Last night was the first chance I had to watch the Sixers live for this season. Steve invited me and he has tickets 9 rows up, parallel to the baseline on one of the sides. The feature picture is a good indication as the court was directly to the right. I felt like I was near enough at one end to get a feel for the rhythm and speed of the game.
I would never admit to being a process truster. The time spent to make something happen could have been done differently and management didn’t handle many situations properly. There’s no point dissecting the past in this post so we’ll use tonight’s game as the starting point.
Let’s start by saying the Hawks stink. The line was Sixers -8 which I’d have to guess is the largest spread the Sixers have had in years. The Hawks have Schroder who is a nice, Rondo like player with a little better jump shot. The rest of the team was young, inexperienced, and probably why they are 1-7.
What I saw from the Sixers tonight was promise. If they played the way they played tonight against playoff competition, they wouldn’t stand a chance. Here are my observations in no random order, mostly player profile based:
Simmons is too hesitant to shoot when he’s got a good shot. He gets to the rim great and will light up stat sheets. When he starts to understand that it’s his team, they’ll improve quickly. His foul shooting is a definite weakness.
- Embiid makes a lot of mistakes. Flat out he’s inexperienced with basketball IQ. He dribbles too much for a guy who is 7-2. When he dribbles, it takes extra long to get back to him and he’s better off raising the ball above his head and finding the open man. Aside from correctable errors, he’s an absolute beast. If this guy starts to hang around the basket and using his superior athletic abilities, he’s a force.
- Covington is a nice scorer. He hits treys and spreads the floor. There is a place on this team for a guy like that.
Redick is one dimensional and if he’s off like he was tonight, he’s useless. He’s a great shooter but remember he’ll be streaky and it’s hard to rely on streaks when it comes playoff time. I’m also aware he’s coming off an injury so that could effect his performance last night.
- Dario didn’t impress me. He moves awkwardly. Not quick, not necessarily slow, but he sort of disappears in the game with these players.
- Bayless is a good example of what the old Sixers had. He’ll score some points and make some plays, but he isn’t winning you ball games.
- McConnell is scrappy. He plays hard but lacks the physical ability to get you over the hill. He does some odd penetrating into lane that leaves him in circumspect spots where sometimes he has a good pass and other times you’ll wonder what he thinks he’s doing. His shot needs to improve even more if he wants to continue contributing.
- Amir Johnson was surprisingly efficient and seemed to find himself in the right spot for the limited minutes he played.