No Ben Simmons? No problem for the 6-2 Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are coming off another impressive victory last night against the Chicago Bulls. Even without Danny Green and Tobias Harris, the Sixers beat the Bulls 103-98. As we all know by now, whenever the 76ers are mentioned, the majority of the headlines obviously include Ben Simmons, who is still not with the team. We’re not going to talk about Ben Simmons in this post. Strictly 76ers basketball, baby.
You can click here for the latest on Ben but as we witness each solid performance from the Sixers, the memory of Ben Simmons continues to fade further into the land of the forgotten.
I’m definitely not saying that the 76ers are a better team without Ben Simmons and we’re only eight games into the 2021 season. However, there is a ton of great things happening with the 76ers minus Simmons. Check out these stats.
76ers This Season:
- Tied for the MOST wins in the NBA.
- #1 shooting team in the NBA
- #3 in NBA 3 point shooting %
- #3 in NBA Free Throw %
Highest FG% on drives to the basket?
- Kevin Durant – 65.0%
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – 64.1%
- Davion Mitchell – 62.1%
- Jaylen Brown – 60.6%
- Tyrese Maxey – 60.4%
Seth Curry is shooting 61% from the floor, the best in the NBA among non-big men on the court. He’s currently shooting 54% from beyond the arc, which is second best in the NBA. Curry has been clutch in in the fourth quarter for a team who has a tendency to let games slip away in the final frame. In last night’s win against the Bulls, Curry had six points on 3-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter while the rest of the Sixers scored 13 points on 4-of-18 shooting.
Another difference maker in the fourth quarter would be none other than Furkan Korkmaz. Furkan scored 12 points in the fourth quarter last night and has been clutch in almost every game down the stretch this year. (https://stathead.com/tiny/Xg2sQ)
Furkan is 6th in the NBA behind the obvious household names in terms of fourth quarter scoring this year. Off the bench this season, Korkmaz is scoring 18.4 points per 36 minutes, which puts him as one of the best bench scorers in the NBA. (https://stathead.com/tiny/ZypO2)
Defensively, the Sixers have really stepped it up in the absence of Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid is playing at a Defensive Player of the Year level and we all saw what happened last night, when Embiid blocked DeRozan late in the game to help secure the win.
We knew Embiid would be a monster defensively. The real surprise is the perimeter defense minus Ben Simmons. Of course Matisse Thybulle is still playing defense at an elite level, but both Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz have stepped up in a big way as we continue into the 2021 season.
Just last night, Furkan primarily defended DeMar DeRozan while the two were on the court. In 20.3 possessions, Korkmaz put DeRozan in jail, holding him to two points and 1-for-5 shooting from the field. If you go back to the Hawks game, Tyrese Maxey held Trae Young to 3-for-9 shooting, blocking a shot, and forcing a turnover.
Maybe the future without Ben Simmons will actually be okay? Of course, we’re early on in the 2021 season and there’s plenty of basketball left to be played. However, it’s hard to argue against what the 76ers have been able to do without Simmons.
Georges Niang has been tremendous as well and will enter tonight looking for his third straight game with 15 or more points. After last night’s game, Niang had this to say about his new team.
“I think the biggest thing is we’re having fun playing alongside each other. The ball doesn’t stick. It’s flying around. Everybody’s sharing the wealth and everybody’s genuinely happy. You look at the box score and it’s all spread out”
Couldn’t agree more, Minivan. Couldn’t agree more.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS