Only sixth in the conference as a luxurious recruit (Horford, J. Richardson) presaged a top duel with the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia’s regular season is one of the big flops of 2019-2020 along with those of Brooklyn. and Golden State two teams burdened with injuries. The Sixers certainly had to deal with the recurring fragility of Joel Embiid who played only fifty matches and one in seventy-three, but that does not explain this drop in performance, very significant outside where the partners of Tobias Harris had a mediocre 28% wins (10 out of 35) until the end of the season in March.
The package of Ben Simmons, operated on the knee, for the play-offs will not raise the odds of a team that tries to reassure itself when it comes to challenging the Celtics, historical rival dominated three times out of four this season. In the neutral context of Orlando, the opposition of profiles between the inner power of the Sixers, reinforced this season by former Boston executive Al Horford, back in the starting five following the withdrawal of Simmons, and the game of movement of the C’s without fixation in the racket, can level the balance of power of the moment, favorable to the young wolves of Massachusetts. But it would take a big Embiid throughout the series to avoid a premature elimination that would work after two promising previous campaigns.
Speculation is already rife. Forced to end his season prematurely, tall Australian playmaker (2.08m) Ben Simmons, repositioned … a winger by coach Brett Brown on arrival in the Orlando bubble, Will he be the fuse of the Sixers in the event of a quick elimination in the play-offs? Rumors of a trade with Cleveland are circulating for either of the Sixers’ All-Stars, Embiid and Simmons. One thing is certain, a failure in the first round after a disappointing regular season would mark a setback for the ambitious “process” initiated by the franchise after the promises of the last two seasons, in particular the elimination in 2019 in the second round by Toronto after a improbable basket at the buzzer of match 7 of Kawhi Leonard and would not be without consequences on the future of the coach or one of the two stars of the team.