The Eastern Conference runs through the Philadelphia 76ers.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the 76ers finished as the number one seed in the East.
New head coach, Doc Rivers, helped revamp this team and instill a new form of confidence.
Tobias Harris had another great year under Doc’s coaching.
Ben Simmons took another step forward with his defense; culminating in a finalist spot for Defensive Player of the Year.
Lastly, Joel Embiid dominated all season long and would have been the MVP most likely, if not for an injury.
The 76ers have one of the best chances of winning the title this season.
However, there a few flaws that the team has and might need to address.
2. Ben Simmons Not Being Aggressive
The biggest knock on Simmons is always about his shooting and sometimes lack of aggressiveness.
He is the second-best player on this 76ers team, but he does not score as such.
His defense has been superb and he is arguably the best perimeter defender in the league.
However, his offensive numbers in the playoffs can be putrid at times.
There was a one-point game he had against the Boston Celtics in a playoff game in 2018.
The series against the Toronto Raptors in 2019 was a bad performance by Simmons throughout.
In Game 1 of their first-round matchup against the Washington Wizards in this year’s playoffs, Simmons played a great game despite a lack of scoring.
Ben Simmons today:
1 Block pic.twitter.com/fhuIaKJeEU
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 23, 2021
Simmons might not need to necessarily score 20-plus, but he needs to be aggressive.
Teams sag off on him to a crazy degree and that stagnates their offense.
Simmons cannot be scared to take a shot, especially on smaller guards.
The 76ers can go far, but when teams force Simmons to score, he must try to make them pay.
1. Too Reliant on Joel Embiid
Embiid has been on a tear throughout the season.
It feels as though he cannot be stopped.
Every game seems easy for the big man.
He is a walking beast in the paint with the finesse of a Hakeem Olajuwon.
The 76ers play through their big man, but it might be too much sometimes.
Most teams play through their best player, but Embiid has had injury concerns and fatigue issues.
We have seen him in previous playoff games looking tired and not moving the same.
The on/off court numbers this season for Joel Embiid are staggering.
The 76ers have outscored their opponents by 12 points per 100 possessions when Joel Embiid is on the court.
They're outscored by more than 4 points per 100 possessions when he's off.
That differential in on/off court net rating is the largest in the NBA this season. pic.twitter.com/xytIbMWHNS
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2021
Their offensive rating is 10.5 points better with Embiid on the court.
The 76ers have issues scoring without him on the court.
Players such as Harris and Simmons need to step up when he is off the court.
Shake Milton needs to be the player off the bench that scores and keeps the team afloat.
Embiid is a force, but he needs help in order for him to rest.
The 76ers have a great chance of making it to the Eastern Conference Finals rather easily.
However, they need to make sure Embiid is fully healthy and ready to face the titans of the NBA.