Why the Philadelphia 76ers bench is stronger than you think

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Philadelphia 76ers | basketball | NBA


It is unlikely for anyone the result of “Philadelphia” at the start of the season was a big shock. Like it or not, the contender, and even from the East, and even the rivals were not the most serious. However, it should be borne in mind that the team played 2 matches without the Embiid, without which the Sixers looked extremely bad last season, and also terribly threw from behind the arc in all 5 wins (31% on average), except perhaps for a meeting with Detroit ". You will not see something unexpected in the Fila game - they are predictably in the league leaders in terms of paint points (59.6), rebounds (61) and rebounds in the attack. Brown intentionally in every match takes advantage of his wards in saize - any of the four Simmons-Harris-Horford-Embiids will definitely take a position in the post if they face a defender who is inferior to him in height. As a result, the team very often plays aizo, which looks absolutely logical. What can really surprise you in the game "76ers"? Here we must pay attention to the second five.


The most common flare in the materials about the Sixers this offseason, after the health of the Embiida - a weak bench. Whatever you read - in any case, at some point you stumbled upon the “main flaw of the team” with the following message: the Fila role players will merge everything while the main stars are resting, and given Joel’s traumatism, this ultimately leaves the question Sixers chances to reach the finals.



The start of the season does not confirm this theory, and I strongly doubt that something will change much further. Of all the Philadelphia players in more or less decent minutes (more than 10), only Thybulle and Korkmaz (-3.6 and -1.1) leave for net rtg (the difference between the goals scored and those missed with a player on the court). but I can’t call them the team’s weak point. So that I would not be unfounded, let's figure out who they are, these Sixers role-playing movies.


The leader by minute is Matisse Tibull. If you have never heard of him, and this is quite possible if you do not follow Philadelphia, this is a 22-year-old rookie who is now the first in the NBA in interceptions (2.8) and draws attention to his game, gaining everything 4.6 points per evening. All decent American resources have already written about the guy, although, it would seem, there are much more promoted first-year ones. It's all about defense. Tibull impresses with the game in its half of the court, not only by the standards of beginners, but also by the standards of the entire league. This is especially true for defense without the ball - Matisse incredibly quickly reads the transmission lines, converting the opponent's mistakes into deflectionsor in interceptions. Interestingly, this is really a skill and a high-level skill - it almost never makes a mistake when trying to intercept and does not play statistics at the expense of the results. I saw an opportunity - he put out his hand and fled to a fast lead, no - he stepped back so as not to lose his position on the opposite.


It looks as if Brown sees in Thybulle the sixth player of the team and plans to play him to the right level so that the guy does not sag into the playoffs. But if there are no (yet) questions regarding the protection of Matisse, then with the attack everything is much sadder. In fact, there is not much needed from the Sixers substitutes on another side of the court - when you have 5 people at once, each of whom can throw 20+ in a match of any level, the reservists just have to move the ball and hit their shots because arcs. And Thybulle misses (26%), although it does not look like a man without a throw (good technique, confident release). It is also alarming that in his last season for “Washington” he sold only 30%, although the year before it was 36%. At the same time, it is really early to draw conclusions - the very Richardson so far scores only 21% of three-pointer.


If it’s still too foggy with Thybulle, then that's what James Ennis is all understood for a long time. He may be badly hit (34% from behind the arc last year), but he will give you a powerful emotional charge with his game in defense. Is this enough to be a 7-8 player in the contender, while James traditionally has quite a lot of fouls? Oddly enough, yes. This year Ennis seriously added to the game on the shields (6 rebounds), especially in the attack. “Fila” already has quite a few high players in the paint, and when they are added to them constantly breaking into the shield of James (2 rebounds in an attack in the evening, this is the third league result among the forwards), this gives the second unit a pretty high chance of re-drawing attacks, which partially compensates for the weak team implementation of three-pointer.


Mike Scott Scott has long shown that he can get 20 minutes in the playoffs, although you can’t expect anything more from him - he does everything at an average level. Like a second big one to Horford for a while, while Ambyid is resting - quite for himself.



He added Korkmaz, who finally began to hit and defend at a more or less decent level. Please note that in a recent game with the Blazers, which the 76ers won thanks to game winner Furcan, he didn’t just happen to be on the court in the last seconds (although he had been sitting before). The Filet needed an accurate throw, and Brown released the throwing four Richardson-Harris-Korkmaz-Horford along with Simmons, who gave the pass. What does this mean: the coaching staff sees in Furcan his main sniper from the bench, although in the past season he sold only 33% from behind the arc. I don’t know whether he will justify this attitude to himself, but I know that now he looks much more confident and aggressive than before.


Next comes a deep reserve in the person of Neto and O'Quinn. This year, Brett Brown plays without nominal point guards - while Simmons is resting, Richardson drags the ball for him, which gives the team an advantage in growth and protection, but in case something goes wrong, he has Raul, who Looks great at its 10 minutes per game. Kyle O'Queen plays about the same role as an insurance player, which is more relevant, given that Embiid will miss games during the regular season. Interestingly, he started throwing three-pointers, which is undoubtedly important when you have Ben Simmons on the floor. So far he has been weak (25%), but he looks very confident in his throw.


Now stop and think, who else of the serious clubs in the East has the second unit of four players 6-6 and above, each of which is protected at least at the average level in the league? At the same time, two of them break in the defense, and the other two fall from behind the arc with a normal percentage. Your options? Who! Milwaukee with Hill, Elyasova, Konaton and Lopez? Toronto, who have Ibaka, Powell, and then the abyss? Boston with two Williams, Tys and Brown? It’s only Miami that comes to my mind, but it’s hard to say how much the team is ready to claim anything more than the second round.



Suddenly, the Philadelphia bench looks decent even by the standards of the playoffs. Yes, we can say that Korkmaz and Thybulle do not pull to get playing time in the most important games in the postseason, but history shows that any teamthere are similar players and nothing can be done about it. Moreover, under certain circumstances, such guys can even shoot and exceed the most daring expectations. I can immediately tell you Powell at last year's Raptors, who was the team's eighth player in the final of 2019, Delly and Mozgov of LeBron's time at Cleveland, and also Biyombo, who earned a contract for his whole life in 2017. Players of "Fila" also at some point can give out what you do not expect from them at all. Moreover, the season is just beginning, and the 76ers reservists will still have plenty of time to gain experience and develop interaction. 
Jimmy
American Football Writer

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