Just what the doctor ordered for the Sixers
Going into this past offseason, a lot of 76er fans, including me, figured the team was in for a painful 2020-21 season. The roster was a mess, with expensive players who underperformed (Al Horford) or didn’t complement each other.
Then the club hired Doc Rivers as head coach and Daryl Morey as general manager. Both moves were close together, and injected real excitement into the fanbase.
Then Morey got to work. He traded Horford and Josh Richardson, and brought in Seth Curry, Danny Green and Dwight Howard.
The results so far have exceeded my expectations. Center Joel Embiid – when he isn’t hurt – is enjoying an MVP-caliber season, and power forward Tobias Harris is performing like an all-star. The team is far from perfect, though, and the Sixers are rumored to be in the hunt for Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry. That would be a huge addition and a great fit to the lineup. But the cost won’t be cheap.
The right head coach matters
I also realize now what an enormous difference a good head coach makes. When Brett Brown filled that role with the Sixers, it always seemed like they lost too many games they should’ve won. There was a last-minute turnover, or the wrong person took the final shot.
I don’t feel that way at all with Rivers. He utilizes the roster really well, finding roles for complementary players. A good example is Matisse Thybulle, whose defensive wizardry earns him valuable minutes.
Can the 76ers win the NBA title? I know the Bucks, Nets, Jazz, Lakers and Clippers think the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy has their name on it. But I believe the Sixers have as good a chance as anybody – as long as Embiid isn’t sidelined.