It seems like it's the same old story with the Philadelphia 76ers. They enter the season with high hopes and expectations and then they find the way to shoot themselves in the foot and underperform when it matters the most. It's either that or an injury that ends their chances to compete at the highest level.
The time for excuses is running out at the City of Brotherly Love. Elton Brand could be on the hot seat if they don't deliver this season, and that's why he brought in both Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers to try and make the most of their roster.
There's no denying the talent the Sixers currently have under contract and they've made a couple of interesting signings as well. That's why today, we're going to break down their actual chances to compete as we talk about their projected starting lineup for the 2020-21 season.
Bench: Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, Derrick Walton Jr., Justin Robinson, Furkan Korkmaz, Isaiah Joe, Dakota Mathias, Ryan Broekhoff, Matisse Thybulle, Terrance Ferguson, Lamine Diane, Mike Scott, Paul Reed, Dwight Howard, Tony Bradley
Point Guard: Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons' season came to an early end as he suffered yet another injury. Now, he's back at full strength and expected to play without any kind of limitations whatsoever, and fans expect him to finally break out as the superstar he can be.
The knock on Ben Simmons will always be the same. We know he's an elite defender and playmaker, but he's not going to be a factor in the playoffs when the court gets smaller until he finds a somewhat reliable shooting stroke from mid and long range.
Shooting Guard: Seth Curry
Doc Rivers has always thrived with sharpshooting players at the shooting guard spot. It happened with JJ Redick and Ray Allen, and it's going to happen all over again with Seth Curry, the active leader in three-point percentage around the league.
The younger Curry brother is nowhere near the player that Stephen is but he's tailor-made for what the Sixers need. They need someone who can stretch the floor and constantly knock down shots from beyond the arc, and he's the best in business in that regard.
Small Forward: Danny Green
Daryl Morey made a bold move by landing Danny Green in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. He drew a lot of criticism for his shooting slump in the bubble but he hasn't been a starting player on three Championship teams just by chance.
Danny Green is one of the best 3-and-D players in the league. He's also one of the savviest defenders in the fast-break, and a streaky shooter that can become a huge factor for any contending team. Get ready for his bounce-back season.
Power Forward: Tobias Harris
Let's be honest for a second here. The fans wouldn't hate on Tobias Harris that much if he didn't make that much money. But now that they'll have a roster that better fits his style, we expect him to come through as the team's starting power forward.
Doc Rivers already coached Tobias Harris and brought the best of him. He's a solid and efficient shooter from all three levels and his size and length allow him to defend both forward spots. Also, he knows it's time he starts paying back that massive contract.
Center: Joel Embiid
And last, but not least, we find Joel Embiid. Embiid has all the tools to be the best two-way big man in the league, even ahead of Anthony Davis. The only two things holding him back are inconsistency and the health issues that have haunted him for years.
When healthy, there's literally nothing Embiid can't do with the rock on his hands. He's got elite footwork and is a physical, pesky defender in the perimeter, in the post, and below the rim. The Sixers will only go as far as he can take them.