SIXERS RISE FROM 52-30 DEPENDS ON SIMMONS AND FULTZ!
By Harry Allison
The Sixers are still six weeks away from 2018-19 training camp, and they have had an interesting offseason.
So, let’s take a look at where they stand on Aug. 20:
2017-18 record: 52-30
Pace: 102.2 (4) OffRtg: 107.4 (11) DefRtg: 102.0 (3)NetRtg: +5.4 (4)
Key addition(s): Wilson Chandler
Key departure(s): Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova
Key question: Can Ben Simmons and/or Markelle Fultz shoot from beyond 15 feet?
The Sixers ranked third offensively from the point (March 1) they had both Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova last season. They’ve replaced Ilyasova with Mike Muscala, a better 3-point shooter over the last three seasons, though probably a downgrade on defense.
Wilson Chandler, meanwhile, gives them additional versatility on the second unit and is obviously a defensive upgrade from Belinelli, who got torched by the Celtics in the conference semis.
But in order to get the most from their two No. 1 picks, one (or both) of them will need to be able to shoot from the outside.
Fultz and Simmons played a total of just 51 minutes together last season (zero in the playoffs) and no player in the league will be under the microscope more than Fultz come October.