A True Point Guard: The Final Piece Keeping the Sixers from an NBA Title
This is a sad, but harsh reality I have realized over the course of this year’s NBA playoffs. All Sixers fans need to hear this, but Ben Simmons will never develop into the true point guard our team needs, and in the modern NBA a true point guard is the difference between championships and heartbreak.
It is over Sixers faithful. The Ben Simmons point guard experiment is over. It has been far too many years, and it took one of the worst playoff performances to show us all the light. While I still do believe Simmons will always be an elite passer and facilitator for his teammates, a true point guard trait. I also still believe Simmons is an elite defender and steal artist, another true point guard trait.
The problem lies in the final piece to the pie of a great point guard, a reliable scorer. Now I’m not saying they need to be able to score on every level with ease, but a true point guard doesn’t hesitate to slash in for a layup. Furthermore, a true point guard is great from the line, and most certainly doesn’t hesitate to knock down a free mid-range jump shot.
Just take a look at the state of the NBA playoffs right now. Trae Young, Chris Paul, Reggie Jackson, Devin Booker. All dominating and propelling their teams to conference finals appearances. These aren’t just normal playoff teams we’re so used to seeing. We’re watching young squads with elite guard play in teams that haven’t cracked an NBA finals in the 21st century.
While I still believe Trae Young’s style of offense is cheap, I cannot deny his greatness this post-season. On the western conference side, you’ve got the point god himself Chris Paul, facilitating and anchoring a young team in Phoenix. Then there’s Devin Booker, a true scoring threat on every level who even earned his first career triple-double playing point in place of Paul.
My point isn’t to rub the success of other teams in the face of all the depressed Sixers fans, but to point out the future of the association. The future is in teams anchored by great guards, something the Sixers need to realize if they wish to ever compete in an NBA finals. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in Joel Embiid, but it means he needs a superstar beside him that is a true guard.
Imagine how unstoppable a pick-and-roll with Embiid and Lillard would be. Though it might not be likely, take a second to close your eyes and see all the options off that simple basketball play. That’s the formula of all these teams over-achieving expectations this playoffs.
I’m not a fortune teller, I can’t tell you who the Sixers should give up to find their own point god. What I do know is, whether it is Simmons, Harris, or both I am all in on Daryl Morey getting Embiid a true ally in the back court. Until then, I truly believe the Sixers ceiling will always be capped at second round exits.
Mandatory Credit: Doctor Drew Smith M.D.