76ers: Star Power
As outrageous as this statement sounds, the 76ers are becoming increasingly reliant on Joel Embiid to make magic happen. While it would be foolish to suggest that the Raptors have a player that is currently as skilled as Embiid, let’s take a look at what Philly’s roster looks like without Ben Simmons.
Tobias Harris is having his worst offensive season in Philadelphia, and Seth Curry has cooled off in startling fashion. Tyrese Maxey has been solid if a tad inconsistent. As fun as it is to jab Simmons for his lack of shooting, his defense and passing were integral to Doc Rivers’ scheme last year. This team is clearly suffering without him.
The Toronto Raptors could surprise a suddenly shallow 76ers team.
Embiid should be able to feast against an undersized team like Toronto, but one player might not be enough to consistently sustain success in an East that has caught up to the Simmons-less Sixers. A trade of Simmons for more assets could happen, but Philly may not have lowered their asking price.
Toronto, meanwhile, has five players averaging at least 15 points per game. Barnes is a rookie sensation that keeps improving, Trent has led the team in scoring multiple times, and Siakam is getting back to his old form. VanVleet should be an All-Star this year, and Anunoby would’ve been if he stayed healthy. That’s a ton of scoring for Philly to contend with.