What Are The Root Issues Behind The Sixers Problems On The Court?
In their two losses to the Celtics in the First Round, the 76ers have been outscored by a combined 35 Points while their offense has been limited to 101 Points Per Game, which is nine points below their regular season average (110.7 PPG during the 2019-20 season). During the regular season the Sixers where best in the NBA in Opponents Offensive Rebounds Per Game (8.6) but against a Boston Celtics team that lacks the size of Philadelphia's roster, the Celtics are averaging 13 Offensive Rebounds Per Game. The 76ers issues on the court look to be more than just being outplayed by the Celtics in this series; the entire season has been a disappointment after so many people put high expectations on them before the roller coaster ride of inconsistent play and now people are questioning how this roster was constructed. No matter what happens in this series versus the Celtics, Philadelphia have to take a serious introspection into why a team with 10 combined All-Star selections and a payroll eclipsing 130 Million Dollars have struggled as much as they have.
Co-Host of The NBA Podcast and Forbes Sports NBA Contributor Bryan Toporek joined GameNight with Josh Hennig on Thursday and explained why the root of the Sixers problems goes beyond just the issues on the court:
"It is a top-down failure, it's an organizational wide failure from the players to the coaching staff to the front office to the ownership group, every single person has some share of blame in the product we are seeing meltdown on the court....(The issues) go back to the early phases of 'The Process' when you commit to a long term rebuild with Sam Hinkie and then cut his legs out halfway through and it feels like they've been kind of just been failing between different visions (for the team) ever since. Between Hinkie, (Bryan) Colangelo, the interim Front Office 'Hydra' that they had and now Elton Brand, (the Sixers) have gone through three or four (Front Office) groups in the past five years....Really since the loss to the Celtics two years ago in the playoffs, its just like they are swinging a pendulum of overreaction back and forth. (The Sixers) thought they were ready to compete so they made some Win-Now Trades: they trade for Jimmy Butler, they trade for Tobias Harris, then they lose to the Raptors and get blown off the floor whenever Joel Embiid is not on the court. So then they go out and sign Al Horford to make sure they have insurance but they completely neglected (the reality) in the NBA in 2020 to have Guards who can actually shoot and dribble and pass. Without Ben Simmons, who is out with this knee injury, they don't have a single average Point Guard on this roster and against a team like Boston that has a bunch of good defensive wings, that flaw has become fatal."
Hear what Toporek had to say about the issues the Sixers face in upgrading the roster, potential candidates to replace Brett Brown if Philadelphia does move on from their Head Coach, perspective on top Western Conference teams in the NBA Playoffs, and more.