Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid Tease a 'Scary' Stretch Approaching After All-Star Break
Philadelphia 76ers All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have had enough of the narratives. While the national media continues to run with the idea that Embiid and Simmons cannot fit together, many seem to think that one has to be traded. Knowing that, Embiid and Simmons are doing all they can actually to make it work -- as opposed to giving the critics what they want.
Two weeks ago, it felt like maybe the negative rumors surrounding the Sixers were correct. Simmons and Embiid might not be able to gel on the court together. After some in-house discussions amongst teammates and a small three-game winning streak at home, though, all of that talk got put to rest.
Simmons and Embiid aren't giving up on one another, the Sixers, or their potential as a duo. In fact, they are proving everybody wrong as Simmons and Embiid seem more than willing to do all they can to work out their on-court kinks and create a win-win situation for the team that needs their two All-Star players to coexist this season.
Their final matchup before the All-Star break had the Sixers going with a different look against a tough Clippers team. The result of Brett Brown's newest adjustments had Simmons and Embiid both accounting for a team-high of 26 points apiece in a solid 110-103 victory over Los Angeles.
While it was just one game's worth of evidence, the results showed Embiid and Simmons could make it work as long as the coach and his two stars are willing to try. Embiid is sold on the duo at this point. While talking to the media in Chicago on Saturday, the Sixers' big man called the idea of Simmons and himself not being able to coexist "BS." He also stated he believed the offense is going to be much better after the break.
Simmons, on the other hand, preached patience. "It takes time," the Sixers' guard said on Saturday in regards to his on-court relationship with Embiid. "Not everything works right away. I love playing with Joel. I think he's an amazing talent, a guy I respect for his game, and I know he feels the same way about me."
Although Simmons and Embiid have played alongside each other for the last two seasons, the Sixers' star guard makes it clear that they are still experimenting with what they can do. "There's so many different things we haven't tried," Simmons claimed. "We've got a lot of talent -- it's scary how good we can be."
There's hope that the two have it figured out now that the Sixers' front office has acquired two more shooters at the trade deadline, and the coach changed Al Horford's role. With 27 games left on the year, the Sixers have plenty of time to work on perfecting their rotations before the playoffs approach.
Getting Simmons and Embiid on the same page was the first priority. Now that those two seem to be clicking, the Sixers can work on figuring everything else out as the All-Star break concludes soon.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_