Sixers’ facilities as the NBA season was put to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, there are rumblings as the NBA season is set to restart.

As the return of the NBA season draws closer, the Sixers’ problems before the break will also return.

Heading into March, Brett Brown’s seat was hotter than ever, and the growing frustration of the lack of improvement with the Sixers’ young stars was prevalent. The lack of trust in the Sixers’ front office was questioned as the team rolled into the final month and change performing well below expectations.

Now the Sixers have a clean slate … sort of. While the Sixers finish out the final eight games of the season, fans will have likely forgotten about the early days of 2020. The mystery and unknown about the new playoff format, with all games in Orlando, provides more hope for a 39-26 Sixers squad that many would have ridden off if the season played out.

What helps give hope for the Sixers (+2800 to win the NBA Championship on DraftKings) when the season starts up in July? Well, we know the Sixers home-road splits have not been very good. They are obviously a much better and more composed team in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. The difference here, however, is there aren’t any home games. The fact that all games will be played in Orlando at Disney World puts every team in unknown territory. If anything, this tournament will resemble an NCAA Tournament.

We knew the Sixers likely would not fare well on the road in the NBA Playoffs. With this current format, however, there is at least the unknown of their play at a neutral site.

Of course, that’s not much to go on. At the end of the day, the Sixers are still an underachieving unit and those problems didn’t just go away during the break. Unless Ben Simmons picked up the confidence to shoot during the time off, the Sixers are in trouble. If Joel Embiid did not work on his conditioning during the time off, the Sixers are in trouble. If Brett Brown can’t find a way to maximize Embiid and Simmons in the same lineup, the Sixers are in trouble.

As great as it will be to see basketball resume in July, we should prepare for the Sixers’ problems to also return.


You can follow Jon Jansen on Twitter (@jjansen34) and e-mail him at jpjansen12@gmail.com.

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