Recent failures have spelled disaster for the Philadelphia 76ers, who seemed on the verge of a collapse heading into the 2020 offseason.
But with a new head coach and a new President of Basketball Operations, the Sixers have restored a sense of optimism regarding their future, which now lies in the hands of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Despite much talk that the duo would be splitting up, words from Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers seem to cement the idea that they're staying.
Morey: "I think Ben and Joel can absolutely work together."
Rivers: "I have no doubt they can as well...there are many combinations of players around the league that haven't won yet either."
Ben and Simmons have been playing together since 2017 and have made the postseason each of the past three seasons.
Ben, 24, was always the ball-handler and facilitator of the team. And though he is able to make plays for his teammates (Joel included) it is his shooting limitations that have handicapped the potential of this Sixers team.
As for the All-Star big man, his durability remains a major question mark, especially given the fact that he has yet to play over 64 games in any season of his career.
There are fundamental flaws with both players and their partnership is far from perfect.
But, this offseason, Philadelphia will look to make things work with who they've got. They're hoping a new coaching regime coupled with some minor roster tweaks will be enough to finally put them over the edge.