While the Philadelphia 76ers try to solve their mini-crisis, several rumors see the light every day suggesting the team will break the partnership between Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. People point out that ‘incompatibility’ between both players’ styles of play as the biggest factor for the team to trade one of them, but things are very different.
ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry has explained how Embiid and Simmons can be a terrific duo for Philly.
A quick look at recent Sixers history reveals that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid can be an awesome duo. During 1,306 minutes with both on the floor in 2017-18, here's how Philly performed:
Offensive rating: 113.3
Defensive rating: 97.8
Net rating: 15.5
That's a better net rating than this season's league-best Milwaukee Bucks, who host Philly on Saturday. And of the 142 duos that played more than 1,000 minutes, no pairing posted a higher net rating. Not bad, right?
Now consider last season:
Offensive rating: 112.8
Defensive rating: 104.9
Net rating: 7.9
Not as dominant, but still pretty good. Now for this season:
Offensive rating: 104.7
Defensive rating: 103.3
Net rating: 1.4
Then, Goldsberry explains what must be hurting the Sixers and their possibilities to be a juggernaut in the league. They are expected to be one of the best teams in the association, but the changes they’ve made in recent years have affected those chances.
“Here's the thing: Ever since general manager Sam Hinkie left town four years ago, the Sixers have been in a perpetual state of renovation. Front-office executives Bryan Colangelo and Elton Brand both tinkered with the roster so much that Simmons, Embiid and Furkan Korkmaz are literally the only dudes left who suited up for the team in 2017-18. And some of these new ingredients aren't meshing that well.”
When addressing what’s the biggest problem with Philadelphia, he points out that Ben Simmons’ inability to shoot is something to have in consideration.
The writer explains that the front office needs to compensate that with their rotation, just like the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but this team does not make that job.
Still, Kirk credits Simmons as the talented player he is.
“But anybody who labels Simmons as an overall detriment to team 3-point production is missing half the story. Yes, he's a non-shooter, but he's also one of the most gifted shot creators in the world.”
The Sixers look set to make some moves this upcoming offseason. The thing is, they might be looking at the wrong spot. Keeping Embiid and Simmons with them will be crucial for their success.