76ers Sit Outside of Top-10 on NBA Power Rankings During Suspension
Heading into the 2019-2020 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers were as confident as ever. Head Coach Brett Brown teased the idea of contending for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and many bought in.
On paper, the 76ers were once again talented, but as we've learned in the past, having talent on board is only half the battle. The Sixers had their positive moments throughout two-thirds of the regular season. And they undoubtedly had negative ones too. All in all, the 76ers were disappointing this year.
The last bit of hope the team had to turn things around was to get hot for the final third of the season, including the playoffs to contend for the title like they were supposed to do. Unfortunately, a suspended NBA season prevented the Sixers from making an Eastern Conference comeback.
Recently, we've learned that there's an increasing chance the NBA will resume this season. If that's the case, where would the 76ers place at this very moment on a league-wide power ranking?
No. 11 Philadelphia 76ers
"Assuming the suspension gives Ben Simmons enough time to get healthy and rejoin Joel Embiid, this ranking feels too low. Even if their fit is imperfect and the supporting cast around them is far from flattering, you'd think a 6'10" floor general and 7'0" Hakeem Olajuwon reboot would be enough to fetch this team a top-10 ranking."
"But the metrics don't measure up. The Sixers are tied for 11th in winning percentage and sit 12th in net rating. Their offense isn't even in the league's top half."
Sorry Sixers, but according to Bleacher Report's recent power ranking, Philly is on the outside looking in at the top ten. And guess what? It's hard to argue that. The Sixers have been dominant at home this year, with only two losses in South Philly. As good as the Sixers were at home, they were one of the worst teams on the road.
Injuries were indeed a concern, as the two All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons missed chunks of time throughout the year. But even when those two are on the floor, the Sixers are imperfect. And as much as everybody thinks they have the solution to the Sixers' problem, it doesn't boil down to just one concern.
The head coach has struggled to get his players to listen to him. The fit with Joel Embiid and Al Horford is strange. Ben Simmons' unwillingness to take a jumper doesn't help the team's spacing concerns at all.
And the team's all-around inconsistency often put the 76ers in a slump. While they are as good as anybody when the team is clicking, the 76ers have too many inconsistencies to head into the resumed season viewed as a top contender for now.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_