The Sixers continue preparation for their 2020-21 season, which opens on Dec 23rd against Washington.

New coach Doc Rivers has been a positive influence to the teams young core of players, which includes Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.  The two all-stars have only played for one coach since entering the league, Brett Brown.

Now they will be guided by Rivers and an experienced staff.

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"So far he has been amazing," admitted Simmons when asked about the impact of Rivers and the new staff on Monday. "He allows guys to do what their good at, he embraces that. He's given me a lot of confidence and the keys to go and play my game and at the same time, try and help me get better."

Rives has continued to be impressed by Simmons, singling out his practice, and his ability in the open floor.

"He's out facilitator for sure," Rives said. "When he gets the ball in the open floor, there's very few like him.  We want to get him the ball in the open floor to let him be special."

For the Sixers to have a special season, they will need more from Simmons, who has said he's been working on mid-range shots, corner threes and finishing around the basket with assistant coach Sam Cassell.

But we've heard this before, and not seen the results on the court.  If the Sixers are to take the next step as a team, they will need Simmons to take the next step in his evolution as a player.

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